The New York Rangers have struggled with injuries in the first few games of their season.
Head coach Gerard Gallant noted that the incidence of injuries to the franchise was “much higher than usual”, with players such as Ryan Lindgren, Ryan Carpenter and Vitaly Kravtsov all nursing nagging injuries that kept him out for some games. .
Sunday’s contest against the Detroit Red Wings offers a bit of respite from the difficulties of changing the roster as much as they have to. With the expected return of Philippe Chitill, Rangers welcome one of their youngest and most talented players into serious condition.
Chitil missed the last six games with an upper body injury, but his return could help change the bottom six units’ approach to the offense.
“He’s a big part of our team. It’s not like the first half of last year, it makes a big difference when he’s definitely on your top line,” Gallant told reporters.
While there was some speculation about whether Chittil would indeed return for Sunday’s game, the 2017 first-round pick was delighted to have finished with his rehab assignment.
“You never want to miss a game, you want to play. But how can I perform and you need to be 100% to do what everyone expects of me. I didn’t rush, I Feeling great right now and I can’t wait to help the team.” Chitil told reporters on Saturday.
Chytil’s skill provides a much-needed shot in the arm for a Rangers offense that is looking for output from its bottom six. On the year, the bottom six forwards scored 22 points and just four goals in the season outside Cheetill. Since his injury, the bottom six units have scored just twice.
New York a. Is able to move from his third-row center injury by posting 3-2-1 record In the last six matches. Speed, aggression and physicality are a core part of Chitil’s game. In the six matches he has played, Chitil has equaled Two goals and one assist with a +3 on-ice rating.
“Of course, I have to work on almost everything right now, but I was happy with the way I started. I just got a break so I can’t wait to get back where I left off. Chittil said.