NYR/MIN 1/10 Review: FOXY-CUTED! Rangers Win a “Wild” One (Har-Har-Har); D-Men Carry CZAR IGOR; Miller Time, No Reaves’ Revenge Game; Lundqvist Avenged, “Censored” Turk Presses Right Buttons; Kravtsov Shines But Lafreniere Pines, Tro-Ding-Check, NYR Lose Two to Injury, Powerless Play, M$GN & More

In another roller-coaster of a game played by our beloved Blueshirts, the Rangers managed to knock-off the Wild, 4-3, via the shootout. While perhaps Gallant’s Gang made this victory harder than it needed to be, especially with another 0-fer during their three power-plays; all that mattered was the win – and the two points in the standings too.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Whew – and no “deja poo!”

Off puck drop, and in case you missed it – I posted my “New York Rangers Mid-Season Report Card” late Sunday night.

You can read it by clicking the link below:

The New York Rangers Mid-Season Report Card: Grades & Reviews of Every Blueshirt, Thoughts at the 50% Mark of the Season, The Highs & Lows, 2022-23 Campaign Review; Thank You Binnington & Much More

Thanks for all of the feedback, whether it was positive, negative, in agreement or in disagreement!

As stated during it – these report cards are just my opinions – and not some sort of an end-all, be-all – from a know-it-all!

Perhaps the most frequent response I received via email? A version of this one: “your mid-season report card was better than anything that I’ve read from the beat reporters all-season.” My response, “that’s not exactly high praise either, but thanks!”

Moving forward.

I always get a kick out of the “GALLANT DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING” freaks. Following tonight’s win, the Rangers are now only four points out from first place – and with three more games to be played against the Hurricanes too. Photo Credit: ESPN

In what best can be described as an exciting mixed-bag affair of a game; on Tuesday night, at M$G, the Rangers, now in their 42nd game, their first of the the second-half of this season – found-a-way-to-win – this time via the shootout, by a final score of 4-3.

One more time – “whew, no deja poo!”

In their final game from the first half of this 2022-23 campaign, the Rangers dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Devils. A few games prior to that loss, the Rangers failed to gain the extra point in overtime – despite having a late power-play that would’ve ended the game had it been successful.

(Sorry, it’s late, I have that damn 5AM train tomorrow morning, I have so much to write tonight and in other words – I forget who the opponent was as I write these words – but I just know that this happened! Off the top of my head – I think it was against Tampa.)

Down to 2:25 remaining in the overtime, the Rangers and Wild, tied at 3-3, saw the home team receive a power-play – following a lovely too many men on the ice penalty assessed to the Garden’s guests.

With another chance, of many, to close the visitors out – the Rangers’ powerless play reared in their ugly heads once again – and couldn’t put the game away. The end result? A now 0-3 power-play – and a shootout ahead.

CZAR IGOR, who wasn’t at this best tonight (check out the Mid-Season Report Card for more – as for whatever reason – he struggles on home ice); the 2023 NHL All-Star was again tasked to win a skills competition – another facet of his game that he’s had issues with this season.

Following an opening top of the first tally from Kaapo Kakko; Mats Zuccarello, and seemingly with ease, tied the shootout in the bottom of the first. However, it would be the last puck that went into Shestyorkin’s net.

Artemi Panarin, and as he frequently does, posted a donut in the box score during another one-goal and/or tied game – but he came up big with the game on the line – as “The Breadman” beat Wild goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, for his fourth in as many shootout tries goal of the season.

In other words, Panarin is now batting 1.000 during these gimmick affairs. But hey – these goals, for as despised as they may be by hockey purists – count too.

While Panarin only finished with one shot on goal (and numerous turnovers too) during the 65 minutes of hockey that was played prior to this skills competition; at least he has this shootout streak going.

A Frederick Gaudreau bottom of the third attempt went off the side of the net, as the Rangers ultimately won the shootout 2-1, and the game 4-3.

However, it wasn’t all lollipops and rainbows following the win; as prior to Panarin ending it and Shestyorkin preserving it – both Julien Gauthier and Chris Kreider left the game with injuries.

And as you’d expect, following the game, Dr. Gallant gave his usual diagnosis – “day-to-day.”

There’s so much to get into tonight and I wish I didn’t have that damn 5AM train tomorrow, as I really want to savor this win.

However, the Rangers don’t pay my bills, so let’s cover as much as possible – and then hope that my two hours of sleep can carry me through Wednesday!

Up first, all of the off-day and pregame news & notes, followed by the GAME REVIEW.

Let’s roll.

Remind me tomorrow to update this picture with Kravtsov co-starring with Gallant, rather than Lafreniere!

Following their matinee loss to the Devils on Saturday; a day later, Sunday, the Rangers took the day off – much like the New York Jets! (HEYO! RIP Johnny Carson!)

