NYR/PIT 11/22 Review: 2024 Vezina Trophy Candidate Jonathan Quick Stuffs Crosby – And Shuts Out The Penguins Too! Lafreniere’s Lone Signature Goal Holds Up As Game-Winner in an All-Out Thriller, Perfect 5-5 Penalty Kill, A VIDEO REPLAY REVIEW VICTORY (Buy a Lotto Ticket!), Lavy, Birdbrain Beat, Poor Predictions, M$GN & More

On Thanksgiving Eve – or as Sam Rosen would say – “HAPPY EASTER JOE!” – the Rangers, behind back-up backstop Jonathan Quick, shut-out one of their most detested rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, by a final score of 1-0. An Alexis Lafreniere backhanded goal, which is becoming commonplace these days, was all that was needed in the scoring department. However, this was also a team-wide victory, as behind a five-for-five penalty kill – and a whopping twenty-five blocked shots too – every Blueshirt (and this somewhat includes Kaapo Kakko as well), contributed during Wednesday night’s gut-check win.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. What a game!

What did I say on Monday night?

Here’s your reminder:

“Who cares about this loss against the Stars? Give me wins over the Devils and Penguins in-between.”

And as you may know by now – that’s exactly how it played out!

Furthermore, and as you’ll soon see – a rare hit of a prediction for yours truly too!

The Rangers sure gave their fans something to be thankful for on the penultimate night before the American Thanksgiving holiday – and leave it to one of the greatest American goalies of all-time, Jonathan Quick himself, to lead the way!

And of course, I predicted that all of this would all happen – don’t you remember?

As a refresher, and as I bask in my glory, here are some snippets of what I wrote on this site during the summer/off-season:

— “While I understand the signing of Jonathan Quick; I’m not exactly a fan of it either. But hey, everyone loves a classic case of, ‘If you beat ’em and derail their dreams in a soul-crushing manner, then sign with ’em!’” – Yours truly on 7/1/23.

“While officially, Blake Wheeler was the first free agent that the Rangers signed on Saturday; unofficially, the Blueshirts already had their deal done with Quick on Friday – as the once youngest team of the league during the David Quinn era has now become the oldest team – real “quick.” (Har-har-har!)

“Perhaps when I start going into the hard-sell mode of my upcoming book, “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” then I’ll share the Quick profile/chapter on this site for free.

“But even as a “Ranger Killer,” one that ruined my 32nd birthday on June 13th, 2014, and one who continued to play well against the Blueshirts in regular season competition too – I just don’t get this signing – and for one reason – Cam Talbot was available.

“Yes, yes, and yes – we all know that no one (of a non-blood relation) is a bigger fan of “THE GOALBUSTER” more than yours truly – but hear me out.

“Quick signed a one-year deal with Drury worth $825K – the same Quick that was unceremoniously traded away by the only team he’s ever known last season, the Kings, to the Blue Jackets –  and where immediately after trading for him – Columbus then “quickly” dealt the then two-time Cup champ to Vegas.

“As a back-up goalie on the Golden Knights’ roster, one that didn’t play one postseason game; Quick won his third Stanley Cup this past June.

“The reason why he didn’t play? He’s long past his prime.

“Quick, the 2012 Conn Smythe winner, is no longer what he once was, as he’s routinely had seasons of sub .900 save percentages and over 3.00 GAA’s.

“Conversely, Talbot, who ironically signed a one-year deal in L.A. for $1M on 7/1/23, has been significantly better than Quick in recent years – although he did battle injury issues in Ottawa during the 2022-23 season.

“For an extra $175K, the Blueshirts could’ve had their former one-time back-up, now with nine more years of experience under his belt, and primarily spent as a starter, back in the mix.

“Again, this is my blog and I’ll blog if I want to (and everything said here is my own opinion); but when watching Quick during these past two seasons – he looked shot. He looked done. While Talbot’s prime years are behind him too; he’s still much more serviceable than Quick.

“In addition, Talbot has a previous relationship with Allaire, one that could’ve continued had “The Pizza Man” added some Talbot-pepperoni to his pie.

“Quick, now a dinosaur, has no relationship with Allaire – and really – is the “goalie whisperer” going to teach this old dog some new tricks – or is Quick, who could wind up retiring by 2024 – just going to be set in his ways?

“My prediction? This is Ondrej Pavelec 2.0 – and Quick doesn’t work out – and as Alexandar Georgiev once emerged from Hartford to replace “Ondrej The Giant” – one of the Wolfpack goalies will eventually get a call-up and become CZAR IGOR’s back-up.” – Yours truly on 7/2/23.

“As predicted before, I think Quick does retire this season (ala Marty Biron), and similar to previous seasons, a young back-up is called-up (as Cam Talbot and Alex Georgiev himself once were) in-season.” – Yours truly on 9/8/23.

“Outside of “Connecticut Nepotism,” it made no sense for Chris Drury to sign Jonathan Quick this summer.” – Yours truly on 9/15/23.

