Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Our real Italian > Boston’s Pasta!
Following the Rangers’ victory over “The Worst of the West” on Friday night (the Ducks); come Saturday night, the Blueshirts triumphed in their “Beast of the East” battle with the Bruins.
These two Original Six rivals, who had played at M$G just three weeks prior in a wild-and-wacky 7-4 Rangers’ win, played a complete 180 of a game in tonight’s rematch.
After combining for a total of eleven goals in round one, these two pillars of the Eastern Conference only totaled two tallies during regulation time in round two. A third goal, scored in overtime, decided this contest – and where defense – and not offense – was put above all else.
While the word “boring” isn’t quite accurate when describing the early stages of this game; at the very least, this game wasn’t as explosive – and it surely wasn’t as dynamite either – as the game played between these two warring Northeast squads over the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
For the Rangers, most of this game felt like one of those Murphy Law games, where anything that could go wrong went wrong – or at least from an offensive standpoint.
Despite the premium paid on defense tonight, the Blueshirts had an abundance of chances to ruin the shutout that Bruins’ goalie, Jeremy Swayman, had going on before they eventually did just that with 9:10 remaining in regulation.
After all, and prior to the Rangers’ power-play finishing one of six on the evening, Swayman had robbed Artemi Panarin on his first period breakaway and then made a heck of a save on an awaiting Alexis Lafreniere on the rebound chance.
And when speaking of “The Breadman,” #10, and where the bread has recently somewhat cooled down in the goal scoring department, registered a game-high and whopping ten shots on goal.
Swayman, who made 32 saves in total, stopped all ten tries from number ten in blue.
But Swayman wasn’t as successful against Panarin’s center, the top center on the team, Vincent Trocheck.
Following Trent Frederic breaking up the scoreless affair at the 2:07 mark of the second stanza (and more on this “questionable” goal below); the Rangers never relented – even including when it felt like Swayman was cruising to posting his previously thought inevitable shutout.
While the Rangers went a perfect four of four on their penalty kill; the other side of their special teams’ equation wasn’t as successful.
But it was the number one, as in the one-for-six power-play, that was more important than the 16% success rate.
On the Rangers’ fifth man-advantage, Mika Zibanejad, not that hot tonight, was able to pick up a huge assist when he found Trocheck all alone in the slot for the bang-home tying goal.
This equalizer gave the Blueshirts an extra kick in their pants, but as they continued to pepper away at Swayman – the goalie wouldn’t break again – that is – at least not in regulation time.
In overtime, both teams treated the bonus period in a conservative fashion, rather than some of the run-n-gun overtimes that we’ve seen throughout the years.
At just the 2:03 mark of the three-vs-three portion of the game, a pass from Panarin to his new favorite center (Ryan Strome who?) was all that it took – as NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO easily polished off Swayman for the game-winner.
What once was a 1-0 lead for the home team for the majority of the contest then became a 2-1 overtime win for the visitors – and all because of the Rangers’ “never give up” attitude.
And did I mention yet that the Rangers created all of this Boston heartbreak while many of the Bruins’ living legends (and Mike Milbury too) were in-attendance?
What a shame!
But perhaps equally as important as Trocheck’s big night, where he provided all of the goal scoring, was the performance from the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner, CZAR IGOR.
As we all know, “Strugglin’ Shesty” needed a big night in net – and drawing the blistering Bruins was no enviable endeavor.
Aware of the many odd-man rushes afforded during Shestyorkin’s starts in his recent stretch of games – the Blueshirts buckled down for #31 tonight – and that was no easy task either, as these “Massholes” are pretty good at what they do.
And when “LAVY’S LOT” needed a save from their CZAR?
Then that’s exactly what Mr. S. did, as he made 21 saves on 22 shots faced – and where the lone goal allowed was somewhat up for debate too.
While Trocheck’s two-goal showing will garner the bulk of the lede stories throughout Rangerstown, USA (and as it should); make no bones about it – no one needed this win more – and a strong showing too – as Shestyorkin needed on Saturday night.
What goalie controversy?
But of course, you’re only as good as your last game and it’s now up to Shestyorkin to follow-up after this big-time performance.