On Monday, the team reconvened at their practice facility in Tarrytown, NY – where really – not much took place – unless you’re one of these blubbering buffoons that despises any person over the age of 25-years old!

Fun fact that I didn’t mention in my Mid-Season Report Card? This one:

Since Gerard Gallant’s arrival to the Rangers, he has both the highest winning and points percentage among all 36 coaches of franchise history – not too shabby for a franchise that’s nearly one hundred years old!

Of course, that factoid also deserves a big old fat-ass asterisk next to it – and if you don’t know why – then read my books!

Long story short: Gallant has exclusively coached in the no-tie era.

Still, even so, despite the many bozos who ignorantly proclaim, “GALLANT DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING/FIRE GALLANT,” and as mentioned on Sunday night in this space – all “The Turk” has done since his hire is bring the team to the Eastern Conference Final, finish second runner-up to the Jack Adams’ Award and who now currently has his team in playoff positioning. (One more time – four points out of first-place!)

And let’s face it – one day, Gallant won’t be the head coach anymore. A 37th coach of franchise history will eventually be hired. And whoever that person will be, these same dolts masquerading around as “hockey experts” will defiantly shout from the rooftops, “FIRE [Insert Coach Here]!” within two weeks!

Artist recreation of Jaroslav Halak from Monday morning.

As far as the “real news” from Monday, stuff which took place prior to Gallant’s daily “TURK TALK;” the Rangers announced that Jaroslav Halak was out with a “stomach bug” – code for explosive diarrhea.

Okay, maybe that’s not what the Rangers really meant, but since I have the maturity level of a sixth-grader, we’ll go with that!

Since Halak was unavailable, Rangers’ equipment manager, Tim Webb, donned the pads. There was no word regarding if Artemi Panarin gave Webb an easy day or not!

In the other news item of interest, Jonny “HOCKEY” Brodzinski, who returned to the team (albeit as a healthy scratch) on Saturday; following the birth of his new baby girl Olivia “HOCKEY” Brodzinski – #76 was back on the grind and at the practice.

At the time, it wasn’t clear if Brodzinski would play on Tuesday night, as Gallant skated the same line-up as he’s recently been using and where JONNY DOTS (nickname credit: Linda H.) took reps with the fourth-liners. (He wound up playing tonight, while Blais and Hajek enjoyed Fribbles together in the press box.)

Here was Monday’s “TURK TALK,” one that I thought was pretty easy to understand, although that wasn’t the case for the millennials/analytical fans/Halak’s poo-for-brains-people:

Again, not much out of the realm of normalcy was said here, but that didn’t stop the same people who always complain about everything, as their biggest beef was their oldest one – “THE KIDS! THE KIDS! WHO WILL PLAY THE KIDS?”

Gallant closed his interview by answering the following two questions:

Does Kravtsov need to improve defensively to get your trust late in games?

“It’s not about him, it’s about Barclay Goodrow being a hell of a player. Kravy, like I said, I like the player, young player, but I know I got a real good player down there that is playing his role and playing some fourth line minutes for us right now and he’s been one of my best players all year. I’m gonna move him up all the time, whether it’s Kravy or somebody else.”

Makes sense to me. After all, there’s a reason why Goodrow is on the penalty kill and Kravtsov, among others, are not.

So you are always looking for a place to move Goodrow up?

“Somewhere, yeah definitely. If he’s not in my top-six forwards when we’re winning by one goal then we got a hell of a team. He made a mistake the other night, big deal. People make mistakes.”


That said, if you desired Gallant to give Panarin and/or Trouba a powder, following all of their non-stop turnovers all season – then I can’t argue against that.

However, Goodrow?

As mentioned during these past two blogs posted on this site – outside of that one flub against the Devils, I can’t think of any other bad turnover he’s made all season.

In a way, we all want to be right about our predictions. It’s human nature. Heck, just look at how many times I reminded you last year of my “the new regime will lead the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Final” off-season and preseason prediction! That said, I also believe that some people are just hellbent on wanting to be proven correct about negative predictions – something that I’ll never understand. I just want the team to win – and I don’t care how it gets done! Keep this in mind for later – when I bring up everyone’s two favorite words, “Vitali Kravtsov!”

Truth be told, I thought that the clueless and birdbrain beat reporters were once again trying to suit their own narratives with this ridiculous line of questioning.

In other words – this really didn’t have anything to do about Kravtsov himself; the media just wanted to kick at Goodrow.

After all, prior to Saturday – these dolts didn’t have a chance to – and where it seems like they were foaming at the mouth, akin to a rabid dog, when doing so during the past 72 hours.

Maybe it’s my own age, experience or something else – but if you can’t see that Goodrow serves the team better defensively during buckle-down situations than most of the forwards on this team – then I don’t know what to tell you.

While the media wanted to turn this into Kravtsov vs Goodrow (click-bait); I don’t buy any of that junk.

