NYR/NYI 11/21 Review: Rangers Go 9-1-1 & Make the Dominated Isles Call 911, The King of Kings Delivers A Shutout, Best Team Win of the Season, Terrible M$G Commentary, Quinn Pushes The Right Buttons, Connor McLeod, Lundqvist MIA & More

With Lundqvist wanting to avoid the Islanders, “THE KING OF KINGS”, Alexandar Georgiev, led the Rangers into battle tonight.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Before getting started, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. After tonight’s 5-0 thrashing of the Islanders and now in a virtual tie for first place, the Rangers have a lot to be thankful about.

Also before getting started, I would like to share with you the gift of music, as music can put us into certain moods and into a certain frame of mind. If you will, please give a listen to the following:

With the Rangers needing to reverse the curse against the Islanders, David Quinn benched his overpaid goalie and went to his $792,500 goalie. “The King of Kings” would go on to give the Rangers their first shut-out of the season. Lundqvist, who has started in 17 games (compared to Georgiev’s 5 starts) is still seeking his first shut-out of the season.

Oh, and if I may, here’s one more song that really sums up these young gun Rangers:

How ironic is it that WWE’s Triple H has a few theme songs that can be used to describe the New York Rangers right now? In all reality, the reason why these songs work is because of Lemmy & Motorhead!

With the Isles torching the house of Lundqvist over the last 13 NYR/NYI games, a new King had to emerge. Alexandar Georgiev did something that Lundqvist hasn’t been able to do since 4/13/13 – shut out the Isles.

Be forewarned, I’m probably going to be more obnoxious and overbearing than usual tonight!

Before getting into one of my latest Lundqvist rants, here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

NYR/DAL 11/19 Review: Heat-Il Gets His First Ever GWG; Rangers Knock Off Dallas In A Defensive Battle, Vesey’s Highlight Reel Goal, Lettieri Axed, Skjei Remains On “The List”, Lundqvist’s Playing Time, “The Mighty Quinn”, The Isles & More

NYR/FLA 11/17 Review: Rangers Get Back on Track & Spay the Panthers, The Case For Chris Kreider, Skjei Joins the “Scratch List of Quinn”, Filip “Do You Know He’s Only 19 Sam?” Chytil Heating Up, Lettieri’s Struggles, Lundqvist vs Luongo, Plante, Nylander, Standings & More from M$G

Special BCBS Blog For 11/16: Strome Comes Home, See Ya Spoonman, Chiarelli’s Terrible Tenure in Edmonton & Looking at and Assessing Jeff Gorton’s Moves Since Being Named NYR GM

NYR/NYI 11/15 Review: Islanders Flex Their Muscle on Lundqvist Again, The Insufferable Joe Micheletti & MSG Networks, The Cult of Lundqvist’s “Ten Commandments”, Terrible Officiating, The LIRR & Much More From the Dump in Brooklyn

“The 60’s: Goaltending’s Greatest Generation” In-Depth Book Review. Plus: All The Latest News From Rangerstown

NYR/VAN 11/12 Review: Rangers Keep Rolling & Find Themselves in the Playoff Mix, Why This Was Quinn’s Finest Game Yet, Buchnevich Injury, MDZ/Lisa Ann, Veteran’s Day, FOOD WEEK, See Ya Tank, McLeod Fight/Vally, The YOUTS & More from M$G

Current mood right now. Photo Credit: Saved By The Bell

Whether it’s the mix of antibiotics and Miller Lite, having no expectations for this team going into the season, ass-raping the Islanders like something out of “Pulp Fiction” or seeing so many of my premonitions for this game coming true, I am walking on sunshine right now. As I start this blog tonight, I go back to the preseason and even the beginning of the season, where the Rangers lost their home opener. I even think back to being 0-3. Now at Thanksgiving, the Rangers are in a strong position to make a playoff run:

The Rangers are the hottest team in the NHL right now, going 9-1-1 in their last 11 games. For those who know math, that’s 19 points out of a possible 22 points.

While I’m getting ahead of myself here, with over 25% of the season done, the Rangers are now at the Thanksgiving tent pole. With the way this league is, the time for saying “it’s still early, blah blah blah” is over. The Rangers are in the marathon right now and like a good Kenyan, the Rangers got a healthy lead over most of the pack. While they still need to make up ground to win the race, there’s no reason to count the Rangers out of the playoff hunt.

