Jan 2, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Philip Chettle (72) controls the disc during the third period against Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Rangers practiced today in Anaheim for a game against the Ducks on Saturday night.
Coach Gerard Gallant will seek to get his team back on track but will have to make some changes to the squad. Today, Julien Gauthier has been added to the COVID list sparking calls from Tim Gettinger and Jonny Brodzinski of the taxi squad.
Galant hints at squad changes
According to multiple reports, Rangers’ training lines had some major changes with Gauthier’s exit, but also Dryden Hunt was not. The striker hurt in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Golden Knights, and he suffers a daily upper body injury.
Three streaks could still be intact against Anaheim, but Philip Schiettle’s streak is quite high in the air.
Depending on Artemi Panarin’s potential return from the COVID protocol, and Hunt’s status, Chytil’s buddies could be in a very good streak for Brodzinski and Gettinger. If Panarin is ready, it doesn’t make sense that Barkley Goudreau will stay in the second streak as a right winger. Alexis Lavrinier could switch sides for every coach.
“I think about it every second of the day,” Gallant said of turning Lavrinier to the right. “That’s a possibility (when Panarin returns).”
However, there will be a change in defense as Zach Jones has been brought back into the taxi squad.
“We want to develop people but the number one goal is to win hockey games,” Gallant said. “We got our top four and that’s pretty standard. Other players come in and out of the squad but we try to win games, that’s the bottom line.”
Practice indicated that Jared Tenordi will meet Nils Lundqvist in the match on Saturday.
“[Tinordi] He’ll probably go tomorrow,” Gallant said. “I love Tenordi, I’ve had it before. A well-mannered, hard-working man.
Tenordi, 29, has no points in five games this season with a -5 rating.
Gallant also admitted that Tenordi had a difficult start but cleared him by saying he hadn’t had a chance to gain any momentum with the team.
Galant wants more from Philip Shettel
No matter who his linemates are, Chytil needs to start producing points.
“I would like Phil to play better and get more points and to play third line,” Gallant said. “It didn’t work out. We tried it on the wing a little bit, but in a perfect world, if Phil is doing what he can do as a third place then that’s what I like.”
Chytil is extremely talented but insanely inconsistent in his NHL career. The 22-year-old spends a lot of time around the ocean and has nowhere to go many nights.
Galant addressed it directly to him today. Head coach Chettel was impressed by the need to be more “scrape around the net” so he could score more points.
This season, Chytil has just seven points (3G, 4A) in 31 games. He is currently in his fourth full season with Rangers since being drafted in the first round (21st place) of the 2017 draft. In 217 career appearances, he scored 78 points.
Chytil signed a two-year, $2.3 million deal last summer. The RFA will have arbitration rights when it expires.
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