In May, Former Boston University head coach David Quinn signed on to coach the New York Rangers.
During his tenure at Boston University, Quinn worked with many talented players including Clayton Keller, Jack Eichel, Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy, Jordan Greenway and Brady Tkachuk. He helped develop these players into NHL caliber studs. Throughout his time at Boston University, NHL teams took notice of his coaching style and loved what they saw. Unfortunately for other teams in the league, the Rangers beat them to the punch.
Quinn’s Coaching Style
The Rangers were confident in Quinn because of his experience coaching younger players, his ability to help teach and develop them, and for his no-nonsense attitude.
Already this season Quinn has made veterans Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith, and Fredrik Cleason healthy scratches. To go along with the veterans being scratched, young players, like Pavel Buchnevich, Anthony DeAngelo, and Filip Chytil, who were not playing up to expectations or working hard enough for Quinn, have also been scratched.
Quinn has taken a young team with low expectations and got them to buy into his system and his idea of working hard or not playing. The Rangers, as they currently stand, will not outskill any team, but on numerous occasions they have shown the ability, and willingness, to out work opponents.
Tony DeAngelo & Alexandar Georgiev
Defenseman Tony DeAngelo, who is currently riding a 6 game point streak, and has 9 points in his last 10 games, is a nice example of Quinn’s coaching style helping young players succeed. It took DeAngelo a couple of months to get here, including two scratches for maturity issues, but Quinn seems to know exactly what buttons to push.
Quinn is also playing back-up goalie Alexandar Georgiev more often, to give 37 year old Henrik Lundqvist a break. This is exceptional coaching for two main reasons. First and foremost, it keeps the franchise net-minder healthy and extends his longevity, and secondly it gives management a good look at what they have in Georgiev.
No One Is Perfect
The Rangers are now a hardworking team, that has shown on numerous occasions the ability to fight back from behind, that will never quit on a game. Although the team has bought into Quinn’s style and teaching, that is not to say he is perfect.
Quinn, until the beginning of February, was leaning heavily on Marc Staal and Neal Pionk as a first pair. Staal, while a dedicated and hardworking teammate, is a 3rd pair defender at best. The same can be said for Pionk, because when he isn’t putting up points, he is a massive defensive liability. (Pionk has not scored a point since his assist on Jan. 10)
Over the course of the last few weeks, the most glaring issue with Quinn is his reliance on playing 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. Some of that may be attributed to the teams makeup, but even so, at the NHL level, coaches should always try to have 12 forwards and 6 defenseman, unless an injury prevents it.
The Rangers are still rebuilding, and with low expectations that they have already succeeded, will continue on this rebuilding path for the next couple of years. One can only hope that Quinn continues to help young players blossom and become hardworking, talented, NHL players. If the Rangers bring in the talent, Quinn seems to be the coach to help this team become a winner.
Overall Grade: B+
stats from hockey-reference.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals