NYR/SJS 12/3 Review: The Bakery Is Open On Sundays! Breadman Bakes Hat Trick in the Rangers’ Latest “Find-A-Way” Victory; JONNY HOCKEY Maximizing His Minutes Too, MILLER TIME = GWG, Time for a “Breakaway” Coach, Cuylle Hand Luke, Conspiracy Theories, Fourth Line Beasts, M$GN, Kakko Who & More

On Sunday night, in the Rangers’ latest “Find-A-Way” victory, a 6-5 downing of David Quinn’s San Jose Sharks, “The Breadman,” HARTEMI Panarin, scored a hat trick – and for good measure – baked the game-winning assist too. While some people may harp on the fact that Jonathan Quick wasn’t at the height of his powers (but he still hasn’t lost a game in regulation yet – and as his 7-0-1 record will tell you), and while others may groan over the fact that the Blueshirts almost blew the game too – a win’s a win – and oh yeah – LAVY’S LOT also maintained their status as the best team in all of hockey today. I’ll take it!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. These Rangers refuse to lose.

For all of the 896677866976786786786 cliches that I use on this site, here’s another – “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!”

Oh wait – that cliche doesn’t really apply to tonight’s 6-5 victory over the last-place Sharks!

I am well aware that some people can never be happy, and as a result, will look to poke holes in the Rangers’ latest victory – but not me.

While yes, the Rangers went into cruise-control once attaining a 6-3 lead, and while yes, once again, they allowed a pair of quick goals against too; but either way you slice it – a win’s a win and that’s all that matters.

Furthermore, and if you include Saturday’s win in Nashville too, then if you were told that the Rangers would sweep another weekend of hockey – wouldn’t you have signed up for that?

For a team that’s struggled with back-to-back sets in the past, the Blueshirts are currently 4-0 under these conditions.

And unlike the last time (the Black Friday weekend), when the Rangers had short travel to Philadelphia and then returned home to host Boston – this time, the Blueshirts played a grueling game in Tennessee, had to fly back and land late in New York, and with less than a 24-hour turnaround – then went on to score a touchdown against the Sharks on a National Felony League Sunday.

If Panarin can continue his current performance throughout this 2023-24 campaign, then unlike the last time when he was up for the Hart Trophy (2019-20) – he’ll win it during this go-around. Photo Credit: NYR

For whatever reason, I had people telling me that tonight’s game was going to be – and cue the eerie and dramatic music – “A TRAP GAME!”

As mentioned earlier this season – I don’t think that people know what the textbook definition of “trap game” is.

I mean really, who were the Rangers looking ahead to? Tuesday’s game against the last-place Ottawa Senators?

If anything, then the game with the Senators is more of a “trap game” than Sunday night’s affair was – only because following that Tuesday night tilt – the Rangers get a mini three-day break, before resuming play on 12/9 in Washington, D.C.

For a team that’s recently had so many games jammed-in together, it’s my opinion that I think they are more looking forward to having some days off, rather than playing the freakin’ Senators!

If anything, then this game had more of a “scheduled loss” vibe than anything else.

(And I have previously explained on this site how no athlete, coach or general manager will ever publicly say these two-words, but there’s also a reason why that phrase exists.)

While I’m at the point where I don’t expect the Rangers to ever lose again, although I’m keenly aware it may happen one or two more times this season (yes, I’m joking – they won’t lose – ha!), the early stages of this game had that “aw shit” feel to it – but even so – and I guess that I can only convey how I felt – the ideas of “trap games” and “scheduled losses” never entered my mind.

Instead – and the black-and-white words printed on this site don’t lie – I just thought it was a matter of time before the Rangers regained their bearings.

After all – that’s what they do!

(And I’d never thought I’d be saying that about a Rangers’ team in my life!)

I don’t think that Rangers’ head coach Peter Laviolette was hugging his goalie after tonight’s win – but I also don’t think that Lavy forgets about how great Quick has been for him this season. This is my way of saying that I didn’t understand all of the disparaging comments that were sent my way – and both during and after the game. Furthermore, while yes, Quick did give up five goals tonight, and probably could’ve stopped at least two of them – it wasn’t like the Rangers’ defense was exactly the 1985 Chicago Bears either! Photo Credit: M$GN

After reversing some negative franchise trends on Saturday in the Music City; a day later, and now returned to the Big Apple – many of those happenstances returned for the Rangers.

