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NHL Power Rankings Feb. 11: Of regulation wins, and tanking

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Meh results against meh teams lead to a drop.

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Islanders might have been 2-1-0 in the eyes of the NHL during last week's road trip, but they went 1-1 in regulation plus a "tie" in the eyes of our LHH power rankings. Their loss came against a good team, their win and tie came against non-playoff teams. That doesn't help much in our rankings.

But first, in Opinionville...

Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls

Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
CBS 2/10/2015 8 6 The Islanders have been able to maintain their lead in the Metropolitan Division despite some recent stumbles. The race is pretty tight, though, with the Penguins trailing by just one point.
ESPN 2/9/2015 8 8 The Isles won in Buffalo on Sunday and now have four in a row at home against soft touches Edmonton, Toronto and Columbus before hosting the hated Rangers.
TSN 2/3/2015 (Late to the party, again.)
Fox 2/5/2015 7 4 The Islanders have managed five goals in this three-game losing streak without injured forward Kyle Okposo. The penalty kill has allowed goals on 10 of opponents' last 19 chances, giving New York the league's worst PK at 72.7 percent.
USA Today 2/9/2015 8 5 Islanders lose key wingers Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner to injuries.
NHL Numbers 2/9/2015 5 4 Kanye West's favorite jersey is Kyle Okposo's bane. (Picture of the fisherman jersey accompanies this line)
Average 7 5 The loss of Okposo cannot be ignor…. Wait Kanye West?!

This is the last place I ever thought I'd bring up Kanye West's name, but here we are. TSN is making a habit of releasing their Tuesday power rankings on Wednesday or Thursday, so we might drop them from the list. Fox Sports' timing is bad enough.

So the Isles drop a few positions on average in the eyes of the beholders. Their drop in our rankings is a bit steeper.

LHH Power Rankings

For games through 2/9/15 (does not count the win over the Oilers).

GP Reg W OT W SO OT L Reg L LHH Pts LHH Pct LHH Rating
1 Nashville Predators 53 25 5 9 2 12 201 0.632 118
2 Montreal Canadiens 52 26 3 6 2 15 190 0.609 117
3 Tampa Bay Lightning 55 30 2 6 1 16 208 0.630 115
4 New York Rangers 51 24 4 6 1 16 180 0.588 115
5 Chicago Blackhawks 54 24 3 8 1 18 182 0.562 114
6 Anaheim Ducks 54 22 5 12 2 13 192 0.593 113
7 Detroit Red Wings 52 25 4 9 2 12 197 0.631 112
8 New York Islanders 53 22 5 8 0 18 176 0.553 112
9 Pittsburgh Penguins 53 23 5 6 4 15 184 0.579 111
10 St. Louis Blues 53 24 4 8 2 15 188 0.591 110
11 Washington Capitals 54 23 3 6 6 16 180 0.556 108
12 San Jose Sharks 55 24 2 7 2 20 177 0.536 107
13 Vancouver Canucks 52 23 4 3 2 20 167 0.535 105
14 Boston Bruins 53 20 6 7 2 18 169 0.531 102
15 Calgary Flames 54 20 7 4 2 21 164 0.506 100
16 Minnesota Wild 52 22 2 4 4 20 160 0.513 99
17 Los Angeles Kings 53 21 1 8 5 18 164 0.516 99
18 Dallas Stars 53 21 1 4 6 21 154 0.484 98
19 Winnipeg Jets 55 20 3 8 6 18 168 0.509 97
20 Toronto Maple Leafs 54 19 1 5 2 27 137 0.423 94
21 Philadelphia Flyers 53 16 5 8 2 22 144 0.453 94
22 Florida Panthers 51 17 1 12 4 17 150 0.490 93
23 Columbus Blue Jackets 52 17 2 5 2 26 129 0.413 91
24 New Jersey Devils 54 17 1 9 3 24 139 0.429 90
25 Colorado Avalanche 54 13 2 11 7 21 133 0.410 89
26 Ottawa Senators 51 14 3 7 5 22 127 0.415 88
27 Carolina Hurricanes 52 14 1 9 2 26 119 0.381 84
28 Arizona Coyotes 54 13 3 9 2 27 121 0.373 80
29 Edmonton Oilers 54 11 0 7 6 30 99 0.306 74
30 Buffalo Sabres 54 9 1 7 2 35 83 0.256 70

The Isles are (at this point, and again that doesn't count the win over the Oil) only four games over .500 in regulation. The quality of their wins is the only thing keeping them from falling further. Losing to a bad team doesn't score much differently than losing to a good team, but beating a good team is much, much better than beating a bad one, so if you're going to lose in regulation, lose to a bad team.

The Tank Race

Nashville retains the top spot, and deservedly so. The difference between each position near the top of the table is quite small (the Isles are actually tied for 7th), but just look at the bottom teams: Buffalo is distinctly worse than Edmonton, who is distinctly worse than Arizona, who is distinctly worse than Carolina. The tank race is not very competitive, if you use our scoring system.

Anyway, the Isles have a relatively easier schedule this week. Regulation wins, even against easier teams, would certainly boost them. Given their current injury bug, I think we all agree that racking up wins now is crucial.