NYR/SJS 11/19 (NSFW) Review: Rangers Eke Out Victory Over Struggling Sharks (But At Least They Won); Gauthier & CZAR IGOR Prevent Full-Blown Panic; The Odd Math of 12 >74+75, Panarin = Not a NRA Member; Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Kaapo Kakko, M$G Hearts EK65, Gallant, What’s Next & More

Following the Rangers’ 2-1 victory over the lowly Sharks on late Saturday night/early Sunday morning; McKayla Maroney’s viral facial reaction from the 2012 Olympics immediately popped into my mind. Yes, sometimes you need to win ugly, and not every game is a Picasso either – but this game wasn’t that. I don’t know what you’d call this game, but I do know that I’m glad that it’s over with!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. At least they won. However, how long will this latest “winning streak” last?

On Saturday night, live from “The Shark Tank,” the Rangers escaped San Jose by narrowly edging the second-worst team of the Pacific Division, and the third-worst team of the Western Conference, by a margin of one-goal.

The Rangers almost blew it with four seconds remaining in regulation – but we’ll get there soon enough.

Since this win was as impressive as walking and chewing gum at the same time; let’s start off this manifesto with two quick plugs, and then get into everything else, including tonight’s not-safe-for-work GAME REVIEW.

On Friday night, I joined a fellow Rangers’ historian, George Grimm, on his “Retro Rangers” podcast.

Grimm is the author of the very successful “We Did Everything But Win” book, a title which covers every aspect and moment of the Emile Francis era of Rangers.

Grimm had me on to promote my new four-volume book set, “Tricks of the Trade.”

Aside from talking about books, we also talked about the Rangers of today, Blueshirts’ history, our friendship with Stan Fischler and more.

To listen to the podcast/my interview, click the play button below:

Speaking of “The Maven,” my latest work for Fischler’s space in “The Hockey News” was posted on Friday afternoon.

You can check it out here: https://thehockeynews.com/news/bluelines-challenging-year-for-the-washington-capitals

Let’s now talk Ranger hockey.

Glass half-full? At least I don’t have to update this picture tonight, a horrendous photoshop that I first made on October 20th, when the then 0-5 Sharks beat the Rangers by a final score of 3-2 – for their first win of the season. Ugh.

As we all know – winning can gloss over a lot of things.

And since this was a late night game (it didn’t end until 1:20AM EST or so) – I am to assume that many Ranger fans skipped this contest – especially with an NFL slate less than twelve hours away.

If you were one of these fans – then you probably made the right call.

But you made a better call by reading tonight’s blog. I promise to color-up this game for you!

Yes, I’ve been brimming with optimism and positivity ever since the new regime took over – but like a prostitute servicing a John with a wallet akin to Artemi Panarin’s and his $11.6M contract – I can’t fake it tonight.

Before bullet-pointing all of my frustrations with you; let me say the following as a general/blanket statement, just so I can combat the contrary opinions that may be sent my way:

Yes, maybe David Quinn, former head coach of the Rangers, knows his old team and how to coach against them.

After all (and I said this exactly one month ago, back on October 20th, and the the proof is here: http://bluecollarblueshirts.com/102022/ ) – I thought that DQ drew up a league-wide game-plan in order to “blue-ball” the Blueshirts.

While that was both a prediction and a concern of mine at the time; in the thirty days since that M$G loss to DQ’s Sharks – the Rangers have snowballed and struggled.

Prior to their disgusting loss to the Sharks, the Rangers were red-hot and were posting touchdowns on the scoreboard – and seemingly at will.

After that loss, it’s been a non-stop malaise, sans what’s now an aberration, the 8-2 win over the Red Wings.

In other words, if you want to use the former coach knows his former team excuse – I get it. However, that doesn’t explain the following:

— For the third game in a row, Artemi Panarin didn’t register a shot on goal. You don’t have to worry about him joining the NRA anytime soon. He hates shooting.

Seriously, it’s now at the point where I don’t get why the opposing penalty kill even bothers to cover him.

Time-and-time again, #10 simply avoids making eye contact with the other goalies around the league, as if the net-minder was a stereotypical bitch ex-wife, hitting him up for 50% of his salary via alimony.

