NHL Power Rankings and Bits: Oh, the Isles Aren't the Piñata Anymore?

Getting Boomer's daughter to root against the Rangers. +10 power ranking points. - Bruce Bennett

After ranking the Isles near the bottom in their initial power rankings, publications realize that they don't have Mottau and Rolston anymore.

Of course, this isn't to say the Isles are heating up the league. At NHL-.500, they are 8th overall in their conference, but that's certainly better than their average position most of the past few years. They've also kept the games rather close, even in defeat. And so the publication powers that be have awarded the Isles - at least temporarily - by rising them up from their usual doormat position. Baby steps.

Before we get to our first weekly roundup of the rankings, I just want to point out that every one of them ranks the teams from 1 through 30 this year, as they always do. I find this peculiar, since the two conferences won't be playing each other until the Cup Finals. Comparing the Bruins to the Sharks, for example, is like comparing apples to oranges. There's no data points shared between the two. When you look at my own rankings - which uses cold hard calculations only - you'll notice that I have the two conferences separated this year, but I did add another column at the end, showing the "overall" rankings anyway, to compare the calculations to everyone else's opinion polls. /end rant

Survey of Media Power Rankings

Here is the weekly roundup of media rankings and commentary. Links take you to the overall rankings (I hope... I'm new at this). Commentary is what specifically was penned about the Isles.

Keep in mind that noted Islanders assailant Pierre LeBrun did the rankings for ESPN, and actually had something nice to say (hat tip to PGI, who discovered this Loch Ness monster of comments).

Outlet Rank Last Week Their Commentary
CBSSports 22 30
For the first time in a while, the Islanders are actually fun to watch. ... But of course they're still the Islanders. They excel at blowing two-goal, third-period leads in 65 seconds.
THN 17 28
John Tavares’ goal against Winnipeg was his first of 2013 and first in his past 16 NHL games. Still, the Isles are getting by on their fifth-ranked offense guarding against their 27th-ranked defense. Makes for fun hockey.
ESPN 16 27 This young team is so, so close to taking that next step. I enjoy watching the Islanders' games.
Sportsnet 15 NR Even in their losses, all against teams with winning records, the Isles have held their own. John Tavares only has one goal and they’re still sitting in playoff position.
TSN
18 29 Respectable in the early going, maybe even better than that if they could get some goaltending. The combo of Evgeni Nabokov and Rick DiPietro have an .887 save percentage, allowing 18 goals on 159 shots.
Fox 26
30 Center John Tavares scored his first goal since March over the weekend. His line will have to become much more productive (offensively and defensively) for the Isles to remain competitive.
Average
19.0
28.8 Forget what we said last week! We're on the bandwagon! Until we're not.

LHH Power Rankings

And now on to our weekly power rankings which measure the quality of wins for each team, based on the records of their opponents' records. In brief, if I could use the Isles as an example, their power ranking points is basically the winning percentage of every team they defeated (and half the percentage of any team the Isles gained a point off of, whether it be from an OT loss or shootout loss), divided by the total number of games played. Losses are treated equally. It goes a little further than that, but you get the idea.

These tables are through Sunday's games:

Eastern Conference Power Rankings

W L OTL Pts Win Pct PWR Rank
1 Boston 3 0 1 7 0.875 2650 1
2 Winnipeg 3 1 1 7 0.700 1978 4
3 New Jersey 3 0 1 7 0.875 1873 6
4 NY Islanders 2 2 1 5 0.500 1641 8
5 Montreal 3 1 0 6 0.750 1611 9
6 Tampa Bay 4 1 0 8 0.800 1495 10
7 NY Rangers 2 3 0 4 0.400 1440 12
8 Ottawa 3 1 1 7 0.700 1422 13
9 Pittsburgh 3 2 0 6 0.600 1270 16
10 Toronto 2 3 0 4 0.400 1261 17
11 Buffalo 2 3 0 4 0.400 740 23
12 Carolina 2 2 0 4 0.500 733 24
13 Washington 1 3 1 3 0.300 670 25
14 Philadelphia 2 4 0 4 0.333 592 27
15 Florida 1 4 0 2 0.200 400 29

OK don't pop the champagne yet. There's not a lot of data, but the Isles victory over Tampa (4-1-0) helps boost their rankings for the time being. That's good enough for 4th in the conference, and 8th overall (although again I caution against looking at an overall ranking in a league where the two conferences won't play any games against each other).

Western Conference Power Rankings

W L OTL Pts Win Pct PWR Rank
1 St. Louis 5 1 0 10 0.833 2267 2
2 Chicago 6 0 0 12 1.000 2065 3
3 Anaheim 3 1 0 6 0.750 1877 5
4 San Jose 5 0 0 10 1.000 1820 7
5 Nashville 1 1 3 5 0.500 1477 11
6 Detroit 2 2 1 5 0.500 1318 14
7 Vancouver 2 2 1 5 0.500 1281 15
8 Minnesota 2 2 1 5 0.500 1234 18
9 Dallas 2 2 1 5 0.500 1091 19
10 Edmonton 2 2 0 4 0.500 969 20
11 Calgary 1 2 1 3 0.375 891 21
12 Columbus 1 3 1 3 0.300 837 22
13 Colorado 2 2 0 4 0.500 656 26
14 Los Angeles 1 2 1 3 0.375 423 28
15 Phoenix 1 4 0 2 0.200 300 30

Sorry if the tables don't look too pretty. The new site interface will take some time getting used to.

___

And now, we go to PGI with the news:

ISLANDERS BITS:

Newsday ($)- So far, Islanders' pickups have picked them up

Staple on Aucoin and McDonald who have played well in the early going for the Islanders.

Newsday (still $) - Sachem-Wading River's Corey Cairo stepped up when Islanders needed a goalie during lockout

High school senior faced NHL competition during the lockout. Not a bad way to spend the winter, I guess. Beats a paper route.

NHL BITS:

P.K. Subban contract: Canadiens sign star defenseman to two-year deal - SBNation.com

Subban Signs Stunning Settlement. So your Boulton, Carkner, Reasoner and a 3rd for Subban trade is off the table.

Future of new Toronto-area arena at stake | Hockey | CBC Sports

There's probably going to be a new arena in Markham, Ontario which means they'll probably get an NHL team there, too at some point. All we know is, it won't be the Islanders.

Gabriel Landeskog injury again proves we don't care about NHL concussions - SBNation.com

Last season's Calder Trophy winner and Avalanche captain took a big hit from Brad Stuart of the Sharks and is out with a concussion. I'm not gonna lie: reading this I couldn't help but think about Dion Phaneuf's hit on Tavares last Thursday. I hope to god the Islanders and Tavares are being safe and smart about it. Because there's an awful lot of players out there are are neither. And Tavares means too much to the Islanders to jeopardize his health. /end selfish, paranoid rant.

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