NYR/NJD 11/18 Review: Breadman Bakes The Devils; Vesey Cooks Too, “Oprah” Trocheck (Everyone Gets a Goal!), Gus Bus & Trouba Train Stops in Newark, CZAR IGOR Recovers in Rusty Return; Mika & Kakko Just Crusty, Referee Incompetence, Laviolette, Sam Rosen’s Love Affair With Jack Hughes & More

Artemi Panarin, who has exorcised his ghosts this season following his disappointing performance from the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, was once again the biggest catalyst in another Rangers’ victory on Saturday night. “The Breadman,” who has now surpassed Rod Gilbert’s franchise record for most consecutive games with a point to begin a season (now up to 15 straight games – including numerous multi-pointers during this stretch – and as was the case tonight), scored two goals during his nine shots on goal in the Blueshirts’ stunning 5-3 win. At the risk of sounding like a “Debbie Downer” – we can only hope that we see this version of “HARTEMI” once the real games begin – the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. But hey, we can only live in the now, and at the moment, #10 is definitely living his best life! Conversely, the other half of the alleged Rangers’ 1-2 scoring punch, Mika Zibanejad? Not so much.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Well my friends, those five days off were most certainly worth the wait!

In fact, and this is not an exaggeration either – the Rangers’ 5-3 takedown of the Devils was easily their best win of the season.

While some fans may accuse me of employing hyperbole here; it’s just my opinion that when you can beat two separate teams (the Devils and the Zebras) in the same game, and while on the road to boot – then how else am I supposed to feel right now?

And oh yeah – there’s some recent history with that squad on the other side of the Hudson River too!

Furthermore, it’s a whole lot better to argue and debate over what’s the best win of the season rather than to discuss the alternative – the worst loss of the season!

(I still don’t know what that game against Nashville was, besides the obvious – an anomaly!)

But in any event, and however you may feel, at this time, I must quote Sam Rosen – and not his “OH JOE, JACK HUGHES JOE, I WANT HIM IN MY MOUTH JOE” quote – but rather, “OH BABY!”

In case you missed it, on Thursday night, I posted an off-day blog entitled “Eleven Thoughts About the 11-2-1 First-Place New York Rangers.”

To check it out, click this link: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/111623/

During that blog, I announced a special Black Friday Sale for readers of this website.

I am going to reprint the sale information below, and after that, back to your regularly scheduled GAME REVIEW blog.

Rangers’ legend Walt Tkaczuk with my first book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”

Prior to tonight’s GAME REVIEW, let me get some business out of the way first.

After all, Buffalo Trace Whisky (aka “Blog Fuel”) ain’t cheap!

And neither are my road-trips!

From now, and until December 1st, 2023, I am running a “Black Friday Sale” on this website.

Since I am not tech savvy (it’s still amazing that I’m able to maintain this website, as my computer skills are on par with my photoshop skills!), this offer is exclusive to readers of this website and on an email basis.

Currently, I have ten books on the market (and thankfully, Amazon does all of the hard work for me), but you can only get these prices of my signed books through me.

Here are the deals that I’m offering you:

My first book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden,” can now be had for only $5.

My first four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” can be had for $30.

My second four-volume set of books, a series that I’m truly proud of, “Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” can be had for only $40.

My newest book, my tenth in total, “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,”  can be had for only $20.

(All books come in paperback format.)

To take advantage of these offers, then email me at BULLSMC@aol.com with your shipping address, your order and your preferred method of payment (Paypal, Venmo and Zelle are all accepted).

I will then send you a payment request with the shipping price included.

(And go figure – it sometimes costs me more money to send books to Canada than it does to Europe!)

For more information about all of these titles, then please check out the PLUGS segment which is located at the end of this blog.

Moving on!

While without a shadow of a doubt, the Rangers’ MVP of this season, Artemi Panarin, will garner most headlines tonight; but at the same time, the efforts of a one Jimmy Vesey can not be forgotten about either. Then again, how can anyone forget about his game winning goal scored with just 2:49 remaining in regulation? And just to think – JIMMY (say that in the “Goodfellas” voice) began the season in the press box!

On a night where playoff vibes were in the air, and where the crowd energy in Hockeytown, USA, aka Newark, NJ, was at a fever pitch – the Rangers got some modicum of revenge against the Devils on Saturday night.

While this regular season win, one game of eighty-two, doesn’t forgive the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoff loss – tonight’s victory was a step in the right direction.

Sure, this was only the Rangers’ fifteenth game of the season, and sure, this game counts just as much as any other regular season match played; but let’s face it – you’re lying to yourself if you didn’t think that this game was circled on the Blueshirts’ calendar.

Heck, even prior to the game, CZAR IGOR, when asked about his team’s choke job from May of ’23, brought up how the Devils then lost in the next round.

