The Rangers are in the cellar of the Metropolitan Division after a 2-6-2 start to the season. (Photo: Getty Images)

Entering Tuesday night's slate of NHL games, no other team in the league has played more games than the 10 skated by the New York Rangers. 

 

For a team that has made the postseason in seven-consecutive years, it's expected for them to be near the top of the standings, especially in an opening month where 10 of their first 13 games are being played at home in Madison Square Garden. 

 

There's just one little problem: The Rangers look lost. 

 

A Monday night defeat at the hands of the San Jose Sharks dropped the Rangers to 2-6-2 on the season, good for just six points. Only the Edmonton Oilers, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens had less going into Wednesday. 

 

New York has lost six of its last seven games, including a 1-3-1 record during their current six-game homestand. The final game of that homestand comes on Thursday against the Coyotes. 

"You want to get points when you can at home and make this building a hard place to play and we haven't been able to do that," defenseman Marc Staal said. "Definitely frustrating in that regard."

The difficult start is taking its effect on some in the locker room, including veteran forward Rick Nash. 

“[The frustration level is] high. It’s been going on way longer than we wanted it to. It’s tough right now," he said. "You could say all the clichés you want. We have to stick together and keep it simple. At the end of the day we have to give ourselves a chance to win the games.”

A sizable Achilles heel to the team's play so far this season has been their starts as they constantly find themselves playing catchup early on. In six of their first 10 games, the Rangers have allowed goals inside the opening six minutes of the first period. Five of them have come in under three minutes and two have come within the first 43 seconds. 

One of those came on Monday night when Logan Couture put the Sharks up 1-0 just 1:56 into the game. 

"When we’re in the position we’re in - when we start the game chasing - it’s just so much harder," goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "Right now we’re looking for a good feeling and to start the game chasing it’s not easy."

It looks to be something that has settled in the back of the Rangers' collective minds.

"It's a little deflating to be scored on that early in a game," Staal said. "It's not something you can get out of your mindset... It's tough. We need to be better as a team. It's just a mistake here or there on our first few shifts."