Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. You know the deal – “can’t win ’em all.”
For whatever reason, and perhaps it’s because the Rangers have rarely lost this season (and especially when compared to the other near one-hundred years in franchise history) – following every Blueshirts’ defeat during this 2023-24 campaign – many fans feel the need to issue a team-wide negative referendum – and where every player is dissected like a high school biology class frog.
What, are these people not aware of my season-long daily disclaimer?
You know, these following words that have been printed on this site after every game this season – and no matter if the team had won or lost:
“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!”
If NHL games were contested under two periods, forty-minutes in game-time in total, then you’d have your chest pumped out and your fists pumping after the second period of tonight’s match at M$G.
But of course, NHL games are played under the parameters of three periods, twenty-minutes each and sixty-minutes in total.
The Rangers forgot about that on Friday night.
For the first forty-minutes of this match, featuring the “co-1994 Stanley Cup Champions” (many Edmonton fans, and perhaps rightfully so, consider the 1994 Rangers’ championship as their sixth – and how can you blame them?) we saw a little of everything – and it was all positive.
A Blake Wheeler goal, scored following a deft and excellent pass from Mika Zibanejad at the 11:03 mark of the first period, looked like it was going to hold up as the game-winner.
Between Jonathan Quick having another steel-balls night in net, the team in front of him blocking every shot imaginable and the Oilers, on the second half of a back-to-back, well, running out of gas – everything was going right for the Rangers – that is, except for the officials and bad ice.
But to solely blame bad ice and the referees for this 4-3 loss is not only ludicrous – but completely inaccurate too.
I don’t know if the Rangers got too full of themselves or what – but come the final frame, this much was evident – the road-team, the highly-hyped to be dominant and expected to win the Stanley Cup at the start of the season Edmonton Oilers (but currently failing at achieving these lofty goals), just wanted it more.
And maybe they wanted to do it for the new bench boss in Alberta too, the former head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack, Kris Knoblauch – as Double K. was making his M$G return after previously coaching the Blueshirts in six-games during the Covid Era of hockey.
(For those who don’t remember, Knoblauch filled-in behind the Blueshirts’ bench for both David Quinn and Gerard Gallant during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 pandemic-plagued seasons.)
What had worked in the first two periods didn’t work for the Rangers in the final twenty-minutes and where for whatever reason – they just got messy.
Admittedly, the Blueshirts were a bit sloppy at times (and again – bad ice was a factor – and more on this below), but Quick was able to bail out his teammates time-and-time again – and where there was no better Ranger on the ice than the goaltender during the team’s two penalty kills.
A Zach Hyman goal, scored at the 3:07 mark, tied the game, as the Oiler had gotten behind the Miller and Trouba pairing for a nifty backhanded goal from the top of the crease.
Following both a Zibanejad faceoff loss and a Schneider deflection, Evander Kane was able to beat Quick for the second blue-and-orange goal.
Now at the 4:17 mark, and with the bad guys up 2-1, Laviolette used his timeout.
After all, he was keenly aware of what had happened the night before, when the Oilers pumped-in three-goals against the Devils in just a minute’s worth of time, which ultimately led to their 6-3 victory.
The timeout didn’t work – but it was the right idea.
A little bit over two-minutes later following the timeout (6:36 mark of the period), Warren Foegele sniped a puck past Quick – and really – the only shot that perhaps the 2024 Vezina Trophy candidate truly had a chance against.
Come the 9:52 mark, and following K’Andre Miller tripping over his own blue line (I hate when that happens), Zibanejad looked lost when standing in Quick’s net and trying to block a shot from Ryan McLeod.
4-1, bad guys – and with Ranger fans hitting the exits.
However, and to their credit, the Blueshirts didn’t throw in the white towel – and while they didn’t win – you can’t knock their effort – even if their effort was lacking during the first half of the frame.
A mad dash to the net during a Rangers’ power-play led to a Zibanejad goal at the 15:42 mark.
Now down by two goals, and with their net empty too – the Blueshirts attacked at Oiler goalie Stuart “Seymour” Skinner – but couldn’t get him to break – that is – until there was only one-tenth of a second remaining.
Unless you bet the over-under (-6.5), Will Cuylle’s 4-3 goal didn’t make a difference in the final result – but at least the rookie, who has been robbed of three goals this season due to video replay review, scored his sixth credited goal of the season.