And based on his wild-and-crazy passes to nowhere – I do wonder if he avoids making eye contact with his teammates too.

— We can further explore this point whenever I do my “Quarter-Pole Progress Report Card” blog; but after nineteen games played each, both Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere are sitting on seven points a piece.

Needless to say – that’s piss-poor production from the pair of high-end lottery picks.

And why, oh why, does this only happen to the Rangers? Elsewhere around the league, you see top-five picks instantly find success.

Going into the season, these two (along with Kravtsov and Chytil), were tasked to pick up their games and replace the scoring production of the recently departed, players such as Frank Vatrano and Andrew Copp.

Tonight, Lafreniere put one meaningless and innocent shot on goal. Kaapo Kakko, and just like Vincent Trocheck, now has a bad case of the virus that plagued the league last season – “Gauthieritis.”

— I know I say this all the time about the lesser-paid players on the team, but this point remains true – when Julien Gauthier is your best forward in the game – while that’s great for him – that’s not great for everyone else.

— You know that I don’t do “ANALytics” and “expected this, expected that, stats” on this site – but from my EYE-TEST perspective – the Rangers very easily could’ve posted double-digits on the scoreboard tonight, as they once did to the team that the Sharks are paying tribute to this season, via their “reverse retro” jerseys, the California Seals. (The Rangers, in their biggest margin of victory in franchise history, once defeated the expansion club by a final score of 12-1.)

Between hitting irons and turning another mediocre goalie into the second-coming of Terry Sawchuk – the Rangers couldn’t score at all.

For nearly 55 minutes (and let’s face it – Gauthier’s goal was of the “puck luck” variety too) – this team couldn’t score in a whorehouse with fistfuls of $100 bills in their hands. (That’s now two prostitution references – and I blame that on watching “Pretty Woman” over the weekend, while channel surfing!)

— While I’ll explain all of this in-detail during the GAME REVIEW – the Rangers, as they always do with a lead (especially a late lead) – tried to give this game away.

Whether it was Kreider refusing to shoot at a Sharks’ empty net or playing “laissez faire” defense with twenty seconds to go (thus ruining CZAR IGOR’s shutout) – the Rangers almost allowed the Sharks to tie this game with just four seconds on the clock.

And really, had the Sharks tied the game – would you have been surprised?

Your answer to that question, and should you be honest with yourself – tells you all that you need to know about the state of this team.

I understood what Goodrow meant by his post-game comments, but when you really examine them – it tells you all about the Rangers’ current state of fragility. Photo Credit: Padma R.

Here’s one of my biggest takeaways before wrapping-up this intro:

Following the win, you had Sieve Vagistat, Larry Brooks, Barclay Goodrow and many others, all talking about this win as if the Rangers were like the Canadians knocking off the Russians during the 1972 Summit Series.

(Or for those who want an American reference – “The Miracle on Ice” team beating the Russians during the 1980 Olympics.)

Both Vagistat and Goodrow used the phrase “MUST WIN.”

That tells you all that you need to know.

Nineteen games in, and the Rangers (at least according to one of their players – an alternate captain at that), were in “MUST WIN” territory – where need I remind you – their opponent has their eyes set on winning the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery.

What should’ve been a blowout and a “feel-good” game was anything but that.

And you can’t even say that the Rangers “stole” this game. In fact, we saw the complete opposite.

The Rangers tried every which way to lose this game, but CZAR IGOR’s late heroics prevented them from achieving that “goal.”

I go back to what I’ve been saying during the last two weeks – “Whoop-de-doo, they won. Can they win two games in a row?”

And yep – it’s bad when even I am this jaded – as I’ve been rah-rah about this new regime from day one.

Should the Rangers beat the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night – a loss to the worst team in the league, the Anaheim Ducks, who the Blueshirts will finish their season-series with on Wednesday night – such a loss will erase tonight’s win and the potential victory on Tuesday.

However, before getting into all of that; let’s first talk about the Rangers’ Saturday afternoon and tonight’s game.

I remain loyal, win-or-lose!

The Rangers, following another game where they pissed away another point in the standings (which they did on Thursday night), took off on Friday.

