Gerard Gallant Gives His Most Interesting “TURK TALK” Yet; Full Recap, Alexis Lafreniere Demoted (And Why That’s Not a Bad Thing), “We Want To Win Games” and “Line-Up Sparks,” GG Joins Torts, AV & DQ In The Never-Ending Fan Overreaction Cycle; Herb Brooks Not So Much, Beat Reporters, NYR/Bolts & More

In perhaps Gerard Gallant’s most telling “TURK TALK” yet; on Wednesday, following Rangers’ practice and prior to the team boarding their flight to Tampa, the head coach didn’t hold back.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on I’m still trying to get over that loss to Washington, but as Gerard Gallant said on Wednesday, “we move on.”

Following the Rangers’ most listless loss of the season on Tuesday night, where nothing but the state of the goaltending looked right; a day later, Wednesday morning, the team reconvened for their first full practice post Christmas.

A lot took place at the practice – and as we’ll soon cover.

While I don’t find the loss to the Capitals to be a laughing, or in light of today’s news, should I say a “laffing” matter; at the same time, I did chuckle and slap my knee a few times when reading the reaction to all of it – reaction from both the clueless birdbrain beat reporters and some, not all, of the fan base too.

I know I’ve brought this up once or 986786678967896 times before, so I won’t go into reruns tonight – but yes, as fans, we currently have the worst crop of beat reporters to ever cover the team. It’s just the way it is.

Needless to say – the days of the chain-smoking, fedora wearing, gin chuggin’, codgy old-dodger newspaper people are long gone. Also no longer found is the once strong bond between the reporters and the players & the coaches that they cover.

(Back in the day, reporters used to travel with the team that they covered, where many long nights spent at bars, in hotels, on trains and later over time, on planes, forged close relationships.)

And heck, outside of the New York Post (whose business is now more digital than print) – newspapers are pretty much extinct too.

Rather than serious newspaper reporters fighting over scoops on a daily basis (which then boosted sales – and job security too); instead, the majority of today’s beat is made-up of young and inexperienced scribes, straight out of college, and who never have to worry about being “scooped.”

A job that once was break-neck and unique has now become ordinary and formulaic.

Seriously, just think about it – outside of Larry Brooks – what distinguishes one beat reporter from the next these days? Even their tweets are all the same!

Furthermore, it’s only the Hall of Fame Brooks who has an inside track to the team – a track so inside, that whenever the Rangers want to leak news (especially during player contract negotiations) – they immediately call 1-800-TY-Larry.

These days, or at least when it comes to American beat reporters (the same doesn’t exactly apply to our neighbors residing in the Great White North), all one has to do is sit through a few college classes, have a decent grasp of the English language and know how to transcribe audio into print form.

A bonus skill? Knowing how to copy and paste stats from analytical websites to suit a narrative.

After all – why write about you saw when you can have an analytical website do your work for you?

Of course, since the job has never been easier – the wages (adjusted for inflation) have never been lower either. (The abundance of online/digital media is a major factor.)

As we’ve seen, anyone can do this job – as long as they are willing to work for a little bit more than minimum wage.

(It’s also why most beat reporters want to get off of their respective beats too – they rather go national, via television, podcasts and/or other audio/visual mediums. Suffice to say, there’s more money in that – rather than writing three or four paragraphs for an ad, pop-up player and spyware laden website. And while traveling may sound fun – that daily grind gets old too – especially if you have a young family.)

So where am I going with all of this? After all, and as we all know – I’ve written these words before.

Simple, and as also brought up before – sans Brooks and a few others (Arthur Staple, Colin Stephenson and Dan Rosen); the rest of these beat reporters don’t know the history of the team they are paid to cover, nor know what hockey terms truly mean.

Sure, they know how to use these terms, since they’ve heard these words used by players and coaches – but do they comprehend them? I think not.

More times than not – they regurgitate and repeat – rather than understand and have a grasp of these terms and phrases.

