The New York Rangers are not getting off to the start they would have wanted. They are last in the league’s overall standings, promising netminder, Igor Shesterkin, looks as if he can’t even stop a beach ball, and all of the top players seem to be underperforming. So what seems to be the main problem causing a young and promising team to struggle so much?
I’m not even going to waste my time with Jack Johnson. He should have never been signed in the first place. He makes Marc Staal look like a Norris Trophy winner. If that’s not enough, he’s a minus-four on the season through only five games, has zero points, and seems to always allow the opponent to get back into the game whenever they need a momentum shift. Yet, with all of this in mind, he is still averaging 16:37 of ice time. So why is a player that is the equivalent of a traffic cone getting this much ice time? Ask head coach David Quinn. Speaking of David Quin.
David Quinn’s Awful Coaching
This actually pains me to write this. I actually liked David Quinn when he was hired back in 2018. I loved his hard-nosed attitude and his coaching style of being aggressive and playing with tenacity, all things the Rangers lacked during the Vigneault Era. Yes, I was pretty excited when the organization hired Quinn. I thought this would be the man to lead us through the rebuild and return to the playoffs. Oh, how wrong I was.
David Quinn is one of the worst coaches in the NHL. He has failed to transition from the college level to the pros, and it shows through his decision making. Why does he give Jack Johnson, a fourteen-year veteran, a literal traffic cone on the ice, a guy who doesn’t understand the concept of defense, top-six minutes? Why did he put a defenseman in Tony DeAngelo in a shootout when you have guys such as Mika Zibanejad, Alexis Lafreniere, Chris Kreider, Kappo Kakko, and Filip Chytil? Why would anyone in their right mind put a defenseman second in the shootout when you have second and first overall picks in Kappo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere?
What is Quinn Thinking?
Lafreniere is the best prospect to come out of the draft since Connor Mcdavid and decide to put a defenseman to do a skills competition instead of him? I could go on and on about Quinn, but this decision alone should have gotten him fired. In a 56 game season where you’re only playing arch-rivals, every game and point matters. What if the Rangers miss out on the playoffs by one or two points? What if this game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, January 23rd, 2021, is the reason the Rangers miss out on the playoffs? If this were to happen, there is no one to blame but David Quin. He is not the man that is going to lead the Rangers back to the promised land. He needs to go.
In the game of hockey, winning faceoffs can be crucial to whether a team is successful or not. Faceoffs can allow a team to play ahead or play catch up. With that being said, I think you can say the New York Rangers like to play catch up rather than ahead. The Rangers’ faceoff percentage is last in league with only 41.8%. In their first game against the Buffalo Sabres, they went 17/56 in the faceoff circle. Oh my.
This just simply can’t happen anymore if the Rangers have any intentions for turning their season around. They either improve or make moves at the deadline. It is as simple as that.
The season is still early enough for the New York Rangers to turn things around and win more hockey games. However, the organization needs to look at the main issues and address them to get to that point. Otherwise, Rangers fans are in for a long one.