Hi there, and welcome back to another year of useless opinions and equally useless number crunching!
I'm a bit strapped for time this week, so expect a longer article next week, which will explain to all newcomers how the rankings are tabulated (and a quick refresher for those of you who've been here all along). For now, let's just shake the rust off...
Roundup of Weekly Opinion Polls
Where sites decide how the Isles stack up to everyone else, mostly by using the precise measuring instrument known as their gut feelings:
|Site||Updated||New Ranking||Prior Ranking||Comments|
|CBS||10/27/2015||10||12||The Barclays Center has become Fort Rarely Lose as the Isles are 4-1-1 to start the year in their new home. Most importantly, they're getting balanced scoring and strong goaltending as Jaroslav Halak has looked sharp since returning from injury.|
|ESPN||10/26/2015||6||6||The Isles continue to impress with a nice road win Saturday in St. Louis. Maybe fans in Brooklyn will take note, as the Islanders are 3-1-1 at Barclays Center.|
|TSN||10/27/2015||12||6||The goaltending has been great and the Islanders have some good depth up front, even if a few are underachieving, but there is some concern with their possession drop, to where they are currently 23rd using score-adjusted metrics.|
|Fox||10/26/2015||5||5||Top to bottom, the Islanders don’t have a clear weak spot. They are strong offensively and strong defensively. They match up well with virtually every team, and everyone contributes. Every forward with at least two games played has at least two points this season.|
|USA Today||10/26/2015||8||10||Is this the year John Tavares captures the Hart Trophy? He is off to a fast start with five goals and 11 points.|
|Average||8.2||7.8||We don't have to make fun of the sight lines if the team is actually good.|
Pundits have the Isles a little lower than our own rankings (shown below). Could it be that they are still disrespecting the Isles, after all those years of basement dwelling? Probably not.
As you can see in at least one comment (from TSN), there is some recognition that the Isles haven't been too good in the possession game as of yet. Still, the Isles are placed solidly within the upper third of the league. Not too shabby.
LHH Power Rankings
For games through 10/27/15. Excluded games past that date so as to make a fair comparison with the opinion polls, who published on the 26th and 27th.
|4||San Jose Sharks||8||4||0||1||0||3||27||129|
|5||New York Islanders||9||5||1||0||1||2||36||127|
|7||Los Angeles Kings||9||5||1||0||0||3||34||122|
|9||St. Louis Blues||9||6||0||0||1||2||38||118|
|13||Tampa Bay Lightning||10||3||2||1||1||3||31||112|
|14||New York Rangers||10||6||0||1||1||2||41||109|
|19||New Jersey Devils||9||1||2||2||0||4||20||93|
|23||Detroit Red Wings||9||3||1||0||1||4||24||76|
|28||Toronto Maple Leafs||8||1||0||2||0||5||12||58|
|29||Columbus Blue Jackets||10||2||0||0||0||8||12||55|
For those who are new, a full explanation will be given next week. For now, focus on the last column. 100 is average. Suffice to say for now that these standings are based purely on results, with higher marks given for doing good things, such as win in regulation instead of the (now two different) skills competitions. Points gained against quality opponents also help more.
So the Isles are a few places ahead of the opinion polls, although I think we can all agree that they've been a bit lucky this year. The Rangers (to pick one example) are lower more because they're a victim of the schedule that's been dealt to them. They've played a good number of lower ranked teams.
I'll be happy to answer any questions in the comments whenever I have the chance.