Now THAT'S more like it. The Isles' recent string of impressive play against top opponents has elevated them both in our own rankings and in the eyes of those who forsake math and go with their gut instincts:
Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls
|Site||Updated||New Ranking||Prior Ranking||Comments|
|1||CBS||1/20/2015||3||4||The Isles have been scoring a ton with at least four goals in each of their last three games. The dynamic duo of John Tavares and Kyle Okposo has looked unstoppable at times this season with a combined 89 points.|
|2||ESPN||1/19/2015||2||4||OK, they lost to the Habs on Saturday night, but Friday's win over Pittsburgh and Tuesday's win at MSG over the rival Rangers continued an amazing season for John Tavares and his merry bunch of Isles. Love this team.|
|3||TSN||1/20/2015||6||7||Five wins in the past six games lifts the Islanders to the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. It doesn't hurt to get the kind of goal-scoring they are receiving from complementary wingers Nikolay Kulemin (11) and Anders Lee (13).|
|4||Fox||1/15/2015||4||8||The Islanders put a halt to that Rangers surge with a convincing 3-0 win on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. We can only hope these two teams square off in the playoffs. It's been a while since both New York teams were contenders in the same season.|
|5||USA Today||---||---||6||None this week.|
|6||SI||---||---||---||None this week.|
|Average||4||6||Two New York teams enter… only one shall leave!|
It appears several publications didn't bother this week, perhaps because we're heading into the All Star Break. Thanks to ESPN, I'm now picturing John Tavares in a Robin Hood costume.
Meanwhile, when last we left the LHH Power Rankings, the Rangers were in first place. (Sorry about that.) Thankfully, the Predators have done us a solid and supplanted them, though it's still very tight at the top:
LHH Power Rankings
For games through 1/19/15
|GP||Reg W||OT W||SO||OT L||Reg L||LHH Pts||LHH Pct||LHH Rating|
|2||New York Rangers||43||21||3||6||0||13||156||0.605||118|
|3||New York Islanders||46||20||5||7||0||14||161||0.583||117|
|7||Tampa Bay Lightning||47||25||2||6||0||14||176||0.624||112|
|8||St. Louis Blues||46||22||3||6||2||13||166||0.601||112|
|11||Detroit Red Wings||46||21||4||8||2||11||170||0.616||110|
|13||San Jose Sharks||47||20||2||6||2||17||150||0.532||106|
|15||Toronto Maple Leafs||47||18||1||4||2||22||128||0.454||102|
|18||Los Angeles Kings||46||18||1||8||5||14||146||0.529||99|
|23||Columbus Blue Jackets||44||14||2||5||2||21||111||0.420||90|
|25||New Jersey Devils||47||14||1||8||2||22||116||0.411||89|
The Isles are knocking on first place's door. The Rangers are still above, which doesn't surprise me, based on how the formula has played out. Both NY teams had a clunker the past week (the Rangers' one was against us; ours was against the Habs), but have otherwise been fantastic. The Rangers' OT win last night isn't a horrible result, but it doesn't give them full credit, and it was against 22nd ranked Ottawa, so maybe this time next week, the Isles will leapfrog them.
Meanwhile, four of the top five teams are from the Eastern Conference, but only 5 of the top 10. The Preds have been dominant, earning nearly two-thirds of all possible points (using our scoring, not the Bettman-special-low-variable-mortgage-oops-there-goes-the-economy system). The Islanders are ninth in win percentage, but are higher in the power rankings simply because they've beaten a lot of good teams (it's better to beat Pittsburgh and lose to Buffalo with our system, rather than the other way around).
At the other end, you might shudder to think about what will happen to the Coyotes, who are already 3rd worst and starting to trade away talent to become a cap floor team.
That's all for this week. As always, feel free to leave questions about how all this works in the comments. I'll answer 'em as soon as I have the time. Enjoy the break!