There’s a lot to get into tonight, and I’m starting late because I wanted to watch the UFC 296 PPV following this game, so at this time, let’s get it all rolling.
Up first, the brief pregame news and notes.
Prior to tonight’s game, at 4PM, the Rangers announced the following:
UPDATE: The Rangers have recalled Connor Mackey from the Hartford Wolf Pack.
— NY Rangers PR (@NYR_PR) December 16, 2023
This call-up was intended as an “insurance policy,” just in the event that a defenseman was sick and/or Miller wasn’t able to go.
And as we’d find out an hour after this announcement – Miller was able to return tonight – and with his “personal reasons” now a thing of the past.
At 5PM, Laviolette held his mandatory pregame “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”
The biggest news was the fact that Miller, following his break for “personal reasons,” was back in the Blueshirts’ line-up.
Here’s what Lavy had to say for himself:
Aside from casually mentioning that Miller was back, the head coach also confirmed the news that CZAR IGOR would be starting in net.
When it came to his forward group, Lavy said that Nick Bonino, who had a bout of diarrhea on Friday night, would be a game-time decision.
(Bonino did return to the line-up tonight, which meant that Adam Edstrom watched this game from the press box.)
As far as anything else, Lavy reiterated what he had said the day before – it’s the flu season and how the Rangers have a touch of it in their locker room.
Despite this 24-hour bug going around, every regular Ranger was able to play tonight.
In turn, this meant that for the first time this season, three players sat in the press box tonight.
Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the twenty-ninth 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: Miller/Trouba
THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider
STARTER: CZAR IGOR
HEALTHY SCRATCHES: Jones, Edstrom and Mackey
LONG TERM INJURED RESERVE: Chytil and Kakko
BOX SCORE time.
The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:
Man, was I let down with the M$GN broadcast tonight.
At 6:30:00PM, and not expecting to see Sieve Vagistat – sadly, and at the time – his smug face was all over my television screen.
I thought that Brian Boyle would be receiving solo work tonight – but instead, and like Dave Maloney – the former Blueshirt was in Boston.
(I really overuse the dashes, don’t I?)
In other words – I didn’t see any of Boyle’s pregame show work, as I can not suffer through Vagistat – unless “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, is there. (And he wasn’t, as #30 doesn’t do Saturday night tilts.)
Plus, and from what I was told – “Frankenboyle” only had three-minutes of face-time during the pregame show, as Vagistat does not like to share the spotlight.
Once I realized that the seven-foot jackass was there (and more on this self-serving scumbag below – as he once again imposed a false narrative in order to sell his shitty Clear-Sighted Assholes company upon M$GN viewers), I flipped back to the Steelers vs Colts game on the NFL Network.
At the same time, I tweeted out the following:
CZAR IGOR shutout tonight. #NYR
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 16, 2023
And while CZAR IGOR did give up one goal – I’m proclaiming a victory with this prediction.
After all, the Frederic goal was debatable and in this league – one goal allowed is very impressive.
Plus, and most important above all else?
It was all about the message that I was trying to convey – CZAR IGOR was going to return to form – and against a top NHL powerhouse to boot!
And as you all know by now – that’s exactly what happened.
At 7:00PM, and now returned to M$GN, I wondered what Bruin that Sam and Joe would fellate, because two of their favorites, the Bruins’ Charlie “OH JOE, DID I EVER TELL YOU THAT HE’S FROM LONG ISLAND JOE?” McAvoy, and Pavel Zacha, Pavel Zacha, Dormez Vous, Dormez Vous, were both out with injuries.
As I was wondering about this, I was also wondering what the hell was going on with the hair of our two favorite affable announcers.
It looked like Sam had changed his toupee to a lighter shade, while Joe is desperately in need of some Chia Pet hair growing seeds these days.
Funny enough, Micheletti immediately called Rosen a “jinx” – which was the truest thing that was ever mentioned on these M$GN broadcasts.
(Joe was referring to how many times Sam brought up how Chris Kreider was chasing milestones – milestones that were only reached after Sam dropped the act.)
Following some strong praise for Jimmy Vesey (the second-truest thing ever said on this broadcast); both Sam and Joe talked about Shestyorkin’s slump and how like yours truly – they expected him to snap out of it.
