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NHL Power Rankings: New York Playoff Derby Talk

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Wins over the Jackets and Rangers help move the Isles back into the top ten.

We built this bank on... lite beer.
We built this bank on... lite beer.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

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

(6) (4) (3) (2) (0)
Reg OT OT Reg LHH LHH
GP W W SO L L Pts Rating
1 Washington Capitals 45 29 3 3 2 8 199 129.4
2 Dallas Stars 46 24 3 4 3 12 174 118.1
3 Los Angeles Kings 44 20 6 4 1 13 158 111.6
4 Chicago Blackhawks 48 22 8 1 4 13 175 111.2
5 Florida Panthers 46 20 1 6 4 15 150 107.0
6 Minnesota Wild 45 21 1 1 7 15 147 104.3
7 Colorado Avalanche 47 21 2 0 3 21 140 104.0
8 New York Rangers 45 20 2 3 3 17 143 103.7
9 Boston Bruins 44 20 1 2 4 17 138 103.2
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
14 Montreal Canadiens 46 20 1 3 3 19 139 100.8
15 Tampa Bay Lightning 45 17 5 5 1 17 139 100.7
16 Pittsburgh Penguins 45 17 3 4 4 17 134 98.4
17 Winnipeg Jets 46 19 2 2 1 22 130 98.3
18 New Jersey Devils 46 14 6 6 1 19 128 97.4
19 Philadelphia Flyers 43 11 7 6 4 15 120 97.3
20 Ottawa Senators 46 13 5 8 2 18 126 96.7
21 Buffalo Sabres 46 16 2 4 1 23 118 94.8
22 Arizona Coyotes 45 17 5 1 4 18 133 94.7
23 Nashville Predators 45 17 1 3 7 17 129 94.5
24 Carolina Hurricanes 47 14 6 1 7 19 125 92.9
25 Vancouver Canucks 46 12 3 6 8 17 118 91.5
26 Calgary Flames 43 11 8 3 1 20 109 91.2
27 Anaheim Ducks 44 17 0 4 5 18 124 90.6
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
30 Edmonton Oilers 47 10 6 4 4 23 104 82.1

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.