The same old, same old isn’t working

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The Rangers are overusing Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers are scratching young prospects for veterans presents. The Rangers are not making in-game adjustments and holding players accountable.

When David Quinn was brought in, he was supposed to be a fresh voice that ended all this. Now to be frank, this stuff doesn’t end overnight. It’s virtually impossible to do a complete 180 like that and have it be successful. Transition periods are needed.

But first let’s focus on the low hanging fruit: Lundqvist and his playing time. Lundqvist had a poor outing against Pittsburgh, and took on the blame himself. Quinn was quick to say that Hank shouldn’t have started that game. Lundqvist has started 30 games this season, leaving nine for Alex Georgiev and other backups.

In a year the Rangers are competing, that’s a completely normal workload. Or if Lundqvist was 27 and not 37 years old. However Lundqvist is 37 years old and the Rangers are not truly competing (if you think otherwise, I have a bridge to sell you). This workload is shortsighted and best and irresponsible at worst. Georgiev starts tonight in Colorado, and should be getting at least 40% of the starts going forward.

Now for the tough stuff. It is inexcusable for the Rangers to continue playing poorly performing veterans who have no future with the club regularly when players like Filip Chytil are on the bench. A scratch here and there for learning experiences is fine. Scratching Jimmy Vesey in the same manner is fine too. Accountability is good. Dressing someone because they are a grizzly veteran is outdated.

The above is tied to in-game adjustments. Poor performing players should be shifted around, something we saw regularly –if too much– under Alain Vigneault and perhaps not enough yet under Quinn.

Both of these points are significantly more difficult to manage, as there is a healthy balance between playing time, growth, and the need to dress bodies. Cody McLeod is a body, he plays 8-10 minutes a game. He doesn’t do it all that well. But he’s a body, nonetheless.

The decision was not McLeod or Lias Andersson, despite what some may tell you. The sign of hope is that Boo Nieves got the jump to the third line while McLeod stayed on the fourth. Nieves beat out Andersson for that spot. That is what it is, and there shouldn’t be any huge qualms with how that played out.

The bigger issue is the continued scratching of Tony DeAngelo, a kid the Rangers invested highly in when they shipped off Derek Stepan. DeAngelo is not a perfect player by any stretch. However the tired excuse that he is bad in his own end is based on reputation and not logic.

Let’s be real. Every single Rangers blue liner is terrible in their own zone. Not one of them is good, at least not this year. Scratching DeAngelo because the Rangers gave up 40 shots to St. Louis was a, bluntly put, stupid move. The Rangers were equally bad against Pittsburgh, giving up a touchdown because the goaltending couldn’t bail them out of this one.

If the defense doesn’t stop anything. Nothing changes when the veteran presents of Adam McQuaid, Marc Staal, and Brendan Smith are in the lineup. Continuing to scratch DeAngelo, someone the Rangers should, at the very least, be analyzing regularly to see what they have, is asinine and downright irresponsible from an asset management standpoint.

However that is not a fluid situation either. McQuaid acquisition was questionable, but there’s a chance he could be traded by the deadline. Smith isn’t as a toxic asset the way some folks make him out to be, and if the Rangers can exchange Ryan’s Spooner for Strome, then Smith can surely be dealt in a similar fashion.

This is a rebuilding year for the Rangers, but it is also a year where they can accelerate the rebuild with shrewd trades. There is a healthy balance, but it seems the Blueshirts are focusing more on the trade deadline and building trade value than on development.

But if the above were true, then Kevin Shattenkirk would be on the powerplay.

There is no rhyme nor is there any reason to the way the Rangers are being run at the moment. That lack of consistency, and perceived lack of a plan, is perhaps the most frustrating aspect thus far.

"The same old, same old isn't working", 3 out of 5 based on 18 ratings.

27 thoughts on “The same old, same old isn’t working

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Development will come once we are able to move the vets. How do you move the vets, if no-one can watch them play? If they only play 8 mins, than their value on the market is diminished. The Rangers are trying to get to the deadline with the highest value on the players they don’t see as part of the rebuild, which, by the way, is less than one year old. Trust me on this one, these kids are learning by playing at the NHL level, albeit for less TOI than most want to see. Their time will come after the deadline.

    If I’m wrong and the Rangers don’t do what I expect them to do (trade valuable assets at deadline), then I am going to be very surprised. Not playing the vets now, though, is not the answer.

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      Those vets don’t really wish to be traded…. Judging by their play

      • Jan 4, 2019 at 4:05 pm

        Sometimes we don’t get what we wish for. If you are suggesting they are laying down, so as not to be traded, I don’t buy it.

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Step back from the ledge! Quinn, like any coach wants to win. He is trying to put the best team on the ice to do that. Now whether development should supercede winning, that is another story. It is quite difficult to NOT put your best options on the ice everyday.

