The elusive "confidence" has come up in comments in the past few threads, in reference to what the Islanders lacked during their winless streak and what they to a man say they regained during their recent winning run. So it was tickling to see both the Post's and Newsday's Rangers recap of last night praise Matt Gilroy and focus on, well, Gilroy's regained "confidence." Gilroy potted two goals, both of the slightly fortunate variety (think Brendan Witt's two-goal game last year, or Milan Jurcina's this year).
But whether it's a bounce off Rob Schremp's stick or a laser that no one could stop, they all count the same. And that's how it goes for defenseman, right? Especially the ones who are expected to score -- they fire it at the net and when things are bouncing right it's "I'm playing with confidence," and when they're not it's something else. That's why Witt's reaction to his two-goal game last year was so awesome: He knew it was nothing but random chance that two of his 25 career goals happened in the same game. So if Gilroy's shots don't find the net last night, his game is the same -- but is it noticed, written about, and quoted in such detail? In most games, somewhere between skill and luck is what's really going on.
After the jump, our weekly NHL Power Rankings show how confidence moves a team up...or is it a move up creates confidence? The Isles are so confident they've jumped out of 30th place.
Also: Anyone upstate going to the Bridgeport game in Albany tonight? A few regulars here are. And on that topic, Michael Fornabaio's Bridgeport chat begins at 1:30. Give him some questions, won't you?
Media Rankings Survey
This is how various media outlets rank things according to their opinion (except for CBS, which does numeric, and TSN, which goes by a formula). Good to see ESPN's Burnside can never let a compliment go without a ... wait for it ... a burn (oooh, see what I did there?). Food for thought: SBN Hockey's weekly poll (divided by conference) is here.
|Outlet||Rank||Last Week||Their Commentary|
||Time to break up the Islanders, or at least do a double take as they start the final week of 2010 on a 4-0-1 run.|
||[none found this week]
|ESPN||28||29||Kudos to the Isles, who have now won three in a row after an inspired victory over Montreal on Sunday. Still, even with this brief spasm of life, the Isles are a million miles away from anywhere.|
|Sportsnet (Brophy)||29||30||In what might be a high point of the season, the Islanders have wrung up three straight wins and are 4-0-1 in their last five. Enjoy it while it last Islanders' fans.|
|-||30||[none found this week]|
Half these guys are taking the week off to eat holiday fruit cake or something.
Real NHL Power Rankings
Meanwhile, this is what a 4-0-1 streak can do to bandage up a one-win-in-20 spell. As always, these are rankings from LHH member ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles, based on games through Sunday (so they include the win over Montreal, but not last night's loss to the Rangers). Look out, Toronto, the Isles are coming for you.