The “ROSEN REVERSE CURSE” returned too – but more on this bumbling jinx in just a bit.

Since it always has to happen, former Ranger, Anthony Duclair, opened the scoring at just the 3:50 mark.

Of course.

Then again, perhaps the pending-UFA-to-be was just auditioning for a second-stint with the first team that he ever played for.

After all, this has worked out pretty well for Jimmy Vesey!

Panarin’s first goal of the game, a wicked wrister that no goalie would have ever been able to stop, and a power-play goal at that, tied the game.

But of course – negative trends die hard – and soon thereafter, another member of the alumni, this time Ryan Carpenter, regained the lead for his new team.

Fortunately, this would be the last lead that the Sharks held – and a lead that would soon be broken following Panarin’s second tally of the match.

Now tied at two goals a piece at the 12:55 mark of the first frame, about four-minutes later, there was JONNY HOCKEY, government name Jonny Brodzinski, setting up the go-ahead goal – and as scored by someone who surely needs more goals next to his name, D.J. MIKA.

The Rangers retained their 3-2 lead into the second stanza, but following a bullshit penalty called on Zibanejad himself – once again – the Blueshirts surrendered a last-second power-play goal to an opponent – where this time, “Don’t Call Me Ronald” Jacob MacDonald picked up the equalizer.

But for a team that never says die, they continued to live and play on.

Following a recent stretch where it feels like the Rangers are zero for their last 786567558585 million on breakaways; CUYLLE HAND LUKE (you may know him as Will Cuylle), pumped a puck past Sharks’ starter MacKenzie Blackwood while on a breakaway.

Come the final frame, Panarin picked-up his hat trick early (4:41 mark) and then assisted on a K’ANDRE THE GIANT goal.

With about seven-minutes remaining, the Blueshirts had doubled-up their lowly opponent to a tune of 6-3, and in turn, kind of celebrated that fact.

I know that many are making a big deal of the pair of goals that the Sharks scored late, as Fabian Zetterlund scored just prior to the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark, and then on the other side of it, a double-whammy of negative trends – Alexander Barabanov’s first of the season – and another instance of two quick goals allowed too – but when you’re as red-hot as the Rangers are – then, and like the birdbrain Mollie Walker likes to say, “who gives a shit?”

For me, I only give a shit about wins and losses!

But of course, it’s also easy to say this now following the Rangers’ victory!

A blown three-goal lead and then an eventual loss?

Granted, I would have been irked – but I would have also reminded you of my season-long daily disclaimer too, you know, this one:


I also would have brought up the standings too, where following this victory, they now read as such:

Let me stop you before you try to correct me – even had the Rangers lost this game – they still would’ve had the best winning percentage in the league, as they have played less games than both the Bruins and the Golden Knights. And hey – look at those fourteen wins in regulation too! Photo Credit: ESPN

At this time, let’s get into all of the pregame news and notes – where really – there’s not much, as the Rangers had played the night before.

(In case you missed it, my NYR/NSH review is here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/12223/ )

In fact, the biggest pregame story wound up becoming a big nothing burger.

Let’s roll.

In case you’re not keeping count (don’t worry – I am), then here’s a FYI fact for you: Following another two-assist game for Mr. Hockey, Brodzinski (4) now has more points than Kaapo Kakko (3) this season. JONNY HOCKEY picked up all four of his points this weekend too, while it took Kakko twenty games to “amass” his totals prior to his unfortunate injury. Just sayin’! Photo Credit: NYR

Early Sunday morning, just hours before the game, the Rangers tweeted/x’d the following:

At the time, you just wondered if any of the forwards were injured, as both Nick Bonino and Alexis Lafreniere took some big hits in Nashville. Perhaps they were sore and just needed a powder.

At the end of the day, this went nowhere and Blindh was then returned to Hartford following Sunday night’s win.

This now brings us to LAVY’S LOUNGE.

Lavy kept it cool, but wouldn’t reveal anything either during his pregame press conference.

Here’s what Lavy said prior to the game:

Obviously, everyone wanted to know about the recall of Blindh – or rather – which regular was hurt.

Lavy wouldn’t tell anyone anything, nor would he reveal his line-up either.

While I’m just saying it to note it – this was the first time during his tenure where Laviolette didn’t oblige the media with a clear-cut response.

And to be clear myself – I’m not blaming and/or criticizing him at all.

This was all understandable, as he had to wait until pregame warm-ups had concluded in order to assess the health of his players.