“I’ve made my opinions known on Jonathan Quick ever since he signed with the Rangers. I won’t hammer you over the head with redundancy here, but yep, and after tonight – I don’t think he makes it through the season – ala aging goalies from Rangers’ past (Marty Biron, Ondrej Pavelec, etc), which in turn, I’m predicting that Dylan Garand, and just like Cam Talbot and Alexandar Georgiev in their rookie years before him, becomes CZAR IGOR’s back-up in-season.” – Yours truly, on 9/30/23.

“Jonathan Quick? Egads man – and you already know how I feel about him – I don’t think that he makes it through this season.

“Here’s a FACT – and not an OVERREACTION – if CZAR IGOR’s chronic groin injuries painfully pop-up again, then the Blueshirts are left to the devices of the over-the-hill Quick, a Louie Domingue who pretty much allowed the Rangers to make their deep 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff run, and the untested Dylan Garand.

“Not exactly a murderer’s row of back-up goalies – but who knows – maybe Garand, like former ex-Ranger back-ups, Talbot, Raanta and Georgiev, could become a future starter.

“Then again, he could become the next Sieve Vagistat too.” – Yours truly, 10/4/23.

“Is it worth ping-ponging Garand around?

“Assuming that Quick’s regression sinks into a deeper hole this season, and knowing that he has a guaranteed NHL contract too – should the former three-time Stanley Cup champion not have it this year – then is it worth it to allow Garand to get starts in Hartford, in order to increase his ice-time and to keep him active – and then call him up for spot starts on the nights where CZAR IGOR needs a timeout?

“Put it this way, and yes, I’m not that high on Quick to begin with: If you’re going to lose with Quick anyway, then would it be a bad idea to employ this strategy and see what you have with Garand – who potentially – could be the back-up goalie of the future?

“(And the Rangers would love it if Garand can work out as a back-up goalie – especially since he has two more seasons left on his contract that annually pays him $828,333 – which opens up money to address other holes on the roster.)” – Yours truly, 10/4/23.

“I hate to say “I told you so,” but let’s face it: I, along with many of you, were right about the following – Jonathan Quick is long past his prime and lost his fastball a few years back.” – Yours truly, 10/5/23.

“In other words, and this may even take place way before the deadline too – I wouldn’t be shocked to see Dylan Garand in the line-up – and at the expense of Jonathan Quick.” – Yours truly, 10/10/23.

“WHAT AN ASSHOLE!” – Yours truly, 11/22/23

Another quote from yours truly on this night?

“I am so happy to be wrong – absolutely dead-ass wrong at that!”

While sure, something catastrophic could happen and Jonathan Quick never wins another game for the Rangers ever again; but today, and now at the near quarter-mark of the season – #32 in Blueshirts’ blue is not only delivering – but he’s an on-paper Vezina Trophy candidate too! Photo Credit: NYR

For your consideration, and yes, we all know about my daily and season-long disclaimer on this site too (“WHATEVER THE RANGERS DO IN THE REGULAR SEASON DOESN’T MATTER. THEY CAN ONLY BE JUDGED BY WHATEVER THEY DO IN THE 2024 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS!” ); but let’s take a look at Jonathan Quick this season anyway:

— 1.61 GAA (best in the league and where no other goalie in the league has a GAA of under 2.00 besides the Rangers’ back-up. Second-best? Cam Talbot with his 2.02 GAA – and ironically for the team that moved on from Quick, the LA Kings. At least I got one of my predictions right – Talbot is having a hell of a season).

— .940 Save percentage (tops in the league, and where for more irony – another back-up goalie to a New York Russian, the Isles’ Seymon Varlamov, ranks second-overall at .934).

— Two shutouts (second-best in the league, as Quick only trails tonight’s starter for the Penguins, Tristan Jarry, who has three no-nos this season).

— 5-0-1 record (not one regulation loss this season).

And while this speaks to Quick’s overall body of work rather than about his time with the Rangers during this 2023-24 campaign; following his 60th shutout of his career tonight, the three-time Stanley Cup champion and future Hall of Famer only needs twelve more wins to surpass Ryan Miller for most wins all-time by an American goalie (391).

Only a a complete moron would have written off Jonathan Quick when entering this season!

Another thought?

Between the two “RANGER KILLERS” of the past two seasons – Quick has been better than last year’s Blueshirts’ back-up, Jaroslav “I don’t have a contract” Halak.

I wish I had more time to write tonight (that whole pesky Thanksgiving holiday takes place tomorrow – or today by the time that you read these words!) – but I’m already at word 3,000 – and I haven’t even talked about tonight’s 1-0 win over the black-and-yellow yet! Photo Credit: NYR

In a word, and just as he was tonight, Jonathan Quick has been “PHENOMENAL” this season.