Not mentioned by these “esteemed” reporters? Mika and Panarin missing about 7896867896 nets combined.

And as much as this pains me to say this – the fact that CZAR IGOR, despite a heroic performance in net – let another two-goal lead evaporate – and where to be clear, and as stated on Saturday – I don’t blame him for that loss to the Devils at all.

As far as anything else worth noting from Monday, both Gallant, and Goodrow (who the media didn’t ask about his turnover – they only do this stuff behind his back like the yellow-striped cowards that they are), talked about the return of “The Grim Reaver,” Ryan Reaves.

While of course there is a recency bias, as aside from Zibanejad, Kreider and Vesey*, no one else on the team had played with the beloved Mats Zuccarello when he was here – but as the old adage goes – “time flies.”

Instead of Zuccarello’s return being a focus (he’s been back several times already, and there’s no reason to rehash the “Henrik Lundqvist Retirement Ceremony” game again – although M$GN did just that – and multiple times during tonight’s broadcast); instead, it was Reaves garnering all of the headlines.

As you’d expect, and this continued into Tuesday – everyone praised #75 for what turned out to be a short stint in New York.

As far as Reaves, the showman, himself?

He continued to allow his likeable personality to take center stage.

Your truly with “THE GRIM REAVER,” prior to tonight’s game.

I know that I’ve mentioned to you once or 978678967868967896896 times before of the fact that I have a 5AM train to catch every morning for work; but I don’t think I’ve told you that all Ranger road opponents stay at a hotel directly next to my job site too.

(And should you care – all teams playing the Knicks at M$G stay at this hotel too.)

Whenever the Rangers are hosting one of the league’s 31 other teams (sans the Islanders, Devils and Flyers), I always see the other team either going to, or coming from, M$G, as they board their team bus prior and/or after their morning skate.

I don’t really coordinate my work-breaks to get a glimpse of these opponents (and if I should ever do such a thing, then it would be to see Alex Ovechkin, or another sure-fire future first ballot Hall of Famer), because I don’t want to be grouped in with the twenty or so people who are always camped outside of the hotel, and who are always looking for autographs on a daily basis.

However, by happenstance, on Tuesday, and as I was enjoying my filthy habit (cigarette break) – I saw the Wild team bus roll-in literally three steps away from where I was standing.

Always being the gentleman, I immediately extinguished my lung dart, and once Reaves was finished signing for a gaggle of groupies, I said hi and asked if I could take a picture, for really, just for the sole purpose of this website. The former Ranger obliged, hence the picture posted at the top of this segment.

However, prior to this chance meeting; just minutes earlier and as I was diddling around with my phone while enjoying the smooth taste of a Winston Red; Reaves was the top subject of Rangerstown, USA, as #75, and as he often does, gave the media a story to run with, including this quote:

Photo Credit: B/R Open Ice

While the Rangers also had a morning skate on Tuesday, where nothing came out of it, except for a brief “TURK TALK;” it was Reaves, the now “Once a Ranger, Always a Ranger” Blueshirt alum that had everyone talking.

According to the beat reporters, both from New York and Minnesota, Reaves insinuated that Rangers’ general manager, Chris Drury, and the team themselves, put out “half-truths” regarding his November trade to the land of 10,000 lakes.

(Of note, here’s how I covered the November 23rd trade at the time: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/112322/ )

When questioned about the trade, Reaves said the following:

“That’s a half truth and a half lie. I had been scratched a little bit and I asked what was going on. They said, ‘You’re not going to be playing every game.’ Then I talked to my agent and he found out that there was a trade that was being worked on for a while already with Minnesota. Once I heard that, well, if you’re trying to trade me – I’m not going to stick around just to wait and linger and for wait for something else to happen.

“If you’re trying to trade me, you don’t want me, so then yeah, I’m going to push it forward and ask for a trade.

“But I’m not the one who put it in motion – we’ll put it that way.”

Reaves continued:

“For something like that to be going on and not communicated to me, it was a little frustrating. It left a little bitter taste in my mouth for sure. It’s a business, it is what it is. I ended up somewhere where I’m wanted and I’m happy.”

When asked about his plans for tonight’s tilt, where the subject of dropping the gloves was brought up, #75 responded:

“I’d be happy to go two-on-one to be honest. That’s what it’s gonna take. You can write that wherever you want to write it.”

At the time, when I heard what Reaves had said, the first thing that jumped to my mind was what I thought was obvious – Reaves was hamming it up and giving the media a story to run with – by his own design.

As everyone was playing the dramatic DUH-DUH-DUMMMMMM music, and coming up with 8678678678678 scenarios on who Reaves would choose to trade knuckles with; I just laughed and thought this was Reaves being Reaves.

(And come 10:15PM EST or so, when tonight’s game concluded – Reaves didn’t drop the gloves with anyone – as I suspected would be the case!)

