Rangers kids shine despite Vigneault giving limited ice time

Andersson scores his 1st NHL goal (NYR Twitter)

The moment we’ve waited for since the trade deadline finally came. 1st round selections, Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil took the ice at MSG together for the first time. In a meaningless game in a lost season, they each recorded a point despite the coach giving them very little ice time.

Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil

Lias Andersson, the 19 year old center finally made his NHL debut and did it in style when he notched his first NHL goal during the second period. He put on a fine performance in his 10:44 of ice time, all of which came on even strength. Andersson also won the only 2 face-offs he took.

In a game that had the Rangers receive 4 power plays, Alain Vigneault couldn’t find the time to give Andersson any of it? As for Chytil, he played 14:23, .08 seconds of it was on the PP. Pretty stunning.

Filip Chytil was playing in his 3rd Rangers game and recorded an assist on Mats Zuccarello’s goal. In his limited ice time, he led the team with 6 shots on goal. When you reflect on their numbers, it is hard to understand why the head coach couldn’t give them some more ice time on special teams. Actually, it is inexcusable, especially when the regulars gave up a shorthanded goal in the Caps 4 goal 1st period.

Tick Tock On Vigneault

For the record, we believe that Alain Vigneault’s firing is inevitable. Today, Larry Brooks wrote about why the Rangers would fire the head coach.

The chronic issues in the defensive zone will, I believe, be determinative if the Rangers make a change. That, more than the charge that young players don’t develop under Vigneault or that the team needs a different voice, is likely to be the crux of the matter. – Larry Brooks, NYP

If anyone watched any of the 4 goals the Caps scored last night, you could easily understand.

I would add to that the deployment of his personnel. Such as continuously rolling out Nick Holden and Marc Staal to defend a late lead against Ottawa in last year’s playoffs. The results were disastrous and cost the Rangers the series.

Another example of ridiculous player usage was on display last night. No, I’m not talking about the ice time distribution for the kids, I’m talking dressing Cody McLeod. Why not play Paul Carey or even Peter Holland? Instead we got a 4th line of Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich, and McLeod. It is mind boggling.

*Correction: Vlad Namestnikov played with Buchnevich and McLeod

While Brooks says nothing is certain about Vigneault’s future, the writing is written in NEON all over the walls.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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