Whether it was time spent this summer at the fountain of youth, a throwback season, wanting to prove everyone wrong, playing for his favorite team, sticking it to the other 31 teams that thought he was washed-up, or now under the “Tutelage Tree” of Benoit Allaire – I don’t know how to explain this current and complete 180 from Quick’s 2022-23 campaign.

But I do know this – I’m enjoy every freakin’ second of it – and just like how I enjoyed all 3,600 seconds of Quick’s 1-0 shutout of the Penguins on Wednesday night!

While I’m not hating here – I’m stating – what Quick did to the Penguins was nothing short of remarkable.

We all know how the Rangers usually play up for their back-up goalies, and while we saw some of that tonight – Quick, and as Joe Micheletti would say, was “FABULOUS” tonight.

In case you’re new here, then let me say the following on this site for the 95675856785th time:

“No one, aside from his family, is a bigger fan of CZAR IGOR than me.”

Heck, and as regular readers will recall – I was pushing for the Rangers to bring over CZAR IGOR from Russia – and first starting all the way back in 2017!

That said, Quick, and unlike CZAR IGOR this season, hasn’t let hairy situations get to him.

We’ve talked all about the “BLUESHIRTS BRAIN FARTS” this season – where at least once per game whenever playing in front of #31 – there’s always one miscue, one mistake, one broken play, one unfortunate circumstance – and where following it – boom – the other team scores.

That’s why CZAR IGOR’s career shutout totals are limited – and why he hasn’t recorded one yet this season either.

Conversely, Quick now has two shutouts in his six starts this season – an insane 33.3% shutout-per-game rate.

And while we saw some “BLUESHIRT BRAIN FARTS” tonight too – I’m more inclined to use one of my other 96789679697697869 monikers, expressions and cliches right now – “the other team is paid to play too.”

Whenever things looked bad – boom – there was Quick to shut the door.

And admittedly, while there was some “puck luck” afforded to Quick too, luck that CZAR IGOR never seemingly receives from the almighty hockey gods – when #32 had to make a save for his team – then that’s exactly what he did.

There was no unraveling or spiraling on this night – and where really – there were many times where it looked like the Rangers could unravel and hit the downward spiral.

An amazing goal scored by Alexis Lafreniere at the 5:10 mark would hold up as the only strike of the contest, as otherwise, these two warring teams of the Metropolitan Division saw flawless puck-stopping in this goalie’s duel.

(And yep, you know it – you know that Tristan Jarry will go back to giving up his usual four-plus following his heroic performance from tonight. After all, that’s just “THE RANGERS’ WAY!”)

Scoring chances were plenty and bountiful for both teams throughout this gripping and arresting sixty-minute affair, but Quick wasn’t having any of it tonight.

I know that I’ve gone extremely long in my praise of Quick – and that I have much more to say about him during tonight’s GAME REVIEW too – but if you’ve been reading my stuff for any amount of time, then you should know this about me:

If I ever bash, bury and/or speak negative about someone or something; then in the same vein, I want to give an equal amount of effort and praise whenever I deem something to be positive.

It’s only fair – and I wish that others adopted this same line-of-thinking.

After all, I can’t find one soul in Rangerstown, USA that predicted this start for Quick.

For all of their 67867676766787 comments about him, have any of these people admitted that they were wrong – and then posted 67867676766787 glowing remarks about him?


I’m telling you that when it comes to Quick – I don’t think I’ve ever been more wrong in my life about not only the Rangers – but about anything!

What a start.

That all said – CZAR IGOR is still your starting goaltender – and there is no such thing as a “GOALIE CONTROVERSY” right now.

But to hit on something that I touched upon this summer – it’s nice to know that if CZAR IGOR goes down (and he’s already been injured this season), then Quick can hold down the fort.

Let’s race through the pregame news and notes and then get into tonight’s GAME REVIEW!

After all, I have to (and want to!) see my nieces come 10:00AM tomorrow – and hopefully I’ll get tonight’s blog done by then!

To fast-forward to the end of tonight’s game, I thought it spoke volumes when Rangers’ head coach Peter Laviolette waited in the tunnel for Quick. Once there? The bench boss gave his back-up goalie a huge hug. Maybe it’s their American bond, maybe it’s something else – but it just spoke to the positive chemistry that’s overwhelming the team right now. (And yes, while my playoff disclaimer still applies – it’s also fun to enjoy the present times too! We can worry about the future, and I know that I will, once we get there!)

Following the loss in Dallas from Monday night, the team then immediately flew to Pittsburgh.

Come Tuesday, the squad had the day off – and as a team-bonding thing (and as previously predicted in this space), then had a Thanksgiving dinner at CASA DE NONNA TROCHECK!

On Wednesday morning, GAME DAY, the Blueshirts’ bench boss conducted his regularly-scheduled “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is:

Really, not much of note took place here, outside of Laviolette saying that he didn’t attend the dinner at Mrs. Trocheck’s house, as it was a players’ only thing.

