Rangers Kid Line star says he’s ready for the Eastern Conference Finals

New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) skates against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden
Eric Canha-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers‘ second-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes was filled with plenty of surprises, but none may have been bigger than Filip Chytil’s return to the lineup.

Filip Chytil makes his triumphant return to the Rangers’ lineup

New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) warms up before a game against the Winnipeg Jets  at Canada Life Centre
Oct 30, 2023; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN;New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) warms up before a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Chytil had been out of the lineup since Nov. 2, when the 24-year-old suffered a concussion before getting ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering from concussion symptoms during his recovery. The Czech Republic native made his triumphant return to the lineup in game three, skating on the third-line left wing alongside Alex Wennberg and Kaapo Kakko.

Chytil spent just 12:02 on the ice and registered one shot in the Rangers 3-2 overtime victory before missing the rest of the series due to illness and soreness. However, it now appears that Chytil is healthy and ready to return to the lineup.

Chytil feels ready to go

NYR, Rangers, New York Rangers, Filip Chytil
Feb 6, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) during the second period against the Calgary Flames at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

“I had a good couple of practices with the guys,” Chytil said on Tuesday. “It’s just so much fun to be here with everybody, be involved in all the drills, every battle and it’s going to be nice to be involved in tomorrow’s game as well.”

During those practices, Chytil once again skated with Wennberg and Kakko while also taking some reps on the second power-play unit. Despite the 24-year-old being ready, it will ultimately fall to head coach Peter Laviolette if Chytil is skating in game one.

“It’s been a long year for Fil. We’re excited. He practiced yesterday, and we’ll see how the next 24 hours go,” general manager Chris Drury said on Tuesday. “As I’ve said, it’s [head coach Peter Laviolette’s] lineup, but it’s good to have options. As we’ve said from the beginning, his and every player’s health and well-being are first and foremost every single day, but we’re certainly glad he got back to playing Game 3 and excited to see what the next 24 hours bring and see if he’s a possibility for tomorrow.”

Time will tell if Chytil is in the lineup come puck drop tomorrow, but the Czech Republic native’s inclusion as an option after just a few months ago, when it seemed like his career may be over, is an excellent turn of events for the Blueshirts.

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