I’ve said before that you can’t overreact to any one win or any loss. However, the Rangers are now 9-1-1 in their last 11 games. That’s called consistency. I know it goes against the fiber of many fans in Rangerstown, but if the Rangers explored trading a pick, a prospect or a combination of the two, in an effort to land Nylander or Panarin, I wouldn’t be opposed.

After all, put it this way – with the way Quinn has this team playing, the way Quinn’s system has been working and the way the team has bought into Quinn, do you really see the Rangers dropping off? Sure they will lose games here and there, but I really can’t envision another three game losing streak this season. I don’t think Quinn will allow it!

I’m not saying to plan the parade or anything, but I can see the Rangers playing competitively enough, not only to make the playoffs, but to make some noise in the playoffs too. While Washington was deeper last year and Vegas had the most slanted expansion draft in league history, why not the Rangers? After all, I’m only a fan here. Why shouldn’t I be rah-rah right now?

With the biggest game of the season on tap, Lundqvist put his cowardly tail in between his legs for this game.

Usually on these blogs, I give you the around-the-league big news before getting into the Rangers stuff. In case you missed it, head coaches Mike Yeo of St. Louis and Todd McLellan of Edmonton, were both canned. That’s now four head coaches fired this season, after a season of no in-season head coach firings.

The rumor mill has Alain Vigneault as a possible candidate for the St. Louis job. Ken Hitchcock has been given the Edmonton job. St. Louis, who really wants to “win-now”, has been a disappointment this year. While I think McLellan had to go, I think he should’ve been canned with Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli. I just don’t know how you put 100% of the Oilers struggles on McLellan.

With four coaches socked this season, it just goes to show you that owners are willing to give bad GM’s more chances than their coaches. It’s easier to find a new HC than a new GM.

Moving along.

On Tuesday afternoon, David Quinn announced that Georgiev was going to get the start against the Islanders. I was truly shocked about this. While Lundqvist, for lack of a better phrase, “has fucking sucked” against the Islanders, I thought this was a game he needed. I got in-depth a bit about this in my last blog.

Oh, and for those who say Lundqvist doesn’t control when he starts, let me remind you of what Quinn said earlier this season:

I knew I would be referring to this NY Post article a lot this season!

If you are a regular reader here or follow my social media rantings, I’ve said since the Islander loss on Thursday, that Georgiev should’ve played against the last place Panthers on Saturday.  When that didn’t happen, I said Georgiev should’ve started against Dallas, as Dallas just played the day previous. Neither happened, as Lundqvist took the two easier games, rather than playing this harder game with the Islanders, or at least the harder game “on paper.” And yes, I’m not a fan of the “on paper” stuff, but there is no way you can tell me that beating the Panthers or the Stars is more important than beating the Islanders.

Let’s not forget – this isn’t a Mets vs Yankees or a Giants vs Jets bragging rights type of game. The Islanders are a division opponent. They are also a divisional opponent that’s neck-and-neck with the Rangers in the standings.

Yes, many of you know me as the guy that would’ve traded Lundqvist many seasons ago. However, as I’ve said all season on this blog, Lundqvist has been great more times than not this season. That is why I wanted Lundqvist against the Islanders. While I think Alexandar Georgiev has a lot of potential, when it comes to playing the Islanders, I want my best line-up possible. Turns out that THE KING OF KINGS, Alexandar Georgiev, is part of the best line-up possible!

As mentioned on other blogs, Georgiev isn’t as developed as Cam Talbot or as Antti Raanta was when they were here. Shit, Georgiev’s head is still developing! Look how loose that Broadway Hat is! Photo Credit: NYR

I made that Lundqvist “Cowardly Lion” picture 3 or 4 seasons ago. Since then, there have been stretches in the Rangers schedule where Lundqvist will skip some tough games “on paper”. In the same vein, Lundqvist has been there for the teams that are playing well under .500 hockey, which is somewhat a rarity, in today’s league of loser point parity. One of these days, to give you all the facts & numbers, I’m going to have to go back, research the schedules and records, and fully detail in black and white all of this evidence.

That said, I had no problem with Alexandar Georgiev playing tonight. I think the Rangers, or at least David Quinn & his players, have given the middle finger to the word “rebuild” a long time ago. The word “rebuild” is a fan and media word.