As they say, “old wounds cut deep.”

While verbal talk is cheap, physical action is not.

Two of the goats from last year’s loss (and where in this instance, the word “goat” refers to the barnyard animal – and not the Greatest of All Time), captain Jacob Trouba and the highest-paid winger in hockey, Artemi Panarin, clearly displayed how much this game meant.

Panarin led all shooters with a season-high nine shots on goal. He also scored the opening goal in the first period and then tied the game during the final frame.

“THE GREAT EIGHT” let his hitting do all of the talking.

Trouba finished the contest with four hits, a low number for him, but it was the impact of these hits that were so telling – including a ferocious, yet clean, hit that knocked the Devils’ Tomas Nosek out of the game in the first period.

As the two letter men of the team led the way, once again, not only did the Rangers have to overcome biased and one-sided officiating (and we’ll get more into that during the GAME REVIEW segment – as apparently, the league does not care about concussions at all), but the role-players stood out too.

As the $8.5M Mika Zibanejad continues to do nothing, and as the second-overall pick Kaapo Kakko continues to do less than DJ MIA – and as has been the case all season – there was the Blueshirts’ fourth-line to help the team.

Jimmy Vesey pumped in two goals, while his linemates, Barclay Goodrow and Tyler Pitlick, created havoc all night.

Better than that?

This trio were rarely in their own end, which then allowed the Rangers’ top six – or at least Panarin’s line – to attack against a worn out red-and-black attack.

I know that many have tried to devalue the almighty plus/minus stat to kingdom come, but once again, this stat, which was originated by a former Rangers’ legend himself, Emile Francis, DID tell the story, as everyone on the Blueshirts’ fourth line finished with a +2 next to their names.

Elsewhere in the line-up, once again, Will Cuylle, where it’s about time that he gets a spin with Zibanejad and Kreider, was all over the place (in a positive manner).

“The Bonino Effect” was also showcased, as the Rangers, who won the battle at the dots tonight, saw Zibanejad and Goodrow, and just like the faceoff visionary, Nick Bonino himself, win draws while using #12’s unorthodox backwards/reverse method.

And then there was the other center of the team, the “new” second line middle man, Vincent Trocheck, who not only was winning draws – but also led the team in assists (3).

At one point, it felt like Trocheck should’ve pulled an Oprah Winfrey and scream, “YOU GET A GOAL, AND YOU GET GET A GOAL, AND YOU GET A GOAL TOO!”

(The above sentence does not apply to Zibanejad and Kakko.)

And these weren’t “fugazi” apples either for #16, as Trocheck assisted on a power-play goal, set-up the tying goal for Panarin after a huge o-zone faceoff victory, and then, for the cherry on top – created the game winning goal too.

And did I mention yet that the Rangers did all of this when playing against two teams, featured a returning-and-rusty CZAR IGOR in net, and were also without their Norris Trophy winning defenseman too?

Following the huge two-points netted in this four-point game in the standings, “Lavy’s Lot” are now 10-0-1 in their last eleven games played, and as a result, comfortably sit atop of the Metropolitan Division.

But (and you had to know that this was coming), I still can’t forget about my season-long daily disclaimer, you know, the following:


Stanley Cups aren’t won in November – but at the same time – it’s fun watching these guys now.

However, while I will always worry about what the team does in the Spring; a new-old friend has resurfaced – the god-awful officials/referees.

Following the events of tonight, the Rangers are now 0-for-785675858557 in video replay reviews this season, and even worse than that – the officials are now allowing open season on head shots.

And really – that’s what concerns me the most.

Perhaps someone should skate at full-force and elbow these incompetent officials in the mouth.

Similar to law enforcement, who have to endure a pepper-spraying in their training to see what it feels like, maybe that’s the only way for these c-suckers in the black-and-white stripes to understand the impact of these dirty hits – where now – the officials have allowed two of these elbows to stand (in back-to-back games no less) – and as suffered by #55, Ryan Lindgren.

There’s a lot to get into tonight, so at this time, the pregame news and notes, followed by the GAME REVIEW.

During the Friday edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE,” the head coach confirmed my suspicions – he didn’t want this five-day break either. After all, and as opined on Thursday night on this site – who wants a timeout when your team is red-hot?

On Friday morning, the Rangers reconvened for practice at their training facility in Tarrytown, NY. The biggest news of the day was the stuff that I said to keep an eye out for on Thursday night – the statuses of Ryan Lindgren and CZAR IGOR.

By 11:00:01AM, we received our answer – both Lindgren and Mr. Shestyorkin were on the ice.

As far as Filip Chytil goes (again, check out Thursday night’s blog for more), he still isn’t skating yet, and where his most recent concussion, and this isn’t being overly dramatic – it’s the truth – could be career-threatening.

