Well that didn't last too long. Losses against two good teams led to a small drop from the top of our power rankings table. Other publications took notice, as well. To their credit, they didn't drop the Isles far, recognizing that losses to good teams will happen (last night's game on the other hand....).
Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls
|Site||Updated||New Ranking||Prior Ranking||Comments|
|CBS||2/3/2015||6||3||The Islanders have lost two straight without second-leading scorer Kyle Okposo in the lineup. They're still one of the six teams at the top of the league with 32 wins this season. Four straight games against Eastern foes could help them gain some ground.|
|ESPN||2/2/2015||8||4||The Isles have dropped a pair in a row but continue to hold down the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Life without Kyle Okposo won't get any easier, either.|
|TSN||2/3/2015||8||7||Had won six of seven before back-to-back losses against Boston and Detroit, but the bigger concern is losing RW Kyle Okposo, who is second on the team with 44 points (14 G, 30 A), to a detached retina.|
|Fox||1/29/2015||4||5||The Islanders have not lost to the Rangers or Devils this season, going 5-0 while outscoring their metropolitan area and division mates, 18-7. They own New York.|
|USA Today||---||---||5||None this week.|
|NHL Numbers||2/2/2015||4||3||With Kyle Okposo out of the lineup for the medium-term, the Islanders have turned to a helicopter first-line featuring Mikhail Grabovski and Josh Bailey with John Tavares. Ryan Strome continues to play on the third-line, despite leading all NHL players in 5-on-5 primary assist rate.|
|Average||6||5||No KO is not OK.|
Obviously the loss of Okposo was going to be the main talking point. Note that Sports Illustrated, who hasn't updated any of their power rankings for any sport for weeks, has been dropped from our panel in favor of someone who... you know.... does work. NHL Numbers (part of The Nation Network), which were cited in a weekly links roundup, appears to base their rankings at least partially on fancy stats. (Yes, I know that sentence probably needs some grammar work, but it's still better than the Isles' penalty killing, so let it slide, alright?)
LHH Power Rankings
For games through 2/2/15
|GP||Reg W||OT W||SO||OT L||Reg L||LHH Pts||LHH Pct||LHH Rating|
|3||New York Rangers||48||23||4||6||0||15||172||0.597||116|
|4||New York Islanders||49||21||5||7||0||16||167||0.568||116|
|5||Tampa Bay Lightning||51||28||2||6||0||15||194||0.634||114|
|6||St. Louis Blues||49||23||3||8||2||13||178||0.605||114|
|9||Detroit Red Wings||50||23||4||9||2||12||185||0.617||110|
|10||San Jose Sharks||51||23||2||7||2||17||171||0.559||110|
|17||Los Angeles Kings||49||19||1||8||5||16||152||0.517||98|
|19||Toronto Maple Leafs||51||18||1||5||2||25||131||0.428||97|
|24||Columbus Blue Jackets||48||15||2||5||2||24||117||0.406||90|
|25||New Jersey Devils||50||15||1||9||3||22||127||0.423||90|
Not as big a drop as you expected, right? Well, remember that the most recent games aren't treated any differently than the first games of the season. Our rankings formula takes the season as a whole, so it's just two losses to decent teams, added to the mix.
The Predators re-take first overall (and rather deservedly so), and the Pens slip to 11th. Fans of Dallas can argue that their team is the victim of a more difficult schedule, as they are 15th in the rankings, but are on the outside of the playoffs, looking in.
Meanwhile, the Sabres are 23 games under .500 for games ending in regulation. The Panthers, only four spots higher, are a mere 2 games under .500 in regulation. The fact that so many of their games end in a shootout has hurt them greatly in our formula, as well as a lack of quality wins, although something tells me that they'll enjoy a bit of a bump next week.