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NHL Power Rankings: It's like a confidence meter

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This meeting was held in confidence.
This meeting was held in confidence.

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
CBSSports 24 30
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.
Col. Dispatch - 30
[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.
TSN
(Cullen)
- 30 [none found this week]
Average inc. 29.8 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.

    W L OTL Pts GP Win % Pts.%/GP
PWR
1 Detroit 22 9 4 48 35 0.686 0.3665 2041
2 Vancouver 21 8 5 47 34 0.691 0.3615 1987
3 Los Angeles 21 12 1 43 34 0.632 0.3545 1930
4 Philadelphia 22 8 5 49 35 0.700 0.3624 1914
5 Tampa Bay 21 10 5 47 36 0.653 0.3610 1910
6 Dallas 21 11 4 46 36 0.639 0.3488 1903
7 Pittsburgh 24 11 2 50 37 0.676 0.3494 1869
8 San Jose 19 11 5 43 35 0.614 0.3329 1836
9 Colorado 19 12 4 42 35 0.600 0.3371 1826
10 St. Louis 18 12 5 41 35 0.586 0.3378 1825
11 Chicago 20 14 3 43 37 0.581 0.3309 1822
12 Phoenix 16 11 7 39 34 0.574 0.3216 1751
13 Nashville 17 12 6 40 35 0.571 0.3145 1728
14 Washington 21 12 5 47 38 0.618 0.3202 1718
15 Boston 18 11 4 40 33 0.606 0.3196 1690
16 Atlanta 19 13 6 44 38 0.579 0.3110 1667
17 Minnesota 16 14 4 36 34 0.529 0.2957 1622
18 Anaheim 18 17 4 40 39 0.513 0.2988 1617
19 Columbus 17 15 3 37 35 0.529 0.2961 1617
20 Montreal 20 14 2 42 36 0.583 0.3036 1614
21 NY Rangers 20 14 2 42 36 0.583 0.2873 1538
22 Carolina 15 15 4 34 34 0.500 0.2714 1472
23 Calgary 15 18 3 33 36 0.458 0.2548 1400
24 Florida 16 17 0 32 33 0.485 0.2585 1391
25 Ottawa 16 17 4 36 37 0.486 0.2550 1362
26 Edmonton 12 16 6 30 34 0.441 0.2351 1305
27 Buffalo 14 17 4 32 35 0.457 0.2353 1262
28 Toronto 13 17 4 30 34 0.441 0.2321 1225
29 NY Islanders 9 18 6 24 33 0.364 0.1940 1053
30 New Jersey 9 24 2 20 35 0.286 0.1564 844