However, he was happy to hear about it – and why wouldn’t he be?

As far as anything else, Laviolette admitted that DJ M.I.A. is struggling this season, but feels that he’ll eventually get going.

And as a spoiler alert – while Zibanejad still can’t find the back of the net this season – he was one of the leaders tonight, as his defensive presence was felt all game.

If you don’t know where my stupid “NONNA TROCHECK” stuff comes from, then I’ll tell ya! It started last year, as Trocheck, in his first season with the Blueshirts, had the entire team over his grandmother’s house in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA for Thanksgiving.

As far as anything else prior to tonight’s puck drop, Vincent “Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp Who?” Trocheck spoke to the media:

As you’d imagine, since Trocheck was speaking about his meal and the variety of chow that he consumed, the resident birdbrain of the Blueshirts’ beat, the insufferable and exhausting Mollie Walker, made this her lede story.

It’s “just a shame” that the other blithering idiot, Wince “Who’s Rod Gilbert?” Mercogliano, blew off this game to eat at home himself.

Here you have Trocheck talking for over three-minutes about food – a topic that unlike hockey – both Walker and Mercogliano actually know something about!

Journalism degrees aren’t worth what they used to be these days!

(And if I wasn’t racing against the clock right now, and perhaps had the Rangers lost too – then I’d spend much more time on this dumbass story!)


Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the seventeenth 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







The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:


For some reason, ESPN decided not to list Lafreniere’s goal – you know – the only goal of the match!




36 1 35 .972 30 3 2 0 0 59:30 0


32 0 32 1.000 26 5 1 0 0 60:00 0

Your updated Metropolitan Division standings following tonight’s games. And much like my failed predictions on Quick at the start of the season – I never pictured the Rangers in first-place – and handily at that – come Thanksgiving. And just like Quick – I am also happy to be wrong in my erroneous prognostication! Photo Credit: ESPN

At 6:30PM, when I first tuned into the M$GN, I was surprised to see “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” 2023 Hall of Famer, Henrik Lundqvist, in-studio.

While I know that he’s Swedish and might not celebrate the Thanksgiving Day holiday like many of us; I just thought he’d take the night off to be with his family.

In other words, while I was happy to see Hank there – I felt the complete opposite when I saw the seven-foot turkey, Sieve Vagistat, also in-studio.

And after tonight?

Sieve Vagistat, Steve Valiquette or whatever else that you want to call him, should perhaps change his legal name to “RAY TODD.”

Seriously, at one point during this broadcast, this feckless fool actually had the audacity to criticize Artemi Panarin when talking about the Rangers’ lack of scoring.

That was a bigger asshole comment than my stuff this summer about Quick!

I don’t know what this EXPECTED jerkoff brings to these broadcasts, but I EXPECT that he has pictures of some M$GN higher-up.

How this former Islander has a job with the Rangers is beyond me.

Worse than that?

There were several times during the broadcast where Lundqvist was poignantly speaking, and of course, from the eye-test perspective too – and where Vagistat then cut-off “THE KING” – and then brought down this broadcast with all of his useless ANALytical bullshit.

Word to the jackass: NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY.

Let Lundqvist speak – and don’t interrupt him either, ya big pile of turds!

Once Vagistat interrupted Lundqvist for the 95656756785th time, I zoned out.

Worse than that?

Lundqvist was speaking about the value of special teams – and the worst back-up goalie in Rangers’ history then cut him off to talk about his made-up five-vs-five arts & crafts, charts & graphs, bullshit.

Towards the end of the pregame show, Vagistat (correctly – WHAT A SHOCK) said that Thanksgiving Eve was one of the biggest drinking/bar nights of the year – and how he wanted to go to the bar.

It wasn’t mentioned if his drinking hole of choice was “The White Swallow,” “The Ramrod” or “The Blue Oyster.”

Of course, his remark was a transition to the “BUD LIGHT BAR” segment – where once there – all this jackal did was speak all over Lundqvist again.

I’m not sure if this is how it all played out verbatim, but from my best recollection, it sounded like this:

“Hank, what was you favorite memory from your Hall of Fame career?” – John Gianonne

“Well John….” – Lundqvist

“DID I EVER TELL YOU ABOUT THE TIME WHEN I STUCK A FLUTE UP MY FIVE-HOLE IN GOALIE CAMP? Heck boys, I stuck ten of them up there!” – Vagistat

It’s like Vagistat feels the need to be validated – and just like any other biggest idiot in the room – he has to talk over everyone else.


Come 7PM, we went to Sam Rosen, Joe Micheletti and their hairlines in Pittsburgh, where Rosen shrieked, “OH JOE, THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES JOE! SID THE KID CLEMENTE JOE! BIG BEN MALKIN JOE! HAPPY KWAANZA JOE!”

Okay, he didn’t really say that – but you almost believed me, no?

