Andersson (Getty Images)

Losing Lias: What’s going on with Andersson’s development

Andersson (Getty Images)

8:33, 10:16, and 7:16. This is what Lias Andersson has played in the first three games of the season, exclusively as a 4th line center and a penalty killer. He has also not received a single second on the PP.

Losing Lias

While it is still very early in the season, it seems pretty clear that David Quinn has chosen not to play Lias Andersson late during games. He admitted as much after the team’s first game against the Jets. Quinn said that during the 3rd period, Andersson got lost on the bench. The coach told the press that was on him and he’d pay closer attention to that going forward.

He did so in game two against Ottawa and Lias saw 3 more shifts (total 16) and over 10 minutes of ice time. Afterwards, Quinn noted that Andersson should continue to earn more ice time with the way he’s been playing. Then came the long layoff and Quinn pinned Andersson to the bench again in a contest the Rangers were down. Against Edmonton, Andersson saw a season low 7:16 of ice time. The reason? He wanted to ride his top guys since they hadn’t played in such a longtime.

That thinking was sound until today after practice when he told the gathered media that the team was lifeless in their last game. If that was the case, why not get the young and energetic 21 year old first rounder more ice time with better skilled players? It just seems logical for his development.

We need to see more Andersson

At some point, Andersson needs to get top 9 minutes, even if that has to be as a winger. Currently he is averaging just 8:42 per game and is almost exclusively starting in the defensive zone 78% of the time. His CF% is 44% which isn’t terrible when you consider who his line mates are and they generally face the team’s top lines.

It should be noted that he is struggling mightily in the face-off circle with just 4 wins on 14 tries. Still that’s not a lot of practice at it either. In contrast, Mika Zibanejad has taken over 60 face-offs already. And if you think maybe it’s other issues, Andersson has been credited with 4 takeaways and no giveaways to date.

Simply put, Lias Andersson is not in a good position to show what he can do in a limited role. Now, unless the Rangers wasted a 1st round pick, 7th overall for a future 4th line center none of this makes sense.

Quinn Needs To Be More Transparent

In truth, David Quinn does not need to say anymore than he has on Lias Andersson. However, the Rangers opened up Pandora’s Rebuild Box when they sent out “the letter”. Quinn’s job isn’t simply to win hockey games, he was hired to also develop young players. That was explicitly said by even team owner, James Dolan. So in that regard, we need more transparency with what is going on with Andersson.

Why is he not getting more ice time? Maybe he is doing things on the ice that are hard to see in the stands or on TV. It can’t be that there’s no room for him to get top 9 minutes, although after Namestnikov was traded, I still don’t understand the logic of inserting McKegg and now promoting Brendan Smith. Filip Chytil is playing well, and should be here developing with Kakko on his wing. That would keep better with the heart of “the letter” if you ask most fans.

The Rangers are just three games into this season, and many would say to relax. Those people wouldn’t be wrong, but the reality is that we are almost 2 years into “the letter” and that’s why so many people are asking the question, “What’s going on with Lias Andersson?”

I certainly would like to know. Wouldn’t you?

11 thoughts on “Losing Lias: What’s going on with Andersson’s development

  • October 15, 2019 at 4:32 pm
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    ABSOLUTELY AGREE with most of this. Andersson is clearly not Quinn’s kind of player…for whatever reason…I see a hardworking guy not afraid to play in the corners, to serve whatever role is given to him, to develop in the AHL even as a 7th overall pick while Chytil somehow middled thru a VERY mediocre 70 whatever games…

    Howden is a dependable player, but is by no means gifted enough to play as a 2C, not long term. I’ve been plenty biased/wrong before about a player, but Lias needs to be given equal opportunity, Howden gets playing time and proper linemates to succeed….if you don’t like Lias as a C move him to W, if you don’t like his effort, you’re not watching his shifts, as short and sparing as they are. Howden is not supposed to be a lights out epic player who dazzles, but if he is going to fill a 2nd line role he better step up his playmaking…I have not seen vision like that from him, whereas at least Lias has potential to grow, Howden will just become a more consistent version of who he is now….Andersson can be exactly what we drafted him as, a hard working leader who won’t settle for silver

    Andersson did not deserve any break as a 7th overall pick, however, he has worked hard and deserves way more than a 4th line role right now. If you like Howden that bad, I’ll let it slide since he’s a safer easier play, but how does playing Kakko with Howden accomplish anything, I’ve not seen any spectacular offensive acumen from him to warrant being a positive influence on Kakko’s growth. Not saying LA deserves that spot….not saying Chytil does….Rangers don’t have a 2C, but it’s also not Strome (although I would’ve given him more than 3 games at that position)

    No matter what, this seems to be the classic case of a coach who has a style, and a preferred player…and Howden fits that mold and LA doesn’t…..it took Buch a long time to earn his trust, but is that even panning out?

    To be fair, I like Quinn. I just don’t like how he views LA yet somehow views Howden like a completely diff player….Howden has been as mediocre as LA just relative to their linemates/TOI

    (Chytil needs more time to be a C at this pro level, hoping they keep him in AHL more….and not sure what is taking them so long on communicating to Krav what they expect of him….)

  • October 15, 2019 at 5:45 pm
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    Quinn’s job is to win…period. Lias n Howden aren’t 2C centers…they are 3C or 3 wingers…Lias is not quick enough n Howden not strong enough n both don’t have a ounce of scorers instinct…that is what the coaching staff see’s.