Following the practice, the Blueshirts’ bench boss talked to the media:

Since there wasn’t really that much to say with his team having last played during the Harry S. Truman administration, there also wasn’t much to write home about in regards to the 11/17 edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

However, Lavy did confirm that Lindgren would be ready to go against the Devils.

When it came to his Vezina Trophy winning goaltender, Lavy was a bit more hesitant and said that he’d wait until Saturday before making a decision.

For what it’s worth, and to be crystal clear – Lavy only withheld information about his starting goalie due to a health/injury concern.

In other words (and I’m not trying to make a comparison here, I’m just telling you what’s what), Lavy wasn’t deliberately holding back information about his starting goaltender like his predecessor, Gerard Gallant, usually did.

(More times than not, “The Turk” wouldn’t reveal who his goaltender would be. And during the times when he did, he only did so when he was in a good mood, which usually took place following a win.)

Come Saturday morning, GAME DAY, the Rangers didn’t have one of their usual “RISE AND SHINE” morning skates.

That meant that rather than speaking to the media at around noon on Saturday, instead, the head coach then spoke to the media two-hours before game time.

At 5:00PM, Lavy confirmed the welcomed news – CZAR IGOR would be starting in the Rangers’ net.

In other news, the head coach also said that Adam Fox, who isn’t eligible to return until November 29th, is currently skating on his own – music to the ears of every resident in Rangerstown, USA.

Laviolette also said that Chytil is still away from the team, and where yep, you know it – the word “concussion” is not allowed to be uttered.

But the league’s approach (under Gary Bettman) to the “c-word,” concussion, is a topic that I’ve discussed many times before, so I’ll end it here – and I won’t even mention the league’s shadiness in regards to all injury reports, despite, and you know, their 6789567585685685675 gambling commercials per broadcast.

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the fifteenth game of this 2023-24 season:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Wheeler

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Bonino/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick

FIRST PAIR: Miller/Trouba

SECOND PAIR: Lindgren/Gustafsson

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Schneider


BACK-UP: Quick





The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





34 4 30 .882 26 4 0 0 0 57:36 0


33 3 30 .909 28 0 2 0 0 60:00 0

If you can find someone in life that loves you as much as Sam Rosen loves Jack Hughes, then consider yourself blessed.

At 6:30:00PM, I tuned into M$G3, channel #95656785678567857 on my Optimum cable service, where once there, I was disgraced with the smug seven-foot jackass on my television, Sieve Vagistat.

Joining Vagistat for the ride through the tunnel was John Giannone, and where both M$GN on-air personalities looked like they were sitting in some high school’s A/V classroom – and not from a wealthy school district either.

Once it was revealed that Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t there (but he’s back on Monday night, when the Rangers play guest to the Dallas Stars); at 6:30:02PM, I flipped my remote back to the NHL Network.

From 6:30PM through 7PM, all I saw on social media from the Rangers’ beat reporters, outside of pictures of their meals, were non-stop tweets about the grand return of Jack Hughes.

I guess Sam Rosen is contagious.

I mean, you had CZAR IGOR coming back tonight and all you saw was stuff about Hughes.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised!

Come 7PM, I returned to the M$GN, where Rosen excitedly greeted us with, “OH JOE, THE DEVILS JOE! THE BATTLE OF THE POTOMAC JOE!”

(Okay, I’m joking – Rosen did say “The Battle of the Hudson!”)

I don’t know what it was tonight, and this isn’t a joke either – but it sounded like both Joe Micheletti and Sam Rosen were suffering through some sort of new COVID strain.

Both of their voices were shot all broadcast and there were multiple times when they were coughing on-air.

In fact, “Jumpin’ Joe” opened the broadcast by coughing as if he was doing a “Doris From Rego Park” impersonation (I wonder how many people will get that reference?), where if he wasn’t sick, then maybe one of those remaining loose strands of hair, which are desperately clinging onto dear life on his forehead, fell into his mouth and then down his throat.

And yep, and as you’d expect – Rosen had no time for CZAR IGOR’s return – as instead, he couldn’t control his raging erection and just ranted-and-raved about Jack Hughes.

If that wasn’t enough, then Rosen and Micheletti followed up their Ode to Hughes by talking about the injured Timo “Unibrow” Meier and Jesper Bratt too.

The non-stop love affair led me to tweeting the following just one-minute prior to puck drop:

And go figure – the refs would go on to screw the Rangers – both early and often; but sadly, Rosen’s schmekel remained rock-hard all night for #86 in Dirty Jersey.

But to be fair, by now, I’m so used to Rosen’s boyhood admiration for Hughes that I just laugh about it, rather than get frustrated about it.



