David Quinn
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New York Rangers head coach David Quinn already feels like the anti-Alain Vigneault while continuing to preach toughness and physicality.

Robby Sabo

The anti-Alain Vigneault has officially arrived. At least that’s the overwhelming feeling among all of New York Rangers fandom at the moment.

While AV seemingly picked the 18 most talented offensive players on a night in, night out basis every night, his replacement, David Quinn, continues to preach toughness and physicality during his first big-boy NHL preseason.

After his team’s 5-2 preseason loss to the rival Islanders on Saturday night, Quinn reiterated his toughness thoughts to the media.

“We’ve got to protect each other, we’ve got to stand up for each other, we’ve got to support each other and we’ve got to do that from now until the day the season ends.”

This is a seriously contrasting message than what’s been presented on the ice the last several seasons in Manhattan.

Though talented, the Rangers hockey club has usually lagged behind others in the physical department. Individuals like Ryan Callahan, Dominic Moore and Carl Hagelin could win one-on-one battles and bust ass, but very few Rangers could actually clear the crease in front of Henrik Lundqvist or step in for a teammate when challenged by a goon.

While we’re still unsure of the personnel to eventually step-up, it’s clear as day that the message regarding physicality is much different. This is especially critical as it pertains to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, for only the tough survive the greatest playoff tournament known to man.

Speed and talent are nice, but it’ll never, alone, win hockey games and New York Rangers rookie head coach David Quinn appears to already understand this critical notion.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Thin article and premise. It’ll be some boring hockey to watch if this is the way it goes. And runs counter to the speed and smart playmaking that the successful teams in the league are keying upon. I had read that Quinn is at least a possession guy and doesn’t believe in dump ins.

    • Oh yeah this wasn’t supposed to be anything in-depth. It was actually just a straight news article with the Quinn video/quotes after the game with just one anti-AV remark.

      If digging deeper, here’s the point: it “feels” as though Quinn is more balanced. AV would always look at offense/talent when picking his lineup while Quinn is already brining up the toughness aspect.

      It’s an impossibility to get to a point in which speed and smart playmaking are GONE and/or Quinn goons it up. The point is this: he’s discussing it which means it’s on the brain—something AV really never demonstrated at least to deploy a little lineup balance.

      • I do believe that speed and talent win championships, so would have to disagree with you there…maybe. Of course toughness does play some role, it’s a matter of degrees I guess. I also disagree that AV “always looked at offense/talent when picking his lineiup.” How you you then explain his treatment of Buchnevich. Why play McCleod at all? I think his problem was more that he didn’t know how to deal with young players. I liked the flow of the Rangers game under AV, more or less, but think the speed and talent had to be taken up a notch more! I think we needed to possess the puck better, carry it out of our zone and into the O zone. Of course, with our depleted farm system, we haven’t drafted a top rank player since Leetch, and it would certainly help to have a couple of those. I dunno, if the team is as lousy as I’ve seen so far in preseason (admittedly not much) I might not watch many games. I’m not as interested in seeing McQuaid clear someone out of our crease as I am in seeing Chityl bust a move on someone. And that says a lot about youth vs. vets too.