New York Rangers head coach David Quinn continues to sit defenseman Tony DeAngelo even as the team’s power play continues to struggle.
The New York Rangers returned from their Christmas break with a morning skate prior to their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Once again, per Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post, it appears Tony DeAngelo will be a healthy scratch.
Looking like same #NYR lineup tonight as before break:
(DeAngelo-Shattenkirk as extra)
— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) December 27, 2018
The scratch indicates coach Quinn is more comfortable with Brendan Smith, Adam McQuaid and Fredrik Claesson on the back end, leaving just Brady Skjei and Neal Pionk to man the point on the teams struggling power play. Marc Staal does not see power play time unless it’s towards the last few seconds in order to get the defense paring back in order.
The decision to not play DeAngelo is even more concerning if you look at the first power play line the Rangers used in their last game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Sunday nights 3-2 shootout loss.
The Blueshirts went with five forwards, Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich, Vladislav Namestnikov, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes with the same unfortunate results – zero power-play goals as the Rangers were 0-2 with the man advantage.
The power play has been a disappointment again so far this season, ranked 17th in the NHL with a 19.0 percent success rate. They are 17.5 percent at home and 21.4 percent on the road.
The team has no apparent “quarterback” for their power play units, something DeAngelo was supposed to excel at.
When he was part of the trade that sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to Arizona for their number one pick and Deangelo, the Rangers praised his age and potential power play talent. Fast forward to today and DeAngelo can barely find himself an opportunity to be on the third defense pair never mind trying to help a struggling a team struggling on the man advantage.
Quinn and general manager Jeff Gorton have to decide what is best for the club and the player. They cannot send him back to Hartford without placing him on waivers where he would probably get claimed.
The trade might not be judged until the future when Lias Andersson is a legit full-time NHLer, but until Kevin Shattenkirk proves he can be healthy, DeAngelo is the perfect man for the job.
DeAngelo sitting instead of McQuaid, Smith or Claesson says all that needs to be said about the coach’s confidence in the defenseman. The coach has very little confidence in a player who tends to add some flair on the blueline and make as many mistakes as some of the other Blueliners.
The power play will continue to struggle unless the club gives DeAngelo a little lead way or they trade him for different options.