NHL Power Rankings 3/13/13: Let's Talk About the Islan.... Oooh look! Crosby!!!1!1!!

This is about the team in the background. No look carefully... There IS another team there! - Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What are the opinion polls to do when it comes to talking about the Islanders? Easy... Talk about the Penguins!

Our weekly NHL power rankings, survey of media rankings and punditry, and Alternate Universe 5-Point Standings are below. But before we get to the numbers and quotes, a few links:

NHL Power Rankings, Alternate Standings

OK, so here we are in the third straight week where the Islanders haven't really moved in the actual standings, in the opinion polls, or in our own power rankings calculations. I guess the publications who put together their opinions into table form are getting tired saying the same things about the Islanders (they're inconsistent; you can see they'll be good one day, but today is not that day; they're not good 5-on-5; etc.).

Fortunately for them, the Isles played the Penguins this week, so they can talk about them instead.

Weekly Opinion Polls Round-Up

Site Ranking Prior Comments
CBS 23 24 Just when their fans get excited about being so close to a playoff spot, a team like the Penguins sends them back to reality.
THN 19 26 Finished home stretch much better than they started it. Still a bridge to gap to become a playoff team and need John Tavares to heat up again in order to do it. He has three points – all goals – in his past seven.
ESPN 24 23 After getting absolutely demolished in Pittsburgh on Sunday night, the Isles get to think about it for a while, as the schedule-maker has them sitting out until Thursday.
TSN 22 21 Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh was ugly, but the Isles were 3-0-2 in the previous five games, so they're within three points of a playoff spot. Brad Boyes leads the team with six points in five games this month, giving him 21 in 26 games. He had 23 points in 65 games with Buffalo last season.
Fox Sports 24 27 The Islanders had their five-game point streak snapped in a big way by the Penguins on Sunday. The 6-1 loss included two power-play goals allowed, something that goes against a team that still has the fifth-best penalty kill on the road.
Average 22.4 23.8 Oooh look! A chance to say Sid Crosby is GAWD again!!!!

I'll be honest... I don't read what the opinion polls say about the rest of the teams, but I could easily see them doing something like this to anybody, any time the Pens have a good night against them. "The Bruins have won 10 in a row until Sid Crosby's teammate Brandon Sutter demolished them in Pittsburgh."

Whatever, worse has been said about the Isles in the past few years.

LHH Power Rankings

And on to the weekly power rankings, using cold hard calculations. Mostly, we add the winning percentage of the teams the Isles beat (for example), add half the winning percentages of the teams the Isles gained a point off of, and then take that total and divide by the number of games played. (We actually go through two iterations, but you get the idea).

EAST W L OTL Pts Win Pct PWR Overall Rank
1 Boston 17 3 3 37 0.804 2251 3
2 Montreal 17 5 4 38 0.731 1987 4
3 Pittsburgh 18 8 0 36 0.692 1864 6
4 Ottawa 13 8 5 31 0.596 1725 10
5 Toronto 15 10 1 31 0.596 1675 15
6 Carolina 14 9 1 29 0.604 1665 16
7 NY Rangers 13 9 2 28 0.583 1593 18
8 New Jersey 12 9 5 29 0.558 1543 20
9 NY Islanders 11 12 3 25 0.481 1442 22
10 Winnipeg 12 11 2 26 0.520 1429 25
11 Philadelphia 12 14 1 25 0.463 1252 26
12 Buffalo 9 14 3 21 0.404 1239 27
13 Tampa Bay 10 14 1 21 0.420 1145 28
14 Washington 10 13 1 21 0.438 1138 29
15 Florida 7 13 6 20 0.385 1042 30

WEST W L OTL Pts Win Pct PWR Overall Rank
1 Chicago 21 2 3 45 0.865 2621 1
2 Anaheim 18 3 3 39 0.813 2498 2
3 Vancouver 11 7 6 28 0.583 1882 5
4 Los Angeles 14 8 2 30 0.625 1842 7
5 San Jose 11 7 6 28 0.583 1789 8
6 Minnesota 13 9 2 28 0.583 1757 9
7 Detroit 12 9 5 29 0.558 1723 11
8 Dallas 12 10 2 26 0.542 1714 12
9 Phoenix 12 10 3 27 0.540 1702 13
10 St. Louis 13 10 2 28 0.560 1682 14
11 Nashville 10 9 6 26 0.520 1650 17
12 Colorado 10 10 4 24 0.500 1554 19
13 Edmonton 9 11 5 23 0.460 1490 21
14 Columbus 10 12 4 24 0.462 1436 23
15 Calgary 9 11 4 22 0.458 1432 24

