DeAngelo a healthy scratch for tonight’s rematch, a Quinn critique on Kakko


As expected, Tony DeAngelo will not play in the rematch at MSG versus the Islanders. David Quinn made his mind up and that’s all that matters.

It’s an early message to not only DeAngelo, who foolishly slammed the penalty box door shut and had a few choice words for the incompetent refs, who swung and missed on two goal reviews. At least a Quinn coach’s challenge saved them from themselves.

DeAngelo is an emotional player who plays with passion and energy. He has to know better. Even if the game was 4-0, you get let your emotions get the best of you. He’ll be back next week following NFL Divisional Round weekend.

I disagree with the coach on not sitting veteran Jack Johnson, who was brutal in his Rangers debut. He also is punishing ’19 first round pick Kaapo Kakko, who isn’t even on the power play for tonight’s game. Why did they take Kakko with the second pick if this is how he’s going to be treated? How is he supposed to improve?

Kakko will also switch to the third line with Filip Chytil, who he played with mostly last year. Will it be Julien Gauthier, who played well in the first game, or Phil Di Giuseppe? You don’t know with this coach. He doesn’t punish veterans. Not much different from previous Rangers coaches. I’m not gonna name names.

What we do know is the Blueshirts must play with a lot more urgency than that debacle that saw them outclassed by a well schooled Islanders. It doesn’t matter if there was no preseason. Nobody had one. The Avalanche and Oilers bounced back in their rematches. With the schedule the way it is, you have to pick yourself up and respond the right way.

Quinn spoke about not having the structure the Islanders had. Whose fault is that? Why did they look so unprepared? It’s true that they are a very young roster when you subtract Marc Staal and Henrik Lundqvist and add Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller. But the Senators had no trouble beating the Leafs last night with a similar roster that doesn’t have as much star talent. Oh. And their ’18 fourth pick Brady Tkachuk torched Toronto for a goal and two assists. Because he’s trusted and already becoming a leader.

You want your top draft picks to develop and become go to guys. Quinn has to put his young players in position to succeed. He hasn’t done it enough with Kakko, who must finish to be effective. There’s no reason for him to not play power play while Brett Howden and Brendan Lemieux suddenly are on the second unit.

That seems like an overreaction. The whole roster stunk. The score could’ve been worse if not for a few big saves from Igor Shestyorkin. Now, it’s Alex Georgiev’s turn.

I don’t know how locked in I’ll be to the second game. Part of that is due to my close friend’s team the Buffalo Bills, who I’d love to see beat the media darling Baltimore Ravens and advance to the AFC Championship Game. However, I’m sure I’ll catch most of the Islanders/Rangers. There will just be some channel flipping during the second and third periods.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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1 Response to DeAngelo a healthy scratch for tonight’s rematch, a Quinn critique on Kakko

  1. foozballer says:

    Derek nice article…agree with you on so many points. Getting alarmed with Quinn and his treatment of non North American players. What this guy is doing to Kakko is not right. I know Anderson situation was a mess but when you look at what he alluded to it’s the same thing that Kratsov said and that is all of a sudden there’s no communication to the player from Quinn..it’s like once he sours on a player that’s it. Player gets dropped in lineup than has less offensive zone starts than get relegated to watching games than out the door. For the life of me don’t understand why Quinn is so infatuated w Howden other than being a NA player. I expect the Rangers to come out and play better tonight but if they start to loose games getting out played out prepared out coached than something needs to change. Also Valley had a good point the other night in MSG very little ice time for young guys..these kids can’t progress unless their on the ice…

    Liked by 1 person

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