In the latest roundup of hockey media rankings, the opinion makers - led by the volatile ESPN rankings - have boosted the Islanders to an average position of slightly better than 8th overall, thanks to their good week that saw them go 2-0-1.
Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls
|Site||Updated||New Ranking||Prior Ranking||Comments|
|CBS||1/19/2016||8||9||With the Capitals running away with the Metro, the battle between the Islanders and Rangers becomes more interesting. The two rivals have been flipping spots frequently in the standings and could for some time. Meanwhile, Brock Nelson appears poised for a 30-goal season in Brooklyn.|
|ESPN||1/18/2016||9||17||The Isles and Rangers began play with identical records on Sunday, which makes me wonder whether we're finally going to see an all-New York playoff series this spring. What does GM Garth Snow have up his sleeve come the trade deadline to give his team an edge? A shootout loss to the Canucks on Sunday reinforces that this team isn't quite there yet.|
|TSN||1/18/2016||8||8||It's kind of remarkable that the Islanders remain a competitive team even while their best player, John Tavares, is slumping. Tavares has 11 points (5 G, 6 A) in the past 23 games, yet the Isles are 13-7-3 in those games.|
|Fox||1/18/2016||7||9||The Islanders have a really strong team, but they should expect more from John Tavares. His 31 points are a lot, but this is a guy that should be leading the NHL in points each and every year.|
|USA Today||1/18/2016||7||14||John Tavares’ scoring slump has led to emergence of Brock Nelson.|
|Average||7.8||11.4||We're dying for a Slumplanders vs Slumpgers series!|
The publications by and large say that both the Isles and Rangers are not firing on all cylinders, but they are clamoring for an all-New York playoff series. I picture them as Caesar, looking at two imperfect warriors and wondering aloud how amusing it would be if he had them do combat to the death.
Our own power rankings formula seems to agree that it would be a good series:
LHH Power Rankings
For games through Jan. 18, 2016
|3||Los Angeles Kings||44||20||6||4||1||13||158||111.6|
|8||New York Rangers||45||20||2||3||3||17||143||103.7|
|10||New York Islanders||45||20||2||5||3||15||149||103.1|
|11||St. Louis Blues||49||20||4||5||5||15||161||102.8|
|12||San Jose Sharks||44||17||4||3||2||18||131||102.3|
|13||Detroit Red Wings||45||15||7||4||5||14||140||100.9|
|15||Tampa Bay Lightning||45||17||5||5||1||17||139||100.7|
|18||New Jersey Devils||46||14||6||6||1||19||128||97.4|
|28||Toronto Maple Leafs||43||12||0||8||3||20||102||90.5|
|29||Columbus Blue Jackets||46||14||1||3||3||25||103||85.8|
The Rangers are a tick or so above the Isles at the moment (the result of a slightly tougher schedule with basically the same record), and both are in the top 10. The Panthers are enjoying the view from their recent perch - one that the Blackhawks have returned to. The Habs, who were far and away the best team in the early going, are now barely over average.
On the other end, as exciting as people assure me the Oilers have been, they find themselves last overall.
That's all for now. As always, I'll answer any questions in the comments section.