The Islanders still benefit slightly from being in a tougher division. It boosts them a spot above where they are in the actual standings. While the power rankings are designed to keep the ridiculous NHL points formula in mind (Tie game? Let's hand out an extra point!), the Isles actually aren't as impressive (I'm using that as a relative term, people!) as it makes them out to be, if you consider how many of their wins have come after 60 minutes. As it turns out, I happen to be keeping an eye on that as well.

Alternate Standings Experiment

What if regulation wins were rightfully awarded more points than an OT win, which would be awarded more than a shoot out win, and what if a shootout loss would be rated higher than an OTL, which would be awarded more than a regulation loss? Wonder no more. Just for the heck of it (and understanding that teams would likely behave differently under such a system), here's what it would look like if the NHL gave out as much as five points for a regulation win, all the way down to zero for a regulation loss:

(Number of points) (5) (4) (3) (2) (1) (0) Actual
EAST RW OTW SOW SOL OTL RL Pts Place
1 Montreal 14 2 1 2 2 5 87 1
2 Pittsburgh 15 1 2 0 0 8 85 3
3 Boston 13 1 3 1 2 3 82 2
4 Toronto 13 2 0 1 0 10 75 T5
5 Carolina 13 1 0 0 1 9 70 T7
6 Ottawa 10 0 3 3 2 8 67 T5
7 New Jersey 9 1 2 3 2 9 63 T7
8 NY Rangers 9 2 2 2 0 9 63 8
9 Philadelphia 11 1 0 1 0 14 61 T10
10 Winnipeg 9 3 0 2 0 11 61 9
11 NY Islanders 7 2 2 0 3 12 52 T10
12 Tampa Bay 9 1 0 1 0 14 51 T12
13 Washington 8 2 0 0 1 13 49 T12
14 Buffalo 6 0 3 2 1 14 44 T12
15 Florida 6 0 1 1 5 13 40 15
(Number of points) (5) (4) (3) (2) (1) (0) Actual
WEST RW OTW SOW SOL OTL RL Pts Place
1 Chicago 14 4 3 3 0 2 101 1
2 Anaheim 13 1 4 3 0 3 87 2
3 Los Angeles 13 0 1 1 1 8 71 3
4 Detroit 10 0 2 2 3 9 63 4
5 St. Louis 8 3 2 1 1 10 61 T5
6 Vancouver 8 1 2 5 1 7 61 T5
7 Minnesota 8 2 3 1 1 9 60 T5
8 Dallas 9 2 1 0 2 10 58 T10
9 Phoenix 8 1 3 2 1 10 58 9
10 San Jose 7 0 4 3 3 7 56 T5
11 Nashville 5 3 2 5 1 9 54 T10
12 Calgary 8 1 0 3 1 11 51 15
13 Colorado 7 2 1 1 3 10 51 T12
14 Columbus 5 2 3 1 3 12 47 T12
15 Edmonton 5 2 2 2 3 11 46 14

Note: "Actual place" is their place in the conference standings, without giving an automatic top-three seed to each division leader.

The Isles show up two spots worse than they do in the power rankings table, and one worse than the actual standings. That's because four of their eleven wins come in either OT or the shoot out. Good teams seal the deal in regulation far more often.

When I started this little experiment, it was just to see if the standings would get more fluid, with teams able to leap several others with a regulation win. But this actually helps to illustrate who the truly good teams are. Chicago is actually a little less impressive here, having won 33% of all their games after regulation. They're still really good, but it makes you wonder if they have a mentality that says "just get one point for now, and go for the other in OT". Yes, everyone knows you can't do that in the playoffs, but you wonder how easy it'll be to flip the switch and go for it in regulation when the postseason rolls around.

But yeah, its shows how the Islanders need to... Look! Crosby's doing it again!!!!

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