The New York Islanders are soon California-bound, carrying a modest three-game winning streak (but maybe not, iit appeared yesterday, Mike Mottau or Rick DiPietro). The Islanders don't play again until Friday in Anaheim, followed the next night by a visit to Phoenix. Next week: Home to the Red Wings and Flyers.
Newsday's Arthur Staple summed last night's Tavares show like so: "The downside, if there is one, is that the Isles are getting next to nothing offensively everywhere else on their roster. When Tavares wasn't on the ice against the reeling Hurricanes, the Islanders were either fumbling good chances away or losing one-on-one battles all over the ice."
If they want to keep that old ephemeral "momentum" feeling in their pocket, they'll need to continue taking points from the weaker teams -- but with better performances than last night -- before returning home for next week's tough ones. Of course a failure to win often enough, and against opponents who win often enough, is why the Islanders sit in our power rankings the same place they are in the NHL standings: 27th overall.
Before we get to this week's power rankings, a plug for an odd appearance by Jack Capuano on NBC Sports Thursday night:
The Show: Charlie Moore: No Offense, Thursday, Jan. 5, NBC Sports Network (nee Versus), 9 p.m. EST
Apparently Moore is a fisherman of some notoriety -- this is the season debut of his show's second season. Last summer, Moore and Islanders coach Jack Capuano teamed for what is billed as:
"a very funny episode of No Offense and a completely different look at Cappy. They fished together on lakes in Maine, ate dinner together at the Capuano house and City Cellar in Westbury, and Charlie even hopped on the Coliseum ice with some of our coaching and scouting staff."
It's not quite the epic pageantry that was Kelly Hrudey on the "Reading Rainbow," but it sounds like it will do for off-day entertainment.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can even watch it if you have TWC.
All-Star Game Voting
I've paid zero attention to All-Star Game voting and not much more attention to the game overall in recent years, but I believe today is the last day for fan balloting. You can vote here, if you're feeling the proud pull of Internet democracy.
Media Power Rankings
And now on to the media power rankings survey, which in the Isles' case is in synchronicity with the NHL standings and our own power rankings:
|Outlet||Rank||Last Week||Their Commentary|
||Evgeni Nabokov has been getting most of the starts for the Islanders recently, and playing well. He should be an attractive player on the trade market when the time comes.|
||Isles just 3-14-3 when trailing after one period; only Jackets (1-15-2) and Ducks (1-16-2) are worse|
|25||26||Two straight wins for the Isles with John Tavares leading the way.|
|Sportsnet||26||27||Can you name the Islanders’ leading point-getter? Hint: It’s not John Tavares or Matt Moulson. It’s winger P.A. Parenteau, whose 25 assists have helped the Isles play .500 ball in the last half of December.|
|27||29||8-6-2 in the last 16 games, the Islanders have been competitive and matters have been helped by G Evgeni Nabokov stopping 85 of 89 shots (.955 SV%) in the last three games.|
||27||The Isles are 4-1-1 against the Northwest Division and 9-16-5 against everyone else.|
Up down, up down, still 27-ish territory
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.
For reference, last week's power rankings are here. The rankings for this week, through Sunday's games follow below. This is before the shootout win over Carolina, which I suspect wouldn't affect things much anyway.
Kindly pay no attention to the team listed at the top (but related to that team: John Torotorella is expected to face a fine for his ripping the officiating after the Winter Classic. Shock.):
One step back, one step forward. The Isles remain in 27th, though other teams are trying to fall down to join them.