When these two finished up talking about the Rangers, I thought – “Wow, these two guys didn’t talk about the Bruins once! Holy crap!”
However, and similar to the disappointment that I had in the Vagistat reveal – once back from a commercial break – we then went right back to Sam and Joe.
The reason for two face-time pregame segments with Rosen and Micheletti was because the Bruins were holding their centennial ceremony – and where every Boston legend, Hall of Famer, and even Mike Milbury too, were honored.
(Of note: I didn’t see Phil Esposito or Brad Park there (much less Rick Nash!) – but I did see that Rick Middleton was there – and a Middleton who was part of the absolute worst trade in Rangers’ history. For more about this trade, then check out: “Tricks of the Trade.”)
Milbury even had the shoe with him, which then led birdbrain Mollie into asking, “What size is that shoe? Did he get it at Prada?”
And if you think that this twit, and just like most of the bunch on the Blueshirts’ beat of today too, knew who Terry O’Reilly was either – then you’re sadly mistaken.
But you can find out all about Milbury, O’Reilly, and the rest of these black-and-gold goons in my new book, https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/
So while the Bruins were doing something that the Rangers would never do – honoring their past – Sam and Joe, and in a response – pulled their pants down, grabbed their manhood, and then started furiously rubbing themselves when talking all about the B’s of today.
I mean, Rosen even said “OH JOE, BRAD MARCHAND HAS MATURED OVER THE YEARS JOE!”
To Micheletti’s credit, he shut down the senile old coot and then said that this wasn’t true at all.
Sam’s response? (And I’m not making this up.)
He then anointed Marchand as tonight’s “KIA’S CARD PLAYER OF THE GAME” – despite you know – the game not having yet started.
Following Sam and Joe acing their NESN audition, finally, we got to puck drop – and where these two then talked about sexual acts for the remainder of the broadcast.
GAME REVIEW time!
As stated, the early stages of this game were slow – but it wasn’t for a lack of effort – as it was solely about the stifling defenses instead.
The Bruins iced the puck twice in the first-forty seconds, while the Rangers’ top line just did a lot of (over) passing.
The first Ranger shot on goal was set-up by Ryan Lindgren, where as mentioned last night, it feels like he leads the team in the imaginary “first shot of the game” tracked statistic.
However, he didn’t register tonight’s first SOG, as instead, his pass to Lafreniere, a save for Swayman on the first-overall pick, was the Blueshirts’ first attempt and with 15:55 remaining.
Fifty-seconds later, and man-oh-man, did this play into the game later – Lindgren put a hit on David Pastrnak, thus thwarting a potential breakaway look at CZAR IGOR.
But CZAR IGOR would stop Pastrnak anyway, as with 14:28 remaining, and with the Rangers’ third line struggling against the Killer B’s top line – #31 ended the havoc in front of his net with a save and a freeze.
The Bruins’ won their o-zone draw and as a result, CZAR IGOR stopped a Brandon Carlo shot from the point.
While the save difficulty on this shot wasn’t that great; it was nice to see Shestyorkin make this stop anyway – and especially after giving up that goal to Connor Timmins from two games back.
Come 12:58 remaining, THE GUS BUS prevented Marchand from scoring and with the Rangers still only having one SOG to their ledger.
After Sam belted out, “OH JOE, OLD FRIEND KEVIN SHATTENKIRK JOE, WHAT A GREAT RANGER JOE!”; now down to 12:10 remaining, this is when Swayman stopped Panarin on his breakaway – and then for good measure – made a heck of stop on a Lafreniere rebound shot from the slot.
As we hit 10:30 remaining, we saw some shakiness out of Shestyorkin – but his team was there to pick him up.
On this play, CZAR IGOR stopped JVR, but he also gave up one of the most fattest and juiciest rebounds that you’ll ever see. As every Bruin was salivating at the mouth, as #31 had vacated his net when making the stop – both THE GUS BUS and BONES prevented what would’ve been an easy home team goal.
And with the way that this marvelous match went – a play like this was a game-changer.