On Saturday, about nine hours prior to puck-drop, the team held a morning skate at “The Shark Tank” in San Jose.

Not much of note took place at the practice – outside of the expected.

While I wouldn’t really call this “big news” – Zac Jones, rather than Libor Hajek, skated on the Rangers’ third pair.

Again – I (along with many of you), predicted this would be the case following the loss to the Kraken.

And after tonight – I expect to see Hajek back on Tuesday.

(I also expect to see Igor back in net on Tuesday – and then cross your fingers and pray to the hockey gods that Halak picks up his first win of the season against the ugly ducklings in Anaheim on Wednesday.)

In news that got play from the delusional fans who think that Vitali Kravtsov is the second coming of Pavel Bure (instead, someone should slap a “FRAGILE” shipping label on the back of his jersey) – the crybaby Russian, now “healthy” (at least for him), remains out of the line-up.

Those damn cavities can be career-killers!

Only Kravtsov could turn a cavity into a serious issue, as if it were a double ACL tear.

It’s at the point where I’m expecting “Law and Order SVU” to do a “ripped-from-the-headlines” episode on him.

To give you all of the facts, and not just my “get this guy off of my team” opinions; the Hall of Famer, Larry Brooks, while using Twitter, expressed his bewilderment over the Kravtsov scratch.

Simply stated – Brooks thought that Kravtsov should’ve returned to Gallant’s line-up tonight.

However, I go back to what I said a few nights back – you can tell that “The Turk” is over #74, especially when the head coach was trying not to laugh about Kravtsov, when talking about the crybaby needing time off to sit in a dentist’s chair.

And if you’re not aware – then do your own research about what type of player Gallant was – and then you’ll understand my point – and perhaps Gallant’s point-of-view too.

Following the light skate, Gerard Gallant briefly chatted with the media:

Gallant, who has put his lines through a proverbial blender a lot during the past two weeks, talked about his decision to go with patience over panic, when he said:

“I’ll give these lines a chance to do it (one more time). We weren’t overly happy with the last game, but let the kids (and everyone else) bounce back and see how they do tonight.”

Following this game – while his team won – I wouldn’t call this a “bounce-back” victory either.

The Turk, while saying that Jones would be playing tonight, didn’t really explain the decision to scratch Hajek.

Then again, I don’t think an explanation was needed either.

Here was Saturday night’s line up:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Vesey

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Goodrow

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Blais/Carpenter/Gauthier

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Schneider




The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





42 1 41 .976 36 5 0 0 0 58:36 0


23 1 22 .957 18 3 1 0 0 59:38 0

One of my own “EXPECTED STATS” rang true on Saturday night – Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t in studio, and where I don’t expect to see him on Tuesday and Wednesday either, due to Thanksgiving and the two late EST starts.

Come 10PM, and while watching the Islanders/Stars game at the time, I turned on the M$GN. Once I saw that Sieve Vagistat was there by himself, that was it for me. I can’t do it anymore. He’s that freakin’ bad.

I then watched the Stars beat the Isles 5-2 – a more satisfying way to spend my half-hour rather than listening to the seven-foot jackass go on-and-on about nothing.

To be fair – even if Lundqvist was there – there’s not much that really could be said.

Simply stated – a loss to the Sharks would’ve been an embarrassment – where following tonight’s win, I still don’t think that the Rangers have anything to be proud of.

To put it bluntly? I see the upper-echelon teams of the league, such as the Bruins, Devils, Knights, etc; all blow-out the NHL cellar-dwellers on a consistent basis. You don’t see that from the Rangers.

And oh yeah, this too – if Elon Musk, after buying Twitter, is looking to acquire any new properties, then let it be the M$GN, where once purchasing the network – I hope he cuts the ANALytic ANALyst workforce!

Once 10:30PM hit, I found my remote and then pressed the “EAST-WEST” return channel button.

Sam and Joe, who were definitely paid off by someone tonight (more on this in a bit), opened up the broadcast by talking about “HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER” month.

As mentioned last blog, these are tough times for Joe Micheletti and his family. The fact that he’s even there tells you a lot about his dedication to his job and the team.

