Well, six games in, and the Islanders are at NHL-.500. Which in all other sports means they're average, but in Bettman's Bizarro World, that makes them below average. That being said, our round-up of opinion polls have them all over the map...
|1||CBS||10/14/2013||15||The best team in the Metro area right now -- how strange is that to say? They're averaging 23.8 shots per game, last in the league. Hard to keep scoring at that pace.|
|2||ESPN||10/14/2013||14||Back-to-back losses bring the Islanders back down to Earth a little. Luckily for them, the Sabres come to town Tuesday night.|
|3||TSN||10/15/2013||11||For the Islanders to have sustainable success, they need offence from the supporting cast (ie. beyond C John Tavares) and getting a combined 18 points from Michael Grabner, Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey is just what the doctor ordered.|
|4||Fox Sports||10/10/2013||18||GOOD NEWS: Michael Grabner has been the team’s best offensive player.
BAD NEWS: Michael Grabner has been the team’s best offensive player.
BOTTOM LINE: This unproven defense minus Mark Streit will make earning a playoff bid difficult.
|5||Copper & Blue||10/13/2013||24||No comments|
I should note that fewer publications are doing these power rankings nowadays, so I've added Copper & Blue's, but theirs is a mathematical approach. That makes their rankings less opinion-y (and mock-worthy) than the others. But for now it will have to do, since I can't find any others that do this weekly (I'm all ears for recommendations).
And here comes our first LHH power rankings of the season, based on all games through 10/15/13 except for the two late games (Stars-Avalance and Sens-Coyotes)
I don't have much to add regarding our own currently middling team, so instead I'll just note that the Rangers, Devils, and Flyers own three of the bottom five positions. That might be like going into the International House of Pancakes and sitting near the fattest people there so that you can feel skinnier (stick tap to Lewis Black's stand-up routine for that one), but I'll take it for now.
Alternate Universe Where All Games Are Created Equal
With so little data, it's not worth getting that worked up over this stuff (when is it ever?), so let's move on to our final part of the stat tracking stuff... Bashing Bettman again!
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it's ridiculous that a team who has garnered half of all the potential points it could possibly earn, can be legitimately called below-average. That's because of the Bettman Bonus Point, which makes all overtime games worth three points instead of two.
Last year, I tried tracking a system that separated all types of wins and losses (regulation, OT, shootout) and awarding a different number of points for each. Well, many rightly pointed out that this would never EVER happen, given the number of columns that would have to be in the standings. So this year, I will go with the more reasonable argument, which is that all regulation wins should be three points, thus making every game equally valuable.
So without further ado, here are the Standings from an Alternate Universe:
The Isles would still be in a playoff position, but their two wins don't look as impressive this way.
I leave you with a non-hockey note... Mexico's sports headlines tomorrow better have some form of "Gracias, Estados Unidos!" in them.