NEW YORK — David Quinn is aware of his winless San Jose Sharks will play the most important sport towards the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, NBCSCA, ESPN+, SN NOW). But it’s going to even be significant for the trainer.
Quinn were given his NHL training get started with the Rangers in 2018-19, and led them for 3 seasons till he was once fired May 12, 2021.
“I’d be lying to you if I said no (it’s not special),” Quinn mentioned. “Yeah, it is, I mean, I had three great years in New York. I loved my time there. I loved the players. You know, unfortunately, it didn’t end the way we all wanted it to, but it’ll be pretty cool.”
The Rangers have been one level shy of a Stanley Cup Playoff spot when the 2019-20 season was once paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 18 wins of their closing 29 video games (18-10-1). When play resumed, they have been swept by way of the Carolina Hurricanes within the best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
“I’ve been fortunate to be on teams where you have swagger and you know, if you show up and you do A, B and C, you’re going to be successful and that was one of those teams,” Quinn mentioned. “We felt that when that pandemic hit we were one of the best teams in the NHL from Jan. 7 on.
“I imply, COVID impacts folks another way. … I feel we had gamers that have been enthusiastic about coming again and taking part in in a bubble. It was once loopy, distinctive cases. Things that you’ll be able to by no means plan for. There’s no blue e book on how to care for getting back from the pandemic and going right into a bubble and taking part in in entrance of no one. Just so much of issues which might be uncontrollable and issues you do not revel in.”
The following season in 2020-21, the Rangers were 27-23-6 in the shortened 56-game season and failed to qualify for the playoffs, finishing 11 points behind the New York Islanders in the East Division. Quinn was fired four days after the season ended.
Now, more than a year later, after coaching the United States men’s team at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, Quinn is back coaching in the NHL with the Sharks.
After losing two games to the Nashville Predators in the 2022 NHL Global Series in Prague to open the season, San Jose returned to North America to lose three more, including 5-2 at the New York Islanders on Tuesday. The Sharks (0-5-0) are one of three NHL teams without a win, along with the Minnesota Wild (0-3-0) and Vancouver Canucks (0-3-1). San Jose also has the worst goal differential in the League (minus-11), have not scored more than two goals in any game and rank last in the NHL in goals per game (1.60). The Sharks have allowed at least three goals in four of five games.
Only two San Jose players, center Nico Sturm and forward Evgeny Svechnikov, have scored as many as two goals. Five players have one.
“We’re now not that a ways off,” Quinn said. “I are aware of it looks like we’re however we are in point of fact now not. And you already know, there are stretches the place we appear to be a just right hockey workforce. We’re simply now not doing the ones issues persistently.”
San Jose had a spirited practice at Chelsea Piers on Wednesday, which lasted more than 70 minutes and included Quinn and the coaches spending about 10 minutes talking to the team on the ice before the practice began.
“Just touched at the fragility of our workforce, clearly, we are not feeling nice about ourselves,” Quinn said. “And when you have not gained a sport, you might have to perceive why, however there are issues we will be able to do at the controllables that we will be able to be higher at that can put us in a greater place to win.”
The Sharks hired Quinn on July 26 to replace Bob Boughner, who was fired July 1 after San Jose went 32-37-13 last season and finished 20 points behind the Predators for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. It was the third straight season it failed to qualify for the postseason after reaching the playoffs 14 of the previous 15 seasons.
“I imagine on this workforce — we as coaches — and I mentioned that to [the players], I mentioned, you already know, expectantly you guys assume you are as just right as we predict you might be,” Quinn said. “And I do know we are not that a ways off and there is a lot of believability throughout the group of workers and [the players] want to really feel the same quantity of self belief that we really feel in them and that’s the reason the one method we are going to get out of this.”
Quinn’s first NHL win came Oct. 11, 2018, against the Sharks in his fourth game. Would it be more special for him if his first win with the Sharks came against the Rangers?
“I do not care if we beat the Westchester Rangers, I simply need to freaking win,” he mentioned.