For the second consecutive game, the New York Rangers were forced into overtime and yet again, they came away with the win. Filip Chytil and Kevin Shattenkirk were among the notables to make their Ranger debuts this evening, and they certainly made noteworthy first impressions. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from tonight.
- Obviously the biggest story line here is the debut of Filip Chytil, and oh my, did he live up to all of the hype. Right from his first shift, you could tell just how dynamic this kid really is. He was all over the puck in the corners, created several scoring opportunities and truly didn’t look out of place even for a second.
- Chytil’s biggest moment came in the overtime period, where he wired a cross-ice feed from Mats Zuccarello to cap off a very impressive debut. You’ll notice in the GIF below, Chytil had the awareness to adjust his angle ever so slightly, which put him in a perfect lane to open up for the pass. Small stuff like that shows just how fun and creative Chytil is going to be moving forward. If tonight was any indication, he’ll certainly challenge for a spot on opening night if this keeps up. He also knows how to celebrate accordingly.
- Lias Andersson also appeared in his second consecutive game, and while slightly overshadowed by Chytil, he also had a solid game in his own right. He defended extremely well during his 2:33 of penalty kill time and created a beautiful opportunity to draw the game-deciding power play in overtime. So far, the kids are certainly impressing to the point where Alain Vigneault is going to have quite a decision to make regarding their future.
- We also can’t forget about Kevin Shattenkirk, who quietly had three assists in his preseason debut. We all expected Shattenkirk to have an impact right away, and sure enough, it was fairly evident just how big of a player he’s going to be for the Rangers. It was such a breath of fresh air to see a defenseman carry the puck out of the defensive zone with confidence and create opportunities with crisp stretch passes.
- While his production was expected compared to the likes of Chytil and Andersson, Shattenkirk gave us a glimpse of what to expect this season. He led all players in power play ice time with 9:37 and notched two assists with the man-advantage.
- Finally, I’ll touch on Marc Staal who like Nick Holden, didn’t have the strongest of outings in his preseason debut. He took an undisciplined holding call early in the first period simply because he didn’t move his feet, and overall, looked pretty sluggish in his own end. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but with plenty of the young guys pushing for roster spots, one would have expected a better outing from Staal with his job potentially on the line.
- With two preseason games in the books, the Rangers will have a pair of games coming up this weekend with the Islanders and Devils. There’s no word on when the next round of cuts are coming, but it’d be safe to assuming they’ll likely come after the next game or two.