Without the benefit of hindsight being 20/20, I just don’t see how any Rangers fan can say that playing Lundqvist against the last place Panthers, so he can sit against the Islanders, is what’s best for the team. That’s what’s best for Lundqvist, as he tries to pad his all-time win records, a record that over the course of time, will feature all modern era goalies, because of the longer schedule and playing in a league where ties no longer exist.

And to be fair, as I’ve said before, while I think the All-Time Win records will be skewed to favor the modern era, conversely, the amount of Cups & Vezinas that legendary goalies like Plante, Worsley, Bower, Sawchuk and others won, is also skewed. After all, for a long period of time, this was only a six team league, which heavily favored Montreal & Toronto, because of the draft right rules. (Teams had first dibs on players who lived within a 100 mile radius, until the implementation of the NHL draft.)

Meet Georgi Georgiev, the father of the KING OF KINGS. Georgi looks like he’s done hand-to-hand black combat with James Bond.

I know the Cult of Lundqvist will defend Lundqvist no matter what. Lundqvist could pull a Jared Fogel with a Garden of Dreams kid at center ice, and fans would defend him. However, I just don’t see how you think Lundqvist missing this game is no big deal. This was a game that he needed to play in and win, just to get this Islander monkey off his back.

Granted, Lundqvist will play against top competition later in the season, or at least you think he will, when the Tampa’s and Toronto’s roll into town. However, to me, asking to play that Florida game on Saturday (Quinn previously said that the game was originally slated for Georgiev) and not playing this Islander game – that’s not a good look.

Big time athletes play in the big games. Derek Jeter never asked for a night off against the Red Sox. Eli Manning would never miss a game against the Cowboys. Shit, another athlete that is a perfect comparison to Henrik Lundqvist, in Patrick Ewing, never missed a game against the Bulls, the Heat or the Pacers.

And to close up on this, if this was just one of those things that happened, so be it. However, don’t forget, Lundqvist asked for the Panthers game, then played against Dallas. I’m just glad I was proven right when I predicted that the KING OF KINGS would get a shut-out tonight!

Quinn said before the game that Smith didn’t deserve to be scratched.

Moving along, as this WIN is not about Lundqvist doing his nails and hair on the bench, it’s about the Rangers beating the Islanders, when it comes to the “SCRATCH LIST” of Quinn, Brendan Smith was the lone healthy scratch.

In his pregame interview, Quinn said that Smith had been playing well, but it was just a numbers game. Someone had to sit. Quinn also wanted to get Skjei back into the line-up.

On the Smith scratching, as I’ve been saying about Quinn all season, he knows this team better than anyone else. He’s around these guys 24/7. I got no complaints. You could make the argument to scratch Skjei for the third consecutive time. You could say scratching Shattenkirk is an idea. However, Quinn hasn’t given you a reason to doubt his line-ups this season, so I have no qualms with what Quinn is putting out there on any given night.

Also of note, Mats Zuccarello’s injury seems to be more serious than initially thought, as he missed another game with his groin issues. With Zucc still out, that means the Rangers didn’t have to scratch a forward tonight.

Here’s what Quinn rolled out for this latest rivalry game:

FIRST LINE: Namestnikov/Zibanejad/Fast

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Hayes/Chytil (they opened the game.)

THIRD LINE: Vesey/Howden/Strome

FOURTH LINE: McLeod/Anderson/Fogarty

Defensively, here were your pairs:

FIRST PAIR: Skjei/DeAngelo.

On Skjei, it seems that many are turning on him. It seems like in every “Bleeding Blueshirts” podcast, you have Dave Maloney throwing in digs at the guy. Maloney also semi-buried Skjei during one of the in-between period segments. It’s tough for me to judge Skjei as sometimes Maloney starts talking about stuff away from the puck (You don’t see that on TV) and stuff off the ice, which I have no access to. I will say, that contract looks horrible right now.

SECOND PAIR: Staal/Pionk

THIRD PAIR: Claesson/Shattenkirk

Chytil scored in his fifth consecutive game tonight.

One thing I want to make clear here with all my Lundqvist ball-breaking and in my fellatio, via the written word, of a one Alexandar Georgiev. This win wasn’t because of Alexandar Georgiev, or at least not solely. Unlike the Cult of Lundqvist, where every win is because of Hank and every loss is because of the defense, this game & win was a TEAM WIN. In fact, this was the best TEAM WIN of the season.

