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NHL Power Rankings: Islanders, Nino Need More Power

HAL is watching you.
HAL is watching you.

Islanders/NHL notes before Power Rankings (and a mini-rant) below:

Mini-rant: I can think of no better reflection of how screwed up pro sports economics is than this: The Ottawa Senators hockey organization will be put out of business if the province of Ontario scraps a tax exemption allowing businesses to write off sports tickets, says team president Cyril Leeder.

Oh, the humanity!

Why are tickets so expensive? Because teams can trawl the corporate market. Why can the corporate market pay ridiculous amounts for sports tickets? Because they can write it off. (Note: That's a simplistic view but serves the point for now.)

Not to get into politics or tax policy -- and I don't know how we'd put the genie back in the bottle -- but like publicly financed stadiums, in the big picture this is part of the bizarre ecosystem that has athletes making millions of dollars and owners making millions of dollars (or writing off million-dollar losses), regularly paying to go see a game as a spectator makes less and less sense over time. You don't even have to be a Rangers season-ticket holder to think that.

I am of course part of this cycle, but it feels insane nonetheless.

The next CBA negotiations are scary because there are so few profitable NHL teams, but those teams are really profitable. So they want their money, and they want a 30-team league or close to it, but 30 teams means sharing, but they'd rather take from the players, and the players want their piece of the pie but also want jobs to fill 30 teams. Everyone takes what they can get.

On that note: Saskatoon wants an NHL team. They swung and were Ziegler-blocked in an attempt to get the Blues 30 years ago.


Almost was.

Survey of Media Power Rankings

Here is the weekly roundup of media rankings and commentary:

Outlet Rank Last Week Their Commentary
CBSSports 24 23
Still think it was a good decision to keep Evgeni Nabokov through the trade deadline, and if he's willing to stay in New York, should be the Islanders starting goaltender next season.
27 26
Isles have second-worst 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio, showing just how far this franchise still has to go to be a contender
25 23 Personally, I would have dealt Evgeni Nabokov. He's 36. You're not building this team around him.
Sportsnet 26 23 Big win over the Rangers sandwiched between losses to the Sabres and Senators. The story of the Isles’ season.
22 21 Eight points out of a playoff spot (with three games in hand), the Islanders didn't commit to going for the playoffs, nor did they commit to building for the future, unless they will really miss Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau, which seems unlikely. [Ed. note: I stared at that sentence for a while in confusion.]
Fox 27
23 The Isles were outscored 16-6 in regulation last week but eked out a shootout victory over the Rangers. They have allowed at least two power play goals in three of their past six games.
23.1 What else can we say about this team?

Alas, this week this team is what the pundits say they are.

For reference, here is last week's power rankings post.

Real Power Rankings

And now on to our weekly "real" power rankings courtesy of Mike, or ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles (who is the one you'll find tirelessly compiling FIG picks in the game thread), who conceived and delivers these week after week. They are calculated in true "power ranking" fashion -- i.e. how well teams fare based on their opponents' records.

These reflect figures through Monday's games. The victory against the, ahem, top power-ranked team was not enough to overcome other losses.

1 Something Ugly This Way Comes
40 15 6 86 0.705 2118
2 Vancouver 40 16 7 87 0.690 2066
3 Detroit 41 19 3 85 0.675 2065
4 St. Louis 39 17 7 85 0.675 2058
5 Nashville 37 19 7 81 0.643 1915
6 Boston 37 20 3 77 0.642 1890
7 Pittsburgh 36 21 5 77 0.621 1835
8 Philadelphia 34 20 7 75 0.615 1816
9 Phoenix 32 21 9 73 0.589 1787
10 New Jersey 35 23 4 74 0.597 1768
11 San Jose 32 22 7 71 0.582 1732
12 Ottawa 33 23 8 74 0.578 1701
13 Chicago 33 24 7 73 0.570 1700
14 Florida 29 20 12 70 0.574 1698
15 Los Angeles 28 23 12 68 0.540 1663
16 Colorado 33 27 4 70 0.547 1658
17 Dallas 33 26 4 70 0.556 1653
18 Washington 31 26 5 67 0.540 1620
19 Calgary 28 24 11 67 0.532 1614
20 Minnesota 28 25 9 65 0.524 1613
21 Winnipeg 30 27 8 68 0.523 1559
22 Toronto 29 26 7 65 0.524 1556
23 Anaheim 27 26 10 64 0.508 1548
24 Buffalo 27 27 8 62 0.500 1490
25 Tampa Bay 28 28 6 62 0.500 1490
26 NY Islanders 26 28 8 60 0.484 1451
27 Carolina 23 26 13 59 0.476 1447
28 Montreal 24 29 10 58 0.460 1427
29 Edmonton 25 31 6 56 0.452 1417
30 Columbus 18 37 7 43 0.347 1083

LHH YouTube Channel: Platform for Housebound Agoraphobe

Finally, Ozzy's FanPost about the importance (or not) of wins and losses the rest of the way reminded me of a topic in one of our pilot clips for SB Nation's new YouTube offerings.

Just like SB Nation has a new YouTube channel with sharply produced shows, we'll have our own LHH channel with ... more informal productions. You can subscribe to that as well. Just getting started and working out some kinks first, so I won't beat you over the head with them yet. (Apologies for showing you my mug, and voice ... but isn't that a fine 51 in the background there?)

We'll be doing general NHL quick hits (Who gets the 8th seed? Do they have any hope of upsetting the Rangers?) as well as Isles-specific stuff for LHH readers and general non-LHH readers who surf YouTube for housebound agoraphobes discussing their favorite teams. Part of this is intended to reach new platforms as content-consumers' habits evolve; but part is to give us another way to entertain and banter like we already do, just in a new way.

Points raised in this one: Playoffs are beyond a long shot at this point, but this may be the most interesting stretch of the season, depending on how much prospects like Casey Cizikas and David Ullstrom get NHL playing time.

They are meant to be quick, quicker than this one even, and we'll also bring the funny when appropriate. Figure those who are interested can help us raise topics for future clips. Calling it "Three Minute Island" for now. Rip away.