Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Burn the tape.
It was a loss as horrific as the Rangers’ 6-2 loss was to the Ottawa Senators from Tuesday night where my season-long daily disclaimer is most soothing, you know, these following words that have appeared on this site every day throughout this 2023-24 campaign:
“WHATEVER THE RANGERS DO IN THE REGULAR SEASON DOESN’T MATTER. THEY CAN ONLY BE JUDGED BY WHATEVER THEY DO IN THE 2024 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS!”
Equally as soothing?
Despite being molly-whopped and embarrassed by the last-place Senators, this graphic:
On Sunday night (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/12223/ ), I once again brought up the debate of “trap games” vs “scheduled losses.”
While I’d never consider a bad defeat to a last-place team as a “scheduled loss” – I do wonder, and as said then, and as I’m saying again now – if tonight’s 6-2 Senators’ smashing of the Blueshirts was a “trap game” for Lavy’s Lot.
After all, and following the team playing so many games in a such a short amount of time (and let’s not forget that the Rangers have won nearly all of them too), the dam was due to break.
It’s an 82-game grind – and every team in the league experiences several bad losses throughout the course of any given season.
But of course, while what I’m saying here is true – this fact also doesn’t help, nor alleviate any pain either, for any New Yorker who paid boffo bucks, between travel, hotels and a game ticket, in order to attend this match.
However, and should you be one of the many who did leave your humble abode and attended tonight’s tilt – then if it makes you feel any better – I’ve been through this experience many times over throughout the course of my fandom – and even during this season too! (I attended Game 2 of the season, the video review replay loss in Columbus.)
With three-days off following Tuesday night’s loss, I suspect that the fatigued Blueshirts (and let’s not also forget that the Rangers are without one-third of their projected top-six forwards too – and despite how horrible both Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko were before each player was respectively placed on the LTIR) were looking forward to some “R&R.”
Am I making excuses?
But even so – these guys are human beings – and not robots as many would proclaim.
Put it this way Part I: Are you always on your “A-Game” in your line of work?
Put it this way Part II: How do you perform at your job on the day right before a three-day holiday weekend?
(My two answers? Hell no and like shit – and where much like the Rangers in Ottawa on Tuesday night – I try to leave my workplace as early as possible too! Ditto for my now former boss, the recently retired and “great” Eddie S.!)
Granted, if the Rangers were currently scratching-and-clawing their paws for a playoff berth right now, rather than being atop of the league as they presently stand – then yeah – I’d be fuming after watching tonight’s torturous tilt.
As the old cliche goes, “winning changes everything.”
And since they have been winning, where during their historic victorious ways, they’ve built a comfortable lead in the standings – then I believe that you have to brush aside this loss and move on.
So while yes – the Blueshirts played and lost their worst game of the season on Tuesday night – and there’s no denying that (sorry Game 4 against Nashville – you’ve been dethroned of this “honor”) – I also can’t fake outrage right now.
All you can do is move on, and where let’s face it – come the Spring – is anyone going to remember any of these losses to the bad teams (a Rangers’ trademark, ETA 1926), the non-playoff bound squads such as Ottawa, Nashville, Minnesota and Buffalo?
Heck, and assuming that you will-and-still care about what the Rangers did in the regular season come the playoffs – then you’re most likely to remember all of the big wins, including the victories over Boston, Carolina, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Philly – and you also won’t forget about that five-game sweep during the Western Canadian road-trip either.
In other words, to harp over this lone loss to Ottawa is silly – and as my season-long disclaimer would suggest.
While we’ll get into all of the Rangers’ individual performances from Tuesday night during the GAME REVIEW; obviously, the most concerning Blueshirt right now is the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner, CZAR IGOR.
A lot of what I said during my “Quarter-Pole Report Card” (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rcqp23/ ), and even in my other GAME REVIEWS too, played out once again tonight.
Whether or not CZAR IGOR is 100% – I don’t know – and it’s not like the Rangers would say if he was still trying to overcome from his most recent groin injury anyway.
Perhaps as a DAY ONE CZAR IGOR FAN BOY (regular readers already know this, and for new readers – I was clamoring for CZAR IGOR’s arrival in 2017), I’m making excuses right now.
But at the same time, I think I’ve been fair in my assessment of his season thus far.
After all, how many times have I brought up Shestyorkin’s lack of shutouts this season (and really, his whole career) – and especially whenever comparing him to his BFF, the Isles’ Ilya Sorokin – who has led the league in shutouts ever since these two comrades made their NHL debuts?
(No joke – I think that I bring up the Igor vs Ilya stuff as much as Phil Mushnick of the New York Post brings up the NFL’s Super Bowl half-time show! And don’t get him started on “guerrilla warfare” either!)
While sure, the Rangers’ porous defense did the CZAR no favors – it’s not like Shestyorkin was that super either.
And really, it is this fact that stings yours truly the most:
Another back-up goalie, this time the Sens’ Anton Forsberg, outplayed the alleged top goalie in the league.
