Well, well, well. The Isles are in the final wild card spot. Lots of hockey left to be played, yadda, yadda, yadda, but to go from last to eighth in a one month span is pretty incredible. Does that mean we can hate the loser point a little less? NOPE! But we'll get to that in a moment.
Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls
|Site||Updated||New Ranking||Prior Ranking||Comments|
|SportsNet||2/16/2017||15||18||[This week is their Your Team’s Best Deadline Trade Chip Edition] "How desperate is Garth Snow? As the Islanders play into buy mode, they could pull a forward from the farm (Josh Ho-Sang, Michael Dal Colle, Mathew Barzal) if they want to mortgage the future for a splash. Also: Could they trade Jaroslav Halak if they agree to retain salary?"|
|ESPN||2/20/2017||17||17||I think the Isles are playoff-bound. There, I said it. John Tavares' team has taken its game to another level since Doug Weight took over as head coach.|
|TSN||---||---||16||None this week.|
|THN||2/22/2017||8||16||The Islanders are just 8-13-4 on the road, but started a brutal nine-game road trip with a 3-1 win over Detroit Tuesday night.|
|Average||13.3||16.8||LeBrun must be reading this column.|
Well now that Pierre LeBrun is on the Isles train, we're likely doomed. It was a good run.
LHH Power Rankings
For games through 2/22/17 (so not counting the game against the Habs)
|4||New York Rangers||59||33||19||7||73||116.8|
|5||Columbus Blue Jackets||58||27||16||15||69||115.7|
|6||San Jose Sharks||60||28||18||14||70||109.1|
|12||New York Islanders||59||24||21||14||62||103.9|
|13||St. Louis Blues||60||24||24||12||60||102.7|
|14||Toronto Maple Leafs||59||22||20||17||61||102.5|
|17||Tampa Bay Lightning||59||22||24||13||57||99.6|
|22||New Jersey Devils||60||17||25||18||52||91.4|
|24||Detroit Red Wings||59||14||26||19||47||90.7|
|25||Los Angeles Kings||59||18||26||15||51||90.6|
The Isles rank 12th overall, 7th in the Eastern Conference, and yet 5th in their own division. The Metro is Megatron.
Even our own formula did not have the Isles in the top 16 a month ago (although closer to that than the standings would indicate). Makes you wonder how much better they'd be today if they parted ways with their albatross a long time ago. But enough about Howie Rose. (I kid, Howie!)
So, We Still Should Hate the Loser Point, Eh?
Yes yes and yes. If it didn't exist, the Isles would actually be in 7th in the Eastern Conference, three full points clear of 9th. They'd be as close to 5th place and seven points away from home ice advantage in the first round [Note: This is the case if all games that have gone past overtime would simply be considered ties, with one point going to each team, as it was for many years]. In Bettman's World, they are twelve full points behind 7th and have approximately 72 teams within a few points of them.
So yes, by all means, still hate the loser point. Look, the turnaround is pretty incredible and proves that it's actually possible to make such a move in the current system, but all the years before this show that it's extremely rare. The Bettman Point is doing us no favors.