NYR/TOR 12/12 Review: RAKED! Rangers Continue Brutal Loss Streak; Leafs Blowout Blueshirts, The “Goalie Controversy” Continues; Defense Not Much Help Either, Toronto’s Top-Six Shows Up; Ranger Stars Do Not, Missing Miller, M$GN, Garden of Dreams vs Gambling, Bad Jokes, Up Next & More

If you were hoping for CZAR IGOR to snap out of the worst slump of his career on Tuesday night, then like me – you’re still waiting for such an event to occur. In what can only be described as “BRUTAL,” the Blueshirts dropped a 7-3 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs at M$G on December 12th – and for the kicker – with all of the Garden of Dreams kids in-attendance too. For CZAR IGOR, currently experiencing the worst stretch of his professional career – this game, at least statistically, was his absolute worst (6 GA, .793 save percentage). While the goalie wasn’t the only issue tonight, but while also now somewhat similar to his predecessor – for whatever reason, the team just plays better in front of their back-up goaltender. And yes – this was the hardest (and most horrible) photoshop that I’ve made all season!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Happy 73rd birthday Dad!

I feel like I’m in “The Twilight Zone” – as I’m currently experiencing “deja vu” – or perhaps “deja poo” is more fitting!


But to show you what I mean, here’s what I wrote last Saturday night, following the Rangers’ 4-0 loss to the Washington Capitals:

I don’t mean to sound like Michael Stipe right now – “it’s the end of the world as we know it” – because deep down, and like the final lyric from that famous REM song – I do “feel fine!”

But even with the Rangers’ first-place record – I do think that there is a cause for concern – especially as the other teams in the division are now finding their grooves (the Islanders, Devils, Capitals and Flyers) – and while the Blueshirts are also now experiencing their first rough-patch of the season.

I think what makes the “GLOOM AND DOOMERS” go absolutely bat-shit bonkers is the fact is that when the Rangers lose – then they lose BAD.

Like Rod Serling from the “Twilight Zone,” “for your consideration” (or “submitted for your approval” – although who would approve any of this?) – a quick look at the Rangers’ regulation losses this season:

— A 5-3 loss to the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets.

— A 4-1 loss to a horrible Nashville Predators team.

— A 6-3 loss to a top team, a rare litmus test for the Blueshirts thus far, the Dallas Stars.

— A 5-1 embarrassing shellacking to a last-place Buffalo Sabres squad.

— A 6-2 smashing perpetrated by the last-place Ottawa Senators.

— And now, after tonight, a 4-0 loss to the Capitals.

As you can see, when the Rangers lose – then they don’t lose close games.

Instead, the Blueshirts get blown out – and an alarming trend if I say so myself!

That alarming trend continued on Tuesday night and where this much is now evident too:

When they’re good, they’re good, but when they’re bad, then they are down-right brutal.

CZAR IGOR, who has been super against these Leafs in the past (he entered tonight’s game with a 4-1 record against them), was anything but that on Tuesday night, in the Rangers’ 7-3 loss. Photo Credit: Padma R.

While I wouldn’t say that Tuesday night’s embarrassment was the “worst loss of the season,” and mainly due to the competition (and for what it’s worth, the Rangers, trailing 4-1 after twenty-minutes of play, were only down by one goal when entering the final frame) – this game wasn’t pretty at all.

That said, and unlike previous “worst loss of the season” candidates – you can’t make any excuses for this shit show either.

The schedule?

Sure, the Rangers were playing their third game in just four nights – but so were the Leafs – a Toronto team, that unlike their Original Six peers, had also just played the night before. (A 4-3 overtime loss to the Islanders – ugh!)


The Leafs are just as banged-up as the Rangers – if not worse off.

The officials?

While there was a questionable call against Erik Gustafsson during the early stages of the third period – but by that point, the Blueshirts had already given up four goals in the first – and also got away with a few penalties themselves.

Long story short?

You can’t make any excuses for what you endured on Tuesday night.

The whole league knows it – shut down Panarin’s line and then you can easily defeat the Blueshirts.

While we’ll get into everything during tonight’s GAME REVIEW; the same stuff that always takes place during every Rangers’ loss recurred again tonight.

Simply put: All the opposing team has to do is shut down the Panarin line – and should they succeed – then it’s a “W” and two-points in the standings.

Sure, while Blake Wheeler somehow, and perhaps miraculously too, scored two goals tonight, and while yes, Mika Zibanejad scored on the power-play too – but when the Rangers’ top line of Lafreniere/Trocheck/Panarin are stunted – then there’s no hope.

As has been the case in every game sans the win over the Flyers, the one team that Zibanejad always feasts upon – the $8.5M center can’t do any of the heavy lifting when the other teams prioritize the Panarin line.

Once again, Zibanejad couldn’t score during 5 x 5 play.

You know who did? Auston Matthews – and two times over to boot.

Worse than that, Mika’s worst showing at the dots this season, a horrific one-of-nine performance (11.1%) – and where one of these eight losses at the circles directly led to a Toronto goal.

And while I know that nobody wants to hear the following, but both Chris Kreider and Alexis Lafreniere haven’t scored in a dog’s age either – and with the latter now without a goal in his last ten-games played.

I also know that this sounds tired, but it’s true:

When your fourth line is your best line, then that’s great for them – but that’s also not great for the Rangers as a whole.

Furthermore: You can’t expect Jimmy Vesey to score game-winners for you in every game of the season either.

Perhaps Zibanejad, paid ten-times as much as Vesey, can score a game-winner this season – and against a team that’s not from Philadelphia?

Maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

But of course, when you see seven goals allowed on the board (albeit one empty-netter), then all of the focus will be on the starting goaltender – and especially when his back-up has been light-years better than him this season.

However and sadly – I just talked about CZAR IGOR vs. Jonathan Quick on Sunday night (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/121023/ ) – and where after tonight – the “goalie controversy” debate is now even more intensified.

While there is still plenty of time for CZAR IGOR to sort it all out – and this is a great time to remind you of my season-long daily disclaimer too (“WHATEVER THE RANGERS DO IN THE REGULAR SEASON DOESN’T MATTER. THEY CAN ONLY BE JUDGED BY WHATEVER THEY DO IN THE 2024 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS!”) – while this team will still be ultimately judged by whatever takes place in the postseason; presently, the Rangers are losing their stranglehold in the standings.

(Holy bad grammar Batman!)

In order for the Rangers to regain their former comfortable cushion atop of the Metropolitan Division, then, and perhaps for right now – they should ride their hot hand in net, their back-up – the soon-to-be 38-year-old future Hall of Famer, Jonathan Quick.

Who predicted that any one of us would be thinking such a thought this summer – or heck – during the first puck drop of this 2023-24 campaign either?


It’s up to Benoit Allaire, who was always there to get Henrik Lundqvist out of his cold streaks, to now do the same with CZAR IGOR. Should Allaire be able to repair Shestyorkin, then it will be the first time that he’s ever done so – as previously, #31 has never looked this bad. Photo Credit: NYR

There’s a lot to get into tonight and I’ll save the meat of it for the GAME REVIEW.

At this time, let’s now get into all of the pregame news & notes – and then into Tuesday’s travesty.

As you may have gathered, Blueshirts’ bench boss, Peter Laviolette, was in a better mood prior to tonight’s game than after it!

Following Sunday night’s win over the Kings, come Monday, the Blueshirts had their C.B.A. mandated day off.

Come Tuesday morning, the Rangers had one of their sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” skates.

The biggest news from the light practice was that K’Andre Miller wasn’t there (more below).

Once the morning skate concluded, the head coach then conducted his pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is – and all ten-minutes of it in total:

Obviously, Miller’s absence was the top topic of the day.

During his long oration to the Rangers’ beat reporters, the head coach confirmed what the team had officially released during the practice – Miller needed a “personal day.”

The Blueshirts’ beat did try to press Lavy about what was going on, but the head coach stuck to his guns and reiterated the definition of the word “personal.”

While I’m sure that we’ll find out soon enough why Miller couldn’t play on Tuesday night – but for right now, it could be anything.

For me, I just hope it’s something as silly such as EXPLOSIVE DIARRHEA – and not something as serious such as an illness or death in his family.

But for right now, and even following tonight’s 7-3 loss – we don’t know – and I really don’t want to speculate any further.

In any event, all the best to Miller, especially since it’s not very often when you see the words “personal day” attached to a line-up report.

In a corresponding move, and this took place after Lavy’s near half-a-day chat, the Blueshirts announced the following:

This was just an insurance-policy move, as at the end of the day, Zac Jones, and as previously predicted in this space – only returned to the Rangers’ line-up tonight due to an issue with one of the six regular rearguards.

As far as anything else that you need to know from Tuesday morning’s “LAVY’S LOUNGE,” the head coach had a fun exchange with the best reporter on the beat today, Jonny Lazarus.

Lavy told a funny anecdote about his daughter watching (and scouting) Rangers’ prospect Gabe Perreault, as she too, and like the 2023 draft pick, is currently attending classes at Boston College.

As far as Lavy goes, he hasn’t had a chance to talk to Perreault – but then again – why would he need to at this stage?

After all – Lavy is here to WIN NOW – and whatever happens in the future is secondary.

Lavy was also asked (by Mr. Lazarus) if he has had a chance to catch up with his former teammates and pals with the Rangers, Brian Leetch and Mike Richter.

The head coach said that he hadn’t, as obviously, he’s very busy right now.

A look at Barclay Goodrow’s new cage – and that nasty bruise that goes all the way down to his neck too. Photo Credit: NYR

As far as any other pregame news and notes go; following Tuesday’s practice, Goodrow spoke to the media for the first time since returning.

Somehow, and in someway – Goodrow said that he still has all of his teeth.

When asked about what the hell flew out of his mouth and which landed on the ice, Goodrow calmly said, “it wasn’t a tooth, but it was something in my mouth that should have remained in my mouth!”

As mentioned many times over on this site in the past, Goodrow, who also confirmed that he’s currently eating out of a straw (and will continue to do so for the next month or so), is a freakin’ warrior.

That’s my alternate captain!

I have no clue what flew out of his mouth either, as I had assumed it was a tooth – but as noted/opined at the time – it looked like a piece of jaw joined his tooth on the ice.

Hockey players are a special brand.

Give me Goodrow and his contract over some $700M baseball player any day of the week – and twice on Sundays!

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Wheeler

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Bonino/Brodzinski

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Gustafsson/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Schneider







The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





31 3 28 .903 27 1 0 0 0 59:45 0


29 6 23 .793 19 4 0 0 0 58:49 0

One of the heroes of the M$G founded “Garden of Dreams” charity. (Photo by Bobby Bank/FilmMagic)

Tonight’s broadcast was the annual “Garden of Dreams” fundraiser – but in a new wrinkle this year – we were encouraged more to bet on this game than to donate to sick kids with cancer.

Thanks John Gianonne and Bill Pidto.

Keep it classy!


By now, and since I’ve been doing this site for ten-years – you should know what I’m going to say next:

Why they promote a Sieve Vagistat signed stick in their raffles (in order to encourage donations) is beyond me.

Who in their right mind would want that?

As I always do, I made my annual $100 donation (and as told many times before – I actually won one of these raffles once – a signed Mats Zuccarello stick in 2015) – but if anyone from the M$GN is hate-reading this blog right now – then please, and for the love of the hockey gods – should I win tonight’s raffle – then please burn the Vagistat stick and save yourself the shipping & handling costs!

Then again, if I were to win this piece of shit and utterly useless memorabilia – then we could have some fun with it on this site.


“THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, pulled double-duty tonight. Not only was he finally back on the broadcast, but during the live action, the official ambassador of M$G also visited with the “Garden of Dreams” kids too.

You can’t really critique a fundraiser of a broadcast, but I do want to reiterate this one point:

Despite trying to raise money for cancer kids and other unfortunate folk – that didn’t stop M$GN from running all of their gambling ads either.

This was completely low-rent and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.

Perhaps Lundqvist knew as much, as we didn’t see any of his “WE’RE ALL CAESARS KIDS” commercials tonight amongst the other bevy of gambling advertisements.

But I’m sure that they’ll be back on Friday night when the Rangers play next (Anaheim).

Tonight’s M$GN pregame show began with Lundqvist and Giannone in the CHASE BRIDGES, and with #30 sporting his new and shiny HOF ring on his right hand.

Since tonight was the fundraiser, Lundqvist went out of his way to praise former teammate Chris Kreider – and then brought up all of the charity work that CK20 does.

In a way, and this is way down the line stuff anyway – it sounded like Lundqvist was looking forward to the day when Kreider joins him as a team ambassador.

As M$GN ran their first gambling ad, and where Giannone always tells you to bet on every game in the league, I replied with this:

And to be clear to new readers – and before you accuse me of being a hypocrite:

I’m fine with sports gambling.

However, I just don’t think it should be advertised on television to kids and teenagers, as I believe that sports gambling in this country should be treated like cigarettes.

I’m not against what any adult wants to do, and if they want to smoke and gamble – then good for them – but I hate that this stuff is being pushed on to impressionable young people. That’s all.

(And yes – that’s the “UNCLE” Sean in me!)

Tonight’s over-under you ask?

Six goals.

The Leafs scored seven.

When talking about CZAR IGOR, Lundqvist who was never in this position before (when he struggled, it was a young and cheap back-up goalie that out-played him – so the complete opposite of what’s happening today. In addition, and perhaps most importantly – #30’s issues started at the end of his career – and not during his prime years), said the following about his successor:

“It’s all between the ears. It’s all how you think and how you focus. What you tell yourself is extremely important. You have to reinforce the good things to instill your confidence. I hope he has a strong game tonight.

“It doesn’t matter if your backup is playing great or not, but obviously there’s more pressure to play your best. Igor knows that. But it’s all about your process.

“Whenever I had a bad game, it was important to close practice on a high note. I liked breakaway drills. I always wanted to create that good energy. You have to recreate it.”

Similar to Lundqvist, and as I’ve been saying for a while too – I do believe that a lot of what’s presently plaguing CZAR IGOR is more mental than physical.

Perhaps a sports’ shrink is necessary.

Unfortunately, Sieve Vagistat, now disgracing our television for the first time, had to chime in and where of course – he then compared his career to CZAR IGOR and Lundqvist’s.

Sometimes, I wonder how Benoit Allaire feels whenever Vagistat “credits” the goalie whisperer for his “success.”

Let’s face it: Vagistat isn’t Lundqvist nor Shestyorkin, nor is he Cam Talbot, Antti Raanta and Alexandar Georgiev either – three former Blueshirt back-ups under Allaire who later became multi-millionaires and starting goaltenders elsewhere following his tutelage.

If anything, then Vagistat is the black mark, the worst blemish, on Allaire’s track record.

Not that Vagistat would ever admit that!

Another thought that I had at this time?

It costs about what, $10 to make these new Rangers’ third jerseys, threads that Rosen keeps shrieking, “THEY ARE ICONIC JOE!”

When I turned off tonight’s broadcast (post-game show), M$GN had “only” raised $60,000 – a far cry of what they’ve raised in previous years – and years where we were told that over $100K was raised by the third period.

Perhaps rather than offering a signed stick from Vagistat – then maybe a $100 donation could have netted you one of these Ferguson 2.0 jerseys instead.

I’m sure that this idea would’ve raised more cash – and even more funds had the Rangers given out these jerseys to anyone who donated $100+ – and rather than just a select few in a raffle.

Just sayin’.

Come 7PM, we went to Sam and Joe, where Rosen told us, “OH JOE, IT’S SUSAN B. KOMEN NIGHT JOE! HAPPY HALLOWEEN JOE!”

Okay, okay, okay – he didn’t really say that – but you almost believed it!

In a rarity, the affable announcers only had two-minutes of pregame face-time – and solely due to the fundraiser.

Not mentioned once during the pregame show?

How the washed-up Martin Jones, stuck in the AHL all season prior to all of the injuries in the Leafs’ net, would be making his first start of the year.

And yep, you know it – another bad Blueshirt trend reared in its ugly head tonight:

Another third-string goalie having the game of his life at the Rangers’ expense.

Granted, while Jones had a lot of success during his career prior to his decline – this was his best game in a long time.

Of course.

As far as anything else, two young girls sang tonight’s two anthems, the Canadian and American national anthems.

When I was listening to these two “YOUTS” belt out each anthem, I was left wondering this:

Which M$G employee gets paid to tell these singers in-advance that Ranger fans will heckle and shout throughout the entire anthem?

I don’t recall the names, but the girl who sang the American anthem actually raised her voice and tried to sing/shout over the Garden hecklers.

Why screaming throughout the National Anthem has become commonplace at M$G is beyond me.

I know it’s tradition, but I have never liked this.

And heck, it’s not even tradition anymore, as it used to be one “LET’S GO RANGERS” chant, but today, it’s just non-stop.

Give it a rest!

And for the love of the hockey gods – retire that stupid “POTVIN SUCKS” whistle too.

I’d go further on the “POTVIN SUCKS” stuff – but I have already done so – in my new book: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/villains/

And while on the subject of “RANGER KILLERS,” while some may champion for Auston Matthews (2 goals, 2 assists), William Nylander (2 assists), John Tavares (1 assist) or Mitch Marner (2 goals) after tonight –  I am to suspect that CZAR IGOR would agree with me on this:

The biggest villains on ice was the Rangers’ defense.



The days of Alexandar Georgiev routinely blowing away the Leafs are long gone. And the fact that I’m even bringing this up tells you how bad this game was tonight!


Once again, Laviolette turned to his hard-working fourth line to open tonight’s game.

And really, sans the final result, this decision was the right one – as they continued to generate chances, while also limiting chances all game.

Jumpin’ Joe opened the broadcast by recapping the litany of injuries on the Leafs’ roster, while also mentioning that there was a stomach bug (DIARRHEA) going around.

And who knew – this game was complete DIARRHEA for the Rangers too.

(I’m so professional, as I have already used the word DIARRHEA three times tonight – and three more times than any other writer, blogger, podcaster, fan, whoever, will use it this season!)

The Rangers’ top line, the Panarin line, had two shots deflected away from Jones’ net during their first shift.

Three-minutes into the game, and on his initial shift of the match, Cuylle made his presence felt with another one of his big-ass textbook hits.

But that was really the lone highlight from this period.

Maybe, and like Sam Rosen, I jinxed the Rangers tonight.

After all, prior to puck drop, I was telling anyone who would listen how excited I was about the Rangers’ new second pair, THE VEHICLES, “THE TROUBA TRAIN” and “THE GUS BUS.”

What happened next?

At just the 3:52 mark, Auston Matthews scored.


1-0, bad guys.

On this goal, Wheeler committed an infraction which then allowed the Leafs to pull Jones.

Toronto, now on a 6 x 5 attack, saw Nylander leave THE GUS BUS parked at the terminal, as he blew by him like Sean Avery in a bike lane. This then set up a mini 2 x 1 odd-man rush, where at the end of it, AM34 dodged the TROUBA TRAIN and then pumped the puck right past CZAR IGOR.

I know that this is getting old, but it’s true:

While you couldn’t hang CZAR IGOR for this goal allowed – at the same time – we’ve seen him make these stops before.

So right away, and before every Gardon patron could even park all of their 18,006 asses into their seats – the idea of a potential CZAR IGOR shutout was shot to shit.

Sadly, Shesty is super no more – and this Rangers’ defense has become his kryptonite too.

That said – you couldn’t blame the Blueshirts’ D for what happened next.

Just 1:15 later, the following:

2-0, bad guys – and at just the 5:07 mark of the match.

Once again, the Rangers were in another two-goal hole – another regular occurrence these days.

This goal was horrid to allow.


And yep – another horrible negative Rangers’ trend resurfaced on this goal:

Timmins’ first goal of the season.


This horrible goal allowed was all on CZAR IGOR – and if you watch back the way he played it – then you knew that something was bothering him – in his head.

That said, some temporary hope awaited us.

In a rarity during a Rangers’ loss – they actually responded!

Just 35-seconds after Timmins’ 2-0 goal, Wheeler, of all people, scored:

2-1, bad guys.

On this goal, Kreider was stopped by Jones following a Rangers’ o-zone faceoff win.

The puck then hit a Leaf after the rebound afforded by the goaltender (which is why this goal went down as unassisted).

With Jones also screened at the time, Wheeler banged home the rebound, where ultimately – this goal just became band-aid, rather than the start of anything.

And of course, right after scoring and gaining some momentum; just 27-seconds later, Zibanejad was boxed for tripping David Kampf. (More on that surname below.)

The Rangers’ penalty kill survived these two-minutes, mainly because Pajama Boy Tavares shot two pucks wide.

Braden Schneider would then get the final clear which as a result, returned the game to full-strength.

As I was watching these two teams play, I was thinking the following:

For a Leafs’ team that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup ever since the league’s first real expansion in 1967, and for a Rangers’ team that has only won four Stanley Cups in their near 100-years of history – just imagine if you were able to combine these two rosters today?

But then again, should an event ever be possible, then the goaltender depth chart would presently read as such:

Starter: Quick

Back-up: Jones

Third-String: Shestyorkin


The fourth-line tried to tie this game, but no dice.

With 11:00 remaining, Vesey put a good hit on Conor “Gretzky” Timmins. This led to a Goodrow shot from the slot, but with the puck on edge – he sent the rubber into the wrong netting – the one above the goal to protect the fans – and not the one behind the goalie.

Come 9:14 left in the period, Jake McCabe hooked Kreider – a good penalty to take following Wheeler setting up an odd-man rush.

In a rarity this season – Sam and Joe actually tried to curse the other team!

Both announcers mentioned how the Leafs’ PK was red-hot and could not be stopped.

Kudos to them – as at least they tried.

On this power-play, Zibanejad had all-day to shoot at an empty net but couldn’t handle a perfect pass from Panarin. Had he, then he probably would’ve shot the puck into the Hudson River anyway.

A Trocheck tip-try was stopped by Jones and that was the end of this Rangers’ power-play – and one where the PP1 went 1:50.

As the fourth-line continued to attack, Rosen read us his ODE TO MATTHEWS.

Old habits die hard.

And right after this praise for the visitor – BOOM – two Toronto goals in a span of 21-seconds:

3-1, bad guys, following Calle Jarnkrok’s easy goal that was only allowed following a bad CZAR IGOR rebound.

Right after that, 4-1, bad guys, as Matthews found Marner for an easy goal right from the crease.

The Rangers’ defense had given up.

And really, what is this, the seventh time this season where a Rangers’ opponent had scored two goals within a time-span of a minute or less?

Talk about a Blueshirts’ Brain Fart.

4-1, bad guys, through twenty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Many Ranger fans wanted to see Quick start the second period, but that never happened. Again – can you imagine such a notion at the start of this season? This is damning. Photo Credit: NYR


Prior to the first puck drop of this period, I was hoping that Laviolette reminded his team during the intermission that the only charity tonight was for the Garden of Dreams kids – and not on the behalf of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I also thought that Lundqvist made a good point during the break too, as he reminded us that the Leafs’ dads were in-attendance during their annual road-game trip.

In other words, #30 was saying that the Leafs had some extra motivation – and especially after their bad loss to the Isles from the night before.

(Someone asked me on Twitter when the Rangers’ dad trip is. I’m not sure, but it’s usually when the Blueshirts visit warm weather golf cities, and more times than not, when the team plays the two teams in Florida. But officially, no word yet.)

As most Ranger fans were losing their minds on social media that CZAR IGOR remained in net – I was kind of fine with it.

I’m not a goalie psychologist, nor do I play one on TV like Vagistat does, but in my opinion, I think that CZAR IGOR just needs to play through this.

And while who knows how the cookie would have crumbled – or if the Rangers would have found-a-way – they only scored three goals tonight in sixty-minutes – while the Leafs had already posted a four-spot after twenty-minutes.

With 18:33 remaining, Tavares flung an innocent looking shot from the slot following a Rangers’ turnover – and to show you my confidence level these days – I’m surprised that this didn’t go in.

Up next, another third-string goalie saving his best work of the season against the Rangers with three consecutive robbery saves:

— With 17:25 to go, Jones stopped a Panarin-to-Trocheck one-timer.

— With 16:50 to go, Jones stopped a Lafreniere-to-Bonino breakaway.

— With 16:00 to go, Jones stopped a clear-as-day Pitlick breakaway.

In other words?

Jones made the big stops when he needed to – CZAR IGOR did not – and that pains me to write this!

As we hit the halfway mark of the game/period, M$G sounded so horrified and mortified – and as if they were sacrificing the Garden of Dreams kids to Satan with every second that had elapsed with the Blueshirts down by three goals.

Another thing was also apparent:

Whatever the Rangers did against L.A., and all of those “systems” and “structure” too, had been lost to amnesia – memory loss worse than Rosen’s.

Down to 9:33 remaining, Kreider and Lagesson exchanged roughing penalties following a Jones’ save on Wheeler.

This is when Rosen promoted some sort of contest, “GLASS PASS UP YOUR ASS,” and where I’m not joking – as presented by BUD LIGHT.

Nothing happened during the foreplay here, outside of Rosen telling us how iconic the Ferguson 2.0 jerseys were for the 98676756756757th time.


And yep – it’s no coincidence that the Blueshirts are largely wearing these new threads right before Christmas too.

Not only do they have to push the shit out of these new jerseys for the holidays – but they need to get this out of the way asap.

After all, they will be pushing a new jersey come the New Year – whatever debacle they design for the outdoor game at Giants Stadium against the lowlife Islanders.

Come 6:00 remaining, the two vehicles of the defense were caught out there for a shift that lasted nearly 2:30.

Twenty-seconds later, a glimmer of hope, as Timmins hooked Trocheck.

This one bad penalty set-off a positive chain of events for the Rangers.

As M$G chanted “SHOOOOOOOOT” for nearly a minute – BOOM – the following with 3:30 to go:

4-2, bad guys – and in a rarity – the first time this season where Mika “No Even-Strength Goals Necessary” Zibanejad scored one-timed PPGs in consecutive games.

Buy that lotto ticket!

Equally as rare?

How the Rangers responded to this tweet of mine:

While it wasn’t thirty-seconds, I was still equally as happy with what happened just 1:50 after Zibanejad’s goal, the following:

4-3, bad guys – and a shame that CZAR IGOR didn’t get an assist here.

With just 94-seconds left to play (there’s something about that number ’94); following Igor’s save on McMann, Trouba flipped a puck to Mika and BOOM – there was Wheeler for his second goal of the game.

Go figure, for a guy known as “Wheelchair,” the former Jet turned on the jets himself on this play – and really – had a nose for the net all game.

(Wheeler registered a season-high five SOG in this game – and fired about a dozen or so more pucks at Jones too, as he was hellbent on getting his first hat trick as a Blueshirt tonight – an event that sadly never came to be.)

Just as the period was set to expire – Jones came up with a big save on Cuylle.

Had that not been the case, then M$G would have been much more livelier than they already were – and perhaps – then would’ve went on to win this game.

But as you already know, Wheeler’s second goal was the last Blueshirts’ score of the contest.

The Leafs still had another field goal in them.

4-3, bad guys, after forty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Despite the Rangers impressive season and his two-points in the box score tonight – individually, Zibanejad is having a down season. At the very least, he’s no longer the team’s top center, nor is he worth $8.5M. Photo Credit: NYR


We can fast-forward through this mess.

The final turning point of the game took place at just the 1:22 mark, as Gustafsson was boxed for “interfering” with Mitch Marner.

However, and prior to the penalty, CZAR IGOR came up with a huge save on a two-vs-one Toronto odd-man rush (Marner) and where on the big rebound afforded – Trouba saved a goal when he blocked Bertuzzi’s slam-dunk rebound.

So very easily, Toronto could’ve scored on this play – but they did not.

The penalty on THE GUS BUS was a fifty/fifty thing – as it looked like Marner had skated into him – and with #56’s back turned.

If anything, then this penalty felt like a “spirit of the rule” type of a thing rather than a true infraction.

And should have this been a playoff game – then you would’ve lost your mind over this call.

It took the Leafs’ just six-seconds to score on their power-play.

For some reason (no beat reporter dared to ask Lavy about this after the game), Zibanejad, 0-6 at the circles at the time and just getting wrecked on all of his meek attempts, took this draw.

Matthews won this pertinent faceoff with ease, got the puck to Rielly at the point and following the d-man’s rocket from the blue line – Marner tipped it right past CZAR IGOR.

5-3, bad guys – and a PPG afforded that basically ended the game.

It was also another goal allowed after a d-zone faceoff loss – and the second goal following a shot from the point too.

As we jump ahead, with 8:57 remaining, McCabe absolutely trucked Lindgren – and cleanly at that, ala THE TROO TROO TRAIN.

In other words, no foul here and as Lindgren continues to get blasted on a regular basis.

(HERE’S YOUR DANNY MACK CHALLENGE: Put together a video of all of the times where Lindgren has ate huge hits this season. It happens a lot more than you think. And no, I don’t have these powers – after all, have you seen my horrendous photoshops? Don’t get me started with videos!)

In what was valiant, yet comical, Zibanejad tried to defend Lindgren’s honor with punches that wouldn’t have broken an egg shell.

Kreider immediately tried to save his best friend, and as that was going on, the refs broke up this “fight.”

And Mika was lucky, because if he had squared off against McCabe, then he’d have a worse concussion history than Chytil does right now.

The Leafs were correctly awarded a power-play, as McCabe and Mika took off-setting penalties, and with #93 receiving an extra two-minutes for instigating.

I gotta say – I appreciate what Mika did – but it was just the wrong time when down by two late in a game.

Plus, McCabe’s hit was clean anyway.

While the Leafs didn’t score on this power-play, this Mika penalty did burn two-minutes off of the clock.

The final dagger took place with 2:49 remaining, as Matthews embarrassed both Trouba and CZAR IGOR one last time.

6-3, bad guys, as the American skated around Trouba and then fired a puck right off of Igor’s right shoulder and into the net.

Following the goal, Laviolette, and as he has done a few times before when down by three goals, pulled his goalie.

Zibanejad tried to set a world-record for the most one-timers missed in a thirty-second time-span.

Once he was finished with that, David “Mein” Kampf deposited the puck into the Rangers’ empty net.

7-3, bad guys.

On my stupid “Mein” nickname for Kampf, I got some heat on Tweeter for making the same joke.

I really don’t feel the need to defend myself, but I guess tensions are high right now – and I get it.

But at the same time, c’mon – I make 98566756756785785785 jokes about these games every night (often terrible jokes at that) – so if you laugh at some of them, then you can’t pick and choose either.

Plus, when you hear the word “Kampf,” what comes to your mind right away?

Similar to Adolf Hitler ruining the “Charlie Chaplin Mustache,” I’m always going to associate the word “Mein” with “Kampf.”

Plus, and I know that this sounds lazy and 101 (“MY DAD IS GAY!” – and yes, this is another Seinfeld reference made on this site too) – but you guys and gals know all about my many Jewish friends – including the one’s plight that I’ve brought up on this site many times before – as my dear friend Stan Fischler is currently living in war-zone Israel.

Funny enough, I didn’t hear one negative response when I made an Irish House-Wife battering joke the other night.

And everyone seems to love all of the Italian stereotype jokes with TOMMY CUTLET (New York Giants) these days too!

Speaking of TOMMY CUTLET?

The Rangers sure could’ve used someone like him in this game – someone who can pass and run the other team out of the building!


(But seriously, and to end on this – I hope you can understand that I was just doing word association with David Kampf and I meant no harm by it. I hate to get political on this site, but I’m with Israel during their dark times.)

And this is how ugly tonight’s Rangers’ loss truly was – as I’m ending this GAME REVIEW with “Mein Kampf” talk.

But in a way, this game was “MY STRUGGLE” too.

(Okay, the hook is coming and the spoiled vegetables are being thrown at me!)

Finally, and before this game hit triple zeroes, loud chants of “GO LEAFS GO” echoed around M$G as if the were “I-GOR! I-GOR! I-GOR!” chants from a “bygone era.”


(I told you – not all of my jokes land – and neither did the Rangers tonight. Heck most of my jokes land like Amelia Earhart – and I’m sure that I’ll get heat for this “joke” too! “YOU SEXIST ANTI-FLIGHTIST BASTARD!”)

7-3, bad guys, final.


Here’s how Laviolette summed up this pile of shit:

The head coach was very calm during his post-game “LAVY’S LOUNGE” – so much so that his pleasant demeanor was brought up by the beat reporters.

My opinion?

You can’t berate your team all of the time – and heck – they are still in first-place in the division.

You only have so many bullets in your holster and you can’t shoot them all.


As far as anything else, and I know that I’ve brought this up about 95675675675785656785 times before – but I do think that it’s a bad look that CZAR IGOR doesn’t do media interviews – or at least not publicly.

(Keep in mind, he’s my favorite player in the game today – and as it has been the case since 2017.)

After all, we PAY a lot of money to follow this team – and even for the fans who just watch games on TV – as that’s an investment too.

In other words, I’d like to hear #31 answer this question:

“Is it mental or physical for you right now?”

However, in a rarity, CZAR IGOR did talk to the beat reporters after tonight’s game – albeit privately – and not in front of the M$G cameras in an official capacity.

The man of a few words was quoted as saying the following:

“I don’t know what to say to you, sorry.”

I kind of wish that was caught on film/tape – because that’s as real as it gets.

It also tells me that his confidence has never been lower.

Bright side?

It’s game 27 – not 82 – nor a playoff game either.

Work it out – and refer to the disclaimer posted at the top of this if you need a reminder.

Can Frank Vatrano continue the former right-wing Rangers’ scoring streak on Friday night? I don’t know, but I’m sure that Giannone will tell you to bet on it! Photo Credit: Getty Images

Up next: Practice days on Wednesday and Thursday.

After that, hopefully a “get-right” game against the crappy Ducks – but as you all know – the Rangers don’t exactly take care of the league’s bottom-feeders.

It would be nice to snap that negative trend.

See ya Friday night – unless something major breaks between now-and-then.

I know that Tuesday night sucked – but don’t forget about the disclaimer, the disclaimer, the disclaimer!

As Rosen would say, the disclaimer is “ICONIC!”


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 for preorder!

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

For complete information, please visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/

The hardcover version of my first book, available now at Amazon.com

My second plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”

As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:


For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:

Order “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Book Today

My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.

My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”

The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!

“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.

All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

NYR/LAK 12/10 Review: ESCAPE FROM LA! Jonathan “Goalie Controversy” Quick Turns Back the Clock (Again); Blanks Kings (But Not the Refs), A “Tranq-to-Meth” Match; “Madness in Madison,” JONNY “Bobby Orr” HOCKEY, Another GWG For Easy Pesey Jimmy Vesey, Goody Got It, Clown Show Officials; M$GN Equally as Bad, Lavy Gives (And Not Takes) All the Credit & More

NYR/WSH 12/9 Review: BULLIED! Another Candidate For “Worst Loss of the Season;” Blueshirts (Sans Lafreniere & Vesey) Show No Effort in Lavy’s “Revenge Game,” Excuses vs Explanations; Gustafsson vs Kakko, Struggling Shestyorkin, Rangers Shutout For the First Time; When They Lose Then They Lose Bad, Negative Trends, Infuriating M$GN & Birdbrain Mollie Add to the Frustration & More

The Rangers & Peter Laviolette Prepare for a Revenge Game in Washington; Follow-Up Questions That The Beat Reporters Refuse to Ask, Injury Updates, Projected Line-Ups and “33 NOTIONS” – A (Friedman Inspired) Complete Team-By-Team Look Around the League!

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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