The lesson of Feb. 15 did not stick, so Filip Chytil is going to be presented with another chance to learn what is expected of him as an NHL player.
But this time when the talented 19-year-old Rangers rookie sits out as a healthy scratch, as he will against the Lightning at the Garden on Wednesday, it won’t be just one game, as it was less than two weeks ago in Buffalo.
For when David Quinn was asked whether he is “disturbed” at having to sit Chytil for work-ethic issues again, and so soon, the coach said no, that it is part of being 19. But Quinn added that he “might change how quickly I get him back in the lineup.”
Chytil specifically drew the Rangers’ ire with deficient coverage on the Caps’ go-ahead 4-3 goal early in the third period of Sunday’s 6-5 OT defeat in DC (he wasn’t the only one) and a generally lackluster performance while skating on a Kid Line with Lias Andersson and Pavel Buchnevich over the weekend that commenced with a Saturday afternoon victory at the Garden.
“Listen, we need more effort out of him consistently,” said Quinn, who earlier had scratched Chytil for one game in St. Louis on Dec. 31. “We all acknowledge and see what he’s capable of doing offensively, and sometimes it comes and goes, which can happen to a lot of players at this level …
“But you’ve got to compete shift in and shift out. There’s got to be consistent effort. It’s something that we’ve talked about and it’s something that we continue to work with him.”
Chytil, who had been on the first power-play unit against the Devils and Caps before being switched out during the third period Sunday, has 20 points (10-10) in 60 games overall, but only one point (an assist) in his last eight games and two points (1-1) over his 13 matches since the bye/All-Star break.
Brendan Lemieux, acquired from Winnipeg as part of the return for Kevin Hayes, will slide into Chytil’s spot beside Andersson and Buchnevich.
Had the Rangers waited until March 4 to recall Andersson from the Wolf Pack, his free-agency clock would not have started until next season. But the 20-year-old’s promotion for Thursday’s match against the Wild meant that he will be eligible for free agency at age 26 rather than 27 by being on the NHL roster for at least 40 games.
“We understood that, but it was not an issue,” general manager Jeff Gorton told The Post. “We had some trade possibilities, we weren’t sure if we were going to need a player for that game, and he was the player who deserved to be here, so that’s what we did.
“Also by doing it before the deadline, he doesn’t count against our four recalls. But to the point of free agency, we did not think it was a reason to keep him there any longer. Out of the group of kids we have around that age, we’ll be able to identify our core guys long before they reach free agency.”
The 23-man roster limit does not apply following the trade deadline, but clubs are limited to four non-emergency recalls the rest of the way.
Alex Georgiev will get the call in goal against Tampa Bay for his sixth start in the last 11 games. The Bulgarian is 4-1/2.78/.923 over his last five starts.
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