New York Rangers head coach David Quinn has not been afraid to sit some key players, now he is doing it with one of his rookies, Lias Andersson.
It might be time to ask the question if Lias Andersson was ever given a legitimate chance at the NHL level?
After primarily playing on the New York Rangers’ fourth line, Andersson appears to be the odd man out when New York returns to the ice Friday against the Coyotes.
Also, according to DQ, Lias Andersson, who appears to be out of the mix, will stay here for now.
— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) December 13, 2018
With Pavel Buchnevich and Mats Zuccarello expected to return to the lineup Friday, someone had to come out, and it appears it will be Andersson as Quinn went with these line combinations at practice Thursday:
Andersson and McQuaid the extras. #NYR practice:
— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) December 13, 2018
Andersson has skated 16 games with the Blueshirts this year and has recorded just three points, one goal and two assists, averaging just 10:54 of ice time.
All of this comes after the team felt it was necessary to reward the 20-year-old following a strong start in Hartford. Brett Howden had just gone down with an injury and they figured why not give the former seventh overall pick a shot.
He saw limited action in the team’s top-six and you could make a case that his development might have taken a step backward playing on the fourth line. Now Andersson finds himself out of the lineup begging the question why not just send him back to Hartford already?
Well, Quinn admitted after practice that Andersson will stay with the big club, but obviously, nothing is guaranteed especially with Quinn as your coach. The problem is simple, there are just too many players on this team who need top-six minutes.
Who knows, maybe Andersson finds himself back in the lineup after this one game hiatus. The fact of the matter is Matt Beleskey is skating in the Rangers game lineup over one of their top prospects, who arguably should still be in Hartford.