Rangers recall Chytil and Lindgren and why it’s not a big deal

Fans are celebrating the recall of Filip Chytil and Ryan Lindgren from Hartford. Such is life on NYR Twitter. A crazy place where people go from down to up to down again rooting for this team.

I’m not going to overreact. Not after that bleep storm last night. The stench is still fresh. How’s that for brutal honesty? You’re not gonna get balloons and flowers on this blog.

Nothing about Sunday’s embarrassment to the Bruins top line should be forgotten. Otherwise, they won’t learn from it. The Rangers have the Lightning visiting tomorrow. They’re not as tough to play against as Boston. No disrespect. But anyone who thinks Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos are in the same league as David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, are off their John Rocker.

Are they super talented? Sure. The Tampa trio has yet to kick it into high gear. That should be a warning for overly excited fans and bloggers about the 10th game, which could feature Chytil and finally Lindgren, who should’ve been with the team from the beginning.

Both prospects played well for 8-0-1 Hartford. Chytil led the Wolf Pack in scoring with nine points (3-6-9) and Lindgren was 1-1-2 with a plus-eight rating in the nine games. Each is young. Lindgren is 21 while Chytil turned 20 last month. They’re key players to the team’s rebuild. So, it’s important how they’re developed and used.

After making an initial splash as a teenager last year with a few highlight reel goals, Chytil struggled when he was moved back to center after the team moved on from Kevin Hayes. In 75 games, he went 11-12-23 with a minus-22 rating. Points were hard to come by in the second half. Maybe that should’ve been a warning sign to the organization that the number 21 pick in 2017 wasn’t fully ready for the top six center role they projected for him. A disappointing training camp led to him being sent down.

With top pivot Mika Zibanejad uncertain for Tuesday, we could get to see the future on the number one line. It’s possible that Chytil could center the top line while recent number two pick Kaapo Kakko moves up. Will it be Artemiy Panarin, who would be ideal over Chris Kreider? Let’s hope so. There is nothing wrong with Kreider playing on a second line with Ryan Strome and Pavel Buchnevich.

Though I’m curious if Jesper Fast returns, will David Quinn have the gritty, defensive minded Quickie on the first line as part of a match-up to slow down Stamkos, Point and Kucherov? I now understand why Fast was originally penciled in to play with Zibanejad and Kreider yesterday. The coach was thinking about the best way to slow down that dynamic Boston line. By the end of one period, he was without both. We saw what happened.

Encouraging is that it doesn’t sound like Zibanejad will be out for long if he sits out tomorrow’s match. That’s a big break for the team. Also, new enforcer Henrik Lundqvist sounds like he should be okay. As expected Alexandar Georgiev gets the start against the Bolts.

Regarding Lindgren, I’d like to see him play at least on the third pair. Here is a question for the coach. With Libor Hajek having his worst game of his career, does Lindgren replace him in the lineup? They’re different style defensemen. Hajek is more of a skating type while Lindgren is more physical. He had a good camp.

Or would they actually consider scratching Marc Staal? Not saying it was his fault last night. He somehow managed to finish plus-one. As has been noted everywhere, the well respected 32-year old veteran is slowing down. Like Lundqvist, it could be the final two seasons for him. I wish the turncoats didn’t dump on him as much. Don’t forget how good a player he was during those three playoff runs. What he also overcame. Some people have short memories.

I don’t see Brady Skjei coming out of the lineup. He wasn’t the issue yesterday. Consistency is something the 25-year old must find. He’s been around long enough.

My guess is they’ll hold out Zibanejad as a precaution. I’m just gonna take a guess on the lines.





About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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