Come puck drop, Lavy’s line-up was revealed – and with one major change – JONNY HOCKEY on the first line and Blake Wheeler returned to the third line.

While I didn’t predict this change (but I was happy to hear/see it), I did get the rest of his line-up correct!

Here’s the Barry Horowitz (self-pat on the back) evidence – what I wrote last night on this site:

The Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere was reunited on Sunday. Ditto the Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick line.

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

(And despite what the media puts out there – this line is the first line. Trocheck’s game-high 23:43 TOI suggests as much. And if you’re wondering, Zibanejad logged 17:26.)

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Brodzinski

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Bonino/Wheeler

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider






The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





36 6 30 .833 27 2 1 0 0 57:59 0


28 5 23 .821 20 1 2 0 0 60:00 0

You know that the Rangers are on fire when they can overcome all of Sam “The Mush” Rosen’s never-ending reverse curses – and as they have been doing all-season!

Come 5:30PM, I tuned into the M$GN. A nanosecond later, I returned to the National Felony League Redzone channel, as Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t at M$G tonight. Sadly, Sieve Vagistat was there – and I feel bad for any Ranger fan who had to endure this jackass for thirty-minutes.

At around 5:58PM, I returned to the Rangers’ home channel, where once again, and this is about the fourth or fifth time in a time-span of two-weeks too – Bill “KIDS, WAIT UNTIL YOUR MOTHER GOES TO SLEEP AND THEN GO INTO HER PURSE AND GET HER CREDIT CARD NUMBERS” Pidto was joined at the Bud Light Bar with Alex “METH” Monaco and his friend, the Suge Knight doppleganger.

Despite the Rangers being favored at a whopping -430 (risk $430 to win $100 – and the highest that they’ve been favored this season too), these three jackals told M$GN viewers to bet their life savings on this game – but to be fair -they did mention that everyone should bet their life savings on this game “responsibly.”

Granted, while you would have won had you done so – but you wouldn’t have hit the -1.5 puck line that they were also promoting (Rangers to win by two or more goals).

While Pidto and his cronies laughed it up, and then told everyone to put everything that they own on this game; I’m sure that the people who bet the puck line tonight weren’t so happy after their favorite team had won.

And you thought that the Sharks’ fifth goal was meaningless in a Rangers’ victory.

Thanks Bill, Meth Man and your friend whose expert analysis was, “THEY RANGERS ARE FIRST. THE SHARKS ARE WORST!”

At 6:00PM (an hour earlier than usual), we went to Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti in the booth – where damn pal – Jumpin’ Joe needs to pull a Panarin and shave whatever that crap is that’s hanging onto dear life on his forehead.

Either that, or wear a rug like Rosen.

After Micheletti pretty much told us that Ryan Lindgren was the STEELY DAN of the Rangers (“Sam, Lindgren is known for his ‘Dirty Work’ Sam!”), our two hometown announcers then did their usual act where they fellate every member of the opposing roster, where on this night, Tomas Hertl, Anthony Duclair and Mackenzie Blackwood all received canker sores on their members.

Last but not least, my pregame prediction:

Well, I got the first period correct!


If you recall, then during the end of the “David Quinn Era” in New York, it was reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post that DQ and Panarin had a falling out. Keep this fact in mind as you read along. Photo Credit: Getty Images


While first line center Vincent Trocheck lost the first draw of the game – he didn’t lose that many more.

By the end of the night #16 (2 assists, +1), went 15-9 at the dots (62.5%) – and where if you can believe it – these impressive numbers actually decreased his league-leading faceoff stat percentage.

Ryan Lindgren, the hero against the Predators from the night before, attempted to score from the same spot as he did on Saturday, but his first shot attempt, which took place at the forty-second mark, was deflected away.


Speaking of defensemen shooting the puck; K’Andre Miller, on his first shift, shot the puck twice.

As just a general statement – once again, the fourth line was fantastic – or as Joe Micheletti would say, “FABULOUS,” all game.

These guys must’ve had about fifteen shifts together throughout the game, and where sans one of them – the bulk of their time was spent in the Sharks’ zone.

Put it this way: If the Rangers celebrated these guys like how the NFL awards a Thanksgiving Turkey to the winning team on T-Day, then all three of these players, Vesey, Pitlick and Goodrow, would have drum sticks up to their ears.

With 16:10 remaining, this is when THE FRESH PRINCE OF DUCLAIR scored.

This was a clean-cut breakaway goal, so it’s tough to hang Quick for this one.

This score was the end-result of some bad puck-luck for the Rangers, as during an elongated attack, a Trouba Bomb was stopped, and on the rebound, the Sharks’ got a good bounce.

Kyle Burroughs, the beneficiary of this bounce, then found Duclair off to the races and that was that.

1-0, bad guys.

And yep – and one last time – Duclair did have some extra pep in his step tonight. Perhaps he wanted to show off what he can do, as I’m sure that he’d love to play for a Stanley Cup contender (especially after last season, when he was a star for the Eastern Conference Champs, the Florida Panthers), rather than permanently hit the San Jose beaches come April.

With 14:11 remaining, the clown MacDonald viciously high-sticked Vesey in the face.

I know that the rule won’t change, but this was bad, as you could hear the thunderous blow of wood-meets-bone.

Seriously, you can accidentally nick someone in the lip, and as a result draw blood, which in turn, will earn you a four-minute time-out in the sin bin.

However, since this Babe Ruth sized swing didn’t draw blood – the Shark only had to swim to the box for two-minutes.

This Rangers’ power-play wasn’t any good, as perhaps in a tribute to their former head coach, David Quinn – they reverted to the fancy-pass stuff, where by the end of it – they didn’t register a SOG.

Furthermore, Vesey had to haul ass in order to prevent a Sharks’ short-handed goal too.

And let me be clear because I know that people like to twist my words around: I’m not criticizing the Rangers’ power-play here. I’m just telling you what it was. They’ve been so good lately, so if they want to look for the Harlem Globetrotter goal, then be my guest.

But in either event, this power-play was as “iconic” as those new John Ferguson 2.0 jerseys that Rosen would not stop yammering on about.

Just six-seconds after being returned to full-strength, the Rangers were back on the power-play, as Billy Eklund had hooked JONNY HOCKEY.

So for the new top-six forward, he was already drawing power-plays for his team.

Fifty-seconds later?

Panarin’s first of three:


This was a goal that only an elite goal scorer could score. The precision and wizardry of the wrists was a sight to be seen.

Of note: Fox picked up an assist on this strike, so he now has four-points in his last two games. Zibanejad also picked up an assist, so he now has a seven-game point-streak going.

Now under ten-minutes remaining, Quick came up with a pair of saves on Labanc and Carpenter.

Following that, Quick made a tough-and-tricky save off of a Sharks’ deflection, which then led to our first scrum of the game, as Trocheck wouldn’t oblige Smith whacking at his goalie.

Thankfully, no off-setting penalties were called here.

Game on!

With 7:39 remaining, the other half of the inevitable happened, as it was now time for the other former Ranger to score.

2-1, bad guys.

This goal, scored by “Gallant Guy” Ryan Carpenter, was a puck that Quick should have stopped, as the rubber bounced off of his glove and then into his net.

But Quick has been so hot this season that even despite his “RANGER KILLER” status, you can’t really rail on him for this goal allowed – unless those 2014 Stanley Cup memories run deep.

Speaking of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final – and my next transition too?

Sam and Joe extended a streak of their own tonight to eight – as during all eight starts that Quick has made this season – both announcers have reminded us of who won the Stanley Cup in 2014.

Give it a rest guys!

Following the goal, Sam and Joe then recited to us their “ODE TO DAVID QUINN – A SWAGGER OF A SONNET,” but their alleged poetry was soon broken up by “The Breadman.”

With 7:05 remaining, here’s Panarin’s second of three goals:

Lafreniere, who generated this attack, got the puck to his center. Trocheck then went for a wrap-around stuff-in try, but was denied. On the rebound, Panarin pumped in the puck, which at the time, tied him with Kreider for most goals on the team (14).


And oh, in case you’re wondering, the following:

In just a time-span of 4:01, Panarin, with his two goals, had now matched the combined goal total of Kakko and Chytil this season (29 games).


As you may be aware, Chris Kreider and John Tortorella weren’t exactly the best of friends during their time together in New York.

In fact, Torts, while perhaps trying to be motivating, was also disparaging of a then young CK20.

Ever since Torts’ May of 2013 dismissal – Kreider has absolutely beasted-and-feasted upon his former HC’s clubs.

You probably know this one – but do you know what Kreider did in November of 2013, when facing a Tortorella team (Vancouver) for the first time?

He scored a hat trick.

