Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. What a bizarre game – but a win’s a win and I’ll take it!
Something else that I’ll take?
Reader Mike H.’s generous (and surprise) gift – a case of Buffalo Trace whisky!
(And you’d think that they would have sponsored me by now – but perhaps an A.A. sponsor is what’s best needed for yours truly!)
(And if you’re reading this prior to my proof-reading disclaimer – which is removed once the “FINALIZATION PROCESS” is complete – then you may be able to ascertain as much!)
Thanks again Mike – and yes – it took me a few minutes to put together how you obtained my address too!
(The return address on the package that I sent him, when he ordered all ten of my books, autographed at that – what a monumental piece of hockey history – and all at once.)
To begin, I must ask of you the following:
Who else is a fan of the band Journey – and not just because of their biggest hit, “Don’t Stop Believing” – where still, and even to this day – whenever I hear that song – I immediately think of Meadow Soprano trying (and failing) to parallel park her car!
After watching the Rangers’ 4-1 win over the Kraken on Saturday night (and into early Sunday morning too), I was reminded of another song by Journey, “Lights.”
You know, the song with these lyrics:
When the lights go down in the City
And the sun shines on the bay
Ooh, I wanna be there in my City
Oh, oh, oh, oh!
(And read that last lyric in Susan Sarandon’s voice when she once commentated a Rangers’ game on NBC! Then again – don’t do that!)
Prior to racing through this game (although I will still hit the 10,000 word mark anyway!), as it’s 1:30AM as I type these words – your daily disclaimer for this Rangers’ 2023-24 season:
“WHATEVER THE RANGERS DO IN THE REGULAR SEASON DOESN’T MATTER. THEY CAN ONLY BE JUDGED BY WHATEVER THEY DO IN THE 2024 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS!”
Following what can only be described as an “utter disaster,” the loss to Nashville from Thursday night; now two days and 3,000 miles away removed from this crime committed against hockey – the Rangers actually showed up to play in Seattle.
Led by a rejuvenated Artemi Panarin (2 goals, +2 and double-shifted all game) – “The Breadman” reminded everyone in Rangerstown, USA that whenever he’s buzzin’, then so does the team.
Call me pessimistic, call me jaded, call me realistic, but just don’t call me BIG SHIRLEY (Hi Linda and Mike); but again, I go right back to my season-long disclaimer.
Let me see him produce like this during the postseason.
If not, then this game will just be one of eighty-two, and as a result, a meaningless one that his cueball head once shined in.
Glass half-full, should you still adopt such vibes?
Single-handedly, Panarin motored the Rangers’ engine in a building where most patrons probably drove wussy electric vehicles to the game too – cars, that much like the arena in Seattle tonight, were left for dead and without charge after the game.
And for those still clinging on to hope?
The first-round picks, who some morons still refer to as kids, including when discussing freakin’ Filip Chytil, who you know, is now in his seventh-season – but who you would also think was still a teenager by the way that some people talk, so young – (HOW YOUNG IS HE?) – that even Stalk Boy Steven is still drooling over him – all, and undeniably at that, had their best games of the season too.
Lafreniere, who unlike Panarin’s off-season activities in Russia, has been shy to shoot this season.
However, he did score on his one lone shot on goal tonight and even finished the match with a game-high +3.
Kakko, who also recorded only one shot on goal tonight, scored a goal and finished +1.
And I know that this sounds like I’m pissing in cornflakes right now – but both of these goals could have been scored by anyone – as neither was a skilled goal – but we’ll talk about that once we get into the GAME REVIEW.
That said, I’d be a HATER if I just talked shit after a solid game from this 1-2 pick duo, so I must give them their flowers for having a strong showing tonight.
(In other words, to say that they had a bad game tonight would be false.)
After all, while neither goal scored by this disappointing tandem was LIGHTS OUT – and akin to Panarin’s two tallies – they were in the right place and at the right time – which tells you that they do possess offensive awareness skills.
Plus, it felt like they were extra motivated tonight.
However, and with that said – I just get down on my hands-and-knees and pray to the hockey gods that they are always this motivated.
Equally as impressive tonight as this pair was the Rangers’ late first-round draft pick from 2017, second line center Filip Chytil, who like Lafreniere, also finished with a game-high +3 – following his three assists – and while they all count the same – a trio of primary apples for good measure.
Combined with the quartet of scoring was a stellar sextet of defensemen – as you’d be hard-pressed to find any fault in the games that Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, Jacob Trouba, K’Andre Miller, Braden Schneider and Erik Gustafsson had tonight – and where none of the six finished with a negative number in the “all-mighty” plus/minus stat.
And that finally brings us to Jonathan Quick – who pretty much shocked every true-to-themselves resident in Rangerstown, USA on Saturday night.
After blanking the Predators for over 26-minutes on Thursday night, in his cold-as-ice relief of CZAR IGOR; Quick fell one goal shy of posting a shutout himself in shithole Seattle – and that was with all of the lighting issues – issues that we’ll soon further address in-detail.
Quick, a “Ranger Killer” himself, gave up an early goal to a new generation “Ranger Killer” tonight – Seattle’s Justin Schultz – who now has four goals against the Blueshirts with the Krakheads.
Nothing but a flawless performance from a player that I still have 2014 PTSD about – but yes – that is a personal problem – and not a problem for anyone else to concern themselves about!
For as much as I hate him (as a fan – and not on a personal level – as I know that he’s a nice guy and a huge family man to boot); the man who haunted my nightmares for many years was LIGHTS OUT (second time I’ve made this bad joke – sorry, it’s late and I’ve been drinking a bottle of Buffalo Trace all night too), all game.
And wouldn’t you know it – JQ32 now has the best goalie stats in all of the NHL too.
Granted, Quick didn’t have to do that much in this game (18 saves on 19 shots faced – and where the Krakheads only put two shots on goal during the middle frame); but even so, when called upon, and there were 4-5 times where he was called upon – and in a big-time manner – the new back-up goalie “QUICKSANDED” (har-har-har – I am so corny with all of my bad puns) stopped the Kraken – and as if they were the Seahawks against the Patriots in the fourth quarter of the Superbowl.
As I close out this long intro, an intro almost as long as a Peter Laviolette press conference, my biggest takeaway:
The Rangers showed effort tonight.
Had they lost this game while playing like this – fine – at least they showed me that they cared.
I couldn’t say the same about Thursday night’s fiasco.
A bonus takeaway?
Going into this road-trip, I would’ve been happy about six-points netted – and extremely ecstatic about seven-points earned.
They now have two of a possible two points – and eight points are still on the table.
But the final kick to your nether regions prior to proceeding and getting into everything else?
Do it in the playoffs.
At this time, some hilarity (and seriousness) from Friday night – where if you haven’t already figured it out by now – I am doing my part – and trying to reverse curse the Rangers, ala Sam Rosen, this season.
(The daily 4-0 shutout bet is retired, but trying to reverse curse the Rangers is my new go-to!)
Whether you want to call me Randy Quaid from “Major League” or not, I do not care. In fact, that’s pretty funny – and Shawn S., of the “2 Guys, 1 Cup” podcast, is already referring to me as that!
But after watching that senile old man in the broadcast booth jinx this team for years (no jinx/curse is bigger than “… and this one will last a lifetime!”) – I’m trying to combat such ju-ju with some reverse jinxes of my own!
And yes, this is a sad state of affairs – but one Stanley Cup in the past 83-years will drive you to a nuthouse.
Thanks for attending mine, via this blog, tonight!
On Friday, following setting back the sport of hockey one-hundred years the night prior (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/101923/ ) – the Rangers spent most of their day in the air – and not once on the ice.
While Friday was always going to be the Rangers’ travel day to Frasier Crane’s home city; I also thought that following whatever that was on Thursday night, that an unfriendly Peter Laviolette would bag skate the team prior to hitting the friendly skies.
And for those unaware, it’s not out of the norm for teams to hold a practice at their respective training facilities on a travel day.
After all, and following a morning workout – it makes it that much easier to get some shuteye on the plane!
But alas, the days of Herb Brooks, Phil Watson, Jack Adams, et. al, are no longer amongst us – so rather than punishing his guys for embarrassing the once respected blue sweater with the diagonal letters on them; instead, acceptance was the message from the 37th head coach in franchise history.
Long story short?
The Rangers were on an airplane on Friday and did not practice.
As the Blueshirts, who ironically looked “sleepless” themselves on Thursday, landed in Seattle; at 7:30PM, I turned on the game between two teams that most of us detest the most, the New York Islanders vs. the New Jersey Devils.
(While most Blueshirt backers would consider the Isles & Devil Dogs as the two teams that they despise above all; other fans, mainly in the older age demographic, hate the Flyers and Bruins just as much.)
This game, which featured the Rangers two biggest rivals in-town, was the complete opposite of the match that the Blueshirts had played the night before.
The Devils, who won the game in overtime by a final score of 5-4, were electric. Ditto the Islanders, who scored a 6 x 5 empty net attack goal to tie the game as the clock dwindled down to triple zero.
Lou Lamoriello’s former club pumped in four power-play goals in regulation, which meant that Long Island Lou’s current starting goalie of today, Ilya Sorokin, didn’t surrender one 5 x 5 goal during the match – and where he made a bevy of jaw-dropping saves too – including a breakaway save on who would later score the game winning goal in overtime, Jack Hughes.
While the purpose of this mini recap isn’t to perform a verbal fellatio on two franchises that make you sick; the point of this is to share one of my tweets from the game, as all I could do was shake my head in disgust as Sorokin was conducting a master class, the Islanders were scoring against Akira Schmid with not much issue, and of course, the performance from the first-overall pick of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft himself:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) October 21, 2023
This tweet (or is it an “X-rated thought,” following Elon Musk’s rebranding), garnered a lot of attraction and discussion.
Of course, and just like any other tweet that goes viral – you get people responding to you who aren’t aware of what you’ve previously written, as they are finding your stuff for the first time.
(That’s also why these blogs go on forever – as I feel like I need to reiterate my stance on certain topics – as this site continues to fetch new eyeballs every day.)
While I’d urge new readers to check out the archives of this site, as with a late night start on the east coast, I don’t have all night to retype everything again – and I’m also sure for my older & regular readers, they don’t want to be hit over the head by redundancy either; let me be clear about one thing:
I KNOW THAT THE RANGERS COULD HAVE NEVER DRAFTED JACK HUGHES. WHILE THE IDEA OF THE BLUESHIRTS DRAFTING HUGHES IS ANOTHER “WHAT IF QUESTION” OF MANY, THE 2019 NHL ENTRY DRAFT WASN’T LIKE THE 1977 NHL DRAFT – WHEN THE RANGERS COULD HAVE DRAFTED MIKE BOSSY – TWICE!
(For more on the Bossy story, check out my latest book.)
But as far as a what if question?
Then the 2019 draft is just a few rungs below the 1977 incarnation – and should the Devils ever win a Stanley Cup with Hughes – then this what if question will climb up the proverbial ladder some.
Anyway, and I can’t believe that some people actually tried to argue against me about this – yes, Jack Hughes is much better than both the Rangers’ recent lottery picks, Kaapo Kakko, who was drafted second-overall in 2019, and of course, the player drafted in the same spot as Hughes one-year later, Alexis Lafreniere.
(And for all of my thoughts on Lafreniere’s career thus far, check out the archives of this site. In short, yes, I’m aware – he had the most unorthodox start amongst first-overall pick in league history; but even still, it’s Year Four and that excuse, while valid, can only go so far.)
Some Ranger fans, or in this case, ardent defenders of their army, tried to tell me that no one ever said that Kakko would be as good as Hughes, nor be as impactful as the Devils’ center.
Whether that was a case of amnesia, or perhaps a successful attempt of blocking out the memory of what the worst goalie in Rangers’ history had to say for himself on the M$GN; I painfully present to you the 2019 words from the seven-foot jackass, the top ANALyst on the M$GN, Sieve Vagistat:
(Long-time readers must be saying to themselves – what a clever and coy way to write 1,000 words – and just to bury that asshole Vagistat again!)
I cringed and almost threw up after listening to Vagistat go on for five-minutes about how he thought that Kakko would be much better than Hughes would turn out to be.
As Maury Povich made famous, “that’s been determined to be a lie.”
But this is true too: Vagistat once again pumped out fake news bullshit to Ranger fans, and in turn, they started hyping up and believing that Kakko would become the second coming of Alex Barkov.
While Kakko is disappointing either way, and you can’t blame Vagistat for that; what you can blame him for is pumping the tires of the Finn so much, so much so that fans really believed that Kakko would walk right into the league and dominate – and while the Devils would one day rue the day when they selected Hughes – the consensus pick.
The only one regretting their first-overall consensus pick and not going off of the board these days?
But do you know what wasn’t ugh?
Just 24-hours later after hitting the send button on that Tweet/X-posting, and after applying my special brand of BLUESHIRT VOODOO – both Kakko and Lafreniere had their best games of the season tonight – and where for the first time in a long time – both scored goals in the same game too!
(And I’d urge you to check out my books – as I have previously written stories about the Rangers’ relationship with curses, voodoo, hexes and magic elixirs in the past – where if you didn’t already know this and I’m not making this up – in the 1950s, the Rangers actually drank a special “good luck” concoction prior to games! However, after a short winning streak, the team started losing and the potion then went down the drain!)
After breezing by the Cafe Nervosa and the Space Needle (and for my road-trip review of the Rangers’ first foray in the rainy city, check out https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/seattle/ for the report and https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/nyrkrak/ for the pictures); the Rangers held a “RISE AND SHINE SKATE” at the Krakhouse.
As both Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley were rolling around in their graves after watching the Rangers on Thursday night (I know, I know, I know – both lead singers of the two Seattle super grunge groups, Nirvana and Alice in Chains, from the 1990s were cremated – but just go with it for the joke); Rangers’ bench boss, Mr. Systems & Structure himself, Peter LATERALETE, spoke to the media:
Once again, not much substance from Laviolette, as he continues to carefully select his words.
However, here’s what I took out of his lengthy chat:
— Jonathan Quick would be making his first start of the season, and for that matter, the first of his Rangers’ career too.
I was surprised about this, because Igor was pulled on Thursday night, which means that he would’ve been fresh for tonight.
Plus, and under “THE TURK,” whenever CZAR IGOR was pulled, he’d start the next game, as he wanted to get right back out there and erase the game that was previously played.
Furthermore, while we all knew that Quick would receive at least one of these five road-trip starts/games; I thought that the three-time Cup champ would get a “sandwich game,” and whether it be the second, third or fourth game of this unconventional time-zone trip.
— Laviolette said that upon landing, the team had a video review session.
In other words, and yes, I’m pushing my own narrative and opinions here – the head coach thought that reliving that Nashville nightmare was necessary.
Really, what was learned from that game film?
That you need to have effort and the drive to win in order to be successful?
It’s not like his favorite word, systems, failed or anything like that.
The players failed by not showing up!
Sitting in a comfy hotel conference room, or wherever else this video review session was held, sounds like a major learning lesson, no?
And if you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic.
What would’ve been a major learning lesson?
An all-out bag-skate – and with vomit littering the ice like the streets of both Manhattan and Seattle.
As any good dog trainer would tell you, and even if it does sound cruel and inhumane, when training a puppy, sometimes you have to put their face near the shit in order to teach them not to shit on the carpet.
(Then you give them a treat when they poo outside or on a wee-wee pad – and where in this example – a well-earned day off, or a video review session, would be that reward.)
Laviolette should have done the same with his dogs – dogs that looked as powerful as poodles on Thursday night.
For another canine reference (and I guess that I’m maturing a bit, as I’m not using the word “bitches” tonight); this team is missing that big dog Rottweiler gene.
You need that killer instinct for the playoffs – and to go back to my disclaimer – at the end of the day, we can only judge this team by whatever they do in the postseason.
Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the fifth game of this 2023-24 season – and perhaps in a vote of confidence in a team that gave up on Thurday – the head coach didn’t give up on them, as he used the same exact line-up, sans the scheduled start for Mr. Quick:
FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Kakko
SECOND LINE: Panarin/Chytil/Lafreniere
THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Trocheck/Wheeler
FOURTH LINE: Goodrow/Bonino/Vesey
FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox
SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba
THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider
BACK-UP: CZAR IGOR
HEALTHY SCRATCHES: Pitlick and Jones
BOX SCORE time.
The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:
J. Quick G
At 9:30PM, and as the Hartford Wolfpack won their game, their fourth straight victory to open the season (you’d think that with M$GN having five different channels, a YouTube account, an app, etc, that they’d air these games – but you’d be wrong – as listening to krakhead Alex Monaco give us all of his bets is more important); we went to the studio, where sadly, “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, wasn’t going to waste his Saturday night with plebeians such as us.
Rather than having one of the greatest goalies in franchise history on the broadcast; instead, we were saddled with the absolute worst, the seven-foot smug jackass, chart boy himself, Sieve Vagistat.
As I grabbed my remote to change the channel to the NHL Network, Vagistat, and once again for the 78967869679667896th time, started talking about his legendary 46-game career – and where despite all of these tales from this epic career – not once has he ever mentioned his ten goals allowed game to Dallas.
I guess his head was up his Royal Road for that one.
Come 10PM EST, I returned to the M$GN, where Sam Rosen said, “OH JOE, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON D.C. JOE! THEY FILMED SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE HERE STARRING TOM CRUISE AND MEGAN MARKLE JOE!”
Okay, I’m making this up (but you did believe it); but what I’m not making up is that he referred to the Kraken as the “Avalanche” – and twice at that – and in just the opening minute of the game.
He’s always said that his family would tell him once he lost his fastball.
After these past few years, I’m just left wondering if his family is as senile as him.
Prior to both Philipp Grubauer and Jonathan Quick entering their nets; Rosen excitedly shrieked, “Seattle is coming of age Joe!”
