NYR/DAL 1/12 Review: Blueshirts “Star” In Most Dramatic Win of the Season Yet! Miller’s Buzzer-Beater Earns Rangers One Point; Fox’s OT Game Winner Gets The Second, Finding Ways To Win, “Scratchy,” Gallant, Jake Leschyshyn’s Arrival Creates Doubt for Fringe Futures, Lundqvist, M$GN & More

Yes, I still have that damn 5AM train to catch on Friday morning (sorry Joe L. – I had to bring it up!) – but even if I didn’t – I’d still be up late following the Rangers’ most dramatic win of the season! After all, who can sleep after what we just witnessed? For 59:59 on Thursday night at M$G, Stars’ goalie, Jake Oettinger, was pitching a shut-out. K’Andre Miller then broke up the no-no with just .1 seconds remaining in regulation. Adam Fox, who should be your 2023 Norris Trophy winner, then turned what should’ve been a shutout into a two goals allowed game for Mr. O – and better than that – two more points in the standings for our beloved Blueshirts. As John Davidson would say, “OH BABY!”

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. WOW!

I don’t even know where to begin!

How about starting with a personal pregame story, and then cover everything else in a chronological fashion? Work for you? Good!

Nine years ago, I first met “EDDIE WHISTLES,” a name that’s popped up on this site many times before.

While he will tell you that he’s my boss at work (at least he thinks he is – and to be fair – he is – but I must break balls here); very quickly, due to our love of sports, gambling, and perhaps imbibing in a few pops and belts too, where maybe 5,000 or so suds have been shared between us during these past nine years; we became friends.

Since we both work in Manhattan; for nearly a decade now, we take the train from our respective Long Island abodes, both to-and-from work. We also attend many Ranger games together.

Furthermore – during these last nine years – we always see the same homeless people at Penn Station.

And let me stop you here before you give me the P.C. nonsense and fake outrage – homelessness is a reality and I’m not taking pot-shots at anyone’s unfortunate circumstances.

Instead, I’m just telling you how it is – and if you’ve been to Penn Station – then you know exactly what I’m talking about – as more times than not – the majority of the homeless people at 33rd & 7th are like a sea of “Walking Dead” drugged-out zombies.

One of these down-on-their-luck poor souls is someone we’ve nicknamed as “SCRATCHY.”

(And since I don’t want anyone accusing me of kicking someone when they are down – I’m not posting a picture of this guy on this site. Furthermore, I only have a picture of this guy because me and EDDIE WHISTLES share it whenever we’re not together – and for reasons I’ll soon explain.)

When we first met SCRATCHY, it was obvious – he has, and probably still has, a crippling heroin and/or fentanyl addiction. It is what it is, and again, if you’ve been to Penn Station – then none of this will surprise you.

Why the “SCRATCHY” nickname? From what we surmise, he must be scratching the hell out of his head on a frequent basis, because he’s missing patches of hair all over the place – where I’m assuming he only does this whenever he’s using.

For over nine years now, SCRATCHY has been part of our daily commute to work – and where yes – we’ve both given him several greenbacks during this time.

I can’t tell you why out of the 1,000 or so homeless people that one encounters at Penn Station that we decided this was the one that we decided to help out – but in any event – that’s always been the case.

While we’ve always seen SCRATCHY, and probably 1,000 or so times over the years too; something happened this hockey season.

While we don’t see SCRATCHY everyday (and sometimes – we worry about his whereabouts when we don’t see him for stretches of time); when we have seen him this season – the Rangers have gone on to win their game that night.

In a story that reeks of pure degenerate gambling 101 (and it is); the following:

As EDDIE WHISTLES and I were making our trek from our job site back to Penn Station on Thursday afternoon; we got to the escalator that takes you down to the train level – and where we usually see SCRATCHY.

As the two of us were talking about tonight’s game, and if we should bet on it or not, as both of us thought the -125 line (in favor of the Rangers) was kind of high, especially with Chris Kreider out of the line-up; I remarked, “stay away, we didn’t see SCRATCHY” – as previously this season, whenever one of us sees him, we’ve been betting on the Rangers – and they’ve won every single time following a SCRATCHY SIGHTING.

Then it happened.

As we were set to board our train, there was SCRATCHY, waist-deep in a garbage can, where I guess he was collecting empty cans.

Once spotting SCRATCHY – that was it – we both placed significant wagers on the Rangers to win tonight.

Come 9:45PM EST or so, and with about 30 seconds remaining during tonight’s Rangers/Stars game, I received a text from EDDIE WHISTLES – “the SCRATCHY streak has ended.”

