The graph below compares the point progression of the Toronto Maple Leaf to the teams who are on pace to make the playoffs in the Eastern confrence. The X Axis Represents the number of games played in the season and the Y Axis represents the total points. If you compare the teams The Leafs are struggling near the bottom of those teams but they catch up around game 30 when the season starts going wrong. It is interesting to note the Leafs are the only team on that list that lost their first game of the season.
The Leafs are currently in position to draft 6th overall. If you compare their point progression they look much more in line with the bottom five teams. The difference between the playoff teams and the bottom teams is consistency. The bottom teams can win games but like the Leafs they have gone through losing streaks where their point progression significantly slows down.
The Leafs will have to rebuild their core if they want to become a consistent playoff team.