I had no clue what he meant here, but I guess he was trying to imply that the Kraken have long lost their hockey virginity, now in their third season.
GAME REVIEW time.
Of course, and by now – you’re already aware of what was the main story from this game – the power and lighting issues in Seattle.
Following a big save from Quick just twenty-seconds in, and where I thought, “Oh no, he looks just as shaky as Bam Margera trying to detox and cleanse himself of his poisons;” I tweeted out the following in real-time:
Quick almost knocked a puck into his own net as Sam calls the Kraken “The Avalanche.” We’re only a minute in folks. Broadcast looks very dark on M$GN too – don’t know if that’s because of the pregame pyro or just because M$GN sucks? #NYR
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) October 22, 2023
Right after tweeting that out, my suspicions were confirmed.
The broadcast was very dark, but it wasn’t because of pregame pyro or the horrible M$GN.
Instead, a huge chunk of the lighting grid, especially behind the net where the visitors play at during the odd-numbered periods, was out of service.
And while shadows and darkness are part of both the NFL and MLB games – it’s not a part of hockey – and especially for goaltenders trying to find a small piece of black rubber.
Just 1:09 into the game, the match was paused for fifteen-minutes, as the arena crew tried to bring the building back to life:
I saw officials on the catwalk during the lighting delay but looks like they’ve all cleared and are working on other things.
Will be interesting to see if the relative darkness affects goalie puck tracking. pic.twitter.com/u2cXOyD1fu
— Davy Jones’ Locker Room (@DavyJonesLR) October 22, 2023
The Krakhead staff was never able to return the building to a state of 100% efficiency.
In turn, the league, and from their Toronto offices, rendered the following decision, one perhaps influenced by birdbrain Mollie Walker:
Who gives a shit?
Had the ads from the boards and the ice not been displayed – then boom – this game would have been postponed.
But a goalie who can’t see a puck?
That doesn’t impact the bottom line!
As a remedy (and knowing that the Rangers won’t be anywhere close to Seattle until their California trip – when the Kraken aren’t in town); Bettman’s buddies decided that the goalies would switch sides ten-minutes into each period – a faulty solution at that.
After all, and as we blatantly observed in the second period – you had to wait for a whistle at the half-way mark of each period to begin with.
As a result, Quick, and when personifying the Simon & Garfunkel song, “Sound of Silence” (HELLO DARKNESS MY OLD FRIEND), spent the majority of the first frame in the shadows, and as if he was DEEP THROAT.
(And NO – DEEP THROAT is NOT a Mollie Walker reference – this is a Richard Nixon Watergate reference – and doesn’t Peter Laviolette, ironically the 37th coach in franchise history, resemble Mark Felt, the man who informed on the 37th POTUS? Where else do you get such bad comedy and historical jokes?)
Speaking of bad comedy, for the next fifteen-minutes, and as we all awaited this game to start back up again, and with heavy eye-lids to boot – your top five jokes and comments from this time:
— Did the local junkies at the Krakhouse strip the building of their copper wiring?
— So much for solar power – as the sun wasn’t rising in rainy “Climate Pledge” Seattle!
— Did they try unplugging and plugging back in the modem? I know that works whenever I have a technical issue at my house!
— BUY YOUR OFFICIALLY LICENSED RANGER FLASHLIGHTS TODAY!
— Not only did the liberal ways in Seattle not work here; neither did anything else for them! Get that filthy generator out!
— I can’t see god damn it! – Sol Rosenberg, and an excellently crafted joke from a fellow fan of the Jerky Boys, and one of the co-hosts of “The Blueshirt Underground Show,” Jim S.
Following a lengthy break, where the NHL looked more Mickey Mouse than ever – we finally resumed the on-ice activities.
I mean really. A three-year-old arena and these losers can’t even get the lighting right?
The Kraken only play 41-nights a year and they can’t get it right in the heroin capital of the world – but I guess that I shouldn’t be shocked.
(And what a scathing review thus far – the late night, lack of sleep and booze consumed is really “enhancing” this recap – and where I promise you – you won’t find another recap of this game like this one – even if MR. NO FLEX, of his three-person viewed website, tries! Often imitated, never duplicated! But please – do your own thing and don’t copy me!)
Here’s a generality, the biggest one at that, to sum up the Kraken offense:
Similar to former Ranger Gene Carr, and to paraphrase the late, great, Bill Chadwick, “THEY COULDN’T PUT THE PUCK IN THE OCEAN IF THEY WERE STANDING ON THE EDGE OF A PIER! (JIM!)”
Officially, the Kraken finished this game with nineteen shots on goal.