Ever since that game with a trio of goals next to his name, Kreider always seems to hit a higher gear whenever Torts is standing behind the other bench.

I only bring this up because I now wonder if Kreider is to Tortorella as Panarin is to Quinn.

While granted, Panarin has played against DQ’s Sharks in the past (and who can forget that brutal loss from last year?) – he did look like he had something to prove against his former head coach.

But of course, and to give you every side of the story – it was with DQ as his HC where Panarin finished second runner-up in the Hart Trophy voting.

And heck – this might not be an anti-DQ thing – as more likely – this is a Panarin wanting to win the Hart Trophy this year thing!

As we got a close-up of Lafreniere’s mustache, where he currently looks like a 1980s NYPD vice cop; Goodrow and Vesey almost connected for a goal with 5:30 remaining.

Then, and following both sides exchanging tries, the streaky Mika showed us signs of life:


This go-ahead score all started with JONNY HOCKEY, as the new #22 in town put the puck off of the glass, found Kreider hanging out in Gretzky’s Office – and BOOM – CK20 found his BFF one-foot off of the crease for the slam-dunk goal.

Now down to 2:28 remaining, Carpenter held Panarin, as he tried to prevent the hatty.

The Rangers reverted back to their fancy pass act, but at least they shot the puck this time. Unfortunately, Mika shot one puck wide and then broke his stick on another attempt.

But still, following the sluggish start – and where defense was most certainly optional – 3-2, GOOD GUYS, after twenty-minutes of play.

Here’s what I said at the time:

The Kings may have won the 2014 Stanley Cup, but the Rangers won their 2020 trade with their antagonists, when they traded away Lias “Crybaby” Andersson to LA for the right to draft Will Cuylle.


Following a very loosey-goosey first period, the two teams kind of buckled down here.

Then again, the Rangers almost scored ten-seconds in, but Blackwood was able to survive a Laf-to-Trocheck tip-try.

Down to 16:34 remaining, Quick stopped Ferraro – and where I was surprised that Sam Rosen didn’t say, “NO RELATION TO RAY JOE!”

Instead, it was at this moment in the game when Micheletti gave us a detailed description of Hertl’s recent battle with kidney stones.

Sam’s response?


(Okay, I’m lying – Sam didn’t really say that!)

As the two teams traded chances, and as the two goalies equally made some big stops; it was with 13:10 remaining when JQ32 had the save of the game – a MONSTROUS ROBBERY on Labanc that was so big (HOW BIG WAS IT?), that Micheletti screamed out the word “FABULOUS” three times in succession.

And Jumpin’ Joe was right.

Heck, this save of the game even led to feint “I-GOR” chants, where I’m to assume that muscle memory was the reason why!

With 12:43 remaining, our first of two displays of referee incompetence.

It was at this moment when Zibanejad was falsely alleged of tripping Hertl – despite no such evidence of an event.

Sadly, the old cliche of “PUCK DON’T LIE” didn’t apply here, as with just two-seconds remaining on the Rangers’ PK, Old MacDonald had a goal – BS, BS, OH (Joe)!

Quick had no chance on this goal, as Duclair had him screened like a solar eclipse.

It should also be mentioned that just ten-seconds prior to this 3-3 equalizer; Bonino was slashed during a short-handed breakaway.

Okay then.

Crazy enough – and at moments, this game did feel like a never-ending breakaway contest – with 9:44 remaining, and while on a breakaway, Lafreniere was tripped by Benning.

Now with a penalty shot and a chance to regain the lead – the first-overall pick didn’t go to his patented backhand move – as instead, he dragged it back to the forehand, which then led to a save for Blackwood.

Most fan reaction to this?


Of course, this reaction also came from the same people who previously said that Lafreniere had to shake it up and go to the forehand too!

Sometimes, you just can’t win!

End of the day, this was a chess-match type of a thing, as the league has Lafreniere’s backhand scouted, so he had to change it up. It didn’t work here, and as a result, we move on!

Down to 8:28 remaining, Ferraro cross-checked Cuylle into Blackwood. As a response, the officials, with their heads now removed from their five-holes – actually penalized Cuylle for goalie interference.

Livid Lavy was absolutely irate – and he sent some four-letter words towards the officials.

However, he didn’t accuse them of having “RABBIT EARS” – and as his peer on the other bench once did:

I still get a kick out of this! Photo Credit: M$GN

Unlike the first travesty of justice, this time, the Rangers’ penalty killers were able to overcome this act of incompetence exhibited against them.