In a rarity, Sam and Joe actually spent their pregame portion of the broadcast promoting the team that they are paid to discuss, as our affable announcers sang the praises of Vincent Trocheck, Jonathan Quick and Erik Gustafsson.

And while there was Crosby talk that almost hit Pierre McGuire levels; for the most part, Sam and Joe were strong tonight.

Finally, GAME REVIEW time!

This 2020 box-set of Alexis Lafreniere rookie cards, which originally retailed for $24.99, could be found for as low as $6.99 on eBay – and just one month ago. Today? This box-set is now fetching up to $50 on eBay.


The best center at the dots in the NHL this season, NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO, got the start tonight since he’s a hometown boy in the city of the most overrated and worst heroes/hoagies/subs that you’ll ever find in America – Primanti Brothers. (Check out my Pittsburgh road-trip review from last season for more.)

Seriously. I’ve had better sandwiches at WaWa!

The Rangers’ #16 (52.9% at the circles tonight – and largely head-to-head against Sidney Crosby), bested #87 to win the first draw of the game.

The Penguins soon recovered, and at the 45-second mark of the game, the NHL leader in hits, Jacob Trouba, mowed down O’Connor.

And yep, and as you’d expect – Trouba heard the boos all game – a lasting tradition in the Steel City ever since “THE TROO TROO TRAIN” stopped at the Crosby station during the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

At just the ninety-second mark, Quick (and this may get lost a bit because of the final result), was as shaky as a Penn Station heroin addict needing a fix.

Quick made an initial save on Malkin at this moment – but left his net when doing so – thus leaving the twine ripe for the taking.

Malkin missed the net on the juicy rebound afforded.

(It was later revealed via replay that Zibanejad got a piece of this missed Malkin try – and if he hadn’t – then it would’ve been 1-0, bad guys, early. So while Mika can’t score to save his life these days – at least he isn’t letting the other team score either. Baby steps!)

Again Part I: While Quick was fantastic tonight – he did get some breaks too.

Again Part II: Just statin’, not hatin’!

On Kaapo Kakko’s first shift of the game, once jumping over the boards, he then applied gorilla glue on himself – and just like a little kid being left alone with a bottle of Coppertone in July – as he then glued himself to the boards.

Maybe a fan of the Penguins can answer this, but as this game progressed – you had to wonder if it was Halloween – and not Thanksgiving.

Similar to an AEW show, the entire crowd at the PPG Arena (how ironic, considering the Penguins’ 0-5 performance on the power-play tonight) was dressed up as empty chairs.

Seriously, all of the empty seats rivaled the Post-Mario/Pre-Rigged Crosby Draft Era of the one-time bankruptcy-bound Pens.

At the 4:29 mark, we had a wild sequence where Quick made a save while screened, Crosby shot the rebound into the post, the Rangers turned over the puck and then #32 stopped Guentzel on a two-vs-one odd-man rush.


In the other end, Jarry stopped Panarin (who didn’t pick up a point tonight, so his “pointless streak” is now extended to two games) and Lafreniere too.

Jarry wouldn’t stop Lafreniere’s second shot of the game, which took place at the 5:10 mark:

1-0, GOOD GUYS – and where who knew it at the time – the game-winner for #13 in Rangers’ white too!

We’ve seen the first-overall pick do this before – and he did it again here – as on a breakaway set-up by Zibanejad in the neutral zone – Lafreniere backhanded that bitch right past Jarry.

Eventually, this move will be scouted and Lafreniere will have to throw in a forehand switch from time-to-time – but for right now – don’t fix what’s not broken!

I’ve previously brought up on this site how many of Lafreniere’s goals are either tap-in goals or scores set-up by Panarin, but this particular game-winner was neither of the two.

Another thing that I’ve brought up in the past?

How Artemi Panarin, the highest-paid winger in the league, is paid to “level-up” his teammates.

Like a baby bird growing up and finding his wings – Lafreniere is doing the same.

My biggest concern about #13 was always about his consistency.

During the past three weeks?

Outside of Panarin and perhaps Gustafsson too – there hasn’t been a more consistent scorer than Lafreniere.

And as noted in the loss against Dallas – even when he isn’t scoring – he’s still majorly effective.

What can I say besides “KEEP IT UP!”

Let’s just hope that Kakko can one day follow Lafreniere’s lead – because now – and to go back to something I’ve said about 965585685675 times before too – I now am feeling like Mr. Belding!

(“I hope to be alive one day to see you achieve and reach your potential,” said the former principal of Bayside High to the bleach-blonde Zack Morris. It may have taken four-years, but I do think we’re seeing Lafreniere, and like Stella, “FINDING HIS GROOVE.”)

One more time: KEEP IT UP!

Seriously, this was a pure BIG DICK ENERGY goal from Lafreniere.

No Panarin?

No problem – as #13 didn’t hesitate for one second.

His confidence and own trust in his game has never been greater.

