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12/8/16 LHH Power Rankings: Number 25 With a Bullet!

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The bullet is for the next losing streak.

Secret Weapon
Secret Weapon
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Hey, I'll take any good news I can find nowadays.

Sure, the team still appears rather bad by both the NHL standings and by fancy stats, but heading into the cold of winter, where the great outdoors is less of an option - leading to more time in front of the TV to view, let's say, hockey games - it feels good to have signs of a pulse. It'd feel a lot better if the Bettman Bonus Point System didn't put the Islanders in such an immense hole (more on that later), but even still, the season is not yet a total loss, so there's that.

Weekly Round-Up of Opinion Polls

Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
SportsNet 12/7/2016 27 26 Dennis Seidenberg, 35, was bought out by Boston and went into the World Cup playing for work. For a cool million bucks, he’s brought excellent value to Brooklyn. He’s on pace for a career high in points and is a plus player on a minus team. A good UFA signing by Garth Snow? Believe it.
ESPN 12/5/2016 30 30 Anders Lee recorded his 100th point, while Josh Bailey extended his points streak to five game during Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Red Wings.
TSN 12/5/2016 28 30 3-0-1 in the past four games is enough to get the Isles out of the basement, but not enough to push back on questions about John Tavares’ future with the club. Yes, those have started already.
THN 12/7/2016 21 25 With points in each of their past five games, four of them wins, the Islanders are easily on their most successful string of the season.
Average 26.5 27.8 Can't believe the rumors have already started! Um, who started them again, Mr. Media Guy?

With no real arguments about the on-ice product, I just want to get this off my chest... If the media starts rumors about a player, other media shouldn't just say that there are rumors swirling around said player. They are the ones who started the dang rumor, so say as much in your comments!

OK, moving on...

LHH Power Rankings

For games through 12/7/16 (so not including the game against the Blues, which hasn't even happened yet as of this writing.

LHH LHH
GP W L T Pts Rating
1 New York Rangers 27 17 9 1 35 122.0
2 Columbus Blue Jackets 24 11 5 8 30 121.8
3 Montreal Canadiens 26 15 6 5 35 116.1
4 Pittsburgh Penguins 25 12 7 6 30 113.8
5 Minnesota Wild 25 11 8 6 28 112.8
6 San Jose Sharks 26 13 10 3 29 111.7
7 Anaheim Ducks 26 12 8 6 30 110.2
8 St. Louis Blues 26 11 7 8 30 108.3
9 Boston Bruins 27 12 10 5 29 107.0
10 Tampa Bay Lightning 27 12 11 4 28 106.3
11 Washington Capitals 25 11 7 7 29 104.4
12 Edmonton Oilers 28 12 10 6 30 104.0
13 Ottawa Senators 27 11 9 7 29 102.5
14 Calgary Flames 29 10 13 6 26 102.2
15 Nashville Predators 25 12 9 4 28 101.9
16 Carolina Hurricanes 26 8 10 8 24 100.6
17 Buffalo Sabres 26 8 10 8 24 100.5
18 Chicago Blackhawks 28 10 8 10 30 99.9
19 Toronto Maple Leafs 25 9 10 6 24 95.8
20 New Jersey Devils 25 6 7 12 24 93.2
21 Philadelphia Flyers 28 9 10 9 27 93.1
22 Dallas Stars 27 9 11 7 25 92.9
23 Detroit Red Wings 27 7 11 9 23 91.3
24 Los Angeles Kings 25 7 10 8 22 90.8
25 New York Islanders 25 7 10 8 22 90.8
26 Florida Panthers 27 5 11 11 21 90.7
27 Winnipeg Jets 29 9 13 7 25 87.4
28 Colorado Avalanche 24 6 14 4 16 77.9
29 Arizona Coyotes 25 4 13 8 16 77.1
30 Vancouver Canucks 26 4 13 9 17 73.2

The Isles narrowly avoided 30th with their win over Pittsburgh at the time the prior article came out. The next win over Washington got them up to 26th. Three more points in four games get them one spot higher. It doesn't hurt that two of those points came against the team occupying the top spot.

The Bettman Bonus Point Stinks

This issue comes up repeatedly, and I won't go into it in depth here, but let's look at how the current NHL system is impacting the Islanders, vs what things were like when the same number of points were awarded for each and every game. Right now, the second and final wild card spot is owned by the Caps. Their record is 15-7-3 for 33 points, while the Isles (as of Tuesday) were 10-10-5 for 25 points. They were 8 points out - four full wins - with the same number of games played.

Meanwhile, the LHH Power Rankings table above considers every game going past regulation is a tie. This is done to separate teams who know how to win the game from those who hold on for a point, and then use a combination of skills competition and pure luck to try to nab the other point. But this also means that, as the season goes on, we are keeping track of what the standings would be back in the old days, when a tied game ended as just that. In that universe, the conference standings would look like this:

GP W L T Pts
1 Montreal Canadiens 26 15 6 5 35
2 New York Rangers 27 17 9 1 35
3 Columbus Blue Jackets 24 11 5 8 30
4 Pittsburgh Penguins 25 12 7 6 30
5 Boston Bruins 27 12 10 5 29
6 Ottawa Senators 27 11 9 7 29
7 Washington Capitals 25 11 7 7 29
8 Tampa Bay Lightning 27 12 11 4 28
9 Philadelphia Flyers 28 9 10 9 27
10 Buffalo Sabres 26 8 10 8 24
11 Carolina Hurricanes 26 8 10 8 24
12 New Jersey Devils 25 6 7 12 24
13 Toronto Maple Leafs 25 9 10 6 24
14 Detroit Red Wings 27 7 11 9 23
15 New York Islanders 25 7 10 8 22
16 Florida Panthers 27 5 11 11 21

The Islanders would be chasing Tampa. They'd be only six points behind (three wins), and with two games in hand. And with every game being only two points, that hill would be far more surmountable for the Islanders to climb.

Yes, I know that the Isles are only one team, and that other teams might be in a worse position if we went back to this system. But if my team is going to suck, I'd prefer the standings not lie about it.

/End Rant. For now.