Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Whew.
Until the 17:58 mark of the second stanza on Sunday night in Anaheim – it felt like the Rangers were once again experiencing deja vu.
Ditto their fans.
As noted countless times before on this site in recent weeks, there are a ton of negative trends polluting this team – and where a lot of them returned prior to the eventual five unanswered goals that Lavy’s Lot put on the board.
Such trends included the following:
— Both of the Lottery Pick “Prodigies,” Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko, can’t score a goal if their lives depended on it.
Whether or not these two feel the need to pay tribute to Gene Carr on a daily basis I don’t know; but once again, these two high-end draft picks need anywhere from ten-to-twelve games in-between scoring goals.
And on this night?
It cost Kakko his undeserved spot in Laviolette’s top-six – but we’ll get into all of that during tonight’s GAME REVIEW segment.
— Another AHL and/or back-up goalie looking like the second coming of Terry Sawchuk.
While the Rangers would later total four goals against Lukas “Who?” Dostal, but for the first 37:58 of tonight’s tilt, the Ducks’ back-up goalie was able to maintain a shutout – and instill a whole lot of fear into the hearts of Blueshirt backers.
— Just one brainfart going into the Rangers’ net? Yep, of course!
An Artemi Panarin turnover within the first minute of the game led to a goal for who else, one of my “RANGER KILLERS” from my new book, Adam Henrique.
While it’s tough to hang CZAR IGOR for the breakaway goal allowed (especially of the backhanded variety, the hardest shot for a goalie to stop) – this excuse is getting tired – and mainly because we see the opposing goalie make these saves on game-in and game-out basis.
And don’t get me started on the pedestrian and tired “THEY GOT GOALIE’D” excuse either.
— Mika Zibanejad being unable to score? You know it!
$8.5M for now a second-line center who not only can’t score at even-strength, but where now all of his MANDATORY MIKA one-timers are leading to free clears for Ranger opponents while on their penalty kills.
— CZAR IGOR finishing a game with another sub .900 save percentage? Sadly, this was the case again.
Again, while you can’t pin the two Duck goals all on him – he’s just not making that extra save anymore – but on this night it didn’t matter, as Anaheim, the third-worst team in the league (only Chicago and San Jose are worse), eventually imploded during the third period.
Furthermore, the Rangers didn’t give him much to work with either – a good thing for a goalie who needed a win following that Vegas disaster.
In the land of magic, hopes and dreams – the first 66.6% of this game was once again RANGER HELL.
Despite an abundance of shots from the visitors and not many from the home team, by the end of the first period, Adam Henrique (of course) had two goals to his name, having scored his first at the 51-second mark and his second at the 15:37 mark.
By the time that the first frame had ended, CZAR IGOR was sitting on a save percentage of .600%.
Once out of the tunnel for the second stanza, this is when Laviolette had enough of the “same old script.”
Never-ending line changes, where as you’d suspect, Panarin was double-shifted the most, led to a demotion of Kaapo Kakko, and where the player that many have told me can challenge for the Selke Trophy this season, didn’t even return from his spot on the bench until the final minutes of the period.
But what was most notable was the fact that Laviolette never tinkered with his third line, the Will Cuylle, Jonny Brodzinski and Blake Wheeler triumvirate.
This was even more noticeable than the fact that for the first time this season, Lavy dared to break up the BFF bromance between Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad for a few shifts – but perhaps not wanting to be fired by this crybaby core who have already ran two coaches out of town – the Blueshirts’ bench boss soon reunited the two longest-tenured men on the team – and just in time for their post-game fellatio at the tunnel.
As you were just wondering when the hammer would hit, while also hoping that perhaps Rangers’ GM Chris Drury could trade for both Frank Vatrano and Adam Henrique come the second intermission; down to 17:36 remaining, Urho Vaakanainen hooked Lafreniere.
Having already gone 0-2 on the power-play at this point in the match, the third time was a charm, as just 22-seconds into their third man-advantage, a Kreider to Trocheck bang-bang pass ended Dostal’s shutout.
2-1, bad guys – and the score that these two teams began the third period with.
The Rangers, who had to kill 1:10 of a penalty assessed to Kreider during the final fifty seconds of the middle period, did just that to open the final frame.
Despite numerous chances, where at one point, the Rangers had accumulated over sixty shot attempts but only had the Trocheck PPG to show for it – you were wondering if this was real – and were the Blueshirts going to lose to another cellar-dweller – again?
These feelings only got worse when it looked like Mason McTavish had pushed the game to 3-1 – but fortunately – the goal was overturned via video replay review for an offside.
While the officials made the right call – the nerves didn’t go away.
Enter CUYLLE HAND LUKE.
Just ten-seconds past the half-way mark of this third period – BOOM – BIG WILLIE STYLE deflected a Trouba puck which was shot from the top of the circle for the equalizer.
But alas, while the Rangers had now erased the former two-goal deficit, at the same time – you were just waiting for the other shoe, or should I say “skate,” to drop.
After all, we’ve seen this movie before.
As is often the case during Ranger victories, and one of my favorite cliches too – “SPECIAL TEAMS SWING GAMES.”
The Ducks finished 0-3 on the power-play tonight.
The Rangers, then 1-3 on the power-play, soon made it 2-4, as at the 14:09 mark, once again there was Cuylle driving to the net, where a desperate-and-beat Mason McTavish was forced to trip the budding young star.
The Blueshirts, who scored very quickly on their third power-play, scored even quicker on their fourth-and-final power-play, as an Adam Fox laser pass to Artemi Panarin led to a shot that Dostal never had a chance on.
The latest “baked good” from the Breadman, scored just fourteen-seconds into the man-advantage, put the Rangers up 3-2 – and this strike would then hold up as the game-winning goal too.
In a rare occurrence, as this always happens to them and not the other way around – this time it were the Blueshirts who had scored two goals within a time-span of two-minutes less.
Just 1:44 following Panarin’s go-ahead goal, Chris Kreider extended the Rangers’ zero for their last 78967868968968967896789 trillion breakaways streak – but he did get his own rebound, and like Brett Gardner, formerly of the Yankees – laid a perfect bunt past Dostal for the 4-2, GOOD GUYS, insurance goal.
A Jimmy Vesey empty netter, scored with just 35-seconds remaining, sealed the deal, and where as a result, the Rangers who just twenty-minutes earlier looked like a team that needed a complete reset, scored five unanswered – and where as you can tell – the box score doesn’t exactly tell the story.
Put it this way: Yeah, the final score was 5-2, but this game was never a blowout or a match that you laughed your way through.
As noted up top, while not exactly a “MUST WIN” game – it was a game that the Rangers had to win.
But at the same time, and as I’ll explore in the GAME REVIEW – did anything really change?
Put it this way: If it weren’t these Ducks, then would have the Rangers mounted their comeback?
I’m not so sure.
In other words, by the time this game ended, you left the edge of your seat and breathed a huge sigh of relief from your seat – as this wasn’t a KING KONG, beat-your-chest, type of a win.
But you know the deal, my season-long daily disclaimer:
“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!”
For the Rangers on this night, while you’ll probably forget about the particulars from this win come the postseason – or at least the style of victory – the only thing that matters is that two points were netted in the standings – and as the Blueshirts continue to maintain their playoff positioning.
Before going any further, and in case you missed it, I covered the bad loss to Los Angeles, the Patrick Roy hiring on Long Island and all of my Ranger trade ideas last night. You can find that blog here:
With no morning skate, due to the late game played on Saturday night, it wasn’t until two-hours prior to puck drop before the head coach held his league-mandated pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”
Here it is:
Nothing was really said here during this brief chat, but Lavy did say that THE GUS BUS was healthy and as expected, CZAR IGOR would be in net.
Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the forty-sixth game of this 2023-24 season – and where really – this is how the game began, but come the half-way mark of the first period – the head coach had hit the line blender again while mainly double-shifting Panarin:
FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere
SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Kakko
THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Brodzinski/Wheeler
FOURTH LINE: Goodrow/Bonino/Vesey
FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox
SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba
THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider
STARTER: CZAR IGOR
HEALTHY SCRATCHES: Pitlick and Robertson
LONG TERM INJURED RESERVE: Chytil
BOX SCORE time.
The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:
Come 8PM EST, it was like all of my prayers to the hockey gods were answered – NO SIEVE VAGISTAT – and a two-man panel featuring Lundqvist and Boyle.
As noted about 678063473678936434384782478247878242478 times on this site in the past – you don’t need a panel featuring a franchise goalie and the worst goalie in franchise history.
With Vagistat off making his charts and graphs, we were finally treated to a more balanced broadcast, as Lundqvist gave you everything from a goalie’s perspective, while Boyle did the same from a skater’s perspective.
And even if it wasn’t Vagistat and Lundqvist, and say if it were Boyle and Anson Carter instead – then I wouldn’t be happy about that either, since the latter hypothetical pairing are two forwards.
By giving us two unique perspectives, it just gives fans a better and more informative broadcast.
And as usual, without that moron Vagistat around, not once did we have to hear about “expected stats,” “east-west,” “royal roads,” “bloody groins,” “Clear-Sighted Assholes,” “I did this,” “I did that,” “please acknowledge me Hank,” or any of the other usual self-serving Vagistat bullshit.
Here’s what we did hear:
Lundqvist, to open the broadcast, and as he’d continue to reiterate for the next thirty-minutes, said that the Rangers had to play with a sense of urgency.
While I thought he was right, that’s not exactly what would later transpire.
On the Rangers’ struggles, Lundqvist said what I said last night – you can’t really finger-point to one player or one thing, as a lot of bad stuff collectively was going down.
Boyle then said the obvious, “they [the Rangers] aren’t trending in the right direction.”
And as if he was reading this site, Giannone then brought up all of the negative trend talk that I’ve been discussing during the past few weeks – but let’s face it – most of this stuff was obvious – and he wasn’t stealing from me as Larry Brooks of the New York Post often does (and he steals even more from “The Blueshirt Underground Show”).
On some of the problems, Lundqvist said, “it’s not a goalie issue, it’s a team issue.”
While of course you’d expect a goalie to say something like that – he wasn’t wrong either.
On the Rangers’ deflating and uncanny ability to give up two goals within a time-span of 2:00 or less twenty times this season, Boyle, when asked how that felt as a player, wasted no time when replying with, “pack it up!”
After telling us that the Ducks were 6-16-1 this season, and how tonight’s starter Lukas Dostal had lost his last ten of twelve games – my stomach rumbled in fear – and as if I had just murdered a White Castle at 3:00AM – but had no toilet to run to in sight.
Giannone brought up the idea of trades, but Boyle wouldn’t take the bait, meaning that he wouldn’t name any Ranger by name as someone who Drury should move.
In a funny segment, as they didn’t even realize it, Boyle and Lundqvist talked about how they liked what the other brought to the broadcast, meaning how they enjoyed the other man’s perspective.
This just proved to me that Vagistat is worthless and needs a firm boot from these broadcasts – and maybe such a kick can land him with Shannon Hogan at IBS.
When talking about the Patrick Roy hiring, Lundqvist, who has no interest in coaching, said he’d adopt a John Tortorella style if he ever found himself behind an NHL bench – which was pretty ironic considering the fact that it was Lundqvist who helped to get Torts fired in New York – if not spearheaded the whole thing.
(Lundqvist, following the May 2013 Playoff loss to the Bruins, told former GM Glen Sather that he wouldn’t re-sign if Torts remained on with the Rangers – and much to the displeasure of James Dolan, who always loved the head coach. Lundqvist then re-signed with the Rangers in December of 2013.)
But of course, and as it often goes – players, once retired, and whenever reflecting back when playing under Torts, appreciate him much more than they did back then.
And shouldn’t that be the case anyway?
I think the only former Blueshirt that still carries a personal grudge against Torts these days is Sean Avery – and it’s not like he’s all there either.
And I should mention this too to give you all of it:
Torts was there during the Lundqvist jersey retirement ceremony – so whatever bad beef they had in the past – that’s long been squashed – and where they are now friends today.
And of course – Lundqvist’s lone Vezina Trophy win took place with Torts as his head coach.
