Morning Skate Maintenance & Filip Chytil

It was mainly business as usual for the Rangers at today’s morning skate and why wouldn’t it be with a 2-0 lead on the series? The one outlier would involve what has arguably been the team’s most effective line in terms of controlling the cadence of puck possession; The Cuylle - Wennberg - Kakko line. Alex Wennberg would be the lone skater missing from team practice as it was reported that the reliable third line center was given a maintenance day. 

This comes with some intrigue as it doesn’t appear that anything out of the ordinary occurred through the first two games of the series to warrant this. The general consensus early on here indicates that Wennberg isn’t in jeopardy of missing Game 3. As such, there isn’t much to speculate on but in the meantime, this gave Filip Chytil the chance to take some line rushes with Will Cuylle and Kaapo Kakko which if anything, is nice to see. 

In case you missed it, I wrote earlier in the week about if and when the Rangers may consider putting Chytil in a game day line-up. While his participation in today’s skate doesn’t provide certainty that he will make his postseason debut any time soon, it could mean that he continues to be close to a return. My stance on the matter hasn’t changed much but given what we’ve heard and seen from Rangers reporters as of late, there’s enough evidence to suggest the Rangers may feel a similar way. It’s still unlikely we see Chytil in Round 1 but if the Rangers are seriously considering him as an option down the road, don’t be surprised if they seek out a scenario to ease him into a return if the opportunity arises. 

Furthermore on that point, it has since been reported that Filip Chytil will indeed join the team on the trip to Washington. 

Again, if anything this is excellent news in terms of morale. After everything he’s had to deal with regarding his injury this season, you have to think it will feel good for him to get the opportunity to travel with the team for the first time in months. Whether him traveling has more to do with morale or the possibility of him actually playing will remain to be seen. Head Coach Peter Laviolette was asked more about the status of Wennberg but as most coaches tend to do this time of year, wouldn’t say much on the matter.