And I didn’t even bring up how Forsberg, a cap-hit of $2,750,000 this season, makes less than half of what CZAR IGOR is making ($5,666,667).
(I figured that I had to mention this, only because of my previous stuff in regards to Henrik Lundqvist’s contract. But of course, CZAR IGOR also doesn’t take up 13.22% of the Rangers’ salary cap either – nor is he even close to being the highest-paid player on the team too. Players such as Artemi Panarin ($11.6M), Adam Fox ($9.5M), Mika Zibanejad ($8.5M), Jacob Trouba ($8M), and Chris Kreider ($6.5M) are paid considerably more than their goaltender.)
While it’s too early to etch such a statement in stone – it does feel like a little bit of “Lundqvist Deja Vu” right now for Mr. Shestyorkin.
When Lundqvist was at the height of his powers, the team in front of him was not. When the team in front of him were playing at their best, Lundqvist was not.
From day one of CZAR IGOR’s career, and then throughout his 2021-22 Vezina Trophy season, he had carried the team – and where this no needs no full explanation – he had a much more talented staff to work with than most of the teams that Lundqvist had during his era.
Between injuries, a new child at home, scouting and whatever else; there’s been some slippage in Shestyorkin’s game.
Granted, CZAR IGOR had set the bar so high that we now expect super-human efforts from him on a daily basis; but even so, stuff that we never saw before, such as bad rebounds, stick-smashes, turnovers, horrendous goals allowed and now after tonight – goals off of his back too – are now commonplace.
(Again – I take no joy in writing any of this – but since some of you called me out – and you’re right – I do have to address this issue.)
While I do believe that he’ll eventually work out all of his kinks, while also hoping that he’ll save his best for when it matters the most, the playoffs – the Vezina winner has kind of looked average this season – which is fine for most goalies – but not for him.
For a goalie who has largely propped up the team in front of him from day one – it’s now the other away around – and where all of that “THREE-GORE” chatter is growing louder-and-louder by the day.
Again – while defense wasn’t just optional tonight- it was barely there to begin with; CZAR IGOR gave up the first goal of the game, via a tip, to Sens’ captain Brady Tkachuk.
As the first period was marching towards its conclusion – one of my “RANGER KILLERS” from my new book, the former-Flyer-turned-Senator Claude Giroux, absolutely embarrassed our favorite goalie with a puck off of his back.
In a way, this Giroux goal reminded me of the goal that Sidney Crosby once scored off of the back of Lundqvist’s helmet.
Trailing 2-0 to start the middle frame, but with time remaining on a leftover power-play, HARTEMI Panarin, because who else (do you really expect Zibanejad to do any heavy lifting against any team that’s not wearing the Philadelphia orange-and-black these days?), put the biscuit in the basket at just the thirty-nine second mark.
Now down 2-1, and having seen this movie many times over this season – you were just expecting the Rangers to comeback – or at least I did.
After all, that’s all they’ve been doing this season, but sadly, and in an anomaly – that’s not what happened on Tuesday night.
No less than five-minutes after “The Breadman” had the cut the deficit in half – boom – former Ranger (and everyone knew that this would happen), Tarasenko himself, absolutely rifled a puck past CZAR IGOR.
3-1, bad guys.
But to their credit, this “never-say-die” Rangers’ team didn’t go down without a fight – and this figurative remark is meant to be taken literally too!
Just 22-seconds after Tarasenko returned the two-goal lead for the home team – boom – some MILLER TIME – and in a rarity too – as Miller’s fifth goal of the season WASN’T a game-winning goal. Prior to this score, 75% of his goals had been game-winners.
But that was it for the Rangers, as this would be their last goal scored in the game.
Soon thereafter, Tarasenko, whose goal did hold up as the game-winner, then assisted on a Drake Batherson insurance goal. Brady Tkachuk, who received first-star honors tonight, beat CZAR IGOR again.
By the end of forty-minutes, the Sens were up 5-2 – but even trailing by three prior to the start of the third – you never felt like it was time to throw in the towel either.
When was it (Arnold Skaaland) “towel throwing time?”
When the Blueshirts couldn’t score on an extended 5 x 3 power-play during the early stages of the final frame.
A dirty head-hunting hit, as committed by Dominik Kubalik on Braden Schneider, which the referees ignored (more on these bozos during the GAME REVIEW), led “THE GUS BUS” into mowing down the cowardly Senator.
But of course, since this league doesn’t believe in concussions, nor CTE either, it was Gustafsson who received a penalty for defending his teammate – while Kubalik wasn’t penalized at all for trying to send Schneider to “Chytil’s Condo” – aka – the Concussion Spotter’s Dark Room.
(And to be clear: I’m not blaming the refs for this loss – I’m just saying that they were terrible again.)
As Laviolette had done earlier this season (the loss to Dallas); down three goals, and with over four-minutes remaining – he threw the NHL’s version of the “Hail Mary” by pulling CZAR IGOR.