At around the nine-minute mark, Mika “Can I borrow some of your confidence and scoring prowess Mr. Lafreniere?” Zibanejad forced his third turnover of the game.

Yeah, he can’t hit the backside of a Kardashian sisters’ ass right now – but at least he contributed defensively tonight – and especially when it mattered the most – during penalty kills – and on the last play of the game too.

At the 9:20 mark, Cuylle and Pettersson collided – and where #50 didn’t even budge.

“Lias Andersson Who?” then retrieved the puck – a save for Jarry – but a heads-up and strong play for Cuylle.

As Sam Rosen did his usual act where he finds a family tree to talk about, where on this night, it was about the family Nylander (Alex plays for the Penguins); Jarry stopped Miller with 9:25 remaining.

Rosen also informed us for the 98767868967896869th time that the Penguins’ Ryan Graves (a former Rangers’ draft pick) and Blueshirts’ icon, Adam Graves, aren’t related.

Down to 8:47 remaining, Trouba made a god-awful turnover from his own end, which then set-up Malkin from the high slot. In a response, Quick bailed out his captain. Team game!

Following the save, the Rangers’ first line had their best offensive shift in some time, but alas, the same end result – no goal.

Come 7:20 left to be played, Quick, from his belly, made two saves in succession on his former teammate in Vegas, and fellow 2023 Cup Champ too, Reilly Smith.

No joke – at this moment, the Penguins could have been leading this game 5-1 – but between the saves and puck luck too – it just wasn’t going to happen for Mike “HE’S GOING TO THE RANGERS, I SWEAR – LARRY BROOKS” Sullivan’s night.

With 6:32 remaining, Miller took the first of five Ranger penalties – a legit o-zone infraction for holding Radim Zohorna.

I was cursing out Sam and Joe here, as they did their best to will the Penguins into snapping their power-play goal drought – you know – the following:



Despite such exhibitions of black magic and voodoo – the Penguins, and with five power-plays tonight – continued their drought.


Speaking of buying lotto tickets; following the kill, as in two-seconds later, the Penguins scored with 4:30 remaining.

Prior to this alleged equalizer, a member of the mellow black-and-yellow had collided with Quick, where after the contact, the goalie’s glove went flying into the boards by the right corner – and a glove that almost knocked out Kakko – since he was humping the boards as usual at the time!

DESPITE QUICK BEING BAREHANDED, AND SCREAMING AT THE OFFICIALS TO NOTICE TO HIM – the refs shrugged this all off – and then allowed the goal to stand – and on a heavy shot that Quick tried to swipe at with said bare hand.

Thankfully, he didn’t make contact with this blazing piece of rubber.

Had he, who knows?

Maybe a broken hand for the 2024 Vezina Trophy candidate.

Laviolette, who was foaming at the mouth like CUJO (the Stephen King dog – and not Curtis Joseph), screamed at the inept officials for allowing this to happen.

Rather than challenging for referee incompetence (a rule that the league’s GM’s should fight for this summer); instead, Lavy challenged this goal for offside.

Upon replay and review – it was ruled that Nylander was indeed offside.

NO GOAL – and the first review that the Rangers have seemingly won since the inception of video replay!

Be right back.

I’m back – as I just bought a POWERBALL ticket – because the Rangers finally winning a video replay review has to be a sign!

Down to 3:53 remaining, and pissed-off that they had to side with the Rangers; the officials then boxed Lafreniere for allegedly hooking Pettersson.

This was utter garbage – as #13, when playing defense on the ice bird – had his stick grabbed and held under Pettersson’s armpit.

But you know the deal:

There were a lot of fugazi penalties called against the Rangers by the Penguins “seventh man” on the ice tonight. But for yours truly, a man who loves his cliches? “PUCK DON’T LIE!”

The Rangers, now in FTW mode, didn’t even allow a SOG during their second successful penalty kill.

1-0, GOOD GUYS, through twenty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

I took this picture in May of 2014, during the Martin St. Louis inspired Rangers’ playoff comeback against the Penguins. This picture – and my memories from that series – will never die.


I’m already at word 7,000 – and my alarm clock is getting closer-and-closer.

Let me try to move faster at this time, but if you want the full-play-by-play of this game, then follow my live-tweets over at https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

If there was anything that was truly noticeable tonight, then it was “THE BREAD LINE 3.0” – as all of their passes were crisp and on-point.

But just like everyone else tonight – they just couldn’t score – but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.

(Again – Lafreniere’s lone goal came at the end of his shift – as it was Zibanejad who set it up.)

Similar to Quick – Jarry was also excellent in net.

On their first shift of this second stanza, Lafreniere set-up Trocheck, but the Steel City native went wide on his shot.

On their next shift, Trocheck tried to repay the favor from Gretzky’s Office (“Who is Gretzky?” – Wince), but another backhanded shot from Lafreniere, this time from the crease, was denied.

After a Quick BESSIE save on Smith; GUS BUS then broke up an O’Connor one-on-one opportunity with 14:50 remaining.

