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LHH Power Rankings: "Wild Ride to Wild Card Position" Edition

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The Isles started 2/23/17 in a wild card spot, just a month after being in last place. No opinion pollster or number cruncher could have predicted this.

True dat.
True dat.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

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)

LHH LHH
GP W L T Pts Rating
1 Washington Capitals 59 33 12 14 80 125.4
2 Minnesota Wild 59 33 14 12 78 123.5
3 Pittsburgh Penguins 58 28 14 16 72 117.1
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
7 Ottawa Senators 58 25 20 13 63 109
8 Chicago Blackhawks 60 27 18 15 69 107.9
9 Anaheim Ducks 61 28 19 14 70 105
10 Montreal Canadiens 60 25 20 15 65 104.6
11 Edmonton Oilers 61 24 20 17 65 104.6
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
15 Boston Bruins 59 24 24 11 59 100.8
16 Nashville Predators 59 25 22 12 62 100.1
17 Tampa Bay Lightning 59 22 24 13 57 99.6
18 Buffalo Sabres 60 19 24 17 55 97.2
19 Florida Panthers 59 18 21 20 56 96
20 Carolina Hurricanes 56 18 24 14 50 94.6
21 Calgary Flames 60 21 26 13 55 93.8
22 New Jersey Devils 60 17 25 18 52 91.4
23 Winnipeg Jets 63 23 29 11 57 91.2
24 Detroit Red Wings 59 14 26 19 47 90.7
25 Los Angeles Kings 59 18 26 15 51 90.6
26 Philadelphia Flyers 60 17 25 18 52 89.2
27 Dallas Stars 60 20 27 13 53 88.4
28 Vancouver Canucks 60 16 28 16 48 81.6
29 Arizona Coyotes 58 12 30 16 40 78.5
30 Colorado Avalanche 58 10 39 9 29 68.6

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.