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It is never ideal to have to overcome injuries for a team in a regular season. In this covid world that we are living in with a 56 game schedule, injuries are even less ideal. Even less ideal when you are the New York Rangers and your center depth after Mika Zibanejad is questionable at best.
Chytil suffered an “upper body injury” on Sunday night against the Penguins in a collision with with Evan Rodrigues. He was able to skate off under his own power but remained out the rest of the night.
When the team traveled to Buffalo, Chytil returned to NYC to see doctors the team twitter announced. Then on Tuesday word came out that Chytil would miss 4-6 weeks with an undisclosed upper body injury.
This is going to be something that is going to affect the Rangers more than some might think. Even though Chytil has been punched in as the teams third line center he’s shown a lot of growth as a center and has filled in nicely at 3C.
With Zibaenejad and Strome already struggling it doesn’t help to remove a promising center from the group. One would speculate Howden should take up Chytil’s 3C spot but can he raise his offensive game to Chytil’s level?
Losing Chytil will also certainly impact the game of Kaapo Kakko who has looked like a different player so far in his sophomore season. Kakko and Chytil have developed a really strong chemistry together and they’ve been one of the Rangers most effective lines with the addition of Phil DiGiuseppe with them.
With Chytil’s absence now from the lineup it’s going to force David Quinn and his staff along with Jeff Gorton to look for a solution to bolster this team down the middle. There is no room for error in short season and with the Rangers already sputtering out of the gate they need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and find their game quickly.