NYR/VGK 1/18 Review: CRAPPED OUT! Lavy’s Lot Decimated & Destroyed in Absolute Worst Loss of the Season, Negative Trends Continue; Consistently Inconsistent Too, The Lone “Silver Lining,” Time to Give Miller a Timeout – But He’s Not the Only One with Faults, 50/50 CZAR IGOR; Can’t Win If You Can’t Score, M$GN & More

There’s no way to sugarcoat the Rangers’ 5-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights from Thursday night – they absolutely sucked. Furthermore, and I don’t think that this can be debated otherwise – this failure was the Blueshirts’ worst loss of the season.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. So much for my prediction about the Rangers sweeping this four-game PST road-trip.


Going into tonight’s tilt, it was my opinion, one championed by all, that the Blueshirts’ fourth game of this 2023-24 campaign, a 4-1 home loss to the lowly Nashville Predators, was the team’s worst loss of the season.

Following Thursday-night-into-Friday morning’s game on the east coast?

There can’t be a debate – this 5-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and despite being on the road, takes the cake – and a cake that you’d like to smash into the face of every Ranger that played tonight, ala “The Three Stooges.”

And let me stop you before you even try to argue otherwise – yes, I’m all too well aware about the “Vegas Flu.”

Heck, I’m a survivor myself!

After all, I have attended three Rangers vs Golden Knights games in Sin City – and where the Blueshirts lost all of them.

But for all of the talk about how the league, especially Eastern Conference teams, tend to treat Vegas as a mini-vacation, a break from the taxing 82-game schedule – it’s now been six-years since the inception of franchise #31.

Simply put – the “Vegas Flu” excuse no longer applies.

Worse than that?

This game, at least from the Rangers’ perspective, had every in- and un- prefix attached to it, such as “invalid,” “inexcusable,” “undesirable,” “uninspired,” and you get my point.

Put it this way: Despite Vegas’ current standing as the reigning-and-defending Stanley Cup champions, tonight’s tilt should have been house money for the Blueshirts.

For all of the talk (and I’ve pushed this discussion on this site many times over) about the Rangers missing Filip Chytil’s cap-hit of $4.5M this season – the home team entered this game with $29M missing from the league’s $83.5M salary-cap.

In other words, the Golden Knights were missing 35% in payroll on Thursday night – and most of their name-brand players too, such as Jack Eichel, Shea Theodore and others.

Compounding matters?

It was Logan Thompson, and not the starter of the ’23 champs, Adin Hill, in net for the Knights.

The end result?

The Rangers were down 4-0 by the end of the second period and only an “A-Rod” power-play goal, as scored by Mika Zibanejad, would mar Thompson’s otherwise flawless night.

And do you know when things are really bad?

The following:

Not only did I watch my “nemesis,” Sieve Vagistat, during the post-game show (I always turn off my television during “Solo Sieve” segments – but I wanted to hear what Peter Laviolette had to say after this fiasco) – but I also agreed with every word that he said too.


Furthermore, and this means a lot coming from me, his toughest critic:

He was spot-on throughout the entire broadcast too.


Sorry, I just got hit in the head by a flying pig as I write these words from a cold place in (Rangers’) Hell.

I rarely use the f-word on this site, but I have to make an exception tonight for this meme! Original Photo Credit: M$GN

Throughout this 2023-24 season, and as explained many times before – I really don’t get too high or too low after losses.

Tonight’s loss, and much like the f-word featured above, is the exception.

But let me be clear.

I still hold near-and-dear onto my season-long daily disclaimer, one that I share with you after every game played, and no matter if the Rangers win-or-lose, and a mantra that reads as such:


But not even these twenty-five words can soothe the burn following this most pathetic loss.

That said – I did promise you a “lone silver lining” in tonight’s headline – and it’s not the disclaimer.

Instead, it’s the following:

EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, played like shit tonight.

You name the Ranger and he was bad.

In other words – at least it was a collective and combined effort of crap, rather than one player costing the Rangers two-points in the standing.

Had there been a Three Anti-Star Players of the game, then you’d drive yourself nuts when trying to come up with just three Rangers – and only because all nineteen of them (and where I guess Will Cuylle perhaps deserves an exemption status) were terrible.


Once again, it’s becoming habitual and regular – either he’s lights out or it’s four or more goals allowed – and with nothing in-between.

(In fact, Vagistat confirmed @Pucker13’s EYE TEST theory tonight with REAL STATS – and not analytics: CZAR IGOR has the worst save percentage and GAA in the league after giving up two goals in a game. This just tells you that once there is some adversity presented this season – then #31 can’t be relied upon – and yes – it pains me to write that. But alas, I am firm and fair – and my support for him remains unchanged!)

And while you can’t blame my favorite player on the team today for all of these goals allowed – at the same time – not only have we seen him make saves on these types of shots before – but we are seeing the opposing goalie do it too – and in what feels like in 90% of the games that the Rangers have played in this season.

(But at least CZAR IGOR is “only” the sixth-highest paid player on the team – and not taking up 13.22% of the team’s salary-cap – but I have done this bit before, so check the archives if you want the full thing.)

As the kids would say, CZAR IGOR has been “mid” this season – and it also makes you wonder – how bad are the rest of the Eastern Conference goalies when #31 is named as the top goalie among those sixteen teams?

Hell, CZAR IGOR isn’t even the best goalie on his own team these days!

K’ANDRE MILLER, who I’d rather be using the nickname that I came up with for him, “K’ANDRE THE GIANT,” is now looking a lot like “MENTAL MILLER.”

(I do love my alliteration – ugh!)

I’ve talked all about Miller’s battles with mental health this season – so before you try to “cancel me” for using the “MENTAL MILLER” nickname – please read what I’ve previously written about him.

To be clear: I understand the gravity and seriousness of mental health.

But at the same time – this is the profession that he’s chosen, a high stressful job, and one where your mental health is always challenged.

To blame mental health for everything would be like excusing a surgeon for having shaky hands.

At some point, you overcome it – or switch your line of work.

Similar to a slumping baseball player with a .100 batting average in his last fifty-games played – and only because he’s publicly spoken about it – you have to think that Miller’s issues with mental health are getting to him – and it’s only getting worse game-by-game.

Some may use the word “lazy,” some may saylackadaisical;” but either way, he’s been bad more times than good – and where now, for a “WIN NOW” team with Stanley Cup aspirations – you have to at least consider, if not support, a trade where #79 moves on elsewhere.

After all, playing in New York isn’t for everyone. Perhaps playing in Ottawa (Jakob Chychrun anyone?) is.

And what Ranger fan would say no to a Jakob Chychrun & Vladimir Tarasenko trade in exchange for Miller and Kakko right now – where once again – the “WIN NOW” mentality must (and has) be considered.

Speaking of Kakko, and his fellow “Lottery Pick Pal,” Alexis Lafreniere – what I always say about them played out again.

Once having their “Haley Comet” moment (the rare time when they actually a goal) and following the parade that ensues – then it becomes games on end before they score again.

What’s most maddening about these two is that it’s not for a lack of effort either (at least not on most nights).

For whatever reason, this duo (combined) get what feels about eight chances per game, but simply put – they can’t finish.

That’s fine for your bottom-six players – but not so good for one-third of your top-six.

But it’s not just about the young players either.

Adam Fox, the 2021 Norris Trophy winner?

He was an all-out mess on Thursday night – and as his two penalties taken tonight would suggest.

And his final pass of the game? The worst he’s ever made in his career.

Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, the two elders and longest-tenured Blueshirts on the team?

They were downright dog shit – and who cares about a power-play goal when you’re already losing 4-0?

Once again, this BFF combination extended their five-vs-five goal scoring drought while also keeping this trend alive too:

If the GOAL A GAME 2.0 line don’t score – then don’t expect these two to do any of the heavy lifting.

And while Panarin and Trocheck didn’t light any lamps tonight either – their backs have to be killing them after carrying this team all season.

While they weren’t much better tonight – you can give them a pass.

The same doesn’t apply for Zibanejad and Kreider.

While no one shed any tears when Brett Howden was kicked out of town by Rangers’ GM Chris Drury in the Summer of ’21 – of course, and for the fourth time since arriving in Vegas – he scored against the Blueshirts – and as he did tonight, albeit via an empty-netter.

As you can tell, there is a lot to be angry about – and where my rage won’t allow me to go to sleep – hence me starting this blog at 1AM!

But as mentioned last week, the style of this blog will soon change next week – as I start my new 3PM-11:30PM job – so I might as well purge all of my negativity upon you tonight!

As far as the future of this site goes (I’m not going anywhere – your gain – or loss!) – we’ll get into all of that on Sunday night – and what the revised game-plan will be.

In what’s becoming a trend, or at least during losses (and the team is batting under .500 in their last twenty games played), the Rangers, like vultures on a carcass missing $29M in payroll, came out hot-and-heavy like a boyfriend of Elaine Benes.

Following ten-minutes, a power-play and eleven shots on goal – that was it for the night.

No joke?

Once the Blueshirts’ power-play concluded at the 10:19 mark of the first frame – the Rangers didn’t register another SOG for the remainder of the period.

At one point, the SOG drought ran to twelve-minutes in total, and later, two SOG in their last sixteen-minutes of play – and that’s not what you’d exactly call a recipe for success.

And since things didn’t come easy for the Rangers – once their ten-minutes were up – that was that – and all of the other negative stuff that we usually see during these games soon surfaced.

Just 1:16 after the Knights’ penalty kill had derailed the Rangers – BOOM – there was Jonathan Marchessault for the game’s first goal – an odd-man rush goal that Miller couldn’t prevent – and for that matter – nor could CZAR IGOR.

And yep, Marchessault, while not officially part of the Rangers’ alumni – he was in their system (as part of the Hartford Wolfpack, then known as the Connecticut Whale) during the 2011-12 season.

So if you want to say that another former ex-Ranger beat them tonight – then be my guest.

Just 3:13 later, and as opposed to the usual two-minutes or less (but don’t worry – that would later take place) – bang – 2-0, bad guys, following a puck that was deflected in off of the skate of Ivan Barbashev – and perhaps a former St. Louis Blue that the Rangers should have traded for at last year’s deadline – and rather than the two that they actually traded for (Vladimir Tarasenko and Niko Mikkola).

(Among all trades made at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, none was as big or as impactful as the Barbashev to Vegas trade.)

The second period was completely devoid of life for the Rangers – and where in another case of cats and dogs mating – I actually agreed with Vagistat’s assessment of it – this was the worst period of the season.

I’m not lying – prior to the Knights’ scoring – the Rangers looked like a bunch of Terry Schiavo’s and Helen Keller’s out there.

And with only four shots on goal prior to their own implosion – the Rangers would have been better off skating a line of John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald and James Earl Ray than what they had – because at least these three infamous (there’s the in- prefix again) assassins shoot.

After doing practically nothing during the second stanza, at the 16:31 mark, Braden Schneider went high to the head of Barbashev.

With Schneider in the box, Barbashev, following a perfect pass from team captain Mark Stone, one-timed a puck that no goalie would have stopped (unless Kakko or Lafreniere had shot it), as the man who drew the penalty then scored on the power-play afforded.

Down 3-0, and while the Rangers did look like shit – this deficit wasn’t insurmountable (another in-prefix) just yet.

But it was just 25-seconds later when it was insurmountable, as this time, “known sniper” Keegan Kolesar fooled CZAR IGOR out of his shorts on his third goal of the season, thus putting the Knights ahead 4-0 at the 18:24 mark.

For the Rangers, this was the twentieth time this season where they have given up two goals within a time-span of two-minutes or less – and with this being the 44th game of the season – the Blueshirts have allowed this to happen in nearly half of their games played this season.

Not good.

Also not good was the Blueshirts turning another goalie into the second coming of Patrick Roy.

While Logan Thompson is good (at one point, he was in Calder Trophy contention last season prior to his injury) – he isn’t as good as the Rangers made him out to be.

The only black mark against Thompson tonight took place after a rare miscue from his team, as with just twenty-nine seconds remaining in the second period, Byron Froese sailed a puck over the glass.

The end result?

Zibanejad’s “A-Rod” goal at the forty-second mark of the final frame – and “The Lone Ranger” goal too.

Vegas did a remarkable job of shutting the Rangers down.

Despite the Rangers receiving a late power-play, and with CZAR IGOR out of the net too in order to give the Blueshirts a 6 x 4 advantage, it was the likeliest suspect for fans of the Big Apple team that scored the game’s final goal – Brett “The Jet” Howden.

5-1, bad guys – and where at the end of it – you felt sick to your stomach.

This was a longer intro than usual, so let’s get into everything else – where thankfully, I don’t have much outside of the GAME REVIEW.

Laviolette remained even-keel as always during Thursday’s pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Following the Rangers’ 5-2 victory over the Krakheads from Tuesday night, come Wednesday, the team got a break from the ice – but they were in the air for over five-hours during their flight to Sin City.

On Thursday morning (PST), the Blueshirts held another one of their team-sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” morning skates.

Once concluded, the head coach held his mandatory pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is:

Laviolette didn’t really say much – or at least not anything that you’d really need to know.

All he did was praise his team (duh) and talked about how no team is perfect in every area throughout an 82-game season (duh).

He also confirmed what I said on Tuesday night – CZAR IGOR would get the start against the Knights and where I’m to assume that Quick will play against the Kings.

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

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Kakko

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Brodzinski/Wheeler

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Bonino/Goodrow

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider




DAY-TO-DAY: Pitlick



The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





30 1 29 .967 24 3 2 0 0 59:55 0


25 4 21 .840 17 4 0 0 0 57:32 0

While I thought that Vagistat did a good job during the post-game show (sadly, he’s at his best only after a bad loss, as he allows himself to speak from an emotional place while also shelving his analytical bullshit) – there was no shot in hell that I was going to watch him during tonight’s pregame show.

At 9:30PM, and not expecting to see “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, there in the first place (he rarely does late night games on the east coast) – come 9:30:01PM, I returned my clicker back to the NHLN once it was revealed that Sieve Vagistat was the lone analyst.

Once returned to M$GN at 10PM, I was kind of excited to see Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti – but mainly because I thought that the Rangers would easily dispose of this beat-up Vegas team.

And you’d think that I’d know better as both a Rangers’ historian and as an author of ten books about this team – but alas – I let my fandom get the better of me.


The broadcast opened with a shot of the new M$G $phere in Vega$ and where Rosen excitedly shrieked to us, “YOU HAVE TO GO THERE.”

Speaking of the owner of the $phere – once again – not one word about James Dolan’s current predicament.

While I didn’t expect M$GN to cover the allegations against Dolan; at the same time, refuting them to Ranger fans, and as Dolan’s lawyer did to the mainstream media, would have been nice.

As usual, Sam and Joe’s commentary didn’t really bother you – that is – until the Rangers started playing like shit.

Until this game took a turn for the worse, all of their usual stupid nonsense was more comical than anything else.

Among the pregame “highlights,” the following:

— Sam and Joe told us that everyone was happy about Vegas winning the Stanley Cup in Year Six. Of course, Ranger fans have seen only one Stanley Cup victory during the course of the past 83-years.

— The two announcers then told us that Kakko was playing like a player that everyone expected him to be. Why, because he has four points this season?

— Sam said that Mika has always been hot against Vegas. Not mentioned, how the Rangers have only won one game in Sin City since the inception of the franchise.

— Joe, and of course, then told us that “Vegas is a hard-working team Sam.” I’m still waiting for him to tell me what team doesn’t work hard.

— For whatever reason, Sam had to remind us that Vegas d-man, Alec Martinez, killed the Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. What Ranger fan wanted to hear this crap being spewed from the senile old coot?

After informing us that they’d be drooling over Brendan Bisson all game (these two are infatuated with the youngest player on the other team), we finally went to puck drop.


A detailed look at the Rangers’ final fifty-minutes of tonight’s 5-1 loss. Photo Credit: Lavy’s Lot


Since it’s late and because I have already hit everything that needed to be said at the top of this – this is going to be shorter than usual – but still – the most detailed recap out there!

However, if you want the complete play-by-play, then check out my Tweeter feed over at: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

After Mika lost the first draw of the game (4 of 11 tonight, 36.4%), Sam, and no less than three-times in two-minutes, told us how Mark Stone scored a hat trick during Vegas’ most recent win over Nashville.

I felt much better knowing that.

At the 45-second mark, Thompson made his first save of twenty-nine, as he stopped Fox following a Trocheck o-zone faceoff win.

The Rangers’ first line, in total, spent their first shift nearly two-minutes attacking, which was good at the time – but as you know – meant nothing – as they didn’t score despite this long attack.

For whatever reason, Sam, who was outright senile tonight (or maybe he was just high being in Vegas), then told us that Nicolas Roy and Matt Roy (LAK) aren’t related.

With 15:45 remaining, we had our first Kakko sighting – and first failure too – as the Finn couldn’t hit Thompson’s vacated net after being perfectly set-up by Ryan Lindgren.

In other words – the usual.

As we hit 13:30 remaining, the Rangers were out-shooting the Knights 7-2. Sam’s response to this stat/graphic?

He then went on a two-minute diatribe about Vegas’ AHL team.

Please retire. It’s time.

Following the predicted video tribute for Jonathan Quick (2023 Cup champ), Thompson stopped an off-the-rush Kreider with 13:20 to go.

About a minute later, Cuylle absolutely crushed Bisson by the boards – and Sam wasn’t happy about that.

Down to 11:41 remaining and this is when Lafreniere forced a turnover in the Vegas zone, where right afterwards, Froese hooked THE GUS BUS.

Thompson stopped Panarin just seven-seconds into the Rangers’ power-play and would then stop the MANDATORY MIKA one-timer – the one with the success rate of 3.9%.

The end of the Rangers’ power-play saw Kakko hit the side of the net after being set-up on a tee from Blake Wheeler.

So if you’re keeping track, that was two scoring chances that Kakko did nothing with.

But he’ll always have his goal scored against the depleted Kraken to fuel the Kult of Kakko.

Down to 9:25 remaining and the Rangers’ highly heralded power-play was now 0-1.

The team also had eleven shots on goal at the time – and as mentioned earlier – this would be it for the rest of this period and beyond.

About a minute after successfully killing the Rangers’ power-play, this is when Marchessault scored following his team’s mini three-vs-two odd-man rush.

Miller, a defenseman, was defenseless – and while it’s tough to hang the goalie for a bang-bang goal allowed like this – we have seen CZAR IGOR make these saves before.

1-0, bad guys.

Following the opening tally, the Rangers’ first line had another extended attack, but only Fox tried to put a puck on net.

Down to 7:00 remaining, it was revealed to us from the M$G $tat people that the time of possession favored the Rangers – and at a ratio of 5:1.

The Rangers would then get “ratioed” themselves.

With 5:12 remaining, this is when Barbashev made the game 2-0, bad guys, as while he was crashing the net with Kakko draped all over him, a pass from Roy caught his skate and the puck then wound up in the back of the Blueshirts’ net.

Sam had no clue what was going on here.

Sam, who didn’t even see the puck go in (the usual), then had no clue who was reviewing this play.

Following a ten-second video replay review, the refs said GOOD GOAL – and it was – as there was no kicking motion here.

Sam then told us that the Rangers would be going on the penalty kill following the failed challenge.

He was then corrected by Micheletti when it was revealed that the review had come from Toronto (the league’s office).

Bless Sam’s heart.

Once the goal was upheld, Micheletti actually blamed CZAR IGOR for the goal allowed.

I thought this was a stupid comment – and not once during the Lundqvist Era did Jumpin’ Joe ever blame #30 for a puck going in after being deflected off a skate.

Heck, he DEFENDED Lundqvist after soft goals allowed!

But of course, while CZAR IGOR has his one Vezina like Lundqvist – he doesn’t have the reputation yet of being consistent during his prime years – and as Lundqvist was.

(Lundqvist’s drop-off came with age – something I always said on this site at the time- but a fact that people only admitted after he retired.)

Down to 3:55 remaining and this is when Fox took his first of two penalties after hooking Froese.

At the time, the Rangers were spiraling like yours truly in Vegas at 3:00AM when trying to find a bonus spin on a Willy Wonka slot machine at The Flamingo.

To his credit, CZAR IGOR came up with a huge save on Dorofeyev on this PK – and where on the rebound – the puck hit the crossbar and then Miller got the puck out of dodge.

For both CZAR IGOR and Miller – this was their lone highlight of the game.

After telling us all about how much Vegas has recently sucked due to injuries; Sam and Joe then told us that they were 16-5-2 on home ice this season.

That would soon improve to 17-5-2.

2-0, bad guys, after twenty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

The Rangers second period. Photo Credit: NHL.com


To be succinct, this second period was garbage.

Prior to this period starting, and for the first time this season – Vagistat actually called out Miller for his bad defense.

He also called out CZAR IGOR a bit – but he’s done that before.

Just sayin’.

Following Sam telling us that we had to drop everything that we were doing and fly right now to Vega$ to see the $phere (and I still don’t know how people drive around that thing without crashing), the Hall of Fame announcer then started talking about “wet spots” – and where it wasn’t mentioned if he had a wet noodle himself.

Following a rare CZAR IGOR save and down to 18:55 remaining, Lafreniere, while wide-open during a rush at the net – knocked out a few light bulbs over at the $phere after another one of his wild and nowhere-close-to-the-net shot attempts.

He did the same thing just thirty-seconds later.

I know that I’ve said some version of the following in the past, but one more time:


And if missed shot attempts could land you the Hart Trophy, then it would be a neck-and-neck race between the first- and second-overall picks.

Following another Mika miss (he’s not exonerated either), Sam told us that he saw a Ranger fan from Tuscon, Arizona earlier in the day.


Down to 17:00 remaining and the Rangers’ third pair, Schneider and Gustafsson, failed to clear the puck on three separate tries.

Fortunately, Vegas didn’t capitalize here.

Nearing 15:00 remaining and Trocheck finally got a SOG, and then another, to temporarily end the Rangers’ SOG drought against a goalie who hasn’t seen much action this season.

Following two saves from CZAR IGOR, including one on Howden with 12:25 remaining, it had already become apparent – the Rangers had no answers for their opponents and who were missing most of their top stars.

With not much to talk about, as the Rangers’ offense was as lively as Sam Rosen’s brain functionality; our favorite announcer then told us that the word “Las” wasn’t needed when talking about the Vegas Golden Knights.

That’s how bad the Blueshirts looked – and where you couldn’t really get on Rosen for this either – as there was just nothing to say.

I don’t know how to explain it, but for the Rangers, most of this period looked like an infinite loop of skating on quicksand.

Down to 7:50 remaining, Laviolette double-shifted Panarin for Kakko – but it only happened once and that was that.

I guess this temporary benching did work, because on his next shift, Kakko put two shots on goal – but you know the drill – the Finn can’t “finnish.” (Har-har-har!)

As you were just begging for the trade deadline to get here already; with 3:29 to go, this is when Schneider high-sticked and nearly cross-checked Barbashev in the head during the process.

Officially, Schneider was boxed for interference – but as you can see – they could’ve called anything.

Down to 2:01 remaining and this is when Barbashev had CZAR IGOR (and the Rangers’ PKers) caught dead-to-rights.

3-0, bad guys, after the perfect one-timer – and where once again – Miller had the best seat in the house.