29.9 seconds later – K’Andre Miller scored the Rangers’ equalizer, which tied the game 1-1.

1:16 later, and now in the overtime, Adam Fox won the game, following an electric and hectic shift in front of Oettinger’s net.


And yes – I hope that I see SCRATCHY TOMORROW – so I can then give him a $20 bill.

For the second consecutive game, Fox and Miller, both American defensemen, scored goals. While the Rangers’ power-play was putrid again, and where it felt like the FAT CATS couldn’t get anything going – all of that is now under a lumpy rug, following the heroics from MILLER TIME and FOXY! Photo Credit: NYR

Let’s face it – if Miller’s flair for the dramatics hadn’t taken place, then not only would the tone of this blog been, “eh, sometimes it’s just not your night;” but this manifesto would’ve been the shortest of the season too!

Instead, and unlike SCRATCHY – I’m riding a natural high!

Furthermore, I’m sure that every beat reporter that covered tonight’s game had their 50-word stories neatly written with about thirty seconds or so to go in regulation, where all of them would’ve read like this:

“On a night where Kreider was injured, the Rangers (who went 0-4 on the power-play) looked maimed themselves, following tonight’s 1-0 shutout loss to the Stars.”

Instead, both Miller and Fox forced most of these birdbrains, and just like the Rangers themselves, to work overtime – and re-write their stories.

While it’s tough to ignore the horrific and odorous power-play (now 0-7 in their last two games played) and the lack of production from both Zibanejad and Panarin – it’s also easy to neatly sweep that dirt under the rug – and focus on another huge comeback victory for the Rangers.

Seriously, had Oettinger made one more save – then you could’ve recapped this game in both a short and distinct manner.

And once I get to the GAME REVIEW, you’ll see what I mean – as I’ll include my “live tweets” for you too.

Time is a tickin’, and I have that 5AM train to catch – and hopefully – an encounter with SCRATCHY in my near-future!

In other words, let’s roll.

Up first, all of the pregame news & notes, including the Rangers’ acquisition of Jake Leschyshyn from Wednesday afternoon.

We’re back to this again.

On early Wednesday afternoon, just a tad over twelve hours removed from their 4-3 shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild; the Rangers held an optional practice at their facility in Tarrytown, NY.

The non-mandatory skate was well-attended, but with two notable exceptions.

The first exception was Adam Fox, who played nearly thirty minutes on Tuesday night, as the 2021 Norris Trophy winner, and who is currently making a claim for the 2023 honor too, continues to lead the Blueshirts in TOI.

The second exception was perhaps the most “expected exception,” Chris Kreider.

While the Rangers, nor Gallant, would provide specific information on CK20’s injury, his first real injury/ailment suffered since the days of David Quinn behind the Rangers’ bench, the 2019-20 season; it is thought that Kreider injured his shoulder on Tuesday night.

During the practice, the Rangers confirmed what many suspected – Kreider was ruled out for Thursday night.

In his place on the Rangers’ first line was the struggling Alexis Lafreniere – who we’ll get into in just a bit.

In some good news, Julien Gauthier, who was double-teamed by Ryan Reaves and Brandon Duhaime on Tuesday, thus ending his night before the 5:00 mark of the game hit, was back on the ice on Wednesday.

In some bad news, his fate was destined to repeat on Thursday.

Following the optional practice, Gallant held his daily “TURK TALK” – a seven-minute chat that we’ve heard before.

Check it out:

If you have been watching all of these “TURK TALKS” all season, then Wednesday’s edition was more of the same – as the media asked the head coach the same exact questions as they’ve been asking him during the past several weeks or so.

In fact, this “TURK TALK” felt like a carbon copy of the one from last week, which took place prior to the Rangers vs Canadiens game in Montreal, when the Francophile scribes spent their time with the head coach asking him nothing but non-stop questions related to Lafreniere.

After talking about CK20, where Gallant said that he believes that Kreider’s injury is a short-term thing; the media then spent the bulk of their time with Double G asking him about Lafreniere.

In case you’re too lazy to watch the video, you can find a complete transcript of Wednesday’s “TURK TALK” here: https://nyrangersnews.com/2023/01/11/updates-from-the-rangers-on-wednesday-21/#more-196341

Since I’ve covered all of these comments before, as Gallant said more of the same – he trusts in Lafreniere, he’s not worried about his recent struggles, #13 had an unorthodox beginning, the head coach is in “WIN NOW” mode, the 2020 first-overall pick is only 21-years old, he doesn’t receive power-play time etc – there’s no reason to waste time with all of this again.

Simply stated: Lafreniere needs to get going – or that “b-word,” as in “bust,” will continue to be associated with him – even if I’m not one of the people using that word – but as many currently are.

