Musings

Mailbag: Play development and training, David Quinn

Answering questions about the Rangers

Three questions for this week’s mailbag. Just a note, I got these questions about 2-3 weeks ago, but held on to them so I could queue up content while I was away. As always, use the widget on the right to submit your questions for the mailbag.

Tim asks: If the Rangers don’t make the playoffs but Hartford does, which prospects from the NHL club can be sent down to play for Hartford?

It’s been a while since this has happened since Hartford has been so bad for so long, but yes the Rangers can send any player that doesn’t require waivers down to Hartford for their run. Any prospect that has not played 160 NHL games (assuming the contract was signed at 18 years of age) can be sent down without waivers. That list will include Brett Howden, Lias Andersson, Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, Ryan Lindgren, and Libor Hajek. Alex Georgiev will hit the games limit this year, so he won’t be eligible to play for Hartford. If Adam Fox hits 80 games this year, he won’t be able to play with Hartford. He’s at 14 right now, and considering how he’s played, unless he gets hurt, he won’t be eligible either.

Steffen asks: I read somewhere that a hockey team changed their training philosophy recently, specifically that after mistakes were made on the ice that player was immediately sent back out to learn, instead of benching him. Do you know what team that was?

I did some googling and couldn’t find anything on this and couldn’t find anything, but the idea piqued my interest. This mindset is similar to getting into a car accident and forcing yourself to drive again right away. The thought process is that the faster you do it, the less you think about it and the quicker you just go about your business again. The same can be applied to hockey (and life). If you make a mistake, and you know it, get back out there and just do your thing. It’s why teams hate bad losses right before long breaks. The more time you have to think, the better. Instead of punishing mistakes, you get back out there and just move on. I like it, I wish more teams adopted this philosophy.

Jack M. asks: I totally agree that David Quinn isn’t an NHL coach. Why haven’t they brought back Ulf Samuelsson?

While we have certainly written a lot about Quinn’s concerns this year, I don’t think any of us think he is overmatched, at least not yet. I personally think it’s too soon to fully judge a coach, but I have my concerns about his systems and about his lineup choices. I’ve verbalized that and made my points, as have Rob and Justin and the other folks here. As for Ulfie, he was the head coach in Charlotte for a season after leaving the Rangers, and is now an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks.

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10 Comments

  1. I have my issues with some of DQ’s decisions and systems, but I hardly think he isn’t an NHL coach. There’s no question that his “techniques” have worked well with ADA, Kakko, Buch, Chytil (so far), Hajek and Lindgren … not sure he’s had any major impact on Fox who has just been flat out good from the start … but he’s been questionable with regard to Andersson and Howden, possibly Kravtsov.

    Re: philosophies, I see it as a tough love versus supportive love — and I think DQ tries to straddle the two, depending on the individual — although that doesn’t always seem to be the case or IMO he misjudges some individuals and what will best work to get them through the “process”. I think he’s mishandling Andersson and I strongly believe he botched Kravtsov (along with the Hartford coaches). On the other hand he showed a lot of faith in Kakko from the start, same for Fox, and that worked. He was tough on ADA and Buch, that worked as well.

    All in all it’s a mixed bag but I remain very positive about the future — and I would be even more positive if we could lose Ruff and Staalsy.

    1. I think, you didn’t understand point correctly, it’s not about personal, but missing strategy, and we probably have other side of Rangers coaching coin one side AV who has plan on the game, but can not adapt, and DQ probably trying to adapt, but doesn’t have system

  2. Tanto

    “I think he’s mishandling Andersson and I strongly believe he botched Kravtsov (along with the Hartford coaches). On the other hand he showed a lot of faith in Kakko from the start”
    Really, if he didn’t play the kid, he would be pounding the pavement today. The front office has too much invested in Kakko to be mistreated.
    On a side note, DQ was a defenseman, why can’t he teach the kids to play defense? Ruff is terrible to say the least, why not work with him to help teach the kids to defend? Why hasn’t the organization considered Beuok, he coached in the AHL before, and was decent at it. As far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out on DQ, and his two faced ways!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. While, ultimately wins matter most, the Rangers are at the bottom of all the metrics/stats that matter in this version of the NHL. Can this all be blamed on being a young team? Some, but not all.

    As other fans have pointed out to me, how many coaches have made a successful transition from college to the NHL? Not many, so I guess that we have to wait and see.

    The one thing that DQ definitely has going for him is that the players seem to like him and support him. So that’s a plus.

  4. Some are just losing sight of the big picture now.

    DQ is doing very well, and pretty much exactly what he’s supposed to be doing. Yes, there are small things here and there and game to game. But big picture, we have the youngest team in the NHL with about 1/3 of the roster 21yrs old or YOUNGER. And he’s definitely developed these kids. He doesn’t treat them all the same way (and not sure why there’s a demand that he should). But he is getting better hockey out of guys like Buch, DeAngelo, Chytil, Kakko, Lemieux, Fox, Lindgren, Hajek, and Georgiev. You could even throw some vets in there playing better hockey under DQ like Zibanejad and Strome. That’s about half the team and just about every young player we have.

    But we can’t go 1 day w/o hearing about poor Lias and his ice-time. Training camp was 2 months ago! The kid hasn’t done much up here in the NHL to show he should get moved up to anything. I would settle for a glimpse or flash of high-end potential. But it just isn’t there guys, and it isn’t Quinn’s fault. I don’t believe better wingers would help him… in fact, he would probably hurt their game. It’s a blown draft pick. We’ve had more than a few. It’s a shame and I think they’re trying their best to salvage some sort of trade value with him. But the kid just doesn’t seem to have it…

    1. What has Howden done that Lias has not? Lias also seems to be better defensively these days than Howden. I would have no problem with them switching lines a bit and seeing what Lias might do with some better wingers. Saying you don’t think he’d do better doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t. I think the issue is that we don’t know at this juncture and that is the point.

      1. Howden and Lias are both marginals at this point. The core group of youngsters mentioned above are the heart of this whole youth movement, and they are all playing well for Quinn. You have some top 6 forwards and top 4 d-men in that group, so the constant complaints about Lias vs Howden just doesn’t seem that important. It feels like searching for something to complain about to me. That’s what I mean about the big picture. We have 1 or 2 prospects that are not meeting expectations (right now). But the big, important (high ceiling) pieces that will shape this team for many years are developing very well.

  5. That’s a pretty bold way to start a question. “I agree dq isn’t a nhl coach “. If you assume wins in gih (pretty dangerous , so dont) they are in a WC spot. This all with out their top c mostly. And like Richter says the players seem to play for him. Ala aaron Boone

    Do they still get severely outshot ? Hemmed in too much? Questionable lines ? All yes, but it’s all been years since I’ve felt this good offensively about our team. Most of the young guys seem to be progressing. Now the two sticky points:

    Lias is imo a more global issue than just the coaches. What were the scouts looking at? What were their goals with the pick (which predates quinn and JD btw)? Where does it fit in now? I can’t answer all those.

    Krav clearly needed more seasoning. Ahl/khl wherever.

    1. I really want to see Lias succeed and it is still early in his career to make a judgement how far he will go. However, at this juncture when I watch him play, I can’t stop thinking where’s the beef?

  6. I remember a time back in the very old days when 21 was considered young, just ask Walt or Peter (lol) — he’s not the player he’s going to be, but he’s not going to be much if DQ gives him 9 minutes a night with a couple of marginal wingers.

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