I'd do my best to feign outrage over the All-Star Game slight [FanShot for your reactions here], but looking at these forwards, Patrik Elias is the only one I'd say ought be replaced by an Islander based on 2010-11 performance -- and even Elias has comparable points (30 in 41 games) to the top-scoring Islander (28 in 37). Plus, having old Elias go instead of Ilya may be a funnier statement on last summer than having no Devils go at all.
Regardless, I confess the ASG lost its charm for me sometime around when they replaced orange and black with teal and purple, and Campbell and Wales was discarded like grandma's quilt. I'm sort of relieved to not have to pay attention this year. Michael Grabner was named to the [das auto] rookie SuperSkills something or other, which just might be as legit a way to decide who "wins" a real NHL game as the shootout. Hey, just think of how many people would be standing if you decided the game with a speed race and rapid fire drill!
If you missed the morning thread re-edits and/or people posting updates in comments, Rhett Rakhshani -- who has looked sluggish recently both by his coach's and fans' description -- has been recalled and Jon Sim indeed was "loaned" to Bridgeport.
Media Rankings Survey
The tone of commentary has changed -- why, even Burnside's cheap shot well went dry. Beating Pittsburgh and Detroit will do that, I guess.
|Outlet||Rank||Last Week||Their Commentary|
||Figures that Rick DiPietro would get hurt (again) only a couple of days after the Isles moved out Dwayne Roloson.|
||Don't sleep on the Isles. On an 8-3-1 run with wins over Montreal, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Colorado.|
|ESPN||27||26||Kudos to the forlorn Islanders for putting together their best hockey of the season (7-3-0 in their past 10 games).|
|Sportsnet (Brophy)||28||28||With seven wins in 10 games, the Islanders seem to have taken to new coach Jack Capuano.|
|-||25||[Next ranking won't be posted until Jan. 17.]|
San Jose is the new whipping boy, until the Isles lose a string again.
NHL Power Rankings
And in the opinion-free, purely numerical based rankings, the Islanders inch upward to 28th, leaping Edmonton despite losing to them. And the Devils...we're half way through -- can they really be this historically bad?
As always, these are updated through Sunday's games. Formula and calculations courtesy of our own ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles -- who is also often the one you'll find compiling FIG picks in the game thread.
Explanation of how he does it is in the original post. If you have any questions about it, leave them in comments and he'll likely answer.