Once returned to full-strength, JONNY HOCKEY, channeling his inner Vinni Lettieri, shot every puck possible and then asked questions later.

As both sides continued to press for the seventh goal of the contest, with 3:57 remaining, Cuylle scored the first breakaway goal in Rangers’ history – or so I’m led to believe:


What. A. Goal.

On this play, Trouba, from his own corner to the right of Quick, lofted a puck to an awaiting Bonino in the neutral zone. Bones then dished the puck to his winger – and boom – Cuylle was off to the races – and the puck went past the finish line too.

With the goal, the third-liner Will Cuylle (4) doubled the top-sixers, Kakko and Chytil, goal totals for the season.

Following another motor of a shift from the fourth line, and Lafreniere trying another one of his plays ripped from the Globetrotter playbook, we remained at 4-3, GOOD GUYS, as the period expired.

Here’s what I said at the time:

DID YOU KNOW: Of Miller’s four goals scored this season, three of them (75%), were game winners? The more you know! Photo Credit: NYR


As mentioned at the top of this, the Rangers doubled their lead – and then prematurely celebrated it.

But how can you get mad at these guys?

What annoyed me the most about this period wasn’t the temporary hope of life that the Rangers instilled into the Sharks.

Instead, what had my gears grinding the most was that bozo Sam Rosen, who for the love of the hockey gods, seems hellbent on cursing the Rangers.


To begin this period, Rosen said this again.


Then again, this is the same announcer, that when under ten-minutes remaining, and with a Ranger goalie having a no-no going, he’ll say, “OH JOE, THE BLUESHIRTS NETMINDER HAS A SHUTOUT GOING – AND OH WAIT JOE – IT’S GOAL FOR JACK HUGHES JOE! OH JOE OH JOE OH JOE!”

And of course, by the end of the frame, and with the Sharks looking for the equalizer, Sam sounded cocky (at least that’s how my red ears heard it), when he said, “OH JOE, WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT THE SHARKS AND COMEBACKS JOE? OH JOE, WHAT’S THAT THING ON YOUR FOREHEAD JOE?”

To open the period, Lafreniere forced two passes to Panarin – turnovers – but you could understand why. He wanted to get the man who restored his confidence the hat trick goal.

Then, and at just the 4:41 mark – it happened – a HAT TRICK for the Breadman:


A few things about this goal, but where of course, taking a two-goal lead at this moment was the most important thing that happened:

— You could see how bad Panarin wanted this.

— Due to the amount of hats that rained upon the ice, and as if they were part of a ticker-tape parade, we then had a six- or seven-minute delay.

— During the delay? You could not wipe off the smile on Panarin’s face, as he was beaming ear-to-ear, and with a smile so pearly white and electric that it could have powered the Empire State Building.

— While sure, every player who has ever scored a hat trick is always ecstatic – I just wondered if this particular hat trick for Artie was extra special – just because of who was the opposing coach.

— Speaking of hats, and the many-upon-many that covered nearly the whole sheet of ice – I was surprised with the sheer amount of hats that were thrown. After all, these head lids go for nearly $50-a-pop! Then again, when you’re paying nearly $250 for the right to just get through the door – then I guess you can afford to throw fifty bucks on the ice!

— Me? And maybe because I’m older and I’ve lived through it a few times over – the only way for me to throw a $50 hat on the ice these days is during a playoff game – a Stanley Cup Playoff Final game at that! (Make it happen this year guys!)

— But no joke – you would’ve thought it was free hat night with the volume of hats that were thrown. Hell, you could’ve left your seat, took a dump, bought a beer and then returned to your seat – and the M$G ice crew would have still been cleaning up all of these hats!

— Lastly? Despite the astronomical prices to attend these games (the days of my “STUBHUB TRICK” are long dead-and-buried – but I’m glad to have had them), it tells me that blue collar fans are going to these games (and yes – a Sunday night game against a shitty opponent is part of it) – as the corporate crowd does not wear hats. In other words, these were true blue Ranger fans celebrating like it was New Years’ Eve.

And oh – I guess Panarin didn’t hear any of that trap game or scheduled loss junk either!

Just to fast-forward a bit as it’s late, and I have to be up early tomorrow; Quick, and to his credit, made some big saves prior to the implosion.

And really, following the Panarin goal, everyone thought “GAME OVER,” despite there being over fifteen-minutes left to play.

