Before the 2013 season began, who would have though the New York Rangers would find themselves in eighth place with only eight games remaining?
The correct answer is: not many people.
They were the go-to choice for analysts picking Stanley Cup champions on the eve of the NHL’s return in January. But after a tumultuous start, the Rangers never really found their footing, and what ensued was a season-long battle to find their game.
Power-play struggles, goal-scoring deficiencies, defensive breakdowns, lack of overall team depth; the only problem this team hasn't had to deal with is the injury bug.
But despite all the problems, the Rangers are still in a position to make the playoffs.
They've got eight games to put all their shortcomings behind them and just win. Their schedule down the stretch is not as burdensome as other teams', but there are still a number of must-win games.
There are three in particular that stick out, and the Rangers' ability to grab maximum points in them will determine whether they make the playoffs or not.