There’s been a lot of talk about how the Rangers are 1-3-0 to start the season. There’s a lot of panicking because the Rangers have generally looked flat and rusty, and that since this is a shorter season they can’t afford to be losing games like these this. Yes, every game means the same in the standings, but not all games are created equal. It’s like face offs, even if you win 60% of face offs, if you lose 5 in a row in the final minute in the offensive zone when the opposition is icing the puck, then that’s all that matters.
But with all the panic, let’s remember that the Rangers are not the only team in the East struggling out of the gate, and many of those struggling are teams that made the playoffs last year:
So this idea that the Rangers will miss the playoffs because of a 1-3 start is a bit misplaced. The Rangers, the Caps, and Flyers, and probably the Panthers will all still make the playoffs. Meanwhile, teams like the Islanders, who have started the season 2-1-0, will fall back to the cellar where they were expected to finish.
This concept isn’t any difference for the Western Conference either:
St. Louis: 3-1-0
San Jose: 3-0-0
Your defending Stanley Cup champions have started the season with just one point in three games. In fact, aside from the Blues, Hawks, and Sharks, all of the playoff teams in the West from last season have a losing record.
Even over the course of a 48 game season, teams on hot starts will fall back to the middle of the pack, and elite teams will get in their groove and rattle off five straight wins to get back on track. Suit has been preaching that you really need to wait 12-14 games to get the mojo back and start to panic if the Rangers are still struggling. We are at four games.
There are still 44 games to go. Let’s back off the cliff.