Unless you’re overly judgmental or just looking to find some sort of negativity in a game, I think most will agree with me here – EVERYONE PLAYED GREAT. Sure, could a guy like Lias Andersson play better? Perhaps, but are you going to bury him? Was Shattenkirk lights out? NO. But did he do his job defensively? YES. Would you like to see more out of Skjei? Skjurely you do, but he wasn’t an issue at all.

I can not stress this enough, in Game 22 of the 2018-2019 season, the RANGERS, as a TEAM, played their best game of hockey. Quinn was masterful. Georgiev was great. The forwards were amazing. The defense shut down the Isles. The power play looked fantastic. The penalty kill was strong. The only bad thing about this game was Joe Cuckaletti!

I’m telling you, if the Rangers can play like this all the time, they are unstoppable, no matter who the goalie is. Even better, the team is just clicking like a well oiled unit. The veterans are stepping up. The kids are stepping up. The goalies are stepping up. The coach has these guys ready.

For a season of little to no expectations, I haven’t been more excited after a regular season win since the Cam Talbot led Rangers defeated the New Jersey Devils to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy in April of 2015. (And there was also a game in 2016 that I attended in Chicago, where I was sitting with Ranger haters and Raanta got a shut-out win in OT. Fun fact: Nick Holden scored the GWG in that game.)

I won’t lie, my excitement tonight is partly due to KING GEORGIEV getting the shutout, but it’s really because I never envisioned the Rangers being in this position. In a weird way, the most profitable team in the league, and a team that plays in the biggest market, entered this season as one of the league’s biggest underdogs. Instead of being pushed around like a poodle, the Rangers have been tearing teams apart like a pitbull.

“In Soviet Russia, we shut out the Islanders on Thanksgiving Eve!” Of note, when was the last time Lundqvist was the first star of a Ranger/Islander game? Oh yeah, I’m having fun tonight!

As usual, here is the box score from ESPN.com:


1st Period
0:29 Filip Chytil (5)

Assists: Kevin Shattenkirk, Chris Kreider
0 1
3:30 Cody McLeod (1)

Assists: Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome
0 2
8:04 Neal Pionk (4) (Power Play)

Assists: Vladislav Namestnikov, Mika Zibanejad
0 3
2nd Period
17:17 Kevin Hayes (5)

Assists: Kevin Shattenkirk
0 4
3rd Period
16:19 Chris Kreider (12)

Assists: Mika Zibanejad
0 5


1st Period
7:00 Leo Komarov:

2 minutes for Slashing
19:51 Kevin Hayes:

2 minutes for Hooking
2nd Period
9:32 Ross Johnston:

5 minutes for Fighting (Major)
9:32 Cody McLeod:

5 minutes for Fighting (Major)
12:59 Nick Leddy:

2 minutes for Interference
3rd Period
8:04 Mathew Barzal:

2 minutes for High-sticking
16:38 Scott Mayfield:

2 minutes for Roughing
16:38 Lias Andersson:

2 minutes for Elbowing


29 0 29 1.000 28 0 1 0 0 60:00 0
27 5 22 .815 17 0 5 0 0 59:57 0
Like most Swedish goalies in this Ranger/Islander series as of late, Robin Lehner was terrible and gave up 5 goals. Photo Credit: Getty Images

If you’re a regular reader here, you know I try to give you everything in these blogs. One of the things I like to cover is the MSG Networks. I thought this broadcast was terrible tonight and another shit feather in the hat of executive producer Jeff Filippi.

For starters, the low life Knicks, who haven’t been relevant since the 1990’s, were on MSG1. This is a ratings thing. Fine. However, if you are making decisions based on ratings, the Rangers do better ratings than the Islanders. For some reason, the Isles broadcast was on MSG2, with the Rangers feed being on MSG3. While this is all a matter of clicking up or down a few channels, for many, they don’t have MSG3, as it is a special channel that’s only included in selected cable sports packages.

I heard from many Ranger fans tonight, who were subjected to the terrible stylings of Islanders announcer, Butch Goring. While I didn’t hear Butch myself, as I watched the Rangers feed, from what I’m hearing, Butch Goring makes Joe Micheletti look like the second coming of Vin Scully.

From what I read, Goring said Georgiev didn’t have to make any hard saves tonight, the Islanders had the Rangers where they want them, the Rangers were scoring fluke goals and the Islanders could easily make a comeback. There is one thing in being a homer, it’s another to be a delusional dick-rider.

