When the Rangers rebuild and competing lines blur, ice time gets lost

After last night’s almost loss to the lowly Sabres, much anger boiled over about ice time. There was good reason, as yet again the kid line got lost in the shuffle. Alexis Lafreniere had three shifts in the third period, and barely over eight minutes total TOI. Julien Gauthier had less. Filip Chytil managed to crack 10 minutes, getting 10:01 TOI. This is what happens when a rebuilding team competes for the playoffs. Ice time gets lost in competing, and it comes at the expense of development. At what point do the Rangers put a bigger focus on ice time, specifically for the kids?

Even Strength Concerns

Lafreniere hasn’t cracked 11 minutes in ice time in four games. Two of those games are under ten minutes. Three of the last seven games have been under ten minutes of ice time for the former number one overall pick. That seems less than ideal, especially he doesn’t get much powerplay time at the moment. Developing Lafreniere should be a big priority for this club.

Meanwhile, Julien Gauthier has just one game with over ten minutes of ice time in his last seven. While his development is less of a priority for the club, you’d think they’d want to find time for him. Filip Chytil’s ice time has been less of a concern, but as the center between that duo, it gets impacted.

Both Lafreniere and Gauthier are on the third line, which in theory gets more minutes than the fourth line, or so you’d think. While I understand the argument for having a Kevin Rooney out there to defend a lead, there is less of an argument for Phil Di Giuseppe to have more ice time than both. Same goes for Colin Blackwell, and I *love* me some Colin Blackwell on this team. But to play him over some of the kids, especially on the powerplay, seems short sighted.

As an aside – I am not a “fire David Quinn” guy. That said, he has earned criticism with ice time and in-game management. These aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.

Playoffs vs. Development

This is the talking point that David Quinn had yesterday. Vince Mercogliano asked what was on our minds –and Vince should really get a lot of credit for understanding what we want to know and asking the questions– with Quinn providing this response:

There’s a healthy balance between winning and development. You can’t have the kids playing and losing all the time. That doesn’t give the kids a sense of urgency or any confidence when the games start meaning something. If they start meaning something.

The other side of the coin is playing guys who are not a huge part of the future in these key spots. As much as I like Blackwell and Rooney, perhaps part of Lafreniere’s development should be playing with a one goal lead in the third period?

It’s a difficult balance, and as DQ points out, there aren’t enough minutes in the game. Two months ago, however, this wasn’t a problem. So what changed in their approach?

The Rangers are three points out of a playoff spot, yes. However they still need to, a) leap frog the Flyers, and b) make up the three games in hand that the Bruins have. Possible? Sure, but we’ve covered this already.

Earning Time

This is a very common argument, and it’s a fair one. If players aren’t playing well, then they should be held accountable. The thing is, focusing on Lafreniere for a moment, isn’t playing poorly. He’s had some bad games, but so has everyone on the team. He had a string of five sub-50 xGF% games, before putting up two games over 60%. He worked through his issues.

But last night, he had a rough first period. The entire Rangers team played poorly in that first period. So why was the kid line singled out? The rest of the Rangers didn’t see their ice time taken away. And they dominated the rest of the game. Plus the kid line scored to give the Rangers the lead early in the third.

Earn the ice time? Absolutely. Be given a Brett Howden sized leash to work through some issues? Absolutely. Both work here. It’s time for the Rangers and David Quinn to find that ice time balance.

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  • Cut to the chase. Quinn is an incompetent bench manager who plays favorites. And a thoroughly crappy tactician and coach. Send him back to the college ranks where he belongs.

  • Perfect word there, Dave. “Balance”. BTW, from a distance many Ranger fans may not see it, but the Bruins are a faulty team. I live in MA. One big line and a bunch of scrubs. One excellent D, McAvoy. Two good goalies. If the Rangers win both games vs. the Bruins – and they sure can – then there you go.

    Point is, they are in the stretch and while I want to see the kids play more Q is trying to nail down some games here, almost desperately, and I am not against that. So as far as the kids go, imagine what it will do for their development if we make the playoffs vs. go home for a long summer.

    I don’t love him, but Quinn is fine for now. It’s the stretch run and they need to nail down some wins. The kid line is gonna get its chance. Patience. Oh, and balance.

    • Does playing Zib (25+ mins) and Panarin (nearly 24 mins) to the point of exhaustion in a game against the historically awful Sabres qualify as balance? Seems like something on that scale is way off….

      • No. But I am talking about the balance of the season. If they lost last night the season is over. Now it is not. He had to decide who gave the best chance at winning that ONE game. He may have been wrong, but that game needed to be won.

