Rangers’ Adam Fox resumes skating, but concern remains for Filip Chytil
The Rangers still have a long way to go until Adam Fox is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve, but the club’s No. 1 defenseman is making progress.
Fox has resumed skating roughly two weeks after the 25-year-old landed on long-term injured reserve following a knee-on-knee collision with Carolina forward Sebastian Aho.
The 2021 Norris Trophy winner missed his fifth straight game as the Rangers took on the Devils Saturday night, but the earliest Fox can return to the lineup is Nov. 29 against the Red Wings.
It’s unclear if Fox’s timeline coincides with when he fulfills his LTIR game quota.
The fact that he’s resumed skating, however, should bode well for his return to fall somewhere around when he’s eligible.
The positive update on Fox only creates more growing concern for Filip Chytil, who has been on injured reserve over the same span that Fox has been on LTIR and has yet to resume skating.
Considering how many injuries and concussions Chytil has had over the course of his career, the longer the Czech center stays away from the ice, the more questions surrounding his long-term durability arise.
Chytil was eligible to come off IR on Sunday against the Blue Jackets.
It’s never a good time to get injured, but Chytil always seems to get ripped away from the ice at the worst times.
Chytil earned the second-line center job out of training camp and found himself on the Rangers’ most active and effective offensive line with Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere.
The trio was just beginning to develop some real chemistry when Chytil was sidelined.
As a result, Chytil was replaced by Vincent Trocheck.
Fortunately for the Rangers, the line hasn’t skipped a beat since the trade off in the middle.
Though Chytil might find himself in a different role upon his return to the lineup if the Rangers continue to trend in the direction that they are.
After watching nine of the first 10 games from the press box as a healthy scratch, Zac Jones skated in his fifth straight contest on Saturday.
It may have taken an injury to Fox to get into the lineup, but Jones is primed to play more consecutive NHL minutes than he has in his short career.
“When I look at the defense now, and especially when we’re healthy, I just view it as a really good pocket of defensemen,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think Jonesy has stepped in and done a really good job. He seems to be more confident and he plays more. He’s really skating well and he’s moving the puck well. I feel fortunate to have a group of defensemen the way that we have it.
“Certainty, we want Adam back, whenever that time comes. These guys have done a good job.”
Defensively, the Rangers have been a relatively difficult team to play against. Entering Saturday’s game against the Devils, the Blueshirts had outscored opponents 16-11 in regulation in the last four games.
They had held the opposition to a single goal or less in seven games this season.