October 26, 2010

when is it no longer "just a fluke"?

This is a screen shot I took from the NHL website a few days ago, when the New York Islanders were leading the Eastern Conference, and League, in points:

The Islanders, who finished 26th (out of 30) in the league last season, and who have been less than impressive for the better part of the decade, seem to be holding their own. Even without their "best" players who were injured in preseason or signing any big time players during the off-season, the Isles are managing points in almost every game. How is this happening?

According to Rangers and Leafs fans, of course it's a fluke. But how many games will the Isles have to win to shut 'em up? In a season of 80 games, will we have to wait for 20 games? 40? Or is it about consistently pulling out W's against the "hardest hittin' teams in the league"? Or will we have to wait and see who scoops up the coveted playoff spots? It's usually a fan's defense mechanism to put down a rival team's success by calling it a "fluke", but how long do I have to wait before I can legitimately remind Rangers fans how much more money they spend per year on "star" players that always seem to disappoint?

In the same token, I think the 5-1 record has finally proven to be enough to stop Giants fans from calling the Jets season a "fluke"? Given the season is only 16 games long in comparison to the NHL's 80...


  1. No longer a fluke when their stanley cup odds are above the other teams. http://linesmaker.com/live_odds/stanley_cup_odds.htm Right now they have some of the longest odds in the league. If people really disagreed they could make a lot of money.

  2. I don't necessarily think the odds that the Islanders get the Stanley Cup can determine whether their standing at this point in the season can be labeled as a fluke or not. I think they're two separate entities.
    With a team of such young players that have little to no record of how they play together, how can you properly assess odds 3 weeks into the season? And how does Stanley Cup odds determine if a specific game W is due to luck or skill level?