I don’t know how anyone could watch this game and say the Rangers weren’t playing well and how the Islanders could sneak back into this game. Yes I’m a Rangers fan, but at no point in this game, was I worried about losing this game, especially once the score was 3-0, which occurred very quickly into the first period. After all, Lundqvist wasn’t playing!

Furthermore, if you watched the MSG pregame show, it was an absolute mess. The show started off with Valiquette & Trautwig in mid-sentence. The volume kept dropping out. Segments were out of order. I know Thanksgiving Eve is the biggest drinking night of the year, and whoever was in the truck tonight, definitely can’t handle his beer as well as I can. (You try writing 10k word blogs after every Ranger game after a case of Miller Lite!)

I have heard from many people that I trust, who said that Butch Goring made Micheletti look like a Hall of Famer tonight. Unbelievable.

I also want to comment about that stooge Joe Micheletti. I thought Sam Rosen was great tonight. You can even use the word “vintage” if you want, when describing Rosen. I thought he brought his A-game tonight.

In the case of Joe Micheletti, he has become a parody of himself. He might as well show his “Cult of Lundqvist” membership card, along with his media pass, whenever he walks on the Chase Bridges of Madison Square Garden.

If you don’t believe me, go back and watch the game yourself. Whenever Georgiev made a save, Joe Micheletti channeled his inner Helen Keller and turned into a mute gimp cuck. Not one word.

Georgiev makes a save after a deflection. Micheletti is nowhere to be found. Georgiev makes a save while being screened by two players. Not a peep.

It’s hilarious. When Lundqvist makes a rudimentary 50′ clear path save, Micheletti is pounding his pud until kingdom come. It’s getting so bad, that season ticket holders, that sit under the bridges, have asked for a free umbrella night, just to save themselves from Micheletti’s knuckle babies.

Georgiev, who was fantastic tonight, didn’t get an ounce of praise from Micheletti.

I have said this before – new hockey fans are looking for salary cap hits on the back of their hockey trading cards, rather than regular stats. These same hockey fans are being exposed to the fake news and agenda-filled Joe Micheletti. It’s no question that the Cult of Lundqvist skews younger and it’s because a generation of fans have to listen to Joe Cuckaletti every night.

The only time Cuckaletti mentioned Georgiev all night, is when Joe was talking about Georgiev’s dad being in attendance. Joe creepily muttered the words, “HERE’S DADDY WATCHING!” I wonder how many times Cuckaletti has said that in his life? Seriously, he sounded like a mix of Buffalo Bill from “Silence of the Lambs”, Bill Cosby and something out of a bad Brazzers video.

If you think I’m lying or exaggerating here, go back and watch the game. Georgiev made 29 saves tonight. Joe only said “nice save” once. Now compare Micheletti’s commentary to any Lundqvist game, and you can see why my criticism on this Swedish loving freak is valid.

Off the top of my head, this was Cody McLeod’s best game as a Ranger. Photo Credit: Getty Images

And lastly before getting into the game review, two quick things. First, how about my game prediction?


Also, here’s an NHL reporter talking about this game. FYI: Dan Rosen has a strong bias for Lundqvist too.

This game, for 60 minutes, was all New York Rangers. They dominated in every facet. While the Rangers got off three early goals, the way they handled themselves from the time it was 3-0 until Hayes scored late into the second period, was nothing short of perfection. The Islanders were out-coached, out-manned, out-played, out-gunned and overwhelmed by the Rangers tonight.

If you know me in real life, you know I like to go over-the-top with my Lundqvist stuff. People who know me can tell when I’m being serious or when I’m stirring the pot. The people who can’t tell crack me up and sometimes I go overboard just for the laughs. One thing that I was serious about was that this was a big game for the Rangers and Lundqvist missing it was not a good look. When I said that, fans came at me saying that “THIS ISN’T A BIG GAME” or “YOU’RE OVERRATING THE VALUE OF THIS GAME.”

Now, go back and watch this game again and ask yourself this – “Did the Rangers care and want this win?” Fuck yes. This was a big game to the Rangers and in turn, they played their best game of the season. This was their biggest ass kicking of the season. Not only did they record their first shutout of the season, they also logged their first blowout too. For 60 minutes, the Rangers just imposed their will on the Islanders and there was nothing the Islanders could do but sit there and take it.

Oh, and for anyone who doesn’t consider this a big game, go watch the Ranger post-game interviews.

