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Results Comparison 1-10 Pt. 2: Equivalent Fixtures

The full explanation of how the comparison is done can be found here.

It certainly looks just as bleak under this format as under the other as there is no hiding that even at this early stage the Leafs are behind where they were the last two years when they eventually missed the playoffs.

The big difference again is that the Leafs special teams have simply been atrocious. While the PK has looked better the stats don't reflect that and part of that is that the Leafs' penalty killers have just been overworked. In the five games in which they were short-handed 5 or fewer times the PK operated at 86.36% (19/22) which would give the Leafs the 8th best PK in the league. Meanwhile, in games in which they were short-handed 6 or more times the Leafs PK operated at 75.86% (44/58) which would be good enough for 27th in the NHL. Unfortunately, the tally of games for each thus far is 5 for the good PK and 8 for the tired PK which leaves the Leafs in 24th in the league and with a minus 8 special teams differential.

Here's a look at how games 11-20 have played out over the last two seasons. It has actually been a pretty good stretch for the Leafs but especially so last season when it built on the foundation of a decent start to form what should have been a solid base for the team going forward. Of course last year the wheels fell of in games 21-30 largely in part of Raycroft's injury in the 18th game of the season. It took him until December 30th to get close to getting back to the very good form in which he had been until the groin pull.

So far the Leafs are 2-1 so far in the current 10 game block which includes four upcoming away dates in arenas in which the Leafs win about as often as the Habs have iced a competitive team in the past 14 years.