Unofficially, the home team finished this game with 95795675685678567856785786786585 pucks on boards – wide shots that just left rubber marks on the boards without lights in the Space Needle city.
Once returned to action, Joe “CON ED” Micheletti, who must be a big fan of Thomas Edison for inventing the light bulb, remarked as such, following Jared McCann missing the net from five-feet away:
“IT’S THE LIGHTING SAM!”
Listen, the lighting was horrendous, but these players could see in front of them!
But that didn’t stop Joe all game, as he brought up the power issues throughout the entire broadcast, where at one point, I thought he was going to give us a dissertation on the 100-watt three-way light bulb.
“Fluorescent lights are fabulous Sam!”
For this blog, we’ll end such talk here, but I will say this – I’m so happy that the Rangers won tonight – or else it would’ve been forty-eight non-stop hours (when the Rangers next play next, Tuesday, 10/24 in Calgary) about the lighting grid at the Krakhouse.
Man, it’s getting late (and yours truly, “UNCLE BUCK/SEAN,” has my niece’s softball game to attend at 10:00AM Sunday morning, so I’m going to have to try to move faster along here – so just the important stuff from this point on.
Down to 15:20 remaining, the fourth line broke up a scoring chance – and that would be a theme all game, as the team, as a whole, would block shots, get into lanes and wouldn’t allow Quick to do much.
A minute later, Schneider broke up a one-on-one attempt from Oilers’ first-round bust, Kailer Yamamoto. A minute after that, and at the time, I thought this was a harbinger of what was to come but it wasn’t – Kakko was manhandled and rag-dolled behind Grubauer’s net, as Jamie Oleksiak had his way with the Finn.
Down to 12:41 remaining, we had another delay, but not as lengthy as the first one, as the lighting issues were still unable to be rectified.
Once returned to play, and with 11:19 remaining, Schultz ripped a perfect one-timer into Quick’s area of darkness.
1-0, bad guys – and the last goal that the Kraken would score all game – light or no light.
After Lafreniere shot a puck into Vincent Dunn, which meant that this Rangers’ attack, the best so far of this game, was done too; Gustafsson whiffed on a puck with 9:50 remaining, and upon the puck going out of play, the two goalies switched sides.
With 7:45 remaining, and with Grubauer dealing with the shadows – Panarin baked his first of two goals:
Catch the rest of the action on MSG or stream on MSG+ pic.twitter.com/10yGusm4R7
— Rangers on MSG (@RangersMSGN) October 22, 2023
Man, did Panarin need this.
Heck, everyone who wants this team to win needed this!
Following a strong forecheck from Lafreniere (which I thought that Micheletti exaggerated on-air, in an attempt to find something nice to say), Chytil connected with a perfect cross-ice pass and Panarin, no stranger to sniping with firearms (as was evident by his summer), cleanly picked apart Grubauer’s net with a snipe himself.
After the goal?
Panarin was double-shifted for the remainder of the game.
I have a few opinions on this.
One, it was nice to see Laviolette trying to ride the hot hand.
Maybe this is why he didn’t bag skate anyone, as he was going to skate his best player into the ground (not that they minded) during this game.
Two, the victim of Panarin’s extended ice-time (18:39 – and this number would’ve been bigger had it not been for the three Ranger penalties) was Blake Wheeler, the third line winger who finished this contest with 11:45 on the ice – and someone who does play on the penalty kill.
If anything, then Wheeler (no points in five games played this season) strengthened the case for the return of Patrick Kane – and damn right – I’m going there – and that’s what I want to see too!
Three, I don’t know if I’d say that this move was “desperate,” but it did tell me that Lavy didn’t want to lose this game.
It was the final ten-seconds of this period where it got the most hairy for the Rangers, as Quick made two jaw-dropping saves, while a Krakhead went wide on his rebound attempt at JQ32’s vacated net.
Whew – as a huge backbreaker goal allowed was denied here.
1-1 after one.
Here’s what I said at the time:
1-1 after 1. 1P Thoughts:
— Lavy really wants to win or else he wouldn’t be double shifting Panarin so early.
— Quick has been good.
— Joe should get a job at Con Edison.
— Not much flow with all these delays.
— Seattle remains a shithole.
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) October 22, 2023
The Rangers wrested away the control of this game from the home team in this period, and where as mentioned earlier – limited these (ALLEGED) Seattle drug addicts to only two shots on goal.
While Quick, at times, looked like he had some epileptic seizures in his own net – to his credit, he continued to keep the Kraken off of the board.
Down to 14:07 remaining, and with both teams sitting on nine shots on goal each – a turning point – and where just like the win over the Coyotes – it was a 5 x 3 penalty kill that started it.