At the end of the night, the Rangers were 9-1-1 in their last 11 games and the Islanders needed to call 911. (Heah’s Mink.)

While the “tank” talk has simmered down, I still see some fans whining. I also want to shout out my buddy, my nemesis and one person that I love fighting with online, in a one Al Demauro, who has done a 180 about the tank. LET’S GO RANGERS!

As I was getting my first Miller Lite ready for consumption, by the time I could listen to the friendly and heart-warming sound of the crack of the can, Filip Chytil wasted no time getting his fifth goal in as many games. At the 29 second mark, Chytil quickly gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead:


1-0, good guys. As I said in my last blog, is there anyone happier at their job than Filip Chytil right now? The guy is beaming from ear-to-ear and he has every right to do so. This was a great display of skill and offensive awareness. Oh, and what’s with Swedish goalies giving up early goals at the Garden? Seems like a trend!

Many times since Lundqvist signed that terrible contract, we’ve seen the Rangers get a goal then the opposition get a quick one back. Not tonight. Immediately after, resident dumbass, Ross Johnston, would get a good shot, but Georgiev wouldn’t be beat.

Nearly three minutes after Chytil scored, Cody McLeod got his first ever New York Rangers goal:


2-0, good guys.

On the goal, Ryan Strome would get his first assist. As a Lettieri fan (more on him at the end of this blog) this hurt, as Strome now has more points than Lettieri!

More importantly, Tony DeMAGAngelo (Credit, as always, to the birthday girl, @NYRKELSMADS) fired a shot and there was McLeod with the deflection. Swedish goalies are powerless to the deflection. I’ll have more on McLeod as we go along here, but with the way he was playing offensively tonight, he looked more like CONNOR McLeod than Cody McLeod!

With under four minutes played, this felt like the last time these two teams played, as the Rangers had a 2-0 lead. However, because we didn’t have a sieve and overrated goalie in net, THE KING OF KINGS, Alexandar Georgiev, was able to protect and hold the lead all game.

And just as usual, after scoring, the other team tried to get a quick one. Georgiev stopped Pulock to keep the score 2-0, NYR. Pulock was a mess, as he would later collide with his own goalie, sending Lehner flying. Not a good night for Lehner.

At the 7:00 mark, Leo Komarov got caught slashing. If there is one point I’ve been hammering all season, it’s that the Rangers need to score on their first PP of the game more often. When it came to this game particularly, this PP was huge, because either you go up 3-0 and take the life out of the Islanders like they are Terry Schiavo or you give them a chance to hang around. Pionk wasn’t letting the Islanders hang around and he wasn’t fucking around either.

Here’s Pionk on the PP:


Like a night of drinking and eating White Castle, WHAT A RIP from Neal Pionk. 3-0 good guys.

I also want to mention here, the NYR PP was absolutely fanfuckingtastic tonight. They moved the puck well. They changed well. They found lanes. They had patience. They got off the right shots. They wouldn’t let the Islanders get a clear. They just owned the Islanders on this PP tonight and man oh man, do I still have chills watching this goal again!

At not even the ten minute mark of the first period, the Rangers were up 3-0. In other words, they were on pace for 18 goals!


As you can tell from Anthony’s tweet, there was a lot of excitement in MSG tonight!

Georgiev just kept making save after save, and the Islanders couldn’t break through and score on the Bulgarian brute. Like Oasis, Georgiev was a Wonderwall.

As the game progressed, the Islanders just struggled to find offense. Kevin Hayes would get called for a penalty at the 19:51 mark. Before that, the Islanders had their best attack of the period, but came up short.

Steve Valiquette would say this after the period, and it was something I saw right away too – the fact that the Rangers kept this game 3-0, rather than giving up the usual Lundqvist back-breaking goal, was huge. Instead of this game being 3-1 and the Islanders using the intermission trying to pump themselves up to erase a two goal deficit, the Isles remained in a three goal hole. It’s only a goal difference, but it’s a world of a difference.

Oh and speaking of the in-between period segments, welcome back Arda Ocal! Ocal even got his video game references on the air!

The second period saw another questionable no-call from the referees. Photo Credit: MSG Networks and Hockeyfights.com

The second period was very reminiscent from the game with Dallas. The Rangers wouldn’t give the Isles an inch. It was late 1990’s Devils hockey. Even better, like those Devils, the Rangers had a goalie that can actually handle the puck.

