NHL Standings Based on Every March Since the Lockout

It’s been six years since the lockout, and for Leafs fans, every single one has been just about the same. Toronto sits five points back of the Rangers, who has a game in hand with five games to play. Chances for a playoff berth are slim, and as all of you already know, it will most likely be the sixth year in a row we piggyback another team so we have something to cheer for. (I assume most of us will cheer for Vancouver, since they’re Canadian and not the Habs or Sens). Anyways, back on track! Let’s talk about March, Toronto’s dream month. 31 days of the best hockey we see every year. I’m not going to waste your time talking about why, but I will rock your world with some stats.

Maple Leafs/Games Played/Wins/Overtime Losses/Shootout Losses/Points/Percentage of Potential Points

TML GP W L OT SO PTS %
October 70 26 28 6 10 68 49
November 80 31 36 6 7 75 47
December 82 38 38 5 1 82 50
January 80 29 43 5 3 66 41
February 62 31 19 6 6 74 60
March 85 46 31 3 4 101 59

The above chart is how well Toronto has played on a monthly basis in the six seasons since the lock-out. The reason I calculated  the percentage of potential points is because there’s a different amount of games played in just about every month (Don’t know if that’s obvious or not). As you can see, the Leafs hover around 50% for the first half of the season, but make a pretty significant dip in January. Maybe they’re sad because they don’t get enough presents from Santa? Anyways, February and March are clearly Toronto’s best months, both at the 60% range. However, February has seen 23 fewer games than March (because of the Olympics). This means that one could argue based on the chart that March is their best month because they maintained a 60% average over a larger chunk of games.

With that out of the way, it’s time to get down and dirty. I’m sure by now most of you have heard, “If the Leafs play a full season like they do in March they would make the playoffs no problem.” Well, there’s a way of seeing if that’s true, kind of… If you look above, the Leafs have played 85 games in March since the lockout, essentially a full season of hockey. They finished with a pretty decent record as well if you equate their season to 82 games, finishing with roughly 97 points. But, the real question is how well the rest of the league does in March.

Place Teams GP W L OT SO PTS %
1 Detroit Red Wings 84 53 17 5 9 120 71
2 San Jose Sharks 88 55 22 5 6 121 69
3 Anaheim Ducks 85 55 24 2 4 116 68
4 Carolina Hurricanes 83 52 22 4 5 113 68
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 88 53 24 6 5 117 66
6 Ottawa Senators 90 52 28 2 8 114 63
7 Vancouver Canucks 90 57 26 4 3 111 62
8 Nashville Predators 89 49 27 7 6 111 62
9 Montreal Canadiens 85 48 30 7 0 103 61
10 Buffalo Sabres 90 49 31 6 4 108 60
11 New York Rangers 86 44 27 7 8 103 60
12 Toronto Maple Leafs 85 47 31 3 4 101 59
13 Washington Capitals 86 42 29 6 9 99 58
14 Atlanta Thrashers 87 46 34 3 4 99 57
15 Calgary Flames 87 45 36 4 1 95 55
16 Florida Panthers 87 43 31 4 9 93 53
17 Dallas Stars 88 39 33 7 9 94 53
18 Columbus Blue Jackets 87 38 33 8 8 92 53
19 New Jersey Devils 85 41 36 4 4 89 52
20 Minnesota Wild 90 39 35 6 10 94 52
21 Philadelphia Flyers 90 40 38 5 7 92 51
22 Colorado Avalanche 84 38 37 4 5 85 51
23 Phoenix Coyotes 85 38 40 3 4 83 49
24 Chicago Blackhawks 87 37 38 5 7 86 49
25 St. Louis Blues 88 37 38 7 6 87 49
26 Los Angeles Kings 87 36 38 9 4 85 49
27 Boston Bruins 92 36 42 7 8 87 47
28 New York Islanders 87 34 42 8 3 79 45
29 Tampa Bay Lightning 89 33 43 9 4 79 44
30 Edmonton Oilers 89 31 46 5 7 74 41

Not bad. Not bad at all. In case you are visually impaired, which if you are I don’t know how you clicked this link anyway, the Leafs are 12th! It’s not as good as many might have thought, as it still would only be good for 7th in the Eastern Conference. However, if you consider some of the teams the Leafs have carried compared to the teams sitting in the top ten it is fairly impressive.

Some interesting notes:

  • Toronto is tied for the second least extra-time losses. This shows how do-or-die March has been for the Leafs.
  • Besides Edmonton, March is a good month for Canadian teams.
  • Vancouver is the only team to have played the same amount of games in March every year: 15.
  • Florida sitting at 16th and New Jersey at 19th is somewhat surprising.

By: Kyle Larkin

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  1. April 10th, 2011
    Trackback from : Nhl Standings

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