NYR/TOR 12/19 Review: SUPERSHESTYMAN RETURNS IN RANGERS’ SPECTACULAR FIRST-PLACE TEAM-WIDE WIN! All Droughts, Slumps & “Schneids” Snapped, Lafreniere & Panarin Back on the Board; Three-Pointers for THE GUS BUS & Wheeler Too, Fantastic Fourth Line Continues to Roll, Quick Impact, Cuylle Disrespected By His Hometown; Expensive Tix, M$GN; Rosen in History & More

As said this past Saturday night on this site – and as I’m saying once again some 72-hours later – “And some of you guys wanted CZAR IGOR benched. For shame, FOR SHAME!” As stupendous as he was in Boston, once again, and now in Toronto, #31 racked up 31-saves in the Blueshirts’ huge 5-2 revenge win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. But of course, this wasn’t a one-man show either, as every Ranger pitched in when raking-and-bagging the Leafs in the team-wide victory.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Jonathan Quick who?


But seriously, and following these past two vintage performances from the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner – and against two of the top teams in the league no less (Boston and Toronto) – this question now comes to mind:

How much did all of Quick’s success this season light a fire under CZAR IGOR’s royal keister?

Why lede with this?

Simple, and as already noted twice, both in tonight’s headline and in the blog header photo – Tuesday night’s revenge game, a 5-2 win for the Blueshirts, was a TEAM-WIDE VICTORY.

In other words, while Quick sat on the bench with a Rangers’ hat affixed to his head, rather than standing in between the pipes with a mask over his dome – he was as every part of this win as everyone else.

We’ve talked about this theory before on this site (a hot back-up goalie motivating the starter), but if Tuesday night was an indication of anything, then this theory was proven in-full – and where no debate otherwise can be had.

Quick, 9-0-1, and arguably a 2024 Vezina Trophy contender at the present moment as we have now hit the 37% mark of this 2023-24 campaign, has been so hot this season (HOW HOT IS HE?) – that JQ32, one of my “RANGER KILLERS” from my latest book – now has some Blueshirt backers forgetting all about 2014.


(I also wonder how many of my younger readers know all about Adam West and Burt Ward too!)

And really – while it sucked for us – what did you expect Quick to do in June of 2014? Lay down and throw the series?

(But let’s also face the facts: Had Quick came out like dog poo this season, and had his record read as 0-9-1 instead of what it is today – then every Ranger fan would relish when saying, “I TOLD YOU SO! WASHED! I HATE HIM! HOW DARE HE BEAT LUNDQVIST!”)

While Quick will always be remembered for inducing heartbreak during “The Henrik Lundqvist Era” of Blueshirts; the former L.A. King, and a future Hall of Famer to boot, now nearly ten-years removed from that horrible night of June 13th, 2014, is currently impacting Ranger hockey in a positive manner – and where for the ironic cherry on top – he’s also presently helping Lundqvist’s successor, CZAR IGOR, get back on track.

(And can you imagine how different things would’ve been had the Rangers won the Stanley Cup on my 32nd birthday, 6/13/14? I would have never brought up Lundqvist’s contract once! And I hope you know this – it pains me that this didn’t happen.)


Quick has been nothing less than a brick wall for the Blueshirts this season, and as a result, his play has motivated CZAR IGOR right out of his slump – or so I say!

While tonight’s win was obviously much more about everything else than Quick himself; I just felt that it was important to mention how his play has not only helped the team’s confidence – but it has also allowed CZAR IGOR to work out all of the kinks as he tried to get back to his normal superhuman level following his most recent injury.

Better than that?

For Rangers’ head coach Peter Laviolette, and his team too – or as I call them, “LAVY’S LOT” – on any given night, they now have the advantage in net – and against ANY opponent.