Then, and just 25-seconds later, this is when Kolesar made the game 4-0, bad guys – and on a shot that CZAR IGOR has to stop.

As noted up top, during the final seconds of this mess, this is when Froese took his DOG penalty.

4-0, bad guys, through forty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

The official sponsored song of tonight’s game. Photo Credit: NY Rangers


Again – and I can’t believe it either – I thought that Vagistat was right on the money during his second intermission analysis, as he said, “This was the worst period of the Rangers’ season.”

This is also when the seven-foot shithead brought up CZAR IGOR’s stats after giving up the second goal of the game – worst in the league.

To start the period, Rosen was going on-and-on about Trocheck and Zibanejad being on a line together. Joe had to remind him that the Rangers were still on the power-play.

But I’ll give Rosen a pass here – because I forgot that the Blueshirts were still on the power-play too – just because of everything that we saw during the previous forty minutes of trash hockey.

A Panarin to Kreider pass, followed by a tip-pass from Kreider to his BFF, set up Zibanejad’s PPG at the 40-second mark.


4-1, bad guys – and the last time that the Rangers would score tonight.

The rest of this period saw Sam read everything that he could find from both teams media guides (and as if he was reading a telephone book – remember those?), while the Rangers continued to struggle against a southpaw goalie – as most of their “GRADE A” chances were shot into Thompson’s glove – where I’m to assume that the Blueshirts forgot that his mitt – and not his stick – would be there.

While this was going on, Zibanejad remained as a turnover machine, as during two separate attacks, he lazily turned over the puck.

With 8:44 remaining in this misery, this is when Fox took his second penalty of the game.

Miller, and for good measure, made another brutal turnover during this PK, but after it – CZAR IGOR was able to prevent Barbashev of the hat trick.

Once the kill was complete, Panarin set-up Lafreniere, and perhaps now being gun-shy – the first-overall pick refused to shoot the puck when down by three goals.

At around the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark, Rosen brought up how the Flyers were one-game away from dethroning the Blueshirts from the top of the Metro standings.

And he wasn’t wrong.

That fact was a wake-up call – and one that you hope the Rangers hear themselves.

As he has done in the past, down by three goals and with 3:15 to go – this is when Laviolette pulled CZAR IGOR for the extra attacker.

Vegas’ response?

They met the Blueshirts whenever they attempted to cross their blue line.

Now on a 6 x 5 attack, Trocheck drew Marchessault for slashing.

Miller’s response?

He iced the puck.

Down to 2:37 remaining and now on a 6 x 4 power-play – the Rangers didn’t do much.

The end of this game was like watching a clown show – which I guess also describes the final fifty-minutes too.

With the Rangers trying to get Thompson to crack again, Lafreniere kicked a puck out of the zone.

On the next entry, their final, Fox made the absolute worst pass of his career.

And I say that as someone who has seen every game that Fox has ever played in the NHL.

On a pass attempt that even Stevie Wonder would have intercepted, Fox, and with all of the force of a toddler, tried to get the puck to Mika.

Rather than the rubber reaching its intended target, instead there was Mark Stone, beaming ear-to-ear with a smile brighter than the lights in the city that he plays in, for an interception that looked like it had come off of the hand of the Jets’ Zack Wilson.

Stone then opted for an assist rather than a goal, as he passed the puck over to Howden – and bang – 5-1, bad guys, the empty netter, with 1:28 remaining.


And while this doesn’t matter – this went down as a short-handed goal for the Knights.

(I only bring this up because you’ll always hear Sam, Joe and Vagistat talk about such stuff, and where these empty-netted short-handers are never factored into the equation.)

5-1, bad guys, final.

The worst loss of the season.

As mentioned up top, I hung around for the M$GN post-game show – and where Vagistat, and to his credit, tore the team to shreds.

He even negated what the players were saying in their interviews – and then said that the Rangers need a “PLAYERS ONLY MEETING,” as what had transpired here was unacceptable.

He also didn’t agree with what Laviolette had said either, but where to be fair – it is the coach’s job to stay away from the panic button.

Here’s the post-game edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE” for you:

Here’s some of the black-and-white for you too:

“That’s a tough one. We started with the right intentions. They played hard the whole night. I hate the score. This game unraveled for us. We were chasing from the start. Liked the first ten minutes. Couldn’t get anything 5 x 5.

“There were a lot of chances we could score on. The time of possession didn’t match the zone time. We had good looks. [On Igor] First one was tough, three chances for them, they scored on two of them.

“Tough bounces out there as well. This game unraveled in a way that everyone is angry about. This isn’t what were looking for.”

While I have been accused of being “too nice” and for “making excuses” by many of you readers after Ranger losses this season – unlike the head coach – not tonight.

However, I do understand what Laviolette said and what he was going for.

And he wasn’t wrong either.

But a lot of what he said were excuses.

The Rangers blew this game and once they didn’t get their goal in the first ten-minutes after eleven shots on goal, that’s when they turtled.

And while I don’t know if this is 100% true, everyone on the M$GN broadcast was saying that the Rangers were off on Friday, due to their back-to-back set on Saturday and Sunday with the Kings and Ducks.


If I was Laviolette, then I’d rent a huge truck with one of those DEK HOCKEY surfaces on the trailer – and have his team skate on that faux ice during the three-hour ride to California.

While you can’t question the effort – you have to question the execution.

Simply put, you can’t keep throwing away these games to bad teams, or in this case, a good team that skated an infirmary ward line-up.

The biggest issue?

A lack of consistency – and where only Panarin and Trocheck are exempt.

And while we still have a lot of the season to go, and the trade deadline to reach too – what happens in the playoffs (and especially if the Scrambled Egg Head Filip Chytil returns, thus limiting Drury’s options)?

The blueprint on how to beat the Blueshirts is already out there:

Stop Panarin and Trocheck and enjoy your win.

Final Thought:

Had this loss taken place at the end of November/early December, then you could have blown it off.

But this loss felt like many of the others – and losses that are becoming far too commonplace these days.

Something has to be done.

I had no pleasure writing this blog tonight.

Place your bets on Saturday’s over-under of -100 – how many times will Sam and Joe mention the 2014 Stanley Cup Final? I got the over. Photo Credit: LA Kings

Up Next: Saturday night in La La Land against the Kings.

And as previously stated on this site – no matter what the result would have been in Vegas – Quick’s getting that start.

See ya then.

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

My fourth title and tenth book is now available!

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

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/SEA 1/16 Review: CZAR IGOR & Co. Dominate Depleted Krakheads, Kakko Scores Third Goal of the Season; Comparing the Finn to Rangers’ Past, Wheeler’s Two-Goal Night, Miller’s Misery Continues, James Dolan Alleged of Sexual Assault; Harvey Weinstein Connection Too, The Real Baby Trouba is Here, Chytil Skates with Jagr, Off to the West Coast, M$GN & More

NYR/WSH 1/14 Review: Blueshirts Get Band-Aid Win Over Caps; End Losing Streak, Keep Wearing The Third Jersey, Same Issues Remain; Same Old Kakko Too, Goal a Game 2.0 Line Continues to Carry “Lavy’s Lot;” Lafreniere Finally Scores Too, Plug Pulled on Power-Play, CZAR IGOR’s Big Day, Trends, Best M$GN Broadcast Yet & More

The New York Rangers Mid-Season Report Card: Grades & Detailed Reviews of Every Blueshirt, Thoughts at the 50% Mark of the Season, The Highs & Lows, 2023-24 Campaign Review, Predictions & 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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2 thoughts on “NYR/VGK 1/18 Review: CRAPPED OUT! Lavy’s Lot Decimated & Destroyed in Absolute Worst Loss of the Season, Negative Trends Continue; Consistently Inconsistent Too, The Lone “Silver Lining,” Time to Give Miller a Timeout – But He’s Not the Only One with Faults, 50/50 CZAR IGOR; Can’t Win If You Can’t Score, M$GN & More

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