As far as anything else Lafreniere related; Gallant confirmed that #13 would sub in for #20 on Thursday night – including on the first power-play unit.

Not for nothing, but it is my opinion that Kaapo Kakko would have been a better fit; but as the head coach said – he wanted to make a player-for-player swap – rather than making a snowball effect of changes.

Following both the news of Kreider’s injury and Wednesday’s “TURK TALK;” the Rangers made a roster transaction – one that’s not exactly the best news for players such as Jonny “HOCKEY” Brodzinski, Ryan Carpenter and Gustav Rydahl.

The Rangers claimed Jake “My last name is going to give Sam Rosen an aneurysm” Leschyshyn on Wednesday afternoon. Photo Credit: NYR

In a story first broken by Elliotte Friedman of SportsNet; at 2PM on Wednesday, the Rangers claimed Jake Leschyshyn from the Vegas Golden Knights. A half-hour later, the club issued a press release about their most recent waiver claim.

The following comes courtesy of https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-claim-forward-jake-leschyshyn-off-waivers/c-339810798?icmp=int_web_nyr_news_rightrail:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has claimed forward Jake Leschyshyn (leh-SIH-shuhn) off waivers.

Leschyshyn, 23, has skated in 22 games for the Vegas Golden Knights this season, recording 38 hits. His 10.80 hits per 60 ranked fourth on Vegas. The Raleigh, North Carolina native has played in 63 NHL games with the Golden Knights over the last two seasons, notching two goals and four assists for six points.

In 137 American Hockey League (AHL) games in the Knights’ organization, Leschyshyn has posted 24 goals and 22 assists for 46 points. He notched AHL career-highs last season with Henderson when he tallied 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points in 34 games.

Prior to making his professional debut, Leschyshyn played in parts of five seasons in the Western Hockey League (WHL) between the Regina Pats and Lethbridge Hurricanes. In 257 WHL games, he notched 180 points (85G-95A) and was captain for Regina in 2018-19.

Leschyshyn was originally drafted by the Golden Knights in the second round, 62nd overall, of the 2017 NHL Draft.

While Leschyshyn was in the Golden Knights’ organization when Gallant was there; he never played under the head coach while in Vegas. He may have a chance to play for Gallant, now in New York. Photo Credit: NHL.com

As talked about during my “Mid-Season Report Card” – you never know what a general manager is thinking, nor who they have their eyes on.

In other words, this roster claim came out of left field – at least for people not named Chris Drury!

The big picture here is that Leschyshyn is another, “low risk, high reward” type of a player – kind of like Jimmy Vesey – but without the track record.

On August 13th, 2022, the son of a Stanley Cup champion (Curtis, who won the chalice in Colorado in 1996, and who also skated in 1,033 regular season NHL contests); re-signed in Vegas, when he agreed to a three-year deal worth $2,300,000 overall.

For several different reasons, Leschyshyn (“Oh Joe, he’s only 23-years old, THE KIDS Joe!”) didn’t work out in Vegas.

And see, despite what’s being sold by many others – young players not working out isn’t a problem exclusive to the Rangers either! This happens everywhere in the league, as contrary to popular opinion – not every draft pick goes on to have a Hall of Fame career!

Due to Leschyshyn just re-signing in Sin City; the Rangers acquired a player on a team-friendly deal ($766,667 per season – and a deal that expires following the 2024-25 campaign) and with no risks attached.

While I can’t profess to have watched every single minute of Leschyshyn’s career; what I can tell you, from just scouring the social media pages of the Golden Knights and from talking to some fans that I know that religiously watch their beloved Knights – Leschyshyn has been on a major slump.

Then again, this was pretty easy to deduce – because if he wasn’t on a major cold streak – then Vegas would have never waived him in the first place.

As a result of this acquisition, a few facts for you:

— This isn’t exactly great news for the previously mentioned Brodzinski, Rydahl and Carpenter.

— Unless the Rangers to run the risk of immediately waiving Leschyshyn (with the intent of assigning him to Hartford – which wouldn’t make sense since they just claimed him off of waivers) – an all too valuable roster spot is now his to lose – and where these three aforementioned players now slide beneath him on the depth chart.

— With Kreider currently out, and the Rangers now carrying 23-men; once Kreider returns to full-health, it’s very likely that the Rangers will then get down to 22-players again, as they gear up for the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline – and with that “a-word” we’ve talked about all season in mind – “accrue.”

A few predictions for you? The following:

— Brodzinski returns to his role as captain of the Wolfpack once Kreider returns.