        The next one does too. If Quinn gets dogmatic about this you are right, he’ll burn out the vets and retard the kids’ progress. But it was one game that had to be won. Check. Going forward they’ll need more balance and if the kids continue to play well and Q does not adjust I’ll be driving the fire Q bandwagon.

    • It’s not going to do much for development if Zib and Panarin getting 250-300% of ice time as LaFren and Chytil. And if DQ did indeed feel pressure to do that against the Sabres, it could be even more unbalanced in playoff games. And I would prefer their priority this season to be balanced ice time and opportunities vs balancing development vs playoffs. What’s happening now is inconsistent with current stated management objectives, which, if true, would blow the whole transparency narrative established with the 2018 letter.

  • It’s BS. If Quinn is coaching for his job then the FO is not on board with the rebuild.

    The FO needs to know about the young players AND the coach, as to whether he’s the guy to lead the young players (even though he’s not).

    So, they’re going to try and make the playoffs at the expense of (still) not knowing what they have in the young players. Idiotic.

    P.S. Blackwell can score 100 goals, and I don’t care, because he and others are taking time away from the young players.

    • The FO is too busy with other things to worry about to be bothered watching Quinn’s deployment of minutes to the kids in the REBUILD. Like wondering if Door Dash delivers from their favorite restaurants. And if the next banquet invitation serves JD’s favorite dessert. And making sure Gordie Clarke and Glenn Sather set their alarms to make the continental breakfast meetings that are planned for no apparent reason.

      I’m not sure they even know that Knoblauch was coaching the team to spirited wins with the kids being a little more involved than usual.

      The fan base shouldn’t worry … management has things under control.

        • Of course this was an attempt to be funny but it wasn’t either. If there are young players here supposedly in a rebuild and in need of important minutes I’d like to know what the plan is? Quinn says it’s all about winning, is it? Was that the mission statement for 2021? Was Laf, Chytil, Goat and at times Kakko supposed to get limited TOI? Especially in favor of journeymen who are not part of the future?

          So my attempt at levity is really about where is the direction from the FO? I’d love to have JD’s job what does he do all day? Or Gorton or Sather or Clarke? Will this team win the cup? Ha! How about sticking to a plan?

          • Frank, I didn’t say it wasn’t funny … I just said it was some serious hyperbole. 😉

            There’s certainly a few kernels of truth in what you’re saying, but I guarantee you that guys like Gorton and Clarke work hard most days … and for all we actually know, they might have issues with DQs coaching of certain players and just aren’t willing to fire him (yet).

    • I’ve been saying this the whole time, management, coaching, and PR (ie fan communication) are NOT on the same page. What you are seeing here is a result of that.

      What gets me the most is the pp. This faux ‘playoff run’ is meaningless if kakko and laf have no idea what an nhl pp is like at the end. Tell the first unit, stoppage of play after 1 minute mark you come off. If he doesnt have the fortitude to tell the guys that he should relinquish his duties.

  • and please don’t get me started on Howden, who should be sent to Hartford…..Why doesn’t leadership bring up Barron? Oh wait it’s all about making the playoffs now……so obviously Howden is a key component in the team making the playoffs…

    • Rocky – Sure they can switch out Barron for Howden, but that just gives them one more youngster who has to compete for minutes that the others are already NOT getting.

      At least Barron is getting big minutes in Hartford instead of languishing on the Taxi squad like Krav’s.

      If the playoffs are the objective – it is hard to see where anything will change.

      • To be fair Krav just played a full KHL season. Giving him a breather and not burning a year of his ELC is the smarter move.

  • The coach needs to be VERY aware of ice time, especially in the first 2 periods. I know he wants to win, BUT, roll the lines will ya?

    Case in point – 2 powerplays in the 3rd period. The 1PP got over 1:30 of PP time each time. Is that proper time management?

    Lean on your top guys in the 3rd period, I get that, but maintain awareness that “the kids” can only learn by playing.

    • The second power play unit is a liability, not a strength. The Rangers would be better off if they let the guy out of the box when the first unit goes off. And they don’t get enough time?

      • Oh come on Ray … you must honestly believe the 1st PP unit is BETTER in the last 30-40 seconds of their 1:40 than a fresh 2nd PP unit would be … and that’s a little nonsensical. Blame DQ who overloads the 1st unit without a thought about how those 5 particular players interact. He just puts the “best 5” out there, no more thought than that.

        • Again, the second power play unit is a net minus. You just hope they won’t give up a goal. So yes, get all you can from the first unit. The first unit, overworked though they may be, has only given up one shortie.

          Generally speaking, the optimal strategy is to stick with the first unit unless there are too many clears as the skating up and down the ice takes its toll. so sometimes unit 1 can easily play two minutes and sometimes they shouldn’t. But when the second unit is truly abysmal, maybe you should not risk them at all.

