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
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.
|1||Detroit Red Wings||84||53||17||5||9||120||71|
|2||San Jose Sharks||88||55||22||5||6||121||69|
|11||New York Rangers||86||44||27||7||8||103||60|
|12||Toronto Maple Leafs||85||47||31||3||4||101||59|
|18||Columbus Blue Jackets||87||38||33||8||8||92||53|
|19||New Jersey Devils||85||41||36||4||4||89||52|
|25||St. Louis Blues||88||37||38||7||6||87||49|
|26||Los Angeles Kings||87||36||38||9||4||85||49|
|28||New York Islanders||87||34||42||8||3||79||45|
|29||Tampa Bay Lightning||89||33||43||9||4||79||44|
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