— The Rangers hope they can get some pop from Leschyshyn as a fourth-line center – and as a second unit penalty killer too.

— Leschyshyn quickly buddies up to players similar to his skill-set/role, Barclay Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey.

And should Leschyshyn not work out?

The Rangers can do what Vegas just did – waive him – and with no penalties to their current salary cap situation to worry about.

Good luck to Leschyshyn – who once getting in the line-up – I can’t wait for Rosen to pronounce his name!

Remember this horrible photoshop that I frequently posted on this site following the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline? Standby…

On Thursday, the newest Ranger spoke to the media.

Here’s Leschyshyn’s first interview as a Blueshirt:

Leschyshyn, as you’d expect, talked about the wide-range of emotions he had experienced during the past 48 hours or so.

Leschyshyn was feeling low after Vegas gave up on him, but immediately felt better when the Rangers came calling.

The newest resident of Rangerstown, USA mentioned that he came in late last night and was still getting all of his bearings together; as while he did have a short conversation with Chris Drury – he hadn’t spoken to the Rangers’ coaching staff at the time of his media interview.

Leschyshyn, who did seem as giddy as a school girl about his new situation, as you could feel his excitement by just listening to him speak; did provide one scintillating nugget of information – he’s friends with Braden Schneider and trains with him during the off-seasons.

That remark led yours truly to these next comments:

Interesting fact: Jake Leschyshyn trains/works out with Braden Schneider during the off-seasons.
CONSPIRACY THEORY: After “Trouba’z Treehouse” last season; Drury is now loading the Rangers with “Schneider’s Sidekicks!”


Finally, as we wrap-up all of the pregame news and notes; here was Thursday’s pregame edition of “TURK TALK”:

While Gallant only spoke for less than one hundred seconds, he did reveal the following tidbits:

— As mentioned, Leschyshyn arrived to Broadway at a late hour, so in turn, Gallant’s newest forward wouldn’t be playing tonight.

— However, Gallant did say that he plans on giving Leschyshyn a chance, where as opined earlier, the head coach plans on using him as a fourth line center and penalty killer.

— Gallant hit all of his “TURKISMS” when speaking of Leschyshyn, such as “he works hard,” “he competes hard,” etc.

— On the injured Chris Kreider, Dr. Gallant belted out his three favorite words, “day-to-day;” then said that CK20’s injury shouldn’t keep him out long. He even left the door open that Kreider may even play when the Rangers play next, this Sunday, at home against the Canadiens.

— Gallant, who was forthcoming about his line-up (as lately, he has played it coy); said that Blais would return, while CZAR IGOR would get the nod in net.

I know that this is what many Ranger fans are hoping for! Maybe one day – as this certainly wasn’t the case tonight.

Here was Thursday’s line-up:

FIRST LINE: Lafreniere/Mika/Kakko

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Kravtsov

THIRD LINE: Vesey/Chytil/Goodrow

FOURTH LINE: Blais/Brodzinski/Gauthier

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Harpur/Schneider



OF NOTE: Libor Hajek, one day before “FRIDAY THE 13TH,” spent his 13th consecutive game pounding popcorn in the press box.


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





31 2 29 .935 22 7 0 0 0 60:35 2


25 1 24 .960 23 1 0 0 0 59:04 0


While CZAR IGOR debunked the “he has a young kid at home and that’s why he struggles on M$G ice” theory for one night, and while yes, I’m his biggest fan too – K’Andre Miller deserved the second star of the game. However, and as I always say about the three stars of the game – who cares? As long as they win! LGR!

For the first time at home this season, the freshly two-timed kissed Henrik Lundqvist took Vagistat’s spot in the Chase Bridges during tonight’s pregame show. Unfortunately, the worthless Sieve Vagistat, who wish he could’ve kissed Lundqvist himself, took Maloney’s place at the Square Space Studio.

At 6:30PM, I tuned into M$GN – and then stuck with the pregame show since Lundqvist was there.

As you’d suspect, the lede story was about Kreider’s injury.

Here’s what Lundqvist said about his former teammate:

“It’s going to take a few guys to replace a guy like Kreider. It also means opportunities, especially for guys who want to play more.”

Lundqvist was referring to Alexis Lafreniere here – a #13 who I didn’t think did much to stand out, nor take advantage of this opportunity tonight.

Of course, and to be fair – it’s not like any of the Ranger forwards did much tonight either – but as is the case – all eyes remain on the first-overall pick – especially since he hasn’t scored a goal since December 7th – unsuitable for a player of his status.

