Filip Chytil skating

The story from yesterday’s loss was that the Rangers lost Filip Chytil to an injury just two minutes into the game. He had one shift, then had a bit of a freak collision that led to a head injury and possible concussion. There is concern as losing Chytil long term has many ripple effects in the lineup, and none of them are good.

Losing Chytil long term impacts bottom six roles

Just as we were talking about the Rangers rotating their bottom six to find the right guys for the right roles, the Rangers go ahead and lose Chytil. While we don’t know the severity of the injury, losing Chytil long term, potentially, impacts the third line, fourth line, and roles of each line.

After today’s practice, it looks like Chytil will be replaced with Barclay Goodrow, paired with Vitali Kravtsov, with a rotating 3LW. Most likely, this will be Jimmy Vesey and Sammy Blais, as there’s no way we will see Ryan Reaves or Ryan Carpenter on the third line.

When the third line had Chytil, it was a scoring line. In sheltered minutes, that line was likely to be responsible for tertiary scoring while pinning the opposition in the defensive zone. Now with Goodrow and one of Vesey or Blais, none of which are noted scorers anymore, Kravtsov is the only player that can provide offense.

The best case scenario is a Blais-Goodrow-Kravtsov line that doesn’t necessarily need offensive zone sheltered starts. They’d be able to get in on the forecheck and cycle, with Kravtsov hopefully drawing defenders with skill while Blais and Goodrow crash the net. This is the first negative impact of losing Chytil long term – the third line’s role changes completely.

But that is a major “IF” regarding Blais and the third line. If it’s Vesey, who arguably has less offensive ability nowadays than Blais, then you have a pair of “shutdown” guys playing with Kravtsov, a skill player.

Naturally, the fourth line’s role is depending on what sticks on the third line.

Vitali Kravtsov will struggle to score

Vitali Kravtsov is a divisive player, given what transpired last year. All that is water under the bridge now, with Kravtsov expected to take a big role for the Blueshirts. When fully healthy, Kravtsov was going to be the 2RW with Artemiy Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, or hte 3RW with Chytil and a 3LW, most likely Blais.

But losing Chytil long term now impacts Kravtsov. As mentioned above, the Rangers most likely need to tread water with their bottom six and simply just survive. Kravtsov, who is the 3RW now, has very little offensive help with Goodrow and *insert LW here.*

A kid that is skilled and expected to provide offense, Kravtsov now has to play chaperone to two defensively oriented –or worse– players on his line. Naturally, he’s going to struggle to produce offensive numbers in this situation. Remember how we lamented Chytil’s linemates for the first 4 years of his career? Same thing, different player.

Losing Chytil long term is a problem for the Rangers.


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