Our latest example of this display was when during Rangers’ practice on Wednesday, Mollie “I Don’t Give a Shit” Walker compared Gallant to Herb Brooks for “bag-skating” the team.

Previously, Walker has stated that she’s a huge fan of the movie “Miracle.” (And it’s a great movie!)

Ever since 1980 and then the movie that followed in 2004; “bag-skate” (aka “Herbie”) has become a phrase somewhat exclusively attached to Brooks. (And I’d bet you that Walker isn’t aware that Brooks once coached the Rangers either! After all, if something took place prior to her existence – she don’t give a shit!)

Of course, the punishment now known as “bag-skating” (leave the pucks in the bag) is as old as the sport of hockey itself, where coaches previous to Brooks, such as Punch Imlach, Lester Patrick, Scotty Bowman and other multiple Hall of Famers all employed this practice.

Perhaps the most famous Rangers’ coach to ever bag-skate his players? Phil Watson, who after watching his team lose a terrible game – immediately bag-skated his players – and in front of the fans at the old M$G.

(Under the current rules of the NHL CBA of today – head coaches are prohibited from doing what “Fiery Phil” once did.)

And in case you didn’t know – the sport continues to evolve generation-by-generation – where needless to say – bag-skating isn’t what it used to be. Nor are the repercussions that once followed either.

After all – most of these players are millionaires and set for life – which wasn’t the case eras ago.

Long story short – yep, I got a kick out of Gallant asking his team to do conditioning drills being compared to Herb Brooks preparing his players for the Russians during the height of the Cold War.

Maybe Walker “didn’t give a shit” that day during history class!

It’s also a fact that doesn’t appear on either!

If you’re a regular reader of this site, then you know this to be true – I rarely get on head coaches. In fact, the last coach I truly wanted fired was Bryan Trottier – in 2002 – and that was twenty years ago! However, I’m in the minority here, and as I’ll soon explain. (And if I was alive during the late 1970s – I would’ve wanted both John Ferguson and Jean Guy Talbot canned too!)

While I’ll discuss some of the reaction to Gallant’s comments from today after covering what the head coach actually said; truth be told – I didn’t have one issue with what “The Turk” said and did today.

(And in the effort of full disclosure – I’m a fan of his – and tend to be biased toward head coaches. Just want to lay it all out for you!)

After that debacle from Tuesday night, “The Turkmaster General” should be riding his guys. He should be looking for answers. And as he said, he should “WANT TO WIN” too.

Had Gallant blown off the loss and just said, “eh, it was the holidays” – then I’d really be concerned.

If the players aren’t going to show any sense of urgency, then I’m glad that the head coach will.

Sadly, while both the players and the head coach can “move on,” I do sympathize for anyone who actually paid the insane prices to attend Tuesday’s game.

Furthermore, I truly feel bad for anyone who paid their hard-earned money to take a loved one to game, via a Christmas present and/or who took their child to their first game at M$G.

And wouldn’t it be something, if one owner in sports, following an absolutely inexcusable loss from their team – offered refunds to their paying customers/fans?

Not only could an owner afford to do this – but think of the good will and positive publicity they’d then receive?

For whatever minor drop-in-the-bucket loss that offering refunds would be for them – it would be worth it in the long run.

For the cost of what’s basically the equivalent of a league-wide commercial; I’m sure merchandise, ticket and concession sales would get a huge shot in the arm.

Pardon me for thinking outside of the box – and like a fan who’s ran several businesses before too!

Back to “The Turk.”

We’re back to the media and some fans accusing Gallant of “HATING THE KIDS” again. Yawn.

Prior to “bag-skating” his team on Wednesday; Gallant also revealed his hand on what line-up he might use on Thursday night in Tampa.

Here was Gallant’s latest:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Kakko

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Goodrow

THIRD LINE: Kravtsov/Chytil/Gauthier

FOURTH LINE: Lafreniere/Brodzinski/Vesey (Blais rotated in-and-out with Lafreniere).

