[Bits] LHH Power Rankings: We're Number 26!

We lost to them HOW many times?! - Bruce Bennett

The Isles experience nose bleeds as they rise further above the basement. Martinek's is so bad he's back on IR.

Editor's note: Our (almost) daily morning bits and readables are at the bottom. First please enjoy the weekly power ranking roundup.

It's much easier to look forward to these articles when the Isles are winning. Yes, I know they're still in last, but at least I'm starting to see signs of life in these numbers I crunch. And in the numbers others don't crunch, but then assign a number to the team anyway. Like such:

Weekly Round-Up of Opinion Polls

Date Prior
Site Published Ranking Ranking Comments
CBS 1/13/2014 19 26 Hard to believe this is the same team that couldn't buy a win last month. They've won four in a row, seven of eight and have won eight straight on the road. Break up the Islanders!
ESPN 1/13/2014 21 27 Thrilling late comeback win in Dallas on Sunday night makes it nine wins in 12 games as the Isles somehow try to rescue their season. That's seven wins in a row on the road for the impressive Isles.
TSN 1/13/2014 26 29 Seven wins in the past eight games is bringing the Isles towards respectability, and G Kevin Poulin has been strong lately, stopping 95 of 103 shots in four January appearances.
Fox Sports 1/8/2014 28 30 GOOD NEWS: They went 6-3-2 during an 11-game span to start their climb out of the Eastern Conference cellar. Then John Taveras had a five-point game to lead a 7-3 trashing of Dallas.
BAD NEWS: A 3-2 loss to Hurricanes prompted coach Jack Capuano to question their heart again.
BOTTOM LINE: Evgeni Nabokov went down again, this time against the Dallas Stars. Goaltending remains a pressing concern.
Sports Illustrated 1/14/2014 17 29 There was a point earlier this season when the Islanders were hockey's answer to the Washington Generals--designated patsies whose pratfalls seemed almost intended to make their opponents look good. Those Isles lost 10 straight on the road, leading to speculation that coach Jack Capuano's job was in jeopardy. Now? After a thrilling come-from-behind win over that Stars that saw them score three times in the last five minutes, the Isles are road warriors, winners of seven straight. And with eight wins in their last 10 games, they're officially the hottest team in the Eastern Conference. Go figure.
SB Nation 1/9/2014 24 --- Someone must have lied to John Tavares and told him he was on the bubble for Team Canada, because he put up about a billion points last week en route to five wins in the last seven outings.
Average 22.5 28.2 We have to be on everyone's bandwagon once a year. Better ride this one while it's running.

It's a winning streak like the one the Isles put together on the road that shows how differently these publications approach their rankings. The Isles are still in last, but a majority of the opinion polls boosted the Isles 6 or more spots this week. They like to ride the hot hand, I suppose. The others must focus more on the standings.

LHH Power Rankings

(Through the games of 1/14/14)

W L OTL Pts PWR
1 Anaheim 35 8 5 75 2280
2 St. Louis 32 8 5 69 2255
3 San Jose 29 12 6 64 2140
4 Chicago 30 8 11 71 2121
5 Pittsburgh 33 12 2 68 2078
6 Colorado 29 12 5 63 2069
7 Los Angeles 28 14 5 61 2000
8 Boston 29 15 2 60 1914
9 Tampa Bay 28 15 4 60 1868
10 Vancouver 24 14 9 57 1825
11 Montreal 26 16 5 57 1783
12 Minnesota 25 19 5 55 1678
13 Phoenix 21 16 9 51 1659
14 Dallas 21 18 7 49 1614
15 New Jersey 20 18 10 50 1601
16 Washington 22 16 8 52 1581
17 Ottawa 21 18 8 50 1567
18 Carolina 19 18 9 47 1554
19 Detroit 20 16 10 50 1546
20 NY Rangers 24 21 3 51 1543
21 Toronto 23 20 5 51 1525
22 Philadelphia 24 19 4 52 1519
23 Nashville 20 21 7 47 1513
24 Columbus 22 20 4 48 1493
25 Florida 18 21 7 43 1406
26 NY Islanders 18 23 7 43 1397
27 Winnipeg 20 23 5 45 1397
28 Calgary 16 25 6 38 1233
29 Edmonton 15 29 5 35 1043
30 Buffalo 13 27 5 31 1028

The spreadsheet I use doesn't pay attention to a team's recent run of play, any more so than it pays attention to any other parts of the season. The Isles still moved up two spots, on the strength of their victories over Western Conference teams (who have been rated higher all year and occupy 10 of the top 15 slots). They're actually rated higher than Winnipeg, despite having two less standings points. The quality of their recent victories have been pretty solid.

Standings from an Alternate Universe

Three points for a regulation win, because DUH!!!!

Atlantic W OTW OTL L PTS
Boston 24 5 2 15 84
Tampa Bay 19 9 4 15 79
Montreal 20 6 5 16 77
Detroit 17 3 10 16 67
Ottawa 16 5 8 18 66
Toronto 13 10 5 20 64
Florida 12 6 7 21 55
Buffalo 5 8 5 27 36
Metropolitan W OTW OTL L PTS
Pittsburgh 27 6 2 12 95
Philadelphia 20 4 4 19 72
NY Rangers 20 4 3 21 71
Columbus 18 4 4 20 66
New Jersey 14 6 10 18 64
Washington 12 10 8 16 64
Carolina 15 4 9 18 62
NY Islanders 12 6 7 23 55
Central W OTW OTL L PTS
Chicago 26 4 11 8 97
St. Louis 26 6 5 8 95
Colorado 22 7 5 12 85
Minnesota 19 6 5 19 74
Nashville 19 1 7 21 66
Dallas 17 4 7 18 66
Winnipeg 13 7 5 23 58
Western W OTW OTL L PTS
Anaheim 28 7 5 8 103
San Jose 19 10 6 12 83
Los Angeles 19 9 5 14 80
Vancouver 17 7 9 14 74
Phoenix 14 7 9 16 65
Calgary 9 7 6 25 47
Edmonton 10 5 5 29 45

Most of the Isles' recent victories lately have been regulation wins. That has certainly helped their point totals, but naturally the teams above them have won their fair share of games lately, too. In fact, several of the opinion polls mentioned that the Metro division is no longer getting kicked around. Lucky us, everyone else decides to wake up, too. But still, the Rangers are in third in this little experiment of ours, despite having one less regulation win than regulation loss.

OK that's all for now. Thanks for sticking around. Back to talking about AHL roster moves and other teams' backup goalies. And other stuff...

Isles Bits

Ryan Strome coverage: The Post emphasizes it's all about the Olympics | Newsday says similar, with a quote from Snow about development. | We emphasize whatever, we were just curious what Capuano thinks. (Since he's in charge of winning things in the now, you know.)

Bridgeport released Peter Boyd from his PTO. Now please google Peter Boyd for us.

Also in Bridgeport, Johan Sundstrom was ill for a month but he's on his way back now. [CT Post]

Want tickets to the Stadium game? Leave a comment here, then wait by the phone.

FIG Picks: Leave them here for tonight's game in City Of Tampa.

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