Perhaps to your surprise – I didn’t make this picture! Instead, @OriginalSixClub on Tweeter did! That said – he just beat me to it, as I had the same idea rolling through my Blueshirts’ brain! But no matter who made another Rangers/WWE reference, the point remains the same – just six-games shy of the quarter-mark of the season, another usual slow start from the $8.5M center will have to be saved during the winter months of the campaign. And while Zibanejad’s history suggests that he’ll overcome another one of his poor beginnings – he has no shown no improvement from his disastrous 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs performance either. Praise the hockey gods for Panarin! Just imagine if Panarin was cold right now? Then again, PERISH THE THOUGHT!


In a game featuring CZAR IGOR in one net, and the Devils’ Vitek Vanecek in another – and just as was the case during Games 1 & 2 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs between these two teams – once again, the Rangers hung another four-spot on Double V (the fifth goal in the 5-3 final was an empty-netter).

However, and unlike the first two games of last season’s first-round seven-game set – it took the Rangers nearly 58-minutes to find goal number four.

As noted earlier, both fan bases came out loud and proud at puck drop and the crowd noise in the building would continue throughout the sixty-minute tilt.

Much like the players – the fans treated this game as if it were a playoff match too.

And for what it’s worth, the crowd make-up tonight was split in half, instead of the normal 90% to 10% ratio (and in favor of the Rangers) that we’ve seen in recent years.

At just the 42-second mark, CZAR IGOR had his first test of the game when he stopped new Devil Tyler Toffoli.

Sam’s response?

“Jack Hughes is on the ice Joe!”

(And I’m not making this up.)

Following a pair of saves for Vanecek, Sam remarked, “Dawson Mercer is hot Joe.”

(And I’m not making this up either.)

While I know that it sounds cliche to say that it took a while for the well-rested Rangers to find their legs, that’s pretty much what happened during the early stages of this first period.

CZAR IGOR continued to make the stops, including a blast from the Devils’ Dougie Hamilton with 16:04 remaining.

A minute later, Braden Schneider broke up a Devils’ two-vs-one odd-man rush, and as he did against Jesper Bratt and Mike McLeod.

As M$GN continued to have audio issues, the crowd was able to drown out some of these technical difficulties.

When the audio levels returned, Sam started talking about the 2014 LA Kings. Why he thought any Ranger fan wanted to hear such talk is beyond me. And outside of the Rangers’ goalie sitting on the bench tonight (Quick) watching Toffoli play, such inane chatter wasn’t relevant either.

Down to 12:38 remaining, and with the Devils dictating the pace, the Rangers received a break when Alex Holtz took a bone-headed o-zone penalty when he tripped Tyler Pitlick who was exiting the zone at the time.

As the two teams made their way to the left circle in the Devils’ end, M$GN got a good shot of Panarin instructing his first power-play unit where to go.

While M$GN didn’t catch such talk, he must’ve said “NO MORE ONE-TIMERS MIKA,” as the cold-as-Arctic-ice Swedish deejay didn’t take one of his patented one-timers to nowhere tonight.

The first 1:10 of this Rangers’ power-play was disjointed, which could’ve been due to the layoff.

Ironically, and with fifty-seconds remaining on this man-advantage, it was Panarin, and not Zibanejad, that went wide on a one-timer from the circle to the right of Vanecek.

But unlike #93, #10 didn’t miss on his second try:

1-0, GOOD GUYS, as “The Breadman” made history with this goal scored with 11:23 remaining!

This goal extended Panarin’s point-streak to fifteen consecutive games, thus surpassing Rod Gilbert’s now former record of fourteen straight games to open a season.

Furthermore, this goal/point attained also matched Wayne Gretzky’s performance from the 1996-97 season, when he had a fifteen-game point streak.

That’s some pretty fine company for Mr. Panarin.

And as I’ve been saying for weeks on this site, and even as recently as last Thursday night – this is the best version of Panarin that we have ever seen. (For the full explanation, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/111623/ )

But alas, the assholes.

You know, these guys:

It’s my opinion that James Dolan’s statement from May of 2021, when he criticized the league and their officials following the Tom Wilson incident, has led to a butterfly effect against the Rangers, as no call, and in no how, will ever go their way.

Following Panarin’s historic tally, the game resumed.

Come 10:35 remaining, what you thought was an innocent save recorded for CZAR IGOR against Sam Rosen’s favorite player:

Not so fast.


I’ve been watching hockey for 41-years, and while I understand that the rules change all of the time – but even I, an accomplished ten-time award winning author (hello Billy W. and Linda H.!), have no clue what’s a good goal anymore.

Furthermore, is this what the NHL wants?

While Bettman’s bozos, and unlike Goodell’s goons, have outlawed the word “concussion” from all league materials – the NHL is now turning into the NFL during big plays.

