Rangers hopeful Zibanejad won’t miss time; Chytil needs to step up if he’s out

Feb 19, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers were without Mika Zibanejad at practice today. That’s because he was out on COVID related protocol. In his stead, Greg McKegg was centering the top line, which could be perceived as the team believing he will not miss any time.

“I’m pretty confident he’s going to play,” Chris Kreider said about Zibanejad’s absence.

The head coach Gerard Gallant also said that there should be more information later in the day.

If Zibanejad is out, Chytil will need to step up

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Zibanejad, 28, has four goals and 14 points in 17 games. If he were to miss any time it would impact the Rangers since he plays in all situations including PP1 and PK1.

The Rangers will host the Sabres tomorrow night at the Garden before beginning a tough divisional stretch where they will play the Islanders twice, and the Flyers once. Wedged in between is a tough contest against the Bruins.

  • 11/21 vs Sabres
  • 11/24 @ Islanders
  • 11/26 @ Bruins
  • 11/28 vs Islanders
  • 12/1 vs Flyers

If Mika is out, Filip Chytil will be once again thrusted into a first line role this season. The 22 year-old missed time with an upper-body injury and it took him a little bit to get going.

In the game against Montreal, his forecheck on the puck led to Julien Gauthier’s steal and score in a 3-2 win.

This season, he has only three points in 14 games. Chytil last registered a point on October 21st (a goal), in a win over the Nashville Predators.

The Rangers have been waiting patiently for Chytil to start reaching his potential, now would be a good time to do so.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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