Defensively and goaltending-wise – everything stayed the same, where Libor Hajek remains the lone healthy defensive scratch.

Obviously, since the millennial members of the beat are absolutely fixated and obsessed with the young players on the team (it makes you wonder if they should’ve been pitch-people for “Subway,” ala Jared Fogle – settle down – it’s a joke – and yes, a bad one at that), and where the idea of winning is secondary to them; Lafreniere’s “demotion” to the fourth line was the top story of Rangerstown, USA.

(My top story? Gallant wants to win! That’s all I care about – WINNING!)

Also interesting, although not as interesting as the interview itself? How the Rangers waited a while to upload this edition of “TURK TALK” – where during that time – they clipped/censored the near eight-minute chat.

I always find it to be a disservice whenever the team, or whoever is in charge of truncating these interviews, does this.

Unless Gallant is dropping f-bombs left-and-right – I think it just brings attention to the fact that the Rangers were trying to hide something.

And of course, this is stuff that’s rarely noticed – because you have to be a real diehard with no other interests to pick up on this!

At this time, let me share Gallant’s interview with you – then give you my thoughts & opinions on what he said.

Here was the “TURK TALK” from Wednesday:

To tie everything together – I’m hoping that Gallant goes off on Walker again, and as he did last year, when he told “Miss I Don’t Give a Shit” to “give the kid a break,” following Walker’s non-stop pestering questions about Gallant’s usage of Lafreniere.

To callback something I previously said during this blog – I don’t have a journalism degree.

In other words, I was never taught the art of “transcribing!”

All joking aside; Adam Rotter, of, always does a great job of covering these interviews – and more importantly – giving context to them too.

He doesn’t just tell you what was said in black-and-white – he also gives you color by providing context.

Since time is always an issue for me; let me pull a trick from the hat of the beat reporters – and go into “copy & paste” mode myself!

The following transcript of Gallant’s interview comes courtesy from

I have put Gallant’s words in italics. My thoughts and opinions follow each quote. Enjoy!

During the past calendar year, I think I’ve heard more speculation about Gallant’s relationships with young players, such as Kakko, Lafreniere and Kravtsov, than I’ve heard about you know – how in Year One, his team fell two wins shy of the Stanley Cup Final.

Looked like there was a lot of skating today, “yea, get rid of rest of that turkey dinner I guess (smile). Didn’t get rid of enough last night.”

MY THOUGHTS: Gallant was laughing about this, as he does have a low-key good sense of humor.

As a stable leader, there was no reason to scream and get angry over what’s already happened. He made sure his team “worked hard” (one of his favorite expressions) at the practice – and his actions spoke louder than these words.

How do you think practice went, “I thought it was great, really good, real happy with everything in practice today.”

MY THOUGHTS: This was just a follow-up to the previous question. It was nice to hear that Gallant thought he got a lot out of his players at the practice. We’ll see the results on Thursday.

How do you feel now about last night’s game now, “I felt a lot of the same things that I felt last night, but you gotta move past that. We were awful, we address that and hopefully we’ll play a lot better tomorrow in Tampa, we better. I’m sure we will.”

MY THOUGHTS: Gallant wasn’t hiding from what happened last night, but without saying verbatim one of his favorite quotes, “One Game at a Time” – that’s pretty much the message here.

Does the strong play before the break help you move on from last night, “I sure hope so. You are going to have bad games, we talk about that, it’s just disappointing…the game was a big game. We are playing Washington, they jumped ahead of us in the standings, you thought you’d get a better effort than we showed last night. Washington came in here with a perfect game plan, played hard, played solid and we just didn’t have any push-back. So that was frustrating, but we move on and get ready for the next one, tweak a few things and see where it goes.”

MY THOUGHTS: This is when Gallant said “move on,” where yet again – he wasn’t ignoring the disaster that had taken place the night before. Accountability my friends!

You want to see how they bounce back tomorrow, “and we’ve always done that, we’ve always bounced back. You have a tough game and everybody gets pissed off and you move on. There wasn’t much laughing and smiling out there today, but they worked hard and that is what you want.”

