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NHL Power Rankings: Islanders' win over Blackhawks leaves a mark

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This week sees actual, reasonable statements about the Islanders from many publications. I know, right?!

FEEL OUR POWER.
FEEL OUR POWER.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

It's time for our weekly NHL power rankings, including our own calculation of the league's 30 teams based on records against one another, as well as a roundup of the media punditry's own...interpretation.

This week, a bunch of people who usually like to report on the Islanders in a fashion that can only be described as "bi-polar" (and typically on the negative end of that spectrum over the last few years), reported on them in a... dare I say... objective fashion.

Weekly Round-Up of Opinion Polls

Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
CBS 12/16/2014 6 6 Halting the Blackhawks' lengthy winning streak Saturday has to be one of the big highlights in a season of many for the Islanders. They haven't always been consistent, but they've been good a lot more often than not.
ESPN 12/15/2014 8 5 A huge win over the red-hot Blackhawks ended an ugly three-game slide. But they still boast the league's worst penalty killing.
TSN 12/16/2014 11 6 The Islanders' forward depth keeps them clicking along, but it's a little more challenging when their top two defencemen are out at the same time.
Fox 12/11/2014 8 2 The Islanders have blown back-to-back, three-goal leads since goalie Jaroslav Halak set a franchise record against Ottawa with his 11th consecutive win. That streak broke Hall of Famer Billy Smith's mark that had stood since 1982.
USA Today 12/15/2014 8 5 Lubomir Visnovsky is back, but defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic remain out.
SI 12/16/2014 8 2 Click on the SI link. The comments are a mile long.
Average 8 4 Actual reasoned statements. Who woulda thunk it?

Yes, they blew leads, but they kept their cool and beat one of the hottest teams in the league. Some players are injured but they're managing. It's almost as though they paid attention and did some investigating. Imagine that.

They also still rated the Isles higher than our own calculations do.

LHH Power Rankings

For all games through 12/15/14.

GP Reg W OT W SO OT L Reg L LHH Pts LHH Pct LHH Rating
1 Pittsburgh Penguins 30 16 2 4 2 6 120 0.667 128
2 Chicago Blackhawks 31 16 1 4 1 9 114 0.613 121
3 Toronto Maple Leafs 30 15 1 3 2 9 107 0.594 119
4 Detroit Red Wings 31 14 2 6 2 7 114 0.613 117
5 Anaheim Ducks 32 15 2 7 2 6 123 0.641 115
6 St. Louis Blues 30 14 3 5 0 8 111 0.617 115
7 Tampa Bay Lightning 32 16 2 4 0 10 116 0.604 114
8 Nashville Predators 29 15 1 4 1 8 108 0.621 112
9 Montreal Canadiens 31 14 1 5 1 10 105 0.565 112
10 New York Rangers 28 10 3 5 0 10 87 0.518 110
11 San Jose Sharks 32 15 0 6 0 11 108 0.563 109
12 Vancouver Canucks 30 14 2 3 1 10 103 0.572 109
13 New York Islanders 31 12 3 6 0 10 102 0.548 107
14 Los Angeles Kings 31 13 1 5 2 10 101 0.543 102
15 Minnesota Wild 28 12 2 3 0 11 89 0.53 102
16 Calgary Flames 32 11 3 4 1 13 92 0.479 98
17 Washington Capitals 29 11 2 3 3 10 89 0.511 98
18 Florida Panthers 28 9 1 6 4 8 84 0.5 95
19 Winnipeg Jets 31 11 2 5 3 10 95 0.511 94
20 Philadelphia Flyers 29 9 2 4 1 13 76 0.437 91
21 Ottawa Senators 30 7 2 6 3 12 74 0.411 91
22 Boston Bruins 30 10 3 3 1 13 83 0.461 90
23 New Jersey Devils 32 9 1 6 1 15 78 0.406 89
24 Dallas Stars 29 10 0 2 4 13 74 0.425 87
25 Columbus Blue Jackets 29 8 2 3 1 15 67 0.385 86
26 Buffalo Sabres 31 7 1 6 1 16 66 0.355 85
27 Colorado Avalanche 30 6 1 5 5 13 65 0.361 81
28 Arizona Coyotes 30 6 2 4 2 16 60 0.333 77
29 Carolina Hurricanes 29 7 1 2 1 18 54 0.31 74
30 Edmonton Oilers 31 7 0 1 4 19 53 0.285 71

I added one more column to highlight a small surprise that I noticed. "LHH Points" as you recall are the number of points we assign to a team based on their results (6 for a regulation win, 4 for OT win, 3 for a shootout win/loss, 2 for OT loss, and zero for regulation loss). "LHH Pct" is therefore the percentage of points a team has earned, versus the number of points they could have earned.

So for example, the Isles have earned 102 out of a possible 186 (31 games × 6 maximum points per game), for a percentage of .548. Unlike the Bettman Reward System, our points are distributed such that there are no bonus points that appear out of nowhere. If you're at .500, you are a perfectly average team.

But a look at the the table shows that 17 out of 30 teams are over LHH-.500, and another is at .500. That leaves only 12 teams below .500. Yes, statistically we will not always have exactly half of all teams over .500 and half under, but a good number of points have shifted up the table. That means that the bottom feeders are tanking harder than the elite teams are kickin' ass and taking names. The McDavid Effect in action?

Anyways, the Isles slip a few spots, not because blowing three goal leads lead to extra punishment in our calcs, but rather that they simply lost two games in regulation versus only one win in regulation. Their other game was a win, but it went to a shootout, and therefore only get half credit. The Blackhwaks are catching up to the Pens, and the Sabres are all the way up to 26th. Who does their coach think they are? Latvia, or something?

See you next week. Time to start my Christmas shopping.