We're going to do this post "glass half empty and a glass half full style." Why? Because it will be fun! Anyway, here we go:
Glass Half Empty: Noon Number 0
That's the number of points separating the Rangers from the Winnipeg Jets in terms of the eighth and final playoff spot. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. The Rangers' loss to the Sabres - coupled with the Jets' win - allowed Winnipeg to vault into a tie for eighth. The Rangers do have a game in hand but since we're being half empty in this post that's all I'll say on the matter.
This is a prime example why the Rangers needed to play better and earn those two points against the Sabres. The Islanders sit in 9th place with 25 points, the number of playoff teams on the bubble is massive, games like Tuesday's can't happen if you're a contending team.
Simple point: The Rangers need the points. They jumped out of the gate at stumbled, they've been better of late, but Tuesday was a game they had to win. They didn't. And instead of being a point out of fifth place in the conference, they're tied for the final playoff spot.
This team needs to figure it out and figure it out quick.
Glass Half Full: Noon Number 71.4%
That's the Rangers winning percentage over the last seven games. The Rangers have won five of their last seven games. In that span they went on a four-game winning streak before losing two of their last three. Those two losses? One to Ottawa where the Rangers were simply exhausted in the third period and couldn't keep up. The other to a beatable Buffalo team where the Rangers simply couldn't find the answer.
The Rangers could have easily won all seven of those games. They didn't, but the point is they're playing better. Sure, they lost to a bad team in the Sabres and a depleted team in the Senators, but the Rangers aren't exactly slumping.
Yeah, it hurts to lose the points in Buffalo, but if you look at the big picture you can see the Rangers are starting to find their mojo. Bad games happen to every team, whether you're willing to admit it or not. Tuesday was just a bad game.
In two weeks or so (maybe) the Rangers get Marc Staal back, he'll be a big boost too. Once Roman Hamrlik comes back from his conditioning work he'll replace Matt Gilroy and Steve Eminger. Things are getting better. Hell, things are already better, even if it doesn't feel that way after a bad loss.
Does the team need to rebound from Buffalo. Absolutely. It's not even a question. But that doesn't mean the Rangers don't have what it takes to make the playoffs or to be contenders. It was a bad loss. That's all it was.
So, which one do you guys think is more accurate (I can probably guess)?
The floor is yours!