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2018-19 Inaugural LHH Power Rankings

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New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders
I am SO going out clubbing after this game.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Back again for the 2018-19 season, here is the first of many weekly installments of the LHH Power Rankings, as presented by (please sponsor us here!).

I’ve made one tweak to the ranking formula for this season. This year, games that go to the home run derby skills competition count as a tie for each team. Games settled in overtime count as wins and losses. This eliminates the Bettman Welfare Point, but also accurately reflects the all-important ROW (Regulation/OT Win).

For those new to the LHH Rankings, the point value is a relative power score that averages at 100. Winning games against higher ranked opponents, winning on the road and winning by more than 2 goals all reflect well on your team. Winning at home, beating a weaker opponent or winning by 2 or fewer goals is also good, just not as good as it gets. The W-L-T in the charts reflect the outcomes when viewed through the LHH formula. The rankings themselves are based on the score, not the standings points.

The Isles 6-3 win at Pittsburgh was their biggest win of the year, as it earned all 3 bonuses. The win against the Devils last night only earned 1 bonus. The loss in Anaheim was the worst effort so far on the road, but the home OT loss to Florida hurt more.

It usually takes a month or so for the data to ‘settle down’ and show decent relevant achievement/expectations, but there are always outliers, and this season is no exception.

Nashville debuts with a gaudy 160.1 ranking. well clear of 2nd ranked Pittsburgh (131.5). On the bottom end, the Ranger$ start out in 31st (67.0), and Lo$ Angele$ 30th (68.5). Expect all of those scores to get closer to 100 by the end of the year, though would any of us really mind if the Rag$ finished with a score of 50?

Before we get into the numbers, here are what the professionals said (or didn’t say) in their latest rankings. Links lead to the various sites’ rankings.

Entry # 5 - Feb 17, 2019

Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
Buffalo News 2/16/2019 6 6 Playoff site decision using both arenas is probably best compromise.
The Hockey Guy 2/16/2019 3 3 There isn't a player on this roster that is not playing well.
Brian Simmons 2/15/2019 3 4
ESPN 2/14/2019 6 5 What's so wrong about loving two goalies equally? Robin Lehner has gotten a bit more attention, but Thomas Greiss is only a slight step behind and has gone 4-0-1, saving 154 of 157 shots (.981 save percentage) in his past five games.
SportsNet 2/13/2019 4 4 Trade Deadline Prediction: Trader upgrader… we’re guessing. Lou Lamoriello’s lips are sealed like the Ark of the Covenant, but the GM has to reward a group that has rocked the Metropolitan, doesn’t he? While his lack of a 2019 third- or fourth-round pick gives us reason to think he’d be hesitant to let go of a first or second as well, the Islanders should be in the mix for the high-end forwards that become available.
NBC 2/11/2019 7 7 The Islanders are a perfect 9-0 in the second half of back-to-backs.
CBS 2/6/2019 6 6 They're legitimate. They beat who they're supposed to and give the real ones a fight. Barry Trotz really got this defense up to par.
NJ.com 2/5/2019 5 5 A 1-0 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning provided another example of how the Islanders can hang with the league's top teams. After being the NHL's worst defense in 2017-18, things have turned around dramatically on Long Island.

Now let’s take a look at the division standings, starting out with the weakest of the four, where there’s an unfamiliar team starting out in the top 10.

Metro - 100.5

# Team GP W L T Pts LHH # LW L#
# Team GP W L T Pts LHH # LW L#
1 New York Islanders 58 32 18 8 72 116.0 4 115.6 4
2 Columbus Blue Jackets 57 33 23 1 67 109.7 7 105.2 10
3 Pittsburgh Penguins 58 29 26 3 61 107.6 10 112.3 7
WC1 Carolina Hurricanes 59 30 26 3 63 102.8 13 96.5 18
WC2 Washington Capitals 58 29 25 4 62 102.6 14 100.4 12
12 Philadelphia Flyers 58 25 30 3 53 90.0 22 88.0 26
14 New York Rangers 57 19 30 8 46 87.7 25 85.8 26
15 New Jersey Devils 58 21 33 4 46 87.6 26 88.7 25

On to the other part of the Eastern Conference...

Atlantic - 102.0

# Team GP W L T PTS LHH # LW L#
# Team GP W L T PTS LHH # LW L#
1 Tampa Bay Lightning 59 40 14 5 85 128.3 1 126.2 1
2 Toronto Maple Leafs 58 36 22 0 72 117.6 3 117.5 3
3 Boston Bruins 59 32 24 3 67 107.5 11 100.2 14
9 Montreal Canadiens 58 29 27 2 60 101.9 15 100.2 14
10 Buffalo Sabres 57 24 28 5 53 94.6 18 96.0 19
11 Florida Panthers 56 21 28 7 49 94.0 20 93.2 21
13 Detroit Red Wings 59 21 31 7 49 88.2 24 89.2 23
16 Ottawa Senators 58 22 36 0 44 84.1 31 81.7 31

And then out west...

The Central is yet again the strongest division, driven by Nashville.

Central - 100.7

# Team GP W L T PTS LHH # LW L#
# Team GP W L T PTS LHH # LW L#
1 Nashville Predators 61 33 26 2 68 110.8 6 114.7 6
2 St. Louis Blues 57 30 26 1 61 109.7 7 101.2 11
3 Winnipeg Jets 59 34 22 3 71 109.0 9 115.4 5
WC1 Dallas Stars 58 30 28 0 60 104.8 12 108.8 9
WC2 Minnesota Wild 58 26 29 3 55 95.1 17 100.4 12
11 Colorado Avalanche 58 23 34 1 47 88.8 23 92.3 22
12 Chicago Blackhawks 59 23 34 2 48 86.6 27 85.1 30

And finally:

Pacific - 96.9

# Team GP W L T PTS LHH # LW L#
# Team GP W L T PTS LHH # LW L#
1 Calgary Flames 58 35 19 4 74 119.2 2 118.8 2
2 San Jose Sharks 59 35 21 3 73 115.4 5 111.6 8
3 Vegas Golden Knights 60 30 27 3 63 98.8 16 99.4 16
9 Arizona Coyotes 58 24 31 3 51 94.1 19 93.8 20
10 Vancouver Canucks 60 23 31 6 52 92.6 21 98.6 17
13 Los Angeles Kings 58 21 33 4 46 85.2 28 86.4 28
14 Anaheim Ducks 58 19 34 5 43 84.9 29 89.1 24
15 Edmonton Oilers 58 21 34 3 45 84.7 30 87.4 27

This week:

11/5 vs #15 Montreal (100.9)
11/8 @ #7 Tampa Bay (115.3)
11/10 @ #26 Florida (81.7)