A few hours following every scribe pounding their keyboards to report what Reaves had said, this video surfaced on social media, as the Rangers’ were having their morning skate, and while the Wild were anticipating theirs:

In other words – while Reaves may harbor resentment over the way his exit was handled – he had no issues with his former teammates – although Gauthier may now like a word – but we’ll get into that soon enough.

Finally, and in our last pregame story of tonight’s never-ending manifesto – Tuesday’s “TURK TALK” – as once again, the Rangers edited Gallant’s comments, and where as mentioned 9677986786896876 times before on this site – only draws more attention whenever they pull this stunt:

Gallant didn’t really say much – or at least he didn’t say much during this CENSORED interview.

In fact, while everyone had an inkling about who would play tonight – Gallant wouldn’t confirm anything about his line-up.

The only thing worth noting is what the Rangers decided was too EXTREME for us to hear and/or see – his response to what Reaves had said earlier in the day.

Thankfully, SNY Rangers recorded his NON-SANITIZED comments for us:

I still don’t know why the Rangers thought these comments were controversial. All Gallant said was that he was “surprised.” It’s not like he went on some long diatribe (as often featured on this site!), nor accused Chris Drury of being a liar.

In other words – I thought that Gallant answered this question, which had to be asked, truthfully and then moved on. There was nothing negative about his comments at all, and again, all this did was draw more attention to the fact that the Rangers deemed this as “controversial.”

K’Andre Miller had another hell of a game tonight. Lafreniere did not. As mentioned during the “Mid-Season Report Card;” going into this season – who thought that of the two, that it would be Miller, and not the first-overall pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, that will command a higher salary this summer? Photo Credit: NYR

Here was Tuesday’s line-up:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Mika/Kakko

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Kravtsov

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Vesey

FOURTH LINE: Goodrow/Brodzinski/Gauthier

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Harpur/Schneider



OF NOTE: Sammy Blais took a powder, as the new father of two, JONNY HOCKEY, returned. Libor Hajek took his usual seat in the press box, where at this point, I hope they have given him a recliner. He may as well be comfortable!


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:






43 3 40 .930 34 7 0 0 0 64:32 0


32 3 29 .906 30 1 0 0 0 65:00 0

With Henrik Lundqvist attending the game inside of M$G (and much more on this below); Ranger fans were forced to suffer through Sieve Vagistat tonight – or at least the ones who don’t change the channel like I do whenever I see the seven-foot braying jackass!

Come 6:30PM, I tuned into the M$GN – where sadly, Lundqvist was sitting in a seat at M$G – rather than in the studio itself.

Instead of hearing from a player who actually did it before – Blueshirt backers were forced to endure Sieve Vagistat – you know, the same dumbass who made a Lundqvist heart condition joke on Saturday. It’s amazing that he still has a job.

You just have to wonder who Vagistat has dirty pictures of.

While Lundqvist wound up getting more face-time than anyone tonight (again – more below); I do want to say what I said last time on this site – I really hope that M$GN filmed that Mike Richter & Henrik Lundqvist “chalk talk” that took place prior to this game.

Seriously – what does M$GN need to lose? Do they really need 9867896867896789686 hours of gambling content? An original special, which this Lundqvist/Richter “chalk talk” was, would do better ratings, thus earn more advertising money – or so I say!

After spending thirty minutes watching the NHL Network, I returned to the M$GN at 7:00PM, where Sam “The Jinx” Rosen and Jumpin’ Joe Micheletti spoke about the Wild – but at least they weren’t in love with them – or at least they weren’t as in love with them as they were with the Devils.

After Micheletti told us that 23 minus 16 equals 7 (he really said this) and as Sam’s toupee was not agreeing with him on this night; we were informed that both Mats Zuccarello, and Ryan Reaves too, once played for the Rangers.

And I should note here – despite the beloved hobbit scoring what could’ve been the game-winning goal tonight – there were plenty of “ZUUUUUUUUUUUC” chants all-game – but that may have been due to the fact that he had a ton of New York Norwegian fans in the house too.

Either way, despite Zucc’s new-found role as a “Ranger Killer” (again – no reason to rehash what happened during the Lundqvist jersey retirement ceremony game – although Sam and Joe later would – with video and full glee in their voices while talking about it) – #36 remains as a fan-favorite.


For readers (and you’d have to be under 35-years old not to get this reference) who may not get the “FOXYCUTE ‘EM” joke – back in the 1990s, you always saw 789678968968968678966 commercials on TV for anti-acne medication, whether it be Stridex, Noxema, or in this case “Oxy” – before the word “Oxy” was associated with the current pain-killer death epidemic. No joke, you saw all of these pimple popping commercials back then as you now see gambling commercials today! That says a lot! Photo Credit: Aaron Davis (RIP)


“It was all bad” – but at least that wouldn’t remain the case once the middle frame began!

One last time – since this game ended really late, and due to my 5AM train – I have to skip some stuff – but I’ll hit all the major events.

For what it’s worth, Zucc, who is always on the Wild’s first line, started tonight’s game. In other words, Reaves did not get the honorary start, which I thought was a poor decision from Wild bench boss, Dean Evason – a head coach whose face always projects a perpetual state of anger.

However, the Rangers, and as expected, did honor Reaves following the first TV timeout – where in a rarity – M$GN actually showed us this tribute, after failing to do with other recent returns (Georgiev, Strome, Quinn, etc):

In a battle between the two most recent Vezina Trophy winners, it was MAF who made the first save of the game, at the 28 second mark, on Kreider.

At the 50 second mark, Kravtsov coughed up the puck in the offensive zone. I only bring this play up because this was the only “negative play” he had all game.

Otherwise, and has been the case ever since his TOOTHGATE/Diarrhea Debacle – he played well.

I brought this up during the “Mid-Season Report Card” – but yeah, while it’s fun watching Kravtsov finally progress (and give his “KRAVY KULT” some ammo to work with too); equally, and at the same time – watching Lafreniere’s all-out regression is like getting a prostate exam from Dr. Sausage Fingers.

Again, to save time, here’s the blanket statement, one that I don’t think anyone can disagree with – Kravtsov was noticeable on every shift tonight (in a positive manner), and for the third consecutive game, had a potential assist robbed from him too.

Conversely, Lafreniere looked like TCU against Georgia from Monday night.

While I’m still not a fan of his, and I much rather Patrick Kane for the playoffs (and looking ahead – Brennan Othmann, a fellow right-winger) over Kravtsov too; I have to speak the truth – #74 has been real good lately – a great thing for the Rangers. And as I always say, while I’ll always have my likes and dislikes (we all do) – I don’t root for negative things to happen. I’m glad Kravtsov is playing well right now. (In other words, I’m not like these Goodrow haters who spurt a fifty-foot erection after his lone turnover of the season!)

Man, I’m burning a lot of time tonight!

Since this period was pretty, and I believe the most accurate word here is “shitty;” let’s recap this first frame in bullet-point fashion:

— At the ninety second mark, Matt Boldy kneed-on-knee Chytil at center ice. At the time – I thought this was going to knock #72 out of the game – that’s how dangerous this illegal infraction looked – while also knowing all about Chytil’s issues with staying healthy.

— To his credit, Chytil remained. Also remaining? The odorous stench known as the Rangers’ power-play.

— The PP1 unit, where one more time for the people in the back – I think Kakko should be on – didn’t register a SOG during their 1:15 of time.

— The Wild, who were blocking everything, stopped this power-play.

— Of note: the Wild blocked an outstanding 29 shots tonight. The Rangers blocked six.

— After going 0-1 on this early power-play; just eight seconds later, the Rangers were right back on the man-advantage; following a “gift” of a slashing call assessed to Zuccarello – a penalty drawn by Kakko, as #24 was crashing the net at the time.

— Two minutes later, the Rangers’ power-play was now 0-3, where as usual, Zibanejad, Trocheck and Panarin all went wide.

— However, with fifty seconds remaining, it looked like Fox had scored. While it means absolutely nothing whenever Sam Rosen blows a goal call these days, as he has a 50/50 shot of accurately calling these goals; this shot, which wound up hitting the post, even fooled the M$G staff too, as the horn blared and the lights flashed.

— End result? The first of three posts for the Rangers this period – and now an 0-2 power-play within the first 5:38 of action.

— After Zucc stripped Kakko (the first of two bad plays the Finn made all game – as he continues to excel game-by-game – and where the second guffaw will easily be explained once we get to it); CZAR IGOR stopped #36’s backhanded partial breakaway try with 13:50 remaining.

— Forty seconds later – Igor stopped Zucc again, but Chytil was sent to the sin bin for hooking everyone’s favorite Norwegian midget.

— I won’t lie – after going 0-2 on the power-play – I totally expected the Wild to score here – especially after Rosen went on-and-on about how bad Minnestota’s power-play has been on the road this season (26th overall – and as mentioned no less than 98767867868968976 times by the jinx sitting atop of M$G.)

— However, the Rangers, and to their credit, kept Minnesota off of the board here.

— As Micheletti told us that the Wild are “A HARDWORKING TEAM SAM” (and just once – I’d like to hear who Micheletti thinks ISN’T “hardworking”); now under ten minutes remaining, Mika, despite being wide-open in front of MAF, forced a puck to Kreider instead – an easy poke-check for MAF.

— And yep – the over-passing, one area where the Rangers are consistent in, would plague them all-game.

— Down to 7:24 remaining, noted sniper, third-pair defenseman John Merrill, scored his second goal of the season. Of course.

