Rangers Looking for Third-Straight Win at Garden Against Senators
Tonight at 7:00 PM the New York Rangers host the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. The two teams last met on Oct. 5 and the Rangers won 4-1. Alexandar Georgiev started that game, and has started the last two games that the Rangers have won. Georgiev will start his third-straight game tonight for the first time this season.
Since coming back on Oct. 30 against the Lightning, 20-year-old Filip Chytil has been showing Rangers fans the scoring presence they have missed so far this season.
On Saturday, Chytil scored the opening goal in a road win over the Predators. Chytil went in on a two-on-one, where he toe-dragged the puck around the Nashville defenseman and beat the goaltender with an accurate wrist shot to the short side.
Rangers’ head coach David Quinn described the play that led to the Rangers’ first goal on Saturday.
“That might have been his best game of the year,” said Quinn. “Everybody got back on defense, we go the other way, he [Chytil] blows through three Nashville guys and because of his net-drive, Chytil’s able to make that great play.”
Chytil’s second goal of the year was a pretty goal, demonstrating the 2017 first-rounder’s elite skill with the puck. However, Chytil was sent down before the season started, because he wasn’t scoring and not hustling in his defensive zone. Then, he scored nine points in nine games in Hartford and returned to the National Hockey League (NHL).
Rangers head coach David Quinn would like for the young player to continue to show that he has matured. He believes playing responsible defensively and being in the right position can lead to more transition rushes for Chytil, because he has all three major assets. Chytil is 6-2, he possesses great hands and has a set of skills that allows him to create offense when he has time and space.
Chytil has benefited from great defensive plays from linemates. Pavel Buchnevich checked an opposing player, skated up ice and saucered a great pass to Chytil, which he deflected into the net for his first goal of the season.
Quinn described the play that led to the Rangers’ first goal against Nashville.
“On the first goal, Hajek had a great stick, we got everybody back [and we] went back up ice,” said Quinn. “[Chytil] blows through three Nashville guys and because of his net-drive, Chytil’s able to make that great play.”
Since Chytil has returned to the line-up, the Blueshirts won their last two games against teams that have above a five hundred winning percentage.
Chytil has certainly been a model for the kind of transformation that the Rangers would like to see from all of their developing players.
Defenseman Adam Fox has also shown he is capable mentally of handling a starting role on the Blueshirt blue line every night.
Fox has been averaging 16 minutes of ice time per game. However, the 21-year-old scored a crucial third goal in the Rangers win over the Lightning and was a plus two. Brady Skjei and Jacob Trouba have played the most minutes of any Rangers d-men this year. Nevertheless, neither had a point in the Rangers’ last two victories and Trouba has not registered a point since Oct. 20.
I don’t think that Fox scored in that game means he is one of the Rangers’ best defensemen, yet, but I do think he has been one of their most consistent players, who can score and also does not make defensive mistakes, which is at a premium.
All in all, Chytil is on the right track. Coach Quinn—a coach who just sat his alternate captain d-man Marc Staal and demands work ethic from his players—thinks Chytil’s game has improved and he is bound to keep using him on the second line.
The Blueshirts will face-off with the Ottawa Senators at 7:00 PM at the Garden Monday. The Rangers come in on a two-game win-streak and will look to continue their winning ways in a home game against a team that is 31st in the league.
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