  • The bottom line for me is: If you are not going to send the young players to Hartford to learn while they play a lot of minutes on the ice, then you should not be playing them only 10 minutes or less a game with the big club. The club made the choice to bring the youngsters to the big show. Play them so that they learn the game.

    It seems to me that the organization is making roster decisions that signal that they want to develop young players, but the coach puts on the ice most of the time his veterans and is seeking to win as many games as possible. It is that incongruency that I don’t understand.

    • Right my friend. If they think the kids are not ready then what the hell are they doing here?

      Which, BTW, I believe they are ready.

  • Also, I hate seeing the whole “you can’t rebuild in NY because the fans are too impatient” trope, which is BS to begin with, perpetuated. I can’t help but wonder if COVID added pressure (in a way I don’t understand) to make the playoffs this year that wasn’t there before. If so, very disappointing behavior by management. If not, someone needs to talk to DQ.

  • Quinn is a desperate man…coaching for this job and his next one…he isn’t here to develop anymore or never was…

    Pepe wanted out…because he saw the writing on the wall…whether some of you find him useless…he is a lot less useless than Howden.

    Blackwell has been a great story…but he is playing on lines to succeed …journeyman having a career year…sell high. Put Laffy or Gaut in that spot…give them a leash like you give Blackwell.

    You can see what it has done for Kappo…the goals aren’t plying up but he is a totally different player

    Goons are gone..but I am a firm believer that you need a Matt Martin, a Casey Czikas and a Zach Bogosian.

    Rangers are those three type players away.

    Love Lindgren but he should stay in his lane…his lane is battling Marchand and guys of his own stature.

    • Agree 100%, DQ is worried about his job, he is smart enough to understand that when time comes – he will be replaced by NHL caliber coach, he could care less about development, FO is either blind or just letting him stick around for meaningless season, this team is in no way or shape playoff caliber, let along contender, remember Carolina? We were outcoached and outplayed, nothing changed since… As for a PP – the issue is more than evident: all 5 first unit stars are just stationary, no one moves to confuse and wear out defenders, so easy to play against(block shooting lanes). But the biggest issue is that this coach does not have system at all, players confused about their position without the puck, no one gets open to receive a pass, too many boneheaded plays, no strategy, we play the same way when chasing or protecting the lead… with the amount of talent we have – just painfull to watch

  • I try to stay away from the “Fire Quinn” narrative, but with each passing game it gets harder and harder. There’s no reason to ride a couple of forwards 24-25 minutes (the Top 5 for 22 minutes+). When the “kid” line has a bad shift or two (and I use the term bad lightly), they sit … on the other hand when the Top 2 lines aren’t quite on their game they get played even more.

    Don’t tell me you “lost” them and don’t tell me there aren’t enough minutes in a game — there were 64 minutes in yesterday’s game and zero excuse to not play the kids at least 11-12 minutes.

    Lastly, don’t tell me you’re just 3 points out of the playoffs when the team you have to beat has a full 3 games in hand — not to suggest I don’t believe they have a small chance of making the playoffs, they do. Teams are certainly capable of going on mini-streaks where they can win or lose 3-4 in a row, but you can’t tell me that depends so heavily on giving your Top 6 an extra 4-5 minutes every night above and beyond what would constitute normal ice time for your top 2 lines.

    • Two points. You are the one insisting the Rangers are still in it, yet now you criticize the Rangers for acting like they are still in it.

      Second, you don’t advance the team by giving the “don’t give a shit line” more minutes. People here have no grasp what the term bad shift means. A shift when you don’t make a serious effort, i.e., almost all shifts of Lafreniere, is a bad shift.

      • What is your problem exactly? lol Sure they have a “chance”, but let’s be realistic and state the chance is less likely to occur than to occur. It’s a simple concept to grasp. If the difference between making the playoffs and missing the playoffs is playing the Top 6 over and over and over again to the detrimental development of the younger kids, that’s a bad policy when your FO professes to want to rebuild the RIGHT way so that they can legitimately compete for a decade.

        Re: Lafreniere … aren’t you the same person that suggested Kakko was the worst player in the NHL last year. I mean you’re questioning Lafreniere’s EFFORT? Seriously? WTF. That don’t give a shit line as you call them scored two of the most important goals in the last 2 games … yeah, because they don’t give a shit.

        • Yes, and i still think Kakko was the worst player in the NHL last year. What does that have to do with anything? [Caveat: I am not counting players who appeared in a small number of games, only those who stuck.]

          I never said Kakko had no future. And I never said laf has no future. And why can’t I criticize a player’s effort? When Laf is on the ice, the announcer rarely mentions him. He can make good plays but rarely does anything. He seems to know what to do when the puck hits his stick, but what else. I don’t know why he plays as he does. There are lots of reasons other than pure laziness and lack of commitment, but it still adds up to poor effort.

