David Quinn as much to blame for Rangers loss to Bruins than anyone else
There’s only so much a coach can do to get his team to win once they hit the ice. While there is a growing section of Rangers fans who either want David Quinn gone or have lost confidence, getting his team ready to play isn’t the issue.
Last night was a prime example as the Rangers came out of the gate strong. Unfortunately for Quinn and the Rangers they were let down by another poor performance by Alexandar Georgiev.
David Quinn needed to pull Georgiev sooner
Alexandar Georgiev gave up four goals on 14 shots against Boston. There is no issue with starting a goalie the organization showed enough belief in that they bought out Henrik Lundqvist to back up Igor Shesterkin.
The problem was watching Georgiev let in two long distance goals that he had clear sight on last night and not pulling him. David Pastrnak and David Krejci each scored from 55 feet out. This is coming off the heels of a game against the Penguins where he let in three tallies on six shots. He’s now given up seven goals on just 20 shots.
A legit argument could be made that at 3-0 Quinn needed to pull Georgiev and call a timeout. Instead he left him in and Alex gave up another goal just 1:21 later to Jake DeBrusk. Quinn then brought in Keith Kinkaid and asked for time to regroup.
“I think goaltending, defense, and forwards all share responsibility when a goal is scored so I don’t want to point a figure at [Georgiev],” Quinn said after the game.
To be fair, there’s no guarantee that pulling Georgiev a goal earlier with a timeout would’ve made a difference. Quinn could’ve made a statement after the Rangers PP gave up a shorthanded goal and tried either a goalie pull or a timeout there. Instead he opted to just let the Rangers try to work it out themselves and it obviously that wasn’t the best choice.
David Quinn’s lines were ineffective and he refused to change them
When you don’t get good goaltending, you aren’t going to win on most nights. Before Shesterkin’s groin injury he was starting to provide that and the Rangers hope Igor can pick up where he left off. Of course, just like a player gripping his stick too tight when things are bad, a coach can over do it with juggling his lines.
Last night’s lines were confusing to say the least and his unwillingness to change them for the most part was mind boggling. There’s no justification that can be provided to put Alexis Lafrenière on a 4th line with Brett Howden and Colin Blackwell.
At this moment, I’d bet that if Howden was placed on waivers he may have a chance to get through. He plays hard and is a solid PK specialist but 5 on 5 he can’t generate anything of consequence for him or his line mates. Quinn’s unwillingness to scratch him is also difficult to comprehend. Even if Filip Chytil is not at 100% to take a draw, Blackwell can play center if needed.
Instead of sticking with the lines that have at least scored goals, Quinn outcoached himself yesterday. He felt putting the KZB line back together against Boston was the best play. That makes sense to me – what didn’t is sticking Brendan Lemieux on the second line instead of Alexis Lafrenière.
“I thought the Strome line was having a hard time against Bergeron line so I put the [KZB line] back together,” Quinn explained. “The line combinations I felt were the best to give us a chance and obviously we changed that and put the kid line together.”
It wasn’t until the game was well out of reach and in the third period that Quinn put the kids together. He finally moved Lafrenière to a line with Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko. The line showed some jump, but by that time it was way too late and the game was done.
Bottom line, a coach can only control so much once the game begins. As the head man behind the bench Quinn’s in game management also needs to improve. Things will get better once Artemi Panarin comes back as well as a healthy Shesterkin. Even so, this team’s psyche is fragile and they need their coach to start clicking the right buttons sooner and in some cases not to click some buttons at all.
Post Game Notes
- K’Andre Miller drew three penalties and logged 21:16 of ice time. Miller is the third NHL rookie (and the first NHL rookie defenseman) who has drawn three penalties in a game thus far this season (along with Yegor Sharangovich and Tim Stützle). He has logged at least 19:58 of ice time in each of his last 16 games.
- Keith Kinkaid stopped all 13 shots he faced after entering the game in relief in the second period. He has stopped 52 of 57 shots in three appearances with the Rangers this season (.912 SV%).
- Mika Zibanejad led all skaters with five shots on goal and tied for the team-high with eight faceoff wins in 22:19 of ice time. He has recorded 11 shots on goal over the last two games.
Rangers will practice today, 12:00 p.m. at TD Garden in Boston, MA
Next Game: Saturday, Mar. 13 at Boston (1:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG+)
Notes courtesy NYR
NHL Scores and Results
The Blueshirts are falling behind fast, get all the East action and more from last night here.