Rangers Roundup: Filip Chytil on “play like Mika” advice, Rick Nash recalls first day in NY, and more

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The New York Rangers picked up a big win against division rival New Jersey Devils. In the process, struggling forward Filip Chytil picked up the game-winning goal in the second the period.

Coming off the heels of head coach Gerard Gallant’s “play like Mika” comments, Chytil addressed that after the game.

Filip Chytil addresses “Mika” comments

Prior to the Rangers game on Wednesday night, Gallant told the press that Chytil would return to the lineup after missing three games, two to a healthy scratch. It was his advice to the youngster that got everyone’s attention.

“If there’s a guy I’d like to see him play like, go out and play like Mika Zibanejad,” Gallant said. “You’re a left-handed Mika. Mika plays a complete game. Face-offs, power play, he goes out there and does a good job. Play hard and compete.”

That was certainly a tall order for the 22 year-old that has struggled to find any level of consistency in the NHL. After a virtual no show performance against the Blues, Chytil was clearly visible last night.

“I would like to play like Mika, but I’m a different player. I just can look at what he’s doing out there and take from him what suits to my game,” Chytil explained. “I watch him every day. When I’m on the bench during the game, I watch how he plays. He’s one of the best centers in the league and I’m happy I can learn from him. But I just try to take small details from him and use it in my game, but not everything because we’re different players.” 

After the game, Gallant was asked about Chytil’s performance. He once again reiterated his comments, which has little to do with Zibanejad’s scoring.

“I want him to play like Mika, that style of hockey,” he explained. “Work hard both ends and be a good player. Make yourself noticeable on the ice. I notice Mika almost every shift because he works both ends and does all the little things.”

Rick Nash recalls first day in NY

Rick Nash
Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist (NHLI)

Nash will become the first player in the 22-year history of the Columbus Blue Jackets to have his number retired.

The Blue Jackets will honor Nash in a pregame ceremony and raise a No. 61 banner into the rafters at Nationwide Arena before tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins.

Nash spent the first nine years of his NHL career with Columbus after the organization made him the first overall pick in the 2002 NHL Draft. He is the Jackets’ all-time leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258) and points (547).

The left winger also spent six seasons with the New York Rangers before finishing his career with 11 games for Boston in 2017-18. He scored 437 goals in 1,060 games.

Nash was recently on the 32 Thoughts Podcast and asked by Elliotte Friedman about his first day in New York after being traded. He surprised Rick with the fact that within hours of getting there he was hanging out with Henrik Lundqvist and baseball superstar Alex Rodrigues, who was with the NY Yankees at the time.

“I’m impressed, you dug around for this one and you got me smiling,” Nash started. “I just landed with my wife and we did some media tour stuff with legendary JR (John Rosasco) that everyone knows. Henrik Lundqvist invited us over for a drink in his penthouse apartment. A kid from Brampton (Ontario) that’s been playing in Columbus in 10 years hasn’t met many celebrities or athletes. I walk in and there’s A-Rod standing right there– we meet A-Rod and had a fun night in New York City.”

Nash went on to explain that even growing up in Toronto, where hockey is #1 that he never crossed paths with anyone from the Maple Leafs.

“So for me going to New York and that being my first night, sitting in a penthouse apartment overlooking the city having drinks with The King and A-Rod– that was one of those moments you felt like you were in the NHL.”

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