— 1-0, bad guys – and the first true even-strength goal that the Schneider/Harpur pair were on for this season. (And if you’re keeping track – for the second consecutive game, each finished with a -1, but I wouldn’t look into this any further than that.)

— Also of note? CZAR IGOR was partially screened here, but still – John Merrill?

— Following a Miller/Duhaime squirmish (“DUHAIME WORKS HARD AND HAS AN EDGE SAM!”); Mika, with 5:03 remaining, perfectly set-up Kakko for a one-timer, but MAF matched the shot and then made a perfect save.

— Down to 4:25 remaining; MAF made two saves on Kravtsov (as #74, to his credit, was all up in MAF’s paint); but on a rebound – Trocheck pulled a Brittney Spears – and “Oops Did It Again” – hit the post. Of all of Trocheck’s league-leading iron-chips this season – this was the closest of them all.

— As Sam was singing the praises of “Kirill the Thrill;” with 2:17 left on the clock, #97 blew away Igor with a dazzling wrist shot.

— 2-0, bad guys.

— I wouldn’t blame Igor here, because like Rosen correctly calling a goal – Igor had a 50/50 shot on this. And if you’re going to give up a highlight reel goal – it’s better to give it up to Kaprizov, rather than to John “Freakin'” Merrill.

— I saw some people blame Trouba for this goal allowed, since that’s all these people do; but the Wild made a stretch pass and Kaprizov showed us why he’s one of the best in the league.

— Under thirty seconds remaining, a pair of stops that prevented this game from being 3-0 – as Trocheck got to Ek just as the Wild center was about to score a tap-in goal into Igor’s net; while Igor later kept a puck out of the net himself – after Trouba pushed Steel right into his own goalie. (That’s a play you can blame Trouba for!)

As the horn went off, 2-0 bad guys, where you just knew that 0-2 power-play was going to bite them in the ass.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Similar to Steve Buscemi in “Billy Madison” (and if I had the time tonight, I would have made the bad photoshop too) – Sieve Vagistat, with red lipstick on, must have actors, Ryan Reynolds and Alexander Skarsgård, circled on his hit list. Both celebrities kissed Lundqvist on the cheek tonight, which had to lead to an extreme state of envy for M$GN’s resident ANALyst. Photo Credit: M$GN


The comeback, where by the end these twenty minutes – the Rangers shot 21 pucks at Fleury. Better than that – they tied the game!

However, before we could get to, “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?”; we were informed that Gauthier was done for the night, following this play:

Again, it’s currently unknown what injury Gauthier suffered here, nor how long he will be out for.

As far as the double-team hit itself? It was clean. Furthermore? It also meant that Reaves had one assist and knocked one Ranger out of the game.

Right away, the Wild blocked two Ranger shots in the first thirty seconds. A minute later, Igor bailed out the Miller/Trouba pair with save on Greenway.

A minute after that? MILLER TIME:

2-1, bad guys, as once again, K’Andre Miller scored a highlight reel goal.

While this wasn’t as slick as the one he scored against Philly – this was still a hell of a goal anyway – and as set-up by Jimmy Vesey!

Following the Harvard alum’s poke check at the Rangers’ blue line; Miller was off to the races, blew by two Wild defenders and then pissed on “The Flower.”

This goal sure woke up M$G. It didn’t wake up the “FAT CATS” though.

On the next Rangers’ possession, Panarin, while wide-open – rather than shooting – set-up noted sniper, Jonny Brodzinski – an easy save for MAF.

As you were just wondering if Lafreniere had joined his French-Canadian peer, Julien Gauthier, in the trainer’s room, as he was doing nothing at all; Kravtsov set-up Trocheck for an easy tap-in goal.

What should’ve been the equalizer went wide, as somehow, Trocheck, who couldn’t buy a goal tonight, missed wide from a foot away and with 15:20 to go.

A minute later, a TROUBA BOMB led to a huge rebound – one that the Wild grabbed.

After scoring a goal earlier, Miller may have prevented one too – as he single-handedly broke up a Wild 3 x 1 odd-man rush.

At the eight-minute mark, and with the Rangers out-shooting the Wild 9-2; M$GN showed us this:

It wasn’t “PRIDE NIGHT” (it’s a joke – settle down you P.C. bozos!); but no matter – for the rest of this broadcast, this was an all-out Henrik Lundqvist love-fest, where the two actors seated beside him kissed him multiple times, while the M$GN proverbially kissed his ass too!

All of this led to the once familiar chants of “HEN-RIK!” all game.

That was kind of telling, because while every fan in M$G acknowledged their “KING,” and no less than a dozen or so times to boot; we only heard one faint “I-GOR” chant tonight.

The only bad thing about all of this? M$GN didn’t set-up shop next to Lundqvist, and use him on their broadcast.

