NYR/STL 1/11 Review: The Honeymoon Period Is Over; Rangers Experience Their First Three-Game Losing Streak of the Season, Negative Trends Won’t End; “Goalied” Excuse No Longer Valid Either, Mika’s Disastrous Diarrhea Leads to Sloppy Special Teams, Blues’ Top Line Eats Rangers Alive Like Mosquitos, Drury Needs To Respond; Shut Down Chytil, M$GN & More

The struggling and banged-up Blueshirts, following their 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night, are now experiencing their longest losing streak of the season (three games) as they approach the half-way mark of the 2023-24 campaign. Perhaps more concerning than that is the fact that “LAVY’S LOT” are now 8-8-1 in their last seventeen games played – or in other words – under .500 during the past month or so.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Maybe CZAR IGOR’s hairband is too tight?


Before fully examining what felt like another deja vu loss for the Rangers on Thursday night; up first, a reminder that I posted a new blog last night.

In case you missed that blog, I covered the past two Ranger off-days, in addition to making a major site announcement. Here’s the link:

This picture, which was taken right before Christmas (12/23/2023), now feels like it was snapped ages ago. Photo Credit: NYR

It was another Blueshirts’ loss like this one from Thursday night, where every negative streak was extended, that makes me go straight to my season-long daily disclaimer, a mantra that reads as such:


In other words, while others are racing to the ledges, looking for ropes and dusting off their shotguns – my disclaimer keeps me sane!

(And I’m glad that I have this security blanket to nestle under too!)

It’s also why I can’t go (too) scorched earth on this club – and despite the numerous requests from readers to do so.

That said, I won’t sugarcoat what this game was either – and as you’ll see below.

Mika Zibanejad, who usually poops all over the Flyers, had some loose stool on Thursday night and as a result, was scratched from the line-up right before puck drop.

As discussed last night, the Rangers are still not employing a full roster under the parameters of the NHL salary cap – and this fact will remain until the $4.5M cap-hit concussion elephant in the room, Filip Chytil, is addressed.

(For more on this topic, then check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/1824/ )

Since the man sitting in the big chair at 33rd and 7th, Blueshirts’ general manager Chris Drury, has yet to make a firm decision on this matter – and while I don’t think that Chytil’s absence is truly a hindrance (but his cap-hit is) – Ranger fans are being asked to cough up at least $250 to enter M$G to see AHL players every night, “luminaries” such as Zac Jones, Jonny Brodzinski, and on this night (but now in St. Louis) – the “returning” Jake Leschyshyn, who following his zero goals in thirteen games played performance from last season – made his 2023-24 NHL debut by posting another goose egg on the board.

(Holy Bad Grammar and Too Much Punctuation Batman!)

What kind of irked me the most tonight (outside of the loss) – and I even said/asked this on my own Twitter page (https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC ) prior to puck drop, was this question:

“How come the Rangers didn’t carry a spare forward with them for a two-game road-trip – and especially with the knowledge of Mika Zibanejad being ill?”

Truth be told, while I don’t think that another AHLer added to this roster would have made a difference in tonight’s eventual victor – but what would have happened had the Rangers lost another forward prior to puck drop – and especially since Peter Laviolette, following the 5-2 loss, acknowledged that the flu bug is presently going around in his locker room?

A line-up consisting of ten-forwards and eight-defensemen?

(And with the way that Kreider and Zibanejad hold each other – CK20 may be the next Ranger to have the runs!)

I like Jonny Brodzinski – I really do – but at the age of thirty-years-old – it’s very clear on why he has the “4A” label slapped all over him. Long-story short? It’s time to move on – by getting some NHL quality help – and I have to believe that the Rangers’ brain trust already knows this. In other words – I wouldn’t expect him to be on the team’s playoff roster, outside of in a “Black Ace” role, come this Spring. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Akin to many Ranger defeats suffered this season, including the most recent ones from the past month or so – every negative trend reared in their ugly heads tonight – again.

Let’s count the ways:

— A former Ranger scoring a goal?

Check, where admittedly Pavel Buchnevich’s strike was an empty netter.

That said, the former #89 of the Blueshirts also assisted on both the Blues’ first goal (a tying/equalizer score) and on their go-ahead goal too, that soon, and as usual, quickly ensued.

