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Lighthouse Hockey's NHL Power Rankings: Now with Magic*! (*numbers)

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The media checks out, but the Isles stay afloat in our weekly rankings, as a playoff birth gets ever nearer.

"Just what do you think you're trying to do to our rankings?"
"Just what do you think you're trying to do to our rankings?"
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The opinion polls are dropping like flies. It seems that only two of them care to put out rankings weekly. TSN has been going biweekly lately and USA today has been kinda random. Perhaps we'll have to tweak this section of the article soon.

But for now, we soldier on....

Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls

Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
CBS 3/3/2015 6 6 Garth Snow only made minor moves, but they were effective ones. Tyler Kennedy is a solid fourth-liner with Stanley Cup experience. Michal Neuvirth is a better No. 2 than Chad Johnson was. Those are deals that help now and going into the postseason.
ESPN 3/2/2015 6 4 The Islanders' up-and-down stretch has allowed the Rangers to close the gap on first place in the Metropolitan Division.
TSN 6 None this week.
Fox 2/26/2015 4 5 The Islanders have won 40 games this season for the first time since 2006-07. With three more wins, they'll reach their highest win total since 1983-84 (50), which is the last time they won the Cup.
USA Today 6 None this week.
Average 5 5 Isles hold steady; opinion polls declining.

Nothing really shocking in the comments, for whatever comments there are.

LHH Power Rankings

For all games through 3/2/15 (so not counting last night's game against the Stars)

GP Reg W OT W SO OT L Reg L LHH Pts LHH Pct LHH Rating
1 New York Rangers 62 32 4 8 1 17 234 0.629 118
2 Montreal Canadiens 63 31 4 8 3 17 232 0.614 117
3 Tampa Bay Lightning 64 34 2 6 2 20 234 0.609 115
4 Pittsburgh Penguins 62 28 5 8 4 17 220 0.591 115
5 Nashville Predators 64 29 6 11 2 16 235 0.612 114
6 New York Islanders 64 29 5 9 0 21 221 0.576 112
7 Detroit Red Wings 61 27 5 12 2 15 222 0.607 112
8 Chicago Blackhawks 64 27 3 11 2 21 211 0.549 111
9 St. Louis Blues 63 28 4 11 2 18 221 0.585 110
10 Anaheim Ducks 64 27 5 13 2 17 225 0.586 110
11 Washington Capitals 64 27 4 7 6 20 211 0.549 109
12 Vancouver Canucks 62 27 5 5 2 23 201 0.540 108
13 San Jose Sharks 64 27 2 7 3 25 197 0.513 104
14 Minnesota Wild 62 28 3 4 5 22 202 0.543 102
15 Los Angeles Kings 62 27 1 8 5 21 200 0.538 102
16 Boston Bruins 62 22 7 8 3 22 190 0.511 100
17 Winnipeg Jets 64 22 4 11 7 20 195 0.508 98
18 Dallas Stars 63 24 1 5 7 26 177 0.468 97
19 Calgary Flames 62 22 8 4 3 25 182 0.489 97
20 Ottawa Senators 60 21 3 8 5 23 172 0.478 96
21 Florida Panthers 63 21 1 15 4 22 183 0.484 94
22 Philadelphia Flyers 63 19 5 10 4 25 172 0.455 93
23 Colorado Avalanche 63 17 2 12 7 25 160 0.423 91
24 Toronto Maple Leafs 63 20 2 6 2 33 150 0.397 90
25 Columbus Blue Jackets 62 19 3 6 2 32 148 0.398 90
26 New Jersey Devils 63 21 1 10 4 27 168 0.444 89
27 Carolina Hurricanes 62 19 1 9 2 31 149 0.401 87
28 Edmonton Oilers 63 12 1 9 6 35 115 0.304 75
29 Arizona Coyotes 63 13 3 9 2 36 121 0.320 73
30 Buffalo Sabres 63 11 1 10 2 39 104 0.275 72

The Isles sink a spot, as their wins against the Coyotes (no offense to their fans, but not a quality opponent) and Flames (better, but still not in the upper-half of our table) can only do so much for the Isles, while a stinker against the Canes certainly doesn’t help. Their LHH win percentage is pretty low (only one other team in the top ten has a lower win percentage), which means the quality of their wins has been pretty high, on average.

The Preds drop from their lofty perch (replaced by some team I’ve never heard of), because they are allergic to New York, I guess. (Hopefully they remain allergic to visitors from New York this week.)

The Sharks and Kings are on the outside of the playoffs looking in, but in our table, they both appear to be playoff-worthy (13th and 15th, respectively). The Jets and Flames, who are in the playoffs at the moment, are both viewed as below-average in our table (under 100 power ranking indexes for both, with the Jets rated 17th and the Flames 19th). Our table agrees with how the Eastern Conference race is going, however. The Bruins hold the 2nd wild card spot and are rated 16th by LHH standards, while the nearest competitor, the Panthers, are shown in 21st.

Three out of the top six teams are from the Metro division, and four out of the top eleven. The Eastern Conference in general would appear to be the better conference, which I know most people would find puzzling. Maybe the Western teams are beating each other up too much. Whichever team gets out of the East might have a worn down Western team to contend with in the Finals.

The Isles' Magic Number

Before last night's game, the Isles' magic number for making the playoffs was 25 (Ottawa could get to 107 points if they run the table, which would give them more than the Panthers' maximum of 106. The Isles would need 25 more points to get to 108).