Gallant hints at major lineup changes for New York Rangers; want more from chytil

Filip caught

January 2, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) controls the puck during the third period against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers practiced in Anaheim today, preparing for a game against the Ducks on Saturday-evening.

Head coach Gerard Gallant will try to get his attacks back on track but will be forced to make some lineup changes. Today Julien Gauthier was added to the COVID list, which led to the call of Tim Gettinger and Jonny Brodzinski from the taxi crew.

Gallant hints for lineup changes

According to multiple reports, the Rangers’ practice lines had some significant changes with Gauthier out but also Dryden Hunt not present. The attacker was injured in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Golden Knights and has been dealing with a daily upper body injury.

Three lines could remain intact against Anaheim, but Filip Chytil’s line is completely up in the air.

Depending on Artemi Panarin’s possible return from COVID protocol and Hunt’s status, Chytil’s lineages could very well be Brodzinski and Gettinger. Should Panarin participate, it is no surprise that Barclay Goodrow will remain second line on the right wing. Alexis Lafreniere could switch sides by head coach.

“I think about it every second of the day,” Gallant said of Lafrenière’s switch to the right. “That’s a possibility (when Panarin comes back).”

However, there will be a change in defense as Zac Jones was sent back to the taxi crew.

“We want to develop people, but the main goal is to win hockey games,” Gallant said. “We have our top four which is pretty standard. Other guys are in and out of the lineup, but we’re trying to win games, that’s the bottom line.”

Practice has shown that Jarred Tinordi is pairing up with Nils Lundkvist for Saturday’s game.

“[Tinordi] probably going in tomorrow,” Gallant said. “I love Tinordi, I’ve had him before. Good character dude, works hard.”

Tinordi, 29, has no points in five games with a -5 rating this season.

Gallant also admitted that Tinordi has had a rough start, but acquitted him by stating that he has not had a chance to gain momentum with the team.

Gallant wants more from Filip Chytil

new york rangers
Nov 5, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil (72) celebrates a goal in the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless of who his linemates are, Chytil has to start producing points.

“I would like to see Fil play better and get more points and play on the third line,” Gallant said. “It did not work. We tried him a bit on the wing, but in a perfect world, if Fil does what he’s capable of as a third-line center, I’d love that.”

Chytil is wildly talented but maddeningly inconsistent throughout his NHL career. The 22-year-old spends too much time around the perimeter and is nowhere to be found on many nights.

Gallant discussed that directly with him today. The head coach urged Chytil about the need to be more “abrasive around the net” so he can score more points.

This season, Chytil has just seven points (3G, 4A) in 31 games. He is currently in his 4th full season with the Rangers since being drafted in the first round (21st overall) of the 2017 Draft. In 217 games in his career, he has amassed 78 points.

Chytil signed a two-year deal worth $2.3 million last summer. He will be an RFA with arbitration courts when it expires.

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