Mailbag: Vitali Kravtsov injury, Morgan Barron, and Tony DeAngelo

Only three questions this week for the mailbag, but three loaded questions.

Ray asks: Did not see this on BSB, but did you see that Vitali Kravtsov suffered a torn triceps at the WJC and is currently out?

Kravtsov did suffer a triceps injury at the WJC, but the initial reports of the torn triceps were incorrect. It was a tricep strain that he played through. Still managed to finish the tournament with a 2-4-6 line in 7 games. He hasn’t missed much time in the KHL since the WJC either, and has a line of 6-12-18 in 41 games, good for third on Traktor. An 18 year old in the top three on his team is pretty impressive, since the KHL is a notorious seniority league. The Rangers struck gold here.

Dave asks: Why was Tony DeAngelo a scratch the other night? (There was a lot of anti-David Quinn stuff here that I removed, as this was the main question.)

DeAngelo was scratched because of “maturity issues.” It’s what Larry Brooks reported yesterday. It appears to stem from an offside call against Philly where DeAngelo barked at the linesman, but that’s unconfirmed. It’s worth noting that this is now the third team that has had maturity issues with DeAngelo. The kid is supremely talented and could probably carve a role out for himself as a bottom-four defenseman who QBs a powerplay. If he gets out of his own way, though.

Andy asks: What are your thoughts on Morgan Barron? He’s been elevating his game in the NCAA and we are starting to hear more about him.

After putting up a respectable 5-13-18 line (33 games) in his freshman year at Cornell, Barron has exploded this year with 11-12-13 in 20 games and counting this year. The Rangers’ 6th rounder in 2017, Josh noted that he was a project pick. He’s a big kid that can skate, and it looks like he is putting it all together. Adam Herman noted he has a legitimate shot to make the NHL, and for a 6th round pick that’s pretty good. That’s all you can ask for from a 6th rounder. It looks like the Rangers may have something here.

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  • “maturity issues.”Who get to determine that? I need proof because I don’t trust management. On the ice he appears mature. If he is not doing drugs and practicing hard, put him on the ice and we will determine his viability. If you don’t believe the fans knows talent, we will turn you off. If you don’t change QGTG (Quinn Got TO GO)! I keep thinking DQ is just like AV and wants to do a Dylan McIlrath.

    • “I need proof because I don’t trust management.” That just about says it all. The coach who works with the players every day, and who is known to sit down with the younger players and talk to them individually about their issues, can’t be trusted. Instead, someone who knows nothing says “put him on the ice and we will determine his viability”. So the only thing that matters is the fans’ opinion of the player’s performance? The other players have nothing to say about it? Maybe we should have the fans vote on which players we should draft and which trades we should make. We could have real time social media control, where the line changes are decided by how many “likes” each player gets during the game.

      • The coach who sabotaging players on the team. Buch , DeAngleo,Kreider when he puts Fast on his line and or anyone who plays with Fast not on the 4th line. Don’t be a dummkopf fans can see the performance and its all about the fans.If it wasn’t they would play where people can’t see.

    • Without getting into it, the issues appear to be justified. Like playing for your team and rooting for another (maybe even the team that the Rangers are playing), as one example.

      I was skeptical as well, given the coach’s methods, but this time, the coach is justified.

    • The parallels to Mcilrath are uncanny. Both are defenseman drafted in the first round that ended up on with their third franchise by the age of 24. And the only reason they haven’t “made it” is because each had their own stupid Rangers coach that didn’t like him. I can’t believe no one else has pointed out this similarity yet. This is brilliant!

  • Oh no! DeAngelo barked at a linesman! This is almost unheard of in the NHL!

    Ok, sure ADA has to work on his discipline and maybe this “barked at the linesman” references something worse — like a slur (although I would think the NHL would have something to say about that), but sitting him just doesn’t sound like a solution … it sounds more like a punishment — maybe they should try some education, counselling or meditation classes instead, something more constructive/positive instead of always relying on the negative.

    • You don’t know what was said, or what the circumstances were. You have no idea what else besides the occasional benching has been tried. You haven’t been in the coach’s office, or even the locker room, to know what’s been talked about. This player had problems in the minors resulting in several suspensions, was dumped by the team that drafted him, and is now displaying the same issues that have plagued him since he was a teenager. Maybe he’s just finally used up all the rope he’s been given.

      • I’ve acknowledged just that in other posts, but again if what he said was so egregious why isn’t the NHL taking this up? Also if the “barking” didn’t result in a penalty, how bad could it be? Now I’m all in favor of letting the player know his “barking” was inappropriate and undisciplined in no uncertain terms, but Quinn did that by limiting his ice time prior to the 3rd period — did DQ really have to ADD another game in the press box? I think these are legitimate questions to ask.

        • I believe Dave mentioned, Tant, that this was not a “confirmed” reason for the benching. But, you decided to run with it anyway, even though it appears there are other underlying reasons. Particularly, a long history of immaturity.

  • My heart skipped a beat when I saw Kravtsov injury. Thankfully it was from WJC and minor.He had a goal and an assist today..

  • I am not on the Ranger bench, just a hockey fan who watches the game from a bird’s eye view. DeAngelo IMHO is much better at skating the puck out of danger and his board game is far superior then Quinn’s golden boy Pionk. As a matter of fact, I believe Ranger fans are getting a bit impatient with the rookie coach in the manner in which he has handled some of the young Ranger personal, as he seems to be making decisions based on who he likes as opposed who is the better player.

    Coaches need to leave their egos at home when they come to the rink. The game is all about the players, that is what fans pay to watch.

    • I think every Ranger fan as well as any unbiased observer will agree that ADA is defensively superior to Pionk at this time. Offensively it’s a bit of a toss up. Pionk seems to be slightly more productive and has the better shot while ADA, in my eyes at least, has the better vision/passing. Decision making seems to go to ADA. Now all that said, Pionk does draw the tougher assignments and that probably accounts for some of the discrepancies between them — so I can see an argument supporting Pionk.

      I think the biggest issue though is that Pionk NEVER gets benched or sat out no matter how many egregious on ice mistakes he makes, many of which he keeps making over and over again. If the goal is to develop the younger players how does allowing Pionk to make the same defensive mistakes over and over again without consequence work exactly (?), especially when ADA is seemingly punished whenever he makes a mistake (on or off the ice) all in the name of his development.

      • Well said, Joe, and I suspect it was not necessarily a ” linesmen issue” that got his behind on the bench. I do know he admires the head coach, but there are multiple coaches on the bench…..teams can have all the talent in the world, and egos will blow it – you can put a bad apple in a bunch and it’ll spoil the bag, but never works the other way around.

  • Barking at the linesman is something Tony D has to avoid. It was his disrespecting officials that was his biggest problem in the past, so although I don’t like seeing the young man benched, the coach is probably right to reinforce the lesson. Tony is an emotional and fiery type of player. He needs to channel it in a positive way. On the other hand, since he has been with the Rangers this is the first time we have heard about any maturity issues, so that is a good thing.

    • I just wonder about the severity of the barking because most officials won’t take that cr@p, especially from a younger player who isn’t a “star” in the League. If it wasn’t so egregious as to require a penalty (misconduct) maybe the punishment (benched in the middle of the game plus being a healthy scratch the next game) might not have fit the crime. Of course this is all conjecture, not knowing exactly what was said … but it isn’t conjecture without some basis in logic.

    • It wasn’t that (with the linesman).

      The kid is out of control and does not care about anyone else or anything else, other than what he cares about. And what he cares about and what he should care about, like the team he plays for, may not be the same thing.

      • Ok, fine. If he is a detriment or just plain doesn’t give a $hit, then play him, keep the problems in house, build up his trade value and ship him out at the deadline.

        And if It’s coming to the point where his recidivist behavior is ending up exceeding the point of no return, then Quinn tried and so be it. But we’re not sure if he is salvageable, he just might be a really big a$$hole and that’s that. I hope not because he is a talented kid.

          • The sad part is that arguably ADA is the best d-man on THIS team, if you take into account his handedness, skating, possession skills, and offense. And, IMHO, the Rangers are 2 additional quality defensemen away from a round one winning playoff team. Unfortunately, quality defensemen don’t grow on trees.

      • I hear a lot of rumors but I see no evidence. I’ve seen stuff like this play out in the past with some good players, it tainted their career and half the time it’s BS …

        Why is it whenever I see his teammates interact with him they all seem genuinely supportive?

        • You don’t have to believe it and who says that there’s any evidence that the public would see?

  • DeAngelo has shown he’s better than both Pionk and Shattenkirk on the ice. If there’s favoritism involved or maybe salary comes into play, I don’t know, but something seems a little off kilter. Besides Mcquaid, Claesson, and maybe Skjei if he ever finds his game that earned him his outrageous salary, I don’t see any defensemen on this roster who will help us in the future.

  • He is a young man. These types of issues tend to fade as a person ages. Instead of the DQ tough love approach, maybe an older veteran needs to take him under his wing just to show him the way.

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