MY THOUGHTS: This is where Gallant said “worked hard” again.

If there’s any “lock bet” in Rangerstown, USA, then it’s “The Turk” saying “worked hard” no less than three times per interview!

Switching gears – you’d like to see this team “work hard” during games too. Again, last night was a mess.

On the line changes today, Honestly, I wouldn’t go by these lines right now. You know what I’m like, I could change things by the time I get down the hallway, but we’ll see what is going to happen. You could pick a lot of guys from last night and this morning of who is not going to play tomorrow. I don’t know who it’s going to be right now, but we’ll decide that in the next 24-hours.”

MY THOUGHTS: I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that Gallant changes his lines so much.

On one hand, he’s keeping his players accountable. On the other hand, it’s hard to get anything consistent going too.

However, I do know that I appreciate his sense of humor – and his self-awareness too – but if there’s anything you can accuse the head coach of “flip-flopping” over – then it’s his never-ending line changes.

After all, and no less than ten times this season, and even as recent as prior to the break; Gallant said he wants game-in and game-out regular lines.

Of course, perhaps his hand is forced too, where in addition, he does coach by gut instinct.

In other words, this is perhaps somewhat of a gray area, with no right or wrong answer – and I understand both sides of the coin.

Both Gallant’s critics and “The Turk’s” adoring fans have their valid points.

Is it surprising that you want to make line changes after one bad game, “It isn’t because I’ve been switching them quite a bit. It wasn’t two games where they were playing outstanding hockey, even in the ten game stretch there were a lot of different combinations. I don’t like that, but I want to try and find guys that will be consistent and play hard and play well together. You get a good game here, a good couple of periods there and that is what frustrates you as a coach. We’re better than that. I want guys to get opportunities. You see that three weeks ago we put The Kids with Mika and it went well for some games and then it tailed off real bad. It frustrates you as a coach, you want to give opportunities to people and sometimes they take it, sometimes they let it fall a little bit. My job is to win games, we’re not developing right now. We develop in practice, but we want to win games, we’re a good hockey team.”

MY THOUGHTS: There’s a lot to unpack here, where above all else, the following:

“My job is to win games, we’re not developing right now. We develop in practice, but we want to win games, we’re a good hockey team.”

That quote above is all that I want to hear. Print it out and put it in the locker room.

I know about the media’s fanaticism over the kids, and how younger/ANALytical fans think that any player over the age of 24 should be put out to pasture too; but wake-up call – not one Stanley Cup winning team has won without veterans on their roster.

While you do need one young player and/or a cheap veteran to over-perform to win the Cup in this salary-cap era; the silver is largely won by players, teams and cores that have battled-and-battled together – and through many wars to boot.

Need an example? Look no further to the two most recent champions, the Lightning and the Avalanche.

After many, and I mean many, failures, both teams finally reached the promised land. While there were breaks along the way too (every Cup winner gets breaks – it’s just the way it is); you have to be battle tested.

To just think you’re going to win the Cup by throwing out a bunch of players barely past the legal drinking age and that will get it done?

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s erroneous thinking.

Yes, I’m fully aware about “THE LETTER” from 2018, and what the contents of that document said; but once the Rangers brought Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin into the mix – the rebuild was over.

And let’s face it – the Rangers lucked their way into the first-overall pick of the 2020 NHL Draft too.

Simply stated – getting the rights to Lafreniere, the consensus first-overall pick of that draft, was never in the cards – with or without Steve McDonald’s badge in tow.

Truth be told, had the Blueshirts known they’d have that pick – I’m not so sure if the team would have retained Chris Kreider either – but more on both Kreider & Lafreniere to come. (And I’ve said this all before on this site.)

Bottom line? Gallant is here to win Stanley Cups – not develop players.

And for as much as some people don’t want to hear it – the NHL isn’t a development league either.

