Fans were made aware at the February trade deadline that the New York Rangers were entering a rebuilding phase with younger players and a new head coach leading the way to ensure that the Blue Shirts can once again be playoffs contenders. However, at the moment, the Rangers are not getting the results they were hoping for. So far this season, the Rangers are 0-3 and head coach David Quinn wanted to send an important message to his dressing room.
As Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic, Quinn is making sure his players are being accountable. On Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres, he "stapled Kevin Hayes to the bench for long stretches of the last two periods. On Sunday in Raleigh it was Kevin Shattenkirk – who has certainly been deserving of such so far – playing three puny shifts in the last two periods, none after another defensive-zone gaffe on the seventh Carolina goal with 8:29 left."
Yeah, Shattenkirk was nailed to the bench after many mistakes. The Hurricanes beat them to a 8-5 final score and Quinn wanted his team to know that he is not afraid of using younger players instead of veteran players. Quinn wanted to spark things up and got defenseman Tony DeAngelo involved, rolling out a Rangers lineup Sunday night with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. DeAngelo, who came in handy as Shattenkirk was stapled to the bench, ended the night with a pair of assists in a physical 17:34 of ice time in his season debut despite the loss.
You can see the game recap in the video above.
“I thought Tony played well,” Quinn said after the contest, according to the New York Post. “Tony did a good job for his first game and he had a good training camp. I liked his game.”
When Quinn kept Hayes on the bench on Saturday against the Sabres, the forward took note of the message sent by his head coach. On Sunday against the Canes, he recorded a pair of assists Sunday night and played a more physical game. Quinn is hoping it is a sign of things to come.
“I think Kevin’s got world-class talent,” Quinn said. “When he plays fast and physical — and when I say physical, I don’t mean running around and going out of his way to hit people, I mean being physical around the puck. Physical enough to let his skills influence the game. Sometimes skill guys lose that perspective. When he’s playing physical around the puck, he’s as dangerous a player as we have.”
Quinn is probably also hoping that Shattenkirk responds the same way. Or else, Quinn might not be afraid to make him a healthy scratch for games to come...