Again, the best of luck to him and his brother, Don.

GAME REVIEW time, where since it’s now 3:00AM as I write these words – will be shorter than usual.

If you judge Kakko’s off-ice success with the ladies based on his scoring abilities tonight, then you’d be under the impression that the Finn is a virgin. Photo Credit: Unknown


As Sam and Joe previewed the goalie match-up, CZAR IGOR vs James “Roy” Reimer; the M$GN missed the opening faceoff – one that Mika lost – a trend that continued all game.

And to give you a spoiler, and as the TEAM STATS would suggest – the Rangers didn’t fare well at the dot tonight. Only Trocheck finished with a winning face-off percentage (58.8%).

Funny enough (and SPOILER ALERT – should you not know what happened already); in what essentially was the game winning goal (officially, it wasn’t, due to the Rangers’ collapse with under twenty seconds remaining – but it was the only even-strength goal of the contest), Carpenter, two of nine at the circles tonight, won an o-zone faceoff, which then set up Gauthier’s go-ahead goal.

Isn’t that amazing Suzyn?

Artemi Panarin, where you have to wonder if the word “Breadman” translates into “Turnover Machine” in Russian; made his first of what felt like 7896786967896986 turnovers just one minute into the contest. A few seconds later – CZAR IGOR made his first of twenty-two saves – where yep – it feels like the word “shutout” is a trigger word for the 2022 Vezina winner.

I don’t have the stats in front of me, but amongst all NHL goalies from the past two seasons – I can’t think of any other goalie that has more one-goal allowed games than #31. (And that’s not a knock – it’s just a fact – where just like tonight – more times than not, these broken shutouts are the end-result of shit-show defense.)

At just the 2:48 mark, Gauthier drew Lorentz for tripping. This was the third penalty that #12 has drawn in two games.

At the end of last season, the off-season, the preseason, the start of this season, and even now today, I never thought I’d write these following words:

“Gauthier gives the Rangers a better chance to win than two other right-wingers on this team, two healthy scratches tonight, the players who wear the consecutive numbers of #74 and #75, Vitali Kravtsov and Ryan Reaves.”

By now, you should know that I’m a fan of Reaves.

Conversely, I’d give Kravtsov an all-expenses paid trip back to Russia. (I just want to be open and honest with you.)

However you personally feel about Reaves and Kravtsov shouldn’t cloud your mind about the obvious – it’s #12 who is not only currently better than that duo – but who has now earned his spot on the team.

Yes, we all know about Gauthier’s horrendous shooting percentage and his inability to finish opposing goalies – but what can’t be lost is that he continues to draw penalties.

It’s late, so I’ll look this up for the “progress report” blog; but off the top of my head – I’d imagine that Gauthier draws more penalties per-minute played than any other Ranger.

Reaves is an enforcer, but he’s also slowing down, as he approaches his 36th birthday.

Kravtsov is many things – a crybaby, a quitter, fragile, etc, but one thing that he’s not? An NHL player.

In a way – I wish that Gauthier didn’t score tonight. I wish someone else scored instead – just because the following all comes off like 20/20 hindsight and high praise, solely because #12 scored.

However, Twitter time-stamps don’t lie. I basically said all of the above, in short-hand, following Gauthier drawing this penalty:

The Rangers’ power-play, 0-3 tonight, exclusively featured Zibanejad during these two minutes.

Mika, who finished with a team-high eight shots on goal tonight, had three here – all saves for Turk Reimer Broda.

The Sharks’ PK, pretty good in their own right, knew that it was going to be the Mika Show and did their best to stop him. They also knew that Panarin is like a deer in the headlights whenever the puck hits his stick these days.

Five minutes in and with the teams returned to full-strength; Erik Karlsson broke up a Rangers’ tap-in play.

Let me say this and purge it all from my system now – it’s amazing that Sam and Joe were able to speak distinctly tonight, considering that they had a Swedish 65 inch sausage in their mouth all game, whenever talking about Karlsson – and frequently at that.

I don’t know if Karlsson’s agent, or Sharks’ general manager (former NYR employee), Mike Grier, paid them off or what – but this broadcast soon turned into a never-ending love tribute for EK65.

