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Game #10 – Rangers vs. Hawks Q&A: Beth Boyle Machlan

Beth Machlan writes in more places than we can possibly list. Follow her @bethmachlan and find out for yourself. 

It’s obviously going to be a long year on Broadway for the Rangers who are in the first full season of a total rebuild. Who are what are you watching on a nightly basis to make you feel good about the future?
Frankly, we’re watching David Quinn. For one: he coaches. You can hear him screaming through the broadcast. He’s used more timeouts in the last four weeks than Vigneault did in his whole time here. This is new For Rangers fans, who are used to AV, who was Sphinx-like in his silence, if Sphinxes were stupid and wasted the careers of two Hall of Fame goaltenders. Quinn tells the players what’s expected of them, and he tells the press what he’s doing. It’s a whole new world. He also apparently takes the babies, Chytil and Howden, out to breakfast on game days. THANKS DAD!
Speaking of which, Filip Chytil and Brett Howden are a lot of fun to watch, and they give us dreams of an actual future …
Chris Kreider is off to a hot start. it feels like trade rumors swirl about him every season, but is this the time he goes? He’s only got this year and next on his deal and is in the middle of his prime at 27…
 
I don’t see Kreider going. The Blueshirt Banter chat votes Hayes. Seriously, though, every season the NYR broadcast team announces that it’s Kreider’s year. He was great last season but then had that major surgery; he also has nights when he’s invisible, which is pretty impressive for a guy who’s 6’3”  and 220. Still, I hope we keep him. He and Mika Zibanejad and whoever they stick on the RW — Zuccarello, earlier this week, with great results — are among our few consolations this season.
Neal Pionk seems to be turning some heads. 
 
Right? Imagine how many he’d turn if he wasn’t stapled to Marc Staal.
Confirm what we’ve always claimed: Brendan Smith is the worst player in the league, right?
 
Did I mention Marc Staal?
 
Dude. Smith has made a hell of a comeback, really. He was a major casualty of AV’s coaching style — “I won’t tell you what I want, but I’ll bench you until you give it to me” — as well as who the hell knows what going on in his personal life — but it’s past now. He now looks like a second pair defenseman (for NYR, anyway) as opposed to just a pile of cash lit on fire. I also appreciate scrappiness that actually responds to circumstances on the ice as opposed to the fans’ “old timey” desires.
Are Rangers fans, a notoriously cantankerous bunch as any group of New Yorkers tend to be, really understanding of what’s happening here and how long it will take?
 
No. But then Hank announced that they’re playing to win, so who are we to judge?

 

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