Who else but Vladimir Tarasenko to derail the last ditch attempt, as it was the former (and maybe future) Ranger scoring the empty net goal.
6-2 bad guys, 6-2 bad guys, your final – and where it wasn’t the final score that hurt you so bad, nor was it Igor’s lackluster showing in net that hurt you as much either – but it was the horrible M$GN broadcast that did you in the most.
(And yes, I probably could hit the PUBLISH button on this blog right now – but since the Rangers are off for the next three days, I figured that I’d give this game the full “BLOG TREATMENT” – while trying to illicit a laugh or two from you too!)
At this time, let’s get into the quick pregame news and notes and then into the GAME REVIEW itself.
Following the back-to-back wins over the weekend (at Nashville and against San Jose), come Monday – the team had the day off from the ice – but not from the air.
Come Tuesday morning, and now safely arrived in Ottawa, the team held another one of their sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” morning skates.
Once the light sweat was complete, the head coach spoke to the media:
I guess the “biggest” thing to note is that Laviolette gave an injury report – but where of course – nothing was really gained.
As he had said recently, the bench boss once again stated that Filip Chytil continues to skate on his own.
When it comes to Kaapo Kakko, and the dumb idea that he’s skating on his own (Mollie is just awful at her job), Lavy gave the birdbrain beat reporter a sharp “no” in a response.
As far as anything else, Laviolette was very complimentary towards JONNY HOCKEY and then brought up that this wasn’t your typical call-up-an-AHLer-and-make-him-your-twelfth-forward kind of a deal.
The head coach also reiterated that Jonny Brodzinski is not just a kid, and further than that – was the top scorer in the AHL prior to his recall.
Laviolette said that he felt that #22 is a perfect fit for the BFF line, #93 and #20, and that until proven otherwise, then Brodzinski will continue to skate with Zibanejad and Kreider.
Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the twenty-fourth game of this 2023-24 season:
FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere
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
STARTER: CZAR IGOR
HEALTHY SCRATCH: Jones
LONG TERM INJURED RESERVE: Chytil and Kakko
BOX SCORE time.
The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:
Without a shadow of a doubt – and this means a lot coming from me – THIS WAS THE ABSOLUTE WORST M$GN BROADCAST OF THE SEASON.
Not even “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, could save the sorry sack of clowns that he now calls co-workers.
Prior to tonight’s broadcast, one that had Jim Gordon and Bill Chadwick still been alive to witness, then both men would have fought over who could get to the shotgun first; I tweeted out the following:
As mentioned on the site on Sunday, if any game could be a “trap game,” then it’s this game against Ottawa. After all, the #NYR finally get a three-day mini-vacation following it and I’m sure they are looking forward to that!
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 5, 2023
Come 6:30PM, that annoying feckless freak, Sieve Vagistat, said that this game against the Senators could be a “trap game” – but not because of the mini-break – but instead, because the Rangers were going to play Laviolette’s former team, the Capitals, in Washington, this Saturday.
So according to this seven-foot pile of feces – the Rangers were more focused on a game to be played four nights from now than they were for tonight’s game.
Maybe the Sieve Vagistat moniker is too nice. Perhaps I should start calling him Ray Todd instead.
Lundqvist, and for the 956675675685658th time on this site – yes I’m surprised that he’s an EYE TEST guy and that he largely says what I say on this site too (coincidence, as I’m not suggesting that he’s “lifting” from me or anything as ridiculous as a Vagistat chart), said what I’ve been saying for some time now:
Other teams around the league have the Rangers circled on their calendar, and as a result, try to give it their best shot against the Blueshirts – the current litmus test team of the NHL.
And in a way, that’s kind of what happened in this 6-2 loss.
Vagistat, who had to cut-off Lundqvist at any chance that he could, brought up how Jonathan Quick has seven wins this season.
Not mentioned? How Quick (7) now has half of Vagistat’s career win totals with the Rangers (14).
And yep – I don’t remember any of Vagistat’s fourteen wins either, but then again, and when it comes to Rangers’ history – no contracted back-up goalie played less games under their starter than Vagistat.
When talking about Ottawa, Lundqvist echoed a common opinion from the summer – many expected the Senators to contend for a playoff spot.
Sam and Joe would never forget what Lundqvist said here.
As John Giannone pretty much called Vladimir Tarasenko every name in the book, and then told us how much he sucked this season too (which is when you knew that “THE TANK” was going to have a monstrous game tonight); the sell-out then told every kid to poison their parents, steal their credit cards and then bet on every game in the league tonight.
I wonder if Giannone gives his own kids (and maybe his grandkids too) such advice?
After all, “WE ARE ALL CAESARS!”
(And what a slogan too! Does this mean that our best friend will one day stab us in the back? Then again, this broadcast, and these relentless gambling ads, most certainly do!)
Et tu M$GN.
This complete moron, Vagistat, then told us that Mika Zibanejad was going to have a revenge game against his former team tonight, despite you know – Zibanejad, now in Year 8 with the Rangers, having spent more time in New York than he ever did in Ottawa.
And as you can deduce – the last time that DJ MIKA donned a Senator jersey was during the 2015-16 season – where as a result – he’s played his former club dozens-and-dozens of times over already (including in the 2017 playoffs) – yet according to Mr. Vagistat – TONIGHT WAS THE NIGHT FOR A ZIBANEJAD REVENGE GAME!
Seriously, who does Vagistat have pictures of in order to maintain his job?
He’s not qualified and as mentioned numerous times before – there’s a reason why he’s one of the few M$GN employees to not have a national gig – and there’s also a reason why no other broadcast in this league plugs his shitty little analytical company either.
Simply put: Everyone else in the league realizes that he’s nothing but a bullshit con artist – and with a hell of an ego to boot.
And no joke – Vagistat, and as he’d later do with CZAR IGOR – actually compared his crappy NHL career of 46-games to Zibanejad’s career – a career now approaching 800 games played.
If that wasn’t enough to make you throw-up out of your five-hole, then Vagistat started talking about his wonderful AHL career and how Jonny Brodzinski should take note of it.
Giannone, in on the act, then tried to compare Vagistat’s career to Lundqvist’s Hall of Fame career.
I’m not making this up, and worse than that – Giannone was actually being serious when making such a false equivalency.
For good measure, Giannone then reminded the kids to bludgeon their grandparents to death and to use the inheritance money netted to bet on tonight’s game.
Giannone didn’t say “PROMO CODE: REFUND” after tonight’s loss.
RIP Grandma and Grampa!
After being tortured by Vagistat and John “KIDS, KNOCK OVER YOUR LOCAL BANK” Monotone; come 7PM, we went to Kanata, ON, where the Ottawa Senators call home.
For the next three-hours, Sam and Joe made you wonder how fast you could get from your couch to Kanata – and where once there – then duct tape their fat Father Finkin’ mouths.
These two, and this really started a few years back with the Hurricanes, continued to relentlessly fawn over a Rangers’ opponent – and where at one point – I’m surprised that these two senile old coots didn’t throw their underwear on the ice like a woman at a Tom Jones concert.
Do these two jackals think that any Ranger fan wants to hear them get down on their hands-and-knees and fellate every member of the opposing team, as if they were gay porn stars in a gang bang (“OH JOE, PRIDE NIGHT JOE, OUR GOOD FRIENDS IN THE METROSEXUAL COMMUNITY JOE!”) – and especially whenever the Blueshirts are getting beat up on the scoreboard?
Listen Sam – STFU!
No one gives two poos who is related to who, how many brothers a player has, who their first grade teacher was, and how an opposing player had been cold – until playing the Rangers!
Someone needs to Old Yeller this old man – and then get Kenny Albert in that seat, PRONTO!
While occasionally, Rosen still has his fastball – tonight – it felt like he threw 1,000,000 Roger Clemens’ fastballs at your noggin’.
And I do question Rosen’s brain power these days too – as the more and more I listen to the one-time legend – he reminds me of Junior Soprano during the final season of “The Sopranos.”
Speaking of Junior Soprano?
“SIEVE VAGISTAT NEVER HAD THE MAKINGS OF A VARSITY ATHLETE!”
Of note: This is just a taste of my venom for this brutal broadcast tonight.
You’ll get all of the venom below, as it’s now time for the GAME REVIEW.
Prior to puck drop, Sam and Joe spent their entire pregame minutes by pulling their pants down, exposing their small peckers (it was cold and snowy, so I’m sure that shrinkage was a factor) – and then furiously rubbed themselves bone-dry when talking about Tim Stutzle, Brady Tkachuk, Vladimir Tarasenko, Claude Giroux, and tonight’s starter for the Senators, Anton Forsberg.
What happened next?
All of these players got on the scoresheet – while also having the best individual games of their seasons.
Every SAMMY WHAMMY and ROSEN REVERSE CURSE hit tonight – and where by the end of the game – I was hoping that the border police wouldn’t let Sam and Joe clear customs.
Seriously, leave them in Ontario – and deport Vagistat back to his home province too!
Not one word in praise for the first-place Rangers was dared to be uttered from the mouths of these two senile heathens – and two lost souls who must’ve forgot who signs their paychecks.
“OH JOE, I JUST BUMPED INTO TEX RICKARD THE OTHER DAY JOE! HE SAID HE’D GIVE US A RAISE IF WE ACTUALLY TALKED ABOUT THE RANGERS ON THE NETWORK!”
“Sam, that’s FABULOUS! But who is Tex Rickard? And what are the Rangers? Let’s go Sens!”
“OH JOE, THE SILVER SEVEN AND THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, NO RELATION JOE!”
Zibanejad (4-7 at the circles tonight and I believe a season-low 36.4% too), lost the first draw of the game.
I have no clue why this line started, so maybe Vagistat was onto something about D.J. MIKA wanting to show up his former team from the last decade.
It should be noted that the Miller/Trouba pairing began this game too – and since the media wouldn’t ask this, I was left wondering – did Laviolette want to give Panarin and Fox as much time as possible together?
Conspiracy theory? Maybe, but since only birdbrain Mollie was there on behalf of the Blueshirts’ beat – this question was never asked. (Apparently, no one wants to go to Ottawa – and having been there three times myself – I get it!)
But I do love Kemptville, Ontario! (Hello Frankie, Bridget and Brian!)
In what’s pretty ironic and somewhat comical, but in a tragic way; is that the first-minute of this period featured two scoring chances, one for either side, but after that – mainly nothing but defense.
Come the second period?
Twenty minutes that would have sent any goalie to the psych ward – and maybe that’s where M$GN found the worthless Vagistat when they first hired this m.r.
After Wheeler went wide with 18:05 remaining, Parker “Lewis Can’t Lose” Kelly roughed-up Schneider with a hit. In hindsight, Schneider seemed to get hit a lot tonight, where I guess in a response, Ryan Lindgren said, “thanks kid, I needed a break from being targeted!”
It was also at this time when Micheletti mentioned that Lafreniere’s family and friends were there tonight. We’d never see them on this broadcast, that is, until there were just six-minutes remaining in regulation. (More below.)
Schneider almost struck first with 16:10 to go, but Forsberg made one of his many big saves.
A minute later, CZAR IGOR prevented Josh “Not Adam” Norris from scoring a “puck-luck goal.”
Rosen’s response – AND I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP – the following:
“OH JOE, [Senators’ coach] D.J. SMITH HAS A GREAT ATTITUDE JOE!”
What the hell this meant, or what it had to do in this moment in the game, I don’t know.
Sometimes, I just think that Sam needs a nice fat whack across the back of his head, just to shake out the cobwebs and in order to get his gears working properly.
But, and to prove to you that I’m not just exaggerating for both comedy and effect tonight (and let’s face it – I do ramp it up whenever listening to these schmucks during losses) – do you know what Sam said next?
I’ll tell ya!
ROVING SENS’ REPORTER, SENATOR SAMMY, SAID:
“OH JOE, I WAS WITH THE SENATORS EARLY TODAY JOE. THEY HAVE PLAYED A LOT OF HOME GAMES JOE. THEY WANT TO GET OUT OF THE CITY AND PLAY MORE ROAD GAMES JOE! DO YOU KNOW WHERE MY FREAKIN’ METAMUCIL IS JOE? I GOT ONE IN THE CHUTE JOE, BUT IT WON’T COME OUT JOE!”
What this had to do with the Rangers I do not know.
And as stated earlier – no one wants to be in Ottawa – or at the very least – no one wants to be in Kanata, Canada!
Again, the Rangers are in first-place and all I heard tonight was Sam read every press release and interview transcription that the Senators have sent out this season.
Following another Forsberg save on Schneider with 13:00 to go, Sam, and for the 978678967867856785678th time during this broadcast, reminded us that Lafreniere was drafted first-overall in 2020, while Stutzle went third-overall.
I get that an announcer, especially during a game on national television, will bring this up.
However, why Sam had to bring this up 895675675675 times per period was beyond me.
Up next was a wild sequence – and plenty of bullshit too:
— David 🏒 (@DaveyUpper) December 6, 2023
With 12:45 remaining, Miller and Panarin both should have scored, but due to Anton “NO RELATION TO PETER JOE” Forsberg and his defense – the Sens survived.
Following a quick Sens’ attack, Panarin, at the end of a shift, went 1 x 4 against the home team.
DESPITE BEING OUTNUMBERED AT A RATIO OF 4:1 – AND DESPITE BEING TRIPPED HIMSELF – BIG BAD ARTIE, THE BOB PROBERT OF HIS GENERATION, WAS BOXED FOR TRIPPING INSTEAD.
The officials have been getting worse-and-worse every year – and while I understand that these athletes are getting “BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER” than ever before, so much so that it makes it tough to keep watch on everything – something has to change here.
NHL officiating is currently at an all-time and embarrassing low – and where you have to wonder if the league’s 9586756756785768 gambling sponsors is also a part of it. (This goes for every game in the league – and not just Ranger games.)
The Rangers, to their credit, did kill this penalty – but this BS call also stunted their momentum, as Panarin was starting to heat up.
(Also of note: M$GN cameras, and prior to the Sens’ power-play, caught Zub, who tripped Panarin, skating to the box. Once he was told by the attendant that the penalty was actually on the Rangers, he laughed, covered his mouth and gleefully skated to the bench. In other words, he knew that he had gotten away with one too.)
Panarin, released from the box with 10:18 remaining, was able to change after a shift. His linemates were not able to, so with Brodzinski/Trocheck/Lafreniere out there, this trio got stuck on the ice for a long time and got winded.
With exactly 9:00 remaining, the other Artem, Zub in Sens’ colors, blasted a puck from the point, and Brady Tkachuk, who Sam and Joe were drooling over all game, connected with a tip/deflection, “THE KREIDER,” for the game’s first goal.
Prior to the tip, Tkachuk disposed Gustafsson away from the net.
1-0, bad guys – and really, a tough shot/play for CZAR IGOR to stop – even if we have seen him do so countless times before.
But even so, I hope to be alive one day to see my favorite goalie record a shutout sometime again.
Following the Sens striking first – Tkachuk then hit the post. Another favorable <DING> for CZAR IGOR this season.
Come 6:39 remaining, more referee incompetence, this time when Trouba was boxed for allegedly holding Norris’ stick.
The Rangers, who didn’t give up one SOG during their previous PK, gave up two here, but CZAR IGOR stopped both shots – and at the end of the PK, Forsberg had to make a save himself too, and as he did on Jimmy Vesey.
During a stoppage, M$GN, during their daily #NYR #CadillacTrivia question segment, flubbed the question.
The question was so convoluted, confusing and wordy (just like these GAME REVIEW blogs!) that it didn’t make sense.
Making matters worse, there was a significant typo too.
I don’t have the exact verbiage, but the question was something like “Panarin scored four-points in the Rangers’ 3,000th game in franchise history against the Sharks. Who scored four-points in the Rangers’ 200th game in franchise history against the Sharks?”
Unless you’re Mollie Walker, then you know that the Sharks weren’t around in the late 1920s when the Rangers played their 200th game in franchise history.
Later on, and when the answer was revealed, we were told by Sam that M$GN messed up (that could’ve meant anything) and that they meant who had a four-point game against the Sharks in the Rangers’ 2,000th game in franchise history?
(Wayne Gretzky was the answer.)
I only bring this up because everything was horrid tonight – both the game and the broadcast.
Worse than that is what took place with 3:37 remaining:
As the Rangers were attacking, K’Andre Miller shot a puck right into Goodrow’s face – where afterwards, and based on the visual evidence – caught #21 right in the teeth.
Goodrow, who was bleeding, skated right to the tunnel.
Goodrow never returned to the game, and for a sport where missing teeth is common, and for a guy as tough as the Rangers’ alternate captain is too – then this unexpected tooth extraction had to been really bad.
To fast-forward a bit – following the game, Laviolette said that Goodrow had an “upper-body injury.”
The fashion in which the NHL lists their injuries – while also demanding fans to bet on these games – is barbaric, archaic and insulting.
And yep, had the Rangers won this game, and had I known that Goodrow was okay too, then tonight’s headline would have been, “ALL BARCLAY WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS IS HIS TWO FRONT TEETH!”
“BUT OH JOE, WHAT DO THE SENATORS WANT FOR CHRISTMAS? DO THEY WANT ME TO SLIDE DOWN THEIR CHIMNEYS AND ASK FOR A BUKKAKE PARTY JOE?”
I am not making this up:
Under two-minutes remaining, Sam and Joe then read us their “ODE TO GIROUX,” where during this love sonnet – it sounded like they wanted to tongue-bath the guy in a fleabag motel room with one of those 25-cent vibrating beds.
LIKE CLOCKWORK, here’s what happened once they were done tickling Giroux’s balls:
The Grizzled vet! 🚨
Claude Giroux sticks with it and buries it on the 2nd wack pic.twitter.com/jLonvqjL4w
— Martian (@LalimesMartian) December 6, 2023
2-0, bad guys.
CZAR IGOR didn’t look so hot either.
Ditto Zibanejad, who looked as lost as Vagistat when trying to play in an NHL game.
Thankfully, the Senators weren’t happy about their 2-0 lead.
With about 17-seconds or so, Dominik The Donkey Kubalik skated right into CZAR IGOR.
The refs got this right – goaltender interference – but with seeing how bad these zebras were tonight – I’m surprised that they didn’t call #31 for embellishment too.
2-0, bad guys, after twenty – and with the Rangers set to open the second stanza on a 1:43 power-play.
Here’s what I said at the time:
2-0, bad guys, after 20. 1P Thoughts:
— I said this could be a trap game, as #NYR look ahead to the mini-break.
— Sam needs a muzzle. STFU you senile bat! Two ROSEN REVERSE CURSES have already hit.
— Igor still hasn’t found his prime yet this season – just find it by the…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 6, 2023
During the intermission, Lundqvist said what I said – the Rangers have been through this before and they’d make a comeback.
Vagistat decided to sell fear instead – and once again – continued to talk about the Capitals.
Following Rosen’s customary question of “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?” – “A MUZZLE FOR YOUR MOUTH AND A DENTIST FOR GOODROW’S MOUTH SAM!” – Trocheck won the opening draw.
With both Trocheck and Kreider screening Forsberg, this happened at the 39-second mark:
Panarin absolutely zipped this thing.
— Jonny Lazarus (@JLazzy23) December 6, 2023
2-1, bad guys.
Both Fox and Zibanejad extended their point streaks on this Panarin PPG – but that was only because they happened to touch the puck before Panarin shot it.
In other words – this goal was all about #10 – and the two screens too.
After it was revealed that Goodrow wouldn’t be returning, which meant that Panarin was going to be on double-shift duty for the rest of the night (23:46 – game-high for all forwards, as rearguard Fox logged an impressive and clean 26:00), both goalies exchanged saves – and as both sides seemingly had unlimited odd-man rushes afforded.
Following some rapid-paced hockey, Tarasenko won the track meet and ultimately fulfilled “THE FORMER RANGER MUST SCORE” prophecy.
3-1, bad guys – a good rocket of a shot from VT91 – and one that CZAR IGOR barely saw despite the clean look at net – as it looked like he was frozen in time when trying to stop this shot.
Of note: In the Rangers’ last two games, a pair of former Blueshirt right-wingers, both UFA’s this summer and perhaps the two biggest RW’s available at the 2024 Trade Deadline too, Anthony Duclair and Vladimir Tarasenko, have scored goals against the Rangers. Auditioning?
I mean how else do you explain both Duclair and Tarasenko having their best games of the season at the Blueshirts’ expense?
Following the Tarasenko goal, this is when Miller answered the call:
K’Andre Miller has been heating up offensively.
— Jonny Lazarus (@JLazzy23) December 6, 2023
3-2, bad guys.
This goal was set-up by who else – Panarin – because at least he shows up and can lift the team – and unlike Zibanejad.
On this play, Panarin got the puck to Lafreniere, Forsberg stopped the shot, and on the rebound – MILLER TIME – and while we didn’t know it at the time – the last glimmer of hope for a comeback.
Down to 12:42 remaining, and following two Forsberg saves made on Panarin – 4-2, bad guys.
On this play, CZAR IGOR gave up an awful and uncharacteristic rebound to Tarasenko. Batherson banked home the rebound to regain the two-goal lead.
If there was anything useful and/or poignant from this broadcast team tonight, then it was when Micheletti said, “Shestyorkin has been sloppy Sam.”
And Joe was correct.
You could see the frustration settling in for CZAR IGOR, as those patented homerun passes that he’s connected on so many thousands of times before were now being intercepted – and as if they were being thrown by a New York Jets’ quarterback.
But unlike Zack Wilson – at least CZAR IGOR wanted to play – and never left this game either.
Down to 8:20 remaining, Nick Bonino was absolutely robbed – but not by Forsberg – but by Chychrun instead.
On this play, where I thought a hand-pass could have been called (but it wasn’t); the long-time trade-bait of the Arizona Coyotes swatted a puck in mid-air that was about an inch shy of the goal line/going into the net.
Great play for the d-man – and an unfortunate play for the Rangers.
To fast-forward through the remainder of this game, as it’s getting late and it was nothing but downhill from here (but if you want the complete play-by-play, then you can visit my Twitter/X feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC ), Lafreniere was absolutely robbed by Forsberg with 5:28 remaining.
As the two teams continued to trade never-ending chances, and in a game where eight goals were scored but it could’ve been seventeen – goal #7 was scored by Tkachuk with 2:17 remaining.
Once again, Zub set the whole thing up – and then Tkachuk cleaned it up too.
5-2, bad guys.
With 41-seconds remaining, the Rangers received another late power-play when Panarin was held by Batherson.
CZAR IGOR had to prevent a short-handed try (Joseph) to close these horrific forty-minutes.
5-2, bad guys, through two periods.
Here’s what I said at the time:
5-2, bad guys, after 40.
— Maybe this was the vacation trap game.
— Sam and Joe promoted every big name on Ottawa before this game, and like clockwork, all of them are having their best games of the season (Tarasenko/Tkachuk/Giroux).
— Not one of Igor’s better games, I’d go…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) December 6, 2023
During the intermission, Vagistat, and as he often does, tried to compare his career to CZAR IGOR – and even said that he’s been where CZAR IGOR has been: https://x.com/FSUEsqofSports/status/1732221764594188472?s=20
(This video is private, so I think you have to follow Mike The Esquire in order to view it.)
Yes, I tend to go overboard in order to get a cheap laugh from you (and I am – Vagistat really isn’t worse than Sandusky, Vick and Hernandez – but it’s close!) with the M$GN crew whenever the Rangers lose – but seriously – how this egotistical twit can compare himself to players like Lundqvist, Zibanejad and CZAR IGOR is beyond me.
Down by three and needing the quick score – the Rangers reverted to their fancy passing ways, Mika went wide (yawn) and that was the end of the power-play.
And I haven’t mentioned this yet, so at this time, let me do so:
Despite having one of their best games of the season – the Senators’ crowd (half-empty) sounded like they were attending the funeral of a small child – and the child’s little puppy too.
Seriously, I have never heard less enthusiasm and crowd noise during a home team’s blowout before.
Once the Sens killed this Rangers’ power-play, both Sam and Joe went into “GAME OVER MODE” – and then told us how the Capitals (the Blueshirts’ next opponent) power-play is the worst in the league, how they suck, how they should die and go to hell, etc.
In other words, expect Alex Ovechkin to score a dozen power-play goals on Saturday – where afterwards – the smug Vagistat will say, “I TOLD YOU SO JOHNNY!”
The last chance the Rangers had was with 16:32 remaining, when Panarin drew his third penalty of the game (but officially, only his second). Just 35-seconds later, Stutzle tripped Trocheck.
The Blueshirts, now with 1:25 of a 5 x 3 power-play – did OO-GATZ (no shots on goal) – and where Mika was an all-out mess – and as was evident by his three turnovers.
I know Laviolette wants to avoid it, but seriously, it’s time to give Lafreniere a spin on the PP1 unit.
Right after the Rangers’ 5 x 3 power-play had failed, Sam cheerily remarked, “No shots on goal Joe!”
Down to 11:57 remaining and with the eventual result all but determined; this is when Kubalik hit Schneider in the head.
Since the refs don’t care about concussions, Gustafsson took matters into his own hands and wiped the floor (or ice) with the Senator.
I wish THE GUS BUS did the same to Vagistat, Rosen and Micheletti!
Come 6:50 remaining, we then got a camera shot of Lafreniere’s family.
“OH JOE, I FORGOT THE NAME OF LAFRENIERE’S SISTER JOE!”
It’s amazing that Rosen forgot her name (her name is Lori-Jane – and I only know this because she was featured in all press materials when Lafreniere was first drafted) – especially since Sam could tell us the blood type, the social security number, the name of the hospital they were born in, their second-grade teacher and every other odd-and-end fact about the Senators.
Come 4:25 left to play, and with Rosen reciting every member of the Tkachuk Family Tree for the fifth time – CZAR IGOR was pulled.
With 2:50 left on the clock, Tarasenko scored the empty-netter.
6-2, bad guys.
With Igor back in the net – I can’t lie – I was kind of expecting to see the Senators kick the extra point.
And they almost did.
Rosen, who must have not been satisfied in praising the Senators all game, then told us all about Ridley Greig – and who his father, mother, sister, uncle, brother, aunt and step-cousin three-times removed was.
And this took place with twenty-seconds remaining and with the Rangers down by four goals.
Again, what Ranger fan gave a shit about this?
Finally, and no joke:
Listening to Sam and Joe tonight was like if you had attended the funeral of someone who was brutally murdered – only to then hear nothing but high praise for the killer.
6-2, bad guys, final.
Here’s Laviolette following the game, where he alluded to fatigue, but wouldn’t excuse his team for the loss either:
At the end of the day, I’m not really concerned or upset about the loss – it is what it is.
But to listen to Vagistat, Rosen and Micheletti kick us in the balls for three-hours is inexcusable.
For all of the talk that the Rangers need this or the Rangers need that, here’s what’s really desired:
An all-new M$GN panel, with Lundqvist in the center seat – and with competent, able and non-senile co-workers beside him.
And if they could get rid of all the gambling shit, that’d be great too!
I also want to be clear, especially for new readers:
I’m having my fun with Sam and Joe tonight – I do like them – and as stated earlier – you won’t find two people who are as pure-intentioned and nice as they are.
However, I just can’t stand when they wrap their lips around the other team – and as they did tonight.
He’s awful – and needs to go – pronto!
And since I’m a nice guy – I’m not rooting for Vagistat to lose his income, nor am I rooting for him to be unable to support his family.
(Plus: Rooting for something horrible to happen to him is bad karma.)
I just hope that he can worm a coaching job somewhere, or join some team’s analytical department (any team but the Rangers) – and as a result – I’ll never have to see, nor write, about him ever again!
Up next: Three days off – and then a Saturday LAVY REVENGE game with the Capitals – you know – the team that he indirectly led into forcing the Rangers firing a whole regime back in 2021.
To show you how wacky this schedule is, following the three days off and the Saturday night game in D.C., the Blueshirts will then host the Kings on Sunday night – and where I expect the 2024 Vezina Trophy candidate, “THE GOALBUSTER,” the goalie the Rangers should have never traded in 2015, Cam Talbot, to receive the nod in net.
Barring anything really crazy going down between now and Saturday, I’ll next return following the Rangers/Capitals game.
Much like the Rangers – I need a break too!
Laughter is the best medicine – and I hope that my comments about the M$GN broadcast cured you after this bad, yet ultimately forgettable, loss.
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/
My second plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”
As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:
For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:
My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.
My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/
To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”
The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!
“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.
All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.
To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com
To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
NYR/SJS 12/3 Review: The Bakery Is Open On Sundays! Breadman Bakes Hat Trick in the Rangers’ Latest “Find-A-Way” Victory; JONNY HOCKEY Maximizing His Minutes Too, MILLER TIME = GWG, Time for a “Breakaway” Coach, Cuylle Hand Luke, Conspiracy Theories, Fourth Line Beasts, M$GN, Kakko Who & More
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
If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:
Don’t forget to order my recently released four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”
If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on Amazon.com
For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Thanks for reading.
LET’S GO RANGERS!
@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine