On Lias Andersson’s usage and ice time

Lias Andersson was under utilized in the season opener for the NY Rangers

A story worth watching as the season progresses is Lias Andersson, his ice time, and how David Quinn uses his 3/4C. After having a strong preseason, the best among the non-Kakko kids, Andersson was supposedly looking at 3C duties with Brendan Lemieux and Vlad Namestnikov as his wingers. Fast forward through the first game, and Andersson was on the fourth line with Lemieux and Brendan Smith. His ice time: Just 8:33 total and just 1:29 in the third period. For comparison’s sake, Lemieux had 9:35 ice time and he doesn’t even play on the penalty kill.

As Larry Brooks noted, Quinn stated he doesn’t want to put the kids in a fourth line situation, yet after one game here we are with Andersson, repeating the same ice time as last year. If third line ice time wasn’t going to cut it for Filip Chytil or Brett Howden or Vitali Kravtsov, why does it work for Andersson? Especially when Brett Howden, who had a goal in 14 minutes of ice time, was objectively worse during camp and the preseason?

If, for Quinn, Howden is the 3C, that’s fine. Hopefully the kid turns around his game away from the puck in his second pro year. While Howden and Andersson will always be connected as they compete for that 3C role, this isn’t really about Howden and more about Quinn’s usage of Andersson. If the fourth line role isn’t suitable for the other kids, then why is it suitable for Andersson? How does that help him grow?

Another point, and one that is worth mentioning – in a game where the Rangers were absolutely caved in defensively to the tune of 47 shots against to 32 for (35-26 at even strength) and an xGF% of 37.12% to Winnipeg’s 62.88%, Andersson stood out as one of just four Rangers with a xGF% above 50%. He led the team with a 65.10 xGF% – he had a very strong game!

Don’t get me wrong, if there’s a legitimate reason –such as easing Andersson into regular NHL shifts due to some lingering whatever we aren’t being told about– then by all means, go for it! We won’t get that kind of information out of DQ though. These are simply questions that I have and likely won’t get answered, but something I am watching intently as the season progresses.

The counterpoint here is that it’s only been one game, and that is true. The counter-counterpoint is that this is a direct contradiction to preseason quotes from the coach and a lingering habit from last season.

There is a simple solution here too – one that ensures both Howden and Andersson get the third line ice time they both need. One that possibly helps Howden’s defensive liabilities while simultaneously (potentially) giving Andersson the offensive boost it looks like he needs. Move Howden to wing. I’m going to beat this drum until my arms fall off.

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  • AV, I mean DQ still has guys he trusts in all situation and guys who will never gain his trust. Lias may never play more than a 4C on a DQ coached team.

    In the third period, after the Howden goal, Fast or Lias should have been out every other shift, just to play as the 3rd defenseman, since our own defensemen weren’t playing too much D

  • Its game #1, this team may need to trade pieces that are currently in the line-up. The team hasn’t started playing hockey yet, they have off 13 (maybe 14) days within the first 4 games. The squad and coaches are about to practice more than they will during any other point in the season.

    Calling DQ AV at this point is a bit tough… look at Buch, look at how he changed in one season.
    Andersson is on the DQ path, have some faith.


    • It is game one, but same defensive issues, same bad deployment of players, etc.

      I told everyone that I know that you give Quinn a pass for last year, because it was a throwaway year. But the forward lineup was laughable based on what they have available to them. And now Staal is on the TOP pair.

      How is that possible with what they have in young players? i thought this was about playing the young players in important roles. Was that a con? Srome over Chytil as 2C? Please, lol.

  • While I agree with your sentiments, it is just 1 game … and I imagine that there are players right now who are getting more ice time in order to showcase them and increase their value, at least I hope that’s what we’re doing. Strome, Namestnikov and Smith as well as Kreider and Fast are all playing for their future with this team.

  • Two points: First of all, this is a strange takeaway. The usage of defensemen is far more interesting. DQ seems to be going with seven defensemen, not trusting either Fox or ADA as 2RD on the PK and giving Fox and Hajek relatively little ice time. This does not seem sustainable.

    Second, we know very little about what happened in the preseason. These guys were in camp for the better part of a month and we saw them play in six meaningless games where different players had wildly differing objectives. Yes, Lias had good preseason games, but we don’t actually know how good he was over all. Also, you want players to reach their ceiling. In the case of super-talented high ceiling guys like Kakko, Chityl, Kravtsov, Fox, this is very important. If you see Andersson as a good bottom six guy at best, just maybe he is there already and does not need great development time.

  • It’s not the coach, it’s the player who can’t play. Coach wants to give Anderson more ice time, but the kid can’t play, plain and simple. What do you want the coach to do? You want Quinn to play Anderson 15 mins in the 3rd and lose the game, so the kid can have enough ice time? Let’s face it, Anderson doesn’t have enough skills to be one of the top 9 forwards in the NHL.

    • While that may still be true, it is far too early to be so cynical. Come on guys! Rangers just played one of the most exciting games at MSG in a long, long time. We all knew they weren’t ready, but it was great fun.

      I was there and it’s been awhile to hear the building like that!

      I’m going to savor that fun and wait and see about the rest.

      I think we all should, it was fun and special. Our team has begun its ascension to the top!

      What a ride it is going to be!

  • Lias is a bust. By next year we will all be lamenting this pick at #7 as one of the worst picks in history

  • Take a look at the 4 goals NYR allowed, it’s easy to see why Quinn sit Anderson in the 3rd:

    Goal #1: major responsibility on Anderson.
    Goal #2: major responsibility on ADA.
    Goal #3: Hank.
    Goal #4: Power play goal, yet it was Anderson who allowed the shot from the point, and then puck was redirected in front to the net.