Put it this way – Micheletti dusted off his old Lundqvist Swedish pom-poms tonight and replaced them with Karlsson:

I want to be nice to Joe, but the outpouring of love for Karlsson all game was sickening.

I know I’m wasting too much time on this (especially since it’s now 3:30AM as I write this); but if you take away anything from my comments on the M$GN tonight, it’s these words:

This broadcast felt like a press junket for Karlsson – where Sam & Joe were pleading for a playoff team to take Karlsson’s contract (worst in the league) off of the Sharks’ books.

Do you know how bad it was? (HOW BAD WAS IT?)

There were more mentions of Karlsson on this broadcast than there were gambling commercials! Perish the thought! How will JB Smoove and Henrik Lundqvist provide an income to their families?

At one point, I thought that Sam & Joe were going to read off Karlsson’s social security number, his blood-type and if he’s a boxers or briefs type of a guy.

And based on what we heard tonight – I’m sure Sam & Joe have all of that info for you, should you ever ask them.

Moving on.

With 11:45 to go, and with a vacated net in front of him (albeit, from a bad angle); once again, Kakko couldn’t lift a puck and put it into the net. That’s now three consecutive games (six overall), where he had a wide-open look, but refused to lift the puck.

As Igor pretty much had a relaxing period; the Rangers continued to pepper Mike Reimer Richter, but once again, and you know the story – the Rangers are a goalie’s wet dream.

All over the league, you see scores of 4-2, 5-3, 6-4; but once again, it were the Rangers who continue to play these 1-0 and 2-1 games.

Again, a $50M PP1 unit (0-3 tonight) doesn’t get you what it used to get you these days.

Down to nearly ten minutes to go; Marty Reimer Brodeur made a pair of tough saves on Fox and Vesey.

Following a commercial break, the Sharks honored Barclay Goodrow, as #21 (#23 as a Shark) – as the Game 7 hero of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs hadn’t returned to San Jose since being traded to Tampa.

Leave it to the M$GN. They ignore all of the recent Ranger returns and then orgasmed on-air about Goodrow’s return to the Bay.

I really gotta speed this up. (It’s now 3:42 AM – and I do want to be awake for the Giants’ game!)

Following more saves for both goalies, with a few robberies in-between; as we approached seven minutes remaining – Kakko missed an empty net, and then once getting the puck right back – missed again.

I’ll tell you one thing – if I ever need a partner to play a doubles game of horseshoes with – then Kakko is my guy.

And if Finland ever wants to help the Ukrainian armed forces in their war with Russia – then they’d send Kakko to the battlefield and have him toss hand grenades.

However, while it’s good to be “close enough” in horseshoes and hand grenades – that doesn’t work in the NHL.

Trocheck, who like Kakko, could also be a good horseshoe player and an asset for Ukraine; was then robbed by Jacques Reimer Plante during a Rangers’ 3 x 2 odd-man rush.

During a long Rangers’ second line attack with 4:00 remaining, Panarin refused to shoot the puck, as if he was protesting the art of shooting.

Down to 17.6 seconds left on the clock, Carpenter boarded Nico Strum.

For a lack of a better word, this was “funny,” as Gallant thought no call should’ve been made (Strum turned at the last nanosecond), while DQ wanted a five-minute major.

Unlike Goodrow’s performance during that 2019 first-round Game 7 win over Gallant’s old team, the Golden Knights – the Sharks didn’t get a five-minute power-play this time. (One of the worst penalty calls in all of modern hockey history – and which then led to the replay review that we now know today.)

Instead, the Sharks received the traditional two-minute power-play.

Nil-Nil after twenty minutes. Here’s what I said at the time:

I wouldn’t say that CZAR IGOR stole this game (Glenn Reimer Hall was a better thief on this night), but he kept the Rangers, and their inability to score goals offense, alive.


Now on the PK (1:43 worth of time); Mika and Kreider went on a two-vs-one shorthanded rush. Kreider put too much juice on a pass. A better pass? Then the PK unit would’ve picked up another SHG this season.

