After the New York Rangers were demolished 5-0 on the road in the last game of the regular season against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Rangers decided to fire Alain Vigneault as the head coach of the team. Under Vigneault, they made it to a Stanley Cup Final and they also had deep playoff runs, but New York had nothing to show for it.
The Rangers finished in last place in the Metropolitan Division last season. During the offseason, they decided to hire David Quinn as the new head coach. He coached at Boston University. The Dallas Stars and the Philadelphia Flyers are the other two teams in the league right now that have coaches that have coached at the NCAA level.
Quinn has brought an energetic attitude to a young New York Rangers team. They are in the middle of a rebuild and the Rangers hope one day they will be serious Stanley Cup contenders again. New York is going through growing pains this season despite their 13-10-2 record with 28 points. They currently sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division.
The New York Rangers have scored 75 goals so far this season and they have given up 76 goals. New York started the season with a 4-7-1 record. They have been a lot better lately and they look more structured and faster.
Their roster has an average age of 26.4. Filip Chytil is only 19 years old. He was a first-round pick last season and so was Lias Andersson. Chytil has scored five goals and has recorded four assists so far this season. His plus/minus rating is even. Andersson has scored one goal and one assist so far this season. He has only played in 11 games so far this season.
Chris Kreider leads the team in points with 21 (13 goals and 8 assists). His plus/minus rating is seven.
Mike Zibanejad has scored eight goals and recorded 13 assists. His plus/minus rating is -6. Neal Pionk and Brett Howden have each scored four goals so far this season. Pionk has 11 assists and Howden has nine assists. Pionk’s plus/minus rating is -4. Howden’s plus/minus rating is -1. Kevin Hayes has scored five goals and recorded 12 assists. His plus/minus rating is 6.
The youth movement has been pretty good under Dan Quinn, but they still don’t have that player that can take over a game.
At some point, they will hit a wall because of how young they are, and they are not ready to contend yet. I predicted before the season that this team would finish in seventh in the Metropolitan Division. They don’t have enough to contend with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Pittsburgh Penguins, or the Washington Capitals. The Carolina Hurricanes, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the New Jersey Devils all have a better roster than the Rangers do. The only team that doesn’t is the New York Islanders and they will also fall at some point.
Speaking of falling, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist numbers have dipped over the past couple of years, but he has been better this season. His record is 9-7 with a .921 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA. Alexander Georgiev is the backup goaltender for the Rangers. His record is 4-3 with a .903 save percentage and a 3.12 GAA, along with one shutout.
Goaltender Igor Shestyorkin could be in the New York Rangers system very soon and it could help David Quinn’s cause since Lundqvist is 36 years old and he has only two years left on his contract.
Right winger Vitali Kravtsov, defenseman K’Andre Miller, and defenseman Nils Lundkvist were all drafted in the first-round in 2018 and they could make an impact sooner rather than later.
David Quinn has this team heading in the right direction. If they make it to the playoffs this season, the New York Rangers will have nothing to lose. In a couple of years from now, they will have Stanley Cup or bust expectations once again.
– Glenn Kaplan, WTF Sports Intern
Edited by Scott Edwards