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New Year, New LHH Power Rankings

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New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils
In addition to his hockey prowess, Mat Barzal also plays a killer air guitar.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Between my job being end-of-year insane, 2 hours a day in the gym, bass lessons and beer league hockey, I haven’t been around too much lately. With the team playing the way it has, though, maybe I should stay away!

It’s been a while since I posted the rankings, so here’s how they roughly work:

  • Wins for the formula are ROW
  • Shootouts, no matter the result, are a tie
  • Losses are regulation or OT

The formula awards points to the winning and losing team, with bonuses for:

  • Winning on the road
  • Winning by more than 2 goals
  • Beating a higher ranked team

Bonuses are cumulative, so going into 2nd ranked Toronto and beating them by 4 goals was worth more than double the value of beating 28th ranked Chicago in OT at home.

The standings below reflect the W/L/T as determined by the formula, not actual NHL standings. Teams are also ranked based on their formula score, not by the number of standings points they have accumulated.

I’ve added some new talking heads to the mix. They’re presented with the most recently updated on top, and the laggards behind. Here’s this week’s roundup:

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.

On to the actual rankings... They are broken down by division, by overall score and ranking. The ‘Last Week’ column shows how the teams lined up last Sunday.

If the Playoffs Started Today (and Used Our Rankings)

In the first round, the Penguins would host the Capitals, the Isles would host Columbus, Tampa would draw Montreal, and Toronto and Boston would round out the East.

In the West, Calgary would host Vancouver, San Jose would host Vegas, Nashville would host Minnesota and Dallas would get Winnipeg.

Riding on the Metro

The Metro sports three Top 10 teams, and four Bottom 10 teams. The bottom feeding Flyers and Rangers (it brings my heart so much joy to type that), with assists from Carolina and New Jersey, make the Metro the weakest of the four divisions based on average score.

The Isles winning streak found them one of the biggest movers in the NHL, up 4 spots to #6. Washington fell the most, from 4th to 11th.

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

Crossing the Atlantic

This may come as a shock, but Tampa and Toronto are running away with it here. But even they aren’t enough to make this the best division in hockey.

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

The Central & Pacific

Because nothing west of the Ohio River means anything, and California still hasn’t left (or been booted from) the Union, and because I’m all about an East Coast Bias (coastist?), here’s the rest of the league.

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

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

The Weeks Ahead

Lots of home cooking coming up, with the Isles not leaving the East Coast Megalopolis until they take their lives into their own hands going to Chicago on the 22nd. Also only one game against a top 10 team in the 9 games left before the break.

Tues. Jan. 8 - vs Carolina (23)

Thur. Jan 10 - @ NY Rangers (28)

Sat. Jan 12 - vs NY Rangers (28)

Sun. Jan 13 - vs. Tampa Bay (1)

Tues. Jan 15 - vs. St. Louis (19)

Thur. Jan 17 - vs New Jersey (22)

Fri. Jan 18 - @ Washington (11)

Sun. Jan 20 - vs Anaheim (20)

Tues. 1/22 - @ Chicago (29)