Rangers Roundup: Filip Chytil upbeat about Cup chances, and NHL back in Atlanta?

The New York Rangers haven’t been playing that great since making all their big trades starting a month ago, but Filip Chytil is extremely positive about the team moving forward.

Starting with the acquisitions of Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola from the St. Louis Blues. Then followed by reuniting with Tyler Motte, and the big splash to fit in Patrick Kane, the Rangers have only gone 6-5-1.

However, Chytil is upbeat and for good reason.

“There is a reason we are getting these players and that is because we want to win the Cup”

Filip Chytil via NY Post

Filip Chytil upbeat about Cup chances

The Rangers filled some holes last season with the likes of Andrew Copp, Frank Vatrano, Justin Braun, and the aforementioned Motte. All were solid additions that helped them reach the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.

This year’s additions are big names with a championship pedigree and the intent of taking the Blueshirts all the way.

Despite going 0-2-0 in Patrick Kane’s first two games with the club, the team as a whole are optimistic. Kane finally got in some practices with the team and the Rangers will finally be playing a full lineup for the first time in over a week.

However, the biggest issue for the Blueshirts of late has been defensive woes. It’s something that Chytil recognizes but isn’t too concerned about.

“We just have to play responsibly on defense and commit to the 200-foot game,” Chytil told the NY Post. “We showed last year in the playoffs we can play against anybody and can beat anybody, so the addition of these two experienced players who won the Cup in their careers, that’s even better.”

Chytil, 23, is having a solid season with 19 goals and 37 points in 55 games. He’s hit a snag with no goals and just 5 assist in his last 12 games.

NHL back in Atlanta?

NHL preseason
Feb 23, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is interview during a Stadium Series ice hockey game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot of rumors that the NHL may be looking to expand to 34 teams with Atlanta being a prime destination and Houston another. ESPN analysts Kevin Weekes and John Buccigross have been leading the speculation, but according to Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, expansion isn’t at the top of their to-do list.

“Expansion isn’t our priority right now,” Daly wrote. “But it doesn’t mean we won’t listen to people or groups who have interest. That happens to include both Atlanta and Houston. But it also includes other cities as well.”

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Right now, the focus of the league is likely making sure the Arizona Coyotes can get a new arena and stay put. If not, it’s very possible a move to one of those cities is possible.

That being said, if they are successful in their bid then the league will have to think long and hard about expansion.