It is no doubt that the New York Rangers had extremely high expectations put on them by many coming into this shortened 2013 NHL season. It also is fair to say that after 18 games, these struggling Rangers have not lived up to those expectations.
Across the board, most experts picked the Rangers as favorites to win it all, and on paper, those picks look solid. It is difficult to take what a team may look like on paper and say that they will definitely play as well as projected. Keeping in mind that with a shortened season due to a lockout and without a training camp, no teams, unless you are the Chicago Blackhawks, are playing to their full potential.
Forget the fact for a moment that the Rangers power play is on a 7-for-64 stretch that is outright disgusting. Ignore the issue of the injuries to key players such as Rick Nash, Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh and others.
The Rangers, who have begun this season looking uneven to say the least, have taken more time than most to gel, and now sit at 8-8-2: not exactly world beaters to the rest of the league. It is evident that they have lost some toughness and they are having a hard time winning battles deep in the zone and in the crease.
Do not forget, however, that the Rangers have an extreme amount of talent that will not go away this season. The meshing of players will come, and hopefully for John Tortorella's sake it is sooner rather than later.
Here are six reasons the New York Rangers are Stanley Cup worthy in 2013.