NHL Power Rankings; Islanders Offense with More New Lines

The Wild are falling, falling.

Yesterday's practice brought a line shuffle for a New York Islanders team struggling to find consistent offense. Today brings another tweak, with Matt Martin (instead of Nino Niederreiter) skating on the third line with Josh Bailey and Michael Grabner.

In one sense, with a seventh shutout the other night (against a very good goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist) the Islanders offense has faltered. But in terms of the Jack Capuano "get pucks to the net" strategy, it actually had been doing better:

Over the last 10 games the Islanders have averaged 30.9 shots per game, which is higher than their current 29.4 season average but also a boost to the 28.8 per game season average they had before this 10-game stretch. (This stretch included three OT games; the 24 prior games included five contests that reached OT.) Meanwhile, the 2.3 goals per game (excluding shootout "goals") over that stretch is likewise an increase over their season average (now up to 2.21).

These are small margins of course, where a big night -- such as the 5-1 feast over the Lightning -- and different personnel and opponents and slumps can alter the totals. The Islanders overall struggle to score and by altering the lines Capuano is no doubt looking for more balance. He just might be trying to squeeze more from a turnip.

We'll have more on that topic later. The Garth Snow "GM Show" Q&A is today at 1:30 p.m. Some quick links before the Power Ranking tables:

Media Power Rankings

And now on to the media power rankings survey, which is a little light as two usual outlets haven't updated after Christmas:

Outlet Rank Last Week Their Commentary
CBSSports 25 24
Entering the week, P.A. Parenteau is tied for the team lead in scoring. I'm not sure if that's good news for P.A. Parenteau or bad news for the New York Islanders.
THN
(Proteau)
- 27
[not updated yet]
ESPN
(LeBrun(?))
26 25 The Isles look as though they know what they're doing for a game or two. Then reality sets in, as it did in their final two losses before the break. The loss of Al Montoya is problematic, although Evgeni Nabokov getting some work should create at least a modicum of interest from teams looking for a veteran backup as the trade deadline approaches.
CBC n/a n/a [gone dark and cold]
TSN
(Cullen)
29 26 [not updated yet]
Fox 27
27 Rookie Nino Niederreiter returned from a concussion but is still looking to find his niche. The fifth overall pick in 2010 has one goal in 10 games and will look to earn more ice time than the 8:38 per game he currently gets.
Average
26.75
26 Up down, up down, still 27-ish territory

With a couple of regular sites not updated yet, we'll add to this later -- if they do -- for posterity.

Real Power Rankings

And now on to our weekly "real" power rankings courtesy of Mike, or ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles (who is the one you'll find tirelessly compiling FIG picks in the game thread), who conceived and delivers these week after week. They are calculated in true "power ranking" fashion -- i.e. how well teams fare based on their opponents' records.

The Islanders remain the same (27th), but Minnesota's run of losses has them tumbling. (They were still top of the table in last week's ranking.)

W L OTL Pts Win Pct PWR
1 Boston 23 9 1 47 0.712 1986
2 NY Rangers 21 8 4 46 0.697 1974
3 San Jose 19 10 3 41 0.641 1934
4 St. Louis 20 10 4 44 0.647 1934
5 Chicago 22 9 4 48 0.686 1900
6 Philadelphia 21 9 4 46 0.676 1877
7 Detroit 21 12 1 43 0.632 1800
8 Minnesota 20 11 5 45 0.625 1796
9 Pittsburgh 20 11 4 44 0.629 1795
10 Vancouver 21 12 2 44 0.629 1793
11 Florida 18 11 7 43 0.597 1708
12 Dallas 20 13 1 41 0.603 1668
13 Toronto 18 13 4 40 0.571 1613
14 Phoenix 18 14 3 39 0.557 1605
15 Los Angeles 16 14 5 37 0.529 1584
16 New Jersey 19 14 1 39 0.574 1581
17 Calgary 17 15 4 38 0.528 1578
18 Colorado 18 17 1 37 0.514 1558
19 Nashville 18 13 4 40 0.571 1556
20 Washington 17 14 2 36 0.545 1556
21 Ottawa 17 14 5 39 0.542 1531
22 Winnipeg 16 14 5 37 0.529 1509
23 Edmonton 15 16 3 33 0.485 1484
24 Buffalo 16 15 3 35 0.515 1443
25 Montreal 13 16 7 33 0.458 1368
26 Tampa Bay 14 17 3 31 0.456 1336
27 NY Islanders 11 16 6 28 0.424 1282
28 Carolina 11 19 6 28 0.389 1219
29 Anaheim 9 19 6 24 0.353 1156
30 Columbus 9 21 4 22 0.324 931
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