NHL Power Rankings (1/22): Out of the Relegation Zone

If the other guy's The King, are you The Jack? - Bruce Bennett

No longer the Cardiff City of the NHL, the Isles are all the way up to Crystal Palace territory. And if you know what any of that means, your name likely rhymes with "Lominik."

In the European soccer leagues, your team can actually drop to the next division down, if they end up in the lowest part of the standings. Avoiding relegation is sometimes the one and only focus a team and their fans have for that season. Since I hate the buy-your-way-to-a-championship system those leagues employ, I often find myself rooting for the recently promoted clubs, hoping they'll hang around.

With the Isles recent run of play, I get that same euphoric feeling as I do when West Brom doesn't get sent down a third consecutive time.

Yes, it's another week, another step closer to respectability. The Isles split their games against the Flyers (although the Flyers got three out of four points, because Bettman), and then beat the Rangers in regulation. The opinion polls were mostly written prior to this, however, leading us to these comments:

Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls

Date Prior
Site Published Ranking Ranking Comments
CBS 1/20/2014 24 19 The Islanders are in a key stretch with seven of nine against Metro teams. They lost the first one to Philly but if they want to climb back, these are crucial points.
ESPN 1/20/2014 25 21 The Isles are in the middle of their best stretch of hockey of the season but still rank 26th in the league, which tells you all you need to know about their first half.
TSN 1/20/2014 27 26 Isles could use more complementary scoring and rookie C Brock Nelson is trying, with three goals in the past five games, but Josh Bailey and Michael Grabner have combined for five goals since the beginning of November -- and all five have been scored by Grabner!
Fox Sports 1/21/2014 24 25 GOOD NEWS: Top line winger Kyle Okposo produced his 15th multi-point game Monday. Only three NHL players had more at that point of the season.
BAD NEWS: Key defenseman Travis Hamonic remains sidelined by an upper-body injury.
BOTTOM LINE: After starting the season 11-21-7, the Islanders won nine of their next 12 games to become relevant again
Sports Illustrated 1/21/2014 19 17 Don't go to sleep on the Isles with a lead. Their past four victories have all been come-from-behind efforts, including Monday's 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers that saw them fight back from a 3-1 deficit after 40 minutes. Their current 7-3-0 kick has pulled them to within five points of a wild card berth. Considering the miserable run they had through November and December, that might be their biggest comeback of all.
SB Nation [updated]
1/23/2014 22 21 Another Metro division team that's coming on in the second half, the Islanders still have a long way to go at even strength to move up the rankings.
Average 23.5 21.5 Things are looking up, so naturally we'll rate them lower.

That average drop in position despite the recent winning record, is mostly due to everyone jumping on the bandwagon the week before. Sites like CBS and SI dialed back their praise a bit, perhaps realizing that their prior rankings were a little ahead of the Islanders' actual record.

LHH Power Rankings

Valuing wins against better teams higher than wins against bad ones.

W L OTL Pts PWR
1 Anaheim 37 10 5 79 2244
2 Chicago 32 8 11 75 2182
3 St. Louis 33 11 5 71 2148
4 San Jose 32 12 6 70 2147
5 Pittsburgh 34 13 2 70 2069
6 Colorado 31 13 5 67 2065
7 Boston 31 15 3 65 1981
8 Los Angeles 29 16 6 64 1943
9 Tampa Bay 29 16 5 63 1840
10 Montreal 27 17 5 59 1781
11 Vancouver 26 16 9 61 1762
12 Minnesota 27 20 5 59 1677
13 Phoenix 23 17 9 55 1669
14 Toronto 27 20 5 59 1638
15 New Jersey 21 19 11 53 1624
16 NY Rangers 27 22 3 57 1590
17 Columbus 25 20 4 54 1578
18 Dallas 22 20 8 52 1570
19 Ottawa 22 19 9 53 1564
20 Carolina 20 19 9 49 1550
21 Nashville 22 22 7 51 1547
22 Philadelphia 25 19 6 56 1541
23 Detroit 21 18 10 52 1530
24 Winnipeg 23 23 5 51 1473
25 NY Islanders 21 24 7 49 1471
26 Washington 22 20 8 52 1470
27 Florida 20 23 7 47 1406
28 Calgary 16 27 7 39 1186
29 Buffalo 13 28 7 33 1032
30 Edmonton 15 31 6 36 1009

The Isles move up one spot past Washington, who has been hating life lately. While you would think wins against Philly and the Rangers (both in the lower half of the rankings) would not help the Islanders much, remember that it's better than losing to them. Also, other teams above the Isles don't always win (did I mention Washington?), making the Isles relatively better.

Standings from an Alternate Universe

Where each and every game is worth the same number of points. In this case, three (apologies to Down Goes Brown).

And if I might throw my own two cents in here, we absolutely cannot allow the shootout to determine a win, if that means one team getting two points and the other getting none. Either go back to tie games, or give three points for a regulation win.

Anyway, on with it...

Atlantic W OTW OTL L PTS
Boston 26 5 3 15 91
Tampa Bay 20 9 5 16 83
Montreal 20 7 5 17 79
Toronto 16 11 5 20 75
Ottawa 17 5 9 19 70
Detroit 17 4 10 18 69
Florida 14 6 7 23 61
Buffalo 5 8 7 28 38
Metropolitan W OTW OTL L PTS
Pittsburgh 28 6 2 13 98
NY Rangers 23 4 3 22 80
Philadelphia 21 4 6 19 77
Columbus 20 5 4 20 74
New Jersey 15 6 11 19 68
Carolina 16 4 9 19 65
Washington 12 10 8 20 64
NY Islanders 13 8 7 24 62
Central W OTW OTL L PTS
Chicago 27 5 11 8 102
St. Louis 27 6 5 11 98
Colorado 23 8 5 13 90
Minnesota 20 7 5 20 79
Nashville 20 2 7 22 71
Dallas 18 4 8 20 70
Winnipeg 15 8 5 23 66
Western W OTW OTL L PTS
Anaheim 30 7 5 10 109
San Jose 22 10 6 12 92
Los Angeles 20 9 6 16 84
Vancouver 18 8 9 16 79
Phoenix 16 7 9 17 71
Calgary 9 7 7 27 48
Edmonton 10 5 6 31 46

Well, on one hand, the Isles would be less than a regulation win behind the Caps. On the other hand, they'd be four full regulation wins behind a playoff spot (2 and a half regulation wins behind that same spot in Bettman's World). But them's the breaks. When you're as bad as the Isles were in November/December (even when they won, it was rarely in regulation), you'd have more catching up to do under this system.

So, I finally got around to checking the Yankee Stadium seating chart. As it turns out, getting a seat in the 200's doesn't necessarily mean you'll be close to the ice. Especially when you're in the bleachers. My Stadium Game's power rankings just took a tiny dip.

Like I said, them's the breaks.

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,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

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