David Quinn punched some erroneous perceptions in the gut yesterday
The David Quinn criticism this season has been growing ever since the Rangers lost to the NJ Devils on October 17th. That was their second consecutive loss in a losing streak that reached five games. During that time some of the same old cries from fans started to ring aloud.
“He is too hard on the kids!”
In his first season people were pretty sold that David Quinn hated Pavel Buchnevich. From limited ice time to healthy scratches, Quinn was pretty hard on the kid. Ultimately, Buchnevich started to get what Quinn was looking for. His last healthy scratch came on January 29th and he scored 22 points in 32 games to finish the year. This season, he is one of Quinn’s top forwards and has 8 points in 10 games. So obviously, Quinn hates kids! Please tell me you got the sarcasm.
Last night’s big win began by giving two recent call ups in Filip Chytil and Ryan Lindgren adequate ice time. It resulted in Chytil getting the game winner and Lindgren notching his first point on another rookie’s first NHL goal in Adam Fox. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention Kaapo Kakko got the Rangers on the board with a power play goal.
He sure hates those pesky kids.
“He plays favorites!”
Here is another one that even I am guilty of, he plays favorites. I mean what else could be the explanation of giving Brendan Smith time at forward or playing Micheal Haley at all? The truth is, maybe they are a good fit for what Quinn is trying to execute against that opponent. Or even harder to fathom, maybe they deserve to play? Either way, it is driving some fans insane.
Both players I just mentioned compete every shift. The coach has been screaming about battle levels not being where they needed to be for weeks and taking those two out would only make matters worse by sending the wrong signal. To his credit, Haley went out there and set the tone for the night with a big fight. Quinn said that was huge during a live interview in the first period. Of course none of that will change his critics’ minds. But one move that should put it to rest is who he scratched in favor of rookie, Ryan Lindgren.
Marc Staal was a healthy scratch for the first time in his 13 year career. No one saw that coming. Especially on a night where his good friend Dan Girardi was being honored. Almost everyone had him pegged to take the ceremonial face-off. However, here we are and the coach even told the press after the game that he wants a “meritocracy”. In his mind, it was time for the veteran to sit and that may be the theme going forward with how well Lindgren played.
Quinn Deserves Credit
David Quinn has taken a ton of heat just 10 games into the season. Some of it is understandable, most of it is ridiculous. When you take a step back and try to reason where this Rangers team is in the rebuild, he has done a great job managing ice time and expectations for his young players.
One question that still remains is Lias Andersson. While last night’s victory came off the sticks of the young stars, Andersson still played under 10 minutes. That makes sense for a 4th liner, but is that the end game for Andersson? A 4th line center? It could be, but maybe we should give it a full year and see what happens? If you ask me why you should, I have two words for you…