Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Forty million dollars doesn’t buy you what it used to.
And if you don’t know what I mean by that, let me make it clear for you, with these following five “fun” factoids:
Artemi Panarin: $11,642,857 per season.
Adam Fox: $9,500,000 per season.
Mika Zibanejad: $8,500,000 per season.
Chris Kreider: $6,500,000 per season.
Vincent Trocheck: $5,625,000 per season.
The sum of these salaries is $41,767,857, where all five of these players listed above are currently on the Rangers’ first power-play unit.
What does that get you? An 0-5 power-play performance. But wait, it gets worse. Let’s count the ways:
— Going into Saturday night, the lowly Nashville Predators were the fourth-worst team in the league.
— In their last two games played, the Predators gave up five goals in each of those contests.
— Goaltender Juuse Saros, a former Vezina candidate, has been horrible this season, with a goals allowed average hovering at 3.50 and a subpar save percentage below .900.
— During crunch time, the Rangers had a four-minute power-play, and pulled their goalie too – and barely made Saros sweat.
— On two of their five power-plays, the Rangers didn’t even register a shot on goal.
What did the Rangers do tonight besides looking like the Washington Generals during their ten minutes of a man-advantage? Lose to another cellar-dweller, this time by a final score of 2-1.
Leave it to the Rangers.
And yes, before continuing to wallow in this misery – yes, the Rangers played well. I do not dispute that.
But that doesn’t cut it. Stanley Cups aren’t handed out to the team with the best “moral victories.”
Bottom line – this was another loss, a loss that can be summed up by three simple words – “SAME OLD SHIT!”
Yes, I always try to give you the “glass half-full” perspective on this site – but there’s no sugar-coating this turd.
Trying to “rah-rah” you would be a bold-faced lie.
This loss, despite how great the team played – is flat-out inexcusable.
Put it this way – when Gerard Gallant is irate about not having an extra second of time added to the clock at the end of the game – then that tells you all that you need to know.
As if the Rangers were going to score had this period been extended by one second.
They already had ten minutes of power-play time (and four consecutive minutes too) – time, like points in the standings, which were pissed away!
It’s freaking mind-boggling.
Despite a one-day reprieve from all of the negative trends on Thursday night against the Wings – everything returned, and in full force, on Saturday night in “NashVegas.”
Try this on for size: of the six worst teams in the league, the Rangers have played four of these clubs – the Blue Jackets, Ducks, Sharks and Predators. They’ve only won one of those games (Anaheim).
Sure, this is an “Any Given Sunday” league, and you’re not going to win ’em all – but losing three out of four to teams with Connor Bedard on their minds is pathetic, inexcusable and down-right infuriating – especially when the Rangers have the highest ticket prices in the league.
When your average “GET IN PRICE (cheapest ticket) is nearly $200 every night – the fans deserve better.
And once again, the Rangers continued another one of their negative trends, as in “firsts,” where an opposing team or player enjoys their first accolade of the season against them.
This time, it was rookie Juuso Parssinen, who not only scored his first goal of the season tonight – but the first goal of his career too – a softy at that.
P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C. Maybe that’s the word that should appear on the front of the Rangers’ sweater.
I know I’m all over the place tonight – but as you may have noticed – I am not thrilled about this game.
All of the negativity and quotes from the club have become redundant.
After sixteen games played, the Rangers are 7-6-3 (seven wins and nine losses); where after every loss, it’s the same old shit:
— “We were the better team, we just need to do a better job of closing out.”
— “We played well and we’re doing the right things.”
— “Give credit to the other goalie, he played well.”
— “We will start to win some games, we’re doing what we need to do as a group.”
Father Fink all of that.
The only thing that matters is wins and losses.
And I rather win ugly than lose pretty.
Oh yeah, the “it’s still early excuse” no longer flies with me either – especially with all of these losses to the dregs of the league.
Lose a game like this to Boston, Colorado or Vegas – fine, I get it.
But similar losses to Columbus, San Jose and Nashville? There’s just no excuse.
Point the finger at yourself.
Two quick personal notes, in an attempt to calm down – and then the recap of tonight’s horror show.
(And I haven’t even mentioned the coward, Vitali Kravtsov, yet. But wait – I will unload shortly – I promise!)
Some of you guys find these blogs on Facebook – a social media platform that I may give up soon.
In other words – click the subscribe button at the end of this blog if you haven’t done so already.
No joke – I received my second “Facebook Jail Sentence,” and in a time-span of three months, on Thursday.
The first crime? When me and my buddy were quoting “Beavis and Butthead,” and I recited Coach Buzzcut’s famous line, “KICK ME IN THE JIMMY!”
Facebook considered this as a violent threat.
My latest felony? Talking about southern restaurants yours truly and my buddies from the wrestling business once visited, when I brought up “Cracker Barrel.” (And it’s a shame there are no Cracker Barrels in New York!)
Facebook considered this as hate speech.
Supposedly, talking about a chain restaurant that has the word “cracker” in its name is serious business!
I can’t say that I’m upset about this stuff. In a way, it’s funny. But it’s also pathetic – just like the Rangers themselves on Saturday night.
This is another example of the machines running everything – as no person reported me – Facebook’s algorithms flagged these words, and when I went to appeal – their robots told me that I was basically the second coming of John Wayne Gacy!
The other personal note?
Saturday, November 12th, marked the fifth birthday of one of my nieces, Erin. I had a good time at her birthday party – as you’d expect. (I’m very close with my nieces – they live two minutes away.)
At 7PM, I returned home, settled in and got ready for tonight’s game.
After flipping off the M$GN at 7:30PM, because Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t there (I refuse to sit through thirty minutes of Sieve Vagistat); I went back to the channel at 8PM.
Just as the puck was about to be dropped – I received a phone call. My eldest niece, Cayleigh, who was fine all day, was now feeling sick with the case of the pinkeye – something she caught from a classmate on Friday.
Since my sister and brother-in-law had imbibed earlier in the day (I didn’t – as I wanted to save my drinking for tonight’s game and the UFC PPV), I had to drive my niece to a 24/7 Pediatric Care facility, and then a trip to CVS for medication too.
I only bring this up to say that I watched this game about two hours after it was complete – and kept myself devoid of spoilers.
I should’ve just looked at the final score and saved myself an hour or so of frustration.
Silver lining – fast-forwarding through the Vagistat intermission segments and gambling commercials!
And an update on Cayleigh? She’s fine. Enjoy the antibiotics!
Too bad you can’t give the Rangers a “get-well” pill!
Lastly, and before getting into everything from Saturday night’s affair, I want to share my latest article with you that I wrote for Stan Fischler, a column that will soon appear on “The Hockey News.” Give it a gander.
On November 11th, SportsNet’s Mike Johnston, in anticipation of the Class of 2022 Hockey Hall of Fame induction, wrote a column previewing potential candidates for the Class of 2023.
If you haven’t read the piece, you can check it out here: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/an-early-look-at-top-candidates-for-2023-hockey-hall-of-fame-class/
While I agree with Johnston in regards to the the men and women that he’d like to see enshrined in Toronto; it was a phrase he used that I disagreed with, a phrase that many always use, whenever talking about former Ranger goalie, Henrik Lundqvist and his future as a Hall of Famer.
The phrase? “FIRST BALLOT.”
After all – with no such thing as public voting for potential Hall of Fame candidates – there’s no real ballot to speak of!
Granted, while everyone knows what Johnston meant in his usage of those two words, “first ballot” – it was just a cold reminder that the Hockey Hall of Fame operates in a clandestine fashion, where there are more cloaks and daggers rather than votes and public transparency.
Presently, there are only eighteen people in the world who can say who is and who isn’t a Hall of Famer.
Mike Gartner, who succeeded John Davidson at the start of 2022, currently serves as the chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Joining Gartner behind closed doors include a who’s who of the hockey world, including David Branch, Brian Burke, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Mark Chipman, Bob Clarke, Marc de Foy, Michael Farber, Ron Francis, Cammi Granato, Anders Hedberg, Jari Kurri, Igor Larionov, Pierre McGuire, Bob McKenzie, Mike Murphy, David Poile and Luc Robitaille.
As you can gather, this committee is made-up of people from all different backgrounds, nationalities, genders and jobs – including head coaches, general managers, players, writers, broadcasters and more.
Unlike the annual NHL Year-End awards, that feature more voters, voters whose votes are later made public; the Hockey Hall of Fame guards their secrets like J. Edgar Hoover.
Need the black-and-white evidence? Just check out the “Proceedings Confidential” tab on the official website of the Hockey Hall of Fame, which you can find here: https://www.hhof.com/induction/electionprocedures.html
The selection committee, without question, are all reputable people and people who know their hockey. No one is questioning their merit or credentials.
However, and as is the case every year, the eyebrow-raising is exclusively contained to the omissions.
It should also be reminded that while the Hockey Hall of Fame is mainly made up of NHL alumni – don’t forget the first word either – “hockey” – as the Hall of Fame also honors men and women who never stepped one foot on an NHL rink. In other words – it’s an international Hall of Fame.
Furthermore, what NHLers do away from the league, including Olympic and IIHF competition, are also taken into consideration by the committee.
While what the Hockey Hall of Fame tries to accomplish is admirable – unlike the other three major Hall of Fame’s in North America (baseball, basketball and football) – without having a public voting process – we never know who is worthy for the selection committee to debate over.
Adding to the confusion? You don’t necessarily need to be retired to be considered for the Hockey Hall of Fame, where this mainly applies to coaches, managers, owners and other non-players, including writers.
(However, this doesn’t apply to Jaromir Jagr, a #68 who is now finally flirting with retirement after spending the past several years playing for the team that he owns, the Kladno Knights.)
Perhaps worse than all of that, especially in comparison to the other Hall of Fame’s? The people who should be in but aren’t in – especially when comparing their careers to current inductees.
It’s not my goal to tear down any Hall of Fame inductee, but if you take a glance at the men and women currently honored in Toronto, then how are people such as Lorne Chabot, Alexandar Mogilny, Alex Shibicky, Patrick Elias, Tom Barrasso, Mike Richter, Jeremy Roenick, Rod Brind’Amour, Pierre Turgeon, Theo Fleury, and even the man whose name appears at the top of this column, “The Maven,” Stan Fischler himself, omitted?
Maybe Stan needs to write for seventy more years to be considered?
While the Hockey Hall of Fame is an amazing place to visit, and they do a tremendous job in honoring the all-time greats too – it’s also time for them to amend their ways.
Open up the voting. Expand the voting panel. Make it all public.
There’s a reason why the Baseball Hall of Fame is considered the most prestigious in all of sports – every candidate, and their fans, know where they stand.
Once the Hockey Hall of Fame takes a page from the Baseball Hall of Fame, then Lundqvist (and like many before him), will truly become a “first ballot Hall of Famer.”
Following the Rangers’ huge 8-2 victory over the Red Wings on Thursday night; on Friday, the team enjoyed a day out in Nashville with their fathers.
According to the club’s social media pages, besides fine dining (and perhaps a few adult beverages too), the dads and sons enjoyed some time at a Tennessee driving range.
And whatever happened at Tootsies? Well it stays at Tootsies! Just ask Kravtsov.
However, before you ask him, here’s Gallant’s pregame chat with the media:
If you don’t watch this video, and this is important – Gallant said that Kravtsov was ruled out with “the flu.”
Prior to Gallant’s comments, statements which were made EIGHT HOURS prior to the game; the Rangers reported that Kravtsov had a “stomach bug.”
Keep all of this in mind as you proceed – as both the team and the head coach said that Kravtsov was feeling under the weather – and again – eight hours prior to the game.
(In other words – no meds, no IVs, no rest, no nothing would be able to repair the almighty “Russian Rocket.”)
As mentioned numerous times on this site – Nashville, Tennessee is one of the biggest party towns in America, hence the “NashVegas” nickname.
While Vegas remains as the bachelor party capital of the world; it’s actually Nashville where most bachelorette parties are held.
Similar to the “Vegas Flu,” a common illness whenever opposing teams visit the Golden Knights; Nashville is also starting to ail their visitors, due to the abundance of bars on their main strip.
In other words – I don’t buy Kravtsov being sick at all. (And in a way – I was somewhat proven correct.)
Perhaps with his father not on the dad’s trip – maybe he drank himself to depression.
Heck, if my professional career was like his – I’d have IV’s of moonshine and Everclear injected into my veins.
I 100% believe that Kravtsov came down with the “NashVegas Flu.” Or at least I did until I read what Colin Stephenson wrote – but I’ll get there in just a second.
I know that many of you guys and gals already think that I’m too hard on him – but the gloves are off tonight!
Let’s explore Vitali Crapsoft, especially when in comparison to others:
— Jacob Trouba is playing through a laundry’s list of nagging injuries. Yeah, maybe he should take a few games off – but he’s trying to gut through it. Kravtsov has a few drinks and is rendered useless – where to be fair – he’s been pretty useless before Saturday.