I know that Laviolette was a tad upset with the loss (more below), but for this beer-bellied bullshit Blueshirt blogger – not me.
This team has been very good this season, so to gripe about this one loss, even if it sucked, seems silly to me.
Despite Quick losing his first game of the season (9-1-1 – but not a Rangers’ emergency at the least!), the Blueshirts remain as “THE BEAST OF THE EAST,” and for proof, here you go:
As I wrap-up this intro, here’s the biggest takeaway that I want to convey to you:
No one likes losing, but this wasn’t a loss to be upset about either.
Win on Saturday night against the Sabres, and then it will all be “Jingle Bells” and a hearty “Ho, Ho, Ho” during the Christmas break.
But if they lose?
Perish the thought!
There’s a lot to get into tonight, so let’s get it all rolling as usual – with the pregame news & notes, followed by the GAME REVIEW.
Following the weekend stay in Boston, and coupled with the win on Tuesday night in Toronto, come Wednesday, the team had a well-deserved day off.
After a day of rest, relaxation and catching up on things back home, on Thursday, the Rangers reconvened for practice at Tarrytown, NY, where once again – “no news was good news.”
Following the practice where everyone was accounted for, the head coach conducted his mandatory “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”
Here it is:
Nothing of significance was said, as the Blueshirt beat reporters had to make up something to talk about, where on Thursday, it was “CAN YOU KEEP WINNING GAMES? DO YOU LIKE WINNING? DOES MOLLIE KNOW WHAT AN ICING IS?”
A day later, Friday, game day, the Blueshirts held one of their sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” morning skates.
Once again, everything remained as status quo – a good thing.
After the light sweat, Laviolette spoke to the media one more time prior to the 7:30PM puck drop:
As opposed to the day before, there was minimal news to be had here, as Laviolette said that “The Wallflower,” Kaapo Kakko, is now skating on his own again.
While not providing a time-table on when to expect the man with three-points in twenty-games played back; either way, it was encouraging to hear that the Finn is already prepping for his return.
After all, his leg-injury sustained was pretty gnarly and where most people originally thought that he wouldn’t be able to return until the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline had expired.
(And after seeing Quick this season – then maybe another “RANGER KILLER” from my new book, Adam Henrique, wouldn’t be the worst option in the world. Hell, what’s J.P. Parise’s son up to these days?)
But of course, and to reiterate – we don’t know when Kakko is expected to return – and as a reminder, and while the two injuries are on either side of the spectrum – Filip Chytil has been skating on his own for over six-weeks now – yet nary a word if he’s expected to return this season.
And it’s only a matter of time before M$GN asks you to place a prop-bet wager on who will return first.
PROMO CODE: CONCUSSIONACL
Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the thirty-first 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: CZAR IGOR
HEALTHY SCRATCHES: Jones
LONG TERM INJURED RESERVE: Chytil and Kakko
BOX SCORE time.
The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:
J. Quick G
Tonight’s Rangers’ tilt was broadcasted by ESPN+ for the first time season.
And since I’ve said this a lot during the past two-years – I’ll just say here that if you don’t have ESPN+, then that’s on you. (And no – they don’t pay me! I don’t run ads on this site!)
It is what it is – and really – you can sign up for the free trial and then cancel your subscription.
And if you don’t want to get it – and I understand that too – then there are other ways to find streams of these games.
(However, I can’t link them here as I’m not opening myself up for a copyright lawsuit – even if I’m not responsible for the people who illegally host these games on their “66” different websites!)
For me, and again, as repeated 976567575755 times before – I’ve had ESPN+ since day one because of their UFC package. Adding the NHL was just a bonus – and really – it’s cheaper than the league’s previous streaming partner.
While ESPN+’s access to the NHL is better than ever before, sadly, everything else stinks.
(But at the end of the day, and I’m locked into a grandfather price as a day one subscriber, it’s worth every penny for me.)
As opposed to the league’s other national partner, TNT, there is no interesting studio panel.
And for this marquee match-up – there was no pregame show tonight either – although I doubt that many wanted to hear from A.J. Melczko and John Buccigross anyway.
But then again – at least they aren’t P.K. Slewban, who mercifully, we were spared of tonight.
Really, the only good thing about these broadcasts is bench reporter Emily Kaplan.
And while I am aware that many mock her clothing options and ponder if she has someone do her hair with a weed-whacker before these games – I just don’t care about that junk.
To me, she always asks the right questions and that’s all I care about.
(She could shave her head and wear a burlap sack and I wouldn’t care – just give me the news – and the hard-hitting questions that’s she’s famous for too.)
Put it this way: I rather her on the Rangers’ beat (which will never happen, as that would be a demotion) than 99.9% of the “reporters” that are currently on it.
And unlike others, male and female alike – she did grow up watching hockey and understands the sport. (Bonus: her dad is a Rangers’ fan too.)
I can’t say the same about Wince and Mollie.
But of course, her “competition,” Jackie Redmond, over on TNT, is just as good – and perhaps has a deeper background in hockey. After all, Redmond is Canadian!
Long story short?
Kaplan can’t save these ESPN broadcasts and TNT is infinitely better.
At 7:30PM, just minutes before puck-drop, the ESPN+ feed of this broadcast began, where Bob Wischusen and Ray Ferraro were absolutely horrible in their two-minutes of time.
And is it me, or was Ferraro’s thick accent more deliberate than ever? (Not a knock, an observation.)
Then again, at least we didn’t have to hear him say “SHESHSHESHSHESHYERKIN” a million times tonight.
And I still don’t understand why ESPN pays all of this money for the NHL and then not have a real pregame show.
In turn, the other thirty fan-bases of this league weren’t aware of the Knoblauch connection to the Rangers, nor were tonight’s two goalies ever brought up either.
But breaking news: The Dodgers just signed another Japanese player for a billion bucks!
(How fast we forget about World War II, am I right?)
And as mentioned no less than 95679567567589675 times during tonight’s broadcast (including twice cutting away from M$G to go to Detroit) – Patrick Kane had a hell of a night for the Wings too.
More on that below as it’s now time for the GAME REVIEW.
On a night where standing room only tickets were going for $250+ (fun for the whole family), Laviolette opted to start his second line, rather than his fourth line, to open the game. (Previously, Goodrow’s line has began games.)
Following Zibanejad’s first faceoff win of the game (but he finished five-of-thirteen – a failing rate of 38.5%), the Oilers finally received their first possession of the puck and where really – for the next five-minutes or so – it looked like the Rangers were the team who had played the night before.
In a way, this Rangers’ loss was kind of inexcusable, as they were hosting a team playing their first back-to-back set of the season, while conversely, “Lavy’s Lot” just had the past two nights off.
And while the Oilers did gas out a bit after this opening attack – they sure refilled their tanks in the third period.
Following a few whistles, Kaplan brought up both the Knoblauch link and “THE BONINO EFFECT,” where for a national audience, they were now informed about the center’s innovation at the dots.
During the first line’s shift, Panarin’s first shot attempt hit the side of the net with 18:02 remaining.
As Ferraro tickled the balls and plucked his finger into the ass of the Oilers (no joke – he must’ve said “I hope the Oilers make the playoffs” no less than 8756756756858565 times tonight), Fox and Lindgren shut down the Draisaitl line with 16:53 to go.
The Oilers, who raced out to a 5-1 SOG advantage, saw “THE GUS BUS” record the Rangers’ first official SOG – and a good save made by Skinner on Gustafsson’s slapper.
Down to 15:10 remaining, the Rangers got a break when McDavid and Hyman, on a two-vs-one odd-man rush, saw the left-winger hit iron right where the crossbar and post intersect.
It was also at this moment when the Oilers shot their load as the rest of this period favored the Blueshirts.
With 13:55 remaining, Wheeler had a hell of a shift, perhaps letting us know in advance what was to come, as he made a great backhanded pass to Mika. Of course, Mika, when wide-open, decided to sail the puck to the blue line rather than taking the simple shot instead.
Wheeler, following Mika’s forced foolery, recovered the puck and then put two shots on goal – but two saves for Skinner too.
Skinner wouldn’t stop Wheeler on his next shot attempt.
And yep – this Wheeler shift, a solo effort, energized and woke up M$G.
Following Evander Kane head-locking Lafreniere (no call) with 12:45 remaining, Miller got caught against another McDavid/Hyman odd-man rush. This time, JONNY HOCKEY got back and broke up this excellent scoring opportunity.
After Mr. Hockey creating a turnover, Skinner then stopped Cuylle in the other end. This is also when Kaplan reported that Brodzinski and Knoblauch have kept in touch with each other ever since the Hartford captain’s now former head coach moved on.
It should be noted that none of the Ranger beat reporters, nor M$GN either, ever reported this.