What I mean by that, is that after every goal scored in the NHL these days, you can’t celebrate them anymore.

You have to wait for the officials to decide.

It’s just like watching an NFL game and waiting to see if a yellow flag is thrown after a play – an occurrence which takes place about 89768767895678965 times per-game.

At this point, who knows what’s a kicking motion anymore, what’s a good deflection, what’s goalie interference and in this case, what are “WHISTLE INTENTIONS?!?!?!”

As we’ve seen plenty of times this season, NHL officials can overturn clear-as-day goals if they had INTENDED to blow their whistle.

And as we saw tonight, the officials can overturn saves if they blow their whistle but didn’t INTEND to as well.

What. The. Father Fink.

(For new readers, I don’t use the f-bomb on this site – and check this site’s archives for why I use “Father Fink” instead!)

Listen, in no way am I, CZAR IGOR’s biggest fan, defending him here.

This was a bad goal allowed – and where I suspect that his rust also played a factor.

So yeah – horrible goal allowed – no questions about it.

However, I do question how these officials, BASED ON THEIR INTENTIONS WITH THEIR MOUTHPIECE, can swing games.

Later on during the broadcast, it was revealed that there is some new rule that gives the officials the right to commit a crime like this.


However, no Ranger fan should accept this – especially since we’ve seen four Blueshirt goals overturned this season following video replay review.

Sticking it up your five-hole even more?

That fiasco from Sunday night, where the league blocked me on Twitter after I accused their officials for gambling afterwards (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/111223/ ) – and when a CRYSTAL CLEAR GOAL SCORED BY CUYLLE WAS OVERTURNED.

If you recall, then you’ll remember that it took the officials OVER TEN MINUTES when reviewing and then reversing Cuylle’s goal.


The officials looked at the tape for approximately two-seconds, put their headsets down and then skated to center ice like a little kid sprinting to a candy store, where once there, they gleefully announced, “GOOD GOAL!”



Freakin’ thieves.


And I have to admit – I was seeing red at this moment – an emotion of unbridled and furious rage that would only get worse as the game continued.

As I try to reset and calm myself down (I’m still pissed about this), it should be mentioned that both the GUS BUS and NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO assisted on Panarin’s milestone goal – an announcement that was read out following this bullshit review.

At the same time, and as Micheletti was praising Trocheck’s assist, the man with the ungodly tuft of hair on his forehead also said that “Chytil was FABULOUS before his injury.”

One, Chytil (zero goals as the team’s second line center) was NOT fabulous prior to his injury.

Two, Chytil wasn’t brought up much during the broadcast, but when he was, the word “INJURY,” and not “CONCUSSION,” was always used.

Why lie to the fans?

Damn right! Photo Credit: Eric S.

Approaching six-minutes remaining, the following:

Once again, there was the TROO TROO TRAIN making another stop, this time at the station known as Tomas Nosek, following another big-time clean hit.

I was absolutely shocked that Trouba wasn’t thrown out of the game after this, only because of the way these inept and callous officials acted tonight.

Right after the hit, we had our first scrum of the game – and where Cuylle was at the center of it, as Kakko, from his permanent residence at the boards, just watched.

Another result of the hit? Nosek never returned – but he still accomplished more than Kakko did tonight.

Ditto Zibanejad.

An idea I had after watching this?

Some of these new NHL All Star Skills competitions are boring, confusing and simply put, unnecessary.

Try this on for size:


At the very least, I know that I would enjoy watching a bunch of NHLers skate at full speed and then hit a tackling dummy!

Seriously, how hard and how fast do you think Trouba (cleanly) hits the opposition?

For his foes, it must feel like they’ve been in a car wreck – and when using the phrase “car wreck” – I’m not talking about the officials tonight.

Since Lindy Ruff employed a 11F/7D line-up, this injury also meant that the Devils were now down to ten forwards for the remainder of the game.

Down to 5:49 remaining, fourth-line winger Jimmy Vesey doubled Kakko’s goal production, and matched Zibanejad’s goals scored too:


The Rangers’ third pair of defenders, Zac Jones and Braden Schneider, continued to improve their chemistry tonight.

On this play, Jones fed Schneider for a slapper, and following the Vanecek save – BOOM – there was Vesey doing his Dennis Rodman act and putting home the rebound.

And if it wasn’t Vesey, then it would’ve been Goodrow, who was also there for the rebound.

Seriously, I can’t say enough good things about the Blueshirts’ fourth line tonight.

Right after the go-ahead goal, John Marino prevented Kreider from scoring an insurance goal.

When Trouba came back on the ice, he started to hear the boos from Devil fans, while Sam astutely pointed out, “Ranger fans are chanting TROOOOOOOOOO too Joe!”

