Rangers Roundup: Andrew Copp and Filip Chytil out vs Bruins, Kakko skates, and more

ANDREW COPP
Apr 16, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Andrew Copp (18) awaits a face-off against the Detroit Red Wings during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers held an optional skate this afternoon at the MSG Training Center in Tarrytown, NY. Afterwards, head coach Gerard Gallant provided an update on both Filip Chytil and Andrew Copp.

“I don’t think they’ll be playing tomorrow,” he said. “This time of the year we’ve got the good fortune to rest them… There’s no issue (for the playoffs). I think it’s day-to-day.”

The Blueshirts will likely reinsert Greg McKegg and Jonny Brodzinski against the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Julien Gauthier is another possibility.

Copp and Chytil out versus Bruins

Copp, 27, took his last shift in the third period of the Blueshirts’ 6-3 triumph over the Islanders. He seemed to skate off with no discernible issues after being involved in several scrums along the boards battling for pucks.

This season, the pending UFA has registered a point in 13 of the 15 games he’s played since being acquired by the Rangers at the deadline on March 21. After last night’s natural hat trick heroics he’s registered 8 goals and 10 assists for 18 points with the Blueshirts. For the year, Copp has 53 points in 71 games.

Chytil, 22, just can’t seem to stay on the ice. He left earlier in the third after an apparent cross check to the back. This year, he’s amassed 21 points in 64 contests. His career high is 23 points, which he’s hit twice. The last time being in the 2019-20 season.

It will be interesting how the Rangers lineup will set up against Boston. It’s possible that Barclay Goodrow could slot on the right side again with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome.

Kevin Rooney could bump up to the third line with Alexis Lafreniere and possibly Jonny Brodzinski. Greg McKegg can take Rooney’s spot on the fourth line.

Kaapo Kakko skates on his own

Kaapo Kakko
Jan 13, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Kakko, 21, last played on Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings. In that game he suffered an injury in the first period while skating along the left wall and getting tied up with Tyler Bertuzzi. Crashing into the boards, he fell awkwardly onto his right leg.

“He skated today and I think he did pretty well,” Gallant said on Friday. “I still think he’s going to play games next week but I’m not putting pressure on him. We’ll see how he feels.”

This has really been a difficult season for Kakko as he’s already had two stints on the injured list causing him to miss 35 games. He’s now missed the last three games to bring his total to 38.

In 40 games this season, Kakko has 7 goals and 16 points.

Naturally, one of the questions asked is if these injuries would have any impact his coaching decisions.

“You got your fingers crossed every game. That’s what coaches do, but (injuries are) going happen, you just hope they’re minor injuries,” the coach explained. “You have to go play the games…You’ve got to keep playing. You can’t turn it off and on.”

You can see Gallant’s full media availability here.

The New York Rangers locked up home ice advantage in the first-round of the playoffs by beating the rival New York Islanders on Thursday night. They are currently tied with the Carolina Hurricanes for first-place in the Metro. Should the Rangers win out their final four games of the season, including a matchup against the Hurricanes they will claim a division title.

NHL Playoff Matchups we want to see

The Vegas Golden Knights are fighting for the last wild card spot which could set up a dream first round match up against the Colorado Avalanche. Here’s three other series we’d like to see. Read more.