    Quinn is gently sending messages to this team, which is yet 40 games old under him. Chytil, Andersson and yes, even Vesey need to acknowledge the level of play acceptable, and if they don;t , they sit.

    The playing of McQuaid over Tony D is quite questionable. McQ must have some strong lockerroom presence, otherwise why would he be there. Tony D may have some bad practice habits or “attitude” that is keeping him out of the lineup, otherwise I cannot figure it out. To me, Staal could use a night off here and there.

    Hank is an all-star and let’s forget his age for the moment. He wants to win and play every night. Sure we should give him rest, but he gives us a chance to win every night. Georgi does not. I feel that all the current players are being showcased. I bet Gorton moves at least 5 players at the deadline.

    In a lost year, we need to develop, but also groom and showcase. A delicate balance indeed. Hayes, Krieder, Zucc and Shatty are definitely being showcased. You could say the same of McQuaid and Skjei. Tony needs to play and I suspect he does for the final 20.

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 9:43 am

      Same old thing? No way….And I agree once the rest of the vets are moved we will begin to see the foundation being build. I like Quinn and I would reserve my criticism of Quinn for at least two years minimum….The vets are being showcased and therefore will continue to play..

      • Jan 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm

        Yes, playing Staal, McQuaid, and Smith really puts a shine on them, doesn’t it.

        It’s putting lipstick on the pig.

        Disclosure: No pigs were harmed during this post.

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      No doubt that Hank has played better than Georgiev so far this year. But the notion that Hank gives us a chance to win every night and Georgiev does not is absurd. Georgiev has played very well at times. In fact, the Rangers are 5-4 in games started by Georgiev and 12-18 in games started by Hank. That doesn’t prove Georgiev is better – it does prove starting Georgiev is not conceding the game.

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 9:55 am

    I get the need to showcase guys esp re the pp.

    However, for those (still) in the sign Hayes camp, in order to justify his 6.75 m deal .. He will need to be on pp1. so if you had any ‘kids’ you wanted to get a look at there … Now and next year .. Good luck with that. Plus I see his pp skillset overlapping with Vk (whereas kravtsov has more of a shooting acumen) .

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 1:05 pm

      If Panarin were to sign here than there isn’t any room for Kravstov on the PP1. Unless they if they were to trade Kreider of course.

      • Jan 4, 2019 at 4:08 pm

        I don’t think the Rangers have any interest in Panarin.

        • Jan 4, 2019 at 6:01 pm

          Why is that?

          • Jan 5, 2019 at 11:17 am

            Too old for a rebuilding team, he will be on the down slope when they are ready. Also too expensive.

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 10:13 am

    it’s too early to judge Quinn, but you make a lot of great points. I wonder more though about the the influence that Lindy Ruff is having, as well as Gorton. Ruff runs the D and has for 2 years. Nothing has changed, so why is he still here? Gorton brought back McLeod in the example you used. He was the best option? The McQuaid deal as well was a big head scratcher. Benching players is fine, but I don’t understand why Staal has yet to be benched. Has he played better than expectations? Most nights, but those expectations are pretty low and there have certainly been games he could have been benched. DeAngelo, Pionk and Skeji should be playing every night. You can make a case for Claesson too.

    After the next purge between now and the trade deadline we will hopefully get a better look at player development. If we call up guys like Belesky and Holland over Andersson and Fontaine or O’Gara over Hajek or Lindgren, then we should certainly be concerned about a lot of things. Quinn being one of them.

    Quinn has not been with the organization too long, there is a lot going on and it’s been a bit of a mess. It’s going to take time to sort things out.

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 11:35 am

      MIssing the playoffs two years in a row stinks, but if Quinn builds a solid foundation that results in winning a cup….then I’m all for the temporary pain….lol…….

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 11:37 am

    I don’t want to make it sound like another McIlrath controversy because it is quite different. Unlike before, the Rangers are now a rebuilding team, so sitting DeAngelo and Claesson often in favor of McQuaid and Smith would seem to make very little sense.

    If they are showcasing the vets, perhaps it makes a little more sense to sometimes sit the youngsters. Also, I don’t mean to say giving a young player a time out sometimes to reinforce lessons is a bad thing. But ADA in particular has been sat out a great deal recently even though Quinn called him “very coachable”, so it does not sound like an attitude problem on the part of the player.

    Like I’ve complained in other comments recently, I am not sure what the plan is.

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      I called a lot of this from the beginning of training camp. gorton crowded this years roster with bodies. …
      BC there is no plan!

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 11:51 am

    I am going to be more optimistic regarding any judgement at this time in the first Quinn season.

    We have 41 PTS, bottom is 35, Playoffs at 48 – about 12 teams below us.