As Igor made three saves during this kill; once returned to even-strength – Kakko was stopped – again. At least he put the puck on net this time.

To go back to my earlier thoughts on Gauthier, and to prove to you that I am not just saying this because he scored; I said the following at the five-minute mark:

Eight seconds later, and now in the Rangers’ zone – Zac Jones, who must’ve not noticed that Igor had lost his stick, pushed a puck towards his goalie, in an attempt to freeze the puck.

As a result – Jones almost scored his second goal of the season – but thankfully – Igor made this save.

Had the unfortunate happened? Hello Hajek on Tuesday – where even after tonight – that may be the case anyway.

With 14:44 to go, Timo Meier held Fox.

Now back on the power-play – the Rangers did everything but score here.

Here’s how these two minutes went:

— Just seven seconds in, a Mika one-timer was saved.

— Trocheck, while wide-open, forced a pass to Panarin instead, and you know what #10 does these days with the puck.

— Another Mika one-timer was denied.

— Fox hit a post.

— Panarin, on a rare shooting attempt (his only one of the game) hit the crossbar.

— Mika was stopped again.

At the end of this, we had three saves for Gump Reimer Worsley and two <dings>.

Most importantly? We didn’t have a goal.

As the Rangers’ offense continued to be snake-bitten, or should I say “shark-bitten;” Igor stopped Karlsson for the second time – where instead of praising the save – Sam & Joe pulled down their pants, got out some lube, and maybe I should stop here as I think you get my point – they raved about Karlsson – again.

(And damn pals and gals – has this blog been “dirty” and “adult” tonight. Blame the 10:30PM start time, my alcohol intake, this crappy game and my sleep deprivation! If only I was celebrity who took ambien – then I could blame that too!)

As DQ continued to “blueball” the Blueshirts; Megna broke up a Kreider breakaway chance with 6:35 to go.

Down to under five minutes remaining, M$GN caught a woman, who was wearing a Rangers’ jersey, half-asleep on presumably her boyfriend or spouse’s arm.

And I wouldn’t even say she was intoxicated – she was just bored and fed-up with what she was watching.

As we hit 4:18 left on the clock, Bonino held Kakko.

This power-play was okay, but nowhere as good as the one that preceded it.

Kreider hit the side of the net, Henrik Reimer Lundqvist stopped another Kreider try, Panarin continued his “I DON’T WANT TO GET COOTIES BY SHOOTING THE PUCK” act, Trocheck whiffed so hard on a puck that I felt that breeze 3,000 miles away in my Long Island home and that was that.

Kakko, who must’ve thought that he was auditioning for a Netflix stand-up comedy special; for good measure, and with under two minutes remaining, went on a two-vs-one odd-man rush, with Chytil by his side.

Now all alone with no one but Johnny Reimer Bower in front of him – Kakko aimed for the Shark logo on the goalie’s jersey. You can’t make this up.

We remained without a goal after two periods. Here’s what I said at the time:

Had the Rangers lost this game – I don’t know if I’d be panicked. I think I’m over that word. Instead, I’m just resigned to the fact that this team may not be very good – even if they showed hustle tonight. But what does it say when you barely beat a league bottom-feeder? One game in a vacuum – sure, that’s great and acceptable. Nineteen games of this – it’s an indication of what this team is – fighting for playoff spot – rather than having one locked up.


The Rangers put eight shots on goal within a time-span of 4:30. Every shot was saved by Chuck Reimer Rayner.

As I try to get to the end here; with 12:55 to go in this scoreless game – and stop me if you’ve heard these words before – Trocheck hit iron – again.

I am not making this up. This was the tenth Rangers’ <ding> since scoring their last even-strength goal.

Fortunately, that streak didn’t get reach eleven.

Come the TV timeout, we went to Vagistat, who was just perplexed that his made-up numbers on his arts & crafts charts weren’t translating on the ice.

Down to 11:00 remaining, Georges Reimer Vezina was up to 35 saves.

As we approached 8:19 left in regulation – CZAR IGOR stopped his first shot faced of the period – a save any goalie would’ve made – except for Vagistat himself.

Now with 7:00 left on the clock – the third line had a long shift in the zone – but whether they were scared of Dave Reimer Kerr or what – refused to shoot the puck.

