NYR/LAK 1/20 Review: RAGE! Blueshirts a No-Show in La La Land Casting Call; Spit in Quick’s Face, K’Awful Miller Still Struggling, “Same Old Script,” Time for Drury To Go “1994” with 2024 Regressing Rangers; Trade Ideas, Lavy’s Line-Up Changes, Patrick Roy Newest NY Coach – But on L.I., M$GN & More

If you were smarter than me, which is to mean that you opted for sleep rather than to stay up late to watch Saturday night’s Rangers vs Kings game with a 10:37PM puck drop on the east coast – then you might take one look at the final score of 2-1 and think that the Blueshirts dropped a close one. That line of thinking couldn’t be any further from the truth – and where once again – many of the negative trends that are presently polluting this team reemerged like the smog in L.A. during the Rangers’ most recent loss.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. What an idiot.

After all, what other person on this planet stayed up late to watch the Rangers’ latest loss – and as you’re reading right now – then spent two-hours following this most recent crushing defeat to re-live all of it?

This moron, that’s who!

Heck, just giving up my time to write about this game (rather than going to bed as I ought to do) reminds me of “Creed’s” biggest hit – “MY SACRIFICE!”

I thought that Sam Rosen, despite all of his regular tomfoolery and nonsense, best summed up tonight’s 2-1 loss to the Kings during his M$GN sign-off:

“And the Kings win their second game in their last twelve games played Joe!”

For whatever reason, and just a few days before Christmas of 2023 – “Lavy’s Lot” have become a bunch of “slump-busters” – and where during the past month or so – there have been way too many negative trends that now seem impossible to overcome – or at least with this roster as currently constructed.

While we didn’t see the worst of the worst of these negative trends on Saturday night, such as giving up two goals within a time-span of two minutes (that’s happened twenty times this season), giving up two goals within a time-span of 45-seconds or less (that’s happened eight times this season) or even giving up a goal under a minute after scoring (that’s happened in nearly every game this season); instead, we “enjoyed” the following:

— Milk Carton Mika, who once again, can’t score an even-strength goal to save his life.

Furthermore, his mandatory one-timers, with a success rate of 2.1%, rarely hit the Kings’ net.

And I think he fell down on the ice more times than he put shots on goal too!


— The Lotto Picks, Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafreniere, are right back to where I said they’d be after scoring – on another goal scoring drought after getting their “Haley’s Comet” goal.

Once again, these two, Tweedle Post and Tweedle Crossbar, both failed on numerous chances – and with no chance better than Lafreniere’s opportunity afforded to him during the final seconds of this match with the Rangers on an empty-net abetted 6 x 4 power-play.

— K’Awful Miller?

Once again, and we don’t need to explain his mental health issues any further on this site because I’ve already done that aplenty (check the archives of this site); his god-awful turnover led to the Kings’ game-winning goal.

— Turning another AHL goalie into the second coming of Georges Vezina?

While that wasn’t exactly the case, but once again, the Rangers barely tested “BIG SAVE DAVE” Rittich – a former NHL starter (Calgary) that began this season in the American league – and who was only called-up due to the injuries in L.A. (Pheonix Copley).

— What was the case?

The fact that the Rangers only had two SOG through the first twenty-minutes – and in total – had a SOG drought of over 23-minutes!

— Letting another team off of the hook?

By now, you know that was the case, as the Kings, who are experiencing their own free-fall this season, entered tonight’s tilt with a 7-8-5 home record. The Rangers allowed them to get back to an NHL .500 tonight.

And poor Jonathan Quick, who arguably had more of an “Eddie Giacomin” game than the former #1 of the Blueshirts ever had back on November 2nd, 1975 – and who was just absolutely let down by his boyhood team tonight.

No joke?

At one point, I thought that the Rangers, as led by K’Andre Miller who has a history in regards to spitting into the faces of the Los Angeles Kings, collectively rallied around their d-man, rather than around their goalie – and then hocked the most disgusting of loogies right into Quick’s face.

Perhaps like Quick – these players also grew up as Ranger fans – and didn’t forget about 2014 either!


As it was in Las Vegas and now in Los Angeles – this loss had all of the in- and un- prefixes in the world – and where this is now sadly becoming commonplace in Rangerstown, USA these days.

Perhaps only the team’s captain, Jacob Trouba, could challenge Quick as the Rangers’ best player of the game on Saturday night. Needless to say – the Blueshirts were a complete no-show for #32 – and a goalie who held in his venom during his post-game interview too. He’s a better man than me. Photo Credit: NYR

At this point of tonight’s manifesto, I guess that I should try to calm myself down, click my heels and like Dorothy Gale – repeat my mantra while trying to remain positive:


But not even my season-long daily disclaimer can calm me down right now – and where perhaps all of the Buffalo Trace whiskey that I consumed during this torrid tilt is part of it.

However, it does say something that by the half-way mark of this pathetic loss – I had taken more whiskey shots in five-minutes than the Rangers had on goal (4).

