There is all kinds of panic around the New York Rangers right now. In order to calm the storm (something I've been doing a lot of recently) I figured I would look into some numbers. Note, none of this is to say "oh the Rangers are fine." Things obviously haven't gone as planned so far, but that doesn't mean all hope is lost.
0 - Points out of a playoff spot for the Rangers (as of Friday at 10 p.m.). The Rangers currently sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
4 - Points away from fifth place in the conference.
6 - Points away from fourth place in the conference. It also happens to be how many points the Rangers are behind the New Jersey Devils -- who are leading the Division.
1 - Number of games the Rangers have in hand over the Devils.
2 - Number of games the Rangers have in hand over the Penguins (who are tied with the Devils for the conference lead).
32 - Games left in the season.
Look, I get it. The Rangers shouldn't be 8-6-2 in their first 16 games, but I also refuse to believe that this is the best they have to offer. There is plenty of time left for the Rangers to find their chemistry. Remember, there was a pretty significant turnover between last year and this year.
Again, it's not an excuse for the team's poor start, but things can get better. Some really good teams are struggling this year, and some unexpected teams are doing real well, too. This season isn't a true indication of a team's actual worth, there's simply too many other factors that come into play. But even with that said the Rangers need to -- and I do believe they will -- make the playoffs.
But relax. There's a lot of time left, even if it doesn't feel that way.