Following this shift, Schneider had two shots denied by Dominik Reimer Hasek, including a blast from the slot.

As you were just waiting for some fluke Shark goal to be scored (and I would’ve swore that Karlsson would be the one to do it – especially with Sam and Joe fawning and fainting over him all game); instead, with just 6:03 on the clock, and with the Sharks seemingly playing for an overtime point, while the Rangers, and to their credit, were looking for two, this happened:

1-0, GOOD GUYS – and in what should’ve been the game winning goal too.

In what’s only funny to me – you’re probably aware of my “daily lottery bet,” you know, my 4-0 final score bet.

Do you know what else I’ve been putting five dollars on lately? A Trouba goal. I should’ve had it here!

On this play, Carpenter, as mentioned earlier, won an o-zone faceoff. Miller got the puck, dished it to Trouba and the captain then blasted the puck from the point. I think this puck would’ve went in on its own, but to be sure, Gauthier, crowding Grant Reimer Fuhr, got a piece of it.

I was happy for #79 and “The Great Eight,” because as recently mentioned – no other duo in the league has given up more goals. They also have the worst plus/minus stats on the team, sans you know, Panarin.

Of course, this positive gain would soon be erased – it’s just the Rangers’ way.

With a tad over six minutes to go, we went right back to heart-attack hockey.

In what I found hilarious, I was talking to someone on Twitter at this time (I believe it was @JesusShuttlezworth), and I quoted the old Parcells quote – “you are what you record says you are.”

While he disagreed with me (and that’s fine – if we all agreed on everything – it would be boring – I just try to be respectful of others opinions – sans Vagistat’s – of course!); I believe that the quote definitely applies to the Rangers and the NY Football Giants, and for one reason only – their ability (or in the Rangers’ case, their inability), to close out games.

Following the goal, the Sharks spent a minute in the Rangers’ zone.

Under 3:30 to go, Panarin turned over the puck – twice.

I’m not a head coach, but whenever the Rangers are trying to hold a one-goal lead late – I’d staple the moldy loaf of bread to the bench.

Similar to HIV in the 1980s (I just watched “American Horror Story NYC”, so that’s why this virus is on my mind) – Panarin is HIGH-RISK in these situations. No amount of AZT or Magic Johnson medicine can save him.

In what could’ve been “Sayonora Bitch;” with 2:39 to go, Tony Reimer Esposito made the best save of the game yet – an absolute robbery on a Vesey one-timer.

Billy Reimer Smith had to dive in order to make this save, and just stabbed his glove out at the last second to prevent the Rangers from going up 2-0.

Now down to eighty seconds and with the Sharks having possession of the puck; Gerry Reimer Cheevers left his net.

In what was absolutely mind-boggling – and no joke – I thought that Micheletti was going to have a stroke on-air after watching this – Kreider had a wide-open look at the Sharks’ empty net. He forced a puck to Vesey instead – no SOG.

Again, Micheletti went bonkers over this – as he should’ve. Jumpin’ Joe was 100% correct with his analysis.

Fortunately, Kreider’s bout with Panarinitis didn’t blow-back on the club.

With 1:07 remaining, Couture was left helpless, as he tried to stop Adam Fox from scoring. The 2021 Norris Trophy winner, the MVP of this team thus far this season, kept his scoring streak alive.


You’d think that up 2-0 and with 67 seconds to go, you could exhale.

Yeah right.

Following a Rangers’ icing and premature celebration; with 17 seconds to go, Logan Couture, untouched, scored while inside of Igor’s paint.


For a team that wants long-life spans for their hardcore fans, just so they can continue to pry money out of their wallets; the Rangers gave you another heart-attack/shart inducing moment, when with four seconds remaining, Igor made his best save of the game yet.

Had the Sharks scored here, and then went on to win this game – you would’ve had more deaths in Rangerstown, USA than a Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid party.

While Igor didn’t really have to do much tonight – his balls were biggest when it mattered the most.

And oh yeah – right before this save – Kakko couldn’t hit an empty net, as Karlsson prevented that.

2-1, GOOD GUYS, your final.