          JFTR, I like what i have seen from Kakko this year. I support the idea of a Panarin-Strome-Kakko line. So far, the results hav been a little disappointing, but I anticipate that line will be a strong one from here on out.

          For me, this is a good decision situation.
          Scenario A: Panarin-Strome-Kakko
          Scenario B: Panarin-Strome-Blackwell

          Kakko obviously scores more in Scenario A than in B, but that I don’t care about because Blackwell will score less. Kakko can learn either way. The question for me is which Panarin line will actually score more. Presently I am betting on the Kakko line.

          We can get excited about the kids, but in the end it is likely that Artemi Panarin is better than Kakko, Laf, or Kravtsov will ever be and we should not lose sight of this.

  • How about the second power play unit get more than the last 10-15 seconds? Especially, with the power play, being a weakness this season. I understand the top guys are dangerous, but it is often a passing demonstration. Plus the kid line has shown progress with two huge goals by Chytil in the last two games.

  • Dave I like your content but I think you have an odd view when it comes to player development. You can’t just reward a young player with ice time – ice time is earned. If a player does something “well” they will be rewarded with more and if they do something “poorly” then they have their ice time reduced. It is about teaching players what it takes for them to receive more ice time. I am sure Laf is thinking long and hard about what he needs to do to get more ice time from Quinn, which is exactly where Quinn wants him to be. This is all part of the player development plan and I think you are finding flaws where there are none. The Rangers have done a great job developing their players at the moment.

    • There are countless successful NHL rookies over the last 5 years who prove your statement to be incorrect. Quinn would give rookie Crosby 10 mins a night. Or rookie Ovi.

      Think Ottawa regrets playing Tkachuk as much as they have?

      • Yeah and all of you guys last year talked about how Quinn can’t develop Kakko – what do you have to say about that now? Ryan Lindgren/Adam Fox/K’Andre Miller get loads of ice time proving that he has no issue giving young players playing time if they earn it. I am sure that when we look at Laf and the other youngsters next year they will be far and above what we see from them now.. what will you say then? That Quinn got lucky? Ill write your name down and check back in with you next year.

        • Every player you’ve mentioned above is American. Still think he’s had a problem with European players overall. Kakko was handled badly last year. Quinn’s relationship with Kravtsov started badly, and it looks like Quinn has decided to continue the weirdness with the kid in a weak attempt to make the playoffs.

          Write my name down then: I’m pleased to say I think the Rangers need a new coach.

        • Matt, I agree to the extent that the young defensemen have definitiely gotten to play, and now Kakko is as well. So yes, Quinn has allowed them to develop (but probably partially by necessity because he didn’t have enough defensemen to go around too!)

          I think that my main bone of contention is with kids like Lafreniere and Gauthier and Chytil, and probably Kravtsov when he starts getting into games, the young forwards, will all be seeing very limited ice time. I’d rather see the lot of them in Hartford I think if they are only going to play 10 minutes or less, and barely see the ice during the 3rd period. So, I am advocating that they either should get real playing time in the AHL or in the NHL. A few more shifts a game, and some during crunch time too, would go a long way in my view.

          • I just think we are reading too far into whether a player gets 10 mins a night or 13 in their rookie year. The guys you mentioned have tons of potential but at this present moment the are absolutely imperfect players who have a lot to learn. The process here is helping them understand what they have to do to get ice time in the modern NHL. It’s not like Laf is some awful bust who looks lost – he has little things here and there that he needs to improve on and he absolutely will in time. The narrative that DQ doesn’t understand how to develop players is tired and completely without merit considering the leaps and bounds the rangers have made over the past 2 years.

          • They’ve developed in leaps and bounds? Gifted a playoff spot last year, then swept out in three straight, currently outside the playoffs. Give me a break.

            They’ve improved a slight amount this year because Marc Staal doesn’t play 20 mins a night for this team and Brendan Smith isn’t a left wing anymore. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

          • I’ve never said that phrase regarding DQ. He has developed some players, as you pointed out quite correctly. He even let ADA loose to do his thing before the debacle this season.

            I believe, however, that he’d do better by the young forwards if he didn’t seem to predetermine that they are all going to see 10 minutes or less TOI each night. I’d rather they’d play 18 – 20 minutes in Hartford and battle to win in the third period there if that low TOI is going to be their allotted TOI in New York.