— We see players play through real illnesses all the time, whether that’s right or wrong. It’s what separates the men from the boys.
— I’ve been to Nashville several times. While I’m not comparing myself to an NHLer, I can tell you that during my trip to Music City last year, I drank from 6PM-2AM. My flight home was at 6AM. After hanging out in the airport for two hours, I wrote a blog on my flight home, landed, did all of my laundry, took a nap and then went to work that night (graveyard shift).
— This guy most likely had a few White Claws and couldn’t play. BOO FREAKIN’ HOO!
And let’s face it – prior to his recent stretch of games – no one wanted to see Julien Gauthier on the roster this season.
Kravtsov has become so pathetic that you’re now clamoring to see #12, and not #74, in the line-up – and on the second line to boot!
But wait Ranger fans, <cue eerie music> we have a PLOT TWIST.
Following the game, Newsday reporter, Colin Stephenson, tweeted the following:
Just saw Kravtsov in the locker room. He said he’s got an infected tooth, not the flu.
— Colin Stephenson (@ColinSNewsday) November 13, 2022
You have got to be kidding me – and I’m not even talking about how Kravtsov said one thing, while both the team and head coach said another.
The wuss was better off saying that he had the flu – at least that would’ve given him the benefit of the doubt that his illness wasn’t because of alcohol consumed from the night before.
Infected tooth! If anything shows you that this soft mercurial crybaby isn’t made for the North American game – it’s this.
Bad teeth and hockey go together like peanut butter and jelly!
So does crying and Vitali Kravtsov!
And stop me before you tell me all about toothaches and the pain that they create.
I’ve had root canals, and prior to undergoing these procedures – I was in agony. However, do you know what I did before sitting in the dentist’s chair? I WENT TO WORK!
And do you what I was doing prior to my oral surgery? RUNNING A TOWER CRANE, 300 feet in the air!
Word to the wise: a few high-strength Advils will temporarily heal the pain.
And when you have adrenaline pumping – your aches go away.
I don’t mean to keep on going on about myself, but when I hear this excuse from Crybaby Kravtsov – what else am I supposed to do?
After all, once having my root canals – I refused painkillers (I can’t take them anyway – I get drug tested at work – plus I have no interest in them – and we all know the black cloud that they can create) – and THEN WENT TO WORK THE NEXT DAY!
Sorry – there’s no walking this back.
I don’t care if the Rangers get nothing in return for him at this point – he’s dead wood.
Move on and cut your losses.
And really – should the Rangers waive him tomorrow – do you really think he’s going to make a difference elsewhere?
All of the above may come off as poor form and unprofessional – but I did tell you that I was pissed-off about this loss! I have to let it all out!
Here was Saturday’s line-up for this “BUT, BUT BUT, THEY PLAYED GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN” inexcusable loss:
FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Vesey
SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Gauthier
THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko
FOURTH LINE: Blais/Goodrow/Reaves
FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox
SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba
THIRD PAIR: Hajek/Schneider
STARTING GOALIE: THE HALAKNESS MONSTER
BACK-UP GOALIE: CZAR IGOR
BOX SCORE time.
The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:
J. Saros G
J. Halak G
As mentioned, I watched this game on DVR, so I fast-forwarded through all of the Vagistat nonsense and intermission segments. However, I did watch the interviews that Sam and Joe conducted with Mr. Trouba and Mr. Goodrow.
Jacob Trouba’s father, John, as mentioned a few days back, remains as a monster among men. No joke, Sam Rosen looked like a midget next to him!
And yep – I’d rather see John Trouba on the roster than Kravtsov!
In a strong vote of confidence, the “third line,” the hottest line from Thursday night, started the game.
Right after their shift, and following Sam and Joe telling us “how hot” Kreider and Zibanejad are; the fourth line took the next shift, which led to Saros making an early denial on Libor Hajek.
At just the 1:23 mark, Reaves was called for tripping- a phantom penalty if I ever saw one.
The Rangers’ penalty kill, which has had issues as of late, were able to stay strong during these two minutes, including multiple clears from both Zibanejad and Trouba.
At the 4:58 mark, Juuso “WHO?” Parssinen blew by Lafreniere and flipped a harmless shot at Halak.
1-0, bad guys, on a shot that Halak should’ve stopped – even if there wasn’t a defenseman (Miller and Trouba were on the ice) in sight.