The Rangers forwards were aggressive at meeting the Isles at the blue line. The defense limited all lanes. The Isles looked like they were skating through piles of shit and their game tonight reeked of it too. The Isles just had no answers and the frustration was settling in.

The Rangers easily handled the Isles PP that opened the period. As the period continued, Johnston kept trying to bait McLeod into a fight. McLeod wasn’t having it, because after all, the team was up 3-0 and that isn’t the time to fight.

However, Johnston, after all his cheap shots and instigation, finally got McLeod to throw down. Johnston would win the fight and McLeod would go to the trainer’s room and would never return to the game. That was unfortunate as McLeod was playing his best game of the season and he actively stayed away from this fight, because it wouldn’t be beneficial to the team.

Here’s the fight:


This whole fight was clear as day. Johnston kept egging it on and on, despite McLeod’s many refusals. Johnston should’ve got an instigator penalty, but the refs wouldn’t give the Rangers the call. Quinn would talk to the refs about it, and got some BS explanation. I think over time, as Quinn starts making his mark in the NHL, he will start getting calls. He just doesn’t have that equity yet.

I have no update on McLeod as of this writing, but unfortunately for him, he didn’t get a shot at the Howe hat trick, as he was done for the game.

After this fight, Nick Leddy blatantly interfered with Chytil. At least that penalty was called. The Rangers would have another good PP, even though they didn’t score. Who did score after the PP, at the 17:17 mark was Kevin Hayes, as he just walked in and beat Lehner to make the score 4-0, good guys:


It’s safe to assume that Hayes knows that he’s in a contract year!

The Islanders, who were desperate at this point, would get off another attack. Georgiev would lose his stick but would get a stick from his defense. The Rangers fought off the Islanders and as time expired, signalling the end of the second period, the Rangers had a 4-0 lead. Worth mentioning, both goalies saw 16 shots a piece at this point in the game.

Kreider scored his 12th goal of the season, tops for the Rangers.

The third period was more or less the same as the second period, as the Rangers played a strong defensive game. For a team that is very young, they displayed a great deal of patience and  they looked like seasoned veterans, as they grinded the clock down, while not affording the Isles much of anything.

One of the Rangers better chances in the period saw Howden and Andersson on a two on one, with Andersson coming up short. I was really hoping he would’ve scored, as he’s one of the few Rangers that hasn’t really got it going for him yet.

Immediately after, the Isles would have a two on one, where Georgiev stopped Barzal. I hope for Thanksgiving, Lundqvist sits at home and examines this game tape from THE KING OF KINGS. Seriously, all you hear after a Lundqvist goal allowed is “deflection this”, “screen that”, “odd-man rush”, “50 foot shot”, “100 foot shot”, “over the shoulder”, “through the five hole”, “aliens”, “global warming”, “the caravan”, etc. Georgiev saw all of these things tonight and every single time, he kept the Isles off the board. And oh yea, he is nearly an $8M less cap hit than Lundqvist. Just sayin’!

One of Georgiev’s highlight saves came in this period, as he made a “child-please” glove save. From here, the crowd started up a GEOR-GEE chant, but it didn’t quite take.

With the Rangers rocking and rolling, I said this:


At the 16:19 mark, Kreider scored the fifth and final dagger for the Rangers:


After a game like this, Lehner may want to see his shrink again. (Here come the liberal snowflakes, WAAAAA!)

5-0 good guys.

Of note, and I’m doing this off the top of my head, this is the fourth time this season the Rangers scored 5 goals in support of Georgiev. As I’ve said in the past, the Rangers are more relaxed when they don’t have Coach Lundqvist screaming like a little bitch at them all game.

As the game hit the FOXWOODS FINAL 5 mark of the game, and as the clock kept ticking, there was only thing that would’ve made this game perfect. We had our first blowout of the season and now we were looking for our first shutout of the season.

Benoit Allaire has been masterful with the Rangers back-up goalies over the years. Talbot and Raanta went on to become starters. Georgiev just logged a shut out over the Isles. I can’t wait to see what happens when Shestyorkin gets under the Allaire tree. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Georgiev and the Ranger defenders would keep the Isles off the board, sealing this 5-0 win. I am not exaggerating because I’m happy for THE KING OF KINGS – this was the best win of the season hands down. It was the first blowout, the first shutout and it was a complete decimation of the Islanders, as the Rangers move into a points-tie for first place. (Columbus has first place because of their ROW.)

