Barclay Goodrow placed into pivotal role for New York Rangers

Barclay Goodrow will be playing a pivotal role for the New York Rangers for at least the next four games.

After the team announced Filip Chytil will miss at least this week, the versatile forward found himself centering the third line between Jimmy Vesey and Vitali Kravtsov at practice on Monday.

“Hopefully Fil’s out short-term,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’ll see how long it’s going to take, but we’ll put Goodrow in that spot”

Chytil, 23, is out with an upper-body injury after Cole Sillinger caught him with an unpenalized elbow to the head in Sunday’s 5-1 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He has 3 points (2G – 1A) in 6 games this season.

Barclay Goodrow to help Rangers turnaround

Barclay Goodrow
Jun 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) warms up before game two of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Goodrow, 29, has a goal and an assist in 6 games this season for the Blueshirts while averaging 14:30 of ice time. He’s already taken 40 draws on the season and is even at 50%.

Obviously, he’s not as offensively gifted as Chytil but plays an excellent two-way game. And if you haven’t been paying attention, the Rangers defensive play has been wanting.

“Whenever you’re going through something like this, you can always resort to going back to simple hockey,” Goodrow explained. “When you do that the other stuff start to open up. We’re little frustrated but we have what it takes in here to fix that.”

That frustration came to a head in a 3-2 OT loss to the winless San Jose Sharks last Friday. The Rangers were outshot 16-2 in a third period the head coach called “embarrassing.” They followed that up with a 5-1 dud against the Blue Jackets on Sunday.

“Two teams come in here and we didn’t play our best hockey,” Gallant said. “That’s a lesson you learn, no matter who you’re playing, you have to play your best hockey. We’re playing the Stanley Cup champs tomorrow and I’m sure we’ll be ready. But you’ve got to play good hockey to win in this league.”

With the Colorado Avalanche coming to the Garden to close out a 4 game homestand, the Rangers will need to get back to being the team that opened the season with a dominant 3-1 win.

“First game against Tampa Bay we saw the identity of our team,” Gallant admitted. “We’ve seen our team in some spots the last five games but not enough. You’ve got to bring your game for a full 60.”

It’s all about playing fast, especially on the forecheck and that’s what Goodrow can bring to the third line.

Goodrow has been a great fit for the Rangers ever since the trade and sign in 2021. In 79 games last season, he registered 13 goals and 20 assists for 33 points. All career-highs for the rugged forward.

He will now give the third line a different look with his aggressive style. It could also prove beneficial to youngster Vitali Kravtsov, who could be the recipient of some open ice and turnovers created by the forecheck.

At the end of the day, Goodrow will help the Rangers right the ship by setting the tempo with key minutes in the middle.

“Doing as well as we did last year, we went through some good times and some low times,” Goodrow noted. “We grew to know what we needed to do to be successful. We have the leadership and the maturity in here to turn things around. Tomorrow night is a great time to do it.”

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