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Takeaways from Rangers’ Last Five Games

The Rangers have been on a roll lately since they welcomed Filip Chytil back from Hartford. Since the 20-year-old Czech has returned to the lineup, the Blueshirts are 3-1-0. Chytil has been a part of a productive second line with Pavel Buchnevich and Chris Kreider. Buchnevich had four points in the Rangers’ consecutive wins over Detroit and Carolina. Chytil has produced since coming up from Hartford with three goals in crucial games against Tampa Bay, Nashville, and Florida

On Oct. 27, the Rangers added two young players into their line up. The call-ups of Filip Chytil and Ryan Lindgren have reinvigorated the Rangers. Before October 29, when both players came back and helped beat the Lightning on home ice, the Rangers were desperate for a win.

Last year, Lindgren played in five games at the end of the year—the same number of starts he has this year. However, he did not score one point and was a minus-six. In five games this year, Lindgren has two points and is a plus-three.

On a Sunday matinée at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers dueled the Panthers in a high-scoring hockey game. Lindgren got the Rangers on the board when he scored his first career goal. Lindgren flew into the zone, got a pass down the right wing and took a wrist-shot from a wide-angle. The Rangers showed what they can do when they use their speed and passing ability to create offense.

One positive note to take away from the game is that the Rangers got scoring from five different players. Brady Skjei scored his second goal of the year on an unassisted rush down the wing. Two of the Rangers’ best power forwards, Chris Kreider and Kaapo Kakko both scored on the power play. The Rangers have the seventh-ranked power play in the National Hockey League (NHL) through 15 games. In their last three games, they have scored on five-out-of-nine power-plays.

By adding dynamic offensive players like Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba, the Rangers power-play has benefitted. However, without one of the team’s best offensive players and power play threats, Mika Zibanejad, the Rangers are one player who does not get enough credit is Anthony DeAngelo, who leads Ranger d-men with eight points and six power-play points.

Blueline Future is Bright

Jacob Trouba has been quiet, not registering more than an assist over his last few weeks. However, that’s okay, when he’s being asked to be a leader and stay at home d-man. He should start scoring soon. Brady Skjei has scored two goals since Oct. 27. He is not producing like we may want, but hopefully one of the Rangers most gifted skaters can continue to raise his game as the season progresses.

The three talented young defenders had spots waiting for them. When Kevin Shattenkirk was bought out, it left a spot for Harvard-grad Adam Fox. 33-year-old Marc Staal has been sat and will be sat again, because he looks slower. Since impressing the front office at training camp and holding down a third-pairing spot, Fox has been a steady reliable defender who skates well in his own zone. As for his partner in crime Ryan Lindgren, David Quinn has praised Lindgren’s battle-level shortly after calling him up from Hartford and the team has clearly benefitted, going 3-1 in his first four games.

Going forward, the Rangers identity for the ‘build’ and this transitional year have begun to take shape. Quinn seems to be pushing the right buttons by giving the young players ice-time. All of the young Blueshirts are getting experience at the NHL level. Hopefully, they can blossom into major players in the future and help bring the Blueshirts back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Anthony has been a sportswriter at In The Zone since Sept. 2019. He graduated from Montclair State, where he was assistant Editor of the student newspaper's sports section. He also co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on the campus station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.
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