After Lundqvist opined on the team; the useless Sieve Vagistat bombarded us with all of his made-up arts & crafts and charts & graphs. You know, the same Vagistat, who just 48 hours earlier, in his one rare moment of truth, excitedly shrieked following the Rangers’ overtime win against Minnesota – “you can throw away the analytics!”

You know, the same loser who three times this season has defiantly declared, “THE RANGERS LOST A MUST-WIN GAME.”

And oh yeah, this too:

Yes, the Rangers have lost some bad games this season – but “MUST WIN” games? I don’t think so – especially not during the first 25% of the season! Photo Credit: ESPN

No joke – my nieces’ Thanksgiving Turkey “trace-by-hand” art is more valuable than one of Vagistat’s “Clear-Asshole-ANALytics!”

Up next was Michelle Gingras interviewing Filip Chytil, where the lone female employee of these Ranger M$GN broadcasts certainly had no chemistry with the Czech, as opposed to her peer over on ESPN, Emily Kaplan, does.

No joke – Gingras just asked Chytil some prearranged questions, delivered in a robotic manner, where she didn’t follow up on any of #72’s answers. In fact, Chytil, at one point, pretty much said, “I just told you…”

Once back to the seven-foot braying jackass; Vagistat told us that Fox should have nine more assists this season – or one less than the ten goals that the worst back-up goalie of the Lundqvist Era once gave up to these same Stars from Dallas.

For good measure, Vagistat then did his usual schtick, where he thinks he’s headlining at some random “Chuckle Hut” in front of 25 people on a weeknight – he made fun of Lundqvist’s career and then compared his own crappy career to the man known as “The King.”

At least Vagistat laughs at his own jokes – because nobody else does. They do laugh about his career though!

Once returned to a goalie who actually did something in his career; Lundqvist then spoke about the soft goal that CZAR IGOR afforded to Zuccarello on Tuesday night:

“Igor is a winner. He always finds a way to win games. The team can feel that. Yeah that goal [Zucc], but they know he can shut the door after that.”

In turn? Igor then had one of his best games on home ice this season.

To close the pregame show; Lundqvist then did some rapid-fire Q&A, where he said the following:

— On the “kiss heard ’round the world;” Lundqvist said he’s good friends with the pair of Hollywood men, Alex Skarsgard and Ryan Reynolds.

— Hank said that he’s been friends with his fellow Swede, Skarsgard, for some time now. He also said that Deadpool is very serious about joining a group to purchase the Ottawa Senators.

— Lundqvist, now often a spectator at M$G whenever he’s not working for their network; said he loves attending games and being a fan. Of course – he does sit in the best seats in the house – and for a guy who earned over $100M in career-earnings during his playing days – he doesn’t have to pay for them either! That’s a great gig if you can get it!

— And similar to Vagistat being jealous about two men kissing Lundqvist; I’m jealous of Lundqvist’s awesome seats on the arm!

— Finally, when asked about perhaps a future career in coaching, Lundqvist said, “that’s a no for me.” As everyone knows, coaching is a tough 24/7 gig, and Lundqvist said he’s aware of all the time and hard work that goes into it. Plus, when CAESARS is padding your bank account, probably for more money than most head coaches make – who needs that stress?

Come 7PM, we went to the Stars’ cheerleaders, Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti – where good God almighty – does M$GN have a stylist on their payroll?

Whether it’s his toupee or the bad comb-over – you would think that someone would address Rosen’s exposed scalp – after all – this is a multi-billion dollar organization involved in the aesthetic television business!

However, the Hall of Fame announcer did give us the understatement of all understatements as he closed out his segment – The Rangers are hoping that Lafreniere can score.

I’d say!


While Miller will get all of the headlines for his buzzer-beater (and rightfully so); I thought that of all Ranger d-men, and really, all Ranger skaters too – that Ryan Lindgren was the best of the lot. Photo Credit: NYR

These first twenty minutes, and really, this entire game in general, was a defensive affair.

While I wouldn’t consider the first 59:59 of this game “boring,” as many others expressed on social media – it also wasn’t a game that you’d use to introduce a new fan of hockey to.

Between 7678968967896789687 turnovers (where both Lafreniere and Panarin were the biggest offenders), blocked shots, sticks breaking up passes, and where neither team were giving up an inch of the ice – there wasn’t much offense to speak of during this first frame.

Forty seconds into the game, we had our first example of this, as Kakko turned over the puck, Fox recovered and then Lafreniere turned over the puck (his first of three during this period) – which led to CZAR IGOR making his first save, on Joe Pavelski.

As Sam and Joe gave you every Dallas stat known to man; it was also mentioned that today was “BIG BEN HARPUR’s” (that’s what Sam called him), 28th birthday.