  • To the fans here who LOVE ADA, there were NO OFFER SHEETS from ANY NHL teams to ADA in the off season, I guess all the GMs in the NHL are stupid.

    • Please refresh my memory. Exactly how many offer sheets were issued this past off season. One, Sebastian Aho by the Habs and matched by the Canes. Now think of the huge amount of talent out there available for an offer sheet. The fact ADA didn’t get a sheet isn’t a reflection of his skill set or lack thereof.

  • Lias was very strong on the puck all night, for the minutes he did play, but Quinn will remember Howden’s goal.

  • Every season there’s a new idiot poster on here that usually lasts until about December. I think this years is obvious.

      • Hahaha. I would like to think I have mellowed a bit over the years!

        We have disagreed on plenty but things never got petty and unintelligent!

        As good as the posts are here I enjoy the conversations in the comments section just as much.

        • LOL, I was kidding.

          Yep, I always respect your opinions, and others here as well.

          I know it’s early to tell, but I am starting to have the same complaints about Quinn as I did with AV. Staal on the top pair. You can’t make it up.

  • Merely matchup issues. Lowry/Wheeler head to head with Lias is trouble. Lowry/Wheeler vs Howden was a matchup that had a chance to work and did.

    Jesus, 2 days into the season and Rangers world is in meltdown mode after a win.

  • I have to laugh at some remarks made, and what some have in the way of expectations. We are a very young team, some kids may be playing out of place, or order, but folks it’s the first game.

    From all I’ve read, which wasn’t much, I was out of the country for the last three weeks, it appears that Lias had a very good camp, but he’s on the fourth line. Give this coach some time to evaluate his players, Lias may well be on the third line in a few games, if not sooner.

    I’m a bit disappointed that Kravs isn’t on the team, but they have to have a longer term plan to get him used to the north American game, but I suspect people will gripe about that soon enough. Chytil needs to develop a set of nuts, until then he will stay down at the AHL level, or may be moved out because he won’t battle on the boards. Why aren’t people saying that he’s a flop, what has he done better than Andersson?

    DQ has his favorites, like the gum chewing ass before him, and gives them more playing time than they deserve. Staal playing first pair is a farce, and DQ is showing he can’t be relied on when he talks from both sides of his mouth. Players who have earned to be here aren’t, players who belong on the bench, or press box are playing, it’s a joke. I’ve posted before that I saw Lindgren play in Hershey, and liked what I saw. He should be up here, and Staal should be out into the pastures, but DQ is playing this guy the way he does, and the Lindgren kid is down on the farm.

    It’s way too early to start complaining about deployment, and playing time. I’ll reserve my comments until they have at least a dozen games under their belt before I’ll pass judgement on the coach, and management. Until such time, I’ll try to enjoy the ride, and excitement of this group of players…………..

    • It may be one game, but same defensive breaches, same deployment farces, etc.

      WHEN will the Rangers learn that giving up their own blue line so easily is a recipe for defensive disaster.

      That’s your 30 year experienced coach behind the bench (Ruff) for you. It’s not rocket science.

    • I agree with you, Walt – on all that! EXCEPT that unlike his predecessors, DQ does not play favorites, he proved that in two straight training camps…and he doesn’t care what your contract is worth…

  • I can’t believe DQ wasn’t diving deep into the xGF% in between periods to make all his decisions! The NERVE of that guy! He probably also never noticed that Lias’ “tripping-over-camera-wires %” is the best in NHL history! Lol

    Not only is it only one game, it’s the very first game. And the very first game of the next 10-15 years. You better get some xanax or something. I don’t know if you’re gonna be able to handle this, man.

  • Please tell me what ABOVE AVG NHL skills that Anderson possesses? Is it skating or shooting or passing or hitting or checking or physicality or superb defensively? Please don’t tell me he is young and has a good character, there are lots of young men with good characters who cannot play Hockey, also please don’t tell me the season just started all that, this is Anderson’s 50th game in NHL, he played 42 games last season. Anderson is a Vinni Lettieri with a lesser shot, happened to be the 7th pick NYR selected in the 1st round.

  • Dave – chill bro, lol!…..cause DQ is pretty transparent, but we don’t have to know every thing internally – I respect that, just ask Tony D. To say that everything is a contradiction from pre-season is myopic at best. A new team will have line changes and partners at both the offensive and defensive pairing. I can understand the love for Lias, I want to see him do well, too, but damn, man – you are not looking at the second coming of Sundin. Lias was very nervous that first game and faltered, DQ is gonna play him more – (see my earlier post yesterday.) The other kids like Chytil and Kravstov are not the same make-up as Lias – those guys are top 6, Lias is not, and don’t think ever will be – let him work his way up from 4th – now, that being said, can he be a potential all-star player on the third line? Absolutely! He will defend, use his body and score, and it’s on the staff to get the best out of their players, and I do feel they are doing that – it is just all a work in progress in a very, very long season.

    • OK, good points – but I will say that Andersson should at least be given a chance in the third line – all the centers behind Zib need to clean up their act!

  • My way:



    And leave it A-LONE for 30 games.

    • Not bad Richter – but can’t leave that alone, bro. Team needs to gel a bit more before I can cement any of that. I like your fourth line, but I would love to see Kakko on the first one day…hopefully sooner rather than later. 🙂

      • I say leave it alone to give them time to gel. There’s a lot of talent in that lineup and by giving them 30 games the Rangers will actually know what they will have in these players.

        I like Buch for a breakout year this year. But I will say, dam, Kakko is effing good. He looked very confident on Thursday. It was a shame that Strome did nothing for him throughout the game.

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