Hello again, people. I hope you're keeping up with Torgo's excellent continuing series comparing the Isles with all of the other teams in 10-game chunks.
So the Isles had a winning month in January. We are all noticing the team slowly coming together, hoping that there are more years in the Rebuild's rear view mirror than in its windshield. Many have pointed out that if the Isles performed this well the entire season, it would usually be good enough to make the playoffs.
I mean, that is good enough, isn't it? Instead of just throwing the monthly power rankings summary up and say "so... there's that!" like I always do, maybe I can actually put this one to good use by trying to answer that question: If the Islanders played the whole year like they did in January, would they be in the playoffs?
The Islanders' 7-5-1 record, if extrapolated over a season, would equate to a record of 44-32-6, good enough for 94 points. Hmmm... Hold on now... That's not bad, but I'm not so sure that would be a lock for the playoffs. It would've been good enough in the East last year (93 points to get to eighth), but not the West (97).
But if you consider the quality of competition based on the power rankings, you get this:
January 2012 Power Rankings
Based on the above, not only were the Islanders one of the 16 best teams in the league (and therefore playoff worthy), but they were seventh-best in the East. So yes, at least based on this unbiased yet imperfect set of calculations, the Islanders were on a playoff pace last month. Based on their quality of competition for that month, if the Isles kept up that level of effort over every month of the season (sometimes against better competition, sometimes against weaker competition), they'd very likely be in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, they haven't played that well all year, so as we all know they'd have to play way over their heads from here on in order to make up for lost time, but it's always good to see some meaningful progress, even if it takes this much data crunching to find it.*
Until next time!
*Disclaimer: Don't go around telling people your team is getting better based on these calculations. It's a sure fire way to get turban wedgies (that's when there's so much material pulled up over your head, they can wrap it around your cranium a few times).