    I really like wear #44 is in his play under Quinn year 1 (QY#1)

    #72 is showing a steady increase in his play, not on the stats but he seems to be more and more open and making, or attempting to make plays…

    #21 – under QY#1 he is showing signs that would make him pretty good in another season or so

    #50 – I would like him to be doing better, BUT, again QY#1

    #90 – seems to be thriving under QY#1

    #77 – I agree, I like his play, why is he sitting!!! why hasn’t #18 sat, but I will say Staal has been in the mix!!!

    #22 – Quinn must be so disappointed.. I know I am

    #33 – could be a decent 3rd liner

    #76 – I would trade him

    so at this point, QY#1 – I will take it, I think overall he has already developed some youth, he is building and you know how the saying goes…

    Rome wasn’t…


    Another good stretch this season and we are in the playoffs, plus he had like five 1 point games that if went better, we are just outside the PO’s

    Season One of the Quinn Experience…

    I am staying up beat!!!!

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Excellent post Dave. I want to nitpick one point though. You said “The bigger issue is the continued scratching of Tony DeAngelo, a kid the Rangers invested highly in when they shipped off Derek Stepan.”

    I agree that ADA should be playing, but I don’t like the reason you concluded with. I think a smart team manages its assets without regard to past assessment of those assets. The Stepan-Raanta-ADA-Andersson trade is in the past. What’s done is done. ADA and Andersson need to be managed as the players that they actually are, and not as the players the Rangers projected they would be. So if either is a bust, you move on and don’t waste time, maybe getting something in return in trade.

    My own view is that ADA is a defenseman with strengths and weaknesses – and as such is much more interesting than say a Kampfer who largely has neither. If you can remedy the weaknesses, you have something and my impression (I’ve seen much less Ranger hockey than almost anyone here I’d guess) is that ADA has a good attitude, shows good in-game intensity, and is making progress. He doesn’t really hurt you and benching him for McQuaid, a guy Boston didn’t even want, seems crazy.

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      I realize I’m getting dangerously close to the sunk cost fallacy with ADA and the Stepan trade with that statement. I think I mitigated that though because the Rangers haven’t really given him a chance and seem to be stuck in this “play the veterans on the blue line” mantra that doomed them since 2013.

      • Jan 4, 2019 at 2:34 pm

        I was really attacking the sunk cost idea and not the idea of playing ADA. One needs to constantly reevaluate assets. So far, it is not at all clear to me that ADA is not the player the Rangers thought they were getting AND so ADA should be regarded as still a valuable asset.

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I have to say when ADA is in there he has been at least s good as Pionk who gets a pass from everyone maybe because he is with Staal. If ADA had the PP time I think he would put up some points also, All that being said I think we are shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. Skeji is where we need to be concerned when it comes to the group of blueliners on the team right now.

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    Maybe the plan all along was play the first half to win and lets see where we are. We could be a super team of over-achievers that is in the thick of a playoff race, or we could be mediocre or we could be a disaster. Clearly we are mediocre, with glaring holes on defense.

    The second half probably needs to be played differently. More rookie play, more showcasing, more “Quinn-izing” the players. We obviously need to make moves, but we want to maximize the return. Sure Tony D should play more, but probably over Staal unless someone actually wants Staal. Sure Chytil should get some PP time, especially if he is really a sniper. I have to give Quinn the benefit of the doubt to this point. I also think Gorton has input on player benchings.

    We are not a playoff team this year or next, so let’s make moves, get lots of prospects or picks and in the second half, play the kids more and more.

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      ADA wasn’t the throw in for that trade but it did take all moving parts to bring back those assets. Reports from Arizona’s end were saying that Raanta had to be included in order for them to surrender the 1st rd pick. The GM new JG had to sell Stepan right there and than due to the small % of bidding war that Stepan created.

    • Jan 4, 2019 at 6:05 pm

      “Maybe the plan all along was play the first half to win and lets see where we are. We could be a super team of over-achievers that is in the thick of a playoff race, or we could be mediocre or we could be a disaster. Clearly we are mediocre, with glaring holes on defense.”

      And they have played the easy part of the schedule so far and racked up a lot of “feel good” loser points to keep them near .500.

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    “The bigger issue is the continued scratching of Tony DeAngelo, a kid the Rangers invested highly in when they shipped off Derek Stepan. ” – Derek Stepan was an under-performing center entering his NMC in his contract. I am betting he was the throw in, in that trade. The problem with that trade was the choice of the draft (Lias) as he is the bust.

    Quinn needs to play the kids because they are the future, not because they were acquired in a one-sided trade.

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    I’ve said my peace, a million times, no need to rehash.

    Well done David.

  • Jan 4, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Its veteran presence, not presents…..
    Are you a HS grad…. or just a really stupid blogger.

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