        • Very true.
          -3 weeks ago many were trading Mika for Eichel.
          -If you fire Quinn who you replacing him with?
          -Who said young players can’t develop just practicing with team, playing 8-10 minutes/game, or being on a team that’s been overcoming a lot of adversity and trying to compete for a playoff spot?
          -Ask young players on Sabres, Red Wings or Ottawa if they’d trade places with Laf, Chytil, Gauthier or Kakko.
          -Rangers also have some high priced veterans to appease in Kreider, Trouba, Mika and Breadman. Do you think they’re OK getting less ice time so Laf can feel better about himself?

          Today I was listening to Sirius NHL and they were talking about a young Leafs Dman (Justin Holl) , who only practiced with team for a few years, and now he’s a top 4 Dman for them. There’s all different ways to develop and be successful at doing so. Every player is different. I’m sure Quinn and management have a better feel than we do. The exception being Howden. 😉

        • The difference Matt is that DQ doesn’t have much of choice with the defenseman — especially when you consider that ADA has been banished, Trouba was out a month.

          Up front he has many more tools to work with … you know what, any coach can overplay and exhaust their Top 6 in an attempt to squeak into the playoffs, only to get bounced out in the 1st round because that same Top 6 doesn’t have the gas after 60 games (82 in a regular season). I don’t call that real coaching to be honest … any one of us could coach the Rangers if that were the case, just trot out Panarin, Zib, Strome, Buch and Kreider for 21-25 minutes a game. That isn’t “developing” the TEAM, I think some of these kids are developing in spite of the coaching, not because of it — and this is coming from someone who has never actually called for DQ to be fired … but my patience is starting to run out.

      • Your statement is illogical. Fox and Lindgren last year and Miller this year. No retort about they are defensemen. Also, the better the team, the less time the rookies get. If this team were Ottawa,Detroit,LA etc the rooks would play heavy minutes. It seems that the Rangers have a certain expectation of playing the right way.Historically,under different coaches, I remember how Miller and Buch were treated in the beginning. They learned by watching.

        • Miller and Butch were not top 10 which are Lafs, Kaako, Kravs and Lias who could not make it here but nobody blames DQ for that. Why not?

          Fox and Lindgren not Rangers choices. Miller was and got traded. Butch is the only exception here but was drafted before Gorton and got developed prior to DQ by the coach you hated

          • 63% of first round picks make it. Only 12% of 3rd rd become impact players. Lias was a bust in NY and LA. Buch has become an impact player. I’m sure that Karako and LaF will be fine.Kravs went back after not making an impact last year. Hopefully he will have matured.
            As far as Fox and Lindgren,they were Gorton steals and K’Andre was a Gorton trade up.

      • “Quinn would give rookie Crosby 10 mins a night”

        A lie, pure and simple.

        When Crosby joined the Penguins, Mario Lemieux said he is better than I am. Think Panarin said that about Lafreniere? hell, think Rooney said that about Lafreniere?

        There are not countless successful teenagers in the last five years. Sure Gretzky, Crosby, McDavid were great from day one and this is not a complete list. But the list is not very long.

    • I’m not entirely sure the point you’re trying to make here? I covered earning time above.

      My opinion on DQ, which was stated in the post: “As an aside – I am not a “fire David Quinn” guy. That said, he has earned criticism with ice time and in-game management. These aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.”

  • Agree. More playing time needed on 3rd line. Put Kravs 3rd line RW. Gaut-Blackwell-Rooney on 4th line and they will score too. Goodbye Howden and DiGuissepe.

  • Ranger fans are not dumb, and considered to be one of the smartest fan bases in sports……Once the building get full, it’s going to wail Quinn must go chants, and not because we don’t like him personally, it’s because of his coaching and fundamentals…….I was one of the biggest Quinn supporters, and defended him to the end…… but this year, the love affair is over, and I’m seeing the same silly mistakes, and questionable decision making. And I will be the first to eat crow if Quinn stays long enough to take this team into serious contention.

  • Why bother making the playoffs anyway, we were completely DESTROYED by Carolina last year! I highly doubt we get a single win if we sneak in this year, so the end of it will be sacrificing development of our future players (and the team) in order to sell overpriced beer and hot dogs for 2 games at 20% capacity. It’s really hard to love this team sometimes. SMHH

    • Agree 100%, we are basically bringing back the same team from last year that got bitch slapped by Carolina.
      Fundamentally it would be better to give Laffy, Chytil,Gauthier and Kravtsov a ton of ice time to see what they can do, no reason to play Howden, Digi, and Rooney as much as they do.

  • Well if fans don’t realize that Quinn is getting the basic goals and perspective from Gorton and JD…well I don’t know what to say.

    If one thinks that FO is ‘too busy’ elsewhere not to pay attention???

    Well I am totally gobsmacked.