Nick Bonino, credited with four blocks tonight (but it felt like much more than that), gave up his body with 13:45 to go – and while Kakko, who was french-kissing the boards at the time, watched.

With 13:24 remaining, John Ludvig Van Beethoven interfered with Braden Schneider.

On the first Rangers’ power-play of the game, a lot of what I’ve been saying during the past three weeks applied here, including:

— Panarin and Gustafsson playing catch – and trying to limit the Mika one-timers to nowhere.

— Kakko getting PP2 time – rather than letting the red-hot Panarin go for the full two-minutes.

— Kakko doing his Sonja Henie act (read my first book for more – as her name was once chanted at Lynn Patrick during his rookie season – and yes, I know – maybe a handful of you know who Henie was) – where following his ballerina recital – he turned over the puck and that was it for the Rangers’ power-play.

At the half-way mark of the game/period, Rosen blurted out, “THE PENGUINS HAVE A GOOD THREESOME JOE!”

I’m 41-years-old, but I still have a maturity level of 12-year-old, which is why I laughed like Beavis when Rosen told us this.

With 8:24 remaining, Jarry stopped Trouba.

At this moment, it felt like this game could’ve been 4-3, 5-4 or 6-5 – and for either side – but due to the strong work in net from both goalies – we remained at 1-0, GOOD GUYS.

Following a Quick save on Crosby, and crazier than that – a rare SOG from Kakko too – the 1-0 score remained with 6:45 left to be ticked on the clock.

Similar to most of this period – you just felt like the Penguins would tie it – but such an idea never came to be – and praise the hockey gods!

This most certainly was true with 4:40 remaining – following a wide shot from Ranger Killer, Jake Guentzel.

With 34-seconds remaining, Trouba was blatantly tripped, but the refs must’ve been watching YouPorn on their phones – as they didn’t call this – and as a result – screwed the Rangers instead.

However, and most importantly, the Rangers maintained their one-goal margin at the final horn.

1-0, GOOD GUYS, through two periods.

Here’s what I said at the time:

My tenth and most recent book, “The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History.” For the free sample chapter on Jonathan Quick,  check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/villains/


Long story short?

The Rangers, forced by these inept officials to kill three power-plays during this final frame, were out-shot 15-4.

(For a comparison, the visitors out-shot the home team 15-9 in the first period and 17-8 in the second period.)

In other words, with the game on the line, and with his team unable to find twine too – and let’s say this in the Jan Brady voice too – “JONATHAN, JONATHAN, JONATHAN!”

These final twenty-minutes, and simply put, was a masterclass as orchestrated by “THE MAESTRO” Jonathan Quick.

Not even 35-seconds in and there was Quick to make a game-changing right pad save on Crosby – as all seven shot attempts from #87 were denied tonight.

With 18:05 remaining, Wheeler was high-sticked by Nylander, but instead of calling that, the officials decided to box the former Jet for hooking – the same profession as their mothers.

Following a Quick ski-mask robbery save on Guentzel; with 1:13 left on the Rangers’ PK, the worst Norris Trophy winner of all-time, the 2023 minus-26 Erik Karlsson, slashed Kreider.

Once the foreplay (4 x 4 ) reached its conclusion, Letang boarded Kreider (no call) and in a response, CK20 unleashed his inner beast (and TROO TROO TRAIN too) when he absolutely rocked #58 in black-and-yellow to kingdom come.

I’m surprised that Kreider didn’t receive a penalty for this.

Thankfully, the clean hit stood – and so did the hit from Ludvig van Beethoven too – when the Penguin merged Kaako into his lover, the boards.

If you’re keeping count, then you’ll realize that this is the 967567567675656 time where Kakko had to pick out splinters from his body.

Seriously, are there magnets on the boards and on Kakko’s skates?

With 13:30 remaining, and following another Quick save on Crosby, I tweeted out this on Elon Musk’s app:

No bullshit – I really meant this.

Had the Penguins came back (and I’m ecstatic that they did not), then this still would’ve been one hell of a goalie’s duel.

And this is true as well – Quick’s performance in net – and Lafreniere’s goal too – took Mika No Goals off of the hook, AGAIN, too.

As Sam and Joe discussed the 2014, 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup winners for whatever reason (and this made me want to throw my remote at them); with eleven minutes remaining, Trouba was boxed for a delay of game, as the Blueshirts’ captain had soared a puck over the glass.

The Rangers?

They just went on to casually kill their fourth penalty of the game.

Following a TV timeout (and this is important – as the team got a blow here), the Rangers were back on the PK again, as Goodrow was falsely accused of tripping and hooking Graves.

In reality, Graves was diving for a loose puck – and no penalty was committed.

I can’t think of the exact season off of the top of my head, but does anyone else remember when embellishment penalties were seemingly called in all 82-games – and on all 30 teams at the time? (Before Vegas and Seattle.)

