Lias Andersson scoring in Hartford making a case to return

Lias Andersson Rangers
Andersson (Getty Images)
Andersson (NHL.com)

Lias Andersson is only 21 years old but has now become a lightning rod for those that aren’t fans of Rangers head coach David Quinn. The argument is that Quinn hasn’t given him a fair shake all the way up to “he hates him”. Now, the Rangers 7th overall pick is back in Hartford and trying to earn his way back. So far, so good.

Asserting himself

Andersson scored a goal in his first game back with the Wolf Pack and added another tally last night for his 2nd goal in three games. Lias has been getting plenty of minutes and asserting himself in the AHL. His current stat line is 2 goals on 5 shots in 3 games with a -1 rating.

The Rangers need to consistently see more of this in his game before earning a call up. David Quinn told Lias before being sent down that the organization believes in him, but he needed to play faster with and without puck shift-to-shift in order to earn more ice time. DQ made it clear, this isn’t about points, just doing the little things.

Misguided Anger

Fans continue to promote this narrative that Andersson got a raw deal this season with Quinn. Today, an Op-Ed by Swedish hockey reporter, Per Bjurman went on an absolute rant against DQ and the Rangers organization.

In his post he basically states that David Quinn hates Andersson and has no interest in developing him. The anger doesn’t stop there as he called BS on the situation, called Brendan Smith and Micheal Haley as useful as “pizza”, and took shots at Brett Howden. All this while ignoring facts that Smith and Howden have been effective in their roles and produced with the ice time given.

Furthermore, when you ignore those facts and that Quinn has given many other kids on this team ice time and responsibilities, the only conclusion you can land on is personal. Which is a big thing to write without speaking to either Quinn or Andersson on the subject.

I can honestly understand why so many would think that. Truthfully, it is hard to put up points without scoring linemates to help. But when the head coach clearly states, this wasn’t about points, then maybe we need to look closer at Andersson’s game. And if we are honest, he did look inconsistent in his limited action.

Next Step

Here’s the deal, Andersson is going to earn his way back. When that happens, the onus will shift to David Quinn giving him more ice and responsibilities. If that opportunity is not there at center, then he must give him that ice time as a 3rd line winger at the very least.

When it comes to Andersson, there is a fine line here. While the rational argument is the side I’m on, a replay of what happened to start this season upon his return, will rightfully put Per’s narrative into overdrive.