Once again, the third pair, Harpur and Braden Schneider, had a good game – and ended their short two-game streak of finishing in the minus column. (Both finished with a 0 – where in this case – a zero is a good thing!)

To celebrate his birthday, Harpur showed off his ruggedness, when early into the game, he lightly shoved Kiviranta – which sent the left-winger flying. I don’t know if EMBELLISHMENT on Kiviranta should’ve been called here – because after all, and as Rosen said, Harpur is a “big” dude.

3:00 in, and as Micheletti bawled his eyes out over the injured Roope Hintz; Sammy Blais attempted a deke in the Stars’ zone. It didn’t work out the way BLAIS DAY had planned.

As Sam started to pound his pud over Tyler Seguin, thus ensuring that the Star would later score tonight; Igor picked up his third save of the game at the 6:00 mark.

Really, for the next five minutes or so – just defensive hockey, where not much took place.

And let me be clear – the effort and hustle from both teams were not in question here. They both were “working hard Joe,” and playing well.

However, a 1980s Oilers’ game? This was not that!

At the half-way mark of the period, and following another turnover from Lafreniere; Fox snuffed out a Dallas deke-and-attempt at his goaltender.

Come 9:00 remaining – our first TV timeout – as there weren’t many whistles prior to this, as both teams played in the same exact fashion – turnovers forced, batting pucks away and blocking shots.

And it’s funny – for some reason Lindgren was only credited with one blocked shot tonight, but it felt like he finished with five. I guess the official scorers’ considered several of these plays as breaking up passes – even if these pucks were sent Igor’s way.

Down to 7:30 remaining, the Rangers had their best shift of the period – with the second pair, Panarin, Chytil and Vesey leading the way. However – no SOG – thus no goal scored either.

A minute later, Lafreniere turned the puck over again; but Harpur bailed out #13 from receiving a minus in the box score here, as #5 denied Dellandrea’s try.

A minute after that, Lindgren broke up a Stars’ two-vs-one odd-man rush.

Once we hit 5:00 remaining, Panarin made his first cross-ice pass to nowhere, a brand of turnover that he should patent.

Come 3:10 left on the clock, the first real save Oettinger had to make, as after a Kakko spin-o-rama backhanded pass; the goalie then denied Mika.

With only eighty seconds remaining, the following play:

This was a nasty friendly-fire collision, as Gauthier, without looking to see what was in front of him, skated right into a train-wreck of a hit by Sammy Blais.

This massacre, where blood and DNA were left all over the place as a result, as if Rob Zombie was directing; led to a stoppage, as both Rangers were down – and then went to the locker room.

While Blais would return for the second period, where after receiving several stitches, his bloody grill looked as if he had chomped down on a cinder block; Gauthier, and for the second consecutive game, didn’t return.

These are two unfortunate unhappy accidents for #12 – and where I’d suspect that Jake Leschyshyn will get a chance on Sunday – especially against a bad Montreal team – a perfect introduction.

To make matters worse, with half-a-minute remaining; Vesey blocked a shot with his rib-cage. He was obviously doubled-over in pain – but wouldn’t miss a shift. Hockey player.

Like a soccer game, nil-nil after one period.

Here’s what I said at the time:

I thought that Kakko had another good game tonight. I wouldn’t say the same about Lafreniere – where now, and similar to Kravtsov during his early struggles – I see a lot of fans stretching the truth – and just trying to find something positive to say about his poor play. I get it, but there’s no way I can say that a guy who went 0-4 on the power-play, and also turned over the puck more than four times, looked “good.”

We can blow by this period in bullet-point form – because this was the worst period of the game for the Rangers – and after how they finished – why relive all of the agony in a detailed fashion?

— The biggest highlight? The intermission segment where Gingras interviewed Kakko, a short chat that went like this:

MG: Kakko, this is your 200th game of the season. Where is your biggest growth?

KK: In my pants Michelle!

Okay, he didn’t really say that, but since I have the maturity (or is it “immaturity?”) level of a sixth-grader, I thought my stupid joke was funny – just like how Vagistat cracks up at his own junk!

In reality, Kakko said that he feels his biggest growth is his play at the boards and setting up his teammates.

— The Rangers, who didn’t receive a breakaway all game, and only had maybe three partial odd-man rushes tonight; received their first one here, one of the 4 x 2 variety – but Suter, and perhaps accidentally, blocked Fox’s shot – and at just the thirty second mark.

— With Gauthier out, Gallant was forced to juggle his lines – where once again, all of “The Turk’s” in-game moves worked out – especially at the end of the contest.

— At the time-marks of 5:34 (Fastka trip on Panarin), 8:44 (Marchment delay of game/puck over the glass) and 12:23 (Suter, roughing, for putting his glove in the mush of Lafreniere); the Rangers had three consecutive power-plays.

— Despite these three consecutive power-plays – the Rangers squandered this trio of man-advantages – and finished 0-3.

— Not even a Sam Rosen “reverse curse” could help the Rangers here; as the often-confused announcer remarked, “Lafreniere has never scored a power-play goal in his career.” That’s a streak that continued after tonight.

— A lot of the same crap, that you usually see whenever the Rangers’ powerless-play comes on, took place during these six minutes – Panarin won’t shoot, Mika goes wide, and you know the rest.

— And yep, while both Mika and Panarin received assists on Fox’s individual game-winning goal – for sixty minutes of regulation – neither one from this heralded 1-2 punch could score – a common problem for Panarin whenever playing against a top team during a tied or one-goal game.

— Up next, these collection of tweets in “real-time”:

Well, I got the part about the top guys not scoring right – and while it wasn’t a third-pair d-man scoring tonight – it was a pair of Rangers’ d-men who lifted the team.

As remarked – it looked like Dallas had scored here – but instead, this play was a case of the Trocheck’s – a post!

And some fans (idiots) thought that the Rangers would rue the day when they decided to go with Schneider over Lundkvist. It’s funny how those analytical/millennial fans are always wrong!

— With 3:01 left on the clock; Lindgren was falsely accused of “roughing” Rosen’s favorite Star, Tyler Seguin.

— I’m not complaining about the officials here. After all, the Rangers had already received three power-plays prior to this nonsensical call.

— That said – Lindgren was playing defense and clearing his net of the Dallas trash. In other words – you’d never see this call during a playoff game – and I thought this was call to “balance the game out” – as we all know that the NHL officials do – and as admitted by these zebras two years ago.

— Here’s what I said at the time:

57 seconds later, Seguin, who else, scored following his wide-open wrist shot.

1-0, bad guys.

Many fans were getting on Goodrow for this goal allowed, as he was kind of lost when attempting a line change.

You know me, and as said following the game with the Devils – I’m not going to knock a guy who has played well all season – and who has been one of the more consistent players of this team.

Furthermore, while I’m not ignoring that Goodrow messed-up here – this is what a power-play is designed to do – take advantage of the fact that you have one more player on the ice than your opponent – a fact that perhaps the Rangers, whose power-play remains horrible as of late – have lost sight of.

— And really – if you didn’t know that Dallas, following the Rangers’ 0-3 power-play, was going to score on their own power-play – then that means you haven’t been paying attention to this team.

Here’s what I said at the end of the period:

When Miller scored with .1 seconds remaining; I gleefully thought – “THE RANGERS STOLE A POINT!” The Rangers would then steal the game too! Photo Credit: M$GN


It’s getting late (that damn 5AM train) and really – the only thing that mattered is how this game concluded – and not what preceded during the first 59:59 played.

Let’s continue this bullet-point recap:

— At just the 1:10 mark, it looked like Dallas had scored again, following a Benn shot and then on the rebound afforded – but the game continued – and with no horn from Toronto to be found. Crisis averted, as replay later showed that the puck had hit the post and ricocheted out, rather than the puck hitting the back of the goal and out.

— At the four-minute mark, a pair of game-preserving saves from CZAR IGOR, as #31 stopped Heiskanen’s initial shot and then Pavelski’s rebound too.

— Near the seven-minute mark, I lamented:

— With 10:48 remaining, the Rangers received another power-play – and now their fourth chance to score a goal.

— In a rarity, Oettinger was penalized for throwing his mask off, as a Zibanejad shot had hit his dome, thus loosening the straps on the back of his mask. At the time, the Rangers were on the attack, but as we’ve seen so many times before, where everyone in Rangerstown, USA is currently screaming out “BRADEN HOLTBY;” the officials usually blow the play dead during these situations – and then let the goalie fix his equipment.

— Not this time – and not a power-play goal for the Rangers either – who once again failed on this gift-wrapped opportunity.

— Up next, another tweet from yours truly, as I really want to give you my emotion in real-time, rather than the hindsight perspective:

— Now down to 1:45 remaining, CZAR IGOR vacated his net for the extra attacker.

— Fourteen seconds later, and following an Oettinger save-and-a-freeze; Gallant took his timeout.

— What I think will be lost in all of the hoopla of this win – the Rangers rarely shot the puck for the next ninety seconds.

— More important than that? Neither did the Stars – as they had two major GOOD LOOKS and opportunities to put the Rangers to bed – but despite being at center ice – never shot at the Rangers’ empty net. That’s their problem though – and not mine.

