Time for Rangers to Fully Recommit to the Rebuild
As David Quinn’s New York Rangers continue to struggle, losing their fifth game in a row against the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, analysts and fans alike have picked apart many coaching decisions thus far and as expected, many people have also offered their own takes on what moves may be best for this young Rangers team. We know there are no quick fixes or secret weapons that will rocket the team to immediate success, however, one move seems most obvious and most needed: Call up Filip Chytil.
Coach Quinn’s comments about his players’ defensive woes have been a major topic of many post-game interviews, but Quinn needs to take responsibility for his team’s current identity crisis. While penalties and subpar defending have stifled their momentum so far, it must be noted that the Rangers have been outshot by their opponents in all five losses this season.
The addition of Chytil certainly won’t solve all of the Rangers problems but his promising play in Hartford, notably his three goals and five assists, can be the surge of energy the Rangers so desperately need to turn things around. Quinn continues to shake up the lines almost every game, pairing Jesper Fast on the first line with Panarin and Zibanejad last night and moving an underachieving Chris Kreider back and forth between the first two lines, but the glaring hole in the Rangers offense remains apparent as Quinn has yet to find the right combinations. When your best option at second line center is playing in a Wolfpack jersey, all the shaking up of lines in the world won’t do you any good.
With the term “rebuild” still looming over the Rangers, it’s difficult to rationalize why defenseman Brendan Smith has seen so much ice time at forward and young Lias Andersson and Kaapo Kakko have seen their minutes diminish during games. It’s time for the Rangers organization to commit to their young players, and a Filip Chytil call up is the necessary step they need to take in this direction. Bringing up Chytil not only provides Quinn with more quality line options, but forces him to buy into the fact that the Rangers are a young team that needs to value young assets such as Chytil and Andersson.
It’s time for Quinn to recommit to the rebuild and show faith in his young players. Of course fans will continue searching for answers until the Rangers find their stride, but one answer seems clear: Filip Chytil deserves the call up and his shot at a second-line center spot that is begging to be filled.