Rangers likely to be without Filip Chytil again in Game 5

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

The New York Rangers received a welcome surprise amidst their current postseason series with the Carolina Hurricanes when it was announced that Filip Chytil would make his return to the lineup. Chytil had missed the last several months dealing with concussions and was believed to be done for the season. He returned to the lineup in Game 3 and added a spark to the Blueshirts who went on to win that matchup in overtime.

However, Chytil was then absent from the lineup again in Game 4, dealing with what has been described as an “illness.” Now, ahead of a crucial matchup on Monday night, it appears as though the Rangers will likely be without Chytil again in Game 5.

The Rangers will likely be without Filip Chytil in Game 5

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

Chytil was on the ice and practicing with the Rangers on Monday morning, however, according to Vince Mercogliano of Lohud, it still seems unlikely that he will play in Game 5. While Mercogliano said he would never rule out Chytil playing, he pointed out that the forward did bag skates this morning and stayed on later with the extras at practice. He was also not in the lineup for the morning skate.

Head coach Peter Laviolette refused to divulge any plans to the media despite their attempts to get a straight answer:

“He practiced this morning,” Laviolette told the reporters (h/t Mercogliano of Lohud).” That’s a real positive thing for our team. I’m going to keep any lineup decisions that I make to myself.”

Chytil made his long-awaited return to the lineup in Game 3, recording one shot on goal and 12:02 in time on the ice. His presence seemed to light a spark for the team and bring some newfound energy to the lineup. The Rangers are hopeful that Chytil can continue to play down on the third line, however, they do have some strong options who can fill in his place in the meantime.

Who would be in the lineup instead of Chytil?

New York Rangers center Jonny Brodzinski (22) attempts a shot against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Madison Square Garden
Feb 5, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Jonny Brodzinski (22) attempts a shot against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

In Game 4, it was Jonny Brodzinski who got the nod to take the ice in place of Chytil, rather than the expected Matt Rempe. The Rangers took Rempe out of the lineup in place of Chytil upon the latter’s return in Game 3, but opted for Brodzinski instead for Game 4.

The expectation is that Brodzinski will be in the lineup again if Chytil is unable to play. While there is still a chance Laviolette puts him in the lineup, the Rangers may be better off resting Chytil until he is fully healthy again, rather than forcing him back into the lineup prematurely. Brodzinski and Rempe can hold it down in the meantime.

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