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NHL Power Rankings: Miracles and Resolutions and Birthday Punches

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All my gift-giving days happen in a 10-day span. Except for John Tavares, that is. The gift that keeps on giving.

Good job beating *those* guys.
Good job beating *those* guys.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

My birthday is two days after New Year's, so while everyone else is recovering from their hangovers, I'm doing the same while getting birthday punches. Thanks to the holiday / birthday season, I haven't seen the Isles play in some two weeks. Judging by the tweets I've read, they've hung in games mostly thanks to Thomas Greiss.

Guess nobody's ever heard of Christmas magic, huh? Or birthday wishes. Or resolutions. Wait, what day is it again? My head/arms hurt.

Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls

I'll update with CBS's rankings, if they come out (and: if I figure out how to edit a published article).

Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
CBS 1/5/2016
6 6 The Islanders have won four of their last six, but none of the wins was as impressive as the 6-5 victory over the league-leading Stars. Injuries to Jaroslav Halak and now defenseman Johnny Boychuk will challenge this group going forward.
ESPN 1/4/2016 7 10 The Isles were blown out by the Penguins on Saturday but bounced back nicely with Sunday's win over the Stars. They'll miss Johnny Boychuk and need to get Jaroslav Halak back and in a groove, but they are slightly ahead of the other two New York-area teams as we head into 2016.
TSN 1/4/2016 6 8 Isles could stand to tighten up some defensively, as they've allowed 127 shots on goal in the past three games. With their big offensive guns struggling, they can't afford to get into trading chances like that.
Fox 1/4/2016 7 10 If you get in a goal-scoring affair with the Dallas Stars, it’s unlikely that you will come out on top, but that’s exactly what the Islanders did this week.
USA Today 1/4/2016 7 8 The Islanders' defense was dealt a huge blow when Johnny Boychuk was placed on the injured reserve list.
Average 6.6 8.4
The best backups are the ones you never hear about.

I'm surprised that the average opinion poll ranking is better than our own calculated one, given what people have told me about the Isles' recent run of play. These people rely on their eyes, until they don't.

LHH Power Rankings

for games through 1/4/15 Dammit! 1/4/16.

(6) (4) (3) (2) (0)
Reg OT OT Reg LHH LHH
GP W W SO L L Pts Rating
1 Dallas Stars 41 24 3 3 2 9 169 125.3
2 Washington Capitals 38 24 2 3 2 7 165 124.1
3 Florida Panthers 39 17 1 6 3 12 130 110.8
4 Los Angeles Kings 39 17 6 3 1 12 137 109.7
5 Minnesota Wild 38 19 1 1 6 11 133 109.0
6 Montreal Canadiens 40 19 1 3 2 15 131 108.2
7 Boston Bruins 37 17 1 2 3 14 118 106.6
8 New York Islanders 40 18 2 4 3 13 134 105.0
9 Colorado Avalanche 40 18 1 0 3 18 118 104.7
10 St. Louis Blues 42 18 3 3 4 14 137 102.6
11 New York Rangers 39 18 2 2 2 15 126 102.3
12 Chicago Blackhawks 40 15 7 1 4 13 129 101.9
13 Pittsburgh Penguins 38 15 3 4 1 15 116 101.6
14 Nashville Predators 39 16 1 3 6 13 121 99.3
15 San Jose Sharks 37 14 3 1 2 17 103 99.1
16 Detroit Red Wings 40 13 6 3 5 13 121 98.9
17 New Jersey Devils 40 12 6 6 1 15 116 98.1
18 Winnipeg Jets 39 17 1 1 1 19 111 98.0
19 Arizona Coyotes 39 15 4 1 3 16 115 97.3
20 Ottawa Senators 40 12 4 7 2 15 113 97.0
21 Toronto Maple Leafs 37 11 0 8 3 15 96 96.7
22 Tampa Bay Lightning 39 14 3 5 1 16 113 96.2
23 Carolina Hurricanes 40 12 4 1 6 17 103 91.8
24 Calgary Flames 38 9 8 2 1 18 94 90.3
25 Anaheim Ducks 38 15 0 3 5 15 109 89.8
26 Vancouver Canucks 40 11 1 5 7 16 99 89.3
27 Philadelphia Flyers 37 8 6 4 4 15 92 89.2
28 Buffalo Sabres 39 12 2 4 1 20 94 88.0
29 Columbus Blue Jackets 40 12 1 3 2 22 89 87.7
30 Edmonton Oilers 41 9 6 2 3 21 90 81.3

The win over the top-ranked Stars certainly helps, and results matter in these rankings, rather than Corsi. Three Atlantic teams are ranked higher than the Isles' own lofty position. The new resolution should be to start getting some points off of those teams. Meanwhile, it's not a happy time across Canada. Five of the seven Canadian teams are ranked 20th or worse, and the Jets aren't much higher, at 18th.

Overall, the table is a bit top-heavy at the moment. Not only are the Stars and Capitals a step above everyone else, but only 13 teams are above the average ranking score of 100. Another big gap appears between the 22nd and 23rd ranked teams. While I don't think all of the bottom eight teams were expecting to be in this position when this season started, their GMs might want to start thinking about the future, nevertheless.

Speaking of the future... Happy New Year, people! (Yeah bad segue, but my lunch break is over.)