Without a shadow of a doubt – Ryan “No Relations to Adam Joe” Graves embellished on this play.

The Penguins did hit the cross bar here following a long-distance tip-try – but they’d never hit the net.

The Rangers’ penalty kill was now a perfect 5 of 5.

And assholes such as Sieve Vagistat will continue to devalue special teams.


By now, you should know another one of my cliches:


As Micheletti sounded despondent over the Penguins’ 0-5 power-play; with 5:57 remaining, Jarry came up with a hell of a stop on Lafreniere – as #13 attacked the man in the barrel all game.

With 3:00 minutes remaining – the Rangers only had three shots on goal.

Seventeen seconds later, the worst Norris Trophy winner in league history tripped #17 himself, Blake Wheeler.

While it wasn’t over yet – the Rangers were able to successfully burn two minutes off of the clock.

In addition, the Blueshirts’ power-play never seem that interested in scoring the insurance goal – and that was evident when Lavy threw two d-men on the ice to begin this man-advantage.

(Miller replaced Wheeler – and wow – #79 would then bat a loose puck away from Quick during a Pens’ short-handed attack too!)

Also during these two-minutes?

Trouba, and all by his lonesome, killed about thirty-seconds of game clock, when during two separate instances – he just sat behind Quick with the puck and watched the clock evaporate.

With 47-seconds remaining, and now at full-strength; Laviolette went to his fourth-line to close.

They controlled the puck, and as result, Jarry had to wait until there were eighteen-seconds remaining before leaving the ice.

Seven-seconds later, and following a Quick stoppage; Sullivan took his timeout – and with a faceoff due in the Rangers’ zone.

With the game on the line – Zibanejad blocked a shot – and then cleared the puck.

1-0, GOOD GUYS, your final.

While the scoring wasn’t there for tonight, sometimes, you need to win games in this fashion.

But of course, you can only emerge victorious this way when your goalie is impregnable.

Yes, it’s a team-win tonight – but it doesn’t happen without Quick.

And at the risk of sounding blasphemous – I don’t think the Rangers win this way with CZAR IGOR in net tonight.

There were just too many Blueshirt blunders – and where I just feel that one of them would’ve went into their net had CZAR IGOR started.

Plus, and I’m not revealing new info here – he DOES let the trolling in Pittsburgh get to him – which is perhaps why Lavy started Quick tonight.

However, the Rangers’ beat reporters dare not ask such a thing, and as you can see below, in the post-game edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE”:

Due to Quick – this win masked a lot of present issues on the team – but it’s only Game 17 – and plenty of time for rectification.

Few notes as we go home here:

— As mentioned earlier this week, there will be no live-tweeting of Friday’s game against the Flyers, as I’m attending my local watering hole’s watch party.

— I should have something up after the game – but it will be short.

— That blog will also be posted way late – as I’m also sticking around the bar for the Jets/Dolphins game!

— Regular GAME REVIEWS return on Saturday, when the Rangers host the Bruins – and where Lundqvist will get his HOF flowers – as he will be dropping the ceremonial first puck.

But above all else –


You guys and gals are why I do this site, and I’m thankful for that.

If that wasn’t the case, then I’d just be screaming about this team to myself – like Derek NO FLEX on his site!

Enjoy the holiday!

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

On Tuesday night, our friends over at The Blueshirt Underground Show returned with an all new episode. To check it out, click the play button below:

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:

NYR/DAL 11/20 Review: Can’t Win ‘Em All, But Mika Zibanejad Gets Paid for 82 Games – And Not 55 Games! “One of Those Types of Nights,” Eye Test Trumps All, Panarin Streak Snapped; Video Review Streak Extended, Kakko Puckko Luckko, Fox Nearing Return, Defending Lavy, The Rusty Russian, Not a Loss to Worry About, M$GN & More


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

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

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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8 thoughts on “NYR/PIT 11/22 Review: 2024 Vezina Trophy Candidate Jonathan Quick Stuffs Crosby – And Shuts Out The Penguins Too! Lafreniere’s Lone Signature Goal Holds Up As Game-Winner in an All-Out Thriller, Perfect 5-5 Penalty Kill, A VIDEO REPLAY REVIEW VICTORY (Buy a Lotto Ticket!), Lavy, Birdbrain Beat, Poor Predictions, M$GN & More

  1. While your hockey knowledge cannot be challenged, your blog is by far way too lengthy, and your constant complaints about Mollie Walker and Steve Valiquette are not appreciated whatsoever by this particular, occasional , reader. I wish you would leave that crap out. I love Steve and as for Mollie, I am ambivalent. I just don’t appreciate the constant criticism. It’s low rent.

    1. Can’t please everyone, but I write to myself and don’t try to sanitize anything. I don’t see how it’s low rent when it’s valid.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you also! Enjoy the time with your family.
    No game is complete until I’ve read your review, keep up the fantastic work!

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