NHL Power Rankings: Islanders Inch Upward

Things change quickly in hockey, where fan moods swing as wildly as the average day in the life of a teenager. But the Bridgeport Sound Tigers' last month and a half has been something else.

This team won two games in December, to go with 10 losses. Then the New Year happened. Kevin Poulin's three consecutive 4-0 shutouts grew to a seven-game win streak (just one via shootout) after he and Anders Nilsson swapped places. How in the who in the -- now just what's going on here?

Here's Casey Cizikas as quoted at the Connecticut Post after the last win:

"The corps of guys we have right now, we don't have an all-star. We've got muckers and grinders," said Casey Cizikas, who had a goal and an assist in the first period. "Everybody's playing their roles, from forward to defense, and especially the goalies."

More on Cizikas and his kind of prospect later today. For now, here is your weekly survey of media NHL rankings and our own Power Rankings, where the Islanders have not had the wild swing that their farm team has experienced. Nonetheless, stabilizing into a win-some, lose-some mode over the last month has bumped them up ever so slightly. Along with it, the media pot shots we love to devour have faded. They'll be back though.

Media Power Rankings

Here is our media power rankings survey. As other teams start to struggle like they're in an Islander November, the Isles have inched up juuuust barely. Can't imagine the Nashville and Washington results will have changed much, but we'll see next week.

After the game in Philadelphia Thursday, the Islanders finish January with a two games against both the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs. We've fallen into this trap before, but it's possible that set provides the opportunity for yet another mood swing.

The Islanders have basically played NHL-.500 hockey since Thanksgiving, which isn't enough to make you a playoff team at any point but is enough to start crawling away from the league's darkest depths.

Outlet Rank Last Week Their Commentary
CBSSports 25 28
If it weren't for bad luck, Rick DiPietro would have no luck.
THN
(Proteau)
25 26
Victories over Wings, Sabres a good time, but it'll be tough to build on it with games this week against Preds, Caps and Flyers
ESPN
(LeBrun)
27 27 Matt Moulson on pace for a career-high 41 goals.
Sportsnet 23 26 While goaltender Rick DiPietro is scheduled to a sports hernia surgery that will likely mean the end of his season, the Isles had a good week on the ice, beating both the Sabres and Red Wings at home.
TSN
(Cullen)
25 26 5-3 in eight games prior to the Monday afternoon tilt against Nashville, the Islanders could really use some support for John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo, as that trio has 25 points (the rest of the team also has 25 points) on 17 Islanders goals in January.
Fox 27
29 Evgeni Nabokov’s 23-save performance Saturday marked the 300th win of his NHL career. He joins Dominik Hasek, Nikolai Khabibulin and Olaf Kolzig as goaltenders born outside of North America to win 300.

SBN
(TBD)

TBD
24 [Oh, we'll add it soon enough.]
Average
25.3
26.6 Upward-ish?

For reference, here is last week's power rankings post.

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.

Once again, these (as well as most of the media rankings above) reflect games through Sunday's games, so there is no love for last night's win over mid-tier Washington, nor punishment (yet) for Monday's loss to the Predators. The Islanders have risen one spot, Tampa Bay has taken a tumble, and Edmonton is teetering.

Tune in next week for how this week's games including Thursday in Philadelphia will affect things.



W L OTL Pts Pct PWR
1 Dolan's Cups
28 11 4 60 0.698 2008
2 St. Louis 26 12 6 58 0.659 1965
3 Boston 28 12 1 57 0.695 1942
4 San Jose 25 12 5 55 0.655 1932
5 Detroit 28 15 1 57 0.648 1922
6 Vancouver 28 15 3 59 0.641 1877
7 Chicago 27 13 6 60 0.652 1837
8 Philadelphia 26 13 4 56 0.651 1831
9 Los Angeles 22 15 9 53 0.576 1739
10 Nashville 25 15 4 54 0.614 1737
11 Ottawa 25 15 6 56 0.609 1720
12 Minnesota 22 16 7 51 0.567 1673
13 Florida 21 14 8 50 0.581 1669
14 New Jersey 25 17 2 52 0.591 1667
15 Dallas 24 18 1 49 0.570 1658
16 Washington 24 17 2 50 0.581 1657
17 Colorado 24 20 2 50 0.543 1654
18 Pittsburgh 23 17 4 50 0.568 1622
19 Toronto 22 17 5 49 0.557 1585
20 Phoenix 20 18 7 47 0.522 1545
21 Calgary 21 20 5 47 0.511 1501
22 Winnipeg 20 19 5 45 0.511 1465
23 Montreal 17 20 8 42 0.467 1413
24 Buffalo 19 20 5 43 0.489 1407
25 Edmonton 17 23 4 38 0.432 1346
26 NY Islanders 16 20 6 38 0.452 1317
27 Anaheim 15 22 7 37 0.420 1316
28 Carolina 16 24 7 39 0.415 1257
29 Tampa Bay 17 23 4 38 0.432 1247
30 Columbus 12 27 5 29 0.330 977
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