NY Sports Day
Leslie Treff

Treff: The Rangers’ Kids Are Alright

Neil Miller/NYSD

When Alex Ovechkin comes to town, it is usually an eventful night—and last night was no exception. Unfortunately, the news was not good for New York—the team was behind the score of 4-0 by the end of the first period, including a beauty of a goal by Ovi.  Although not nearly all starting netminder Georgiev’s fault, his performance last night had the very promising young Rangers’ goalie Alexandar Georgiev already on the bench at 9 minutes into the game. It also helped make today’s decision to send the young Russian back to Hartford a bit easier.

No one in the stands expected this to be an easy Blueshirts’ win, but the almost full house was audibly upset early in the night. Until, that is, rookie Lias Andersson scored his first NHL goal at 13:16 of the second period. Both Andersson and the other 2017 first-round draft selection, Filip Chytil, had been called up on Sunday. The coaching staff decided to have Chytil center the second line and Andersson the third. Andersson’s goal was at even strength on a feed from linemate Jimmy Vesey. The line only had three face off chances all night, but Andersson won both of his. In addition he managed three hits, and two shots.

Chytil was more visible on the ice. He is very speedy and will shoot from anywhere, so he held the crowd’s attention with the launch of 6 shots on goal during the game (the most on the team last night). His faceoff percentage was not good at all (he won 5 of 14; 36%) but made a very good play to get a primary assist on the Rangers’ second goal. At 4:26 of the third period, Chytil passed the puck across the goal mouth to teammate Mats Zuccarello, who put it into the empty net. 

So, although the newest Rangers each got a point last night, New York still lost and lost pretty badly. The Rangers combined for 15 giveaways during the game, compared to 9 turnovers to Buffalo on Saturday, or the 6 giveaways by Washington last evening. This is what we have been expecting since the trade deadline, but has not materialized. Last night it did.

But we all got to see a bit of the Rangers of the future, and it is bright. When the recently acquired top prospect Brett Howden is added to the mix, along with whomever is taken in the first round in June, New York will likely have a plethora of riches and lots of hope for future seasons. That is what the fans came to see last night, really, and that is what they got. It would have been nice if the Rangers had won, but seeing both of the 2017 first rounders get their first NHL points was good enough.


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