Down to 1:46 remaining, Trocheck absolutely crushed Rosen’s hard-on, Jack Hughes, into the corner boards to the left of CZAR IGOR.

Much has been said about Trocheck’s knack for taking mind-numbing and press-box-bound penalties – but this wasn’t one of them.

After all, this was a hit to keep Hughes in check and by this point in the game, both sides were bringing the hammer.

With 1:10 remaining on the first Rangers’ PK of the game, Kreider almost had a breakaway chance, but the other Hughes, Brother Luke, broke it up.

However, and sadly at that, with 47-seconds left in the period, former Bolt, Ondrej Palat, scored.

2-2, following the Devils’ PPG.

This was another bad goal for CZAR IGOR to allow, as the net-minder, and just like the Hughes goal afforded, had initially made the save, but after making the stop, the puck then trickled behind him.

However, and as opposed to the Hughes goal, this was a clear-as-day good goal for Palat – and a bad goal allowed too.

Come the end of the period, and as Vanecek made one last save on Panarin, Devil fans started trolling #31 in Rangers’ white with a sing-song “EEEEEE-GOOORE” chant, akin to the chant the Blueshirts heard during the first-round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs (against the Penguins).

Tied at two through twenty minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

It wasn’t just the goals tonight, as Vesey, along with his fourth-line brethren, was strong in every facet. Photo Credit: R.C. Kandel/@Rdog52 on Elon Musk’s app.


As I was still trying to come down after the travesty that was the Hughes goal, M$GN actually ran a commercial for the Helen Keller Organization.

They should have sent the referees there.

To open this second stanza, Zibanejad, a new Bonino disciple, won a draw using #12’s innovation to the game.

Forty-seconds in, Kreider and Wheeler had a 2 x 1 odd-man rush but came up short.

Right after that, Braden Schneider, once nicknamed “BABY TROUBS,” had Palat lined-up for an all-out blast-you-to-smithereens hit, but the two-time Cup champion was able to get out the way – and fortunately for him – then only absorbed 25% of it.

Mental Mika, and we’ve seen this before (which is why I won’t rail on him too bad, because I know that he’ll eventually overcome it – but at the same time, he should be donating some of his salary since he’s not earning it), was just horrid.

When he wasn’t getting hit and turning over the puck, then he was trying to hit players, and as he did with nearly 15:00 remaining, when he tried to hit Kevin Bahl – and then fell right onto his hairy hiney afterwards.


With 14:14 remaining, and following a CZAR IGOR blocker save on Bastian the Bastard; the Rangers’ second line had a 3 x 1 odd-man rush, but Lafreniere couldn’t handle Trocheck’s pass. Had he, then #13’s point-streak wouldn’t have been snapped tonight.

While Lafreniere didn’t pick up a goal or an assist tonight, I thought he played well.

Plus, this play, while not going for a score, was another example of Trocheck and the first-overall pick continuing their chemistry – as this was another odd-man rush play between the two – and as we saw three times against Columbus.

Down to 13:10 to go, Jack Hughes, while facing CZAR IGOR on his belly, didn’t find twine. Whew.

Sam almost cried.

A bit over a minute later, THE GUS BUS stopped the other Hughes on a breakaway.



The referees, and as they did on Sunday when CBJ’s Sean Kuraly did the same to the blood-and-guts & heart-and-soul 2023 Steven McDonald winner, CORRECTLY CALLED A FIVE-MINUTE MAJOR.


Not only was the five-minute major erased, but a four-minute penalty for blood drawn was also ignored.



And I don’t want to hear shit about how the league, through their Department of Safety, gives a flying Father Fink about head injuries.

TWICE, AND IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES TO BOOT, Lindgren was a victim of a head shot.



Then again, this is a league that believes that concussions aren’t real – and as Filip Chyil is about one hit away from becoming a drooling vegetable.

I’m not lying:

I was debating about turning off this game – because as a rational person, and one who doesn’t get too riled up in the regular season – I just wanted to blast one of these referees in the mouth with all of the force of a TROO TROO TRAIN hit.


Does Lindgren need to be decapitated to get a call?

Or would the officials prefer him not knowing his own name?


Out of the bullshit video review, Trocheck then leveled Holtz with a clean hit.

I’m surprised that the officials didn’t toss him from the game.

However, they did blow a whistle – and as the Rangers were attacking.

I just hope that some of those notorious Newark muggers car-jacked the officials’ vehicles tonight.

I’ll be honest – I was seeing “Kill Bill” red and hearing “Ironside” in my head for the rest of this period:

Making matters worse?

With five-minutes remaining, AND ON THIS RANGERS’ BROADCAST, Sam highlighted Jesper Bratt as his KIA CARD PLAYER OF THE GAME.