A player who was having a down season coming back to life as if he was the second coming of Jesus Christ?

Check, as Jordan Kyrou scored his 10th, 11th and 12th goals of the season – and where he probably should have had another hat trick atop of the one that he scored too.

— Another goalie out-playing CZAR IGOR?

Perhaps the biggest check.

While Jordan Binnington isn’t a schlub or some back-up scrub like other goalies who have out-played #31 for the Rangers this season; the hero of the Blues’ 2019 Stanley Cup run looked exactly like that guy tonight – and where as you may already know – he hasn’t been that guy ever since winning that Game 7 against Boston.

And while YES – it is tough to solely blame CZAR IGOR for three of the four non-empty net goals allowed tonight – at the same time – Binnington made these saves on the same chances – and more frequently and more often at that.

— Alexis “Zack Morris” Lafreniere (check out https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/122923/ for this nickname explanation) not being able to finish?

Check, where once again, the man with two goals in his last twenty-two games played (and where half of these credited goals was kicked off a defenseman’s skate) can’t score a goal to save his life.

Had he?

Then perhaps the Rangers win tonight – and just like they should have won at least five games this season had #13 been able to finish on all of his never-ending opportunities.

— Blowing leads and giving up back-to-back goals in short order?

Check and check.

While the Rangers “improved” in this department, as it took the Blues a “lengthy” 2:11 to erase the visitor’s early 1-0 lead and then 3:28 in total in order to score the go-ahead goal – while the home team didn’t retaliate on the scoreboard within a minute, nor score two goals in under two-minutes either (where if they had, then it would’ve been the eighteenth time this happened to the Rangers this season) – either way, the end result was still the same.

— Special teams failing and the SAMMY WHAMMY?

Perhaps the dagger checks.

The Rangers, who went 1-3 on the power-play tonight (and where their power-play goal was scored late and with the game already out of reach) also went 2-4 on the penalty kill.

Of course, going into the game – the Blues’ power-play was ranked 32nd in the league – or dead-last in all of the NHL.

Sam Rosen reminded us about this fact no less than ten-times, and as you’ll see below in the GAME REVIEW – the second when he brought up this fact during tonight’s broadcast on the Blues’ first power-play of the game – then you already knew what would happen next.

Heck, I said it at the time.

— In a new and alarming trend – putting 40+ SOG and still losing?


During the past three games (including tonight’s), the Rangers have sent over forty pucks towards the opposing goaltender – and where each time – and whether it be Sam Montembeault, Thatcher Demko and now Jordan Binnington – the Blueshirts came out on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

While I do believe that other teams around the league, including their goalies, are now treating the Rangers as a “litmus test” (and as previously explained on this site); at the same time, it’s no excuse for losing.

After all, would you make such an excuse for a playoff series loss?

And yep – this is a REALITY RESULTS BASED BUSINESS – and not Vagistat’s EXPECTED STATS BS.

— In another new and alarming trend – blaming the refs for a loss?

This was the toughest check to swallow.

It’s one thing for fans to bitch-and-moan about officials. Heck, it’s to be expected.

But to hear not only Peter Laviolette do the same, while several of his players echoed such thoughts (Fox being most notable) – I thought that this was a poor look.

Sure, the Blues had four power-plays tonight – but the Rangers had three.

Furthermore, the Blueshirts DID commit these infractions, and there was never at one point in tonight’s game where you could accuse the officials of any bias whatsoever – and trust me – I would if I could.

The reality?

The Rangers failed on their own and have no one to blame but themselves.

While the Rangers did hit two posts tonight, and both by Chris Kreider on the Blueshirts’ first power-play of the game; outside of these two breaks – Jordan Binnington looked exactly like that guy who manned the pipes for the Blues from January to June of 2019. Photo Credit: NHL.com

I want to make it clear – I am not making any excuses for the Rangers tonight.

I’m just telling you what it was.

Yes, they were missing Mika Zibanejad – but every team battles injuries.

Plus, it’s not like the Rangers weren’t the aggressors for most of this game either – that is – except for whenever the Blues’ top line of Pavel Buchnevich, Robert Thomas and tonight’s first star, Jordan Kyrou, were making a mockery of the Blueshirts.

As the GAG LINE 2.0 has done for the Rangers all season, tonight it was the Blues’ top line’s turn to dominate.

Take away these three – then the Blueshirts most likely cruise to victory – and even with Binnington having his best game of the season.

But of course, these three played, and where as a result, they picked up 80% (4) of the home team’s goals scored.

Funny enough, it was a Brandon Saad power-play goal that wound up becoming tonight’s game-winner – but more on that during the GAME REVIEW.

I’m not kidding when I say the following:

The Buchnevich/Thomas/Kyrou line was so good (HOW GOOD WERE THEY?) – that it felt like they were eating the Rangers alive like mosquitos on a hot and sticky day.

Hell, they looked like Joey Chestnut devouring dirty-water dogs on July 4th.

Despite seven defenseman in Lavy’s line-up tonight – not one of them, and just like the forwards, had an answer for this trio – and a trio that most certainly made the Rangers “Sing The Blues.”

Ugh – and har-har-har.

(Laughter is always the medicine and I’m trying with the material that I have to work with here!)

As has often been the case, the Rangers got on the board first, and at just the 1:51 mark, as Adam Fox, who made a spinorama move during the process, capitalized off of a big-and-juicy Binnington rebound that was given up to Barclay Goodrow.

Up 1-0 early, this was pretty much the lone Rangers’ highlight of the game – outside of Joe Micheletti’s commentary following Kreider’s two meetings with the iron.

A Kyrou goal, scored off a mad and dazzling rush (albeit, a shot that CZAR IGOR should have stopped – and as we have seen him do so many times over throughout the course of his career), tied the game at just the 4:02 mark.

Following a Nick Bonino delay of game penalty (puck over the glass), Rosen informed us that the St. Louis Blues’ power-play should seek the ghost of Jack Kevorkian and kill themselves.

Of course, within nanoseconds of burying the Blues’ man-up units – bang – Kyrou scored again.

2-1, bad guys – and where following this goal – the Rangers really never had a chance – or at least Binnington wasn’t going to allow it to happen.

After the first twenty-minutes, where Kyrou almost had his hat trick goal (which would’ve been a natural hat trick goal at that) and on two separate occasions, the Blueshirts “escaped” the period with only a one-goal deficit.

The second stanza was an all-out mess and where the Rangers took three separate two-minute minor penalties within a time-span of 5:03.

The Blueshirts killed two of them, but couldn’t kill all three, as Brandon Saad, off of a rebound afforded by CZAR IGOR, scored at the 9:26 mark to put the Blues up over the Blueshirts, 3-1.

Come the final frame and still clinging on for hope – Kyrou ended such an idea following his breakaway goal scored at the 7:01 mark.

4-1, bad guys.

The Rangers’ power-play, their biggest strength, was once again strong tonight – but couldn’t score on their first two tries – as once again – they did everything right but score.

The third time was a charm – but it was also a case of “too little, too late.”

A Panarin shot, which then rebounded right to Trocheck, lessened the hurt with 9:02 remaining.

4-2, bad guys.

But on a night where Binnington was at his best, coupled-in with the Rangers’ inability to take advantage of numerous man-up opportunities, doomed the Big Apple club.

Despite nearly three-minutes of a 6 x 5 attack – the Rangers could never strike within one.

CZAR IGOR’s Brighton Beach road-trip buddy, Buchnevich, made it official with just seventeen-seconds remaining.

5-2, bad guys, 5-2, bad guys your final.

And yes, I get it – there are a lot of reasons to be frustrated right now, as the Rangers, while still first-place in the Metropolitan Division- are also seeing their formerly comfy cushion evaporate like water in the Sahara Desert.

In fact, tonight couldn’t have gone any worse for the Blueshirts.

Not only did they lose, but the teams chasing them also picked up points, as both the Islanders and Hurricanes won their games on Thursday night, while both the Devils and Penguins picked up the loser’s overtime point in their respective contests.

If it wasn’t for all of the negative streaks and trends being extended tonight, then I think this loss would have been easier to brush off, as after all – the Chytil issue hasn’t been addressed, Mika was out and many AHLers were in.

