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:
- Some quotes from David Ullstrom on his demotion.
- He responded with a powerplay OT winner last night on a tap-in feed from Brock Nelson. Big win, and DiPietro stopped 30 of 32.
- UPDATE: And now Ullström has been recalled. A "get him some ice time" move.
- Our Columbus friends at The Cannon poke at all their new Atlantic neighbors.
- Wow, so hard: Who Is the NHL's Biggest Dirtbag (of All Time)? - The Triangle Blog - Grantland
- Ol' Nolan: Puck Daddy talks with Ted Nolan: ‘Never quit hoping’ for NHL comeback; qualifying Latvia for Sochi Olympics | Puck Daddy
- There's some good and some bad in this, but a skeptic's discussion of sports analytics and what it can and can't do for sports fandom.
- Predator country has angst over the inability to draft scoring forwards.
- Oh look, Corey Perry involved in a bad hit? Shock.
- It's funny that the Smurfs actually tweeted Tortorella's comments ripping his team last night, but it's even funnier to watch him deliver them.
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
|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|
|WEST||W||L||OTL||Pts||Win Pct||PWR||Overall Rank|
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|
|(Number of points)||(5)||(4)||(3)||(2)||(1)||(0)||Actual|
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!!!!