The proof is in the pudding too – aka the NHL standings:

I shouldn’t have to explain to you what both “winning percentage” and “games in hand” mean. In other words, the Rangers have regained their status as BEST IN THE WORLD and are presently the top team in all of the land. But of course, my daily season-long disclaimer shouldn’t be forgotten about either, you know, this one: “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!” Photo Credit: ESPN

In a lot of ways, Tuesday’s win in Toronto was reminiscent of the victory in Beantown from this past Saturday.

As it were against the Bruins, following twenty-minutes played against the Leafs in Round II, defense remained as the focal point – and as the nil-nil first frame would suggest.

While some fans (or idiots, like Wince “California Roll” Mercogliano) may call a period like this “uneventful” – in reality, it was a testament to the Rangers ability to stick to their guns and dictate the tone of the match.

Granted, while the Blueshirts received a lot of “puck luck” tonight, as three of their five goals deflected off of a Toronto player (and another goal was an empty-netter too); what’s the oldest cliche in hockey? This one:


And of course, there’s the most famous Wayne Gretzky quote too:

“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”

Both Alexis Lafreniere (12-game drought) and Artemi Panarin (6-game drought) made it rain on Tuesday in Toronto – and both scored following a deflection off of a Leaf too! Photo Credit: Getty Images

Following the scoreless first period, come the 6:10 mark of the second stanza, Mika Zibanejad – and SHOCK – actually scored a 5 x 5 even-strength goal!

Buy a powerball ticket!

While a puck shot from Wheeler, which then hit a Leaf before it last hit Zibanejad, was the truth of the matter – again – good things happen when you shoot the puck – and when you put yourself in the right position too.

And with goaltender Martin Jones, banished to the AHL at the start of the season prior to the recent injuries in the Leafs’ net, was once again strong against the Rangers as he was just one-week ago to the date of this particular contest – then sometimes – you just have to make your own luck.

But of course, these are the Rangers, which meant that up next – “THE RANGERS’ WAY!” (One of these days I’ll get around to patenting this trademark!)

No less than eighty-seconds after the puck-luck icebreaker, Auston Matthews, arguably the greatest American hockey player in the game today, roofed a puck past CZAR IGOR.

So much for maintaining the one-goal lead.

However, Alexis Lafreniere, towards the end of a Blueshirts’ power-play, regained the one-goal advantage for the Blueshirts just 2:18 later – after yep, you guessed it – a puck that hit the skate of defenseman Morgan Reilly before squeaking past Jones.

2-1, GOOD GUYS – and a score that carried through to the start of the final frame.

With twenty-minutes left to play – your mandatory once-per-game “BLUESHIRTS’ BRAIN FART” – as Chris Kreider got caught looking as Matthews roofed his second puck of the night by CZAR IGOR at just the 1:16 mark.

Once again, the Rangers had blown a lead.

But on a night when CZAR IGOR was impregnable against every other Leaf (and he also made three tremendous saves on AM34 too) – this would be the last time when the Rangers coughed up a lead – and the final goal that the home team would score too.

Braden Schneider, who hadn’t scored in a dog’s age (22 games to be exact), was the beneficiary of some strong play from both Blake Wheeler and Erik Gustafsson, where the end result was a breakaway goal at the 8:08 mark of the third period.

Without a doubt, this was the “sexiest” goal of this game, but more important than that – a 3-2, GOOD GUYS, goal that held up as the game-winner.

Down to 4:52 remaining and now back on the power-play (2-fer-2 on the night – 100%), Panarin baked for the first time in a half-a-dozen games – where yep, and just like Lafreniere who ended his dozen-game scoreless drought – caught a piece of a Leaf defender too.

4-2, GOOD GUYS – and a sigh of relief.

Leafs’ head coach, Sheldon Keefe, and much like Laviolette has done a few times this season when trailing by two or more goals, pulled a Patrick Roy himself, as he pulled Jones with over four-minutes remaining.

Rather than letting the Leafs hang around, and while fully aware of what the blue-and-white had done to Columbus in their five-goal third period from last week; instead, D.J. Mika spun an empty-netter with 3:13 remaining to seal the deal.


But while I have given you the goal scorers – and talked about the great goaltending too – this game was much more than that.

Once again, the Rangers’ bottom-six, in particular, the Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick line, and a fourth-line trio that’s currently challenging the 2013-14 fourth line for best in franchise history, were FANTASTIC.

You know me – I’m an EYE-TEST GUY – and to quote birdbrain Mollie – “I don’t give a shit” about ANALytics.

So while I’m not going to look up such a stat, as I’m going to solely rely upon what my own two eyes saw – I’d reckon to guess that the Blueshirts’ fourth line spent 90% of their shifts attacking in the Toronto zone.

Better than that?

They were largely matched up against Toronto’s big guns, where outside of Matthews – left the rest of the Leafs shooting blanks.

And then there was CUYLLE HAND LUKE, BIG WILLIE, government name Will Cuylle, the hometown kid making his return to Toronto.

Officially, the Rangers’ team-leader in hits picked up three tonight.

Unofficially, he at least had ten (and four uncredited hits in the first period alone) – because for whatever reason – the Toronto statisticians snubbed their noses at one of their sons.

I only bring this up, to show you why once again, that the EYE TEST trumps all.

A quick glance at the box score, and then you’ll see that the fourth line and Cuylle didn’t register a point tonight.

But to suggest that they weren’t every bit as important as everyone else tonight – then you’d be dead-wrong.

The same goes for JONNY HOCKEY, who finished with a second-best game-high six shots on goal. (Panarin had eight).

And when you needed the final component of the Rangers’ bottom six, Nick Bonino, to win draws – then he was there for you too.

As I wrap-up this longer-than-usual intro, the biggest takeaway, and the one that you should have already arrived at too?


At this time, let’s get into the quick pregame news and notes – and then into the almighty GAME REVIEW!

Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette was able to get some extra family time during the mini-break.

Following the Rangers’ “Saturday Night Special” in Boston; a day later, National Felony League Sunday, the team had off – but remained in the Massachusetts area.

As Lavy used the day to hang out with has family in his home state, the Blueshirts offended Tony Soprano:

The Rangers spent Sunday at a local Masshole Italian restaurant. Photo Credit: Jimmy Vesey

And for those who don’t get the Tony Soprano joke – then you really need to re-evaluate your life!

But for those few folk, here’s what I’m referring to:

Heck, I’m an Irish-American – and even I know to take my hat off before sitting down before a plate of spaghetti and meatballs!

Moving on!

Following the team’s off-day, come Monday, the team held a practice at a local Boston area college prior to their afternoon flight to Toronto, ON.

Once the sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” skate was complete, the Blueshirts’ bench boss held his mandatory “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is:

This was another case of “no news is good news,” as nothing of significance was said here.

The same remained true a day later on Tuesday morning, following the Rangers’ morning skate:

Outside of saying the obvious, “we want to play better against the Leafs,” really, this interview was a waste of time.

As far as anything else, CZAR IGOR was confirmed as starting in net, as #31 looked to get his revenge against a Toronto team that roughed him up a bit in the meeting between these two Original Six teams just a week ago.

He’d later get such revenge!

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the thirtieth 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


BACK-UP: Quick




The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





35 4 31 .886 26 5 0 0 0 58:47 0


33 2 31 .939 30 0 1 0 0 60:00 0

Happy Festivus! Original Photo Credit: Seinfeld

Come 6:30:00PM, I tuned into the M$GN, where sadly, Sieve “Stolen Win” Vagistat was there by his lonesome. That was all that I needed to see, so come 6:30:01PM, I returned my clicker back to the NHL Network.

And if anyone knows how to get such information, then please, feel free to forward it to me:

I’ve been told by many readers that they too turn off the M$GN whenever Vagislime is around.

I’d like to know what last year’s pregame show TV ratings were without Lundqvist, and what they are now whenever “THE KING OF COMMENTARY” has the night off.

My prediction: A huge drop-off – and even with more fans watching at home more now than ever (due to the insane and skyrocketing ticket prices).

Speaking of insane and skyrocketing ticket prices; once returned to the M$GN at 7:00PM, Sexual Sammy and Jerkin’ Joe told us that Cuylle had over thirty friends and family members in-attendance tonight.

Rosen and Micheletti also added that Cuylle only bought his parents tickets out of his own pocket, because #50, and just like any of us, said, “the tickets are too expensive.”

Sam and Joe got a good belly laugh out of what Cuylle had said – but I don’t think that this was a laughing matter at all.

As written on this site from DAY ONE – where does the NHL expect to find their next generation of fans if the current generation can’t afford to attend these games?

Granted, while the prices for ducats are cheaper anywhere else than in New York and in Toronto – but at at the same time – most markets in the league have jacked up the face value of their tickets.

The NHL, the best live experience in sports, is now becoming easier to enjoy on television – and especially on TNT. (And to my point – that wasn’t always the case.)

What once was a huge disparity in attending games vs watching them on TV is no more.

I just don’t see how the NHL expects your average family of four to sacrifice a month’s worth of bills in order to attend one game – and in the “cheap seats” too.

But I guess since the NHL is making billions-and-billions of dollars with all of their gambling sponsors – they don’t care.

But they’ll care once the FCC eventually horns in and bans gambling commercials – and just like they did with cigarettes.

Just sayin’.

In either event, to have an NHLer talk about how he can’t even afford tickets – it speaks volumes to me.

While Sam and Joe limited talk about all of their “three-ways” for one night; once again, Rosen couldn’t resist and had to lay every SAMMY WHAMMY possible against his beloved Blueshirts.

Since the Leafs were honoring Pajama Boy John Tavares for scoring his 1,000th point against the Islanders last week; as a result, we had two face-time segments with Sam and Joe tonight.

The first one was pretty good, as Sam and Joe praised Rangers’ captain Jacob Trouba for being the only player in the league with 80 blocks and 60 hits. The two men, who both are in need of some serious hair care, then waxed poetically about the team’s first-line center, NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO.

After telling us about Cuylle’s plight in paying for tickets, they also mentioned that Goodrow was having a homecoming too – but obviously – the long-time veteran had been through this many times before – where for Cuylle, this was his first time playing an NHL game in his hometown.

Once returned from a commercial break, and while Tavares was having his Mickey Mouse pajamas hung to the rafters (presumably); this is when I tweeted out the following:

And yep – you can find that book located in the PLUGS segment below!

As Toronto was honoring the man who said “Eff You” to the Islanders, Sam and Joe did their best when hollering over the Leafs’ public address announcer.

For the next five-minutes, Sam and Joe stripped, busted out the lotion and rubbed themselves silly when talking about every Maple Leaf on the roster.

And by the way that they were talking, you would have thought that they needed a cigarette afterwards.

After all of that foolishness – finally – puck drop.


The Rangers’ fourth line deserve all the praise in the world.


In CZAR IGOR vs. Martin Jones II, “SHESTY’S REVENGE,” Laviolette had his fourth line open the game from the World’s Second Most Expensive Arena.

And while Goodrow had the hometown blood – I don’t think that was the reason why his line began this game.

After all, and more times than not, the head coach has entrusted this trio to start games – and against the opposition’s most fearsome line too.

Following Goodrow defeating Pajama Boy John at the dot, the Leafs quickly took over possession of the puck and at just the twenty-second mark – BOOM – Trouba picked up his first of a game-high three blocked shots. (Of note, Goodrow also had three blocked shots.)

As Sam and Joe actually laughed about Maple Leafs’ misery (last Stanley Cup victory was in 1967), at just the 2:30 mark, Cuylle “unrecorded” his first of four hits following his body blow on Jankrok.

A minute later, and with the Rangers not having a SOG yet, Sam proudly belted out his famous line of, “GOOD PACE JOE!”

Seriously, you could have Rosen commentating the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and before Joey Chestnut wolfs down his first dog, you’d have Senile Sammy screaming, “GOOD PACE JOE!”

(And yes, your daily reminder: Whenever I’m ragging on the M$GN crew, it means that the Rangers lost or not much offensively was taking place! I aim to entertain!)

With 14:35 remaining, we had our first real scoring chance of the game, but Jones stopped Cuylle from point-blank range. This was a save where you just tip your toque to the other goaltender.

Thirty-seconds later, and with the top line on the ice, Lafreniere forced a turnover in the neutral zone and then fed the Italian center. Trocheck then found the Russian winger and to show you how cold Panarin had been up to this point – the Hart Trophy candidate went wide from three-feet away.

A month ago, this shot would’ve been automatic.

Down to 12:30 remaining, Pitlick forced a turnover in the d-zone which then led to a deflected shot for Vesey. While Vesey didn’t score tonight, this was just another example of the fourth line having their way with the Leafs – and how many Blueshirt shot attempts were being deflected too.

Fortunately, these deflections would soon pay off – but just not during this first frame.

Come eleven-minutes remaining, and with both teams totaling five shots on goal, Sam once again belted from the rooftops, “GOOD PACE JOE!”

I wonder if Rosen ever screams “GOOD PACE JOE” during their many three-ways?

Out of a TV timeout and with 10:30 remaining, this is when Rosen first started to champion for a hometown strike, as he did all of his vexes, hexes, black magic and voodoo against the Rangers.


It was also at this same time when Panarin made a bad pass to Trocheck on a 3 x 2 odd-man rush – a turnover – and where like it or not, the following:

After his red-hot start to the season, we are now seeing the “Playoff Panarin” from last season, as these turnovers are happening more and more lately.

Let’s just see that get nipped in the bud – and to quote Trocheck – “PRONTO!”

Following this play, Rosen reminded us to buy the new MADE IN VIETNAM Rangers’ third jerseys.

Just wait until he’s shamelessly shilling the Metlife game jerseys next month.


Now with 7:15 left to be ticked, JONNY HOCKEY found his pass two-inches shy of connecting to Schneider. Had it, then #4 would’ve had a breakaway.

But as you all know by now – Schneider would later get his breakaway – but approximately forty-minutes (game-time) following this particular Craig’s List “Missed Connection.”

On Schneider’s next shift, and with 4:40 to go, he extended a fourth-line attack with two keeps near the blue line.

It was at this moment where I said on the Tweeter machine that this was Schneider’s best defensive game yet, where in a way – “it’s a shame” that he scored tonight – but only because the highlight reel goal will take away from the excellent work that he was doing defensively.

No joke, Schneider forced five turnovers tonight (but was only credited with three by the biased Toronto nerds) and also laid three big hits.

With 3:10 remaining, we saw some rare life from the Leafs in this period – and a hometown team that only finished with five SOG in these first twenty minutes after scoring four goals in the same time-frame just a week ago at M$G.

At this time-marker, Matt Knies “The Science Guy” was stopped by Trouba, a Matthews’ wrap-around was stopped by Mika and then CZAR IGOR came up with a save to end the threat.

For whatever reason, it was also at this time where Jerkin’ Joe gave us the life story of a father-son fan duo, where he knew everything about the family. You had to wonder if these two had previously joined Joe in one of his epic three-ways, because how else would he know so much about them?

As the fourth-line continued to attack with 2:00 remaining, Bertuzzi then intercepted a Trocheck pass forty-five seconds later, which then set-up a Toronto odd-man rush. CZAR IGOR said NYET NYET and that was the end of that.

Now under a minute remaining, Morgan Reilly tripped over his own blue line which then allowed JONNY HOCKEY to go on a breakaway, albeit on one that the Leafs’ rearguard caught the captain of the ‘Pack on, thus forcing #22 to shoot from the outside.

Jones made the stop and that was the end of the period.

Scoreless after twenty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Mika scored a fluky goal tonight – and a rare 5 x 5 goal for him too – but you just hope that this can be the start of something. After all, and truth hurts: He’s not playing like an $8.5M center this season. Photo Credit: NYR


Kudos to Micheletti, as he began the period by burying the Toronto statisticians for not awarding Cuylle any of the hits that he had registered.

The Leafs went on the attack to start, but a Mitch Marner attempt went high and wide.

Following a save on Knies, this is when we saw that Shestyorkin had his SWAGGER (Hello David Quinn) back, as he made a homerun pass to Trocheck with 18:20 remaining.

While this pass didn’t cleanly connect, I thought this was a good sign, because after all – when was the last time that you saw CZAR IGOR attempt one of his patented passes?

Just attempting a pass like this told me that CZAR IGOR, and like Stella, had found his groove.

Following a Jones save following a Trocheck-to-Panarin one-timer, Micheletti told us how much he liked this “threesome.”


After a Fox-to-Mika one-timer was blocked by the biggest heel in Islander history, Tavares, and with 16:20 remaining – Rosen actually brought up how Lafreniere had gone twelve games without a goal – and was now nearly half-way there to extending this streak to a dirty dozen.

In other words – a SAMMY WHAMMY that eventually and actually worked out in favor of the Rangers!

Down to 15:37 remaining, CZAR IGOR stopped Matthews – and the best save yet for #31 – who made sixteen saves during these twenty-minutes.

No joke, following this save on AM34, CI31 then made six saves within a time-span of one-minute.

Following CZAR IGOR bailing out the Blueshirts here; now down to 14:10 remaining, Wheeler went for the first puck-on-pads play of the game, but after Jones gave up the intended juicy rebound – there was no Ranger there to cash-in.

However, Wheeler wasn’t done yet.

While on the same shift, and now with 13:47 remaining, the game’s first goal:


Note Lazarus’ tweet – like yours truly, and pretty much everyone else watching at the time – he too thought that Wheeler had scored this goal.

It was later revealed that Wheeler’s intended pass to a streaking-to-the-net Miller had hit a Leaf rearguard, then hit Mika and then miraculously went by Jones.

But in any event, and most importantly above all else – GOOD GOAL – and a lead too.

As mentioned up top, no less than eighty-seconds later, and following back-to-back turnovers from Panarin and Fox too – ugh – the Leafs tied it – following Reilly setting up Matthews on a tee for the odd-man rush top-shelf goal.


But just 27-seconds following the equalizer – boom – Lagesson had held Pitlick, thus earning the Rangers the first power-play of the game with 12:01 remaining.

To his credit, Jones made five saves on this penalty kill – but wouldn’t come up with a sixth – and it wasn’t his fault either.

With just nine-seconds remaining on the Blueshirts’ man-advantage, and where at the time, you were saying, “ugh, what a wasted two-minutes” – Lafreniere finally ended his drought:


Maybe a “fluke goal” in nature, but again – GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU SHOOT THE PUCK – that is, unless you’re Reilly and Jones!

At this time in the game, the Rangers had scored both of their goals off of defenseman’s skates.

As both fourth lines traded scoring chances, and as CZAR IGOR stopped Kampf while Jones stopped Goodrow; down to 5:31 remaining, the Leafs had a two-vs-one odd-man rushed denied by Miller – who “snow-angled”/made a diving block to break up the excellent scoring opportunity.

Thirty-seconds after that – Nylander had a breakaway – but lost the handle at the last second.

Crisis averted.

With 4:48 to go and the Leafs still looking to tie the game again – somehow, and someway, CZAR IGOR, while being both solar and lunar eclipsed by nearly every player on the ice – stopped a seeing-eye Matthews shot.


Following this big save, CZAR IGOR connected on another homerun pass, this time to Mika.

The Pajama Boy had five shots on goal tonight – and CZAR IGOR stopped them all – and as he did twice here with 3:25 remaining, as he stopped JT91’s initial shot and then the rebound that ensued.

A minute later, Lafreniere, who you can’t fool twice, shot the puck at Reilly’s skate. However, this time the puck took a Toronto bounce – but hey – it was worth a shot (literally)!

As we hit fifteen-seconds remaining – CZAR IGOR, CZAR IGOR, CZAR IGOR, as this time he robbed Toronto’s captain – and just as the Toronto captain had robbed the hearts of Islander fans.

Ya hate to see it!

2-1, GOOD GUYS, through two periods of play.

Here’s what I said at the time:

While perhaps playing against his former team was part of it – either way – this was the best game for “THE GUS BUS” ever since the return of Adam Fox. You love to see it! Photo Credit: Getty Images


I wanted to strangle the toupee off of Rosen’s head – and yes – I am joking – I don’t really want to commit an act of violence against the voice of my childhood.

But still – had someone else slapped the toupee from his noggin’?

Then I wouldn’t have been that upset!

To begin the period, Rosen did his rain dance for a Toronto goal, where he brought up every stat imaginable – including how Toronto just scored five goals against the Blue Jackets last week during the third period.

Not even CZAR IGOR can overcome a SAMMY WHAMMY – even if he did stop Bertuzzi at the 25-second mark.

As Rosen did his hero worship of Matthews and before every word in praise could escape his meaty jowls too – ugh – at just the 1:16 mark, and following AM34 beating his fellow American CK20 – another top-shelf goal for Mr. Matthews.

2-2 – and this is when I was seeing red!

(Hey, while I’m a ten-time award winning author as my good friend Linda H. will tell you – above all else – I’m a fan – and while I haven’t sat in a bath tub and cut myself for the evidence – I bleed blue too!)

Down to 18:03 remaining, Jones stopped Panarin, this time after a Breadman baked backhand.

Two-minutes later, Matthews came this-close from scoring not only the go-ahead goal, but a hat-trick goal too.

Down to fourteen-minutes remaining, Jones stopped Panarin for what felt like the 9875678578567th time in a time-span of seven-days.

As Rosen would not shut up about Matthews, I was wondering – can you imagine if Sam was there to call every major world event in history?

I can hear it now:






And I think that I have made my point!

Down to 13:00 remaining, and with both teams looking for the go-ahead tally, a Vesey pass for a backdoor Goodrow goal was broken up – but again – this play just reminded you of how much the fourth line were attacking tonight.

In my ANTI-ROSEN PRO-RANGERS MANIFESTATION POWERS, here’s what I tweeted with 12:03 remaining:

Ten-seconds later?


3-2 – GOOD GUYS – and arguably Schneider’s best-lookin’ goal since his first one in his first NHL game played against the San Jose Sharks two seasons ago.

And as noted earlier – this was another goal that ended a schneid – and this time – literally!

Now under ten-minutes, and say this in the Jan Brady voice:


On this play, Vesey created a turnover, had a breakaway chance denied by Jones, and then, and now in the other end, Goodrow stepped in front of a slap shot (a block) to end the Toronto attack.

Vesey and Goodrow man – two HOCKEY PLAYERS – and WARRIORS too.

Need proof?

Then just look at the fishbowls that they are wearing – or the meals they are currently eating through straws these days.


Down to 8:40 remaining, CZAR IGOR thwarted another Toronto attack. A minute later, Jankrok blocked a shot – but of his own teammate – and a shot from Lagesson that planked Jankrok to the ice.

As we hit 6:18 to go – you had to wonder about these officials, as My Struggle, David Kampf, tripped Lindgren right in front of an official standing one-foot away while behind the net (sorry, the names of the referees escape me).

Thankfully, the other referee, standing at the blue line, made the correct call.

Still, how does a referee from fifty-feet away see what a ref standing one-foot away doesn’t?

In either event, the Rangers were going to enjoy their second power-play of the game – and a chance to go up by two goals too.

Barry Horowitz time! (Self-pat on the back!)

This is what I tweeted before the first Rangers’ power-play at 8:22PM:

Long story short, outside of MY POWERS > SAMMY WHAMMIES?

Panarin ended his goal-scoring drought too:


This puck was shot so fast in real-time (HOW FAST WAS IT?) that I thought this was a pure snipe for Panarin. Instead, and after watching this scoring play in slo-mo replay – this was the third puck that went past Jones after hitting the skate of a Leafs’ d-man.

But hey – they all count the same!

This goal was also personally gratifying – as I had $100 on it:

For the 986785678655756785th time on this site, and especially for new readers: I am not against sports gambling – I am just against it being advertised on television to kids and teenagers.

Now down to 4:20 remaining – the Rangers wanted the smoke – and with yours truly needing a seventh goal scored too – and preferably off of the stick of a Blueshirt.

And that’s what happened.

As I was hoping for CZAR IGOR’s first goal or a Cuylle empty netter; instead, it was Zibanejad who put the game away, as he sailed an easy puck into the GAPING net with 3:13 to go.

5-2, GOOD GUYS – and your final score too!


And while my playoff disclaimer is the only thing that matters – I’m having a hell of a time enjoying this ride.

So is Peter Laviolette:

Up next: Two home games, as the Rangers will host the Oilers on Friday night and then play 24-hours later against the Sabres.

My prediction (not that it matters)?

Quick gets the Oilers, even if they are the better team, just because he has a hell of a track record against them. (He also beat them earlier this season in Edmonton, where I guess I should mention that McDavid didn’t play in that game.)

Then, on Christmas Eve Eve – CZAR IGOR gives everyone an early present with a SHUTOUT of the Sabres!

As far as the team’s practice schedule, I’m not sure, but they do deserve a day off on Wednesday (they haven’t been home since going to Boston) – and that’s what I expect – followed by “RISE AND SHINE” skates on Thursday and Friday.

Unless something major breaks, I’ll next see ya Friday night.

And it’s Christmas time – and Amazon provides one-day shipping too.

So if you’re not going to put some BUFFALO TRACE MONEY directly into my Paypal (BULLSMC@aol.com) or VENMO (Sean-McCaffrey-34) accounts, then why not do yourself a favor and buy one of my books, which brings us to…

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

My fourth title and tenth book is now available!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYR/BOS 12/16 Review: HOLY MOLY VINCENZO CANNOLI! Blueshirts Best B’s For “Beast of the East” Status in Front of Boston Legends, The Return of CZAR “Give Me One Goal And I Got This” IGOR, Trocheck’s Two Goals Takes Care of the Rest, Real Italian > Pasta; Lindgren “Macked” Again, HARD WORKING WIN and NOT a “Stolen Win,” M$GN; Sexual Sam and Jerkin’ Joe & More

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

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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8 thoughts on “NYR/TOR 12/19 Review: SUPERSHESTYMAN RETURNS IN RANGERS’ SPECTACULAR FIRST-PLACE TEAM-WIDE WIN! All Droughts, Slumps & “Schneids” Snapped, Lafreniere & Panarin Back on the Board; Three-Pointers for THE GUS BUS & Wheeler Too, Fantastic Fourth Line Continues to Roll, Quick Impact, Cuylle Disrespected By His Hometown; Expensive Tix, M$GN; Rosen in History & More

  1. Eye Test says Shesterkin looked confident and sharp, Vesey looked speedy, Schneider looked like Bobby Orr, Cuylle looked like an avenger, and even Wheeler looked like he could skate more than three strides without being out of breath. A very very good performance by the entire team.

  2. Quality win.

    When TML got the extra skater on, Sam Rosen sounded like he was rooting for Matthews, Nylander, Tavares and Marner to score and tie the game. Don’t want a blatant homer like Jack Edwards, but somebody at MSG has to get in his ear and tell him it’s fucking irritating as hell.

  3. Just watched the ESPN story on Stan Fischler. I have been reading Stan’s columns since I first started watching hockey in the mid-1960’s. Best wishes to Stan. And thank you for continuing what he does.

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