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Filip Chytil out for next 4 games: Rangers searching for solution to recent struggles

Rangers - Chytil Injury Update
New York Rangers counterman Filip Chytil (72) skates with the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
AP Photos

The New York Rangers have dropped three of their last four contests and it won’t get any easier over the next week. The defending Stanley Cup Champion Avalanche make their way to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday in the first game of a back-to-back for the Rangers. The Islanders, Dallas Stars, and Arizona Coyotes also await New York this week. 

New York will also be without one of their top young players in their first tough stretch of the 2022-23 season. 

The Blueshirts announced that Filip Chytil will not be playing in any of the four contests this week as he recovers from an upper-body injury he suffered in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Columbus. 

“He was really consistent and he really played well. I am really happy with his game.” Gerard Gallant said after the game. “I think there’s no issue. Get healthy first and get back into the game. He’s played really good hockey for us.”

Chytil’s loss was felt early and often throughout Sunday’s loss. As one of the fastest players on the roster, the subsequent lack of speed was a big piece to the struggles New York dealt with. The injury wasn’t enough of an excuse though according to some on the team. 

“You filter different guys line by line but there’s no excuse. Guys are used to playing with everyone on the team. It just comes down to playing the way we’re capable of playing.” Barclay Goodrow said after the loss. 

It’s been a tough stretch for the Rangers at home as of late. The Blueshirts have dropped three of four games with each loss coming against a team that entered the game below .500. The struggles have come from a lack of focus according to New York’s coaching staff.

“I think that’s a lesson you learn that if you don’t play your best game against no matter who you play against…you gotta play your best hockey,” Gallant said. “We didn’t play bad hockey, but we didn’t play good hockey.”

A far different opponent awaits the Rangers on Tuesday night though. 

“They (Colorado) are going to be a big challenge no matter what time of year you’re playing those guys. From day one I talked about the identity of our team…you gotta bring your game, you gotta play a full 60” Gallant told reporters Monday morning. 

The speed of the Avalanche have been a consistent issue for opponents over the last few years. The overwhelming amount of talent left even the Eastern Conference’s best in the dust in terms of speed and skill. 

Without Filip Chytil on Tuesday night, the task has become even more daunting for the Rangers. 

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