A win is a win – but as mentioned during this blog, and really, during the last two weeks – I just can’t get up or be elated about it.

And I apologize to anyone who found this blog negative or too “adult” – I’m just trying to make a bad game entertaining for you. Plus, 95% of my readership is over the age of 35+. I’m sure that you can handle my bad jokes and my dated Dennis Milleresque references!

Here’s Gallant after the game:

Six quick thoughts after listening to “The Turk” speak:

1 – One of these days, Gallant is going to backhand Vince Mercogliano.

2 – Mollie Walker’s laugh is like nails on the chalkboard. She reminds me of that woman with the Elmer Fudd laugh from “Seinfeld.”

3 – Gallant must say “work hard” at least 98677896969676 times a day.

4 – Once again, someone from the Rangers is talking about “goalie’d.” That excuse doesn’t fly – especially with a Vezina winner in the Rangers’ end.

5 – Gallant hates analytics. Wise man.

6- There’s no freakin’ way that Gauthier is going to see the inside of Hartford hotel room anytime soon.

Yes, this is a Boston Celtics picture, and yes, I don’t care about basketball either – but let’s go with this! I believe in the message. Plus, I’m an Irish-American too! Erin Go Bragh! Photo Credit: Boston Celtics

Moving forward, I have a lot of writing plans, but that pesky four-letter word, as in “work,” may derail them.

Two weeks back, I told you that I expected my work schedule to shift to 3PM-11PM. Now, I’m working 5AM-5PM.

Unlike Kravtsov, I’m always available to work and can adjust.

I do want to get that “Quarter-Pole Progress Report Card” done – where it’s my goal to get it done sometime next week.

Due to my current work schedule, it may be tough to recap the 10:30PM Tuesday night game with the Kings – and the 10:00PM Wednesday puck drop against the Ducks.

However, and depending if I can find the time to squeeze in some sleep – it’s currently my plan to return home after work, sleep like Panarin with the puck, set my alarm for 10PM – and then pull an all-nighter – just so I can watch these games and write about these games.

Of course, “the best laid plans are of mice and men.” In other words, “we’ll see!”



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

My first plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”

As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:


For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:

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

My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.

My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”

The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!

“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.

All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

NYR/SEA 11/17 Review: KRACKED! Rangers Can’t Find Fix in a Krakhouse; Find a New Way To Lose Instead, Moldy Bread, Pissed Points = Pissed-Off Igor, Jekyll & Hyde Resigned Rangers, S.O.S., No Surprises, Turk; Eye-Popping Quotes, M$GN & More

Rangers Get “Kraken” For Seattle (Har-Har-Har); Turk Talks Team, Kravtsov Back (Yawn), Jack Campbell’s Struggles All-Too-Familiar Story for Oilers (And Connor McDavid Too), NHL Rookie Watch; Grades For The Top Six & More

NYR/ARI 11/13 Review: Dr. Gallant & Mr. Turk’s Rangers Revert to 2021-22; Defy “ANALytics” Again; CZAR IGOR’s Best Game Yet, Ugly Win Staves Off Panic For One Day; Tough to Get Excited, Kravtsov & His Miserable Molars Tries to Infect Team, M$GN & More

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

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my new four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”

If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on Amazon.com

For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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2 thoughts on “NYR/SJS 11/19 (NSFW) Review: Rangers Eke Out Victory Over Struggling Sharks (But At Least They Won); Gauthier & CZAR IGOR Prevent Full-Blown Panic; The Odd Math of 12 >74+75, Panarin = Not a NRA Member; Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Kaapo Kakko, M$G Hearts EK65, Gallant, What’s Next & More

  1. Right on brother! Thanks for filling in the blanks for us. I was just checking in on my phone from time to time, hate the fact that it’s harder to watch Ranger hockey not big on the subscription route so I just channel chase. Living in Fl and not being a Lightning fan my options are limited.
    That’s why it’s so enjoyable to read your column.

    1. I appreciate that Jim – tried to make it comedic for the people who I knew would skip out.

      Sadly, NYR, and the NHL, encourage illegal streaming since you can’t pay one price to get all 82 games of your favorite team.

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