clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NHL Power Rankings (Feb. 4): Nowhere to go but...

New, comments

Remember when the Islanders couldn't lose a game if they tried? Good times!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

When Okposo's away, the cats will play.
When Okposo's away, the cats will play.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

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
1 Nashville Predators 49 23 5 8 2 11 186 0.633 119
2 Montreal Canadiens 49 24 3 6 2 14 178 0.605 117
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
7 Chicago Blackhawks 50 23 2 7 1 17 169 0.563 114
8 Anaheim Ducks 50 21 4 11 2 12 179 0.597 111
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
11 Pittsburgh Penguins 50 21 5 6 4 14 172 0.573 110
12 Washington Capitals 50 21 3 5 6 15 165 0.550 107
13 Vancouver Canucks 48 22 3 3 2 18 157 0.545 106
14 Boston Bruins 50 19 6 7 2 16 163 0.543 103
15 Dallas Stars 49 21 0 3 6 19 147 0.500 100
16 Winnipeg Jets 52 19 3 8 4 18 158 0.506 98
17 Los Angeles Kings 49 19 1 8 5 16 152 0.517 98
18 Calgary Flames 51 18 7 4 2 20 152 0.497 98
19 Toronto Maple Leafs 51 18 1 5 2 25 131 0.428 97
20 Minnesota Wild 49 19 2 4 4 20 142 0.483 96
21 Colorado Avalanche 50 13 2 10 7 18 130 0.433 93
22 Philadelphia Flyers 51 15 5 7 2 22 135 0.441 92
23 Ottawa Senators 48 14 3 7 5 19 127 0.441 92
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
26 Florida Panthers 48 15 1 11 4 17 135 0.469 89
27 Carolina Hurricanes 49 13 1 8 1 26 108 0.367 82
28 Arizona Coyotes 50 12 3 7 2 26 109 0.363 79
29 Edmonton Oilers 51 10 0 7 6 28 93 0.304 74
30 Buffalo Sabres 50 7 1 7 2 33 71 0.237 67

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.