I rather Lundqvist, with perhaps a few Swedish vodkas in him, talking about the game – rather than listening to whatever junk Sieve “THE RANGERS HAVE LOST THREE MUST WIN GAMES THIS SEASON” Vagistat has to say.

As the deserved “HEN-RIK” chants echoed all over M$G; down to 8:10 to go, Fox, tonight’s hero (and a hero ever since arriving to New York); ripped a rare slap-shot at MAF – a tough save for the future Hall of Famer.

With 6:03 remaining – the return of “THE EMBELLISHMENT PENALTY” – a penalty that I can’t remember being called ever since the NHL made it a focus of their 2014-15 season!

Following a Duhaime trip on Lafreniere, the officials determined that #13 had took a dive. End result, two minutes of foreplay, where yep – I hate the embellishment penalty. The guy committing the initial penalty should be boxed, and if someone sells it – then maybe it wasn’t a penalty to begin with.

(For whatever reason, whenever I see those two words, “embellishment penalty;” I just remember Carl Hagelin always being boxed for them.)

The end result of all of this?

With just seven seconds remaining on the 4 x 4 – Fox tied the game:


This goal saw Fox and Trocheck go on a two-vs-one and I guess #23 had enough of #16 going ding-ding-ding and putting pucks into the East River all game; so instead of feeding Trocheck for a potential tap-in goal – Fox took it to the hole himself!

And yep, this goal was HUGE Jerry, HUGE!

The only other play worth talking about from this period took place with 2:48 remaining.

On another odd-man rush, this time featuring Kakko and Lafreniere – Kakko had a wide-open shot, and perhaps a sure-fire goal too – but forced a pass, a turnover, to Lafreniere instead.

As Micheletti and Rosen were chastising Kakko for not shooting (and I get it), I thought this much was obvious – Kakko was trying to get Lafreniere going here.

After all, Lafreniere hasn’t scored a goal since 12/7 – or since last year (har-har-har!)

Then again, this is no “Laffing Matter.” (Damn, I did it again – like Trocheck hitting a post! Heyo!)

That said, and in a case of two conflicting statements can both be true – yep, Kakko should’ve been selfish, especially during a tied game, and take the shot. But again – at least I understood what he was trying to do.

Tied at 2-all after forty minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Fox remains my favorite for the 2023 Norris Trophy – where bias or no bias – should be the case! Photo Credit: NYR


It’s midnight as I write this – I gotta breeze through the rest of this.

One minute in, Foligno hooked Trocheck – no call – not that it would’ve mattered.

At the four minute mark, MAF stopped both Kakko and Fox – the only two Ranger SOG for nearly the next nine minutes or so.

Down to 15:27 remaining, Zucc, of course, put the Wild ahead.

This goal allowed was easily the worst goal CZAR IGOR has allowed all season.

Igor, who got a piece of the puck, following which was really an elementary shot; then “pop-flied” the puck behind himself – and a hell of a “puck-luck goal” for Zucc.

3-2, bad guys, and proof that the plus/minus stat isn’t the end-all be-all; as the Rangers’ first pair and second line took a minus following Igor’s gaffe.

That said, Igor has bailed out every single person on this team about 786786786789678967896896789686789 times during the past three years.

In other words, it was time for the Rangers to lift up Igor – and that’s what they did.

And of course – following this goal – this is when Sam excitedly brought up how Zucc ruined Lundqvist Night, where the Hall of Fame announcer seemed elated that his jinx rubbed off on Lundqvist himself.

They even showed us the replay from that game from last season.

Why a Rangers’ broadcast did this – I don’t have the answer for you.

As Panarin did nothing and as the word “bust” was shouted around Rangers’ social media about the first-overall pick; down to ten minutes remaining, we were informed that Kreider had joined Gauthier in the locker room:

This didn’t look good, as it looked like Kreider told Rangers’ trainer, Jim Ramsey, that his “shoulder popped out.”

For what it’s worth, and a silver lining here – shoulders can be popped in – and with no time missed.

However, and as mentioned, we have no clue the extent of this injury. We’ll know more tomorrow or on Thursday, the latest.

So now down to ten forwards for the rest of the game; Gallant had to tinker with his lines.

It was the Vesey/Chytil/Goodrow line that helped re-tie the game, where duh – this equalizer never happens without Mr. Fox:

No joke – I’ve watched the replay of this Rangers’ third goal about ten times – and I still don’t know how Chytil got credit for this.

Following a long Rangers’ shift in the Wild zone; Fox deked MAF from behind the goal line to the right of the goaltender, flipped the puck, and I thought the puck hit Dumba and then went across the goal line.

Despite it looking like Vesey got there first; Chytil was credited for the goal for pushing his stick towards the rubber.

I’d imagine this goal gets reviewed tomorrow and then credited to Fox – but no matter, as the real story here was 3-3, and with 6:25 remaining.

