David Quinn will have to take the New York Rangers to new heights despite difficult situation
Expectations only go up when you are a head coach in the NHL. New York Rangers bench boss, David Quinn is entering his third season on Broadway and has to improve upon the strides they made last season.
David Quinn dealing with change and challenges
He will have to do so in the middle of a pandemic that shortened his second season 70 games and now will cut his third to 48 or 60. As for changes, Jacques Martin takes over for Lindy Ruff as the defensive coach which should help.
Out of his lineup go three important veterans in Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, and Jesper Fast. In their places are Igor Shesterkin who won the number one job late last year, Jack Johnson, and Kevin Rooney. The last two names aren’t an upgrade, but Quinn needs to get more out of Kaapo Kakko and his top four defenders to be successful. And he needs to develop Alexis Lafreniere into the the top six.
If you think John Davidson is going to give the 54 year-old coach a pass, you can forget it. Pandemic and roster changes aside, they expect the team to get better. After 152 regular season games, Quinn is sporting a respectable 69-64-19 record. When this regular season ends, the Rangers want to seem him way above 5 games over .500.
David Quinn hates to lose
I spoke with one of Quinn’s former BU players, Colby Cohen who gave me some great insights on his old coach. After he had left college, he came back for a game in Boston to visit. Afterwards he spent some time with his old boss who was beside himself trying to figure out how to get his team to be successful.
“His guard is down and he’s beside himself…the thing about Quinnie is he hates losing more than he likes winning,” Colby said. “I know it sounds cliche but there is a difference…he hates losing more than he likes winning.”
That fire and drive is what is going to help him be successful. And he’s confident in himself as a coach, enough so to go out and hire an assistant with more head coaching experience than himself.
“The minute he was available, I thought, I need to talk to this guy,” Quinn explained about hiring Jacques Martin. “When we talked as a staff about what we were looking for, Jacques has all of it.”
Quinn needs to make the playoffs
For David Quinn to be successful, he needs to get this team in the playoffs. Whether that is in an expanded format like last season, or the 16 team standard he needs to take the next step. While it’s nice that JD isn’t making the demand, missing the playoffs is a step back.
I’m not saying that if he doesn’t the Rangers will fire him, but it will certainly put him on thin ice in year four of his five year deal. That being said, Quinn has the coaching chops and the star players to get this team in. Even if it is in the face of NHL realignment where you could be playing teams like the Bruins, Flyers, and Capitals six or more times each.
Bottom line, this is a big season for him and the Blueshirts. My money is on Quinn to get it done.
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