Following our first TV timeout with 9:11 remaining, and as a Zibanejad shot was deflected out of play; this is what our virgin ears heard:
“OH JOE, YOU WERE GREAT IN THAT THREE-WAY WITH DAVE MALONEY LAST NIGHT! MMMMMM!”
I am not making this up, as Sexual Sammy was referring to last night’s #NYR #CadillacTrivia question.
But the way Rosen said it, and due to my (lack of) maturity level – I was howling with laughter and with tears in my eyes.
I’m just glad that I didn’t visualize such an event! (The horror!)
Down to 8:20 remaining, Swayman stopped Fox. In a response, Rosen plugged those “MADE IN VIETNAM” Ranger third jerseys for the 9697866967896th time. (For more on this, check out last night’s blog, which is linked below.)
A minute later, captain Jacob Trouba, continued to add to his team-best blocked shot totals, as he blocked a Debrusk try here. “THE GREAT EIGHT” later finished this match with a game-high six blocked shots too.
Come 4:45 remaining, Swayman stopped Lafreniere for the third time – and where all three of #13’s shots were either deflections or rebounds.
A few seconds later, Panarin dipsy-doodled around and then set-up Lafreniere, but the right-winger couldn’t find the net. However, Matt Grzelcyk had tripped Trocheck, so as a result, and with 4:12 to go, the Rangers went on their first of six power-plays.
The biggest play, or should I say “non-play,” during this Rangers’ man-advantage, is when Zibanejad was wide-open and had all day to shoot the puck. Rather than doing that, Mika sent the puck back to the blue line.
0-1 on the power-play, and where Micheletti perfectly summed up these two-minutes too:
“Sam, the Rangers are passing too much. They are forcing all of their passes. They need to shoot the puck and go for a puck-on-pads play.”
Following the Bruins’ kill, they drew a power-play themselves, when with 40.9-seconds remaining, Miller tripped a diving rat.
CZAR IGOR came up with a big save late, as he had stopped JVR from the paint.
Nil-nil after twenty-minutes.
This wasn’t a bad period or anything like that, it just wasn’t that exciting – but again – all the credit in the world goes to the two defenses – and the two goalies too.
Here’s what I said at the time:
Nil-nil after 20. BOS starts 2P on 1:20 PP. 1P Thoughts:
— A 180 from the last time these two teams played.
— Looks like there is a focus to protect CZAR IGOR.
— Rangers blew about four chances there but they did survive the early Boston storm.
— Sam has never sounded…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 17, 2023
During the intermission, we had more “M$GN: After Dark,” as John Monotone, in his infinite wisdom, asked Brian Boyle about another threesome.
“It was a grind!”
Vagistat then said, “the Rangers don’t have a goalie controversy, they have a goalie situation.”
Sadly, the biggest goalie situation over at the M$GN these days is the fact that a seven-foot douchebag must have pictures of some M$GN executive.
And oh, because I haven’t really talked about his M$GN debut tonight – I rarely noticed Boyle.
Between Vagistat constantly talking over him and Boyle speaking in cliches – “they played last night, they could be tired!” – there wasn’t that much meat to the bone.
But of course, television isn’t easy and you have to concisely speak in sound bites too.
Long story short?
I’m not writing off Boyle, as his work on the NHLN is good, but it’s just tough when you have Vagistat horning in on you during all of your time.
It was during this second stanza where this game picked up some steam – and I’m not talking about the early goal that Frederic scored.
The Rangers opened up this period by killing the remainder of the Miller penalty.
Following a CZAR IGOR save at the end of the PK, the Ranger contingent in Boston belted out those familiar chants of “I-GOR, I-GOR, I-GOR!”
No less than twenty-seconds after these roars – Frederic, while in the paint, scored:
Trent Frederic cashes in at the netfront.
1-0 Boston. pic.twitter.com/GUnpt4dgus
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 17, 2023
1-0, bad guys.
CZAR IGOR wanted an interference call here, but really, and to show you that I’m not biased – I didn’t see anything what would’ve overturned this goal – especially with these officials – and especially since we have no clue what is and what isn’t “goaltender interference” anymore.
Shestyorkin’s claim was that Frederic had touched his pad before touching the puck, but even so, there wasn’t clear visual evidence of such an event.
(And in my opinion – CZAR IGOR should have been complaining to Panarin, rather than to the officials, as “The Breadman” couldn’t clear the crease.)
Despite his poor win-loss history when reviewing plays, Laviolette asked for a video replay here.
The Rangers’ beat reporters didn’t ask him this (why would they?), but I think that this was just the head coach supporting his goalie.
Even if Laviolette had known in-advance that he would be refused in his request – by just asking for the review – it was a huge vote of confidence in his goalie – and a way to show CZAR IGOR that he has his full support.
It also told you that Laviolette trusted in his penalty kill, because no less than a minute later, the officials said “good goal,” and as a result – the Bruins went back on the power-play.
The Rangers’ PK was once again rock-solid here, as all CZAR IGOR had to do was stop Pastrnak one more time and that was that.
Down to 14:40 remaining, the GUS BUS beat Frederic one-on-one. The defenseman then found Kreider and CK20 just missed by an inch of setting up his BFF, Zibanejad, for a clear-cut sprung breakaway.
Two minutes later, and with this game on the cusp of busting out – CZAR IGOR made a jumping blocker save on Coyle.
With exactly 12:00 remaining, Pastrnak crushed Lindgren with a big hit – aka the newly dubbed “DANNY MACK SPECIAL” – as it was Mr. Mack who first noticed how #55 gets bodied more than Sam and Joe in all of their (alleged) three-ways.
Oddly enough, while Lindgren and Pastrnak do have previous history – Lindgren’s biggest beef has always been with Marchand.
(Then again, I’m sure that many NHLers would say that their biggest beefs are with “The Rat” too!)
Following Pastrnak’s hit on Lindgren, where had it been Chytil, then he’d be in assisted living right now; both Sam and Joe, Hugh Hefner’s favorite hockey announcers, actually brought up how Lindgren has a tendency to get crushed by a huge hit in every game played.
Come 9:40 remaining, Pastrnak, who for whatever reason, had a Sieve Vagistat sized stick up his own five-hole all game, whacked Lafreniere in the head – and while the Bruins were attacking.
By the way that Pastnak played tonight, you would have thought that it was rumored that one of the Rangers had slept with his mother – akin to the false rumors about Mrs. Bedard and Corey Perry.
The Blueshirts’ power-play ended just sixteen-seconds into it, as Kreider was boxed for holding Lindholm. This was a dumb penalty to take, but extremely uncharacteristic from CK20 too.
Now on the “foreplay,” the GUS BUS plowed down Darren Pang’s favorite player, Matt Poitras, with perhaps a hit that could have earned him a crosscheck or boarding penalty.
No call – and Poitras, who looked shaken up – had to go to the Bruins’ locker room for repairs.
With Poitras now in the locker room, we had a faceoff and where right after the puck was dropped, Frederic challenged Trouba to a fight.
Originally, I thought that this was Frederic just defending Poitras, but following the game and during his post-game interview, Trouba referenced his accidental high-stick that caught the Bruin upstairs three weeks ago.
The captain, an old-school guy who values the tradition of the game, said that he didn’t mind this challenge from Frederic and how he expected it.
OLD TIME HOCKEY!
And for what it’s worth – this wasn’t much of a fight either, as Frederic went for the Greco-Roman two-point takedown and that was that.
However, and since this was technically a fight, both men received five-minute majors, which also meant that Frederic had the easiest accomplishment left to complete in order to record a Gordie Howe hat trick (an assist).
Thankfully, that apple was never eaten.
Down to 7:15 remaining, and now returned to full-strength, CZAR IGOR continued to add to his save total.
It was also at this time where JERKIN’ JOE suggested that CZAR IGOR had a rougher night in net than Swayman.
There was no way that this was true at the time, and as you can see from the TEAM STATS and GOALIE segments listed above – it definitely wasn’t true following the game either.
Micheletti just wanted to give Shestyorkin a compliment – even if he had to lie through his teeth in order to do so.
With 7:02 remaining, Danton Heinen slashed and tripped Adam Fox. Once again, the Rangers, down by one, returned to the power-play.
As Rosen said, “OH JOE, ZIBANEJAD PASSED UP A SHOOTING CHANCE” for the tenth time (and SENSUAL SAMMY was correct); Swayman made a hell of a save while fully eclipsed by Kreider on Panarin.
The Rangers’ power-play was now 0-3.
Also of note? Poitras was back too.
Come 3:45 left in the period, the two goalies exchanged big saves as Swayman stopped Vesey and CZAR IGOR boiled Pasta.
During a TV timeout at this time, I shared this post on Tweeter:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 17, 2023
I only bring this up because I don’t run ads on this site and all that I ask is that you buy my books.
And since Milbury was featured a lot tonight, and should you not have purchased my newest book yet – then you can find the Milbury teaser chapter for free here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/villains/
It’s funny, and I forget which reader said this to me, but they were right:
If Milbury had spent his entire career with the Rangers, then I would have loved him.
But since he was a Bruin-turned-Islander, and above all else – one of the biggest Ranger haters around – I despise the man – although admittedly, I do get a kick out of him!
At least he sticks to his guns and is honest.
And oh yeah – he should have never been fired by NBC either.
With 1:50 left on the clock – MAYHEM.
As repeatedly mentioned – you would have thought that every Ranger, and Sam & Joe too, had a gangbang with Pastrnak’s mother – and maybe with his sisters and wife too.
For whatever reason, Pasta had a bone to pick with Lindgren all game, and as a result, the highly skilled Bruin got dirty:
— David 🏒 (@DaveyUpper) December 17, 2023
Seriously, what is Pastrnak thinking?
Not only was this a dirty and heinous play – but it also gave the Rangers a power-play.
Worse than that for the Bruins, who were protecting a one-goal lead at the time?
His well-deserved misconduct penalty ended his night.
And let’s face it:
I’m not so sure if the Rangers would have pulled off their comeback had Pasta been around in the third period.
What a dick!
As noted above – there were a few times where the officials were pretty bad tonight – and yes – where the Rangers got some breaks with some no calls too.
However, a bad call, as opposed to a no call, also took place following Pasta’s cowardly hit on Lindgren.
DURING THE TEN-MAN SCRUM, ONLY BIG BAD ARTEMI PANARIN, THE BOB PROBERT OF HIS GENERATION, RECEIVED A TWO-MINUTE ROUGHING PENALTY.
DESPITE BOTH PARKER LEWIS CAN’T LOSE WOTHERSPOON AND PANARIN PLAYING PATTY CAKE WITH EACH OTHER – ONLY PANARIN WAS BOXED.
I don’t know what it is, but this is either the third or fourth time this season where only Panarin has received a penalty during a situation like this.
My opinion – or should I say FACT?
Either you box both Panarin and Wotherspoon or you don’t box either of them.
I wouldn’t have boxed them, as giving them off-setting penalties wouldn’t have changed a damn thing.
So, and to recap:
With 1:50 remaining, Pasta was left to boil in the Bruins’ locker room.
(Sorry, it’s late – I didn’t mean to make two “boil” jokes tonight – but I’m feeling pretty al dente myself right now!)
Lindgren, who looked like he was in a state of Filip Chytil, went to the locker room to get checked out.
Since only Panarin received a two-minute minor, we then had 1:50 of foreplay, and where come the ten-second mark of the third period, the Blueshirts would have a three-minute power-play.
Got all of that?
Once returned to play, both teams played pocket pool and then skated out the period devoid of any action.
1-0, bad guys, through forty-minutes.
Here’s what I said at the time:
1-0, bad guys, after 40. 2P Thoughts:
— I think Lavy only reviewed the Frederic goal to show support to CZAR IGOR.
— Pasta is a piece of shit.
— The DANNY MACK special continues – Lindgren eats two monster hits – and the second one had Chytil all over it.
— 3:00 PP to…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 17, 2023
To begin the period, Sam and Joe never told us if Lindgren was back or out for the night.
During a three-minute uninterrupted power-play – Swayman made five saves and that was that.
And while I’m not a “GLOOM AND DOOMER” to begin with – it didn’t look good that the Rangers couldn’t capitalize here.
But even so, it was still a one-goal game – so I never lost faith.
(And you can check my Tweeter account, https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC , for the complete proof!)
As the clock went tick-tick-tick, CZAR IGOR, with 14:55 remaining, put a pocket protector on Morgan GEEKie. (What a horrible joke!)
A few seconds later, Fox was sent to the sin bin for tripping Marchand.
It was at this time in the game when it was revealed that Lindgren was back, as this was the first shift he took, due to the opening power-play.
Sam and Joe never noticed, as I guess they were too busy calling up hookers for a three-way in their Beantown motel room.
“OH JOE, THIS HOTEL HAS QUARTER-VIBRATING BEDS AND HBO JOE! I THINK “THE SOPRANOS” IS ON TONIGHT JOE! JOHNNY CAKES JOE!”
To quote Micheletti, “The Rangers’ Penalty Kill is Fabulous Sam!”
With 11:30 remaining, Rosen was already in wrap-up mode, perhaps eagerly anticipating his late night three-way romp, as he said, “OH JOE, IT WAS NICE THAT BRIAN BOYLE WAS WITH US TONIGHT. THE RANGERS NEXT PLAY ON TUESDAY NIGHT IN TORONTO JOE.”
No joke – and I’m not making this up (and you should be able to tell when I’m making things up in my terrible efforts to entertain you), Six-Inches (from the base) Sammy said:
“OH JOE, IT WAS GREAT WATCHING BRIAN BOYLE AND PETER LAVIOLETTE HUG BEFORE THE GAME. THEY HAD HISTORY TOGETHER IN NASHVILLE JOE!”
Now under ten-minutes remaining, Swayman made a pair of denials on Trouba and Miller.
However, and with 9:23 to go, Brandon Carlo interfered/tripped Lafreniere.
So, and now in crunch time, the Rangers’ had their fifth power-play – or five-and-a-half if you include the three-minute power-play.
As the old expression goes, “the fifth time is charm.”
Just thirteen-seconds into the power-play, Trocheck cooked up a spicy little meatball past Swayman:
This beauty of a feed from Mika Zibanejad To Vincent Trocheck ties it for #NYR!
Not to mention the perfect call from Sam Rosen!! pic.twitter.com/WrS5j2pOlN
— Rangers on MSG (@RangersMSGN) December 17, 2023
1-1, as the second line center found the first line center for a pure rip from the slot!
Also assisting on the goal was Adam Fox, who is quietly racking up the points these days.
This goal changed everything.
Now back to full-strength, the fourth-line had an electric energy shift, as they dominated in the Bruins’ zone, while Pitlick was smashing the black-and-gold as if his life had depended on it.
The Bruins, now on their heels, saw Lindholm high-stick Fox with 7:13 remaining.
As a result, the Rangers’ 1-5 power-play had a chance to go 33.3% on the night.
(I have about twenty drinks in me right now, yet I can still do math. What a (keyboard) warrior!)
But as you already know – that’s not what happened – and here’s my live recount of this particular power-play:
Panarin-to-Kreider tip, no good, Trocheck to Panarin, Swayman save, Fox keep at blue line, Panarin stopped, Panarin keep, Panarin blocked, Fox another keep, Panarin stopped, Mika misses an open net, and that will do it for this #NYR PP, and as we hit the FOXWOODS mark, 1-1.
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 17, 2023
As you can see – the Rangers were effective with the puck – but they just had issues putting the rubber past Swayman.
And really, Swayman is a hell of a goalie so he deserves a ton of credit too – where admittedly, that’s easier to say with the knowledge of the final score!
Now way past the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark, the two goalies continued to exchange saves, and with both teams, while somewhat trying, but also not wanting to risk pissing away at least one-point netted in the standings.
As a result, we remained tied at 1-all through sixty-minutes.
Here’s what I said at the time:
1-1 after 60. OT is required. 3P Thoughts:
— 1-6 PP is concerning, but in a game like this, the 1 is more important than the 6.
— Reminder: Other team is paid to play too – and the Bruins are good at this.
— A slow game has turned into a wild one.
— Laf is due. #NYR
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 17, 2023
Both teams played this like a Republican National Convention, as both teams were conservative.
HOW CONSERVATIVE WAS IT?
The Rangers didn’t even look to shoot the puck, which then led to angry boos from the Boston crowd.
But when they did finally shoot it?
Then they finished with a 100% success rate:
Vinny T tied it and Vinny T wins it!!
— Rangers on MSG (@RangersMSGN) December 17, 2023
2-1, GOOD GUYS, your final, following a heck of a feed from Panarin – and an even better finish from Vinny T.!
WHAT. A. GOAL.
WHAT. A. WIN.
And this is what pissed me off more than anything else:
Following the game, we then went to the awful M$GN studio where the blood-shot eyed Vagistat told us that this was a “STOLEN WIN.”
He only says this junk because it’s one of his stupid stats from his shitty analytical company.
This victory was anything but the sort.
This was a HARD-WORKING WIN, A NEVER-GIVE-UP WIN, A RESILIENT WIN and above all else – A TEAM WIN.
But since these are human element terms, then this seven-foot pile of useless information can’t comprehend it.
And really – just look at the team stats.
The Rangers had six power-plays, grossly out-shot their competition and did all of this against an excellent goalie and an even better team (and on the road too).
Sure, while Swayman largely “GOALIED” the Blueshirts for most of this game – it’s not like the Rangers scored fluke goals, such as a puck off of a Bruins’ d-man skate or anything like that.
Simply put: The Rangers FATHER FINKIN’ worked their asses off.
Seriously, just imagine if that feckless freak Vagistat was doing postgame interviews.
What do you think Trouba would tell this jerkoff had Vagistat said, “You really stole this win and you didn’t earn it tonight, care to comment?”
GET THIS ASSHOLE OFF OF MY TELEVISION FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Here’s the head coach of the 21-7-1 first-place Rangers – and a Laviolette team that has the best winning percentage in all of the league too – despite a moron never-was on television suggesting that they are “stealing wins”:
Seriously – I can’t get over the “stolen win” shit!
What I would have rather heard, aside from everything else mentioned above, is this:
WELCOME BACK CZAR IGOR!
And hey, remember his predecessor, Henrik Lundqvist, who during his prime years said, “give me two goals and I got this” – and then embodied that quote until age and regression eventually took over?
With another one-goal allowed game, CZAR IGOR just added to this total – and as you all are aware of by now – ever since #31’s NHL debut – no one has posted more one-goal allowed games than him.
“GIVE ME ONE GOAL AND I GOT THIS! AND GET ME SOME SMIRNOFF AND A PLATE OF BEEF STROGANOFF TOO!”
HELL OF A WEEKEND FOR THE NEW YORK RANGERS!
The team has off on National Felony League Sunday and will then return to practice on Monday.
After that, a revenge game in Toronto on Tuesday night – and where it will be interesting to see who gets the nod in net.
(My beer-gut feeling is CZAR IGOR – because despite how excellent Quick has been – the Rangers need to continue to give Shestyorkin reps prior to the playoffs.)
And here’s a crazy stat for you:
The Rangers are now at the 35% mark of the season.
See ya Tuesday night, barring anything major breaking between now-and-then.
PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)
My fourth title and tenth book is now available 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/
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 $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:
My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.
My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/
To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”
The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!
“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.
All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.
To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com
To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
NYR/ANA 12/15 Review: American Blueshirts Dine on Ducks (As They Were “Supposed” To); That New Swede Kid (Adam Edstrom) Ain’t Shabby Either, Rangers Right Their Ways But All Eyes Remain on CZAR IGOR, The Mysterious M.I.A. Miller, “LAVY’S LOUNGES,” RIP Rangers’ Alum; Carr v. Chadwick, M$GN & More
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$GN, Garden of Dreams vs Gambling, Bad Jokes, Up Next & More
NYR/LAK 12/10 Review: ESCAPE FROM LA! Jonathan “Goalie Controversy” Quick Turns Back the Clock (Again); Blanks Kings (But Not the Refs), A “Tranq-to-Meth” Match; “Madness in Madison,” JONNY “Bobby Orr” HOCKEY, Another GWG For Easy Pesey Jimmy Vesey, Goody Got It, Clown Show Officials; M$GN Equally as Bad, Lavy Gives (And Not Takes) All the Credit & More
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