And that’s how we remained at the end of regulation.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Positive takeaway: Panarin saved his best for last. Negative takeaway: can he score in regulation – and not repeatedly turn over the puck in overtime? Photo Credit: NYR

After a few Panarin turnovers; at the 2:35 mark, the Wild took a too many men on the ice penalty.

MAF didn’t have to do much and with 38 seconds remaining, the Wild took a timeout to rest their penalty killers.

As Panarin shot wide at the end of the power-play; Zucc got the puck and Igor made one last save, a tough one at that, with a few ticks remaining.

Up next, the previously talked about shoot-out, where Igor made one save, gave up a goal and then watched another shot hit the side of the net.

For the Rangers, Kakko got some “puck luck” himself, as Fleury bobbled a puck, stopped Mika who made one deke too many and was then beat by Panarin.

2-1 in the shootout.

4-3, GOOD GUYS, your final!

Here’s “The Turkmaster General” after the game:

Up next: bed time for me – where I’ll probably be at work by the time you read these words!

Note to self: write more off-day blogs so you’re not wasting half your night covering the pregame news, bozo!

This wasn’t the easiest win in the world, and it was probably harder than it needed to be, but at the end of the day – two points in the standings.

The Rangers will host the Stars on Thursday, as this current three-game home-stand continues.

Last but not least – it’s now time for the NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS TO BEAT MINNESOTA!

Of course – that game is head-to-head with the Rangers/Canadiens game that will also be played on Sunday.

In other words – if you want to see the Rangers for cheap – then Sunday will be your best bet.

LGR! Buy my books, which brings us to…


On Monday night, “The Blueshirt Underground Show” returned.

To watch/listen to the show click the link below:

The hardcover version of my first book, available now at Amazon.com

My first 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:

Order “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Book Today

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:

The New York Rangers Mid-Season Report Card: Grades & Reviews of Every Blueshirt, Thoughts at the 50% Mark of the Season, The Highs & Lows, 2022-23 Campaign Review; Thank You Binnington & Much More

NYR/NJD 1/7 Review: Rangers Choke At The Half-Way Mark of the Season; Drop OT Decision to Sam Rosen’s Favorite Team, CZAR IGOR’s Monster Performance Wasted, Lafreniere Regression; Kravtsov Progression, Fat Cats MIA; Devil Stars Shine, Mollie Chuckles; Women in Sports, M$GN, Keep The Faith & More

NYR/MTL 1/5 Review: Streaking Rangers Win a “Ho-Hum, Our Work Is Done” Game in French Canada; Only One NYR French-Canadian Plays Well, Joyous Jaro, Sizzling Schneider, Killer Kreider Remains as Montreal’s Biggest Villain, Everything’s Alright with Gallant & Chytil, Blueshirts Nearing First-Place, M$GN & More

If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my new 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.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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8 thoughts on “NYR/MIN 1/10 Review: FOXY-CUTED! Rangers Win a “Wild” One (Har-Har-Har); D-Men Carry CZAR IGOR; Miller Time, No Reaves’ Revenge Game; Lundqvist Avenged, “Censored” Turk Presses Right Buttons; Kravtsov Shines But Lafreniere Pines, Tro-Ding-Check, NYR Lose Two to Injury, Powerless Play, M$GN & More

    1. I agree, the game is not complete until I read Sean’s blog. Plus it covers things you miss and of course, a great sense of humor.

    2. Ironic that after Reaves’ 2 on 1 joke about the number of opponents that would be needed to take him on in a fistfight, it was Reaves himself who was part of a 2 on 1 hit against a single opponent as he and Duhaime combined to sandwich Gauthier and knock him out of the game. I didn’t see the hit in real time, but on the video replay it looked pretty clear that Duhaime’s helmet hit Gauthier squarely in the jaw to knock him to the ice. He bounced up quickly but then went right back down onto his hands and knees – a classic sign that he was woozy from a concussion. Hopefully, the brain injury isn’t too serious and he will be able to return to the lineup quickly.

      1. In a response to your first thought – “isn’t that amazing Suzyn?!?!?”

        Sounds like Gauthier will be alright and ready to go tomorrow. Kreider, not so much.

  1. Sam’s combover and Joe’s hair dye appear to be impacting their brain activity. Simply grown very weary of Rosen and Michelleti reading the game notes on the opposing team and almost rooting for opposing teams’ stars. Most people watching on MSG are hockey fans with an internet connection, cable and streaming, and an Iphone. It’s not 1976, and we know who is on other teams. And it really does sound like Sam is slavishly reading the game notes all 1st period rather than calling and watching the game. Past time for Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney to get TV jobs.

    1. Totally agree, I think Sam just reads the game notes too – but I do think Micheletti watches these other teams on his off-days. He’s a hockey-lifer, much like Maloney.

      Just sad that a generation of fans will only know this version of Rosen.

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