Kenny Albert can’t take over soon enough.

Down to 3:44 left on the clock, CZAR IGOR made a swooping glove save on Hamilton while Vanecek stopped a Miller-to-Cuylle try.

A minute later, and following a brutal turnover from the man with too much black hair on his head, ZIBANEDAD; CZAR IGOR made a heck of a stop on a Hughes’ one-on-one opportunity.

As we hit 2:05 left on the clock, Mercer blatantly tripped Panarin – AND HOLY SHIT BATMAN – the officials actually called it!

The Rangers wouldn’t score on this power-play – and here’s a thought – I’d never take Panarin off of the power-play.

He’s just too hot to cool down.

I rather see Panarin out there for two minutes instead of ever seeing one second of Kakko out there.

And since we already know that Lavy will double-shift Panarin whenever tied or chasing a goal (and as the head coach did tonight during the third period), then why not?

And oh – Panarin logged 22:24 on the ice tonight.

Only K’ANDRE THE GIANT logged more minutes than HARTEMI (23:03).

Come March?

M-V-P chants at M$G for #10 in Broadway Blue!

2-2 after 2.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Following a subpar twenty-minutes, “SUPER SHESTY” returned. Again, I blame the rust-and-rest more than anything else for his first two goals allowed.


As the final frame began, and as you were wondering if Mika and Kakko would ever take off their ghost costumes from Halloween – you also cringed as you knew the officials were about to pull some more bullshit.

Just 51-seconds in?

The officials ignored a Bahl holding call on Trocheck.

A few seconds later?

Noted sniper, Erik Haula, scored, following a top-shelf backhander from the low slot.

And what does it say when Haula has been more productive than Zibanejad during these recent games played between these two warring teams?

3-2, bad guys – and not a bad goal allowed by CZAR IGOR either.

After all, it’s tough to stop backhanders as is (toughest shot for a goalie to stop) – and it’s even harder to stop it when the shooter is left all alone from three feet away.

But for CZAR IGOR?

That was it for the night. NYET NYET on a Devils’ fourth goal.

No less than a minute later, #31 stopped Toffoli from eighteen inches away, thus keeping the one-goal deficit in-tact.

Up next, a concert at “The Rock,” as for whatever reason, Devil fans started singing songs from M$GN resident, Billy Joel’s catalogue (“Piano Man”), where after that, they then went back to the sing-song “EEEEE-GORRRRE” chants.

Here’s what I said in real-time:

I got half of this right – as Panarin was soon double-shifted – but for Wheeler – and not for DJ No Goals.

With 13:28 remaining, the Devils were boxed for too many men on the ice, which was pretty funny, since they had ten men on the ice all game (the four officials and goalie included).

Mika was once again terrible here. Panarin wasn’t double-shifted yet either. Cuylle, who makes Kakko look like a scrub with each game played, had two chances, but didn’t get all of the puck on his two attempted slappers.

Following the Devils’ kill, CZAR IGOR then made a breakaway save on Bratt – and then stopped the rebound too.

I’ll toss out this game due to this being CZAR IGOR’s first game in a while, but yeah, it’s true:

This was another game where CZAR IGOR made a bunch of robbery “HOW DID HE DO THAT?” saves – but also gave up “HOW DID HE ALLOW THAT?” goals too.

And yep – that’s why his shutout totals are so low.

There’s always one brain-fart, whether passed thru his own anus or by his teammates, that prevents him from racking up the no-nos.

Now down to 8:59 remaining, the Devils iced the puck following a Trocheck-to-Lafreniere stuff-in try.

Enter our superhero in the flesh, you know, this guy:

I’ve been making these horrible photoshops for ten-years now – and yet – my skills have never improved. Perhaps it’s better that way!

Three-seconds following the o-zone draw, and as won by Trocheck, Panarin:

3-3 – and following a goal that only HARTEMI could score!

And while this was a huge individual effort from Panarin – give Trocheck credit too – as without this faceoff win – this tying goal never happens.

Following the equalizer, it was now time for Ranger fans to match the energy as displayed by Devil fans.

The Blueshirts heard their backers.

As Panarin was double-shifted and as Zibanejad looked as lost as yours truly at a gym; JIMMY TIME:

Vesey’s goal, his third of the season, tripled the amount of goals that Kakko has to his name. #26 now also has one more goal to his ledger than the player being paid ten-times as much as him, #93.

As noted earlier – this goal doesn’t happen without Trocheck.

Prior to this game-winning goal, the Devils had an all-out attack and where their pressure was akin to my blood pressure after watching these referees.

At the time, Trocheck was hellbent on keeping this game tied, as he was chasing the rubber, blocking the puck and trying to hit anything that moved.

His hard work was rewarded and he soon ended this perilous Devils’ threat.

