Dave, this mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
Part of the fun in monitoring weekly NHL power rankings last year was in the commentary, sifting through and poking fun a other writers' "sum this team up in 10 words" (dis)missives about the Islanders. One frequent foil in Columbus has yet to do a power ranking yet, but we can proceed without them (hopefully, without them only for now).
Anyway, we've added a different source for Week 1, and we include how a few saw the Islanders at the close of last season. At the bottom are our power rankings as calculated by Mike (ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles), our resident Master of FIGs and Power Tablature.
Brace yourself: The Islanders are in weird territory here.
How Last Season Ended
The Isles finished 2010-11 in 27th overall and 27th in our Power Rankings. But here is how a couple of outlets tied the bow on their 2010-11:
Islanders finished 25th, a jump from 27th the previous week. Their final quote:
The Isles, likewise, have lots to look forward to next year. Here's to Jack Capuano for making the most of a bad, sometimes ugly situation.
Islanders finished 25th, same as the week before. TSN's final quote:
If Al Montoya can help shore up the Islanders' goaltending needs, the defence should be improved next season with the presumed return of Mark Streit and, eventually, Andrew MacDonald. With a promising group of young forwards, there is reason for optimism on the Island, especially if the offseason brings savvy additions to better fill out the lineup.
Week 1 2011-12 Power Rankings
We're calling this Week 1 because any earlier rankings after one or two games are kind of silly. Worse, not everyone updates on the same day (
CBC appears to be alone in doing theirs on Wednesday, which means their last ranking was when the Isles were 1-1. CBC updated theirs today, so we've revised the table below.)
|Outlet||Rank||Last Week||Their Commentary|
||In his past two games John Tavares has recorded eight points, scoring five goals to go with three assists, including a hat trick in a 4-2 win against their crosstown rivals Saturday. The contract extension he signed this summer might look like a bargain when all is said and done.|
|ESPN||6||27||The Islanders have won three in a row after goalie Evgeni Nabokov earned his first NHL win since the 2010 playoffs as the Isles downed the rival New York Rangers 4-2 on Saturday. With balanced scoring and a stingy defense, the Isles are showing early on they're for real. [Ed. Note: "Balanced" scoring?]
|CBC||11||22||After being called out by Coach Jack Capuano earlier this week, John Tavares let his play do the talking, notching seven points in two games. Tavares is not only putting up the points, but has several people in the hockey world talking about his increased fitness and speed. Rick DiPietro (concussion) skated on Monday, but won't be rushed back, especially with Al Montoya holding down the fort very effectively (1.35 GAA, .953 save percentage). [Ed. note: "Called out?" See, this is what happens when sloppy headlines take on a life of their own.]|
|n/r||n/r||With D Mark Streit returning after missing all of last season, the Islanders' defence should be significantly better and there is no shortage of young talent up front, so the most important position for the Isles will be in goal, where one of Evgeni Nabokov, Al Montoya or Rick DiPietro (or prospect Kevin Poulin, if necesssary) needs to provide stability that will give the Islanders a legitimate chance to challenge for a playoff spot.
[Ed. I'm using his blog as a reference because he put some objective calculations into it. Could be fun to monitor.]
|Average excluding CBC
"I am vaguely unsettled by this team's early success. Where is Portzline?"
...And hear is what we
know imagine they're saying, in their cold dark hearts:
|Imagined Outlet||Rank||Last Week||Their Imagined Commentary|
The Screaming ALL-CAPS Headline
||"The Islanders win over the Rangers was impressive, but make no mistake: Had John Tortorella not ostracized Sean Avery, the results would be different."
|Pop Z. Line
Central Ohio Picayune
||Due to technical difficulties, no commentary provided.
Frans Fanboy Daily
||3||10||The Isles would be undefeated had Frans Nielsen not graciously allowed JT the spotlight.
|The Omen, Toronto Shameless & Record||15||28||
John Tavares' hot start shows precisely why Brian Burke mis-stepped in not drafting him in 2009..
Our NHL Power Rankings
Our weekly "real" power rankings, courtesy of our own ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles (who is the one you'll find tirelessly compiling FIG picks in the game thread), conceived and delivers these week after week. They reflect games through Sunday.
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.
This is through Sunday's games (so before Atlantapeg got their first win as the Jets):
Tune in next week for more rankingography. (And maybe we'll update this post with CBC's if/when they come out Wednesday.)