Gallant hints at key lineup changes for New York Rangers; wants more from Chytil
The New York Rangers held practice today in Anaheim preparing for a matchup against the Ducks on Saturday night.
Head coach Gerard Gallant will look to get his charges back on track but will be forced into making some lineup changes. Today, Julien Gauthier was added to the COVID list which sparked the call ups of Tim Gettinger and Jonny Brodzinski from the taxi squad.
Gallant hints at lineup changes
Per multiple reports, the Rangers practice lines had some key changes with Gauthier out, but also Dryden Hunt not present. The grinding forward was hurt in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Golden Knights and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
Three lines could remain intact against Anaheim, but Filip Chytil’s line is completely up in the air.
Depending on Artemi Panarin’s possible return from COVID protocol, and Hunt’s status, Chytil’s line mates could very well be Brodzinski and Gettinger. Should Panarin be a go, it isn’t a given that Barclay Goodrow will remain as the second line right wing. Alexis Lafrenière might switch sides per the head coach.
“I think about it every second of the day,” Gallant said of switching Lafrenière to the right. “That’s a possibility (when Panarin comes back).”
However, there will be a change on defense as Zac Jones was sent back down to the taxi squad.
“We want to develop people but the number one goal is to win hockey games,” Gallant said. “We’ve got our top four that’s pretty standard. Other guys are in and out of the lineup but we’re trying to win games, that’s the bottom line.”
Practice indicated that Jarred Tinordi will pair with Nils Lundkvist for the game on Saturday.
“[Tinordi] is probably going in tomorrow,” Gallant said. “I love Tinordi, I’ve had him before. Good character guy, works hard.”
Tinordi, 29, has no points in five games this season with a -5 rating.
Gallant also admitted that Tinordi has gotten off to a rough start but absolved him by stating that he hasn’t had a chance to gain any momentum with the team.
Gallant wants more from Filip Chytil
Regardless of who his line mates are, Chytil needs to start producing points.
“I would love Fil to be playing better and getting more points and playing third line center,” Gallant said. “It hasn’t worked out. We tried him on the wing a little bit, but in a perfect world, if Fil’s doing what he’s capable of as a third line center that’s what I’d love.”
Chytil is immensely talented but maddeningly inconsistent in his NHL career. The 22 year-old spends too much time around the perimeter and on many nights is nowhere to be found.
Gallant addressed that with him directly today. The head coach impressed upon Chytil the need to be more “abrasive around the net” so that he can score more points.
This season, Chytil only has seven points (3G, 4A) in 31 games. He’s currently in his 4th full season with the Rangers since being drafted in the first round (21st overall) of the 2017 Draft. In 217 career games he’s registered 78 points.
Chytil signed a two year deal worth $2.3 million this past summer. He will be an RFA with arbitration rights when it expires.
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