State of the Rangers

It’s still a rebuild, but the process needs to improve

If the kids are to learn, they need to learn the right process

Note: No reviews from last night. One of those games that none of us could watch. Sorry.

As the Rangers lost last night, the reactions on social media were the same. The Rangers have lost three in a row, and really only looked good in two of their five games to start the season, and one was against Ottawa. Suffice it to say, there were questions about David Quinn, the lineup, and a myriad of other complaints.

The focus was on Tony DeAngelo’s benching, who only had one shift (a powerplay shift) in the second and third periods. Now we didn’t watch the game, but the concern was whether or not the benching made sense to extend into the third period when the Rangers needed offense.

The benching question is more a microcosm of what the season is going to be, and what the larger question should be. Is David Quinn going to be ok with losing with the kids as part of their growth, or would he prefer to lose with veterans playing in off positions? This extends to his comments about Kaapo Kakko and how, despite all the skill that has gotten him here, has “a lot to learn in the process.” What exactly does that mean? What is the process?

That is perhaps the question we all want answered – what process is DQ looking for? Is he ok with punting this season in the hopes of teaching lessons that the kids will keep with them for their careers? That’s ok, but let the roster process and ice time process reflect the overall goal of the season, lest we revisit the Lias Andersson ice time situation for the 80th time in five games, or why a third line winger is actually a third pairing defenseman, or when exactly Filip Chytil is going to be the 2C.

Perhaps another process question is learning from past mistakes. Chris Kreider has looked awful to start the season, in the final year of his contract where he doesn’t know his future. Sounds a lot like Mats Zuccarello’s situation last year, doesn’t it? Perhaps getting in Kreider’s ear about his future now, the way Quinn did with Zucc last season before his tear, is the way to go.

The process on the ice also needs to improve. The Rangers are laughably bad at controlling offensive tempo, which plays a role in their defense getting caved in nightly. It also doesn’t help that defensive system, specifically giving up the blue line regularly and allowing teams to gain speed through the neutral zone, leaves a lot to be desired. If there are lessons to be learned, it’s that allowing the opposition to gain speed and take the offensive zone until challenged at the top of the circle is not the best plan. It is basically shrinking the defensive zone by 10 feet or so.

Is a lot of this premature, given that it’s only been five games? Possibly. There are a lot of red flags that should at the very least be monitored. It doesn’t take rocket science to realize the Rangers have spent the majority of these five games in their own zone at even strength. If not for a lethal powerplay, there’s a chance this team is winless through the five games. Could you imagine that kind of panic?

In the end though, the Rangers are rebuilding. The roster today is not what we are going to see at the end of the year. Chytil will be the 2C by month’s end, or at least that is my prediction. Vitali Kravtsov will be with the club before the calendar year ends. It’s not going to be a pretty year, and there’s going to be a lot of questions about how the rookies and highly touted prospects are used. There’s no alarm yet, but there are a lot of things to keep an eye on.

"It's still a rebuild, but the process needs to improve", 2 out of 5 based on 21 ratings.
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34 Comments

  1. Come on people it’s 5 games! Do you remember where St. Louis was in Jan. of 2019? This is something Rangers fans are not use to. Rebuilds take time and patience, so let’s just Take It Easy!

  2. It was game 87, how many games do you need to clearly understand Quinn doesn’t have working strategy?

  3. Rebuild is over, this team has enough personel, this team doesn’t have system in place, and my biggest doubt this coaching staff has anything working in their mind

  4. Let the kids play let them develop and learn from their mistakes. How many dumb penalties is Smith going to continue to take?D’Angelo for all we know could mouthed off to the coaching staff to besides giving up picks causing two goals. Pepe junior was benched because of needless penalty against Edmonton. Quinn just needs to be consistent otherwise he can turn into AV I. Which there are signs now.

  5. “Now we didn’t watch the game, but the concern was whether or not the benching made sense to extend into the third period when the Rangers needed offense.”

    The point in a rebuild is that the Rangers did not need offense because they did not need to win the game. What they need going forward is a cadre of good players developed properly who stick to the system with discipline. I don’t know the reasons for the benching and cannot speak to its wisdom, but I absolutely KNOW that whether or not ADA should have gone back into the game should have been independent of the score.

    Likewise, Chityl should be recalled when best for his development. To win the Cup, the Rangers need him to be a star. Whether or not he happens to be the best option at 2C at this point should not matter.

    As for Lias Andersson, he is developing nicely – so DQ is doing a good job there.

  6. I believe in most of the players, but I’m not sure about the systems.

    Worst game by DeAngelo in quite some time, but I still don’t understand why DQ is so quick to bench someone like him while Staal continues to play and play and play.