Following some unintentional zinging, where Giannone referred to Brian as the asshole “Sieve,” Boyle then called John “Billy,” referring to Bill Pidto.
This was good off-the-cuff comedy from the former #22.
To close their segment, Lundqvist stressed the word “urgency” one last time.
Come 8:30PM, we went to Anaheim, where we were then greeted by Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti.
Both announcers called out the Rangers for their struggles and where Rosen gave us his first SAMMY WHAMMY of the night – and one that fortunately didn’t hit:
“OH JOE, THE RANGERS ARE 7-0-0 ON THE SECOND HALF OF A BACK-TO-BACK THIS SEASON AND IGOR SHESTERKIN IS 4-0-0 DURING THESE GAMES TOO!”
This comment rang throughout my head for most of this game – but Will Cuylle helped to erase it.
After some talk about Frank Vatrano (of course) and Sam begging Joe to give us his Taco Bell Take (Trocheck), the two announcers then wished K’Andre Miller a happy birthday (while ignoring the fact that it was Jonathan Quick’s birthday too – but they did mention it 89678686 times last night) and we were then on our way to puck drop.
GAME REVIEW time.
Since I start the new job that I’ve been telling you guys and gals tomorrow (more on this at the end), I have to make this as quick as possible.
In other words, for the complete play-by-play, check out my Tweeter feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC
That said, here was my feeling going into this game – and where after it – my feeling remains unchanged:
This is such a lose-lose situation for #NYR tonight – either they beat one of the worst teams in the league with their back up in net as they should and nothing really is proven – or worse – they lose outright.
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 22, 2024
As Micheletti was still lamenting over the fact that Lafreniere can’t score a goal to save his life and how he once again failed in Los Angeles – boom – Panarin turned over the puck and once again, a “Blueshirts’ Brain Fart” went right into their net:
Adam Henrique goes backhand bar down to open the scoring! 😮💨
Watch Ducks 🆚 Rangers on Sportsnet One or stream on Sportsnet+. pic.twitter.com/g1cuBFdMCv
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 22, 2024
As noted up top, you can’t really hang CZAR IGOR here, but it’s also true that he needs to make that extra save.
And yep – who is one of the players that I’ve been writing about and suggesting the Rangers trade for?
I can’t lie – already down by a goal – I felt like I was taken out of the game – and this feeling only grew as the game progressed.
To Lundqvist’s point – there was no sense of urgency at all.
As the second line skated around without putting a SOG with about 16:30 remaining; Rosen, who must be auditioning for those “CAPTAIN OBVIOUS” commercials, said, “OH JOE, THE RANGERS ARE IN A RUT JOE!”
It’s astute and expert commentary like this which is why Rosen is in the Hall of Fame.
Better than that?
Towards the end of the game, and with the Rangers up 5-2, Rosen wisely remarked, “OH JOE, A WINNING STREAK IS BETTER THAN A LOSING STREAK JOE!”
That’s why he gets paid the big bucks!
Down to 14:10 remaining, Dostal made his first save of the game on Cuylle – and where this third line, the only energetic and consistent trio throughout, were noticeable all game.
These three had heard Lundqvist’s message.
I can’t say the same.
After Fox hit a post, Kakko then turned over the puck and Miller blocked a shot with 13:05 to go.
Following the block, Miller raced towards the other net and hit a post himself.
As Rosen made sure to inform us that Ross Johnston was a former Islander (he’s obsessed with telling us who is part of the Isles’ alum); CZAR IGOR made his first save of the game with 10:45 remaining, after stabbing his glove at a rising shot from Cam Fowler.
Thirty seconds later, Panarin perfectly set-up Lafreniere for a one-timer – but you know the drill – it hasn’t been ten games yet – so in turn – #13 isn’t going to score anytime soon. (Give him five more games for his next goal!)
With the Rangers looking flat, it was right after this, just a few seconds after the half-way mark of the period, where Lavy double-shifted Kakko for the first time.
Keep this in mind for later.
After the returning GUS BUS broke up a Ducks’ mini-breakaway (and I was happy to see Zac Jones returned to the press box too); CZAR IGOR made his best save yet on a Carlsson-to-Henrique wide-open one-timer with 8:20 left in the period.
Down to 6:15 to go, JONNY HOCKEY had three rapid scoring chances during one shift, as his first shot was saved, his second shot went wide and then on his third opportunity, his wrap-around/stuff-in try was blocked.
But it did tell you that he was attacking – and just as Cuylle was.
Come 5:30 remaining, this is when the offensively useless Finn was returned to his line – but it wouldn’t last long.
Then, and come 4:23 remaining, Henrique found himself two-thirds of the way there to a natural hat trick:
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights & News (@HockeyDaily365) January 22, 2024
2-0, bad guys.
This was brutal.
Following a turnover, the Ducks pretty much had a 5 x 3 advantage against the Rangers, and after CZAR IGOR’s initial save, Henrique stuffed the puck past both Lindgren and Shestyorkin.
Those feelings of “OH NO, NOT AGAIN” only intensified.
The last true Rangers’ chance of the period?
When Lafreniere found Miller in the crease, but since the first-overall pick is contagious – Miller went wide.
2-0, bad guys after twenty – and where of course – Giannone wasted no time asking Lundqvist about the 2012 Eastern Conference Final (Henrique on Henrik) during the intermission break.
Here’s what I said at the time:
2-0, bad guys, after 20. 1P Thoughts:
— This is my last “live” play-by-play for a while since I start a new job site tomorrow with hours of 3PM-11:30PM – this is how they do me?
— Maybe I need a break from this crap anyway!
— Henrique, of course.
— Only a matter of time…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 22, 2024
Following an intermission where many Ranger fans expressed their interest in inserting dynamite into this roster – and in the attempt to blow up this non-winning core; this game resumed – and where such negative vibes grew even stronger.
To open the period, and this would continue until the final minutes of the game – it was Laviolette who brought the TNT – as he blew up his lines.
As mentioned earlier, only the third line was left in-tact.
The odd-man out?
“The Wallflower,” Kakko – and who finished with a game low TOI total of 8:08.
And yep, if this was former Ranger coach Gerard Gallant who had done this – then you would’ve needed one million water pumps to rid the streets of Rangerstown, USA from all of the tears from the millennial mooks.
And hell, let’s face it – not only are these people bawling their eyes out over Kakko’s demotion/benching even after the win – but they are still bitching about “THE TURK” – and David Quinn too!
You already know – I’m moving him before the deadline.
I’ll get into Kakko’s return once we get there, but during Lavy’s first series of line changes, he finally broke up the BFF pair, as Kreider was put with Trocheck and Lafreniere, while Panarin skated with Mopey Mika and Jimmy Vesey.
Eventually, things got too hairy to keep track all of it, but Panarin was double-shifted a lot too.
Just 37-seconds into the period and Miller had high-sticked Troy Terry.
And had the Ducks been able to score on this power-play – forget about it.
Thankfully, the Blueshirts blocked four shots during their PK – and CZAR IGOR never had to make a save either.
Down to 15:42 remaining and Dostal (remember him?) made his first save of the frame on Gustafsson.
A minute later, and Kreider had Lafreniere set-up for the easiest backdoor/doorstep/tap-in goal that you’ll ever see – but you know the drill – Lafreniere plays hard but to expect him to score is like expecting to win the lottery.
As I was wondering why Cuylle wasn’t getting any top-six time (Laviolette didn’t want to break up his best line of the game, so it made sense with hindsight being 20/20); Fowler slashed Panarin with 14:01 remaining.
Zibanejad was horrible as usual here, as none of his his wild-and-crazy one-timers ever came close to hitting the net.
Following the first, which I think knocked a roller-coaster off of its tracks at Disney; his second then led to an o-zone penalty – as Trocheck when trying to retrieve this latest MIKA MISFIRE, was boxed for checking Robert Hagg in the head.
Trocheck was irate – and you could see why after the replay – as Trocheck had never touched the Duck.
It is California, so I guess Hagg wanted to work on his acting chops.
And while Hagg looked like a coward here – all of these players do it – and as we saw last night with Adam Fox.
Following some foreplay and a Ducks’ abbreviated power-play, come the half-way mark of the game/period – the Rangers were out-shooting their opponents 6-0 in the frame.
But it were the Ducks up 2-0 where it mattered.
Come 9:27 remaining, the Blueshirts returned to the power-play, as this time McTavish held Mika as he was going to the net.
We had some more same old Mika here as he turned over puck, which then led to a short-handed shot – and CZAR IGOR’s first save of the period with 8:40 remaining.
A few seconds later, with 8:20 remaining, this is when Kakko took to the ice for the first time.
Yeah, that will sure show the Ducks – put a guy who does nothing offensively on the power-play and watch him cook!
Once finishing their 0-2 power-play, come 7:00 remaining, this is when Kakko received his first 5 x 5 shift of the period (with the fourth line crew of Goodrow and Bonino) – but he’d soon return to the bench – and thankfully – stay there.
And some morons actually told me that Kakko is “elite!”
The real e-word that should be used?
ENTITLED – and as is evident by how he publicly complained about his last two head coaches despite doing nothing to earn top-six and power-play time.
Let’s see him pull that shit with Laviolette.
(To fast-forward to the post-game edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE,” Laviolette said his “usage” of Kakko wasn’t intentional and how the pace/flow of the game dictated it between all of the special team play. Sure, that was the reason why!)
As we continue to jump ahead, now under four-minutes, the Ducks still only had one SOG – the short-handed one.
It was also around this time where the Ducks picked up their game a bit and buried the Rangers into their own zone on three consecutive shifts.
It was obvious that the Ducks were going for the 3-0 “kill shot” – but they’d later be DUCK HUNTED themselves.
(HAR HAR HAR!)
Following the Vaakanainen hook on Lafreniere, this is when Trocheck broke up Dostal’s shutout:
Vincent Trocheck gets the Rangers on the board!
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) January 22, 2024
2-1, bad guys – but even with the goal – you never felt confident that the Rangers would come back – or at least I didn’t.
A dumb Kreider cross-checking penalty on Radko Gudas with fifty-seconds remaining gave the Ducks another chance to put one past CZAR IGOR, but the Rangers killed the first half of this Ducks’ power-play – and then killed the second half of it to open the third period.
2-1, bad guys, through forty-minutes.
Here’s what I said at the time:
2-1, bad guys, after 40. 2P Thoughts:
— Amazing how the Rangers are losing this game.
— Dumb penalty by Kreider.
— Watching the Kult of Kakko cry about his benching is amusing.
— Tough to celebrate the Trocheck goal because you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 22, 2024
Right after the kill, Kreider, with the “jack-in-the-box” status, led a 2 x 1 odd-man rush with Trocheck by his side – but despite having a clear lane to the net – opted to pass, then turnover, the puck instead.
I was left wondering if all of CK20’s previous breakaway failures forced him into making this boneheaded pass?
And had the Rangers lost tonight – then you’d hear a lot more about this particular play.
As CZAR IGOR stopped Ryan Strome with 17:25 remaining – and to his credit – he didn’t allow a former Ranger to score tonight either; it was around this time where Sam Rosen noticed that Kakko wasn’t playing.
Bless his heart.
The turning point of the game took place with 14:42 remaining, as McTavish had seemingly put the Ducks up 3-1, following assists from both Strome and Vatrano – and on a play that made Miller and Lafreniere look bad.
However, Lavy challenged the play for offside and since a Duck was off by an inch or two (and had nothing to do with the goal scored) – the goal was wiped away.
Had this goal stood – then it’s game over.
You could kind of see it in the Ducks’ faces too – it’s a struggle for them to score and to have this taken back was a dagger.
Of note: We didn’t even get a video replay of this review in real-time because the officials reversed this goal in nanoseconds.
No joke: I think this was the fastest video replay review that the Rangers have ever won.
Furthermore, and ever since the calendar flipped, I believe that Laviolette is now 5-0 in reviews.
Down to 12:00 remaining and this is when the third line and Trouba/Miller pairing had the best 5 x 5 attack of the game, as they were revving and humming – but just couldn’t beat Dostal.
At the time, you felt like it was an opportunity wasted.
But they didn’t waste their next chance.
Come 9:50 remaining, this is when Trouba hammered a shot from the top of the circle – and Cuylle, with no fear, got right at it and deflected the puck past a screened Dostal.
2-2 – and a goal that Dostal never had a chance to prevent.
Take a look:
Excellent effort by Cuylle and the Rangers tie it up 🔥 pic.twitter.com/HhePBZ02Qz
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) January 22, 2024
Even tied, I was still hesitant to believe in a Blueshirts’ comeback.
Perhaps this was my own “REVERSE ROSEN” curse!
As noted earlier, Cuylle drew a tripping call on McTavish with 5:51 remaining. Fourteen-seconds later, Fox, with all of the precision in the world, found a wide-open Panarin for the go-ahead, 3-2, GOOD GUYS goal.
All that was left to do was JON TAFFER the Ducks – SHUT IT DOWN.
And that’s what happened.
Come 3:53 remaining and this is when Kreider bunted a puck past Dostal following his failed breakaway.
4-2, GOOD GUYS.
Down to 2:22 remaining and this is when the Ducks pulled Dostal.
The Vesey empty-netter was the cherry on top for the comeback.
5-2, GOOD GUYS, your final!
While two points are two points, this wasn’t exactly a win where you would proclaim that the Rangers are back – and especially not against these Ducks.
Here’s a relieved Lavy:
To wrap-up this win – I just don’t feel confident about the Rangers right now – and where I still think that they need to make a bevy of moves in order to win a Stanley Cup.
And really – and be honest with yourself – would it surprise you if they lay a dud to the last-place San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night?
I hope not – but as they say – that’s why they play the games on the ice!
And now, the future of this site.
As first brought up two weeks ago, starting this Monday my “real-life” job hours are changing to 3PM-11:30PM.
In other words, I won’t be able to do “live-tweet/write blog notes” during any game played Monday-Friday.
For now, I’m going to go dark on social media whenever the Rangers play – as I don’t want spoilers because I don’t want to be influenced by anyone’s opinion, nor do I want to know about the result of a game either – and especially should they lose!
My plan moving forward is to DVR every game, watch it and then write about it – but I’m sure there will be some nights where I’ll just need some time to sleep – but I have made it this far (ten-years) without needing such slumber!
I thought about keeping my usual style of “live-tweeting” – but all of my tweets would be 3-4 hours delayed – and wreck a whole ton of timelines.
Plus, people would respond to them – and that would lead to those spoilers that I don’t want!
So I think what I’ll do is just write my live notes here as I watch the games on DVR and then make sense of them for these blogs.
In a way, this could be a good thing for this site’s traffic too – as I feel that many people (and especially with the beat reporters) just read tweets and since they get everything there for free – they have no incentive to read articles.
Kind of like Mike Francesa, you’ll have to tune into this site in order to get my Ranger game day opinions if that makes sense. (What an ego!)
Fingers-crossed, I can get off this shift by the playoffs – as I can deal with this during the regular season.
But if not, hello sick time – I mean – I hope I don’t get sick in case my employer is reading this!
See you very late night on Tuesday for Sharks vs Blueshirts – and where the 10:30PM start time isn’t bad for me – as I’ll probably be able to catch up to the game in real-time by the third period when fast-forwarding through gambling commercials and intermission segments.
Thanks for all of the support – although I’m still looking for an eccentric billionaire to finance this disgusting Ranger fanaticism!
And should you be that person, then don’t hesitate to contact me!
After all, I don’t start work Monday until 3PM!
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/
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 $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:
My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.
My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/
To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”
The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!
“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.
All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.
To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com
To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
NYR/LAK 1/20 Review: RAGE! Blueshirts a No-Show in La La Land Casting Call; Spit in Quick’s Face, K’Awful Miller Still Struggling, “Same Old Script,” Time for Drury To Go “1994” with 2024 Regressing Rangers; Trade Ideas, Lavy’s Line-Up Changes, Patrick Roy Newest NY Coach – But on L.I., M$GN & More
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
If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:
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.
LET’S GO RANGERS!
@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine