NHL Power Rankings - April 23: Going to the Playoffs Edition

In!!! - Marianne Helm

With a playoff spot all locked up, the publications' opinion polls show some love.

OK, my fingers have finally stopped shaking after the Isles' shootout loss, which still locked up a playoff position. Thanks to the Florida Panthers (who thought we'd ever say that?!), we're still in sixth place, and all of Islanders Nation (are we nation sized yet? State? City? Small town?) can exhale.

And since the major publications sensed the inevitable, it's time to plant their tushes firmly on the bandwagon! But first, a few links...

Links Interlude

Weekly Round-Up of Opinion Polls

Site Ranking Prior Comments
CBS 11 14 Seeing how they're the Islanders, I think a lot of people expected them to fall flat on their faces. Instead they have gone 11-1-2 in the last 14. Plus, they're just really fun to watch now.
THN 12 12 All three of Isles’ final regular-season games are on the road, but that’s more than fine by them: with a 14-5-2 record away from home, only Pens (17-5-0) and Hawks (17-2-2) are better.
ESPN 11 13 The Isles continue to write an incredible story to this season, going on a 11-1-2 run, including a dramatic shootout win in Winnipeg on Saturday. John Tavares is now front and center in discussion for the Hart Trophy.
TSN 13 17 11-1-2 in their last 14 games, the Islanders have hit their highest ranking since the second week of the season (when they were 12th). For all the Hart Trophy talk about how C John Tavares is single-handedly carrying the Isles to the playoffs, he's one of three Islanders with five goals and one of five with at least eight points in ten games this month, so it's fair to spread the credit around.
Fox Sports 15 16 The Isles are the hottest team in the East outside the Caps at the moment. The Islanders have not made the playoffs in six seasons and, just a few weeks ago, that trend looked like it would continue.
Average 12.4 14.4 Now that they're in the playoffs... We think they're gonna make the playoffs.

Well well well. The first two listed here featured the Islanders in their weekly power rankings stories. Since Burnside takes over for LeBrun this week, even the ESPN rankings look kindly on our little team. You'll also notice both the terms "John Tavares" and "Hart" in the same comments. Man, when they jump on the wagon, they're all in.

LHH Weekly Power Rankings

Calculated by yours truly, based on records of vanquished opponents.Games through 4/22/13, so they don't count the night the Isles CLINCHED A PLAYOFF BERTH. Oh, sorry, just got carried away for a moment there.

Overall
EAST W L OTL Pts Win Pct PWR Rank
1 Pittsburgh 34 10 0 68 0.773 2234 2
2 Boston 26 12 5 57 0.663 1866 5
3 Montreal 27 13 5 59 0.656 1810 9
4 Toronto 25 15 5 55 0.611 1786 10
5 Ottawa 23 15 6 52 0.591 1682 11
6 NY Islanders 24 16 5 53 0.589 1648 15
7 NY Rangers 23 17 4 50 0.568 1623 17
8 Washington 25 18 2 52 0.578 1504 19
9 Winnipeg 23 19 3 49 0.544 1485 20
10 Buffalo 19 20 6 44 0.489 1469 21
11 New Jersey 17 17 10 44 0.500 1407 23
12 Philadelphia 19 22 3 41 0.466 1371 24
13 Carolina 17 23 3 37 0.430 1263 27
14 Tampa Bay 17 23 4 38 0.432 1117 29
15 Florida 13 25 6 32 0.364 1013 30

The Isles jump another spot, to where they are in the actual standings now. They're also 15th overall. Normal caveat applies: Since the two conferences haven't played any games against each other, overall rankings are somewhat meaningless, but it's good to see them pull their weight, statistically.

Standings from an Alternate Universe

Awarding more points for finishing an opponent earlier (regulation>OT>shootout) and less points for losing earlier.

(Number of points) (5) (4) (3) (2) (1) (0) Last Actual
EAST RW OTW SOW SOL OTL RL Pts Week Place
1 Pittsburgh 30 2 3 0 0 10 167 1 1
2 Boston 22 1 4 3 2 12 134 4 2
3 Montreal 22 2 3 2 3 13 134 2 4
4 Toronto 23 2 0 5 0 15 133 3 3
5 Washington 19 3 3 0 2 18 118 5 T5
6 Winnipeg 18 4 2 3 0 19 118 7 T5
7 NY Rangers 17 3 4 4 0 17 117 9 9
8 NY Islanders 18 2 4 1 4 16 116 8 7
9 Ottawa 18 1 4 4 2 16 116 6 8
10 Philadelphia 17 2 1 2 1 22 101 10 12
11 New Jersey 14 1 2 7 3 18 97 14 10
12 Carolina 17 1 0 1 2 24 93 12 14
13 Buffalo 12 1 6 4 2 21 92 11 13
14 Tampa Bay 15 1 1 3 1 24 89 13 11
15 Florida 9 1 3 1 5 26 65 15 15

Note that there was a lot of movement. The next-to-last column shows each team's position the week before (the final column is the real world standings as of 4/22/13, not counting the automatic top three seeds for the three first place teams).

Here, the Sens drop from sixth to a tie for eighth with the Isles, and the Rangers squeak ahead. Again, plenty of movement near the end of the season, but much like in real life, it's a nine team race for eight spots. Philly would have to win the rest of its games in regulation and hope nobody above them nets a single point. Statistically, they're done. But again, fifth through ninth are separated by a mere two points, which is what you get for a shoot-out loss. There would be plenty of opportunity to move up in the final week of the season. But I'm sure that's nothing the NHL would want. Not at all.

One last thing... the Penguins would actually have the best record, beating out Chicago's 157 points by two full regulation wins. /me ducks flying tomatoes.

Remaining Playoff Teams Schedules

Man, it sure feels good to not be posting this with the intention of figuring out playoff possibilities. Now we can just focus on who will play who in the playoffs. And for that, here's all the teams still either in the hunt, or simply in (like us!!!!), and their remaining schedules:

Current
Place Team GP Pts
y 1 Pittsburgh 46 70 @NJ vs.CAR
x 2 Boston 45 59 vs.TB @WSH vs.OTT
y 3 Washington 46 54 vs.OTA vs.BOS
x 4 Montreal 46 59 @WPG @TOR
x 5 Toronto 45 55 @TB @FLA vs.MTL
x 6 NY Islanders 46 54 @PHL @BUF
7 Ottawa 45 52 @WSH vs.PHL @BOS
8 NY Rangers 46 52 @CAR vs.NJ
9 Winnipeg 47 51 vs.MTL

x-clinched playoffs spot; y-clinched division

No need to over-analyze now. We're in, Baby! Yes, the Isles could move up or down a bit, but the ol' Barn in Nassau has some more games to play this year.

Back when I started this little exercise, the Isles had played 32 games and earned 31 points. After going through the remaining head-to-head contests amongst the bubble teams, I figured a 10-6-0 record would get them in the playoffs. Since then, the Isles have gone 10-1-3. It would appear 10-6-0 would have been a bare minimum, and another point was going to be required (even if Winnipeg wins their last game, I believe the Isles hold the tie breaker) to be certain of a top-eight finish. So I should've said 10-5-1 back then. So sue me. :-)

Let's hope the following years won't require waiting until the last week of the season. One more power rankings post at the end of the season. See you at the Coliseum!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Lighthouse Hockey

You must be a member of Lighthouse Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lighthouse Hockey. You should read them.

Join Lighthouse Hockey

You must be a member of Lighthouse Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Lighthouse Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker