NYR/NSH 12/2 Review: LAVY’S LINE BLENDER Produces a Four-Goal Concoction; Good Game in Nashville For the Eye-talians & Americans, The Non-Stop Hysteria Over Cash Grab Jerseys, Report Card, Quick Talks Allaire, Trocheck, Fox & Brodzinski Match Kakko’s Season Point Totals in Just One Period, “The Outsiders,” Diehard Jimmy Vesey Fan Susan Sarandon “Canceled” & More

Unlike the milk being consumed here by the Rangers’ Vincent Trocheck – and as depicted in another one of my horrible photoshops – I’m starting to think that Blueshirt backers are getting “spoiled.” On Saturday night, during the first period of the Rangers’ eventual 4-3 victory, all I saw and received were “GLOOM and DOOM” comments. If you didn’t know any better when reading such commentary, then you would have thought that the Rangers were floating in the toilet – and just like how the nuggets, aka the New York Islanders, currently are in the league’s standings. While sure, no one likes to lose and/or see the team play poorly – let’s not forget what the end game is here – the Stanley Cup Playoffs – as it’s not all about a December night out in the Music City.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. It may be repetitive, but who cares about that – “The Find-A-Way” Rangers won again – and during a “Blueshirt Underground Show” watch party too!

In Game 22 of their 82-game march to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Blueshirts found a new way to get it done – and where this time – they kind of turned the tables when doing so, and as a result – found themselves on the right side of some previous negative trends.

The Rangers, who were embarrassed by these Cats from Tennessee in the fourth game of the season on M$G ice (a putrid 4-1 loss – and the absolute worst loss of the season to boot), didn’t exactly start this game clawing for such a modicum of revenge.

In fact, the complete opposite, as they looked like frightened mice battling against these sabre-toothed cats.

No matter the team nor the sport – there’s always one bad team in every league that just has the number of a good team.

For these 2023-24 Rangers, the best team in the league, the poor team from Nashville has become such a nemesis.

Heck, over the years, these two teams have played some tightly contested games against each other, and where most of these games were decided by one-goal too – and as Saturday’s mid-afternoon, and then into the night, match was.

Prior to Saturday’s game, the Rangers had skated in 63 periods of hockey (not including overtime), and where arguably, their three worst periods of this young season thus far took place against the Predators.

Following the 64th period of regulation time hockey this season?

The Rangers, now trailing 2-0, had a new candidate emerge for “worst period of the season.”

The Blueshirts’ beat reporters would never ask this (and while I’m one of their biggest detractors – I don’t blame them in this instance), I had come up with this conspiracy theory/question following the first frame:

“Did the first-place Rangers, knowing how Nashville is a hell of a party city, and also with the knowledge that after this game with the Predators, that they’d be immediately flying out of town and back to New York for Sunday’s late matinee with the Sharks, enjoy themselves too much on Friday night?”

We’ll never get the answer to that question – or at least not anytime soon.

Whether or not multiple pops and belts were enjoyed at “Tootsies” on Friday night, or at any of the other millions of Honky Tonks on the Nashville mile-long strip of multiple-storied watering holes and clubs – either way – it no longer matters.

But similar to the “Vegas Flu” that hit the league during the 2017-18 season – and as if it was COVID-19 – the “Smashville Flu” has recently become a league pandemic too.

(The cure? Two Advils, a bottle of Pedialyte and plenty of bed rest!)

Down 2-0 and now in the locker room during the first intermission – Rangers’ bench boss, Peter Laviolette, “politely” let his team know that this effort wasn’t acceptable.

(All of the players in their post-game interviews confirmed as such, including Trouba, Trocheck and Brodzinski. And since the Rangers emerged victorious, all of their comments were said with both a smile and a laugh attached.)

While the head coach has hit the line blender before during this 2023-24 campaign (remember when the idiotic “TURK TRUTHERS” said that only former Rangers’ head coach Gerard Gallant employed such a strategy?) – he never hit it as early as he did on Saturday.

Similar to King Midas – Laviolette, head coach #37 in franchise history, has had the “Golden Touch.”

And just like the 1983 hit movie, “The Outsiders;” by the end of Saturday, the response Ranger fans had for their head coach was “Stay Gold Pony Boy!”

(I really forced this dated movie reference – but who doesn’t love C. Thomas Howell? Furthermore, who didn’t enjoy watching the devoted-and-noted Islander fan/Ranger hater, “The Karate Kid” himself, Ralph Maccio, dying at the end of “The Outsiders” too? And yes, you will only get these types of references on this site!)

I don’t know why “The Outsiders” is on my mind. Maybe it’s because the movie featured an all-star cast, while in the film, everyone stuck together and united as one? Sounds familiar these days in Rangerstown, USA, no?

While I’ll have the lines that Laviolette began the game with for you below in the LINE-UP segment; come the second stanza, and while still using his same defensive pairings, Lavy deployed these four lines:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Trocheck/Brodzinski

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Zibanejad/Kreider

THIRD LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Wheeler

FOURTH LINE: Cuylle/Bonino/Pitlick

What happened next?

At just the 31-second mark, Jacob Trouba cut the two-goal deficit in half, following a hell of a pass from Trocheck, who found his captain by his lonesome in front of the net while he himself was residing in “Gretzky’s Office.”

While the Rangers’ power-play would then allow a short-handed goal to Colton Sissons at the 7:28 mark; right after this poor power-play had expired – BOOM – there was Christopher JAMES Kreider to return the game to within a one-goal margin again – and of course – by cleaning up in front of the net.

The Rangers would get a chance to redeem themselves on the power-play at the 9:03 mark – and redeem themselves they did.

Just eight-seconds into this particular man-advantage – BOOM – there was Trocheck, for his third point of the period, this time via a goal, following a shot-pass from the team’s SECOND CENTER, Mika Zibanejad.

3-3 – and with the memories of the frail first period all but erased.

And oh yeah, with the goal, the Rangers found themselves on the right end of two things that have repeatedly betrayed them this season – and really – throughout their entire history.

The two things?

One, they had erased a two-goal deficit.

Two, they did so by scoring two goals in under thirty-seconds, nineteen-seconds to be exact, and where these quick back-to-back scores from the Americans (Kreider and Trocheck) felt like an anomaly!

Come the final frame, and with each side having three goals to their ledgers, one of the most unlikeliest Rangers went on to score the game-winning goal (and another American too) – and as Ryan Lindgren did at the 5:10 mark.

While Trocheck didn’t get his fourth point of the night on this goal, and as I’ll explain below in the GAME REVIEW – he was the catalyst in creating this goal – and one that CZAR IGOR, who had another shaky night in net, allowed to hold up as the game-winner.

The Rangers, now with the lead, never had it easy, as the Cats, now trailing for the first time in the contest, kept on clawing and scratching away.

No joke, come the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark – your asshole was in your throat.

It felt like time had slowed down – as these five-minutes felt as long as Sieve Vagistat talking about his bloody groin and homemade charts for the 987678968678968686th time on a M$GN broadcast.

Heck, it felt like Zack Morris calling a “timeout” in “Saved By the Bell.”

Remember this from the early 1990s? Sadly, all of my pop-culture references come from the last century – but most of my audience is 50+ anyway! Photo Credit: SBTB

At the end of the day, the Rangers survived everything that the Predators threw at them – and where JONNY HOCKEY, government name Jonny Brodzinski, bailed out his goaltender to maintain the lead.

Speaking of Mr. J. Hockey?

With his two assists tonight, the American recorded more assists in one game than Kaapo Kakko (1) did in his twenty games of “action.”

(The word “action” only applies here if you use the word to describe the Finn’s never-ending attempts to procreate with the boards!)

For Brodzinski, the captain of the ‘Pack – he doesn’t want to go back.

It’s up to him to make the most of this new-found “NEXT MAN UP” opportunity – and as he did Wednesday night against Detroit – and as he did so again in this 4-3 varsity squad win.

But alas, and this goes for both the people besmirching the Blueshirts in the first period, and the reveling-and-relishing Ranger fans following this game – we can’t forget about my season-long daily disclaimer either.

Say it with me:


The daily disclaimer aside – you can only play your next game on the schedule. The Rangers have been pretty, pretty, pretty good at that this season, and as a result, they are still on track to win the Presidents’ Trophy this season. (And no – I don’t care about that “curse” either!”) Photo Credit: ESPN

Despite everything written above – there’s still plenty of news, notes, and of course, the GAME REVIEW too, to get into.

Let’s get it all rolling, but first, a reminder:

In case you missed it, on Friday, I posted my 2023-24 New York Rangers Quarter-Pole Report Card.

To read it, click the link below:

The 2023-24 New York Rangers Quarter-Pole Report Card: The Most Impressive Report Card Yet! Detailed Grades & Reviews of Every Blueshirt, Thoughts at the 25% Mark of the Season, Pertinent League-Leading Stats, Laviolette, Drury & More

After images of the Rangers’ third jersey for the 2023-24 campaign first leaked a month ago; come Friday, the organization confirmed what the Blueshirts would be wearing for ten games this season. Photo Credit: NYR

I know that I can be redundant, repetitive and redundant (see what I did there?) – but what else can I say right now?

On Friday, the Rangers released images and video of their latest cash grab – the team’s third jersey for the 2023-24 season.

And yep, what I say every time whenever the Rangers release a third jersey still hasn’t changed, you know, the following:


But of course, I’m in the minority here, as whenever the Blueshirts release new threads – mass hysteria soon ensues.

Unlike yours truly, whose wardrobe primarily consists of Wrangler jeans, shoddy t-shirts and years-old Ranger hats – apparently everyone else in this fan base lives in the Fashion District.

Here’s the promotional video that the Rangers released, in their latest attempt to withdraw money from their personal ATMs (these jerseys, which cost about $10 to make, are going for $300 a pop on the team store’s website) – aka the fans:

Since you didn’t ask, and even if I don’t really care what the Rangers wear, here’s my favorite alternate jersey:

(And yes – I just wanted to plug Frank Boucher – whose number seven is long overdue to be hung from the rafters of M$G. I heard there is a book out there about this too!)

Should you be so ever psychotic, where you have to be there to see the Blueshirts wear these John Ferguson 2.0 jerseys, then you can visit https://www.nhl.com/rangers/tickets/thirds-schedule to find the ten-games where the Rangers will be wearing these cash-grabbers.

Of note: The Rangers will later be releasing a fourth jersey this season – for their outdoor game against the Islanders at Giants Stadium. After all – someone has to pay for James Dolan’s money-losing $phere in La$ Vega$ – and it sure as hell ain’t going to be him!

One last thing on this subject before moving on.

This is a bad photoshop. I repeat, this is a bad photoshop!

I don’t know if anyone else caught this, but in all of the Rangers’ marketing materials for these cash-grab jerseys, the phrase/slogan being used is “MADE FROM NEW YORK.”

Of course, these jerseys aren’t American-made.

Instead, they are made in lovely Vietnam:

While I understand that “MADE FROM NEW YORK” is meant to be inspirational and not to be taken literally – but even so, it does seem like false advertising – as rather than American men and women being paid to make these jerseys – instead, it’s a six-year old living in a fifty-person ten-square-feet straw hut in Vietnam.

Just sayin’.

And what’s so inspirational about being “Made From New York” these days anyway?

Are these jerseys made out of heroin needles, illegal migrant blood, and flyers from either side of the Israel vs Palestine conflict?

Do these jerseys also reek of pot and urine – and just like the streets outside of M$G smell like?

Just sayin’ – and now moving along!

During the past two-weeks on this site, and even during my Quarter-Pole Report Card blog, I told you that I wanted to know how much Rangers’ goaltending coach, Benoit Allaire, has impacted Jonathan Quick’s game. On Saturday morning, we got our answer. Photo Credit: Getty Images

While new part-time Rangers’ beat reporter Jonny Lazarus (The Hockey News needs to make him full-time – and send him out on the road) was going to interview Jonathan Quick either way – I will admit – I did ask him on the Tweeter X machine if he could ask Quick about Allaire’s impact.

After all, did you think that the two birdbrains of the beat, Mollie and Wince, would come up with such a pertinent question themselves?

Heck, all they will ask him about is food – and if he took any good pictures of his latest meal!

Another question that Mollie has asked Quick about 9867867868796 times?

Let me transcribe the Rangers’ resident hyena for you verbatim:


On Saturday morning, Lazarus posted his interview with Quick here: https://thehockeynews.com/nhl/new-york-rangers/new-york-rangers/simplifying-his-game-a-1-on-1-conversation-with-rangers-goaltender-jonathan-quick

While I’d suggest that you read the entire thing, here are the two biggest takeaways that I found:

Photo Credit: The Hockey News
Photo Credit: The Hockey News

Thank you to Mr. Lazarus for doing a good job – as that doesn’t happen often with this Rangers’ beat!

(And as I always say on this site: If I ever deem something to be negative, and as I do with the present state of the Rangers’ beat reporters, then I always want to give equal, if not more, attention and praise when I deem something to be positive. It’s only fair!)

Moving forward, and really, I mean come break-up day at the end of the season – I’d like to hear Quick reflect about his season under Allaire.

I just find this stuff interesting – and I believe that many of you do too.

(Plus, the more goalies who go on the record about Allaire, especially Hall of Fame ones, like Lundqvist, and a future HOF goalie, like Quick, can only help Allaire’s bid for the HOF.)

As far as 2014 goes, I mean what’s Quick supposed to say, “I should have let the Rangers win that series!”

I mean that would’ve been great – and my 32nd birthday would have been much better too (the Rangers lost Game 5 on 6/13/14 – and I’ll never forget it) – but that wasn’t going to happen either!

Next up on the docket, LAVY’S LOUNGE!

While I still believe that the only way to assess Laviolette and his team is by whatever they do in the playoffs; in the interim, he’s pressing every right button imaginable. That can’t be debated.

Following the win over the Wings on Wednesday; come Thursday, the team had the day off – and a well-deserved day off at that.

On Friday, the team reconvened at their training facility in Tarrytown, NY, where once again – no news was good news.

Following the promotional (paid sponsorship) tagline of “RISE AND SHINE SKATE,” Lavy conducted another episode of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here’s what he said on Friday:

Once done speaking to the media, LAVY’S LOT flew to Nashville – and where after watching Saturday’s first period – I’m to assume they enjoyed the tremendous nightlife that’s provided there once landed.

Come Saturday morning, and prior to Laviolette speaking to the media one last time before puck drop, the following was reported:

Congratulations to Laviolette and his staff on winning this “prestigious” award.

I’m not trying to be a hater here, as I’m just telling you what I think, but a “Coaching Staff of the Month” award, especially during the first two months of the season, just screams “PARTICIPATION TROPHY.”

Winning the Stanley Cup is the only thing that matters – and along the way – I hope that Laviolette wins a Jack Adams too!

But for all of the weekly and monthly awards that the NHL doles out?

It just lessens the value of all awards and trophies.

What’s next?


(Congratulations Brad Marchand!)

And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Speaking of stories, just one more and then we’ll get into the 4-3 win over the Preds.

If you don’t understand all of my Susan Sarandon and Jimmy Vesey references (and/or poor jokes), then check out the archives of this site and/or the free sample Jimmy Vesey chapter from my four-volume series, “Tricks of the Trade,” and which you can find here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/8822/

Noted diehard Rangers’ fan, and I think she still has her season tickets too, Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon, is in the news these days.

The Oscar Award winner, who is also known for both her affection for Jimmy Vesey and for saying “OH, OH, OH!” one-hundred times over during an NHL on NBC broadcast with the trusty Pierre McGuire by her side; the former squeeze of Andy Dufresne (even as I type out Tim Robbins’ character name from “Shawshank Redemption,” I’m reading and saying “Andy” in Morgan Freeman’s voice – and again – I already told you about my affinity for 1990s references!) made the front pages of the New York Post on Saturday:


I’m not going to get into politics here, because after all, you don’t care, nor want to hear what I think either – but I just found it comical how Sarandon spoke what she perceived to be her truth – only to then retract all of it once she was fired by her agents – and now – at the risk of being “canceled” too.

As someone who completely hates “cancel culture,” I do get a chuckle whenever these worms all start turning on each other.

More important than that?

I’m happy to report that my good friend, my sage, Stan Fischler, who is currently living in Israel (did Sarandon forget about him and people like him with her remarks?), while not out of the weeds, is doing much better – as the attacks and horror in his homeland are decreasing – but it’s not over yet.

Crazier than all of that?

He’s still penning his regular columns for both The Hockey News and NHL.com – and have I mentioned that he’s 91-years-old and living in an active war-zone?

Speaking of “THE MAVEN,” his autobiography, “Tales of Brooklyn,” is now in a second reprint.

You can buy it on Amazon.com

For more details, and my review of this amazing book, then check out: Tales of Brooklyn

Buy my books – and buy Stan’s latest too! I’m also happy to have an autographed copy of this humorous, yet informative, book. Photo Credit: Stan Fischler

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

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Wheeler

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

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:





27 4 23 .852 21 2 0 0 0 57:51 0


41 3 38 .927 33 5 0 0 0 60:00 0

Granted, while this is a pregame photo of the Bridgestone Arena from Saturday, this picture pretty much sums up the attendance too. Photo Credit: @Kiregct1 on Elon Musk’s app

Come 4PM, I tuned into the M$GN. A nanosecond later, and once it was revealed that Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t there but Sieve Vagistat was – I flipped back to the Georgia vs Alabama football game.

As previously written on this site in the past – I’ve been to Nashville to watch the Rangers play on three separate occasions.

For whatever reason, but I expect it’s to pump-up attendance and increase the city’s economy too; during the past few seasons (sans the 2020-21 COVID year), and ever since Nashville became “Vegas East” – the Rangers have played visitor in the Music City during either a late November or early December Saturday.

During all of my trips to Nashville – the arena was a legit sell-out – and full of Rangers’ blue too.

While this Saturday crowd was largely wearing Rangers’ blue – the arena was nowhere close to being at 100% capacity – and despite the club announcing a sell-out.

Of course, while perhaps every ticket was sold – the building was half empty – and as was evident by the bright yellow seats – and due to their cornea-wrecking ways – empty seats that only drew more attention to this fact.

(Holy dashes Batman!)

I’d reckon to guess that the turnstile count was about half of the 17,341 sell-out crowd that the Predators reported.

While I was wondering if the attendance figure was so low because of the Predators being in a state of a rebuild; I was later told that the Georgia v. Alabama game was a big reason in why the cavernous arena was so empty – as college football is king in the south.

Due to the college football game, rather than the usual 50/50 crowd between Ranger and Predator fans; today’s crowd make-up was about 50% Ranger fans, 45% empty seats and 5% New York transplants who now root for the home team.

Come 4:30PM, I returned to the M$GN, where Sam Rosen excitedly gave us the weather report.


Speaking of our affable announce duo, it looked like Joe Micheletti just got a hair cut, where much like the bright yellow empty seats accentuating the lack of attendance – Joe’s new hairdo only highlighted whatever that tuft of hair that is still left on his forehead.

During their brief pregame chat, where they verbally fellated every Predator on the roster, but never told us that Kevin Lankinen – and not “THE JUICE IS LOOSE” George Saros – was in net for the home team – we finally made our way to puck drop.


Today’s tilt marked Tyler Pitlick’s 400th NHL game, which is why he and his line took the opening faceoff. Photo Credit: NYR


Since it’s getting late (I went out after this game) and since this first frame, in a word, “SUCKED” – we can blow through most of these first twenty-minutes.

But if you want the complete play-by-play, then visit my Twitter/X page over at https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

To recap this period, it’s basically what I said at the top of this blog – the Rangers just looked flat – and I questioned if they were hungover from the night before.

And let me be clear – I have no knowledge of what they did on Friday night – but even if I had found out that they were partying like “The Rat Pack” (an even older reference than the other ones that I’ve made tonight) – then I wouldn’t have cared anyway.

Granted, perhaps I would have cared a bit had I paid and traveled to seen this game (when this period ended), but with the Rangers present standing as the best team in the league – then sure – go blow off some steam and have your fun.

You can’t be wound up tight all of the time. You need to be able to relax – and getting bombed with the boys is good for team chemistry too.

And yep – this is example number 98677895789577858656565 of how winning covers up and cures everything.

As Sam and Joe were gravely concerned about Tyson Barrie’s future in Nashville, CZAR IGOR had made a pair of saves by the 2:36 mark. This is when Sam told us, “GOOD PACE,” and then expressed his bewilderment about the nil-nil score.

Bless Sam’s heart.

As the period progressed, a never-ending cycle played out where the Rangers would turn over the puck in their own zone, CZAR IGOR would either make a save or the Preds would miss the net, and then rinse-wash-repeat.

Ryan O’Reilly ended the cycle at the Rey Mysterio 6:19 mark – and while his goal was officially assisted by Liam Foudy and Philip Tomasino – both unofficially and realistically – this goal was assisted by referee Gord Dwyer.

As the Rangers cleared the puck, the rubber took an errant bounce off of Dwyer’s skate, which then set up this particular Nashville odd-man rush, where at the end of it – ROR blew the puck right by CZAR IGOR.

Could have Shestyorkin made this save?

Probably – but only because we’ve seen him make these difficult saves before.

But to blame him for this goal allowed?

No way.

1-0, bad guys.

Following the goal, and in some useful information, Rosen told us that ROR had scored five goals in his last five games against CZAR IGOR.

Maybe ROR will be one of my next “Ranger Killers” in Volume II of that book series!

With 10:37 remaining, DJ MIKA, not particularly great tonight despite his one assist, was left all alone in front of goalie Kevin Lankinen.

The alleged goal scorer (fourth-liner Jimmy Vesey, with five goals, has as many goals as the man being paid ten-times as much as him), instead of shooting the puck – sailed the puck back to the blue line to god knows who – a turnover.

At around the half-way mark of the period, Brodzinski sent a puck wide (at least he shot the puck), where a giddy Rosen then gushed about how Peter Laviolette is a fan of country music. So rather than talking about what JONNY HOCKEY did, instead, Rosen told us about Lavy’s fandom for JOHNNY CASH.

Now under ten-minutes remaining, I tweeted/X’d out the following:

That’s what happened – but where of course – it was Trocheck who eventually stood tallest.

With 8:20 remaining, CZAR IGOR made four saves in rapid succession, as the Rangers just let shots bleed through.

Following the barrage of stops, Rosen was very proud that Nick Bonino was wearing neck protection – as this is a very big story amongst the beat reporters.

(Over time, and as mentioned before, I expect these neck guards to become mandatory – and where like helmets – the players of today will have a “grandfather clause” if they choose not to wear them.)

Down to 7:06 remaining, Lankinen, who pretty much could have had his thumb up his five-hole all period, stopped Lafreniere.

In a response, Sam told us that the Brad Park and Brian Leetch conversation that was held prior to Wednesday night’s game went well.

As said last year, when the Rangers held a similar forum with Mike Richter and Henrik Lundqvist – how come the M$GN doesn’t film and then air these conversations?

I mean, how many hours of Alex “The Meth Head” Monaco, his Suge Knight doppleganger friend and JB Smoove content do we need on this terrible network?

(And yep – when I’m talking so much about Sam and Joe – then it tells you how nothing good took place for the Rangers!)

With 5:45 remaining, Goodrow was questionably sent to the sin bin, when he was alleged of tripping Spencer “NO RELATION TO PETER AND PAUL JOE, AND OH JOE, HE SPELLS HIS NAME DIFFERENTLY TOO JOE!” Stastney. (Sam really said this.)

The Rangers’ penalty kill, and as it would be throughout these sixty-minutes, was B-R-U-T-A-L.

Officially, the PK went three of four tonight (75%), but the EYE TEST tells a different story.

Following Josi’s PPG with 4:08 remaining (2-0, bad guys); the Predators then hit the iron on their next three power-plays.

So very easily, the Preds could have put up a touchdown against CZAR IGOR.

But in a game of inches – their missed opportunities is a problem for their fans – and not for me!

As far as this goal allowed?

I never rag on goalies for giving up PPGs, but granted, this is a puck that CZAR IGOR should’ve stopped – and I say that as his biggest fan!

In fact, here’s what I said at the time:

While CZAR IGOR gave up one more goal – the spirit of my tweet/X-posting eventually came to the light – as #31 – and I admit that he did have a lot of luck and help from his teammates too – did settle down.

This game was also another example of what I’ve been telling you for some time too:

There’s a reason why since the start of their NHL careers, CZAR IGOR leads the league in one-goal games allowed and why his BFF, the Isles’ Ilya Sorokin, leads the league in shutouts.

In what was a dreadful period, CZAR IGOR almost scored on himself with twenty-seconds remaining, as a puck he was trying to leave for his defenseman got stuck in his glove. Fortunately, K’Andre Miller smacked the puck out of dodge and that was that.

2-0, bad guys, after twenty.

Here’s what I said at the time:

“Super Mario” Trocheck played like a “Peach” today. Photo Credit: Vincent Trocheck’s Instantgram


As noted earlier, during the intermission, Laviolette “kindly” reminded his team that it was time to play hockey.

Once hitting the line blender (and maybe going into the old gear bag of Don Murdoch too) – the Rangers were alive.

Thirty-one seconds into the period and boom – Trouba’s second goal of the season:

2-1, bad guys.

And go figure: In my report card blog, one of the reasons I said that I “only” gave Trouba an A rather than an A+, is because you’d like to see more goals out of him.

In Game 22, the first game of the next 25% of the schedule – and “THE GREAT EIGHT” has already matched his goal production from the first quarter of the campaign.

JONNY HOCKEY got his first assist of the season on this goal, but make no bones about it – this goal was all about Trocheck, where let me not forget this – THE FIRST LINE CENTER went 19-7 at the circles today (and mainly against a great faceoff center himself, in Nashville’s R.O.R.) for a game-high and whopping success rate of 73.1%.

The man is doing it all – and he didn’t take a bad penalty in this game either!

On this play, Trocheck went to 99’s office – and BOOM – even my beer-bellied fat ass could have scored this goal (but I’m not sure if Kakko could have).

Great pass, great execution and I was happy to see Trouba, who truly impacts every game that he plays in, get rewarded with a goal.

As Laviolette revealed his new lines, CZAR IGOR, who still looked iffy in net, fought off a shot from Schenn with 18:20 remaining.

A minute later, and the Rangers’ momentum was halted, as Lindgren was boxed for hooking Gustav Nyquist.

The Rangers survived this penalty kill – and also saw Kiefer “NO RELATION TO THE STICK MAKER JOE” Sherwood hit the crossbar.

Once back to full-strength, CZAR IGOR, who left his net and was caught out of position a few times in this game, did so once again with 14:52 remaining – but fortunately, the Predators couldn’t capitalize.

With 13:10 remaining, the Rangers received their first power-play of the game when Nashville, and like Vagistat’s bedroom – had too many men.

I kid, I kid! He’s not gay (and not that there is anything wrong with it – another 1990s reference, this time Seinfeld for you youngin’s) – he’s just annoying!

Zibanejad was completely awful on this power-play, so bad (“HOW BAD WAS HE?”) – that he didn’t even get a chance to miss the net on one of his one-timers to nowhere.

Following his second turnover on this power-play, Nashville’s PK made the Rangers pay – and as Colton Sissons did when he beat CZAR IGOR on a short-handed breakaway.

3-1, bad guys.

Rosen then informed us that the Rangers had now given up three short-handed goals this season, but neglected to tell us that two of them were of the empty-net variety. (Both goals were scored by Buffalo last Monday night.)

But all hope wasn’t lost.

Just two-seconds after the Rangers’ power-play had expired, and with the Blueshirts still controlling the puck – BOOM – Kreider’s team-leading 14th goal of the season – and a five-vs-five goal too:

3-2, bad guys.

Adam Fox, who if you can believe it, “quietly” had a three-assist game tonight, set-up this tally.

(Fox’s three assists also match Kakko’s point totals in twenty games. Just sayin’!)

Following a shot attempt from Trocheck, Kreider whacked the puck into the net and that’s all it took.

Just nine-seconds after the goal, Juuso Parssinen cowardly boarded Bonino.

The Rangers wasted no time when tying the game:


On this goal, Trocheck won the o-zone draw, Fox got the puck, fed it to Mika – and then #93 shot-passed the puck to an awaiting #16, and as a result, the two centers hooked up for a backhanded score.

In total, CZAR IGOR made 38 saves on 41 shots – and had three <DINGS> ring in his ears too.

At this point in the game, CZAR IGOR had 17 saves on 20 shots.

In other words, now in a tied game, and with the winner undecided – #31 then went perfect on his next 21 shots faced.

While you’d like to see the “THREE-GORE” chatter flame out; in any event, look at the goals that he gave up:

One was a power-play goal, one was a breakaway goal and the other was another clear-as-day look at him score, following a Rangers’ turnover (ROR’s opening goal).

And one more time – yes – CZAR IGOR had his luck and help from his team too – but when he had to make the save in crunch time – that’s what he did.

Following the Trocheck goal, his third point of the game (which meant that in just this second period, he totaled all of Kakko’s scoring production in his twenty games played), CZAR IGOR came up big.

With 6:18 remaining, Lindgren took his second penalty of the game, uncharacteristic of him, when he high-sticked Sherwood.

Right away, Filip Forsberg heard a DOUBLE DING, when his shot rattled off the post and then off the crossbar – but it didn’t land behind the goal line.

Whew Part I.

With thirty-seconds remaining on the Rangers’ PK – Sissons, from two-feet out and dead-center – fanned on his shot.

Whew Part II.

The Rangers had survived another penalty kill, where in a response, Rosen said, “GREAT PENALTY KILL JOE!”

The cardiac Rangers continued to create heart murmurs for their fans, as at the 2:00 warning, CZAR IGOR robbed Forsberg following another bad turnover.

Whew Part III.

Twenty-seconds later, Nyquist, and from just two mere inches away – missed the net.

(The “Whew” bit is now old.)

As Nashville continued their push, Trouba blocked a ROR shot with 1:15 remaining. A few seconds later, CZAR IGOR stopped Lauzon.

Finally, the period reached its conclusion – and where I question how white the underwear was in Rangerstown, USA once triple zeroes flashed.

3-3 through two periods.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Lindgren doesn’t score goals often, but when he does, they are game winners!


If the end of the second period didn’t require a EKG, then this final frame most certainly did.

After both Sam Rosen and John Giannone told us how “ICONIC” the new Ferguson 2.0 jerseys are – you know – jerseys that the Rangers have never worn before, and where furthermore, the originals were the most panned jerseys in all of franchise history; CZAR IGOR came up with another big save, just 56-seconds in, when he stoned Roman Josi.

The snake-bitten Braden Schneider had three chances to score in this period.

On his first chance, and with 18:20 remaining, he missed a GAPING net. In a response, Sherwood received a breakaway – and one that CZAR IGOR denied.

With 17:37 remaining, Will Cuylle was boxed as he had accidentally high-sticked Mike McCarron. This was the correct call.

Following a close-call with Josi, and a puck that hit a crossbar too – once again – the Rangers’ PK survived.

Once leaving the penalty box, Cuylle hauled ass and broke up a GAPING net try. If he wasn’t here for this, then Nashville most likely would have regained the lead.

Now down to 14:50 remaining, Lindgren’s first of the season, and “OH BABY!” was it memorable:

After JONNY HOCKEY got the puck to MR. NORRIS – Fox found Lindgren near the side-boards, penalty box side.

Lindgren then drifted towards the circle – and BOOM – ripped a shot.

Originally, it looked like the puck had caught a piece of Trocheck, but instead, it hit the skate of a Predator – a Predator that Trocheck brought to the crease, as #16 was boxing out his man as if he was Shaquille O’Neal in his prime.

So while Trocheck didn’t get the assist here – he sure as heck deserved one.

But either way – GOOD GOAL and more important than that – 4-3, GOOD GUYS.

Down to 13:30 left to play, Wheeler almost had a breakaway, but tripped over the blue line. I always hated when that happened to me when I played hockey in high school – and it happened often!

As the period ticked-ticked-ticked, it was wacky-and-wild hockey, as both teams had many chances, but between timely shot blocks and near-misses, neither team would score again.

As both teams battled, Schneider was absolutely robbed with 6:08 remaining, and then on the same shift, had a back-door pass to Panarin broken up.

Approaching 4:00 remaining, CZAR IGOR was on his belly and seemingly making his way out to the third row. Parsinnen was all over this – and with no sign of the goalie in net – JONNY HOCKEY prevented the equalizer.

After save #34 made on Captain Mac, former Ranger Ryan McDonagh, and save #35 made on R.O.R. with 3:13 remaining; it wasn’t until the two-minute warning when Preds’ bench boss, Andrew Brunette, pulled his goalie.

I said this at the time, so this isn’t a case of hindsight being 20/20 – I would’ve pulled the goalie earlier – as Nashville had an all-out attack going on – and one that perhaps could have led to a goal with an extra skater out there.

But alas – that’s another problem for Nashville fans – and not an issue for yours truly!

With Nashville’s net now empty, the slow-as-molasses Blake Wheeler tried to forecheck two Preds, which then allowed a 6 x 4 attack in the Rangers’ end.

Egads man.

The Predators were all over the Rangers here, like a monkey devouring a banana – but just like their previous three penalty kills – the Blueshirts survived.

With six-ticks to go, the Preds iced the puck, thus sealing the deal.

4-3, GOOD GUYS, your final.

While this wasn’t a good win for the Rangers – this was a bad loss for the Predators.

And hey – did anyone miss Kakko or Chytil tonight?

Here’s Laviolette after not being embarrassed by losing to a bad team:

There’s no rest for the weary, as the Rangers will host David Quinn’s last-place SWAGGER San Jose Sharks on Sunday at 6PM.

Of note – I hate games on National Felony League Sunday – especially whenever I’m still alive in a $60,000 knockout pool! (I’m 1 of 59 of an original 1,300 remaining – and I have two picks too! Cross your fingers!)

But alas, the Rangers always come first, which is my way of telling you that I’ll be back tomorrow night!

Of note: I’m interested to see what lines Lavy will use against the Sharks.

Gun to my head (and who would put a gun to my head over such tripe?), I think he goes back to his normal lines and for two reasons:

One, you gotta return Trocheck back with Panarin and Lafreniere. Two, the “new” fourth line was very sloppy during the pivotal moments of Saturday’s game.


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

My fourth title and tenth book is now available for preorder!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2023-24 New York Rangers Quarter-Pole Report Card: The Most Impressive Report Card Yet! Detailed Grades & Reviews of Every Blueshirt, Thoughts at the 25% Mark of the Season, Pertinent League-Leading Stats, Laviolette, Drury & More

NYR/DET 11/29 Review: BATTER UP! Jimmy Vesey’s Sultan of Swat Shot Wins It; Alexis Lafreniere Puts the Wooden Stake into Dracula Lalonde, Another “Find-A-Way” Victory, Ranger Traditions Never Die, “The Troo Troo Train” at “The Louvre,” Patrick Kane Doesn’t Have His “EDDIE” Moment, Who Missed Kakko, TNT/Kenny Albert, Quarter-Pole Report Card & More

LTIRangers: The Blueshirts Get Back Adam Fox From LITR; Kaapo Kakko & Filip Chytil Placed On It, Kakko’s Potential Season-Ending Injury Hurts Him More Than His Team, The Book of Kane Closed; Let The Book of Tarasenko Reopen, JONNY HOCKEY Hoping to Pull a GUS BUS, Corey Perry’s Alleged Affair & 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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