David Quinn makes rough Rangers penalty-killing comparison

Unless the coach is referring to Mika Zibanejad or Alexandar Georgiev, you don’t really want David Quinn to compare something in the early going to what happened last year.

Unfortunately, when Quinn on Monday made a reference to “for long stretches we looked like last year,” he was talking about penalty killing in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Vancouver in which the Canucks went 1-for-3 after the Caps went 2-for-4 with the man-advantage in D.C. on Friday.

That followed the strong work through the first four games in which the penalty-kill units yielded three goals while shorthanded 19 times. Overall, the Blueshirts were ranked 18th in the NHL with a .769 kill percentage after placing 27th a year ago at .782.

“We’ve gotten away from what we did during training camp and the first four games,” said Quinn, whose team will attempt to break its four-game losing streak at MSG on Tuesday against the Coyotes. “We were strong in our decisions, we trusted each other, we were pressuring pucks at the appropriate times.

“We had a lot of good things going on with our penalty kill and we’ve gotten away from them. Sometimes that happens in the course of a game. The Washington game, I thought it was the mental approach, maybe we were a little bit intimidated by our opponent. [Sunday] on our first penalty kill, we just didn’t attack, we were sitting back and looked for long stretches like we did last year.”


Quinn — or Lindy Ruff, the assistant coach in charge of the penalty-kill unit, has primarily used four defensemen and five forwards as follows, with minutes played and goals yielded:

On defense: Jacob Trouba (22:49, 5); Brady Skjei (20:21, 2); Brendan Smith (20:01, 1); Marc Staal (19:16, 4). Up-front: Jesper Fast (17:55, 4); Mika Zibanejad (17:25, 3); Brett Howden (15:45, 3); Lias Andersson (13:55, 2); Ryan Strome (10:51, 0). (Thanks, Natural Stat Trick)

Chris Kreider, whose speed and doggedness created a half-dozen chances while on the right the last two games with Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin, will move back to his natural left on a unit with Brett Howden in the middle and Kaapo Kakko on the right. That unit was intact, and was on for 5:57, against the Devils last Thursday.

Chris Kreider
Chris KreiderJason Szenes

“I’m hoping [those two games] got him on track,” the coach said of the winger, who has not yet scored. “I’ve liked his game. It’s frustrating because he had some chances, but the good news is that he’s had some chances. I’d be a lot more worried if he hadn’t had those chances the last two games.

“I think he’s resurfacing.”

The Rangers have been outscored 6-2 during the first period of the last three games, and 3-0 by Vancouver.

“It’s too early to say it’s a trend with our starts,” Quinn said.

Georgiev (1-1/2.56/.928) is scheduled to get the start in nets versus Arizona on Tuesday.

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