Despite lack of ice time and show of confidence from AV, Chytil’s goal is to stay

After impressing enough in the preseason to not only make the team but start on a line with Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello, rookie Filip Chytil received only 7:24 of ice time in his debut. That’s simply unacceptable.

Alain Vigneault Continues to Rely on Veterans

“He had that great look at the beginning of the game,” as head coach Alain Vigneault began to explain his assessment of Chytil’s performance. “I think if he makes that play (2 on 1 with Zuccarello) it gets him going.”

Then AV jumped right into the reason why his star rookie didn’t see the ice and it’s a downright awful excuse. “Then because of all that specialty time (PP/PK), he didn’t get much time out there.” AV then finished with the obligatory, “he’ll be better next game.”

This is lip service first off and hogwash all around.

Here’s the real deal, after Chytil was called for a phantom trip that led to the Avalanche PP tally that made it 2-0 during the 1st, AV used him sparingly. This was evident when on what should have been his next scheduled shift, he trotted out 31 year old journeyman, David Desharnais in his place.

Matter of fact, Desharnais finished with 12 minutes of ice time, almost a full 5 minutes more than Chytil. Desharnais received 9:24 EV ice time, plus 2:36 of PP time. This is a player who scored a whopping total of 14 points last season, with only 2 PP assists. Yet, somehow down a goal, AV can’t find some time to give offensively gifted Chytil a chance on the man advantage? It is simply unconscionable.

Ultimately after seeing 5 shifts in the 1st period, Chytil only received 6 more the entire game. This is not how you develop talent.

Chytil’s debut TOI (NHL)

Rookie Wants To Stay

Despite very little ice time and a coach who simply doesn’t trust rookies, Chytil’s goal is to remain with the big club. “I want to stay here for the longest time, it’s a challenge for me to stay here for the longest time – that’s the biggest goal for me,” he told

Many observers felt that Chytil was overmatched at times during the game. The rookie admitted that his first game in the NHL was a little tough, but he hopes to get better. However, I challenge the criticism of Chytil’s play considering how sparingly his head coach utilized him. Anyone who has played in any game knows you need regular playing time to get comfortable.

It’s On AV

Alain Vigneault can develop young players, but it isn’t his forte. Jason Ward, who played for AV as a rookie in Montreal told me that he simply has no trust in younger players. We saw that previously with J.T. Miller and last season with Pavel Buchnevich. It’s funny that he’s terrified of a rookie making a defensive mistake, but trotted out Marc Staal and Nick Holden to hold a one goal lead versus Ottawa over and over again.

This needs to change and it needs to change now. Alain Vigneault continues to be stubborn in his ways. He eventually lost the room in Vancouver, and there’s rumblings that it has begun to happen here. He needs to stop playing favorites, especially when it comes to Desharnais over Chytil.

The Rangers have 8 more games to get a good look at Chytil. If AV can get out of the kid’s way, we and the organization might now what we have in the kid. As we have come to learn, that is a big IF.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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