David Quinn
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Rangers have been making mistakes that are costing the team wins. Turn to no one else other than David Quinn to lay the blame on.

Frank Curto

With the New York Rangers leading 2-1 in the second period Sunday afternoon, the team was whistled for a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. The Los Angeles Kings score to tie the game seconds later and the Rangers go on to lose their second consecutive game by a 4-3 score.

The penalty proved costly as it gave all the momentum to a Kings team who have struggled to score goals more than our boys in blue have.

In a season in which this team struggles game in and game out to find wins, they continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Who is to blame for these miscues? Look no further than the man behind the bench, David Quinn.


The first year head coach is suffering through this rebuild as he and his team continue to find ways to lose hockey games.

Quinn acknowledged the problem following Sunday’s loss as he spoke to the media about the penalty that changed the momentum of the game.

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“We’re in a good position (up 2-0), and we get a penalty – a questionable call, but you’ve got to kill the penalty… And then it’s still 2-1, and we just take a horrific, inexcusable, too many men on the ice penalty. We’ve just got to be better in that area.”

For the third straight game and fifth time in 11 games this season, the Rangers had a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty called against them. Of all the penalties a team can take, this particular one is the most avoidable. Yet the Rangers have decided to add it to the list of unsolved problems the team is dealing with this season.

The Head Coach Takes Responsibility

At the postgame press conference Sunday, Quinn seemed quite aggravated about the situation. He recognizes the serious problem the team has had with his penalty and accepted full responsibility that it’s on him to address it.

“At the end of the day, we have to stop beating ourselves.
It’s hard enough in this league to beat teams without beating yourself. It has to stop. It’s on me,” as was reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

The Rangers have been battling themselves for a lot of their issues, but mostly, it has not been due to a lack of effort. Their defense has played pretty well, goaltending was as good as it could be, and the scoring issues, well, that is something to be worked on. The team gets plenty of shots. They simply can’t finish.

Penalties are another story altogether, especially of the bench variety in which the coach calls out different line changes and the players jump on and off as the play continues. It’s an essential part of the game and for some reason, the Rangers can’t seem to stop kicking them in their own behinds as players and coaches seem to have trouble keeping the count of players on the ice.

Is it a mental mistake, is it the feeling of excitement to get on the ice or is it an urge to jump in the play at a key moment? Any of these choices is a cause for the penalty, and all of it can be avoided. Enough with the rebuilding team excuse. The Rangers have a lot of kids. In this specific case, either a player wasn’t paying attention or the coach made the change at the wrong time excuses.

The excuses have to end. These are professional hockey players that are playing in the fastest, hardest league in the world. These guys have been playing hockey since they were four years old. There is no excuse for all of these bench penalties. It’s a lack of focus and attention to details, something this head coach will not tolerate from his players or his coaching staff.

This penalty must be addressed and resolved immediately before it cost the team more goals against and wins. The two things the Rangers cannot allow to happen in a season of scoring lapses and poor penalty killing.

A byproduct of the bench penalties the Rangers have taken recently is the display of a bad penalty killing unit. Last season, the Rangers PK was ranked 12th, killing off 81.4 percent of the penalties against them. This season, 11 games deep, the team is ranked 24th out of 31 NHL teams. That is good for only a 73 percent penalty kill rate. This team is quite different without Michael Grabner ( two shorthanded goals so far this year) and Rick Nash. Who are the penalty leaders this year? Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast? Mats Zuccarello and Brady Skjei need to step it up.

David Quinn needs to resolve the bad bench penalties, which leads to power-play goals against which then shows off a horrible penalty killing unit. The vacation is over for the team’s new head coach and the real work has begun and there is a lot to do to get this team turned around before they fall through the quicksand and start talking about next season before Christmas is upon us.

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