Quinn letting young Rangers lead
In what was their most impressive game of the season, the Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1, and the box score was led by the future of the club. Prior to that game, head coach David Quinn received criticism night after night for not giving the young guys a chance at significant ice time to truly show what they’re capable of. Well since that night Quinn continues to give opportunities to the prospects getting their first or second crack at NHL playing time.
Youth will lead us
Kaapo Kakko (18 y/o), Filip Chytil (20 y/o), and Adam Fox (21 y/o) have repeatedly found the score sheet. Thus giving a sense of hope throughout the fan base that these kids can play, as long as Quinn lets them. Up until recently, Quinn has shown tough-love towards the up-and-comers for the Rangers. Kakko, who had all of the hype possible surrounding him entering his first NHL season, had been bounced around the lineup, while averaged under 15 minutes of ice time per game.
Chytil, who played his first game of the season against the Lightning after not making the club out of camp, played a strong 17;27 on ice and showed why he belongs to be in the big leagues. He scored a goal in his return and now has 3 in 5 games while centering the 2nd line.
Adam Fox has been quietly the most impressive of all the young guns. The bright young defensemen has 5 points in 14 games. At first glance that doesn’t seem impressive, until you realize he notched all 5 points in the last 7 games. Fox now looks very comfortable and the coach is fully confident in him.
Ryan Lindgren, Fox’s partner also made his season debut in place of a healthy-scratched Marc Staal against Tampa, and cemented his spot in the lineup with rock solid play. Quinn’s new direction is something the Rangers need to continue in order to see where they stand with each and every player they hope to a part of this team for the long run.
The Rangers, who have truly committed to this rebuild over the course of the last couple of years, have round up a prospect pool that is considered the best in the league. However, what every fan must realize is that out of all of the highly touted prospects, there’s a good chance we won’t see them all succeed at the next level. That being said, there is no way to tell what type of players they have without giving them a chance, which is what this season should be for.
This logic includes many more players then mentioned already. Others who deserve a legit chance with more ice-time, and better line mates are players like Lias Andersson. The Rangers must embrace that they are a young team that will have an up-and-down season, so why not give the young guys a chance while figuring out what type of team they are going forward.
Yes, winning is the end goal but when the team noticeably struggles against some of their opponents there is no reason to not give the young kids playing time. The Rangers need to let them showcase what they can bring to the table. Because with other prospects like Nils Lundkvist, K’Andre Miller, and Vitali Kravtsov still not here, tough decisions loom.