The Isles are coming off of back-to-back wins, against a similarly depleted Tampa team, and a team that locked up first place long ago but are not resting their goalie because he's chasing a record that totally matters. And yet it's the Isles who have injured goalies.
Anyway, this week, the hockey publications harp on the Isles' recent lethargy and injuries. And then there's ESPN's Burnside.
Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls
|Site||Updated||New Ranking||Prior Ranking||Comments|
|CBS||4/5/2016||13||13||The injuries have piled up for the Islanders at a most inopportune time. They'll have to hope Travis Hamonic can get back before what is sure to be a tough postseason matchup no matter where the Isles finish.|
|ESPN||4/4/2016||16||13||Speaking of not looking fearsome, the Islanders are lurching along and things would be more angst-ridden in Brooklyn if the Bruins weren't stinking so much. Maybe the Isles can blame the terrible ice at Barclays Center for their woes.|
|TSN||4/5/2016||14||13||The Isles have won four of five, but what kind of playoff team would they be if they weren’t going to lose a defenceman to injury? And so they have. Two, in fact.|
|THN||4/6/2016||7||17||Isles in the "Cream of the Crop" section. "With nine points in his past five games and 11 points in his past eight, John Tavares could not have chosen a better time to pick up his game."|
|SI||4/5/2016||15||17||They're beating the weak (Carolina, Columbus) and the crippled (Tampa Bay) but at this point of the season, the battered Isles will take the points where they can get them. Defenseman Travis Hamonic is out for the rest of the regular season and blueliner Calvin de Haan's status is questionable as of this writing. Too bad the Isles won't have home ice for the playoffs. After their 5-2 win over the Bolts on Monday, New York is on a 10-2-1 roll at Barclays.|
|Average||13||14.6||Missing two defensemen? Nah, it's godda be da ice!|
Yes, the Isles would be worried if other teams were playing better. I think that goes for every damn team in the league, but what do I know? For the next two months (as I await the closing), I'm still literally living with my parents, which automatically makes my opinion and logic useless in the face of the worldwide leader's snark.
LHH Power Rankings
For games through 4/5/16.
|3||St. Louis Blues||80||36||7||9||5||23||281||112.5|
|7||New York Rangers||80||38||4||4||7||27||270||109.1|
|8||San Jose Sharks||80||36||5||7||3||29||263||108.7|
|9||New York Islanders||79||34||6||9||4||26||263||107.3|
|10||Los Angeles Kings||80||33||12||4||3||28||264||107.3|
|12||Tampa Bay Lightning||80||35||7||6||2||30||260||104.1|
|16||Detroit Red Wings||79||29||9||7||6||28||243||99.9|
|19||New Jersey Devils||80||26||9||8||2||35||220||96.3|
|27||Columbus Blue Jackets||79||24||1||10||4||40||186||86.0|
|29||Toronto Maple Leafs||79||20||2||12||5||40||174||84.7|
The Isles jump two spots, mostly because any points gained against the first-place Capitals makes an impression in our calculations.
Meanwhile, the only team in a playoff position that is outside the top 16 in our power rankings is Minnesota (17th), and Boston (15th) is the only team in the top 16 that is currently on the outside looking in. All that means is that the Bruins could make a tepid claim that, if they were in the West, they might be in a playoff position right now.
But statistically speaking, it doesn't look like anyone's really getting hosed this year. Meanwhile, the lowest rated team this year is still in the 80s. Last year, we had teams in the 60s. That's what having a Connor McDavid in the draft does. This year, the tanks don't look as big.
Next post will be the last for the year, I think. I don't see the point in continuing this exercise through the playoffs, where half the teams (and even less than that as the rounds drag on) are adding data points. So next week, I'll throw in a few sweeping comments about what changes might be in store for next season.