Hell, about a minute after Panarin’s hat trick goal, Sam was already blowing the Ottawa Senators, as he was in “game over” mode too.


Following the fourth line doing their thing, with 9:15 remaining, Kreider started a new 0-fer-their-last-??? breakaway streak, as while on a breakaway – he hit the post.

Had he scored here, then he would have tied Panarin for most goals on the team (15).

All you can do is laugh, because after all, CK20 has been excellent this season.

That said, for all of the different coaches, specialists, training staff and everyone else collecting a paycheck from this team that this organization has under their roof – how about a breakaway coach?

I kid, I kid – or am I?

Following a long Sharks’ attack that the Rangers survived, with 6:56 to go – the fat lady had sung (HOW DARE YOU BODY SHAME FEMALES YOU SEXIST HEATHEN!) – or so we thought:

6-3, GOOD GUYS, as Miller joined the “ARTIE PARTY.”

For Panarin, it was a four-point game following this assist.

Heck, even Micheletti was all out of the word “FABULOUS” (he used it about 978678676696 times during the broadcast – his quota), as instead, he shrieked out, “FANTASTIC,” “MARVELOUS,” and “EXCELLENT!”

As everyone was popping bottles, with 5:22 remaining, Zetterlund scored what we thought at the time was an “excuse me” goal.

6-4, good guys.

I don’t even think that this goal registered to anyone at the time, as despite this score, everyone was still celebrating the assumed win.

But then Alexander Barabanov scored with 4:10 remaining – and of course – the 97856756768585685865th time in franchise history where a player scored their first goal of the season against the Blueshirts too.

6-5, good guys, and where if the Zetterlund goal didn’t make you flinch, then this goal most certainly did. Heck, not only was I flinching, but my ass cheeks were clenching too!

On this goal, the Rangers’ top line and second-pair collectively brain-farted. Barbanov was left all alone for the easy score, so you couldn’t really blame Quick for this one.

Following the red lamp going off, Laviolette wisely used his timeout.

The head coach displayed his cool demeanor and composure. There was no yelling or screaming.

Kind of like a good pro wrestling promo, Lavy addressed his team by making them hang on to his every last word.

It also said something that with the risk of blowing a three-goal lead, Lavy turned to his fourth line to do their Mariano Rivera act – and close the game.

Down to 2:01 remaining, and following a Rangers’ icing, DQ pulled his goalie – but didn’t take his timeout.

Quick continued to battle, and following another stoppage with 1:17 remaining, DQ took his timeout.

The final 1:17 was as torturous as watching the New York Jets attempt to play football, but by the end of it, the 6-5, GOOD GUYS, score held up as the final score.


Here’s a relieved Lavy (come to think of it – I’ve relieved myself in a few lavy’s during my lifetime too – and I needed a lavatory after this game to do an underwear check as well!), following his first-place team’s big win:

As you can imagine, the head coach praised all of his players – and especially Panarin and Brodzinski.

Laviolette, while of course not using the phrase “scheduled loss,” did bring up the crazy schedule that the Rangers are currently combating.

All in all, the Rangers prevailed and that’s all that matters.

Another matter for the other 31-teams in the league?

Whenever they see the Blueshirts on their dockets, do you know what they are saying now?

“Well, that’s a scheduled loss for us.”

I’m 99.9% sure that the Rangers are off tomorrow, but they will be flying to Ottawa, ON in preparation for Tuesday’s game.

Barring anything major breaking, I’ll be back Tuesday night.


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:

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

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

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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2 thoughts on “NYR/SJS 12/3 Review: The Bakery Is Open On Sundays! Breadman Bakes Hat Trick in the Rangers’ Latest “Find-A-Way” Victory; JONNY HOCKEY Maximizing His Minutes Too, MILLER TIME = GWG, Time for a “Breakaway” Coach, Cuylle Hand Luke, Conspiracy Theories, Fourth Line Beasts, M$GN, Kakko Who & More

  1. Sean – Of course former Rangers Anthony Duclair and Ryan Carpenter were bound to score against the Rangers in Madison Square Garden. You had a good joke about the Sharks dismal playoff prospects making it likely that Duclair will “permanently hit the San Jose beaches come April,” especially since THERE ARE NO SAN JOSE BEACHES! It’s an inland city that’s separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Santa Cruz Mountains. I just had to look at a map of California to make sure I got the joke.

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