    • Jay….No doubt he is getting marching orders fromJG and JD. IMO the upset is due to his lineup, players TOI and reaction time to competition maneuvers, none of which are in the FO purview. Thats generally all on the coach. I agree with your comment on the front office ‘Too busy”, I call BS. I wish DQ had given his now 3rd line the ice in February, rather than the constant trying to find matches. It would be really sweet now…they would be more productive, players wouldn’t have to get the TOI they are, they would all be more ready to go rather than exhausted, all players would be more involved and the FO would know what they have.
      It’s not to late.

      • Jeff, my problem is, big picture, some think Quinn’s comments to focus on winning is solely his idea.

  • it is about
    HEY FO, what is the game plan for the rest of the year? next year get a new coach.

  • Every game Coach Quinn doesn’t have our team ready to play. Our intensity is sleep skating the first 10 minutes. This is not new. 3 season of this. Benching our kids for mistakes but allows Kreider, Howden, Smith, Trouba. to make same mistakes and nothing happens to them. The locker room notices this and causes dissention within.

    Our defense has gotten a lot better thanks to Jacues Martin. An exeperienced NHL coach. Quinn still wants to give up the blue line every rush up the ice. You have to be blind to see how the rangers played when he wasn’t behind the bench. I’m not saying he is a bad hockey coach, but he is not ready for NHL level talent and tactics.

  • Makes you think the whole “lost them on the bench” comments are just a creative answer for the press and fans. I think Quinn knows what he’s doing for sure. I kind of believed that comment when I first heard it. But when it keeps happening, and now it’s kind of getting worse, that’s not an oversight.

    Quinn though is no different than about 95% of coaches. A guy like Torts is the only one in recent memory that just ripped the band-aid off and inserted kids everywhere. He beat the hell out of them, and was on them all the time. But he developed the youngsters here by just putting them in and giving them important opportunities. Remember when he had Zucc win the shootout in his first game? He knew it was a skill he had, so show us what you got kid… and boom … there it is. He would never have Kravstov sitting in street clothes like this for an extended period of time.

    The fans are not impatient here. We got the letter, we bought into the idea, and they have some real talent in these youngsters. Weave them in, balance the lines, get them on the ice, and let them play.

    What Quinn is doing isn’t really a fireable offense. But I can’t help but think a more experienced NHL coach would help a lot here.

  • 2 questions
    1. Which line scored the second goal?
    2. Who wasn’t on the ice for the goal we gave up with 3.5 seconds left?

    xGF% didn’t score that goal, the third line and some tenactity did. Advanced stats are fine as a guideline. They are not a gospel. You don’t win games xGF% 15 to xGF% 10 you win games 3-2, 9-0, 5-4 etc. You also don’t improve your play sitting on the bench. Maybe you get pointers from the coaches but if you can’t put those pointers to good use then what?

    One final point on the PP. It’s great watching the top unit pass the puck for 1 minutes 40 seconds, but tell me again how PP2 gets better under those conditions?

  • I’m sick and tired of watching our 1st or 2nd line forwards miss assignments and they don’t ride the pines.If our young players who BTW are extremely talented 13,24 and I’ll throw in 72 get stapled to bench or put on 4th line duty why doesn’t the vets ride the pines.This is the same shit AV did and yes I do believe DQ is fighting for his job security.BTW I’m tired of hearing how much this coach has helped develope Fox and Lindgren they were 2 very underrated d men by our fan base.I went to plenty of games live and in Buff tourney U20.Those 2 kids were always players that can excel and this level.Play the kids once in a while on 2nd power play unit.Watch how #13 passes to open guys and they can’t handle pass.He needs to be with elite forward who can finish.

  • I tell you this. I would rather watch a learning/mistake making Laf, Kravs, Barron every single night in a losing but hard working effort vs Rooney, PDG and bless him Blackwell. Why did they even bring the kid over from Russia? And what is Barron doing in Hartford while Howden is on the big squad?

  • In full agreement with everyone who see DQ is a terrible coach, not only for NHL but at a college level. He does not have a system per se, he never adjusts besides making irrational line changes, his PP is predictable and dependent pretty much on Ponarin. Kreider essentially taken out and it is playing four on four.

    I thought he was hired specifically with “player development” being a key. How many young players has he developed? Wahstorm has almost as many goals and total points as number two last year and number one this year combined and the stud Rangers choice drafted ahead of him has not played a single game. Is Wahstorm that good? He is one dimensional player but he plays for the coach who knows how to utilize him. Do you think any of these guys would have not doubled Wahstorm’s numbers playing for them or Tampa or any team with a good coach? Herb Brooks was a great college coach who did really well with his college system in NHL, never won the Cup but every year he would beat favorite Flyers and lose to certainly more talented Isles. Herb developed young talent. DQ is not HB. He does not develop any young player (Fox is not an exception, he has developed in spite of DQ). He should be fired if Davidson is a good judge of performance. Gordon should be let go too. Nothing he has done besides couple,of trades and being lottery lucky has justified him still being there

    Last word to add about last night game. Not only they played the worst team with backup goalie but that team payed the night before and came out fresher in the first period than the Rangers. If you need your top players to play the game as the seventh game of the playoffs then the coach needs to find something better to do. The bottom line this team does not play for this coach, they do not believe in him or his system

  • Dave and most people here have a very simple minded approach to development: “The way kids learn is by playing and the more they play, especially given lots of opportunity to score, the faster they will develop.”
    Sorry, that’s all crap.

    The primary aspect of development is developing attitude and approach to the game. Players need to show up for every shift. If they can’t do that, they are playing too much. Sure, scoring goals can be fun but they need to understand that preventing goals is exactly as important as scoring them. Players need to understand the system and how to play within the system. Mostly on the ice, you don’t do what you want to do, you do what you have to do.

    The second aspect is judgment and positioning, learning how to react in certain situations – understanding which plays are dangerous and what kind of plays have high payoffs.

    The third aspect is honing skill, getting shots where you want them, handling passes, making good passes, winning puck battles, blacking opponent paths etc.

    A non-aspect is confidence. Sure, day to day it makes a difference, but in the end you don’t get to be a premiere athlete without being arrogant as hell. Kevin Rooney is better than Lafreniere. Does anyone seriously think Laf is not 100% convinced that this will change? The greater danger is that he may think this will happen without any effort on his part.


    The way to achieve development is not to just heap ice time on people. Most of the development occurs in practice, not in the games themselves. As for the games, well, you can teach attitude by rewarding proper play with more ice time. You work hardest with players who get embarrassed on the ice and want to work on how to keep the same thing from happening again.


    And it never ends. By treating kids like prima donnas, you tell the rest of the team they don’t matter. Oh sure, what’s the worst that can happen – they don’t show up for some games. Oh yeah, that does happen, doesn’t it.

    David Quinn is far from perfect. In fact, i don’t think I like him. But much of what he does that people don’t understand is their inability to grasp what development is, not his shortcoming.

    • Not to argue with you but can you perhaps respond why Graves has blossomed in Colorado? Is he that good to lead the league on plus/minus last year? Or DQ and Gorton perhaps not great talent evaluators? Not much have been stated about Anderson fiasco. And why the coach did not take any shots with ADA issues? He is after all the coach and leader of the team.

      I cant find anything positive about this coach. Whoever defends him here has to show actual positive evidence rather than having vague statements. IMHO he is the worst coach in Rangers history

      • Graves is an entirely different issue. He simply was never taken seriously by the organization and knew he had to go elsewhere to succeed. Sean Day (who probably won’t make it) left the Rangers because he was sent to the ECHL to make room for Mason Geertsen – he’s now a Tampa Bay signee. There may be someone on the current Hartford roster not given a fair shake. And sometimes, like Graves, it goes terribly wrong. The organization does make evaluation errors on occasion – worse than average. I don’t know how many blunders others make.

        • Not following your argument. Hockey is a business. Who cares whether Graves thought he was taken seriously. He was a Ranger asset and was given away for nothing and next season lead the league in plus/minus. The good organization cannot make such terrible talent evaluations. You easily give credits for getting Fox trade but then be fair and put the blame where it belongs

    • Your premise that giving the kids playing time is treating them like prima donnas is the simple minded conclusion in my opinion Ray. I know you dispute the validity, but playing significant minutes in games, whether with the big club or in Hartford, is how players learn to play. If you are going to bring the kids to the NHL in lieu of spending time in the AHL, then bite the bullet and let them play a bit more than 8 or 9 or 10 minutes a game, and throw them out there in the third period too. That is how you get them to learn to win.

      Yes, maybe you sit one of them down for some shifts and drill them on the mistake they are making during the game. But that is not what is happening now. Now it is a foregone conclusion that they are going to see limited TOI. That is the problem.

    • A non-aspect is confidence? Huh?

      Frankly, if you listen to young guys who have turned the corner, confidence is probably the thing that they themselves mention most. And they don’t say it arrogantly.

      Last time I knew confidence and arrogance were not synonymous.

  • This isn’t Peewee hockey where little Jonny has to get the same playing time as little Billy. This is the big leagues folks and the Rangers are taking a run at the playoffs. Chill.

    • Check the other teams Box Scores. When was Stamcos or Sidney has played over 20 minutes per game? The minutes distribution is even in all top contenders (4th line exception). If you can’t achieve the balance you do not confidence in your players or your system

      Just check NFL, would you think any coach would not be under pressure to give the snaps to top one or two draft choice? All reporters would have been in GM and coaches faces.