Now with the puck, and unable to change since he had nothing but open ice in front of him; Trocheck blazed his way towards V-squared, made a drop-pass to the 2016 Hobey Baker winner – and BOOM – Vesey, following a backhanded spinorama – scored the game winning goal with only 2:49 remaining.


Of note?

It was also at this time when my downstairs neighbor started pounding his ceiling/my floor – as my shrieks and celebration, akin to Sam Rosen whenever he sees Jack Hughes – was like a drunken reveler at a New Years’ Eve party.

So yeah – so much for this being “only” a regular season game!

Come the two-minute warning, Vitek Vanecek, and like a Chris Hansen “victim,” took a seat.

With the Devils’ net empty, and with 1:33 remaining, Blake Wheel (chair) sealed the deal with a DOWNTOWN JULIE BROWN ENG.


For whatever reason, Sam and Joe tried to downplay this goal for being of the empty net variety, but I don’t get it.

After all, give me the ENG any day of the week, twice on Sundays, rather than the alternative.

I mean, what did Sam and Joe want here?

A complete sweat until triple-zeroes?

ENGs are always important – and especially if you bet the puck line. (I may have done that tonight. Hello $100!)

Ruff took a timeout following the goal, and once returned to play, pulled his goalie again.

The only thing that sucked here was individual-related.

Down to 65-seconds remaining – Panarin hit the post.

A centimeter to the left?

A hat trick for #10.

5-3, GOOD GUYS, your final – AND ANOTHER RESOUNDING AND RESILIENT WIN – and where once again, the Blueshirts overcame two forces against them – their opponents and the referees.

Here’s a happy Laviolette who is much better at self-restraint (when it comes to assessing the incompetent officials) than me:

I think we know what grade Panarin will receive from me when I do my annual Quarter-Pole Report Card Blog this season!

While I will admit it – I’m waiting for the bottom to fall out a bit (I know the history and I’ve been through this many times before with this team!) – I couldn’t be any more proud about these 2023-24 Blueshirts.

But yeah – they are going to need a top-six right-winger soon – but G.M. Chris Drury has until March to figure that out.

Another gutsy win for these never-say-die Rangers.

Up next, a pair of gut-check games in Dallas (Monday) and Pittsburgh (Wednesday).

And so much for this squad’s Thanksgiving too – as a 1:00PM Black Friday game in Filthadelphia awaits.

Blog note: A GAME REVIEW on Friday’s game against the Flyers will be short – if I write it at all – as I’m attending my local bar’s watch party.

How can I miss it?

After all, they just installed a Labatt Blue tap just for me!

Get me to the playoffs!

See ya Monday night!

PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)

My fourth title and tenth book is now available for preorder!

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

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

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:

Eleven Thoughts About the 11-2-1 First-Place New York Rangers & Their Roster, Black Friday Book Sale, Trouba Stalker Exposed, Patrick Kane Rumors Nearing End (But Not Ruled Out Yet); Let the Vladimir Tarasenko Rumors Begin, Artemi Scissorhands Needs To Share His Clippers, Mike Richter For Hall of Fame & More

NYR/CBJ 11/12 Review: Rangers Overcome A Referee’s Fix; Knock Elvis Out of The Building on a Jam-Packed News Day Too, “Bread Line III” Stars on Broadway (Again), NHL Investigates Players for Gambling But Won’t Look Into Their Own Officials Despite Visual Evidence, Lundqvist Plays Again; Hank’s HOF Induction, Kris Knoblauch Leaves Pack for an Oil Spill, Sam Rosen’s Best Game Yet, Kane For Kakko, Time to Fine Mika, Lavy’s Lot & More

NYR/MIN 11/9 Review: King Louie, Louie The 70th Shines in M$G Return! Panarin Extends Epic Point Streak; Reggie Miller (3-Point) Games for the Third “Bread Line” in Franchise History, Goodrow Ready for Sat’s UFC at the World’s Most Expensive Arena, Cuylle Hand Luke & Gus Bus Motor, Sad Side Effect of Celiac Disease (No Points or SOG), Lundqvist HOF Ceremony, M$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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4 thoughts on “NYR/NJD 11/18 Review: Breadman Bakes The Devils; Vesey Cooks Too, “Oprah” Trocheck (Everyone Gets a Goal!), Gus Bus & Trouba Train Stops in Newark, CZAR IGOR Recovers in Rusty Return; Mika & Kakko Just Crusty, Referee Incompetence, Laviolette, Sam Rosen’s Love Affair With Jack Hughes & More

  1. Rangers were actually the faster team. Once I see the officials huddle, I just prepare myself for the worst. Zac Jones is making good decisions with the puck. I remember Doris but with everything else that’s out there do New Yorkers still listen to that station?

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