In other words – SCOOPED AGAIN – even if this was a minor “scoopage.”
As the marbled-mouth mook, Ferraro, kept on babbling about how he’d like an Oil Spill in his face during his sixty-minutes of non-stop adoration for the visitors, we then cut away from the game so Arda Ocal, formerly of M$GN (but who wisely got out of there), could tell us that Patrick Kane had two goals and one assist for the Wings in their eventual 7-6 shoot-out win over the Flyers.
(For the cherry on top, #88 scored the shoot-out winner too.)
In other words – and in just one game – Kane, who I thought the Rangers should have brought back (you may have heard!), had already totaled all of Kakko’s point totals in his twenty-games played.
And Part I: Kane, in this one game, also has two more goals than Chytil too.
And Part II: Did I mention that “SHOWTIME” also has five-times as many assists as Kakko? (5)
And Part III: It felt like ESPN was trolling me tonight – and all BRING BACK KANE supporters too – as every time that Kane was brought up on the broadcast (67854567845567 times), the two words of “former Ranger” preceded the introduction.
Following a bevy of stoppages for offside, icing and pucks out of play; with 10:38 remaining, ESPN proudly stated that the third period would be commercial-free.
Of course, I am PAYING for this service – so why am I subjected to commercials at all?
Down to 9:10 remaining, Trouba made a hairy and scary pass from the boards towards Quick’s net – and with an Oiler foaming at the mouth – Miller got the puck the eff out of dodge.
This play from Miller, which I didn’t see get much play on the Tweeter machine both during and after the game, led to this just thirteen-seconds later:
A better angle of the Mika assist.
— Jonny Lazarus (@JLazzy23) December 23, 2023
1-0, GOOD GUYS, a goal for WHEEEEEELAAAAAAAHHHHHH!
(Say Blake’s surname in comedian Bill Burr’s voice – and this is now an ongoing bit on “The Blueshirt Underground Show” too – as co-hosts Jim and Eddie first found this audio clip from many years ago.)
This was a heck of a goal, as Zibanejad, from Gretzky’s office, made a feint touch pass to Wheeler, who then banged home the gimmie goal – and a shot that Skinner never had a chance on – and a puck that went through the wickets too.
But of course, it wasn’t until the Blueshirts were down 4-1 when they scored again.
Not good – and especially since the Rangers had every advantage possible going into this tilt.
Just a minute later, and with 7:45 remaining, Lafreniere almost had Trocheck set-up for the two-goal lead. But alas, and as you know – that’s not what happened.
Then, and on the same shift, Lafreniere almost replicated the McDavid 1 x 4 goal scored against Alexandar Georgiev from two seasons back – but again – you already know the end result.
The Oilers, once out-shooting the Rangers 5-1, were now being out-shot 8-5 with 6:30 remaining. In other words, the visitors were now over ten-minutes without a SOG.
For whatever reason, ESPN kept on going to the benches while play was going on, so we missed some action in order to see the blackheads on CZAR IGOR’s nose.
With 4:00 remaining, and with ESPN finally realizing that there was a game going on, the Rangers’ fourth line, mainly matched-up against the McDavid line, held their own during a perilous threat – and a threat that was thwarted.
As Ferraro did an Oiler goal rain dance from in-between the benches, such a manifestation didn’t reach the light of day – yet.
Instead, Quick made a pair of saves on (Not Patrick) Kane with 1:38 remaining.
A minute later, the unbelievable – as Artemi Panarin actually stepped in front of a puck and blocked a shot.
But for whatever reason, and similar to how the NHL statisticians ignored Cuylle’s four first period hits from Tuesday night in Toronto – this blocked shot wasn’t recorded either.
Following Panarin’s block and now with just twenty-seconds remaining, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a D.O.G. penalty, as the son-of-a-bitch airmailed a puck out of play.
But since it’s “THE RANGERS’ WAY” (trademark still pending) – it was Draisaitl, while short-handed, that had the best GOOD LOOK of these final twenty-seconds.
Thankfully, the big German pulled a Scott Norwood and that was the end of that.
1-0, GOOD GUYS, after twenty-minutes.
Here’s what I said at the time:
1-0, GOOD GUYS, after 20. 1P Thoughts:
— Started off slow against a team that played last night and then found their legs.
— Wheeler having a hell of a game early.
— Due to P. Kane’s game in DET, that’s all we are hearing about tonight.