It wasn’t that long ago when Chris Kreider, now the longest-tenured Ranger on the team, was a “kid.” Back then, fans wanted CK20 to play over the veterans. Ten years later, these same fans want Kreider punted to the third line on a full-time basis – for a new crop of kids. As stated on this site before – it’s only a matter of time before these same fans want Lafreniere and Kakko’s ice time reduced – for a new batch of kids – Will Cuylle and Brennan Othmann. In addition, these same fans also wanted then head coach, John Tortorella, fired for not playing Kreider more. You’re now listening to that same junk today, in regards to Gallant’s usage of Lafreniere, Kakko and Kravtsov. What’s old is new again! It never ends! Photo Credit: NYR

Has it been in your mind that Kreider, Mika and Kakko were good together earlier in the season, “yea, that is a combination today from practice and we’ll probably give it a shot tomorrow, but I’m not sure of the other ones right now, honestly. We got here this morning and we had more problems to worry about than lines. We had a little meeting and showed some video and positive stuff…not from last night, but positive stuff to get them back on track and we had a good hard practice and that was the main concern. It wasn’t about the lines. Again, they might be that tomorrow, but I’m far from doing that. We’ll look at it on the airplane today and try and put some things together.”

MY THOUGHTS: While you can make a case for Barclay Goodrow; Kaapo Kakko is arguably the best right winger on the team. Of course, while Goodrow is consistent game-by-game – Kakko is not.

With Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad, the Rangers’ top 1-2 scoring punch, not doing much together (funny enough – not one question regarding Zibanejad’s eight-game goal drought was asked on Wednesday); I guess it makes sense to go back to the BFF’s, #93 and #20.

And this shouldn’t be lost either – when Kreider was teamed up with Trocheck and Vesey – that line had success. You can’t really say the same about “The Breadman” and “DJ Mika” – as they didn’t exactly bake, nor make music, together at even-strength.

What also shouldn’t be lost? Kreider is on pace to have the second-best statistical season of his career under Gallant, after setting career-highs last season.

Even if it was just during practice, do you think that the line changes could spark some guys, “I hope so, that is what it’s all about, playing hard, playing well, some guys may be a little frustrated or pissed off, but like I said, my job is to try and win hockey games, that is what we are trying to do.”

MY THOUGHTS: Gallant may have some “caveman blood” in him.

After all, and like Fred Flintstone – Gallant has been rubbing two twigs together all season, looking for such “sparks.”

My biggest takeaway here? Gallant reiterated that he’s here to win – nothing else.

Would you want to see Panarin and Trocheck again, “for sure. When you sit down in the summer and you’ve got your team and lines and you are saying, we want this to work and this to work and….like I said, we’ll see where it goes, but that is obviously a good pairing we’d like to have going….I think Kreider plays with Mika really well, we’ve seen that for a number of years and I want to get back to that.”

MY THOUGHTS: As mentioned numerous times on this site – Panarin and Trocheck don’t exactly have the same chemistry as Panarin and Strome once did.

However, I think most of us thought that it would take time to develop to begin with – but as the team approaches the half-way mark of the season – these two have been more like oil and water rather than peanut butter and jelly.

To be fair, does Panarin have chemistry with anyone this season? Most of his assists/points are of the secondary apple variety.

Conversely, when it comes to Trocheck, he was quickly able to develop chemistry with players such as Goodrow, Vesey and Goodrow when first put together with them.

And if that Patrick Kane trade ever happens, with the goal of giving Panarin a new player to have chemistry with – then they better become the new Rangers’ “Goal a Game” line.

That said, for a player being paid $11.6M, tops on the team – isn’t it his job to get others going, rather than vice-versa?