    Sure Lias will get chance after Howden falters…

    • October 15, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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      Meanwhile Brendan Smith moves up to the third line…..

      • October 15, 2019 at 6:07 pm
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        Smasher have you been watching the games? Brendan Smith has played his ass off this year. I know Lias is the golden child here compared to the red haired stepchild in Smith but Smith has played much better. May not be popular but it’s the right move.

        • October 16, 2019 at 10:01 am
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          I agree 100%, Mike!
          Judging from all last year and so far this season, apparently there are a select few that Quinn has decided are Golden Children, and all the rest are given token TOI.
          Maybe we should stop and take a closer look at Quinn. He may not be the “Perfect Coach” people think he is!! Apparently, like all coaches he has his favorites, and they are reaping the benefits of that status. All the rest are used as little as possible.

  • October 16, 2019 at 8:19 am
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    Good observations Anthony!

    We are beginning to see a trend of Vigneult 2.0

    It’s bothersome that Lias plays on the 4th line with fringe AHLers, yet Howden gets to play with much better linemates and is given every chance to succeed. I really hope they keep Chytil on the farm for now. Don’t want them to do the same to him.

    Gorton should just trade Quickie right now to make another roster spot open and force Quinn to play the kid with meaningful minutes and with better linemates.

    • October 16, 2019 at 1:05 pm
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      Calling Quinn AV 2.0 is completely misguided. I thought this season fans wanted to see more if the younger players getting more playing minutes? So why is Rangertown imploding because Howden has been inserted in the 2nd line? I will ask again, what has Andersson done to show Quinn he needs more minutes? Andersson shouldn’t even be in the conversation for 2nd minutes….. he’s done nothing to indicate he deserves it.

      Until mid afternoon yesterday Quinn was lauded by this fan base as being someone who will nurture the younger players. Now he’s AV, despite the fact a 2nd yr player who is 21 being promoted to 2nd line. Is Howden the end all be all for that slot? NO, but who on this roster is? The idea that Lias Andersson deserves that slot is ludicrous. He’s struggled mightily in his short 50+ game NHL career, let’s stop sugarcoating it. People claiming that Howden has zero offensive aspect to his game yet claiming Andersson has shown his aren’t paying attention. Andersson in his 50+ career so far has a .15 ppg, that’s lower than Marc Staal.

      This entire off season and camp all we have read was how Lias Andersson D+ whatever number was better than Barzal, Giroux and Sheifele combined! Stuff like this does nothing but put undue expectation on him on top of the 7th overall tag. Reading that the Rangers will by a near 100 point team or hearing on a podcast that the Rangers will be one top of the Metro Division this year has completely thrown this season’s goals out of whack. The same defensive and lack of center depth issues exist and doesn’t take into the account of further deals.

      The one thing that Andersson’s growth doesn’t need right now is to be forced into a spot he will have little shot at succeeding. Lias Andersson has now become the Dylan McIlrath of forwards….. blaming the coach for this player’s lack of production. Nobody wants to admit he’s done very little to earn more minutes. Losing 73% of faceoffs doesn’t get you more playing time. Showing very little offensively with the likes of Namestikov, Lemieux and Fast at times goes against the playing with AHL player argument. This kid may take another 3 or 4 years to reach his potential. But the constant Andersson is getting screwed is getting very old.

      People had less of an issue with Chytil being sent down. He didn’t earn a spot on this team and Andersson hasn’t earn a promotion either. Plain and simple. We all know if Andersson had Smith’s offensive numbers nobody would complain about him earning a promotion to the 3rd line. Despite being the red haired step child Smith has worked his ass off to the point he’s the 3rd highest forward point producer on this team.

      You would think by the comments on this site that the Rangers haven’t won a game. 3 games into a season where the playoffs were a pipe dream people need to go reread what JD said to have this season…….. PATIENCE!!! And that goes for Andersson to, let’s stop the force feeding him into lines until he shows growth in his game. Right now other than McKegg and maybe Lemieux, there isn’t another forward Andersson could be named ahead of based on this season.

      • October 17, 2019 at 8:17 am
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        Mike, I didn’t say Quinn was AV 2.0. I said he was beginning to trend like AV 2.0. Time will tell if it sticks or not.

        Also, how could Lias earn playing time when he is stuck on the 4th line with Smith and McKegg and only sees 7.5 to 8 minutes a game with a good portion of that playing on the PK???

        Let’s be honest, LA hasn’t been given an opportunity yet this season and he out played Howden in the preseason!

      • October 17, 2019 at 10:53 pm
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        LA has become the McIlrath of forwards…i’m never taking your POV seriously again.
        Mike you aren’t watching the game the right way

  • October 17, 2019 at 3:42 pm
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    Fire the coach thats simple
    We are rebuilding kids need to play
    Lias, howden, vitali philp kakko fox libor

    • October 17, 2019 at 6:04 pm
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      Lol… that’s awfully harsh…lol

      Quinn is only in his 2nd season brother.
      And its really obvious that he just wants to win despite not giving the kids playing time to develop. The good news is he can’t keep it up. The 1st line will burn out. Honestly , I just want to see all of the kids play meaningful minutes.

      Got the Devils in an hour…

      Let’s Go Rangers!!!!!

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