It's just by a hair, but the New York Islanders are still behind Anaheim and ahead of Columbus -- who I swear will keep rising -- in our weekly NHL power rankings. That's as of Sunday night's results, so it excludes last night's Isles win in Buffalo, among other variables.
Those tables and the weekly media ranking roundup after the jump. But first, some further Islanders coverage and reliving Al Montoya's "double Toyota" save on the 5-on-3 last night.:
- Like us, Arthur Staple's sidebar in Newsday highlighted Nino Niederreiter's growing pains -- yes, that is my personal "Stop freaking out that Nino was a scratch" plea -- and also mentioned the "hint" of a D-man callup for the Chicago-Dallas trip.
- His game recap focused on Al's magnificence.
- Our own (yes, we're claiming him like a proud mother) Keith Quinn did the recap for IPB.
In that AP recap, Capuano is quoted saying:
"We showed some desperation and then Al was there when we needed him to be," coach Jack Capuano said. "We kept coming. We have to play with an attitude that maybe we didn’t play with the first couple of weeks."
Hmmm, I'm not sure "attitude" is quite the thing -- and wasn't scratching Attitude-in-Chief Micheal Haley supposed to cause the Isles to fold last night due to a severe Grit Deficiency? -- but I'll take whatever attitude works for the team to believe in.
In the Newsday recap, not for the first time this season Brian Rolston was quoted with what might be interpreted as a healthy endorsement of Al:
"Our goaltender was our best player tonight, and if our goaltender is our best player every night we're going to win a lot of games,"
Whatever could he mean? Oh, maybe he means moments like this:
Al Montoya Robs Derek Roy Twice
Yeah, yeah that might be it.
Media Power Rankings
Finally, after weeks of benign verbiage, the media take the silly stick to the Isles.
|Outlet||Rank||Last Week||Their Commentary|
||They needed the situation room in Toronto to review a potential game-tying goal in the closing seconds over the weekend. Thankfully, the correct call was made, enabling the Islanders to finally win their first road game of the season. They held on to beat the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon. [Ed. note: Good talk, Russ.]|
||Awful Isles now NHL’s worst team in terms of 5-on-5 goals-for/against ratio (0.64).|
|29||29||Worst goal differential in the league; unable to get their promising offense going; just one road win. It doesn't get much worse, does it? Oh, sorry, these are the Islanders. Of course it could get worse. [Ed. note:
|CBC||29||30||As one journalist told me the other day, "I don't care what the stats are, the Islanders are the worst team in the NHL." Well, you don't have to look too far to find the stats to support that claim. The Isles have been shutout in three of their last five games and haven't won back-to-back games since games three and four to start the season. [Ed. note: Oh, well if a JOURNALIST said it, then ... yeah.]
|29||28||John Tavares has one goal in the last 12 games and has been held without a point in the last five and, strangely enough, the Isles don't seem to have the complementary scoring to handle that lull in production.|
|Fox||30||29||It’s been said a million times, but you still have to wonder how the Isles feel about being on the hook for Rick DiPietro and his $4.5 million salary in 2020-21. [Ed. note: You do?]|
I tend to look at goals against without accounting for empty net goals. That's just how I roll. A journalist told me it works.
Real Power Rankings
These are before last night's win. Mike tells me the OT loss to the Sharks boosts the rating, but the Isles were higher before other results bumped them down over the weekend..
Our weekly "real" power rankings are courtesy of Mike, or 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.
Columbus will climb over 1000 one of these days, I swear to it.