Updated: November 24, 2014, 12:30 PM ET

Islanders? Yes!


By Pierre LeBrun (posted Nov. 24, 2014)

This week in the Rankings I want to reward one of the NHL's most loyal fan bases with the top spot. And why not? Their team deserves some love!

Rk(LW)TeamRec
1
NY Islanders
14-6-0
A home-and-home sweep of the Penguins sends a statement to the rest of the league: the Isles are for real. They've won eight of their last 10 games. And man, they're fun to watch.
2
St. Louis
14-6-1
Tidy weekend with road wins in Ottawa and Winnipeg. What a beast this team is down the middle with Jori Lehtera, Paul Stastny and David Backes.
3
Pittsburgh
13-4-2
An impressive win in Montreal is tempered by the back-to-back losses to the Islanders.
4
Anaheim
13-4-5
The Ducks have points in 10 of their last 11 games (5-1-5). A good one is on tap for Black Friday with the Blackhawks visiting the Honda Center.
5
Montreal
16-6-1
Topsy-turvy week as bad losses to the Penguins and Rangers bookend impressive wins over the Blues and Bruins. The Habs have now won nine of the last 10 regular-season games versus the Bruins, going back two years.
6
Nashville
13-5-2
Carey Price and Jonathan Quick, among others, might have something to say about it, but my early season Vezina pick goes to Pekka Rinne.
7
Los Angeles
11-6-4
The Kings woke up too late in Dallas on Saturday night to complete the comeback. The loss snapped a three-game win streak.
8
Chicago
12-8-1
Like the Kings, a three-game win streak was snapped; for the Blackhawks, it came Sunday night in Vancouver. The Hawks have scored at least one power-play goal in five straight games.
9
Tampa Bay
14-6-2
A pair of bad losses in Long Island and Toronto eased with Saturday's tight 2-1 win over Minnesota.
10
Vancouver
14-6-1
I picked these guys to make the playoffs before the season, and so far they're not contradicting that prediction. The Canucks had an impressive 4-1 win over the Blackhawks on Sunday night.
11
Calgary
13-7-2
I did not, however, pick these guys to make the playoffs. The biggest surprise of the season hasn't faded (yet), winning four of their last five.
12
Boston
13-9-0
The Bruins had a three-game win streak snapped by, well, who else -- they have lost all three games to the Canadiens this season. There is one chance left to fix their mental demons before a possible playoff matchup with the Habs.
13
Detroit
10-5-5
Make it five goals in his last five games for Slovak Tomas Tatar, who should easily surpass the 19 goals he scored last season.
14
Minnesota
11-8-0
A four-game win streak was snapped with 2-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Saturday night. Nino Niederreiter is having a terrific opening quarter of the season.
15
Florida
7-5-6
The Panthers went 2-1-1 on tough four-gamer through Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose and Nashville.
16
NY Rangers
9-7-4
Are the Blueshirts turning a corner? Shutout wins over Flyers and Habs during the past week might indicate as much.
17
Ottawa
9-6-4
Big five-game road trip opens Monday at Detroit and brings the Sens through St. Louis, Florida, Tampa Bay and Long Island.
18
San Jose
10-9-4
Just four wins in November for an inconsistent Sharks team that has lost twice each this season to the Sabres and Blue Jackets.
19
Dallas
8-9-4
I think we're witnessing the turnaround now, folks. And how much fun is rookie blueliner John Klingberg to watch? Oh my gosh.
20
Winnipeg
10-9-3
The Jets have dropped four of their last five games but are still sitting in the middle of the Central Division race.
21
Toronto
11-8-2
We salute the Maple Leafs for responding to the crisis-igniting 9-2 shellacking at home at the hands of the Predators by then beating the Lightning and Red Wings. Seriously, we salute them.
22
Washington
9-8-3
Losing at home to the Sabres is always fun. A nice test will come this week with home-and-home series against the scorching Islanders.
23
New Jersey
9-9-3
I really thought these guys would be better this season. Still lots of time to prove me right. They have lost three of four heading into Tuesday's game at Vancouver.
24
Philadelphia
8-9-2
Saturday's home win against Columbus was a must, ending a four-game losing streak. Next, a big game Monday night on Long Island.
25
Arizona
9-11-2
You used to know what this team was about. They had a well-earned identity, they made you earn every inch of the ice. We haven't seen that team in a couple of years.
26
Colorado
7-9-5
At what point do you start to think this is just not going to happen this season? The defending Central Division champs keep spinning their wheels.
27
Columbus
6-12-2
They put together some big streaks in the second half last season, I know, but this is pushing it, no?
28
Carolina
6-11-3
The Hurricanes have dropped five of six games and the Connor McDavid watch is back on.
29
Buffalo
6-13-2
Three straight wins for the Sabres! Which has their fans saying, "Stop it! We want the No. 1 pick!"
30
Edmonton
6-13-2
They need help at center, the goaltending isn't good enough, the defense still needs boosting. The same script is getting boring. You have to think changes are coming.

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