Islander fans sure do like to analyze their team's progress, eh? Torgo made an excellent post recently, breaking down the Isles' record in 10-game chunks. You should check that one out.
And now it's my turn. As I have mentioned before ad nausem, the power rankings calculate how well the Isles fared against teams based on those teams' records. So I recalculated the power rankings based on each individual month. With that bite-sized amount of data, I imagine we'd have a better feel for how the boys are improving (or faltering) as the year goes on.
In fact, when I did this exercise last year (all in one post at the end of the season), we were hit with the reality that they only were strong enough to be considered "playoff caliber" for one month (February). Despite the other good months, their wins against good teams happened to be while those teams were sagging a bit, thus taking some luster off of the Isles' late season surge.
After the jump, I will show where the Isles stood given November's data, and perhaps even use the info to draw a conclusion or two (imagine that!)...
OK, first of all, we need something to compare this November to. I'll try two things: This October's rankings (comparing month to month), and last November's (how are they compared to last year?):
NHL Power Rankings for October 2011
For what it's worth, by this point last year, the Isles were 21st, so they were off to a slower start. It probably felt a lot worse, given some of the stinkers the boys laid (the Florida trip comes to mind), but I won't put too much stock in the first month of any season, really. I think the performance of a team from November and beyond is more telling...
NHL Power Rankings for November of 2011
Well, it's not nearly as bad as I expected. Nothing great, but given our despair around here last month, you'd think it was last November's swoon. Back then, the Isles finished dead last for the month. This time around, we even finished ahead of Washington and Carolina (the two teams who will be joining our new conference next year). And compared to the prior month, they were doing about the same, which again is a bit of a surprise due to what seemed like a truly terrible Movember (it's gotta be the staches!).
From this, I draw a little bit of hope for this year. Last year, we all wondered what the Isles might have accomplished if only they actually did something in November. This time around, they actually did gain some points, despite an obvious room for improvement. And now that they're on a bit of a win streak, who knows? I certainly like their chances more this year (current format) than next (format of death!).
More to come. I'll do this every month from here on out.