I’ll say this once and get it out of the way – this was a putrid goal to allow.
However, when you look at this game as a whole, once again, Halak played well. The team in front of him just couldn’t score a goal.
Furthermore, I was sent some tweets that said stuff akin to, “CZAR IGOR WOULD’VE STOPPED THIS!”
No one is a bigger fan of #31 than me – but I don’t know how anyone can defiantly state that – this season.
And yep, another negative “first” on this play too – as this was Parssinen’s first goal of the season – and the first of his career too – the Rangers’ way.
At the 6:37 mark, Saros stopped an innocent shot from Trouba, as the Rangers struggled to get out of the gate.
A few seconds later, and with 13:09 to go, Smith hooked Vesey, thus giving the Rangers their first power-play of the game.
The power-play, while having a few chances (they were credited with four SOG in all), wasn’t too hot here, including when just ten seconds into it, the Predators went on a two vs one odd-man rush. (The Preds’ PK would have scoring chances on all of their kills.)
To the power-play’s credit, Saros had to make saves on Trocheck, Chytil and Lafreniere. three players who all had “GOOD LOOKS.”
Also of note, the PP2 unit received 45 seconds of time – an eternity for that group. However, this unit remains without a goal during “The Turk Era.”
With 9:13 to go, Mika split a pair of Nashville defenders, only for Ekholm to break up the play before #93 could go one-on-one with Saros.
The #CadillacTrivia was a slam-dunk question – “what two Rangers had multiple sons that also played for the Rangers?”
Lester Patrick was the gimmie answer (especially if you follow this site on the regular) and Bryan Hextall (a gimmie for me, but probably not for the majority of fans). And should the Rangers ever honor their history like they should – then every fan alive would’ve been able to come up with both answers.
With 8:00 to go, Halak made a strong save on Forsberg, while Trouba prevented a rebound.
Come 6:15 remaining, Ekholm absolutely molly-whopped Hajek with a monstrous hit, which forced #25 to ice the puck.
With the faceoff back in the Rangers’ end; just seven seconds later, Kakko took a tripping penalty when he brought down Roman Josi to the ice.
Once again, the Rangers’ penalty kill did their job, where Jimmy Vesey stood out.
Down to 3:42 to go, and with Kakko now out of the box; McDonagh tripped the Finn.
As opposed to the first Rangers’ power-play, the PP1 unit basically ate the full two minutes here. While they did a good job of keeping the puck in the Preds’ zone – they also didn’t put one shot on goal either.
With 1:04 to go, Fabbro crushed Kakko into the boards behind Saros, after #24 had knocked Saros’ mask loose with a shot.
Just as you thought that a penalty was going to be called; instead, the whistle was blown due to Saros’ loose facial apparatus.
1-0, bad guys, after twenty.
At the time, the SOG stat read as 11-4 – in favor of the Rangers, and where Nashville didn’t put a SOG during the last eight minutes of the period.
By the end of the game, the SOG stat read as 35-18, as the Blueshirts nearly doubled-up the “Yellowshirts.”
However, it was Nashville who doubled-up New York in the only stat that matters – the final score.
As opposed to the first period – the second line, and not the fourth line, began the frame.
1:20 into the period, Saros gave up a big rebound to Trouba, while the home team prevented Zibanejad from scoring an easy rebound goal.
Down to 17:11 remaining, Mika drew Ekholm for holding, thus giving the Rangers their third power-play of the contest.
Similar to the first power-play, the Rangers immediately allowed Nashville to go on a two-vs-one short-handed odd-man rush, where fortunately, Halak stopped Sissons.
Thirty seconds later, Trocheck hit the post for what feels like the 78678967896978868th time this season.
This was the best chance the Rangers had during these two minutes, as the Preds’ penalty kill dictated play.
In other words, the Rangers’ power-play was now 0-3 and with no shots on goal (despite Trocheck’s <ding>) – again.
Once back to full-strength, and now down to 14:52 remaining; the Rangers returned to the box, this time for one of those lovely “too many men on the ice” penalties.
Forty seconds into the kill, Vesey, again, one of the team’s better penalty killers, had his blast stopped by Saros. Then, with twenty seconds remaining on the kill; Zibanejad almost had Kreider set-up for a breakaway, but he put too much on the pass.
Either way, the Rangers got their kill here, which meant that both teams were now 0-3 on the man-advantage.
Come 11:23 remaining, and despite the Rangers looking like the better team – Jankowski, following a perfect feed from Josi, buried a puck from the near paint.
2-0, bad guys.
Once again, Miller and Trouba were on the ice for this one (all Miller could do was watch the puck enter the net). However, and unlike the first goal allowed – this wasn’t on Halak.
Also of note – once again, this defensive duo finished with the worst plus/minus stats of the game – negative two.
I understand that Trouba is hurt (I covered this a few nights ago), but Miller has just not looked like the same player that he’s been in the past, even as recent from this preseason.
(And remember when many, including the foolish yours truly, thought that #79 could earn some Norris votes this year? Yikes on that prediction!)
Right after the goal, the Rangers came close to striking within one, but as a puck was about to sail into the net, Trocheck, looking to avoid contact (potential goalie interference), jumped over Saros.
Of course, while #16 was doing his “Air Jordan” impression; the puck caught his left skate, thus preventing the puck from entering the vacated net.
At this point in the game, the Rangers should’ve had two goals on the board, but on both plays, Trocheck was on the wrong end of “PUCK LUCK” – where “puck luck” is also becoming a tired excuse for Ranger follies.
Now with 10:19 left on the clock, Johansen and Lindgren had a war of words, following a collision near Halak’s net. The end result – off-setting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
With 33 seconds left on the foreplay; Saros made a great denial on the captain, as Trouba, in the paint, was stopped.
Once returned to full-strength and with 8:04 remaining; Fox, from Gretzky’s office, fed Chytil in the slot. BOOM. 2-1, bad guys, as the Czech continues to light lamps in Nashville. (I can’t remember a game in Nashville where Chytil hasn’t scored in.)
Right after the goal (as in once the puck was dropped), Lindgren and Lauzon went at it.
Double nickel took the loss in this fight, as he was badly busted open above his left eye.
While Lindgren didn’t look in agony as he skated to the locker room for repairs – he was housed in this fight, a fight where Lauzon had the jump on him.
Once returned from commercial break, Sam and Joe said that Gallant was screaming at the Nashville bench. We later saw a replay, where “The Turk” may have used a few “Father Finks” at John Hynes.
Come 6:40 to go, Saros made a trio of saves, when Pekke Rinne’s successor initially stopped Trouba and then two Kreider rebound tries afterwards.
A minute and change later, Saros stopped Trocheck again – this time with his glove – rather than his post doing the work for him.
With 3:53 to go, and Nashville on a 4 x 2 rush; Blais gave himself up, sacrificed his body, and stopped a monster McDonagh blast. Blais immediately went to the locker room, where he needed assistance while walking.
This meant that the Rangers were now down a defenseman (Lindgren) and a forward.
However, Lindgren returned to the game about a minute later. Better than that? Blais returned too.
Shades of the John Tortorella (black-and-blue Rangers) years Batman!
Under two minutes to go, Schneider broke up a Nashville breakaway chance. This then allowed Chytil to get a chance of his own, only for Saros to come up big.
2-1, bad guys after two, where the Rangers were now out-shooting the Preds by a tally of 27-11.
However, and this was woefully apparent during the final frame – the Rangers couldn’t hit the damn net.
The short-and-skinny of these twenty minutes? Nashville blocked what felt like 789678667896789687 shots, while the Rangers shot 78967867896978686 pucks into the boards. No one stained the white wood more than Zibanejad.
Zibanejad won the first draw of the frame, which then set up Vesey for a backhanded SOG at just the eleven second mark – another save for Saros. Right after that, Kreider and Mika had a two-vs-one odd-man rush, but it was broken up.
With 17:38 on the clock, Halak made a stellar glove save on Ekholm. Four seconds later, and following the defensive zone faceoff – Hajek went off for hooking, thus giving the Predators their fourth power-play of the game – and the Rangers’ second penalty following a d-zone faceoff loss
After Forsberg went high from a foot away, a Rangers’ odd-man rush was broken up
The Preds had a few chances during this, but either shot high or wide. Miller also made a strong clear.
By the end of these two minutes, the Rangers’ PK remained at 100% (4-4).
However, the 0-5 power-play is the story tonight.
With 14:56 to go, Halak made his best save yet, a hell of a glove save on Lauzon from the slot. Again, Miller and Trouba were on the ice for this shot, as #79 should’ve broken this chance up.
All this save did was prevent #8 and #79 from finishing -3.
As Sam and Joe praised McDonagh; with 13:50 to go, both Panarin and Trocheck missed the net.
Down to 12:28 to go, Chytil made a great move while in the Preds’ zone, and it looked like he was boarded/crosschecked. No call. Hajek and McCarron then had a verbal exchange.
With 11:53 to go, a Mika one-timer unfortunately found the face of Jimmy Vesey.
This was also another consequence of not putting pucks on net.
Vesey was shaken up here and you could see his right eye/cheek bone swelling up. (He also had a gnarly cut.)
Vesey went to the bench rather than to the locker room. HOCKEY PLAYER.
HE NEVER MISSED A SHIFT.
Someone tell Kravtsov about what it’s like to play in the NHL. Wuss.
With 10:40 to go, Reaves challenged McCarron at center ice. Just like the yellow jersey on his back, the yellow streak on McCarron’s back was also displayed, as he didn’t accept the fight.
Under ten minutes to go, the third line and third pair put on a lot of pressure, but couldn’t register a SOG.
Lafreniere was also tripped during this – and now the officials, who had been calling everything and anything – decided to swallow their whistle.
Not like it would’ve mattered.
Now down to 8:28 to go, Halak stopped Duchene on a breakaway.
A minute later, Trouba set-up Gauthier in the paint – “and you know the rest” – ugh. A horrendous miss. A true shame – as Gauthier had started to reverse his curse a bit prior to this.
With 6:20 to go, Reaves boarded McDonagh with a hit – no call.
However, Jeannot immediately took umbrage with #75 and then dropped the gloves with “The Grim Reaver.”
Reaves won this fight, but if this was a UFC fight, it was a technical 10-9 round; rather than a definitive victory.
In what could’ve propelled the Rangers to victory; Lauzon also got boxed during this – four minutes for high-sticking Sammy Blais.
This infraction took place while everyone’s attention was on Reaves and Jeannot.
Six seconds into the power-play; Saros stopped Mika’s one-timer.
Fifty-four seconds later – Halak had to stop McCarron on a breakaway.
Following a Mika-to-Kreider miss and Panarin (who couldn’t do anything right tonight) going wide, Mika took two more shots that didn’t hit the net, thus ending the first power-play.
On the second half of the power-play, a Trouba bomb was blocked, while Panarin was stopped.
2:45 to go and 30 seconds left on the PP; Gallant pulled Halak for the extra skater.
End result – no power-play goal. 0-5 – pathetic.
After a long Rangers’ attack (and with the extra skater still on), where rarely a puck hit the net, we hit 1:49 remaining. It felt like Nashville had blocked 83747737374 shots during these four plus minutes.
The Rangers also took their timeout, in an attempt to draw something up. A Picasso, this wasn’t.
As the Rangers continued to let Saros off of the hook; with 37 seconds to go, the Preds iced the puck.
Trocheck challenged Saros one last time, but that was all she wrote.
Gallant tried to argue for more time to be put on the clock after the stoppage – but as mentioned – if that’s what he’s most fired-up about – then his priorities are in the wrong place.
2-1, bad guys, your final.
Absolutely infuriating – you may have noticed by the tone of this blog. After all, I’m more positive than most.
I really got nothing left to say.
This was a huge opportunity blown.
And what an asshole – I really believed the win over Detroit was going to be the start of something big.
Back at it tomorrow.
And despite my frustrations – LGR.
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 $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:
My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.
My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/
To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”
“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.
All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.
To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com
To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
NYR/DET 11/10 Review: New Look Rangers Ride an Eight-Goal Blue Wave Over Red Shirts; Blow Away Wings in Front of Their Fathers; Team-Wide Sixty Minute Victory; But This Can’t Be a One-Time Thing, NHL HC’s, M$GN, Multi-Point Games Galore & More
What’s Old Is New Again: Gallant Shuffles Lines Again; Reunites a 2016-17 Line (And Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko Too), Trouba Injuries Confirmed; Shattenkirk Comparison, NYR Dads, Have Your Voice Heard in New Book & More
NYR/NYI 11/8 Review: Rangers Lose Worst Game of the Season (That’s Getting Redundant); Choke Against Isles, Gallant’s Panic Creates Deeper Despair, Regression Across The Board, 2021-22 Comparisons No Longer Valid, Sliding in the Standings, Burn The Liberty Jerseys, Refs & More
If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:
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.
LET’S GO RANGERS!
@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine