Mag rankings place Isles 28th in NHL

The positive playoff vibes coming into the season took a hit with the shoulder injury to Mark Streit, but according to the Puck Prospectus projections used to compile ESPN The Magazine's 2010-11 power rankings, maybe Streit isn't missing much.

The Islanders place 28th in the NHL in the rankings, just ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are tagged as the East's worst team.

According to a note in the article, the numbers were crunched before the team's top defenseman went down, so it doesn't even account for Streit's absence from an already meager power play.

But let's not dwell on the dark side. Puck Prospectus also provides point total projections for young star John Tavares. While some are looking for a Steven Stamkos-like breakout season, Prospectus isn't quite so bullish, but they do see a very successful campaign.

"The Islanders would like nothing better than for John Tavares' sophomore season to resemble that of Steven Stamkos. This is unlikely, if only because so few players break out so dramatically. It's more realistic to expect 70 points from Tavares, as he and the Islanders' other young guns are still a year from contention ..."

Before anyone discounts the Prospectus scoring projection out of hand, you may want to know that the outfit accurately predicted Sidney Crosby's net-scorching season last year. They're not just pulling this stuff out of thin air. And while the projection doesn't match the epic season of Stamkos, 70 points is nothing to sneeze at.