For a cock-eyed optimist, who has largely pushed the “glass half-full” mentality on you while also saying nothing matters until the playoffs – here’s your ONLY silver lining from Saturday night:

At least the Flyers lost.

Had Philadelphia not been trumped by the Avalanche in their 7-4 defeat on Saturday afternoon – then the Flyers would have been in a virtual tie for first-place in the division with the Rangers (58-points each – but with the Blueshirts also having one game in-hand over their I-95 rivals).

While I still do believe in my disclaimer as shared above, and where at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that the Rangers reach the playoffs (and hopefully once there, then, and only then, can they be judged by whatever they do during this critical post-season) – the Blueshirts’ once comfortable and cushy lead in the Metro Division is now like sitting on a rickety wooden chair – and with no back on it to boot.

(Holy run-on sentence and bad grammar Batman! But give me a pass – it’s late and I’ve been drinking like Brian Leetch when approaching “black ice!”)

And when using the word “back,” and to return to the negative trend talk too – once again – the “Blueshirts Expose Blueprint” was also on display tonight.

For those who are new, what I mean by such banter is that if a team can shut down the Panarin line, then don’t expect the Mika line to do anything at all.

And for those who are counting – tonight’s contest marked the first time this season when the Panarin and Trocheck duo didn’t score a goal in consecutive games.

In other words?

The word is out on how to beat the Rangers – shut down the top line – and then you’re as good as gold.

Kakko, who many fans tell me is a Selke Trophy candidate, and even crazier than that – “elite” too – was once again benched tonight in favor of double-shifting Panarin. What a second line! Photo Credit: NYR

I know that I’m already all over the place tonight, but a combination of booze and rage will do that to feller on no sleep!

So please, bear with me as I purge all of this from my system tonight – and then start tomorrow anew.

(Or is it already today with the Rangers and Ducks set to play at 8:30PM? Ugh!)

In what can best be described as “NO HEART,” the Rangers, following getting their asses kicked up-and-down the Vegas Strip on Thursday night – came out as flat as the chest of an aspiring Hollywood starlet – and one in a desperate need of a boob job.

And for general manager Chris Drury, who I’ll get into during our next segment – an “implant” of talent is also needed for his regressing club.

You’d think that these reeling Rangers, now under .500 during their past months’ worth of games, would dig deep down and redeem themselves.

So much for such a theory.

Following putting two shots on goal early into the period – that was that.

As the former AHL goalie sat back, read “War and Peace” (or one of these blogs) two times over and then wiped out a Korean BBQ buffet too – the Rangers were never interested in challenging him for the next 23-minutes – which as a result – became their longest SOG drought of the season.

But it should be said – the Kings, once atop of the West as the Rangers once were in the East, were also experiencing their own sets of issues.

Enter the “Feel-Good” Blueshirts.

A Kevin Fiala goal, scored with just 35-seconds remaining in the first period, broke up the nil-nil tie.

For the Zac Jones and Braden Schneider pairing – this was no bueno.

Following the first intermission where I was to assume that the Rangers’ trainer, Andy Hosler, was rapping at every Ranger knee and hoping for a reflex (and maybe checking for a pulse too) – Adam Fox, at the 14:39 mark of the second stanza, found Chris Kreider for the no-doubt-about-it slam dunk goal – and only a shot that the likes of Kakko and Lafreniere wouldn’t be able to cash in on.

But I felt it.

And I’m sure that most of you also had these queasy vibes bouncing around your belly – and as if you had just wolfed down a dirty taco at 3:00AM from some local L.A. food truck.

That pit in your stomach?

The obvious:

That the Rangers would blow it.

And like Harvey Weinstein (or ALLEGEDLY James Dolan too) – the Blueshirts, like an aspiring actress on such a casting couch, BLEW IT.

It’s tough to say if tonight’s latest turnover from Miller was his worst of the season.

After all, there’s a ton of competition for such a claim.

But regardless if this was his worst – the result was the same – BANG – 2-1, bad guys – and with just 1:37 remaining in the period.

To his credit, following Miller’s turnover, and where #79 deserved a secondary assist in the process; Quick stopped Mikey Anderson’s breakaway shot – but was unable to stop Byfield’s easy rebound.

This Byfield goal held up as the game-winner – and where you couldn’t hang Quick at all for the two goals allowed.

Furthermore – you couldn’t blame Quick for the Rangers’ inability to score either.

Down by one and now in the final frame, the Blueshirts saved their best for last – but you also know how that goes too – “too little, too late.”

Plus, the Blueshirts’ first two periods were so dreadful that even saying that this third period was their best isn’t exactly high praise either.

The Rangers, already 0-2 on the power-play tonight (and where the PP1 is supposed to be the team’s biggest strength), received their third power-play of the game with just 1:39 remaining in regulation – and perhaps a gift from the officials too – as Fox, like a pro wrestler, sold this high-sticking penalty that was assessed to Trevor Moore.

To set the stage for you, down by one goal and now with a 6 x 4 empty net power-play attack – the Rangers could never find the equalizer.

Between many shots going high and wide, and Lafreniere unable to lift a puck one inch over Rittich’s left pad while the goalie’s net was vacant – the Kings escaped this perilous situation with their lead in-tact.

Once again, and just like on Thursday night – the Rangers were the beneficiaries of some fortunate scheduling, as they caught both Vegas and Los Angeles during unfortunate times, between injuries and poor play.

But they couldn’t get the job done- and where all of these bad losses are piling up – and worse than that – all of them are extremely concerning.

And what I’m about to say next isn’t an immediate HOT TAKE following this loss – as on Friday on the Tweet-Tweet machine, I said the same exact thing:

It’s time for Chris Drury to get up off his ass and make some deals before it’s too late.

No joke, what I said all-summer is now playing out these days:

This core – and not the head coach – is the problem.

And since you can’t move these NMC deals – you have to find the best players to surround these guys with – and yes – this is a tall task.

Let’s now get into all of that, and the brief pregame news and notes too, before getting into tonight’s rushed GAME REVIEW.

I’m starting to wonder if the “MIKE KEENAN MENTALITY” is needed with these 2023-24 Rangers. Photo Credit: God

On Friday, an off-day for the Rangers, the club announced the following:

At the time, I thought that perhaps this was a move to address MENTAL MILLER’s issues, but a day later, game day, it was revealed that Erik Gustafsson was injured.

And as previously written and opined on this site – why not give Robertson a shot?

You’re telling me that Zac Jones is the answer?

While yes, and as fully explained in my “Tricks of the Trade” four-volume set of books (to buy them, then scroll to the PLUGS segment) – had Neil Smith’s trades not worked out in 1994 – then he would’ve been buried to holy hell. However, they did work out – and history is always written by the winners – and Smith, along with Keenan who urged him to make a bevy of trades during the 1994 NHL Trade Deadline, is just that – a WINNER. Photo Credit: NYR

As I was still steaming and fuming about the Rangers’ worst loss of the season to the Golden Knights on Thursday night, come Friday night, I tweeted the following on Elon Musk’s app:

My end-game?

A line-up that would look like this:




Of course, and as noted in my tweet – the only way that this could ever happen is if Filip Chytil is shut down for the season.

Should Chytil return (and I doubt that any team would trade for him either until seeing him return to play first), then yes – all of this is just fantasy and hypothetical bullshit.

In other words – you don’t have to tell me about Chytil!

Before getting into my own thoughts, what amazed me the most was the feedback that I received – and where these three things stuck out above all:

— Many fans want to trade CZAR IGOR right now before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the Summer of 2025. (And where these fans are to assume that CZAR IGOR won’t be re-signed prior to 7/1/25).

You know how I feel – I think that’s a major overreaction – and I don’t see such a trade going down.

Furthermore, I was asking for WIN NOW deals this season – and I wasn’t asking fans to address next year’s issues.

Plus, we can get into CZAR IGOR’s next deal when the time is right – and where yes, and a spoiler alert too – I wouldn’t make him a $10M+ goalie either.

(At least I’m consistent!)

— A large majority of fans, perhaps nearly 99% of them, want Barclay Goodrow to be traded.

I’ve done all of my Goodrow defending on this site in the past, so there’s no need to be redundant when doing so again tonight – but what made me laugh the most is that all of these opinions went something like this:


Obviously, I’m exaggerating such a trade of Goodrow for McDavid – but this was the gist of it:

Goodrow is terrible – but maybe another team will give up their best player for him!

As Emile Francis once said and made (in)famous in 1975 – “you have to give up something in order to get something. You can’t just trade third-line players for third-line players and expect to improve your team.”

— Some fans aren’t aware of Chytil’s injuries.

I am not making up the following:

Some fans told me that Chytil needs more playing time and how he shouldn’t be scratched.

Do I even need to explain how stupid these comments are?

I didn’t think so!

But in some comedy, here’s one of my responses from Friday:

Obviously, I’m a beer-bellied blogger, a HOCKEY FAN – and not a life-long HOCKEY MAN like the PIZZAMAN himself – Rangers’ GM Chris Drury.

But to think that this team, and in its present state, will just turn it around and take over during the playoffs?

That’s the thought of a dimwitted fool.

Obviously, the Rangers need help – and waiting until there are only four-weeks left in the season (the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline) to receive assistance isn’t the route that I’d go down.

To me, and assuming that Drury does some wheelin’-and-dealin’ (and we all know that he will – we just don’t know what he’ll do – and I have discussed this topic in-depth on this site in the past too) – I think it’s best to get all of these future acquisitions into town ASAP – and only for the reason that these future Blueshirts can then acclimate to their new surroundings as far-out from the playoffs as possible.

You already know what the textbook definition of the word “INSANITY” is.

For the Rangers – doing the same thing over-and-over again and expecting different results is such INSANITY.

While I know that you can’t deal players with NMCs – I also believe that the Rangers need to make the most seismic moves as they can prior to the deadline.

Since Zibanejad can’t be dealt as if he was Jean Ratelle in 1975, then you have to look at other “promising” players that can be dealt – and where in my eyes, these two players are K’Andre Miller and Kaapo Kakko.

Again, and assuming that Chytil can be shut down – then I’d go straight to Ottawa, a Sens’ team that’s already made it known that not only do they want to trade every veteran with an expiring contract on their roster – but Jakob Chychrun too.

I don’t know what the Senators are exactly looking for, but should it be a defenseman in exchange for the former Yote – then why not Miller – where again – WINNING THE STANLEY CUP THIS SEASON is the only goal.

Miller’s potential is thought to be as a future Chychrun.

For a WIN-NOW team, why not get the player that’s already there?

Plus, with Vladimir Tarasenko trade-bound, then why not nab him too?

(And of course – with Ottawa assuming 50% of his contract.)

The Anaheim Ducks are also in a state of a rebuild and they are currently acquiring as many young forwards as possible.

In turn, why not deal Kakko and whatever else that’s needed (a late-round pick, Zac Jones, a bottom-sixer) for Frank Vatrano and long-time veteran, Adam Henrique?

And yep – you’d need Pat Verbeek, GM of the Quackers, to assume some salary (via a draft pick “sweetener”) in order to make such a deal happen.

It’s always been my opinion that you need an asshole (in a good way), a physical prick, someone who knows how to win, on your team.

Who better than Patrick Maroon, presently on an expiring deal that only pays him $1M?

For the three-time Cup champ, the Minnesota Wild will gladly deal him for a third-round or later pick – and with the abundance of cheap bottom-six deals on the Rangers – booting a player to the Wolf Pack makes this the easiest deal to get done.

And of course, I also believe that Drury will target a depth-defenseman – and where I have no clue who that player will it be.

After all, who had Justin Braun and Niko Mikkola joining this team when Drury traded for them?

But I do know this:

Miller is unreliable, Schneider is up-and-down and Gustafsson hasn’t been the same since Fox’s return (but as previously explained – I understand why).

Outside of Chychrun, you need one more d-man as an insurance policy – and while I don’t know who it will be – I’m sure that Drury does.

Thanks for attending my TED TALK!

Moving on!

Despite his team spiraling a bit, Peter Laviolette remained even-keeled during his pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE” on Saturday morning (PST).

Following their off-day on Friday, come Saturday morning in the City of Angels, the Rangers, after their trip to hell in Sin City, returned for a corporate-sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” morning skate.

Once on the ice, it was revealed that Erik Gustafsson was the reason for the Matthew Robertson call-up, as “THE GUS BUS” needed his tires repaired.

It was also brought to our attention that Tyler Pitlick would be returning to the line-up too.

Following the conclusion of the light sweat, we then had our mandatory pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is for you below:

Despite talking for only three-minutes or so, there was some news to come out of this fireside chat, including the following:

— Erik Gustafsson is out and where he’s now listed as “day-to-day.” Of course, a specific injury was never given.

— With Gustafsson out, that meant that Zac Jones would be returning to the line-up. Personally, I’d like to see Matt Robertson get a shot, as I already know what Jones can (or should I say “can’t?”) do.

— Mollie Walker still cackles like a diseased hyena throughout these things and exclusively limited all of her questions to Jones. (She always does this only because Jones attended the same college as she did.)

— Tyler Pitlick was back and since this is a numbers game – Laviolette was forced to make the tough call – and as a result – announced that Bonino would be the lone forward as a healthy scratch.

— On making Bonino a healthy scratch for the first time this season, where presumably, he plopped his ass in Zac Jones’ reserved seat in the press box; Lavy said this was the hardest decision that a coach has to make, as no bench boss likes scratching a hard-working player like Bonino.

— With Pitlick returned, Lavy said that he would be reuniting his most successful fourth line trio this season, the Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick triumvirate.

— Last but not least, but certainly the most obvious, Laviolette announced Quick as his starter and laughed while saying, “I think he wants this one.”

Normally, this is when I’d go right to the line-up and box score segments.

However, hold your horses.

Following “LAVY’S LOUNGE,” Laviolette’s former team, the New York Islanders, made some news themselves:

Patrick Roy, who previously left the Avalanche on his own accord, is getting his second NHL chance with the tenants of the IBS Arena. Photo Credit: Quebec Remparts

Officially, here’s what the Islanders said about the Lane Lambert firing/Patrick Roy hiring at 3:45PM Saturday:

New York Islanders President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Lou Lamoriello announced today that Lane Lambert has been relieved of his coaching responsibilities.  Patrick Roy has been named Head Coach of the New York Islanders.   

Last season, Roy served as the Head Coach of the Quebec Remparts and won the Memorial Cup Championship and the QMJHL Championship.   He had two stints as Head Coach of the Remparts, 2005-06 through 2012-13 and 2018-19 through 2022-23.  He also won the Memorial Cup in his first season as Head Coach of Quebec (2005-06).  Over the course of 13 seasons with the Remparts, Roy accumulated a Head Coaching record of 524-255-66.   

Roy was the Head Coach of the Colorado Avalanche for three seasons (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16).  He finished with a record of 130-92-24 and won the Jack Adams Award in 2013-14 as NHL Coach of the Year.  

The Quebec, PQ native began his NHL playing career in 1985-86, when he backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to a Stanley Cup Championship, also winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.  Roy was the youngest player in NHL history to ever win the Conn Smythe Trophy.  He would also help the Canadiens win the Stanley Cup in 1993 and was once again awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy.  In 1995, Roy was traded from Montreal to Colorado and in that same season, he would win his third Stanley Cup.  Roy would go on to win a fourth Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2001 and was awarded his third Conn Smythe Trophy, an NHL record.  Roy retired from the NHL in 2003 with a career regular season record of 551-315-131 and a career playoff record of 151-94.  Roy’s 151 playoff wins record is first all-time and his 551 regular season wins record is third all-time.  Roy was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006 and his jersey number 33 is retired by both Montreal and Colorado.  Roy played in eleven All-Star games and won three Vezina Trophies (awarded annually to the NHL’s goaltender who is “adjudged to be the best at this position”) and five William Jennings Trophies (awarded annually to the goalie(s) on a team with the fewest goals against).

Four hours later, the Islanders released a twenty-minute audio call of Lamoriello and Roy speaking about the hire.

You can listen to it here: https://www.nhl.com/islanders/video/presser-1-24-lamoriello-roy-6345276663112

And now, my thoughts.

One of my favorite, if not top-of-the-list favorite, non-Ranger player of all time, Patrick Roy. Photo Credit: NHL

Off puck-drop, I know that I’ve told these three personal Roy stories before on this site – but this site continues to gain new eyeballs.

Plus, I’m procrastinating, as I don’t want to relive tonight’s 2-1 loss just yet!

The first one is the easiest one:

Patrick Roy is one of my favorite non-Rangers of all-time.

Back in the day, and when in high school when Roy first joined the Avalanche – a lot of my friends and I got into the Colorado vs Detroit rivalry – the absolute best hockey rivalry of the 1990s.

(For more on this, check out the book review that I did on his biography, and this feud, which you can find here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/roy/)

Since the Rangers sucked at the time (they were never the same after the Sergei Zubov trade) and the Islanders were even worse (John Spano anyone?), my friends and I were obsessed with Avalanche v. Red Wings – and where we “adopted” these teams as our “second team.”

Yours truly?

I was all about the Avalanche – which in hindsight does make sense – as I’ve always been infatuated with the goaltender position.

(And I don’t that think I need to explain my fandom of people like Mike Richter, Cam Talbot and CZAR IGOR to you! And yes – I was a huge fan of Lundqvist at one point – but that damn contract was something that I could never let go of!)

Roy’s fiery personality also drew me to him – and the fact that he could back up all of his talk made me an even bigger fan.

The second story is one that I’ve written many times before, even as most recently in my new “RANGER KILLERS” book (to buy it, check the PLUGS segment), but for now, just the abridged version:

One day during the late 1990s, the Avalanche were in-town to take on the Islanders. This is when the Avalanche were dominant with Sakic, Foote, Forsberg, etc. Of course, the Avs also had arguably the greatest goalie of all time too, Roy himself.

My friend Justin, who was obsessed with getting autographs, and who then got us (my friends & I)  into the hobby too, decided that we needed to cut school after fifth period and try to get Avalanche autographs following their morning skate at the Nassau Coliseum.

I forgot where Justin got his autograph location tips, as some teams didn’t always stay at the Marriot, while some teams skipped a morning skate too; but I want to say he got his info from a guy at this baseball card store which was located in our town at the time.

Justin was hellbent that day about getting to the Coliseum early. He never met Patrick Roy or Joe Sakic before – and this was going to be his (and our) best opportunity to do so.

After ditching the second-half of the school day, we arrived at the Coliseum at around 1PM. We set up camp by the ramp that led to the underground parking garage, as that was the tip that he had received.

I was 17-years-old, while Justin was eighteen years of age and about to wrap up his senior year at high school. There weren’t that many autograph seeking degenerates around that day, aside from just a few old men who we got to know due to this sickening hobby.

(Man oh man – does that sentence sound messed up – and make your priest or Michael Jackson joke to yourself if you like!)

But to be clear, we only knew these grown men due to our past exploits of chasing autographs.

For what it’s worth, and still to this day, I have binders full of hockey cards signed by hundreds of players from the late 1990s. While we collected them and boasted about our collections to each other, these older guys from this era would get their autographs and then sell them to the local baseball card stores or at conventions.

As I was talking to one of the guys who were there, I soon noticed that Justin was gone.

Now I know what you’re thinking, old men and a fresh faced legal teenager. Get your mind out of the gutter – this is a sports blog – not a homosexual erotica blog! (Or so I’d like to believe!)

I never got to meet Patrick Roy that day. (I would later on, while still participating in the “hobby.”)

Realizing that I wasn’t going to see Roy on this day, I then started wondering where Justin had went.

In the moment, I figured that he went back to his car to get something or to take a leak. As the autograph seekers started dispersing and heading out for lunch, all I could think was, “where the hell is my ride?”

While sorting out my autograph binder, I heard a large commotion from the ramp. When I looked down, there was Justin, at a full sprint, with two large and burly men chasing him. Justin had a hockey stick in his hand. I didn’t know it then, but it was Patrick Roy’s goalie stick! These security guards were also a tad on the chunky side – and at the time, Justin was a three-sport varsity athlete.

Justin booked it and started running towards the Marriot. The security guards were beat.

With no cell phones in this era, I had now lost Justin again.

Eventually, I beeped him, he beeped back and we reconvened at the Marriot.

And yes – payphones were a thing back then – if you can remember such a thing!

When we finally hooked back up, it turned out that Justin had snuck down the ramp, into the building and then weaseled his way into the visiting player’s locker room. He immediately saw Roy’s locker – and as any teenager would do – then grabbed (some may say “stole”) his goalie stick.

Listen, I don’t advocate stealing, but this was a teenager not thinking right and wanting a rare piece of memorabilia. Security soon got a glimpse of him and the chase was on.

At the end of the day, Justin was in possession of Roy’s stick and had a great story to tell.

Only at the Nassau Coliseum could a kid sneak inside and steal player gear. You could never pull something like that off at today’s M$G – or even the M$G from back then!

A goalie who could fight was always aces to me. This also explains my undying devotion to Dan Cloutier! Photo Credit: NHL

Last but not least, my third “story.”

I didn’t realize this, but reader Joe M. (not that one) brought up something that I wrote all the way back in 2018 – and when the Rangers first released “THE LETTER.”

(That blog is here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/22118/ )

As you can see – I was first advocating for the Rangers to hire Patrick Roy in February of 2018.

And if you check this site’s archives (you have to do your own homework, as there are too many links to list) – then you’ll see that not only was I hoping and pushing for the Blueshirts to hire Roy after firing Gerard Gallant last season – but I was doing the same following both the Alain Vigneault and David Quinn firings too!

My (long-winded) point?

I always wanted Patrick Roy to coach this team.

The Islanders have him now.

And of course, the Rangers, who haven’t played at IBS since 2022, nor against their arch-rival at all this season – will now see Roy three times in the upcoming weeks – including during the outdoor game at the shithole in New Jersey.

I know that many Ranger fans are calling Lou’s move as a desperate one – but not me.

Hell, I’d rather play against any Islander team with Lane Lambert behind the bench instead of any team with Roy there, the only man in NHL history with a Vezina Trophy, a Stanley Cup Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy, and more important than all else today due to his current position – the Jack Adams’ Trophy too.

By now, you should know the deal.

More times than not, struggling teams get a huge injection in the arm following a coaching change made in-season.

Do I need to tell you all about the Craig Berube hiring made during the 2018-19 season in St. Louis?

Hell, do I need to tell you all about the freakin’ Edmonton Oilers, winners of their last thirteen games played, following the in-season hiring of former bench boss of the ‘Pack, Kris Knoblauch?

I didn’t think so.

Long-story short (easy for me to say)?

I think this Roy hiring greatly improves the Islanders – and with the Rangers reeling – I can only shudder to think about the state of hockey in NY during the final weeks of the season.

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Kakko

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Brodzinski/Wheeler

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Schneider



HEALTHY SCRATCHES: Bonino and Robertson

DAY-TO-DAY: Gustafsson



The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





23 1 22 .957 16 6 0 0 0 59:57 0


26 2 24 .923 24 0 0 0 0 58:33 0

Want to know how bad tonight’s game was? I was actually missing SIEVE VAGISTAT during the post-game show – but only because of his performance from Thursday night – when he absolutely ripped the Rangers to kingdom come. Brian Boyle, the replacement for the seven-foot stooge, was much nicer – but he had to be since he’s new to the gig.


Sorry, it’s already 3AM as I write these words – so this is going to be short.

Furthermore, I think the main story is the aftermath of this game – and not what took place during it (if that makes sense).

In addition, with a quick turnaround tomorrow, and the last game prior to yours truly starting his new real-life (and high-paying – what a dick) job – I want to go all-out following Rangers vs Ducks.

(And yep – I’ll give you everything about this site’s future late Sunday night – but don’t worry – I’m not going anywhere.)

As a result, I’m just going to bullet-point what you need to know, but if you do want the complete play-by-play of this fiasco, then check out my Tweeter feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

One final “silver lining” for devout disciples of CZAR IGOR like yours truly? At least you can’t blame him for tonight’s loss – but let me be clear – you can’t blame Quick either. Photo Credit: NYR

I was happy to see Brian Boyle back on the broadcast tonight, but admittedly, I was in-and-out of it, as at the time, I was watching the 49ers vs Packers game.

But in some good news, M$GN announced that for the first time this season, that both Henrik Lundqvist and Brian Boyle will be working together during the Rangers vs Ducks game – where I’m also to assume that both Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano will score during it.

But as a general statement – once again, I thought that Boyle did a good job tonight – and most certainly – one million times better than the crap that he had to talk about!

Another general statement, and I just want to say this once and not say it again?


No less than 2,014 times tonight, did Sam Rosen remind us what Jonathan Quick did during the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

He also told us 2,014 times that Quick turns 38-years-old on 1/21 – and where I was left wondering – is Sam going to jump out of a cake for him in Anaheim?

I totally understand all of the non-stop Quick talk, as this was his homecoming and all – but this stuff only got more infuriating as this game went on – and as it usually does.

And yes – and as noted above – this was bigger than the Giacomin return game for Quick too.

I guess that I should also note this quote too:

“He broke my heart.” – Brian Boyle, when talking about Quick and the 2014 SCF.

After an abundance of odd-man rushes allowed (the usual), Miller extended the Rangers’ zero for their last 8976346896289572657894234 billion breakaways streak when he was stopped by Rittich with 16:00 remaining.

This would be the last Rangers’ SOG for next 23+ minutes.

This is when Sam, and not Joe, also told us, “The Kings are a hard-working team.”

I’m still waiting for these two affable announcers to tell us what team ISN’T “hard-working” – but I guess they don’t want to say, while channeling their inner Gump Worsley, “THE RANGERS!”‘

During the expected-and-deserved video tribute (and one much better than the one that I saw in Columbus earlier this season) – Quick didn’t look to the scoreboard/jumbotron once.

Keep this in mind for later.

But for what it’s worth, I agreed with Micheletti, who said, “He doesn’t want to get emotional and watch this Sam. He’s dialed in and wants to win.”

Micheletti was right – but the Rangers didn’t want to win this game for their goalie.

At the 10:07 mark, the non-NHLer in Lavy’s line-up tonight, Jones, held Byfield.

The Kings, on their only power-play of the game, were held back by the Rangers’ PK themselves.

In a funny moment, Sam brought up how Pierre Luc-Dubois, formerly the apple of many Ranger fan eyes in a potential trade, was struggling and has never worked out.

Conversely, Rosen had nothing to say about Kakko tonight – who again – was later benched by Laviolette in favor of double-shifting Panarin.

With 34.4-seconds remaining, the Kings, out-shooting the Rangers at a ratio of 6:1 (12-2), scored.

This was a hell of a goal by Fiala, as he received a pass from Moore, but prior to getting the puck, he lifted Braden Schneider’s stick and scored.

Jones, as he’s used to doing in the press box – watched all of this go down.

1-0, bad guys – and yes – a heck of a goal for Fiala – but not one that you could blame Quick for either.

This score held as we hit the first intermission.

Here’s what I said at the time:

We’re back to this picture, one that was first founded circa 2017.


Again, with AHL goalie Rittich in net – the Rangers, and as if they were NRA protestors – refused to shoot.

During his second shift, about 4:00 into the period – Zibanejad turned over the puck three times.

First line center my ass.

After the lights temporarily went out at the Crypto Currency Fake Money Arena, the SOG tally was 14-2 at the 4:30 mark.

With 15:20 remaining, Matt Roy (NO RELATION TO EVERYONE ELSE I KNOW WITH THIS NAME JOE, INCLUDING ROY ROGERS JOE), was nailed for interfering with Lafreniere – and a Lafreniere who ate a big, yet not dirty, hit – but he was without the puck hence the penalty.

Trouba (on the point for PP2 with Gustafsson out), put two SOG on goal during this power-play, thus doubling Rittich’s save total to four – while also ending the Rangers’ SOG drought.

I thought that the Kings received a huge break once we surpassed the ten-minute mark/halfway point of the game.

Trocheck hit a post, where after it, the second line had their best shift – and about a 1:30’s worth of an attack.

However, following a Rittich save-and-a-freeze, we then had the mandatory TV timeout once past the ten-minute mark of the second period.

This TV timeout allowed the Kings to regroup, reset and catch their breath – and with the Rangers losing their momentum too.

But yes – this is an excuse – but fact too.

Down to 5:42 remaining and this is when Lavy left Kakko on the bench in favor of Panarin.

It worked.

Just 21-seconds into Panarin’s first double-shift, the following:

1-1 – but at the end of the day – false hope.

Come 1:47 remaining, Byfield scored after Miller’s assist:

2-1, bad guys.

Absolutely brutal – but I do want to say this:

Did Miller suck ass here?

One million percent.

But only one goal scored against Rittich?

That’s on the entire team.

I don’t want to sound like that I’m being soft on Miller – but to solely finger-point at him as the lone scapegoat is 100% wrong.

This high-powered offense, and about $50M on a PP1 unit – and they went 0-3 on the power-play tonight.

Miller didn’t help the Rangers, but he wasn’t the only one who was bad.

2-1, bad guys, after two periods.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Lafreniere and Kakko usually average ten games between goals scored. Gallant’s fault, am I right?


The Rangers were more productive this period – but once again – could never bury a puck when needed.

The Kings, similar to the Rangers’ most recent win against the Kraken (if you can remember such a dated event), did a fantastic job in shutting down their opponents with the lead.

No joke – the first ten-minutes of this period flew by – and even with the Rangers getting a power-play.

With 14:58 remaining, and following a Kings’ d-zone face-off win, Vladislav Gavrikov gave the Blueshirts a break when he airmailed a puck over the glass.

The “highlight” of this power-play?

When Lafreniere hit the crossbar.

As Quick did everything humanly possible to keep this game within one shot – the Rangers failed him.

The biggest failure took place with 1:39 to go, following Moore’s penalty on Fox.

Moore from the box?

I’m not an accredited lip-reader, but it looked like he said, “you’re a pussy” to Fox – and it did look like Fox embellished this call a bit.

With a minute remaining, Quick pulled and the Rangers deploying their 6 x 4 attack; Lafreniere, who ate a puck to the face from Panarin earlier in the period but never missed a shift (WARRIOR) – couldn’t lift a puck over Rittich’s left pad.

Mika shot the puck wide two times and that was that.

2-1, bad guys, final – and while not the worst of the recent string of losses – this was freakin’ horrendous.

The post-game interviews were interesting.

Here’s Quick:

The Rangers’ YouTube account edited this a bit – as Quick was furious and curt in his two-minute live post-game interview on the M$GN.

Can you blame him?

He hasn’t won in a month – and 100% due to the team in front of him.

Here’s Laviolette:

I don’t want to say that Coach #37 in franchise history was in a state of “panic” or anything like that – but for the first time this season, the despondent bench boss did seem both “nervous” and “concerned.”

But, and unlike other coaches from Rangers’ past – he didn’t call out his team – but he also didn’t have an answer for their troubling ways.

Can Frank Vatrano join many names in Blueshirts’ history and become a two-time Ranger? I sure as hell hope so! Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Rangers will get their first chance to salvage this 0-2 road-trip on Sunday night in Anaheim.

The Ducks, akin to the Blueshirts, are coming off a bad loss themselves, having lost to the shitty Sharks on Saturday night, 5-3.

Can the Rangers blow a bad Ducks’ team out of the pond – or will the home team come out more motivated than their opponents?

We’ll find out tomorrow.

Sorry for the short GAME REVIEW tonight, but I think that I hit everything that needed to be said.

And hell, I also hit the 10,000 word-count too.

What a loser!

Just like the Rangers.

See ya late Sunday night.

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/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

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

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/LAK 1/20 Review: RAGE! Blueshirts a No-Show in La La Land Casting Call; Spit in Quick’s Face, K’Awful Miller Still Struggling, “Same Old Script,” Time for Drury To Go “1994” with 2024 Regressing Rangers; Trade Ideas, Lavy’s Line-Up Changes, Patrick Roy Newest NY Coach – But on L.I., M$GN & More

  1. I tend to agree with you 90% of the time ( that’s a lot ), but tonight you batted 100% with me. We are stuck with Missing Mika, Casper Krieds, etc with locked contracts, but it is time to move the “busts”. Chytil must be shut down for health reasons, no way he can return and contribute effectively. That leaves the “impossibility” of Lafi,
    Miller, and Kaki ever achieving success with the NYR. Their “potential” is still high, but each year their lack of talent is exposed a little more. Even if they somehow rise to a higher level, it will NEVER happen with the NYR.
    Trade them now for players with grit, also called playoff studs, that play both ends of the ice – there are a lot of studs available.
    The elephant in the room is still the key to any playoff hope, that being IGOR! For the life of me I can’t understand his drop off of talent and intensity, and it is visually noticeable and backed by Vagastats.
    Here is my “out of the blue” possibility, could NYC liberal politic’s be affecting his attitude? NYC media is a daily bombardment of Russia-Russia-Russia EVIL EMPIRE and Putin is Hitler, etc. Most people are not aware that modern day Russians are more Christian than the USA and have deeper family values and a culture that resembles the USA of the 50’s. NYC is a liberal cultural RAT HOLE these days, and Igor lives it.
    Like most Ranger fans I’m grasping for answers, but we all knew this team was not ready for a Cup run ( your daily reminder ) The time has come for change, they need to replace the boys with some men with SCP grit.

    Jim V

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