At this time, Trouba was boxed for a phantom boarding penalty on Burakovsky – as all the captain did was finish his check – while the two-time Cup champ then looked for an Olympic medal by jumping ten-feet towards the boards.
So yeah – this wasn’t a penalty – as Burakovsky sold this hit as if he was shot.
But he didn’t return to the game either – but again – not a penalty. This was a clean hit.
With 54-seconds remaining on this Rangers’ PK; Quick came up with his best save of the game, a BESSIE (glove) save on former Blue Jacket, Oliver Bjorkstrand.
Then, and with 19-seconds remaining on this kill, Lindgren was boxed for hooking former St. Louis Blue, Jaden Schwartz.
This was a legit penalty – and as a result – a 5 x 3 PK for the Blueshirts.
The Rangers killed both penalties.
Better than that?
They never allowed a shot on goal either – but to be fair – the Kraken also shot wide about 7896798679696 times too.
Following the kills, Yanni Gourde hooked Lafreniere with 10:05 remaining.
This goes back to what I said earlier.
Since there were five seconds to tick off of the clock prior to the goalies switching sides; Grubauer remained in the dark. And since play continued until there was 7:04 remaining, the goalies didn’t switch sides until then – and with the Kraken killing this lone Rangers’ power-play.
Chytil, who finished with a game-high five SOG (but it felt like 5,000), was like me playing against a 12-year-old on the video game NHL ’24 – he shot everything that he could – but could never score.
But no matter.
Once the two goalies switched sides, just ten-seconds later, this happened:
Keepin’ it 💯
Kaapo Kakko records his 100th career NHL point to give the Rangers the lead!
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) October 22, 2023
2-1, GOOD GUYS.
Not only was this Kakko goal the game-winner, but it was also his 100th point of his career.
And at the risk of having the “HATER” label affixed to me – this was an easy goal to score.
Grubauer flubbed a Trouba shot, gave up a rebound and all Kakko had to do was make contact with the puck to put it across the vacated crease.
But of course – he was in the right place, and at the right time – and that wasn’t by accident either.
As the Kraken continued to pepper the boards, and where if Larry David was there, he’d ask Team #32, “do you respect wood?” – Fox returned the favor with 2:30 remaining, following a hell of a pass from Panarin.
But the Rangers weren’t done lighting an unelectric building on this night, as with 2:01 remaining, it was Lafreniere’s turn to score the go-ahead/insurance goal:
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) October 22, 2023
3-1, GOOD GUYS!
While not as “elementary” as Kakko’s goal; once again, a Rangers’ lotto pick was in the right place – and at the right time – and by design.
Number thirteen in white, camping out in the white space between the right circle and the crease, found himself all alone – sans Chytil who saw him – as the Czech center spotted the French-Canadian – and BOOM – see ya Kraken.
But you have to finish on these chances – and that’s what happened here.
This had to be a confidence booster for Lafreniere, but even so – this can’t be another one-and-done-and-wait-for-another-ten-games for this to happen again either.
3-1, GOOD GUYS, through two periods.
Here’s what I said at the time:
3-1, GOOD GUYS, after 40. 2P Thoughts:
— Happy for Kakko & Lafreniere – but is it more of the same – a goal, followed up by many scoreless games? Need this consistently.
— Kraken are staining the boards like how heroin baggies stain their city. Only 2 SOG that period – 20…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) October 22, 2023
Up by two goals and with twenty-minutes to go – the Rangers never looked back – as they are now 3-for-3 when closing out games in the final frame when holding a lead.
Despite the two-goal advantage, and like Panarin himself – Lavy stuck to his guns – and continued to double-shift the Russian sniper.
With 14:22 remaining, and as I was about to say, “WHY IS CHYTIL FORCING THAT PASS IN THE SLOT?” – the double-shifting paid off:
MAKE THAT GOAL NUMBER ✌🏻 FOR ARTEMI
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) October 22, 2023
4-1, GOOD GUYS, Panarin’s second tally of the game, following a questionable pass made by Chytil, which a Krakhead deflected, but then fortunately found itself on the “Bread Stick.”
Game over – or so we thought.
Down to 11:04 remaining – hellfire.
Two-time Cup champ Yanni Gourde cleanly hit Chytil near the Rangers’ bench. Fox retaliated with a hit of his own. As this was going on, Trocheck, from the bench, mocked and laughed right into Gourde’s face. Gourde, obviously ticked off, wanted a piece of someone, but Kreider wouldn’t allow the Krakhead to go after Fox and Chytil.
While Kreider didn’t win this bout – he did step up for his team.