  7. He coughs up the puck countless times right behind his own net. Workhorse? The charts about him don’t lie, he’s at the bottom on those. Eye test tells me that he likes to take wide shots. He misses so many chances to start scrums around the net for loose change. All his shots go wide… His PP presence has been flat out bad. He lacks the ability to bring the puck up the ice when on the man advantage. How many times did he put his teammates in a bad spot for those zone entires? That ruines the whole scheme and flow of things. Sorry to say but the Winnipeg fans are right about his overall game in all three zones.

    It’s easy to call someone a workhorse with zero facts or examples. Lias Andersson is a top 9 center. See how easy it is to make up that?

  8. While you people keep burying your heads in the sand, let me remind you it’s not DQ who doesn’t want to play or ‘develop’ those young players, it’s some of those younger players currently on the roster can’t play.

    Lias Andersson who can’t shoot, can’t pass, can’t hit, slow skater, smallish physique…he is the same player as Vinni Lettieri except Andersson was drafted 7th in the 1st round and Vinni has a better shot than him.

    ‘Holding 2C warm for Chytil’ ??? I understand Chytil has talent, but I don’t see him as the 2nd coming of Cosby. BTW, the kid doesn’t not play defense responsibly at C, that was the reason DQ benched Chytil repeatedly last season because DQ doesn’t want his goalies facing 2-0, 3-1 all game long. If Chytil doesn’t mature fast, he might be in Hartford for a while.

    Take a look at Andersson, Chytill, and Howden’s career stats:

    Lias Andersson Career Stats: 3 G, 5A total 8 P in 54 NHL games, and this is NOT his 1st season as a Ranger, this is the 3rd season.
    https://www.nhl.com/player/lias-andersson-8480072?season=20192020

    Filip Chytil Career Stats: 12 G, 14 A total 26 P in 84 NHL games.
    https://www.nhl.com/player/filip-chytil-8480078

    Brett Howden Career Stats: 7 G, 17 A total 24 P in 71 NHL games.
    https://www.nhl.com/player/brett-howden-8479353?season=20192020

    ‘Holding 2C warm for Chytil’ ??? He is not THAT special.
    .

  9. I agree with patience…but your example of St. Louis might be a harbinger of things to come. They did have a coaching change in mid November…and after that the players got it together. I mean who wants to take on Berube?
    Patience is a good thing to have, and it is a rebuild. Not! The D isn’t suspect and nor is its MO.It is plain horrible! If Gorton, who I was a great admirer of, doesn’t do something there the fans are looking at 5 horrible years. it sucks.
    If not for the Z trade and a lucky #2 he wouldn’t look that good.
    Based on the way Z was punished last night he better get him and the other kids a gunslinger or 2 to ride shotgun. Good clean hard hockey I am a fan of. I don’t like seeing guys getting taken advantage of with cheap shots,and its happening.I hope the team repays Mr. Hall. Its not a matter of street justice, its just that it goes both ways.

  10. While some fans keep burying their heads in the sand, let me remind you it’s not DQ who doesn’t want to play or ‘develop’ those young players, it’s some of those younger players currently on the roster can’t play.

    Lias Andersson who can’t shoot, can’t pass, can’t hit, slow skater, smallish physique…he is the same player as Vinni Lettieri except Andersson was drafted 7th in the 1st round and Vinni has a better shot than him.

    ‘Holding 2C warm for Chytil’ ??? I understand Chytil has talent, but I don’t see him as the second coming of Cosby. BTW, the kid doesn’t not play defense responsibly at C, that was the reason DQ benched Chytil repeatedly last season because DQ doesn’t want his goalies facing 2-0, 3-1 all game long. If Chytil doesn’t mature fast, he might be in Hartford for a while.

    Take a look at Andersson, Chytill, and Howden’s career stats:

    Lias Andersson: 3 G, 5A total 8 P in 54 NHL games, and this is NOT his 1st season as a Ranger, this is his 3rd season.

    Filip Chytil: 12 G, 14 A total 26 P in 84 NHL games.

    Brett Howden: 7 G, 17 A total 24 P in 71 NHL games.
    .
    .

  11. DeAngelo was having a bad game so if DQ wants to bench him some, fine, but 2/3 of the game, when the kid had a pretty good game against the Devils? Seemed a bit much to me. Who knows

  12. I’ve said it all summer long that Tony DeAngelo plays defense horribly as a D man since he became a Ranger, he put up some garbage points last year when the season was over, and he is NOT a rising star as some of the fans here think who he is. Tony DeAngelo will not be on the Rangers roster if one day the Rangers are in the Cup finals.
    .

  13. Because Staal is not the future, it doesn’t matter what he does, there is no chance this year. This, Tanto, is a development process of which you and most, but not all, posters here do not have the stomach for enduring. I, on the other hand, have seen one championship in my 55+ years on this planet. To me, this is a different direction, an unknown, in the land of the Rangers. But one in 55+? I’m going to support this process, at least, through next year. More than likely longer, because, to me, this feels right.

  14. Lias stack in 4th line with sheltered minutes…. What sort of development are u talking about?

  15. Quinn is not an NHL caliber coach – this will only become more apparent as the season goes on. Being a disciplinarian and holding guys “accountable” or benching them works in high school and college but not with professional athletes. At the NHL level players need insight, little things that make a difference, Quinn does not possess this knowledge/ability. Benching someone at the NHL level should only be an absolute last resort – not routine. Explain to a guy what he is doing wrong and how he can improve and then let him do it. don’t sit him and make him stew about it – guys need to play! At some point the players will revolt and refust to play for him – he can yell all he wants but in the end he will get the axe. AV was/is a fantastic coach its a real shame they torpedoed him – he must have got Dolan’s panties in a twist or pissed someone off. Look to see Ruff or possibly JD take over at some point this season.

  16. Let me repeat myself again, DQ is talking out of both sides of his mouth. When Staal, Howden, or any other favorite makes a mistake, they continue to play. When Lias, Tony, or any other player he dislikes make a mistake, they get splinters in their tail end from sitting on the pine. Please observe this during a game, it just jumped out at me last night watching the game on the NHL channel.

    I believe we are being treated like the way mushrooms grown, fed bull crap, and in the dark as to what is happening. DQ is starting to remind me AV too much for my faith in him to be maintained!!!!!!!!!

  17. It felt right a decade ago when the emerging Rangers got beat but played tough and you can see something was there. This? I’m not so sure. Give it another year.

  18. AV got fired from Vancouver and Montreal before he got fired from the Rangers, and for similar reasons. He preferred playing his veteran players at the expense of the younger ones, and he lost the locker room.

  19. Silly comment. Sending Chytil down was an organizational decision. No matter what you think of Quinn, Chytil is a foundational piece of the club that Davidson, Gorton and Quinn all understand.

  20. Here are facts:

    Quinn says he’s not giving in to juggling the line up so quickly and he’s already done that.
    He’s taken a defenseman and put him on the 3rd line and gave him big minutes at the end of games they needed to score goals.
    He benches DeAngelo after watching shift after shift of a completely incompetent Marc Staal, not only put a goal into his own net but clearly show that he can no longer play in this speed oriented NHL.
    He calls out our #2 overall pick stating that the skills that got him here will not work to keep him with the big club. Is Quinn out of his mind? What’s he want to do? Turn Kakko into a 4th line checking forward?

    It’s not 5 games, it’s 87. He’s lost me.

  21. It’s ridiculous to call for DQ’s head only 5 games into the new season. DQ is doing some juggling and experimenting, it’s still very early in the new season with all the new personals and DQ doesn’t have a legit 2C on the roster right now, it’s awfully hard to win in NHL with only one legit line. The Blues was in the last place in the division or in the league at the beginning of 2019, but they won the Cup in the end. Don’t forget that.
    .

  22. To all you Andersson lovers, besides he was drafted 7th in the 1st round, what skills does Andersson have to make you all feel he deserves to be the 2C of the NYR, or he deserves at least 15 min ice time per game? Is it because he is a fast skater? Is it because he is a good shooter? Is it because he is a good passer or a good checker? Convincing me Andersson has any above avg NHL Hockey skills to deserve it? Andersson has 3 G and 5 A in 54 NHL games, Vinni Lettieri has 2 G and 6 A in 46 NHL games, I say Vinni Lettieri is as good a Hockey player as Andersson, let’s give Vinni a chance to play 2C for the NYR and give Vinni 15 min ice time every game.
    .

  23. I would put Kaapo Kakko on the 1st line with Zib and Panarin, move Buch to the 2nd line with CK and Howden. Kakko needs a real NHL C to utilize his skills, and Buch is a good passer to setup CK and Howden.
    .

  24. Joe S

    I’m upset that the man is a phony. How many times has he said that Andersson was playing well, had a good game, then plays the kid six minutes, while Howden isn’t performing but gets promoted to the second line. Please, I’m not saying get rid of the guy, I’m saying that he’s two faced, and reminds me of AV. Time will tell how good he really is, but right now I’m not a fan of how he handling the team……………………..I’m not calling for the team to fire him, too soon for that to be fair!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. well said, Joe. I’m with you – go NYR.
    Lets enjoy hockey – we know improvement will come – it’s still very much a rebuild.

  26. It has nothing to do with the development process when you CAN’T bring yourself to scratch a poorly performing vet. Performance is suppose to be the guide here, I see no reason why DQ can’t apply standards fairly — if you can bench a young player for lack of effort, compete, mistakes, etc. then you can do the same with the vets who are suppose to be an example for the younger players. In fact I can tolerate young kids making a few mistakes better than the vets who should know better by now.

  27. tanto

    Exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Again, the man talks from both sides of his mouth when dealing with the kids……..And there lies the problem that I have with him as a person, more so than as a coach!!!!!!!!!!

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