With just .1 seconds remaining, K’Andre Miller turned M$G into a sound box that rivaled Times Square on New Years’ Eve:

1-1, and one more time – with .1 seconds remaining!


How can you describe this goal? The word “WOW!”

Furthermore, good teams find a way, and the Rangers are good.

Better than that – how many times have we seen these plays go the other way? It’s about time one of these miracle moments happened for us!

In addition, I wouldn’t say that the Rangers played “like shit” tonight, although I would say their power-play was pretty crappy – because after all, the Stars only scored on their lone power-play – and outside of that – the Rangers shut them down.

However, and as I always say too – “not every game is a Picasso.”

Then again, from this point on – this game was a freakin’ Rangers’ masterpiece!

1-1 after sixty minutes.

Here was my deep analysis of the period at the time:

And this too – tonight’s game was the latest example of why Miller will command more money than Lafreniere come this off-season!

There’s a reason why Ranger fans are getting tattoos of Adam Fox on their skin! Photo Credit: Andre D.


Since the Rangers’ six-man unit of Miller, Fox, Mika, Panarin, Trocheck and Kakko were out there for nearly 2:20 (including the timeout sandwiched-in) at the end of regulation; come the overtime, Lafreniere, Schneider and Chytil kicked off the bonus frame.

And at the time – I was really hoping for a Lafreniere GWG – that would’ve boosted his confidence big-time. Duh.

While that wasn’t meant to be; what was, is that once the usual starting trio came on, Fox, Panarin and Mika; the three highest-paid players on the team then said LIGHTS OUT MOTHER-FINKER:




Also impressive? Fox, who assisted on Miller’s goal, finished tonight’s game with a two-pointer too.

The Rangers are now 10-0-0 whenever #23 has a multi-point game.

What’s that word?


Here’s your favorite coach and mine, Gerard Gallant, following the huge win:

Just as good for “THE TURK” following the win? The fact that Mollie “I don’t give a shit” Walker wasn’t there to ask him any dumbass questions!

Instead, Wince Mercogliano, starring in the role of “Debbie Downer” did that – but hey – you can’t win them all – just ask the Stars!

And as you’d suspect – I agreed with everything Gallant said, where of note, he mentioned that the team has been fighting a flu bug. Previously, Gallant had disclosed that only Chytil had the flu.

In addition, and as you’d also suspect – when it comes to Gauthier, Dr. Turk said he is “day-to-day.”

The Rangers now have two days off – where they can savor these next 48 hours – prior to their 5PM tilt on Sunday – in what will most likely take place in front of a half-empty M$G (the Giants game is on at the same time).

Despite this blog going nearly 10,000 words – I have to cut myself off here – but I’ll return with something this weekend!





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/MIN 1/10 Review: FOXY-CUTED! Rangers Win a “Wild” One (Har-Har-Har); D-Men Carry CZAR IGOR; Miller Time, No Reaves’ Revenge Game; Lundqvist Avenged, “Censored” Turk Presses Right Buttons; Kravtsov Shines But Lafreniere Pines, Tro-Ding-Check, NYR Lose Two to Injury, Powerless Play, M$GN & More

The New York Rangers Mid-Season Report Card: Grades & Reviews of Every Blueshirt, Thoughts at the 50% Mark of the Season, The Highs & Lows, 2022-23 Campaign Review; Thank You Binnington & Much More

NYR/NJD 1/7 Review: Rangers Choke At The Half-Way Mark of the Season; Drop OT Decision to Sam Rosen’s Favorite Team, CZAR IGOR’s Monster Performance Wasted, Lafreniere Regression; Kravtsov Progression, Fat Cats MIA; Devil Stars Shine, Mollie Chuckles; Women in Sports, M$GN, Keep The Faith & 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/DAL 1/12 Review: Blueshirts “Star” In Most Dramatic Win of the Season Yet! Miller’s Buzzer-Beater Earns Rangers One Point; Fox’s OT Game Winner Gets The Second, Finding Ways To Win, “Scratchy,” Gallant, Jake Leschyshyn’s Arrival Creates Doubt for Fringe Futures, Lundqvist, M$GN & More

  1. Thanks for laying out all that Leschyshyn stuff, Sean – really helpful.
    How about a power skating stint for Laf in the offseason? I remember it being really
    helpful to some NHL stars (Tavares maybe?) The kid never gets to show off his skills
    because he can’t create any separation for himself. Seems to me…

    1. They had a powerskater/skating coach during training camp, wrote about it at the time. The women skating coaches have definitely helped NHLers over the years.

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