It’s a Thanksgiving miracle! Photo Credit: @markkappy

While you can’t overrate one game, win or lose, being the neurotic that I am, I find myself at a point that I’ve made ten or hundred times this season – what happens with Georgiev next season? We know that Lundqvist refuses to leave and like a bad Thanksgiving guest, doesn’t mind overstaying his welcome. We know that Shestyorkin has told the Russian media that he isn’t coming to the United States to play in the minor leagues. That leaves Georgiev as the odd man out.

Again, this is one game, but I truly believe that if given the time, given the work and under the care of Allaire, Georgiev will grow and only get better. While Micheletti jackhammers his bird to Chytil being 19, people forget that the KING OF KINGS is only 22. Is Georgiev destined for Hartford or is he just increasing his trade value this season? Or maybe perhaps, Shestyorkin stays for another year in the KHL next season, as he waits Lundqvist out? However, is that what’s best for the Rangers, or is that what’s best for the diva who had a bright piss yellow streak down his back tonight?

However, we live in the now, and in the now, the Rangers are the hottest team in the NHL. Because of the loser and OT points (something that the Rangers have benefited from greatly this season) the Metro standings are still bunched up. Six points separate first place (Columbus) from last place (Flyers).

The talk between now and February, as long as the Rangers continue to win, will be what to do. You will hear about impending free agents, both on the Rangers end and around the league. Expiring contracts will be a hot button issue.

With the way this team is rolling and overcoming all odds, it would be a shame to see them pop the balloon on their own accord and start selling off. However, with Dolan being money hungry and the Knicks in the shitter as usual, perhaps the edict from above is to keep on competing. Dolan may need a new guitar and what better way to pay for it, than over-charging Ranger fans astronomical prices for playoff tickets?

Lettieri isn’t letting his demotion affect his play on the ice. Photo Credit: Hartford Wolfpack

“It’s only one game, blah, blah blah”, but in other Rangers news, Vinni Lettieri was named the first star in Hartford’s game tonight, as he scored the OT GWG. For more, check out: http://www.hartfordwolfpack.com/news/detail/lettieri-is-ot-hero-vs-bruins

As mentioned in my last blog – in this last week, I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia and was a victim of debit/credit card fraud, for a tune of nearly $5,000. Not an ideal week. I’m also stuck in the house, which hurts my cash flow for the time being.

Sports is a great escape for many of us. The Rangers have been that for me. I mean just look at tonight:

— King Georgiev gives the Rangers their first shutout of the season, as I predicted.

— The Cult of Lundqvist is scurrying to come up with excuses about why Georgiev outplayed Lundqvist when it comes to the Isles. This gives me ammo to rile people up for shits and kicks! (Hello Michael Broderick!)

— Rangers just stomped on the dicks of the Islanders.

— And for the cherry on top, Lettieri is playing well. Who knows, if McLeod is out for any amount of time, maybe Lettieri is recalled?

In other words, on Thanksgiving Eve, everything came up ME tonight! What a time to be alive, even if I am still coughing like a grizzled 70 year smoker with emphysema!

Up next, the annual Friday after Thanksgiving game with the Flyers.

The Rangers and their fans have plenty to be thankful about right now. However, for the Rangers, their Thanksgiving has to start and end early, as it’s a road trip to Filthadelphia on Friday, as the Rangers and Flyers do battle at 1PM. While it’s a great game to sit on your couch and blow turkey gas into your cushions, for the Rangers, they must keep their foot on the gas and not have a tryptophan type of game.

After the Flyers, the Rangers then host Washington, in another afternoon game, at 2PM on Saturday.

As far as the goalies and who gets the nod, Quinn hasn’t played Georgiev in consecutive games this season. Do you ride the hot hand? Or maybe the thinking is to give Georgiev another home start? I don’t how much a national game plays into Quinn’s decision making, but the Friday game with Philly is on NBC.

If it was up to me, (Quinn doesn’t start his goalies the way I would) I would let Georgiev play on Friday and give us the Hank/Ovechkin match-up on Saturday. If Hank plays both games, which is a possibility, then ducking these Islanders really looks bad.

You have to love what you’re seeing from the Rangers right now. All we can do is hope they continue to roll.

Happy Thanksgiving, and as always, thanks for reading and…

“Let’s Go Rangers!”

Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on tweeter

P.S.: To Geo & Zappa: “TANK THE TANK!”

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