Rangers Filip Chytil has earned his shot as a top-six regular

Filip Chytil, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Filip Chytil, New York Rangers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

It may have only been one great game, but after the New York Rangers 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning, Filip Chytil made it clear he’d like to stick around.

We’ve had some small flashes of brilliance in the New York Rangers 10-game campaign thus far, but nothing quite enough to hold onto. Their 4-1 win against Tampa is the exact type of product we have all envisioned through this identity change over the last couple years. The Blueshirts are a quick, skilled, and offensively potent team of youngsters clicking in all three zones.

Among all of the things New York Rangers fans had to enjoy against last year’s President Trophy winners in this game, Filip Chytil was at the forefront. Unless you’ve been residing under a pretty dark and soundproof rock all month, you know about the perpetual communal complaints amongst the fan base over Chytil and Vitali Kratsov being in the AHL. All while veterans such as Brendan Smith and Michael Haley continue to bear trust from David Quinn.

Well, finally the fans got what they wanted. It only took a costly Mika Zibanejad injury to give Chytil the look everyone knew he deserved. His electric presence did not disappoint. Chytil scored the game winner in the third on a one-handed poke at the puck off a Pavel Buchnevich 2-on-1 pass. This was Chytil 2.0 as opposed to last year’s version, smart and decisive with the puck while setting himself up in scoring position in the right moments.

In fact, don’t look now, but do you know what he really reminded me of? That’s right – a No. 2 center. Again, I realize coach Davd Quinn has only seen one game from him where he played with a chip on his shoulder. But if he can learn to bring this fire on a consistent basis, there is no question he is the guy to finally shut everyone up about this issue.

Chytil was lighting it up with the 8-0-1 Wolfpack, averaging a point-a-game with nine points in nine games. It’s obvious cutting him was an oversight, so its time to place the unpleasant event in the rearview mirror.

Quinn just needs to relax with the constant line shuffles and let some of these kids marinate in the spotlight. Punishing for mistakes with a team of now seven players 21 and under is so counter productive. Mistakes are going to happen as they need to be accepted and used as learning tools. It’s clear when this team plays to their potential, they the team fans want to see. It’s more a matter of minimizing the inexperienced errors as much as possible and that all remains in the coach’s hands.

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The New York Rangers should keep Chytil on the second line and fans can hope Quinn won’t have a short leash on him.