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LHH Power Rankings Preview and Opinion Roundup

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The revamped rankings will be back next week. Here's a preview, along with the usual roundup of opinion polls.

Bow down before the one you serve.
Bow down before the one you serve.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, and welcome to a new season of getting ticked off at what other people say about our team.

Typically we run this punditry roundup along with our own power rankings calculations -- yes, calculations based on actual results rather than sorcery and Burside-ing -- to gauge just how right or wrong those opinion polls are. But there simply aren't enough games played yet for the spreadsheet to work well. (Ideally, it'd be great if every team has at least a point in the standings, and every team has played at least 4 or 5 games).

That being said, the formula has been revamped this year, and will probably get one or two more tweaks before being used on NHL results. next week. A quick rundown of the improvements will be discussed below, for those who have time on their hands. For now, let's see what others have to say about the Islanders (apparently not much... many sites haven't even started their weekly rankings):

Weekly Round-Up of Opinion Polls

Date
Site Published Ranking Comments
1 CBS 10/14/2014 12 A pair of wins over the injury-depleted Hurricanes isn't going to sell anyone on this team quite yet, but this Islanders roster pretty clearly is much deeper than last year.
2 ESPN 10/13/2014 7 It's been an emotional start to the final season on Long Island, and the new-look Isles have responded with a 2-0 start. Brock Nelson is jelling with John Tavares and has six points, and welcome to Long Island, Johnny Boychuk.
3 TSN --- --- No rankings yet.
4 Fox Sports --- --- No rankings yet.
5 Sports Illustrated --- --- No rankings yet.
6 USA Today 9/17/2014 22 Jaroslav Halak boost the goaltending and forward depth also improved, but jury remains out on the defense
7 Metro 10/5/2014 18 Call it a hunch, but it feels like the Islanders will do something memorable in their last season at dumpy Nassau Coliseum. Whether that means making the playoffs or being a complete embarrassment is anyone’s guess. They certainly tightened up their defense by trading for Johnny Boychuk from Boston and Nick Leddy from Chicago.
Average 14.8 Wait they're supposed to be whipping boys.... Quick find some names! Nelson has a lot of points; he must be playing on Tavares' line. Run with it!

A few more were added just so we have something to snicker talk about, but those rankings were prior to the start of the season. It's still hilarious to see USA Today acknowledge all the improvements, and still have the Isles down at 22nd. And for those who don't know.... Metro is a small free newspaper handed out around subway and bus stations. It's meant to be read quickly. You don't get more Hot Take than that.

Well, at least the two major sites that turn out their own rankings consistently seem to have jumped on the bandwagon, but which Scott Burnside intern thinks that Brock Nelson and John Tavares are on the same line?

LHH Power Rankings Preview

So, we here at LHH Power Rankings Headquarters (a spacious area between the water cooler and the broken air duct) listened to all of your concerns last year (all seven of them!), and made the following revisions to the formula:

  • All games that go to a shootout are now just considered a tie. The skills competition will no longer have an impact on a team's position in the power rankings.
  • Winning in regulation is weighted more heavily than winning in OT. Losing in OT is better than losing in regulation.
  • Home teams last year earned approximately 15% more points than road teams (based on last year's final regular season standings). Therefore, all road results will get weighted 15% more than home results, for the sake of treating the two teams equally.
  • The more goals a team wins by, the more of an impact the victory is in the rankings. The more goals a team loses by, the more it hurts them in the rankings.
  • More of a cosmetic change.... the power rankings score is adjusted so that an average team is 100, so you can see more easily just how much higher (or lower) a team is from the median.
  • Since every type of result (regulation wins/losses, OT wins/losses, shootouts) is scored differently, the power rankings will replace the Standings From an Alternate Universe, whose main purpose was to actually just keep track of which teams can take care of business in regulation, and which ones use OT/Shootouts as a crutch. Pleading the NHL to change their stupid points system was actually the secondary purpose. We all know they won't change the system, so the rankings records will just present a team's expanded record without further comment.

That's the gist of the changes. See you next week, where the Islanders will hopefully be in an unfamiliar high place.