For whatever reason, and this took forever to sort out, and where the penalties were never read off by the officials either – Gourde received a game misconduct and was done for the night.
Kreider received a double-minor, so at the end of the day, we remained at full strength, 5 x 5.
And let me be fair – Gourde didn’t deserve the misconduct. Poor officiating here.
With 9:48 remaining, Chytil hit the crossbar.
Four seconds later, all of the bad blood resulted in Trocheck and McCann dropping the mitts:
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights & News (@HockeyDaily365) October 22, 2023
As brought up earlier this week week (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/101823/ ), former Ranger Sean Avery, and to say the least, didn’t have nice things to say about Vincent Trocheck, and where the former #16 said of the current #16 – “he’s a clock killer who doesn’t fight.”
Well there’s your fight Mr. Avery!
Ironically, at the start of the season, I said that I was adopting Alice Cooper’s “No More Nice Guy” as my theme song for this 2023-24 campaign – as I can no longer make any excuses for this core.
As Trocheck and McCann took their seats in the penalty box – the Krakhead in-house dee-jay played this song.
Isn’t that amazing Suzyn?
Will Cuylle, who was playing with a ton of emotion tonight, and was also involved with all of the physical theatrics that preceded this fight, let his emotions get the best of him, as the juiced-up rookie held Matty Beniers with 9:04 remaining.
Similar to the first two Seattle power-plays – they didn’t log a SOG here either.
However, Goodrow, on a two vs one odd-man rush with Zibanejad setting him up on this PK, did – but as we saw – he isn’t Kreider – who was still in the box serving his penalty.
The short? A great save for Grubauer.
As I was wondering if Hakstol would pull his goalie when down by three as we hit five- four- three- and two-minutes remaining – such an event never took place.
Instead, the Rangers continued to clamp down, didn’t allow much of anything and BOOM – 4-1, GOOD GUYS – in a MUCH, but not MUST, needed win.
Here’s a balding Herman Munster (I can’t wait to see the before and after pictures of his hair line once his Rangers’ tenure is over – as it is akin to a former U.S. President) after the victory:
The best win of the season?
But a game that the Rangers needed, just to prove they weren’t a bunch of feckless cucks?
Keep it up – as this can’t be an anomaly.
I have to go to bed – as seven-year-old softball awaits me in just a few mere hours!
I’ll definitely be back on Tuesday night – but if anything major breaks between now-and-then, I’ll return.
Enjoy your NFL Sunday.
PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)
My fourth title and tenth book is now available for preorder!
“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” is now available for preorder.
For complete information, please visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/
My second plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”
As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:
For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:
My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.
My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/
To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”
The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!
“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.
All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.
To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com
To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
NYR/NSH 10/19 Review: Rangers Destroyed, Decimated and Left For Dead By Predators; Lavy’s Lot Has Their Worst Game Yet, CZAR IGOR Pulled; Quick Surprisingly Good, Let The Othmann & Kane Chatter Continue, Kakko & Lafreniere Not Producing; Ditto Mika & Panarin, Another Horrid Night for M$GN; Rosen’s Lost It, NYR Selling Fan Info, Road-Trip Bonding & More
Peter Laviolette’s “Seinfeld” Relationship with Rangers’ Beat; One Reporter (With Year-End Voting Privileges) Admits to Not Watching Hockey Very Long, Sean Avery Verbally Destroys Trocheck, Zibanejad & Trouba with Expletive-Filled Rant, NYR Botches STH Meet-and-Greet, Kane Rumors Heating Up (Again); Trade Scenarios, Alum Retirement & More
NYR/ARI 10/16 Review: Stone Cold Shesty Stuns Desert Dogs in Home Opener; CZAR IGOR Stops a Penalty Shot Too! CK20 Continues Chase For Most Goals in Franchise History, Sloppy Win But Not Every Game is a Picasso, Lindgren Back, Derek Stepan Talks Blueshirts’ Career, LAVY LOUNGES, Shameless Bill Pidto; M$GN Pushes Gambling on Children & More
NYR/CBJ 10/14 Review: The COLUMBUS ROAD-TRIP Edition! That “Damn Cannon,” State of Blue Jacket Fans (They’re Good People), City Impressions, College Bars in THE Ohio State, Arnold v. Bellies, Plane Etiquette v. Going Viral, Whisky v. White Claw, Gambling and Oh Yeah – Everything about the New York Rangers Too, Including Lindgren = MVP!
If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:
Don’t forget to order my recently released four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”
If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on Amazon.com
For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Thanks for reading.
LET’S GO RANGERS!
@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine