Many people have been trying to qualify what 'Playoff Success' really is. To me, the only true playoff success is winning the Cup (that means there is the guy in first, and 29 other teams tied for last.) A lot of fans and all sports journalists don't really like this method of determination and like to make it more complicated.
This won't be a long, analytical post that delves deeply into anything, really. It's just something to think about. (Has this been 'spinned' to present the Leafs in the best light? Yes, but this IS a Maple Leaf blog, so too effin bad.)Ok, so if you ascribe to the school that 'Playoff Success' isn' quite as black and white as a Cup win or non win, here is another tact.
First, many teams do not make the playoffs. This does not constitute playoff success or failure... that is just the ultimate regular season failure. Not making the playoffs means you didn't give yourself a chance to prove to be a playoff failure or success.
Losing in the first round of the playoffs would be considered a very significant playoff failure... more so the higher ranked your team was going into the second season.
Inversely, winning the first round can be considered some playoff success - not much, but a win is a win. And so on and so forth until you reach the finals.
Taking this all into consideration, the more playoff rounds won constitutes greater 'playoff success.'
Let's look at the 6 Canadian teams and take a sample size of recent playoff history. I use 'recent' loosely, let's look at the last 15 years - it dovetails quite nicely because it starts with the end of the first lockout right to present day. The slow decline of the dead puck era through the post 'New NHL' (Writer's note: it has been 5 years, it's not new anymore - do you introduce your girlfriend of 5 years by saying 'meet my new girlfriend' or do you show off your 5 year old car as 'new'... no, enough with the 'New NHL' /rant)
5 playoff wins in 8 appearances
5 playoff wins in 7 appearances - included is the Cinderella run to the finals - 3 wins in one year.
3 wins in 7 appearances - and yes all three of these wins in one year.
5 wins in 8 appearances - this includes the two this year, before that they were tied with the Flames.
8 wins in 12 appearances - hey, that looks good, they have the most playoff wins! Sure they gave themselves 4 or 5 more opportunities over the rest of the group and could only manage on average a little over 3 wins more - but hey, good for you. (Side note - the Leafs ended 4 of these post season runs.)
7 wins in 8 appearances. That's right - more wins per appearances then the rest of the Canadian teams. To argue with me by saying 'But your numbers are skewed because the Leafs haven't been in the playoffs in the last 5 years' just shows how good they were when they DID make the playoffs.
Long story short - I choose to extrapolate thusly:
1) When we make the playoffs, we do better on average than the rest of the Canadian teams
b) We have had greater 'playoff success' than the other Canadian teams over the past 15 seasons
4) When we make the post season we will always win at LEAST one series... so watch out NHL! (in 2012)
I can't wait for the Dra...
Um, I mean Free ag...
Go Leafs Go