      There is little accountability in NHL. This is why both the coach and GM are still being emplyed

    • Kravtsov was number one prospect at the beginning of last year not on the Rangers but entire rookie pool. He had an excellent year in Russia. He is in my opinion ahead of Lafs and Kaako and the coach cannot find a place for him to play. Get a different coach

        • me too. Playing 3-4 minutes. LOL

          Jeff, he is a real deal. Doubt many Rangers prospects ever been rated number one on TSN list. But besides Howden I doubt this coaching staff could find time for their prospects.

          I got it that coach might be playing for his job. But the same people who claim that the coach gets his orders from GM which is very strange to begin with, Should they be asking why GM has not delivered a single draft choice to NHL (Miller is an exception and two lucky drafts lottery) in 6 years while he had a full power. Not even going to ask his two caches

          Have heard so much here how Rangers could not contend in the playoffs and they lost to Carolina last year. All true but why the same people not putting the blame to the right people? This is a very talented team and with the right coach could have easily advanced last year and certainly this year.

          The team needs to be built starting with president and GM sharing the vision. The the coach who understands the vision and builds the system with the players he gets. Players wise you always start with the goalie and defense and then extend to forwards but teach he system and the vision whether it is in minors, college or anywhere.

          This organization is so random that you give them Gretzky, Mario, McDavid they will find something to complain about and never take any credit

  • pfft The kid line was god awful in the first period last night. Buffalo had them pinned in on each of their shifts. They deserved less ice time.
    The fourth line did the opposite, altho PDG penalty was bad.
    I agree with Quinn on this one.

      • I saw it. Was a nice hard working goal…in the third period.
        My statement referred to this first period specifically.
        Maybe Quinn changed who they were lining up against
        Is there a site that is easily accessible that tracks that?
        Rabbit hole here I come

  • Very sincere and honest question for the fans who defend DQ/GM

    Can you please name one NHL team (contender, pretender, loser) who would not find 10-12 mins per game for Lafs and Kaako and for two weeks could not find any playing time for Kravs?

    If you do please name these teams. Doubt anyone could but if you do ask yourselves is it a fault of GM or could not draft the talent or the coach who could not develop the top 10 talent in 4 years? ( in 4 years I am including Lias)

  • I believe DQ is on hot seat. JD and Gorton were of the opinion that the team could take a big step forward this year and with all the excitement of adding Laffy and KK second year there would be a jump. Reality is their stuck in neutral way to many games where their out played and under prepared. It’s evident DQ has no system and his BS of a meritocracy is laughable. He is way over his head. Rangers have enough talent to roll 3 1/2 lines. The NHL is changing rapidly no longer are the days of 2 scoring lines a checking line and a goon line. It’s inexcusable that DQ looses players on his bench who seem to be the kids who are the future. The best teams the teams who win multiple cups find a way to play kids develop them essentially incorporating youth into lineup without sacrificing winning – something DQ hasn’t figured out yet – I’m opportunistic and hope he can figure it out.

  • Point well taken! What’s more important winning or developing a top echelon team? I think it’s a reach to think we’ve arrived as a team: we should still b developing young talent (loaded with great potential) & meshing them into a long term quality team!

  • We all want to win, but 1st a winner has to b put together & built by developing good young talent (which we have)! If patient, these good young players WILL b winners!!

  • I have an argument with my son on Quinn’s development of young players. Quinn’s attitude and response right on with my thinking. Quinn might not be the guy. Maybe the trade the Rangers make would be to switch coaching staffs with Hartford.

  • For all this talk of playoff contention, everyone seems to forget that the only reason the Rangers defense has improved is because Martin has implemented an actual system. Brendan Smith has become useful for the first time in years and Fox is blossoming into a Norris contender. The playoffs really shouldn’t matter right now. I said last year that Kakko and Krav should start in the AHL like Chytil did to build their confidence and familiarity with North American ice. Instead Krav got run out of town by DQ’s deployment idiocy and Kakko lost a lot of confidence. The team is rushing its kids onto NHL ice and at the same time underutilizing them. Lafreniere may be a 1OA pick, but he still should have spent a few months playing in Hartford to get his bearings.

  • This article is spot on….it is EXACTLY the problem the Rangers are facing. Quinn probably realizes he’s coaching for his NHL life, but doesn’t realize he was brought here to develop players. This isn’t development

    He says he needs to be accountable to the locker room….well letting them know they’re a team that wins together is a start, and the next step is putting Laf on the line with Mika, and Buch on a line with Chytil so these young guys can play with playmakers and have success, and not get left behind because you decided to go with Mika for a double shift

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