All-out panic?


But with three losses in a row, and where all of them have looked similar, then there is some cause for concern – and where most of the worrying is about the starting goaltender – who hasn’t been the same puck-stopper ever since his 2021-22 Vezina Trophy season – or at the very least – not on a consistent game-in and game-out basis.

The silver lining?

That’s why these guys play 82-game seasons and where you just hope that this is a slump to overcome.

As mentioned after the loss to Vancouver – you want to play your best hockey in the Spring – and not in January.

Just ask the 2019 Lightning and 2023 Bruins about that.

At this time, let’s get into all of the pregame news & notes and then straight into the GAME REVIEW.

After all, I have to be up early for something related to my new “real-life” job!

These late starts – minga!

Despite the team playing .500 hockey over the last sixteen games, the head coach was very happy during Thursday’s pregame “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

On Thursday morning and now in St. Louis, the Rangers held an optional and sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” skate, where afterwards, Blueshirts’ bench boss, Peter Laviolette, held his mandatory pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is:

During the chat, Lavy confirmed the four following things:

— Trouba did make the trip, where we are now to assume that his wife hadn’t gone into labor just yet.

(Why Trouba missed the last two practices, and whether or not his new child is coming any day now, was never revealed.)

— Zibanejad, following feeling sick the day prior, was in the line-up.

(And of course, this would change about ten-minutes prior to puck drop.)

— Kakko continues to skate with the team, and while he wasn’t going to play against the Blues, there was a good chance that he may play on Saturday in Washington.

(The Rangers are carrying Kakko, but didn’t carry a spare forward for tonight’s game.)

— CZAR IGOR would get the nod in net over Jonathan Quick.

(I would have went with Quick – and as I said last night.)

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the fortieth game of this 2023-24 season – and this is messy – nor is this concrete either – as things were constantly changing in-game, most notably, the defensive pairings:

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Brodzinski/Cuylle

THIRD LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Wheeler

FOURTH LINE SPARES: Bonino/Leschyshyn

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider






DIARRHEA: Zibanejad




The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





42 2 40 .952 28 10 2 0 0 59:46 0


19 4 15 .789 13 2 0 0 0 57:29 0

Lundqvist, returned to the M$GN studio for the first time in a months’ time after his holiday spent in Sweden, watched his successor, CZAR IGOR, give up four goals and finish with a .789 save percentage. You could see the pain in his face during the post-game show. Photo Credit: NYR

While it was great seeing “THE KING OF COMMENTARY” back at his center seat at the M$GN studio – it was also stomach-turning, and perhaps this is what caused Zibanejad’s diarrhea too, to see Sieve Vagistat to the left of Lundqvist.

It was the same old shit with these two – and where the word “shit” is solely meant for the worst back-up goalie in franchise history.

Anytime Lundqvist would say something, then Vagistat would horn-in with all of his useless ANALytics from the shitty company that he owns – and a company that no other broadcast, journalist, real reporter or anyone else, ever cites or talks about when discussing puck.

“You’re halfway through, and all the top teams are going through it. You have to pay attention to details. Watching [the Rangers] last game, the attention and detail wasn’t there,” said Lundqvist in regards to the team’s recent losses.

Vagistat, and I’m not making up, retorted by talking about pulling up his pants and plugging his crappy company.

When it came to the promotion of CUYLLE HAND LUKE, you couldn’t wipe the smile off of Lundqvist’s face. However, all of the dreams of a strong debut with the BFF line were soon shot to shit – and due to Zibanejad combating the Hershey Squirts.

(I can promise you this Part I: Not one blogger, podcaster, reporter or whoever, makes more fecal references than me. You’re welcome!)

(I can promise you this Part II: I’m not done making these scat references tonight either!)

Following Vagistat talking about going backdoor (again), Lundqvist said about his successor, “I’ve always been impressed with Igor’s ability to bounce back, not just this season, but throughout his career.”

I have to give it up to Lundqvist here – he means well – but this hasn’t exactly been the case for CZAR IGOR this season, or at least not as much as it’s been about the Rangers, as a team, being able to bounce back.

And of course, we all know how tonight’s game went too.

Of course, after Lundqvist, one of the greatest goalies in franchise history, was done speaking about CZAR IGOR – then the worst back-up goalie had to impart his advice.


More kudos?

When John Giannone actually called out Lafreniere’s inability to score goals.

While the man from “THE PROJECTS IN BOONTON” didn’t use my Zack Morris reference (he’s not Larry Brooks – he doesn’t steal material), he did bring up how #13 only has two goals in his past 22 games played.

After that, Vagistat droned on about something, and where he sounded like he was straight out of a Charlie Brown cartoon.

No joke – you could hear Lundqvist’s eyes roll to the back of his head, and as if he were the wrestler, and his good friend too, “The Undertaker”:

Lundqvist and The Undertaker – and with two jabronis with them. Speaking of ‘Taker, I wouldn’t mind if he made Vagistat “REST IN PEACE” from these broadcasts! Photo Credit: NBC Universal

Once Vagistat was done fiddling around with his compass, as no joke, he said “EAST-WEST” no less than fifty times during his thirty-minutes of ungodly face-time; Giannone then told us to bet our life savings on this game.

No less than five-seconds after this demand, Giannone then told us that Zibanejad would be out.


Speaking of diarrhea (again), my favorite part of tonight’s pregame show is when we went to Sam and Joe in St. Louis.

Once again, with a grave and stricken tone, Rosen requested of Micheletti, “Joe, you fine sir, can you kindly present to me your pertinent Taco Bell Take?”

Micheletti brought up Panarin – but as both of us would say during tonight’s game – Zibanejad’s problem with poo poo was the real “Taco Bell Take” – and how fitting.

After all, as the best forward on the Rangers’ penalty kill – #93 was most certainly missed.

As far as anything else from these two chuckleheads, Sam repeated these facts five times over:

— St. Louis is the gateway to the west.

— There’s an arch in the city.

— The city is great.

— It was Thursday night.

My terrible attempts at comedy aside, I did enjoy when Rosen brought up how Micheletti spent the bulk of his NHL career in STL, how he met his wife there and how he still has family, including some of his grandkids, living there.

Whenever these two show their personal lives to us, then that’s when they are at their best.

Call me a sucker – but I was happy that Travelin’ Joe got to see his grandkids this week.

But I wasn’t happy with what happened next, which brings us to…


Benoit Allaire, pictured here from a bygone era, surely has his work cut out for him these days in this present era. Photo Credit: NYR


As mentioned earlier (and because I largely recapped most of this game up top too), I have to be up early tomorrow, so in other words, for the complete play-by-play of tonight’s torrid affair, then check out my Twitter page here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

As we were wondering what Lavy would do with Zibanejad sitting on the toilet and spewing out his last few meals out of his bunghole – it was soon revealed – Brodzinski would center Kreider and Cuylle, while Jones – and not Robertson – would rotate in as a seventh d-man.

Someone said this to me during the game, and I forget who (so feel free to write in and I’ll give you your credit); but as this mess progressed, it wouldn’t have been the worst idea in the world for Trouba to throw down with someone, just to give the team some juice.

After all, Lavy had six other d-men to work with in such a hypothetical five-minute major situation.

Trocheck won the opening draw of this contest, so another negative streak that I’ve been talking about on this site was later extended too – whenever the Goodrow line doesn’t start, then the Rangers lose.

Of course, the Goodrow line isn’t 100% whenever starting games – but I’ve explained all of this in the past.

I think I called what would happen tonight just thirty-seconds in:

To quote Hank Hill, “yep.”

As Sam made sure to mention that Nick Leddy was a former Islander (why Sam always does this I do not know) – bang – 1-0, GOOD GUYS:

Fox deserved the secondary assist on his own goal!

Following his initial shot, one that Binnington gave up a rebound on, Goodrow then shot the puck for another rebound. This time, on the second rebound, Fox cashed in.

And that was pretty much it for the Rangers tonight.

As noted earlier, just 2:11 later, this is when Kyrou, and with his two linemates assisting, beat CZAR IGOR following a STL rush.


And go figure – Fox temporarily stunted Kyrou, as he hit and knocked him down in the d-zone, but as the 2021 Norris Trophy winner admired his work, the Blue wasn’t left undetermined, as he raced up the ice and then put a puck past CZAR IGOR that the goalie probably should have stopped.

