Take your finger off the panic button and remember two important words:
The early-season challenges have been obvious for four teams with high expectations: the Anaheim Ducks (0-2-1), Los Angeles Kings (0-3-0), Pittsburgh Penguins (0-3-0 going into their game Thursday) and Columbus Blue Jackets (0-4-0).
All four were ranked in the preseason Super 16, including the Ducks at No. 2 and the Penguins at No. 6. Eight of the nine people tabbed as NHL.com prognosticators predicted the Ducks to win the Pacific Division; five had them representing the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final; and two had them winning the Cup.
It can still happen; the Ducks, Penguins, Blue Jackets and Kings can have good seasons and make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Three or four games do not make a season, even if these teams have looked dreadful in those three or four games.
Again, remember, sample size.