New York Rangers: Quinn must play the kids no matter the result

David Quinn, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
David Quinn, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

After a slow start to 2018-19, the New York Rangers could be looking at another underwhelming campaign. Coach David Quinn must stick to player development, no matter the cost.

The New York Rangers looked good in their first two games to start the season. They weren’t great – but good. Both were performances for fans to get excited about, in that the Blueshirts could build on them.

Of course, I can’t continue without complaining about the subsequent one game in eleven days. It was easy to blame the 4-1 loss to Edmonton, and even the 5-2 loss to Jersey on the elongated hiatus. But now it’s starting to become clearer that the problem is a bit more complicated.

We know the Rangers are young. Mistakes will be made, but their consistency has been outrageously terrible and play has been careless. There have been some feel-good moments, like the third period against Vancouver, where the New York Rangers outshot them 16-6.

They tried to extend that momentum into the Arizona game but looked awful. Tony DeAngelo showed his upside scoring two goals against his former team, but there wasn’t much else to feel great about after the 3-2 overtime loss to another young team.

The most frustrating part of this stretch – you guessed it – the lines. Quinn has left us scratching our heads at his line combos. He’s switched them up a couple of times, but some things, like Brendan Smith staying in the top nine, have stayed constant.

New York Rangers Nation was pretty confused when Filip Chytil and Vitali Kravtsov were cut from the team, out of camp. Now after seeing the Blueshirts struggle and Quinn reverting to placeholder veterans, it’s even more troubling.

If the team is going to lose, at least stick to development. Quinn must stop mixing Greg McKegg and Micheal Haley into different lines. We all love and appreciate Jesper Fast, but he is not the player who belongs on the first line with Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin.

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It’s time to move Kaapo Kakko up to the top line on a permanent basis and call up Chytil and/or Kravtsov. It’s early, but thinking that Brendan Smith is the crutch to lean on in tight situations is insane.

It’s interesting to point out that Kakko was third-to-last on the team in minutes, while Marc Staal was sixth against Arizona. What benefit to the team does the defenseman provide to keep holding Quinn’s trust? Is it because of his contract that the Rangers refuse to scratch him?

Quinn also has been hindering the playing time of Lias Andersson in the last couple of games. He’s been “riding the hot hand” on some other players that just don’t have any higher ceiling than what we’ve seen. Another counter-productive move considering Quinn was hired due to his chemistry with millennial players.

He should be focused on developing the abundance of youth in this lineup. Instead, the coach is benching prospects and making the strange line combos. Since it’s still October, this could all be very reactionary. Let’s not throw in the towel on Quinn at the moment, but these recent decisions have made it easy to give him the blame when things go south.

Next. Rangers have a huge problem on the defensive end. dark

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