For whatever reason – the Rangers are deathly allergic to holding leads for any lengthy amount of time these days.

Down to 14:30 remaining and Lavy had his two AHLers on the ice, Jones and Leschyshyn. Neither made a positive difference tonight – and where Jones would later be responsible for a goal allowed.

A minute later, and this is when Bonino sailed a puck over the glass.

As Rosen told us how the parents of the Blues should disown their kids for their poor performance on the power-play this season – bang – SAMMY WHAMMY TIME – as Kyrou, while in CZAR IGOR’s paint, tipped a puck past the goalie.

2-1, bad guys – and just like that.

And for what it’s worth – and I know this may be an unpopular opinion as everyone judges CZAR IGOR’s entire game as a whole – this is not a goal that you could hang him for.

Kyrou simply slipped past Trouba and Lindgren and that was that.

At the half-way mark of the period, the Blues only had three shots on goal, which meant that CZAR IGOR had a save percentage of .333%.

Thirty seconds later, and Jones allowed Binnington to pick up the easiest save of his life, following a five mile-per-hour shot from the boards.

Panarin, who didn’t score a goal tonight, had his second of six shots stopped with 8:30 to go.

The bakery was closed tonight – but to be upset about #10 not scoring in this game would be foolish.

After Sam let us know that the Blues’ Matt Kessel and former NHLer Phil Kessel weren’t related (very important!); CZAR IGOR recorded his third save with 7:00 to go.

It was also around this time where it was extremely noticeable how well that both Cuylle and Vesey were playing.

Sadly, because of the final result, I think what both #50 and #26 did tonight will largely be forgotten about – so I just wanted to make mention of it here about how well they played.

Lavy apparently took notice too – as he fed them extra shifts as the game went along.

With 2:30 remaining, CZAR IGOR made two saves on Kyrou – thus preventing him of a first period natural hat trick.

It was also at this time where whenever I saw the Blues’ top line cross the center/red line – that I had more diarrhea brewing in me than Zibanejad.

I can’t stress this enough – this Buchnevich/Thomas/Kyrou line destroyed the Blueshirts tonight.

So much for the systems and structure – and where you don’t hear too much about the 1-3-1 defensive scheme these days either.


To close the period, Trouba prevented an odd-man rush goal against the Blues’ bad boys, while a GUS BUS hammer shot, where had it gone in, would’ve stunted the Blues’ momentum, was stopped by Binnington.

2-1, bad guys, through twenty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Some fans believe that “The Wallflower,” Kaapo Kakko, who has done nothing but hump the boards all season, will change the Rangers’ fortune. I’m not inclined to agree with this opinion – but I’d be happy to be proven wrong.


The Rangers got off to a hot start – but Binnington was hotter.

An early Vesey pass to Wheeler, had it not been broken up, may have went for a goal. Following this line’s opening 1:55 shift – STL, and Binnington, survived.

Down to 17:43 remaining and CZAR IGOR stopped Kyrou again – but you know what would later happen.

Forty-three seconds later?

CZAR IGOR prevented Kyrou from his natural hat trick (again) – and where it was apparent – this line was not going to be denied – and where Kyrou led all shooters in SOG too (8) – which meant that he registered 40% of the shots that CZAR IGOR saw tonight.

With 15:50 remaining, Brodzinski took a stupid penalty when he hooked Nathan Walker in the o-zone. At the time, the puck was nowhere near Walker. Just dumb, dumb, dumb.

Again – Kyrou – who this time – almost split all four Ranger PKers at once – but fortunately for CZAR IGOR – Chris Kreider broke up this scoring play.

During the final seconds of this penalty kill, Goodrow shoved Krug into CZAR IGOR’s net – interference.

So with 13:28 remaining, and following the mini delayed 6 x 5 attack – the Blues were right back on the power-play.

The Rangers were able to kill this penalty too – and for all of their crying about the officials after this tilt – Fox got away with a tripping penalty during these two-minutes – and a no call that sprung his Harvard alum chum, Vesey, for a mini breakaway – and another save for Binnington.

But the non-stop parade to the penalty box wasn’t over yet.

With 10:47 to go, Trocheck hooked Kapanen. While it did look like that Kapanen fell down on purpose in order to draw the call (they don’t call embellishment anymore) – Trocheck did indeed hook him.

Just thirteen-seconds into their third power-play of the period – the end – as Saad, following a rebound given up to Schenn, banged home the man-up goal for the worst power-play team in the league – and their second PPG of the game.

3-1, bad guys.

And again – for all of the crying about CZAR IGOR – not one Ranger defender cleared this rebound – and half of his goals allowed occurred when he was short-handed.

But as they say – never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

Up next?

Over seventeen minutes where the Blues didn’t register another SOG.

Also up next?

Lafreniere being robbed with 9:30 to go, a clean glove save made on Cuylle a minute later, and Kreider drawing a slashing call on Krug with 7:08 remaining.

And this was a break for the Rangers – as Kreider, on a breakaway, had overskated the net. Krug slashed him – but only after Kreider had no chance of putting a SOG.

Now on the power-play for the first time, and with Lafreniere replacing Montezuma Revenge Mika on PP1 – the Rangers did everything but score – and yep, you know it – Lafreniere was robbed by Binnington again, following his nifty wrist shot.

Binnington, who made four quality saves on this Rangers’ power-play, also got two breaks, in the form of <DINGS> and both following deflection attempts from Kreider.

The best part (if you’re looking for the silver lining), is that following Kreider hitting each of the posts, M$GN cameras caught him going to the tunnel – where I’m to assume that he was breaking shit and cursing at himself.

Micheletti’s response, this:

“Sam, Kreider hit the post twice and is now leaving the game! I don’t blame him!”

I can’t lie – I was cracking up – as during times like these – it’s all that you can do.

Micheletti also said, “Sam, the Rangers should stay out of the penalty box.”

They don’t call him MOOLAH MICHELETTI for nothing – as such insight like this is why Jumpin’ Joe gets paid the big bucks.

The rest of this period saw Binnington save everything possible while the Blues continued their SOG drought.

3-1, bad guys, through forty minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

One of these guys were smiling tonight – and it wasn’t the current Ranger – it was the former Blueshirt. Photo Credit: NYR


This period continued the misery – and where I’m now wondering – should the Rangers go back to their Made in Vietnam third jerseys?

After all, they are 3-0 in them this season.

Let’s blow through this:

— Rosen opened the period by telling us how sad he was about Craig Berube (one of my “RANGER KILLERS” in my new book) being fired. I’m sure that every Ranger fan was equally as upset. Ugh.

— He then said that he wanted to slide down new STL coach, Drew Bannister. (Okay, maybe I made this line up for a cheap laugh.)

— I’m surprised – for all of his jinxes, hexes, reverse curses, black magic, ju ju and SAMMY WHAMMY’S – Rosen has never brought up how it’s required for every former Ranger to score against them.

— However, with 16:30 to go, Rosen did give us his ODE TO SAMMY BLAIS.

— With 16:05 to go, Schenn hooked Miller while behind CZAR IGOR’s net – so a dumb o-zone penalty for STL – and another break for the Rangers when trailing by two goals.

— This was just like the first Rangers’ power-play – but without the <DINGS> – and where Lafreniere, with a soccer net in front of him, missed on a rebound chance. What a preppie.

— Down to 12:59 remaining, Jones forced a horrible pass in the o-zone, which then set-up Kyrou for a breakaway. Now with his 6th or 7th chance at a hat trick – he got it this time – and where it looked like CZAR IGOR was completely lost.

— 4-1, bad guys.

— To recap CZAR IGOR’s night – two PPGs and one breakaway goal allowed. Can you really bury him for that?

— The Rangers only scored two goals.

— But I do get the concern for the CZAR.

— The victor of this game already determined, the final 12:59 felt as slow as molasses.

— A Trocheck rebound goal, following a Binnington shorthanded save made on Panarin after Thomas had slashed Cuylle, cut the Blues’ lead to 4-2 with 9:02 to go.

— Despite out-shooting the Blues, and where the home team had another SOG drought of nearly ten minutes or more – the Rangers could never find goal number three.

— CZAR IGOR was pulled with three-minutes remaining – but again – the 6 x 5 empty net attack rarely works for this core.

— A Buchnevich FU goal, scored with 17-seconds remaining, put the home team up 5-2.

5-2 bad guys, your final – and where many are pressing the panic button in Rangerstown, USA.

Here’s the head coach after the first three-game losing streak of the season – and where as mentioned earlier – I thought blaming the officials was a bad look – and not very honest at that:

As mentioned on Wednesday night – I am attending my local watering hole’s Rangers vs Capitals watch party on Saturday.

In other words – there’s a chance that I may skip doing a GAME REVIEW afterwards – but I’ll definitely have one for you on Sunday following the rematch.

Depending if I can get it done (I’m half-way through), then I hope to have the tenth annual MID-SEASON REPORT CARD blog posted sometime on this site on Friday afternoon.

Time, and as you know, is always an issue.

So is this losing streak.

Keep the faith.

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!

“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” is now available for sale!

For complete information, please visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/

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

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:

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:

NYR/VAN 1/8 Review: CZAR IGOR and the Defensemen No Bueno in Litmus Test/Wake-Up Call Loss; At Least The Goal a Game 2.0 Line Remains On Fire, J.T. Miller’s “Anti-Ranger Hat Trick;” K’Andre Miller’s Anti-Good Game, Time To Address The Concussion Elephant in The Room; Drury’s Trade Deadline, #30 vs #31, Lavy’s Line Juggling, Othmann, The DAILY DISCLAIMER, M$GN & More

NYR/VAN 1/8 Review: CZAR IGOR and the Defensemen No Bueno in Litmus Test/Wake-Up Call Loss; At Least The Goal a Game 2.0 Line Remains On Fire, J.T. Miller’s “Anti-Ranger Hat Trick;” K’Andre Miller’s Anti-Good Game, Time To Address The Concussion Elephant in The Room; Drury’s Trade Deadline, #30 vs #31, Lavy’s Line Juggling, Othmann, The DAILY DISCLAIMER, M$GN & More

NYR/MTL 1/6 Review: Sam “Dikembe Mutombo” Montembeault Channels Every Canadiens’ Goaltending Legend in Franchise History; Blueshirts Get “GOALIED” in a Wild & Entertaining Loss, Alarming Trends, A “Stolen Point,” Alexis “Julien Gauthier” Lafreniere’s Woes with Finishing Continue; GAG LINE 2.0 Scores Again, The Persona Non Grata Jim Ramsay, Will “Brennan Othmann Who?” Cuylle Shines, Lavy Set To Make NHL History, Rangers’ Alum Brendan Smith Top Talk of the NHL, 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 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.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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2 thoughts on “NYR/STL 1/11 Review: The Honeymoon Period Is Over; Rangers Experience Their First Three-Game Losing Streak of the Season, Negative Trends Won’t End; “Goalied” Excuse No Longer Valid Either, Mika’s Disastrous Diarrhea Leads to Sloppy Special Teams, Blues’ Top Line Eats Rangers Alive Like Mosquitos, Drury Needs To Respond; Shut Down Chytil, M$GN & More

  1. Hey Sean Happy New Year and congrats on the new job. Thanks for another entertaining blog; it’s great to have something to laugh about during this mini losing streak. Always respect your insights and the courage to lay them out there. Your take on Lafreniere is 100% accurate. He can’t finish and it probably cost us some points in the standings. But, that aside he looks like a completely different player, especially in the last few games. There’s times where he’s dominated shifts; creating chances for himself and his line mates. I know most fans feel any success he’s enjoying is because of Trocheck and Panarin but I don’t see it that way, not recently anyway. Do you see this too or am I going senile (which maybe true anyway)? To me, the Laf from training camp and the Laf of today is pretty noticeable, especially his skating. His problem may just be his number. 13? Really?

    1. HNY Butta —

      As always thanks for reading – and even if Ten O’Clock Tommy skims through these blogs! Eff that guy!

      I’m reading this after posting my Mid-Season Report Card – and we have the same observations.

      Pearsalls tomorrow with TOT and the gang – and hopefully the end of this losing streak too!

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