— Ray Ferraro is like nails on a…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 23, 2023
The Rangers, still with 1:40 of power-play time remaining, seemingly had scored just 26-seconds into it – but a goal for Panarin was immediately erased from the board.
On one of Mika’s many one-timers (four for ten-billion this season), he shot the puck so hard at Skinner’s head (HOW HARD WAS IT?), that if the goalie was Filip Chytil, then he’d be in a dark room for the next decade.
Due to the ferocious meeting of puck vs mask – Skinner’s straps were loosened.
I don’t want to say that Skinner fully pulled-off a Braden Holtby here – as a 97 mile-per-hour shot did hit him in the noggin – but that’s how it all played out.
With his mask loose, Skinner shook his head like a wet dog and his mask then fell to the ice. As that was happening, Panarin banged home the rebound goal.
Obviously, while I would’ve rather this goal to stand, instead, I thought that the officials got this right.
That said, and as a Rangers’ historian (what an egotistical and elitist thing to say, but when Stan “THE MAVEN” Fischler bestows this honor upon you, then you don’t hide it) – when I saw this play unfold, then all I could think about were the goalies of yesteryear – and the many scars (and stitches) that these fearless maskless men, such as Terry Sawchuk, Chuck Rayner and you know the rest – had all over their faces.
Two straps on a bullet-proof mask get loose and all you have to do is toss your bucket on the ice in order to disallow a goal.
I can only imagine what the conversation is like in GOALIE HEAVEN these days!
I’m sure that Gump Worsley may have a word or two about “HOLTBYING” too!
In any event, I thought that the officials got this right because they did blow the whistle before Panarin scored and it’s all about the health of the players these days.
For all we knew, Skinner could have had a concussion – so you can’t be upset about the officials doing the humane thing – even if perhaps some pro wrestling “selling” was involved too.
But of course, when you lose by a final score of 4-3 – then yeah – this no-goal hurt.
But then again – giving up four unanswered is no recipe for success either.
It’s all relative.
And yep, as a result of this goal being waved off – Panarin’s home streak of thirteen consecutive games with a point netted was snapped tonight – but I doubt that Mark Messier (14) is celebrating as if he was a member of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
As the refs, and I’m not making this up, went to center ice on three separate occasions to tell us “NO GOAL;” the Rangers resumed their power-play. This time, Skinner, without a scratch on him, robbed Zibanejad.
While this was a good power-play, the score didn’t change either.
The Blueshirts had many other chances to go ahead following their man-advantage, as Skinner made a heck of a stop on JONNY HOCKEY with 16:30 remaining and then Nurse broke up a Panarin breakaway some forty-seconds later.
He took out his tissues and then sobbed when talking about the Rangers’ dominance over the Oilers.
(After the game? He used these tissues for a different self-gratifying activity.)
With 14:04 remaining, and the Oilers, still without a SOG in this second stanza yet; Bouchard slashed Trocheck.
The less said about this Rangers’ power-play the better – as it wasn’t any good. In fact, Quick made the best save during these two-minutes, as he ABSOLUTELY ROBBED Brown.
In other words, the first Oilers’ SOG of the period was a short-handed shot – and just like their final SOG of the first frame.
It was also at this point in the game where it was blatantly noticeable that the ice was horrendous.
Listen – I AM NOT MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE LOSS.
I am just saying what it is.
You had many Rangers, and a few Oilers too, just tripping left-and-right.
A multi-billion dollar organization, yet M$G ice continues to be ranked the worst in the league.
And this isn’t new either.
Again, and as a RANGERS’ HISTORIAN, throughout franchise history, and multiple venues and renovations too, there have been hundreds of players to complain about how bad the ice is at M$G.
Between the circus back then, and today, the Knicks and every other event hosted at M$G, the ice quality at the World’s Most Expensive Arena is routinely ranked dead-last in the league.
I’ve had a few members of the alumni personally tell me that they feel the bad ice costs the Rangers at least three games a season – and tonight felt like one of them.
Again, no excuses, as the Oilers played under the same conditions, but the Rangers failed on their power-plays because of bad ice, while also giving up two goals after tripping over phantom mines too.
Again – just sayin’.
Also just sayin’?
How many goals did McDavid and Draisaitl score tonight?
How were the Oilers goals scored tonight?
Out of a TV timeout, Kaplan interviewed Laviolette who when speaking about the Panarin no goal, said, “I wish Skinner’s mask didn’t fall off.”
Everyone in Rangerstown, USA concurred with the head coach.
But for ESPN, who treats these games like they are covering junior high badminton competitions – the non-stop production errors continued. This time, this interview aired while play was going on.
Down to 10:38 remaining, Bonino had Cuylle set-up for a back-door try, but the puck went wide.
It was also at this time where the Oilers were sitting on three SOG in their last thirty-minutes of game-time – and where two of them were short-handed.
That would soon change – and as Ferraro went into the Sam Rosen box of tricks.
Here were my live-tweets at this point in the game:
ESPN is in full Sam Rosen black magic voodoo get the other team a goal mode – really need #NYR to make it 2-0 before the Oil get a PP to make up for the two Ranger power-plays – Quick stops Nurse, 8:52 to go
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 23, 2023
And yep – here it is – the predicted Oiler PP with 8:45 to go. McLeod and Lindgren now going at it, Laf and Trocheck come to the ’23 McDonald Award winner’s defense. #NYR
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 23, 2023
I’d like to say that you can’t make this up – but of course – we’ve lived through this many times before.
With Ryan Lindgren now in the box for roughing; now starring for the Rangers for the rest of the period – Jonathan Quick.
Following Zibanejad and Kreider failing on a two-vs-one short-handed try, which could’ve put the team up 2-0; Quick then made four HIGH DANGER saves in order to maintain the Rangers’ lead.
To close the penalty kill, Bonino, like one of those old circus performers who would take a cannonball to the belly, stepped right in front of a Bouchard slap shot.
“YUGE, JERRY, YUGE!”
ESPN’s response – and this I am not making up either? The following:
ESPN celebrated the MILESTONE 39th anniversary of Ferraro’s first NHL goal – and really – then had the former Ranger talk about himself as if he was Sieve Vagistat on M$GN.
What this had to do with the game? I can’t answer that, but for whatever reason, ESPN was hellbent on presenting, “RAY FERRARO, THIS IS YOUR LIFE” all-night.
But I guess that I’ll add this: At least Ferraro was a great NHLer. Vagistat was the complete opposite.
But both stink on hockey broadcasts.
After Trocheck fell down again on the bad ice – and say it in the Jan Brady voice – “QUICK, QUICK, QUICK!” – even if M$G was chanting “QUICK-IE, QUICK-IE, QUICK-IE!” at the time.
With 3:43 remaining, Quick absolutely robbed Bouchard with a BESSIE save, as the cow flashed could have lit up the Empire State Building.
ESPN’s response? That freakin’ cuck, Bob Wischusen, used the word “shut-out.”
What an asshole – don’t these announcers have any respect for the unwritten rules of broadcasting?
And like clockwork, no less than a few seconds later (2:59 remaining), Bonino was boxed for holding McDavid – and I’m sure that Ferraro was jealous at the time of Bonino too.
This penalty kill, another four stops for #32 in Rangers’ blue, was all about the goalie:
QUICK-IE 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/KNvkyLUgiW
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) December 23, 2023
That save on Draisaitl – damn pal!
Again, and one last time – it’s just a shame that Wischusen had to jinx Quick – because really – it was the goalie that should have been the lede story tonight.
And Quick’s record should have read as 10-0-1 too.
I just hope that fans don’t forget these two PK’s because of the loss suffered.
Quick was that damn good – and another reason why the EYE TEST trumps all.
1-0, good guys, prior to the fall.
Here’s what I said at the time:
1-0, GOOD GUYS, after 40. 2P Thoughts:
— I really hope Wheeler’s goal stands as the GWG
— Quick is making everyone forget about 2014
— Wasn’t it a rule for announcers not say the “s-word” when a goalie is playing well, akin to not saying “no hitter” when a pitcher has gone…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 23, 2023
Since I have already pretty much recapped what happened during this final frame in the intro – and since not much good took place either – we can blow through these final twenty-minutes like a fastball from Roger Clemens.
— To open the period, Kaplan told us that she talked to Rangers’ assistant coach Dan Muse, and where Lavy’s consigliere confirmed my suspicions to her – the ice sucked. (And this is another example of Kaplan asking the right questions.)
— As Wischusen used the word “shut-out” again (douchebag), this is when Hyman got behind the Blueshirts’ second pair and pumped a puck up high past Quick.
— Following an Oilers’ o-zone faceoff win, a Kane shot deflected off of the stick of Schneider and right past Quick. 2-1, bad guys.
— Timeout Laviolette – but it didn’t change anything.
— Funny enough, out of the timeout, Ferraro said that Laviolette was furious. Of course, and despite seeing 789567567567856785 bench shots all broadcast – we didn’t see this one.
— In what had to really piss-off the head coach, with 14:00 remaining, Nurse “nursed” the puck behind his own net for about twenty-seconds – but it may as well have been a minute. Not one Ranger chased him, and as a result, it allowed the Oil to make a full line change.
— After the change, this is when the Mika line got burnt again, as this time Foegele scored from the slot.
— 3-1, bad guys, and the only real goal that you could question Quick about – although I wouldn’t question him myself.
— With the Rangers only having one SOG this period, come 10:08 remaining, this is when Miller tripped, Mika flamingoed and McLeod scored a rebound goal.
— 4-1, bad guys.
— For whatever reason, and he’s my buddy – but I don’t know why M$G had Dancin’ Larry do his thing after blowing a lead, getting their dicks kicked in a bit and now down by three goals. This is supposed to be happy dance, but instead, the Blueshirts were sitting shiva.
— As the Rangers sat on two SOG with about 6:30 remaining, Ferraro had to fight back tears of joy when trying to excuse this Blueshirts’ third period on the missing Kakko and Chytil. That’s a worse excuse than bad ice – as after all – the Rangers have been doing a whole lot of winning without these two pointless wonders.
— Now down to 5:53 remaining, Foegele hooked Mika.
— Kudos to Lavy – and I don’t care if you hate the strategy because I like it – he pulled Quick. After all, what’s the difference if you lose by three goals or four goals – unless you’re worried about the over-under – and as ESPN was.
— (Regular readers of this site know that I’ve been championing this practice, first accredited to Patrick Roy during his days in Denver, from day one.)
— And it worked – as following a crazy scramble at Skinner’s goalmouth – Zibanejad brought the Rangers within two. (I also wonder if this goal will be changed/credited to Lafreniere overnight, as I thought an Oiler skater touched the puck – and not Mika. But either way – same shit – 4-2, bad guys.)
— Following the goal, Lavy waited until there was 3:33 remaining before pulling Quick again.
— The positive? Despite having their net empty for five-minutes – the Rangers never allowed the empty netter. I know it’s a tiny thing, but I think that it is also worth mentioning.
— The negative? The Rangers never scored – that is – until Cuylle got one past a pissed-off Skinner with just .1 of a second remaining.
— 4-3, bad guys, 4-3, bad guys, your final.
Before going to Lavy’s post-interview, two funny things resulted after Cuylle’s goal:
1) The Rangers’ played their goal song as if they had won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Right after, and following a puck drop that neither the Rangers or Oilers even attempted to win – the Rangers’ porn-sounding losing song played. I can’t think of another time where both songs were played as quick as they were here.
2) ESPN went into full-blown Al Michaels mode and mentioned how the over-under was -6.5 goals – and courtesy of “ESPN BET.”
And some of you still believe that gambling doesn’t influence these games.
And yep – I can’t wait until the FCC steps in and eliminates all of this bullshit.
Here’s a Laviolette that was more angry about this effort than I was – but then again – it’s his job to push the right buttons while all I do is push a keyboard:
I think Laviolette said, “we had no juice” about as many times as Ferraro fondled himself to the Oilers tonight.
Up Next: The Rangers host the Sabres on Saturday night – and then – the Xmas break.
Prediction: A Blueshirts’ blowout of their 2018 WINTER CLASSIC RIVAL, as I believe that Laviolette’s words will be taken to heart.
And this too:
CZAR IGOR’s first shutout of the season.
See ya tomorrow night, ya filthy animals!
PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)
This past Wednesday night (12/20) our friends over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show” returned with a new episode. To check it out, click the play button below:
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 $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:
My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.
My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/
To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”
The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!
“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.
All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.
To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com
To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
NYR/TOR 12/19 Review: SUPERSHESTYMAN RETURNS IN RANGERS’ SPECTACULAR FIRST-PLACE TEAM-WIDE WIN! All Droughts, Slumps & “Schneids” Snapped, Lafreniere & Panarin Back on the Board; Three-Pointers for THE GUS BUS & Wheeler Too, Fantastic Fourth Line Continues to Roll, Quick Impact, Cuylle Disrespected By His Hometown; Expensive Tix, M$GN; Rosen in History & More
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
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