From time-to-time, we’ve seen flashes of brilliance from Lafreniere. However, unless you’re a total homer – #13 has been inconsistent and hasn’t played up to the status of a first-overall pick – yet. Photo Credit: NYR

Up next, the top story for some, Lafreniere:

  • Any reason for Lafreniere being moved down, “not really, no. I want him to be better, obviously. Laffy has gotten some chances to play with good people and he’s played well at times, but it’s inconsistency and, again, there was a bunch of them last night. Trust me, there were a bunch of them last night, so Laffy is getting maybe knocked down today in practice. Not saying he’s going to be there tomorrow, I don’t know where he’s going to be tomorrow, but sometimes its a wake up call for the kids and we’ll see. Again, we’ve only got one extra forward so we’ll see what we are going to do.”
  • <PAUSE>
  • So it’s about consistency with Lafreniere, “Yea…I want him to be better. He wants to be better and I want him to be better and you’ve got to be consistent more…but he’s not alone.”

MY THOUGHTS: Similar to the “KULT OF KRAVTSOV,” or really, any other player still mastering the art of shaving – there were a lot of tears being shed in the streets of Rangerstown, USA over Gallant’s decision to “demote” Lafreniere – where I have the word “demote” in quotes – because I doubt this will last long.

In my eyes, and for as “douchey” as this may sound – I usually tend to think like and/or agree with “The Turk.” When I heard him speak about this, I completely took this as a “learning lesson,” nothing more, nothing less.

I have no problem with Lafreniere going down to the fourth line for one, two or a handful of games.

It’s not my goal tonight to do a full examination and dissertation on “The Life and Times of Lafreniere,” as #13 now nears 200 NHL games played. (Thursday night, assuming he plays, will be his 172nd career game.)

That said – I don’t think the word “disappointing” is unfair to use when describing the first-overall pick.

Yes, we all know about both his unorthodox start (the pandemic) and situation (Kreider and Panarin on the team) – but in any event – he’s not exactly taking over games either.

Sure, he has a highlight reel play every once and again – but for both a head coach and a team in WIN NOW mode – consistency, and not a flashy play once in a while, is key.

In my opinion, and similar to any other player on the team – every player has to be accountable – and the head coach has to answer to 22 or 23 players – not just one.

If Kreider can be demoted, if Goodrow can be tossed around all over the line-up, if players like Ryan Reaves, Julien Gauthier, Sammy Blais and others can all take a powder in the press box – then Lafreniere needs to be held accountable too.

This is a meritocracy – not a dictatorship.

As said last night – you had to check the box score to confirm that Lafreniere had even played. And as Gallant also said – Lafreniere wasn’t the only player with that issue.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t care if Gallant even scratches Lafreniere for a game or two. It’s not the end of the world to watch the game from above. It’s a learning experience. And it’s not like this move is permanent either.

End of the day? Sometimes, you just need a breather.

I know that many are up-in-arms about this decision, but not me.

Also not me? Suggesting that Gallant has some sort of vendetta against Lafreniere, or any other player for that matter.

The Rangers’ power-play, one of their biggest strengths from last season, hasn’t exactly lit up the lamps during this campaign. Currently, the Blueshirts’ power-play is ranked in the bottom half of the league, 17th overall, with a success rate of 21.9%. To compare, the Oilers, the top power-play of the league, are clicking at 32.3%. Photo Credit: NYR

Last but not least, another favorite subject – the “power-less play.”

When the PP is clicking what do you see, “The opposite of last night (smile). Last night we were sloppy and not too often we are sloppy and even the shots we were getting through weren’t threats. They are usually threats, Mika’s shots, but it seemed like there was no net-front screen, the crispness of the passes wasn’t there. It just looked sloppy and we still had our set ups and some looks, but not near as dangerous as other games. Even when we don’t score in other games, we hit goal posts and get good chances and last night it just looked like it was out of sync.”

Are there any bad habits the PP can fall into, “we gotta shoot the puck. When it’s good, Foxy shoots a couple of pucks, you get some deflections in front of the net, and then it opens up the side plays for Mika and Bread. You just can’t go to the same two plays all the time and expect they are going to work. You have to do the little things in front of the net and battle and…what is it? 22%? It’s not a bad number, but with that talent we should be better than that and we know that. Sure, they hit some goal posts, but you gotta put the puck in the net and that is the bottom line.”

Would adding a lefty shot to the PP give you a different threat, “No, not worried about that, these guys are too good to put somebody else in there right now.”

MY THOUGHTS: Again, I’m a “IN TURK WE TRUST” flag-bearer; but I do find it somewhat “hypocritical” (maybe not the best word – but you know what I mean), that Gallant has no problem shaking up his lines game-by-game (and in-game too) – but has his power-play units etched in cement.

Even a minor thing, like swapping Jacob Trouba from the PP2 unit for Braden Schneider (or maybe even K’Andre Miller), would be worth a look in my eyes.

However, I do get it – the Rangers have a first power-play unit that runs them nearly $50M – and that figure doesn’t include CZAR IGOR’s salary, who you can’t ignore either.

After all, how many outlet passes does #31 make, thus keeping the PP1 unit on the ice for extended stretches, during each two-man advantage?

At the same time – player contracts is an issue for the general manager to be concerned about – and not the head coach.

I know that it would be hard for Gallant to give Panarin or Mika a temporary time-out; but during these games where Mika’s predictable one-timer goes everywhere but into the net, while Panarin just refuses to shoot – would it be the end of the world to get a look at a southpaw, such as Chytil, Lafreniere and/or Kakko?

(And for you Kravtsov lovers – sure, throw his name into the mix too! I never thought I’d say that!)

Again – I’m not there. I’m not with the team 24/7. I don’t know this team like Gallant does. I also don’t have the first clue of coaching an NHL team either. I’ve never done it before.

And despite what others may think – your skill level on the EA Sports’ NHL video game series doesn’t make you a coach (nor a g.m.) either!

That said, by looking at just the facts and what Gallant has said & done – if changing the forward line-up is thought to give the team a spark – wouldn’t changing the power-play units also provide such a hypothetical spark too?

It wasn’t that long ago when many fans were elated with Alain Vigneault – only to turn on him quickly thereafter – the Ranger fan way! Photo Credit: NYR

Just a few parting thoughts before going home here, and yep this too – I didn’t expect to write a blog tonight, much less go this long!

And I would’ve went longer, but as you know – that damn 5AM train I have to catch tomorrow morning!

As is always the case whenever Gallant is thought to have “punished” a young player (and where the word “accountable” is never suggested by these fans – that word is exclusively applied to veterans only in order to suit that narrative) – these millennials, young fans and chart boys are all doing the “FIRE GALLANT” stuff again.

You know – the coach who they formerly wet their pants over once the previous coach they once liked and then turned on, David Quinn, was fired.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying that I’m above having my favorites and strong view-points either (just check the archives of this site!); but I tend not to overreact either. I’ve seen it before.

And as an “Official Rangers’ Historian,” the highest compliment that Stan “The Maven” Fischler has ever bestowed upon me – I am acutely aware of the Blueshirts’ past too!

Ever since the rise of “The Social Media Era,” which also coincides with “The Salary Cap Era;” I have found most of these fans to be hypocritical – and 100% of the time.

Whether they are influenced by a clueless birdbrain beat of reporters or what – it just amazes me how fast these fans turn on coaches. It’s always the head coach’s fault – never the players!

During this Rangers’ era of social media; whether it was John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault, David Quinn and now Gerard Gallant (again – who brought the team two wins away from the Stanley Cup Final last year) – these fans must think that every head coach needs to go 82-0.

Furthermore, for fans who want “consistency,” these fans also don’t want a consistent coach either. In fact, these fans scream “FIRE [Insert Coach Here]” as frequently as they scream, “MA, MEAT LOAF!”

I also get a huge laugh that these are mainly the same people who also scream, and until they are the blue in the face for that matter, “PLAY THE KIDS!”

While I’ve made a few cracks tonight about that remark; I haven’t mentioned yet that none of this once applied to Henrik Lundqvist, nor his contract either.

When Cam Talbot, Antti Raanta and Alexandar Georgiev were out-playing Lundqvist, and for 1/8th the money – not a peep. Instead, these fans focused on the usual – fourth liners and their favorite target – defensemen.

And when CZAR IGOR was wasting time in Hartford – not a word (although I had plenty to say!) about #31 being called-up either. What happened to PLAY THE KIDS?”

Whether it was Rick Nash, Dan Girardi or Marc Staal back then, or Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba today – the cycle goes on-and-on – the Rangers’ fan way!

And it won’t be long until these same fans are screaming the same about whoever the Rangers draft in 2026 – “old-timers,” Cuylle and Othmann, be damned!

Win or lose on Thursday night, there’s one thing I don’t want to see – the officials swinging the game – and as they have recently done.

The Lightning, who will be looking to avenge their season-opening loss to the Rangers (10/11), in what was arguably the Blueshirts’ best sixty-minute game of the season; the current reigning-and-defending three-time Eastern Conference Champions won on Wednesday night, when they housed the Habs by a final score of 4-1.

In other words, the Rangers are catching the Bolts on the second half of a back-to-back set, and where the recent two-time Cup champs shouldn’t be in a “pissed-off” type of a way.

It should also be mentioned that the best goalie of his generation, Andrei Vasilevskiy, played on Wednesday.

While #88 is not adverse to playing on back-to-back nights, maybe he gets the night off.

Then again, I can’t see “The Big Cat” not wanting a rematch with the goalie currently challenging him for the distinction of best goalie in the league today, CZAR IGOR.

While every game is big – for the Rangers, they need to get back on track. Thursday night in Tampa will be interesting.

See ya tomorrow night.


The hardcover version of my first book, available now at

My first 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:

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: – “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 and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

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

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

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

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

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit

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

NYR/WSH 12/27 Review: Blueshirts Bomb in One Of Their Most Dreadful Games Yet; Gallant Calls Game “Garbage;” All-Around Stinkeroo; Refs Ridiculous Too, Mika Drought Up To Eight, No Baked Cookies from Breadman, 0-5 Powerless Play, Gauthier’s Alleged Affair with the Wife of an NHL Official, Igor & Ilya, M$GN Hearts Ovi & More

The New York Rangers Christmas Gift Wish List: One or Two Presents For Every Player, Coach, Fan and the General Manager Too!

NYR/NYI 12/22 Review: A Merry X-Mas at The World’s Most Expensive Arena; Rangers Reverse Igor’s Isles’ Curse, Triple G at M$G: Goody Got It, Gauthier The Great & Gallant’s Tinkering Works (Again), Kakko’s “Disney Finnish”/Christmas Miracle on 34th Street, Stocking Full of Iron, Missing Mika, Nauseating M$GN, The Ovi vs Crosby Debate & More

If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my new four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”

If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on

For more details, check out:

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey

@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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4 thoughts on “Gerard Gallant Gives His Most Interesting “TURK TALK” Yet; Full Recap, Alexis Lafreniere Demoted (And Why That’s Not a Bad Thing), “We Want To Win Games” and “Line-Up Sparks,” GG Joins Torts, AV & DQ In The Never-Ending Fan Overreaction Cycle; Herb Brooks Not So Much, Beat Reporters, NYR/Bolts & More

  1. You know who did offer a full refund and in Madison Square Garden too? John Cougar Mellencamp. At a show we were at (probably 12/6/1985) he started off with severe audio problems for the first couple songs. He then realized what was going on, said they would stop and let the technicians fix it. About 30 minutes later when repairs were done, he came out and said anyone who wanted a full refund could get their money back. He then played a full show, no audio problems.

    1. Thanks for telling me that – I wasn’t aware. I know that pro wrestling and UFC offer refunds when main events are changed, but when it comes to sports – I’ve never seen an owner take a chance on this marketing/business idea. I’m also glad that you picked up on this.

  2. Thanks Sean, as hard to move on from the Capitals game I feel you have put it to bed. Hoping for a better effort here on Fl not really a Lightning fan, although my wife is, makes some interesting viewing times. LGR!

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