The Islanders are acting a lot like i did when I was a kid: Be extra nice and do lots of good things just before Santa arrives, and hopefully he'll forget about the naughty things done just weeks earlier.
After ending the Hawks' win streak, the Isles continued their hot hand against the Devils (shootout-aided), Wings, and Lightning. Last night's loss to the Habs won't be factored in until next week. Luckily for the Isles, Santa will already have rendered his Stocking Stuffer of Judgment.
Weekly Round-Up of Opinion Polls
|Site||Updated||New Ranking||Prior Ranking||Comments|
|1||CBS||12/23/2014||6||6||The Isles have been awfully streaky this year and they're on a four-game winning streak right now. They'll be fine with the streakiness as long as it means they're winning a lot more than they're losing, like right now.|
|2||ESPN||12/22/2014||3||5||The Islanders have won four straight and continue to put pressure on Pittsburgh atop the Metropolitan Division.|
|3||TSN||12/22/2014||8||11||Getting healthier on the blueline and with four straight wins, the Islanders are rolling. If they're looking for projects to improve the club, league-worst penalty-killing (72.3%) is a good place to start.|
|4||Fox||12/18/2014||7||8||New York ended Chicago's eight-game winning streak and has won two straight, but at some point the Islanders will have to do something about the NHL's worst penalty-killing unit (71.1 percent). Winnipeg's Michael Frolik would be a nice option if the Jets falter.|
|5||USA Today||---||---||8||No rankings this week. On holiday break, I suppose.|
|6||SI||12/23/2014||5||8||Click on the SI link for full text. Comments range from their franchise record start to Halak to Fenwick.|
|Average||6||8||"I'm not gonna talk about the penalty kill" is the new "I'm not gonna talk about the goaltending."|
Ah yes, the penalty kill. The biggest Achilles' Heel the Islanders have right now. All I want for Christmas is effective checking.
LHH Power Rankings
|GP||Reg W||OT W||SO||OT L||Reg L||LHH Pts||LHH Pct||LHH Rating|
|3||St. Louis Blues||33||15||3||5||1||9||119||0.601||115|
|5||Toronto Maple Leafs||34||16||1||3||2||12||113||0.554||114|
|6||Tampa Bay Lightning||35||17||2||5||0||11||125||0.595||113|
|8||New York Islanders||33||14||3||6||0||10||114||0.576||113|
|9||Detroit Red Wings||34||14||2||8||2||8||120||0.588||112|
|10||New York Rangers||31||12||3||6||0||10||102||0.548||111|
|12||San Jose Sharks||35||16||1||6||1||11||120||0.571||109|
|14||Los Angeles Kings||35||15||1||5||3||11||115||0.548||101|
|24||New Jersey Devils||35||9||1||7||1||17||81||0.386||87|
|25||Columbus Blue Jackets||33||8||2||5||2||16||75||0.379||87|
Technically, the Isles are in a three-way tie for 6th. I listed them in order of regulation wins (something they still don't do enough of, as far as upper-echelon teams are concerned). So that's a seven-spot improvement over last week's 13th place ranking. The Isles have had a tougher strength of schedule recently, and more importantly, they've beaten most of those teams.
I'm sure the Habs' win against the Isles will boost them a bit. Minnesota is perfectly average (12-12 in regulation, 2-2 in OT, a few shootouts which count as half credit no matter the outcome, and a 99 LHH rating.... one point from average). The Rangers continue to play above expectations, while five other Metro teams are 15th or worse. And Dom must be having a swell holiday season, as his other team is 3rd.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading this weekly wall paper of digits. It's the first time since starting this exercise that Isles fans are asking Santa for a Cup rather than high draft picks. I hope we've all been very good this year. You know... for goodness' sake. And a Cup. But mostly for goodness' sake... And a Cup.