Guys, yesterday was my 29th birthday, the first one without my old man. If you follow me or know me, you know that I despise Marc Staal. Is it unhealthy? Sure is, but I can’t stand the guy. How can one player be so bad, for so many years with ZERO repercussions? He’s slow, he’s soft, he can’t defend and by all accounts is the worst defenseman in the entire NHL. I’m telling you this because for the first time in his 13 year career he was scratched last night and if that wasn’t a birthday present from my old man, idk what is. So as I was leaving to go to beer league last night, I found this out and I knew everything was going to be okay.
Sooooo, he didn’t want to be in Hartford anymore. Chytil has always had skill, has always had speed but never has really put it together; at least until last night. Previous to last night, he looked like a spectator when playing, waiting for the play to come to him. Last night, the kid was a HOUND on the puck. He forced the Lightning into make decisions way faster then expected and created a whole lot of turbulence in the process. He was constantly moving his feet, and was very physical on the puck. Last night was the type of game the Rangers coaches and fans want and need from Chytil for this team to be successful.
I love this kid. He is tough as shit, isn’t afraid to get physical and treats every player the same way on the ice. It was nice to see the kid get his first assist but it was even nicer to see Quinn put him and Fox out on the ice with less than 5 minutes to go. Pierre mentioned them both being on the Team US World junior team, something I haven’t thought of. This would/will be an excellent twosome as Fox has the ability to move the puck and join the rush as Lindgren stays back and takes care of business.
That was the first time the year we saw the Kakko we’ve been looking for. He looked so confident with the puck. It seemed like he had time and space, something he hasn’t really had in the first few games. His goal might not have been a snipe, but he showed off unreal patience to go around / create a seam for a shot on net. Sky is the limit for this kid and we all have to hope that he can build off of this each and every game he plays.
To be honest, to this point, Adam Fox has impressed me the most. This kid has unreal poise with the puck. Instead of being forced to make passes by an impending forechecker, he always takes an extra second, adjusts his body and position with the puck, and makes a tape to tape pass. As a rookie, he has been so damn impressive and the Rangers have for sure found a player that will be around for a very long time. The Rangers have struggled with getting the puck out of their own zone in the past and Adam Fox is literally a skating breakout every time he touches the ice.
Next game is Saturday at 2 vs. the Nashville Predators. This will be another test for the Rangers as they go on the road to face one of the best teams in hockey. If the Rangers can match the intensity and execution of the 60 minutes they put in against Tampa, we should be in pretty good shape.