David Quinn is receiving far too much blame for Rangers inconsistencies this season

David Quinn
Feb 4, 2021; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers head coach David Quinn handles bench duties during a game against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

In the contextual conversation about an organization’s success in any given sports league; who is more responsible for a winning team’s achievements or a losing team’s struggles? The players or the coaches?

The reality of the situation for the New York Rangers

Well, as the New York Rangers find their way through this Covid-shortened 56 game season, the merits and acumen of head coach David Quinn are coming into question. Since leaving the campus of Boston University to become the Blueshirts bench boss in 2018, Quinn was given the keys to a rebuilding franchise that was light years away from becoming a serious Stanley Cup contender.

Quinn’s sterling reputation of being a master communicator and relating to players not yet old enough to drink a beer was what made general manager Jeff Gorton seek him out. Since Garden management jettisoned one older fan-favorite after another to go with a full-fledged youth movement, having a head coach who excelled with young players seemed the wise way to go. New Yorkers may be impatient by nature, however even the most restless Ranger fan realized the team was going through a massive rebuild and patience was of utmost importance.

Unfair to judge Quinn while trying to win and develop kids at the same time

Now, in year three of Quinn’s tenure, an ever growing sect of Rangerstown is starting to turn sour on the Rhode Island native. Not necessarily because of the fact the Rangers have just four wins in twelve games, but partly because of the perceived snail’s pace in which prized first round draft picks Alexis Lafrenière and Kaapo Kakko seem to be progressing, adapting and adjusting to the professional game.

new york rangers
David Quinn coaches Ryan Lindgren (Credit: Richard Harbus/Richard Harbus)

The number 2 pick in the 2019 NHL draft and the number 1 pick in the 2020 draft were billed as “NHL ready” by the experts who scout teenagers for a living. Unfortunately, the Finn and the Frenchman have looked overwhelmed at times but that is to be expected with players not even 20 years old yet.

The Garden Faithful are a unique fan base. They’re not used to seeing a youth movement/rebuild. They prefer instant gratification instead of the “it takes time” approach.

So, why haven’t numbers 13 and 24 made any real impact in their embryonic Ranger careers? Were the experts and scouts wrong about their potential? Is Quinn not using these neophytes correctly? These questions, among others, are starting to circulate around Social Media as more and more Ranger fans are putting the onus and blame on Quinn for the twin teenagers lack of production.

Of course, those same fans have blinders on when it comes to the successful development of players like K’Andre Miller, Adam Fox, Igor Shesterkin, and Pavel Buchnevich. All have experienced success under this head coach.

alexis lafreniere
Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Too much emphasis on the coach

Generally speaking, coaches get too much blame for losing and too much adulation for success. Players win and lose games. Period.

Coaches, even the most astute ones, have very little impact on the proceedings of a contest once the puck is dropped. Specifically pertaining to the Rangers and their rather rollercoaster first twelve games. How much blame does David Quinn truly deserve for their inconsistency and blemishes? And if you say all of it, then what are you willing to give him credit for? The Rangers defense has turned it around big time this season.

Well, in my view, blaming Quinn for things like Pavel Buchnevich’s inexplicable pass in overtime last night which led to the Brad Marchand breakaway game-winning goal is ridiculous. Would you blame the bartender if your steak wasn’t cooked the way you like it.

I severely doubt that even if the Blueshirts continue to struggle as a team, that Quinn will lose his job this season. However, with Rangerstown having less patience and more anxiety with the direction of the franchise, it would not be a surprise at all to see more fans begin to question him and join in the chorus of others looking for a change.

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