Rangers Roundup: Vitali Kravtsov needs another look, booing David Quinn, and more
Vitali Kravtsov needs to get back into the New York Rangers lineup. Although before that can happen two questions need to be answered first. They are as follows:
- When to put him back in?
- Who do you take out of the lineup?
Kravtsov was cleared to play earlier this week after being injured during the first period of the team’s opening night victory at Madison Square Garden by Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.
“We’re 3-1,” Gallant said after beating the Ducks on Monday. “I’m not going to mess with things that are working.”
Well working is a relative term, and after the Rangers third period debacle coupled with an OT no-show loss to the winless San Jose Sharks, it’s time to get him back in.
Vitali Kravtsov needs back in the lineup
Kravtsov, 22, was once again the odd forward out on Thursday absorbing his second healthy scratch. He missed the previous two due injury and has played a grand total of 88 seconds this season out of five Rangers games.
It’s something Gallant acknowledged this week when asked about Kravtsov getting back into action.
“I mean, it wasn’t fair,” he said. “[Kravtsov] played a minute and a half the first night and then he gets hurt. We’ll see how we’re going.”
Now is the prime opportunity to ease him back into the lineup with the Columbus Blue Jackets here on Sunday. That answers the question of when, but what about for who?
Earlier this week, the Rangers showed their commitment to playing Kravtsov by placing Dryden Hunt on waivers and watching the Avalanche claim him.
Now that the former 9th overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft lost his spot in lineup to Alexis Lafrenière on the second-line he needs a new home.
With that being said, the Rangers should put Kravtsov on the right wing with Filip Chytil and Sammy Blais. That will mean moving Barclay Goodrow to the fourth line and either taking out Ryan Carpenter, Jimmy Vesey, or Ryan Reaves.
Kravtsov has 4 points in 21 career games dating back to the 2020-21 season.
David Quinn boos uncalled for
The New York Rangers posted a thank you message during the first period to former head coach David Quinn in yesterday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
Unfortunately, a good amount of fans in attendance used that moment to boo the man given the unenviable task of guiding the team through a rebuild.
A rebuild that was also faced with a global pandemic I might add.
“Wasn’t called for,” one player told The Post. “I don’t think he deserved that.”NY Post
Quinn, 56, was 96-87-25 in 208 regular-season games with the Rangers over the course of three seasons. Two of those seasons were cut short by the pandemic.
“I’m glad to see him get behind the bench again for sure.” Jacob Trouba said. “That year was tough at times with everything we went through in the world. Definitely a challenging year. He means well and he cares about his players a lot. He’s a good person, nice guy. Everyone in the organization knows how good of a person he is.”
The reasons behind the boos had a lot to do with a perception that he hurt the development of the Rangers two highest draft picks in franchise history. Both Kaapo Kakko (2nd overall in 2019) and Alexis Lafrenière (1st overall in 2020) were relegated to third line duties under Quinn which made many fans angry.
It doesn’t seem to matter to those same fans that under Gerard Gallant last season, that remained to be the case as well. On top of being stuck on the third line, Lafrenière was also scratched late in the season and Kakko for the final playoff game against Tampa Bay.
Of course winning tends to make things like that more digestible.
In the end, Quinn had the last laugh and picked up his first win as San Jose’s new coach. Oddly, his first win in the NHL with the Rangers was against the Sharks.
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