Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. I can’t wait to go to bed!
However – and unlike the Rangers – I have an excuse to be tired and groggy right now.
(And I haven’t been off during the past two days either.)
As you all know by now, my “real-life” work hours have changed (3PM-11:30PM), which is my way of saying that I didn’t get a chance to watch this game until 12:15AM Saturday morning – and as I write these words right now – it’s now 3:30AM.
And what a Father Finkin’ idiot!
Seriously, who else puts in a hard day at work – and then spends five-hours in total watching and writing about the latest Rangers’ fiasco on ice?
Worse than that?
This blog that you’re reading right now, and just like last night’s manifesto, will quickly be dated, as the Rangers, following their 5-2 drubbing bestowed upon them on behalf of the Golden Knights on Friday night at M$G, are right back in action on Saturday night in Ottawa.
While I could see the Rangers getting their asses kicked by the lowly and selling-off Senators, as these Blueshirts have an uncanny ability to lose to the dregs of the NHL, while also allowing dreams come true for opposing players as if they were doing charity work for the “Make A Wish” foundation; here’s my prediction for tomorrow night:
The Blueshirts find a way to win, Rangerstown, USA celebrates the victory as the team heads into an eight-day break – and then, come Monday, 2/5, when the Rangers host the Colorado Avalanche – the 2022 Stanley Cup Champions unleash one of the most unholiest ass-kickings ever seen in the sport.
(And of course – Alexandar Georgiev will post a shutout too. UGH!)
But before getting into later tonight (Saturday) and the game against the Senators – let’s first talk about Friday – and all of the crazy developments that took place prior to what’s becoming commonplace these days – the Blueshirts getting blown out.
Since it’s extremely late, and really, because everything that I’ve been writing about this team occurred once again – and where it’s now at the point where every GAME REVIEW now feels redundant – I’ll save the bulk of my commentary from tonight’s game for the GAME REVIEW segment.
But for now, and no joke?
After watching the Rangers’ latest travesty on ice, their Friday night 5-2 home loss to the Vegas Golden Knights – I should just reprint my GAME REVIEW blog from last week, when franchise #31 defeated the Blueshirts 5-1 in Sin City – and then go to bed!
(And if you missed it, then you can find that blog here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/11824/)
The only difference from a week ago?
The Rangers scored one more goal!
Throw a parade!
Of course, there were other differences too, but for the most part, it was the “same old script” for the Rangers.
But funny enough, and just as it was last Thursday night, the Knights were up 4-1 in the third period – and if you believe in the notion of “the dreaded three-goal lead,” then you couldn’t have been more wrong.
Hell, these days, a one-goal lead against the Rangers is safer than Fort Knox.
And yep – all of the negative trends that I’ve been talking about for a month or so now happened on Friday night yet again – and since I don’t want to keep repeating myself, and since you should already know all of this by now too – I don’t think that I have to provide such an explanation to you.
Before getting into the bevy of pregame news from Friday, it’s imperative that you catch up and check out last night’s blog.
In case you missed that blog, where I covered the past two Ranger off-days, Filip Chytil’s return and the Nick Bonino transaction too, then you can find it here:
I say a lot of things on this site, and I often say them a billion times over, and where two of these opinions are the following:
One, I would have never allowed Chytil to return, as I would have shut him down for the season – and both for his health and because of salary-cap reasons.
(And yes, his health comes above all else – but let’s face it – it’s better for the Rangers if they spend his $4.5M cap-hit on a WIN-NOW player – and a player that you don’t have to feel nervous about.)
Two, this current crop of Blueshirt beat reporters are the worst of all-time.
Here’s exhibit #87678678968968967986868 which illustrates my point:
On Friday morning at M$G, only the skaters not scheduled to play tonight, three in total, Jake Leschyshyn, Zac Jones and Filip Chytil, participated during the optional skate.
While not every beat reporter felt inclined to watch this trio skate around – there were several of these dolts in-attendance – and where not one of them actually saw what happened to Chytil.
Seriously, you had something like six beat reporters there – and not one person saw what happened?
What’s the point of even attending? To get free food?
Rosen was the first person to break the news and where everyone else followed his “lead” – as everyone also said that they didn’t know what happened.
And what a tweet from Rosen – who must have been confused as Sam Rosen (NO RELATION JOE!), because he had no clue if Chytil fractured his leg, stubbed his toe, broke his arm, had a crack in his butt – and of course, and to be serious – if it was head/concussion related either.
Based on what these ignorami were putting out there, Chytil could have been injured by stepping on a Lego (the Rangers have been doing a lot of baby-making recently), got stung by a bee, perhaps got run over by a Zamboni driven by Brian Leetch’s wife, or who knows – maybe the scoreboard fell on his head too!
At the time, Laviolette, who was scheduled to do his mandatory pregame press conference, rushed to the locker room, where as a result – his pregame “LAVY’S LOUNGE” was canceled.
It wasn’t until later in the day that the news that we didn’t want to hear, but at the same time, were also expecting, was confirmed – Chytil had a “setback” to his current ailment (this is the word that every beat reporter used – and Laviolette too during his post-game presser) – and this injury was the word that shall not be ever spoken related.
Of course, that word is “concussion” – but that word is on the NHL’s no-no list – and where if anyone who collects a salary from the NHL or an NHL media entity is sent straight to the gulag should they dare to utter it.
No one knows for sure what happened besides the Rangers themselves – and as you’d expect – they aren’t going to give us any information.
If only there were reporters there to have witnessed this.
Oh that’s right, they were too busy copying-and-pasting stats from ANALytic websites and couldn’t lift their heads to see what was going on.
And at this rate, even calling them “reporters” is an insult to the profession – albeit – a profession that’s dramatically changed in recent years – and not for the best.
Emily Kaplan, Chytil’s closest media confidant, echoed the reports on Friday night’s ESPN broadcast, where she used the term given to her – “setback” – when describing Chytil’s injury.
And of course, she wouldn’t risk using the word “concussion” either.
Since this news broke, there has been some speculation on what really happened – but nothing confirmed.
Some are suggesting that Chytil collided with a teammate – which sounds pretty hard to do considering that only two other skaters were on the ice at the time.
Others are suggesting that he simply fell down and landed on his head after experiencing a dizzy spell.
But since such news of this nature is state secret – we have no clue for sure.
All we know is that Chytil won’t be returning anytime soon – and as I’ve been saying ever since his latest concussion – he has to be shutdown for the season now.
And as talked about last night, and this isn’t meant to be callous, it’s just to remind you that hockey is a business and that the show must go on – the Rangers got a break here.
Had this happened after March 8th, then Chris Drury wouldn’t be able to get any help and would just have a $4.5M cap-hit burning a hole on his roster.
With this “setback” taking place prior to 3/8, at least the general manager can now make a move (or cry) for help – and where I want to be clear about this too:
If the Rangers are still thinking about a Chytil return this season, then someone needs to step in and look after the Czech’s own best interest – and sue the Blueshirts for gross negligence too.
And really, (and I know that Larry Brooks has stolen this from me – and as he often pilfers ideas from this site) – this is Michael Sauer all over again – and something that I first said way back in November (Brooks is now saying it today).
I know that Chytil wants to play – but does he want to be a vegetable at 25-years-old too?
Furthermore, and assuming that he wants to start a family one day – wouldn’t it be nice to know the names of his kids and wife?
Sadly for the injury-prone Chytil, where many of us were using the “Filip Brittle” nickname way before his battles with head trauma – he needs to make the tough decision.
The slogan may be “HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE” – but playing NHL hockey isn’t for everyone.
Best of luck to Chytil – but I hope to never see him play again.
It’s just not worth it.
In other news pertaining to Ranger centers; Friday, at 2PM, it was revealed that Nick Bonino had cleared waivers.
However, “Bones,” who was assigned to Hartford, doesn’t have to report to the Wolf Pack right away, as the Rangers are doing the humane thing and allowing their player to enjoy his planned vacation with his family, a holiday that he previously set arrangements for during the Blueshirts’ bye week.
We’ll see where this goes next, but for what it’s worth – the Rangers didn’t grant him his release and are keeping him in the system.
Of course, the Chytil news gives the Rangers/Drury a huge incentive to keep Bonino around, because as we all know now – Chytil won’t be in the line-up on 2/5 – and as many expected that he’d be.
Since Drury also knows that he’ll have to trade for a center, we’ll have to see when such a swap will be made.
But in the interim, Bonino, who looked dead, buried and awarded his alumni card, could be back as soon as 2/5.
What a strange turn of events – and where it’s never a slow news day.
I’ll try to calm myself down and write from a rational state as we now get into the rest of our usual segments – and where I’m currently uttering these 25-words non-stop – you know my season-long daily disclaimer:
“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!”
Ugh – it didn’t take.
This game tonight was bad.
Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the forty-eighth game of this 2023-24 season:
FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere
SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Wheeler
THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Brodzinski/Kakko
FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick
FIRST PAIR: Miller/Trouba
SECOND PAIR: Gustafsson/Fox
THIRD PAIR: Lindgren/Schneider
STARTER: CZAR IGOR
Healthy Scratches: Leschyshyn and Jones
BOX SCORE time.
The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:
A. Hill G
Tonight’s game was an ESPN exclusive broadcast – and one that opened with the world-wide leader making it seem like the Rangers are a team worth watching these days.
We were also told that M$G would be rocking – but I wasn’t sure if that meant the riots that would occur in the streets of Rangerstown, USA following the loss!
Sean McDonough, in his usual broom closet, handled the play-by-play, while the man with a grudge, the annoying Ray Ferraro, stood between the benches.
(NOTE: EVERYTHING THAT YOU’RE READING RIGHT NOW FROM THIS POINT ON IS STUFF THAT I WROTE AS I WAS WATCHING THE GAME – AND WHERE OF COURSE – I MADE POST-GAME EDITS AS WELL FOLLOWING THE GAME’S CONCLUSION. I am bringing this up now because I have to be fair – Ferraro was excellent tonight and never let his anti-Rangers bias bleed through.)
To both McDonough and Ferraro’s credit, both men said the obvious – CZAR IGOR is struggling while Vincent Trocheck deserves to be an all-star.
And man oh man – did CZAR IGOR feed into their narrative tonight – and a narrative that wasn’t wrong either.
Just like last week, when the Rangers were embarrassed by the Knights in Vegas, ESPN brought up how the reigning-and-defending Stanley Cup champions are still missing 35% of their payroll, as Jack Eichel, William Karlsson, Shea Theodore, William Carrier, Ben Hutton and Mike Amadio remain out with injuries.
However, and unlike last week – Adin Hill – and not Logan Thompson – was in the visitor’s net.
But still, the Rangers are missing nearly 30% less in cap-space (Chytil) than their opponents.
In other words, and especially with Vegas sweeping the season-series – and where they outscored the Blueshirts by a total of 10-3?
All of the un- and in-prefixes – and where INEXCUSABLE and UNACCEPTABLE are best fitting.
Ferraro then praised Jonathan Marchessault for carrying his walking wounded team.
How prophetic that comment would be.
Hell, for as spot-on as these two were about CZAR IGOR’s struggles, they were equally dead-right about Marchessault.
After two-minutes with Ray and Sean, we then went to the studio where Mark Messier wasn’t there.
Once I saw that P.K. Slewban was working solo – combined with an opening shot of those horrific Stadium Series jerseys too – I then just fast-forwarded this broadcast whenever I saw the dirty defenseman.
And Part I: I don’t think that I missed anything – and this also sums up ESPN’s epic pregame show.
And Part II: ESPN didn’t bother to show us John Brancy singing the National Anthem (TNT always does) – but then again – M$GN believes that their television audience shouldn’t see it either.
And Part III: As far as the Stadium Series jerseys go, it’s what I always say – I don’t care.
The Rangers can wear pink tutus for all I care – JUST WIN.
But, and for the sake of posterity, here are these eyesores:
And Part IV: These jerseys don’t even go on sale until 2/5 – which means that fans won’t receive their mail-order jerseys until after the Stadium Series is played.
I wonder who could have predicted this?
GAME REVIEW time.
Prior to puck drop, McDonough reminded us again that CZAR IGOR hasn’t been so hot lately.
Following Zibanejad losing the first draw of the game (overall, the alleged first line center finished once again under .500 at the dots – 42.9%) – the second line and first pair got caved into their own zone for about 35-seconds or so.
Laviolette immediately responded by putting the fourth line (as opposed to the Panarin/first line) out there. In a response, Goodrow recorded the first SOG of the match with 18:48 remaining.
ESPN was keenly aware of what was going on in Rangerstown, USA, as Ferraro relished when talking about all of their issues – and for as much as the former Blueshirt hates his old team – you couldn’t blame him because he wasn’t wrong, nor was he ever exaggerating.
And of course, ESPN, and as they should’ve, also praised the Knights for playing well despite their litany list of injuries.
Following Cuylle going high over the net on a deflection try after receiving a pass from Kakko, we were then told that the Rangers are 15-6 at home this season – but it wasn’t mentioned that the Blueshirts entered this game as 4-0 in their Made in Vietnam third jerseys.
Those updated numbers now read as 15-7 and 4-1.
As ESPN raved about the referees just three-minutes in for whatever reason, Zibanejad lost another draw, this time in the d-zone. McDonough’s response? “Zibanejad has only one goal in his last twelve games played.”
$8.5M folks – and hmmm – why does that number sound so familiar?
(I’ll let you figure it out.)
Down to 16:10 remaining and it was Lafreniere’s turn to cough up the puck in the o-zone following his horrendous cross-ice pass intended for Panarin.
Just 1:04 later, 14:58 remaining on the clock, the sniper known as Sheldon Rempal scored his second goal of the season, on a tip while in the paint, following a pass from Paul “Welcome Back” Cotter.
1-0, bad guys – and just like that – and where Schneider pushed Rempal right in front of CZAR IGOR on the goal scored – which set up both a screen and a deflection for the visitors.
And yep – CZAR IGOR’s no shut-out “streak” was now extended – and a streak that’s only one month shy of a full year.
Similar to many of these (now piling up) goals that CZAR IGOR allows – it’s tough to really fault him for this one – but since we’ve seen him make these stops before – then of course – the criticism (often warranted) will be there.
And yep – with the Rangers not winning many games these days – any goal allowed will only create even more fury.
It was also around this time when I had this thought:
Whatever the Goalie Whisperer Benoit Allaire is whispering – then CZAR IGOR isn’t listening.
And for the love of the hockey gods – someone please shave Mika’s hippie hair from his head.
To the Rangers’ credit, they had a response following another first goal of a game allowed, led by the third line and first pair. However, Hill was able to cleanly stop a TROUBA BOMB to end the threat with 13.59 remaining.
Once returned from a TV timeout, Emily Kaplan, who ditched her usual second-grade teacher outfit for a leather dominatrix suit (she must’ve had plans on a late Friday night in NYC after this game), talked about her former flame’s “head issues” – as ESPN, like everyone else who makes money in this league – aren’t allowed to say the “c-word,” as in “concussion.”
Down to 13:27 remaining, Blake Wheeler, now returned to the top-six while Cuylle remains punished for only Laviolette knows why, tied the game, following his rising snipe of a shot after getting a pass from THE GUS BUS.
In addition, these two promotions, Wheeler and Gustafsson, were able to connect for the first Rangers’ goal of the game.
And that would be it for the remainder of the game – sans Kakko’s meaningless “A-Rod” goal, as the Feckless Finn scored with just 1:05 remaining in regulation – and with the Blueshirts down 4-1 while employing their 6 x 5 empty net attack.
What a disgrace.
However, it should also be mentioned that this time it were the Rangers who quickly responded after giving up a goal – and they almost scored two goals within thirty-seconds too (this has happened eight times against “Lavy’s Lot” this season) – but a Trouba to Vesey one-timer, shot from the slot, was denied by Hill.
So very easily, it should’ve been 2-1, GOOD GUYS, with 13:16 remaining, but as they say, “coulda, woulda, shoulda.”
Down to 11:51 remaining and Lindgren took a clean hit from Kolesar while behind Hill’s net.
This was a normal hit, one that you wouldn’t have never thought about otherwise – but it ended #55’s night.
And for Lindgren to not return after something as minor like that – and so microscopic too – then you know it has to be bad.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that hurt the most.
Just ask Kaplan about Chytil for such evidence!
And I also assume that we’ll see Zac Jones back against Ottawa too.
Following a Hill save on Brodzinski, it was now Kakko’s turn to cough up the puck in the o-zone, and as the useless second-overall pick did with 10:50 remaining.
Fifty-seconds later, and at the half-way mark of the period, it was now Miller’s turn to give away the puck in the o-zone. At least he’s consistent in this department – and he’s a consistently an excellent puck watcher too – and as we’ll soon get into.
Come 9:15 remaining, and where you could already tell that Trouba was going to eat a ton of minutes with Lindgren out – “BABY TROUBA,” the fake one (Braden Schneider) – and not Axel Rose Trouba – was stopped by Hill.
Up next we saw Hill stop Panarin while Lafreniere couldn’t bury a rebound into an open net – so the usual from the first-round flop.
It was then brought up by ESPN that Lafreniere only has one goal in his last fifteen games played – and I believe three in his last thirty-three – and where one of those goals was kicked in by an opposing defenseman.
Down to 8:17 remaining and Fox drew the first power-play of the game, as Pietrangelo interfered with the 2021 Norris Trophy winner as #23 was hanging around in the low slot.
The highly heralded Blueshirts’ power-play did OO-GATZ here.
And for how bad the Rangers’ power-play has been as of late – it’s amazing that they are still second-best in the league – which really goes to show you how hot the man-advantage group was during the first 25% of the season.
And of course Part I: Mopey Mika missed a vacated net during these two-minutes too – so the usual once again.
And of course Part II: Once the PP2 came on, Kakko immediately turned over the puck – so the usual one more time.
And of course Part III: Not one SOG during this power-play either.
As the game progressed, and with not much offense from either side, come 4:18 remaining and there was Hill once again to stop another TROUBA BOMB.
During an offensive attack with Wheeler leading the way with under 4:00 remaining – Zibanejad changed as his right-winger was looking to set-up the Mandatory Mika one-timer to the Hudson River – which also left the attack down to four skaters – and an attack that was then quickly thwarted.
As ESPN plugged the All-Star Game and some draft that nobody cares about, with 2:11 remaining, the SOG tally was 14-6, in favor of the Rangers – and where once again – the opposing goalie had the heavier workload than CZAR IGOR – and worse than that – outplaying #31 too.
And like clockwork, with 1:56 remaining – there was Lafreniere, one-on-one with Hill near the paint – and you know the rest – no goal for LaCantFinish.
For whatever reason, and during this same shift, Panarin, when wide-open, decided to drop pass the puck for Lafreniere – and you know the drill – another “LOL, this guy can’t score to save his life” moment for the first-overall pick.
1-1 after 1 – and where the Rangers out-shot the Knights in the period to a tune of 16-6.
And since I’m writing this after the fact – I have no live 1P tweet reaction for you here!
This too – as I was writing that sentence above (and before pressing the fast-forward button on my DVR), there was Slewban, in studio, promoting those horrible and FUGLY 2024 NHL All Star jerseys.
Seriously, who designed those – Helen Keller?
Prior to Zibanejad losing another faceoff, Ray & Sean brought up how the Rangers pretty much dominated the first period – but didn’t have anything to show for it.
In other words – the usual.
It was also at this time when Kaplan reported that Lindgren was out for the remainder of the game with an “upper-body injury.”
Just thirty-seconds into the period and hippie hair Mika took the first Rangers’ penalty of the game when he slashed Pavel Dorofeyev.
As the idiots at M$G chanted “POTVIN SUCKS,” ESPN told us that the Rangers had killed their last nine penalties while Vegas had only scored three goals during their last twenty-three power-plays.
Both of these streaks would extend two-minutes later – and where the Knights, and just like the Rangers – didn’t log a SOG during their first power-play.
Following the kill, McDonough brought up how the Rangers are much better at the dots this season and credited Trocheck for all of it.
Chytil being out for most of the season is also a reason why that’s the case.
After all, he was the league’s worst center at faceoffs last season – and really – has never been good at the circles to begin with.
Down to 16:42 remaining and UGH – Keegan Kolesar, seemingly the Wayne Gretzky of his generation whenever CZAR IGOR is in net, forced a turnover on Panarin and then raced up ice and cleanly beat the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner.
2-1, bad guys – and there’s no sugarcoating this – CZAR IGOR has to stop that.
FYI: Kolesar has four goals this season. Half of them have been scored against CZAR IGOR.
And then it happened – and for the 21st time this season too – the Rangers gave up two goals within a time-span of two-minutes or less – AGAIN!
This time, and with 15:56 remaining (86-seconds between goals), there was the former property of the Rangers’ farm system, Jonathan Marchessault, who deflected a puck past CZAR IGOR following a shot from Ivan Barbashev from the left circle.
3-1, bad guys – and where ESPN’s producers also got a great camera shot after the goal scored of two Ranger fans who looked like they were told that their dogs had died.
Right after what wound up becoming the game-winning goal, and CZAR IGOR’s third goal allowed on nine shots faced at this time in the match – ESPN really went in on the goaltender’s struggles – and how could you blame them?
After all, everything that they were saying was true.
ESPN must’ve known that this game was now out of reach, as McDonough gave us his ODE TO NICK BONINO – and perhaps a “Bones” who will be back soon enough.
With 13:00 remaining, the Rangers, who got off to a good start (or so we thought) were still looking for their first SOG of the period.
Cuylle, with 12:10 remaining, would finally force Hill into making his first save of this second period. However, and just nine-seconds later, Brodzinski took an o-zone penalty (interference) thus killing the Blueshirts’ best attack of this frame thus far.
Prior to the Rangers’ second penalty kill commencing, Laviolette told Kaplan the obvious – losing Lindgren sucked.
A very informative interview if I say so myself!
With 1:17 left on the Vegas power-play, Trocheck made a hell of a move following a turnover that he created – but Hill was there with his glove in order to prevent a potential momentum-swinging short-handed goal allowed.
A minute later and Vesey did the same thing – but unlike Trocheck – he shot the puck wide.
The end result?
The Rangers’ PK was now a perfect 2-2 – and where Vegas didn’t even register a SOG.
But at the half-way mark of this game/period, we still remained 3-1, bad guys.
Down to 8:41 remaining and Zibanejad & Lafreniere teamed-up to create another highlight reel save for Hill.
Seriously, here’s a brain twister for you:
Who’s more disappointing, the $8.5M center or the first-overall pick?
Sadly, there’s no wrong answer.
As the Rangers continued to do next to nothing – you already knew it with 5:00 remaining – they weren’t coming back and the white towel had already been waved.
As Ferraro was worried if the NHL All-Stars were going to be color-coordinated with their attire, the Rangers’ fourth line were being caved in their own zone with 4:00 to go.
(Speaking of the All-Star Skills competition – if the NHL wanted to inject comedy into the extravaganza, then they’d ask Lafreniere and Zibanejad to compete in the accuracy event.)
Thirty-seconds later, and it was now the first line’s turn to get caved into their own zone.
And yep, it was getting ugly – and ugly fast.
You also knew this game was boring and devoid of life too – as Ray and Sean then started sharing with us their golf war stories.
This then turned into another discussion about the NHL All-Star jerseys – and while not much was happening on the ice.
We were also told that the Rangers only had one scoring chance this period with 90-seconds remaining – the Cuylle shot – and a shot that had taken place some eleven-minutes earlier.
(For what it’s worth, I don’t understand this stupid made-up stat. All shots on goal are scoring chances – and as was Trocheck’s short-handed attempt.)
Down to 35.3-seconds remaining and Nic Roy held Panarin while the Rangers were attacking, thus giving the Blueshirts their second power-play of the game – but one of those wrap-around man-advantages – and one that usually favors the penalty kill.
The Rangers didn’t get one SOG during these 35.3-seconds – and where in a rare occurrence this season – the Garden Faithful booed their favorite team off of the ice.
3-1, bad guys, through forty-minutes.
I want to mention here that I was listening to Elliotte Friedman’s podcast on Friday afternoon and he did a whole bit about Pierre-Luc Dubois and the Kings – and how a player being paid that money has to show up and not take games off.
You can take that whole rant and replace PLD with Mika Zibanejad.
He’s been awful.
When the second intermission began, I had to take a hearty dump – and where maybe seeing Slewban’s face inspired my spastic bowels.
In other words, I left my television on and from my bathroom, I heard Slewban bury Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher after his dirty elbow that he landed on the Islanders’ Adam Pelech on Thursday night.
Slewban was enraged that Gallagher only received a five-game suspension, as the former #76 of the Habs said it should have been ten-games.
Not mentioned during any of this?
Slewban’s regular use of the slew-foot – and where he never apologized for what he did to Sammy Blais either.
Once back to M$G and there was Ferraro and McDonough again to bury CZAR IGOR – but of course – they can only work with the material that they are given.
As Vegas won another opening faceoff, and with the Rangers still on the power-play; a Zibanejad-to-Kreider tip-try was denied by Hill – and this was the first (and only) Blueshirts’ power-play SOG of the game too – and with 27-seconds remaining on this second man-advantage of the contest.
0-2 on the power-play and only one save for Hill.
And then, and as it often goes – once a team fails on a power-play – then the other team’s penalty kill gives them some momentum.
And that’s what happened next, as with 17:49 to go, a Barbashev shot was saved, and then on his rebound, the puck ricocheted off of the back boards and there was Marchessault to deposit the puck into the vacated net.
4-1, bad guys – and where once again, this happened too – K’Awful Miller had the best seat in the house – as he was just watching. All that he was missing was the popcorn and beer.
Game, set, match.
And good for Ferraro – he called out Miller for, and I quote, “coasting.”
Following the goal allowed, as in twenty-seconds later, and there was Wheeler, who like Marchessault, wanted a second goal too – but his shot attempt just went wide while near the crease.
The Knights, with a three-goal lead that was never “dreaded,” mimicked their biggest fan, “Bar Rescue’s” Jon Taffer – as they “SHUT IT DOWN.”
Heck, Marchessault almost got his hat trick with 14:00 remaining, but this was a rare moment when CZAR IGOR made a save tonight.
But don’t worry- he’d later get it.
But hey – at least Brett Howden didn’t score!
Following a save on Wheeler with 12:30 remaining, Hill, and for good measure, then stopped Kreider too.
So say what you want about CZAR IGOR and how some of these goals allowed weren’t 100% on him – but once again the opposing goalie was making the saves on the shots that our goalie couldn’t.
And after tonight?
CZAR IGOR’s save percentage is now .899 – or in other words, under .900.
And yes – the Rangers, who must’ve been bitten by a 100,000 King Cobras, also share the blame.
For whatever reason, this team remains as a one-line squad – and if the Panarin line don’t score, then forget about winning a game.
Down to 12:07 remaining and Kaplan & Co. were in wrap-up/puff-piece mode, as ESPN’s roving reporter talked about how Trocheck’s family was looking forward to the All-Star Game.
And it’s easy to understand why – once in Toronto, they can watch some “real” hockey!
As this slog continued, and where I really need to have a deep moment of reflection and question my life for not only watching this game three-hours after it ended – but now writing about it too – CZAR IGOR stopped Rempal from picking up his second goal with 9:45 remaining.
As ESPN talked about anything besides this game (and I don’t blame them), the two announcers said exactly what was written on this site – if a Rangers’ goalie had to be in the All-Star Game, then it should’ve been Jonathan Quick.
Ferraro and McDonough then ran with another thing that I said – and not about yours truly being perplexed about Quick not getting this start against his former team (and especially after CZAR IGOR was shellacked by these guys just one-week ago) – but how perhaps #32 should be getting more starts these days.
Down to 5:30 remaining and the boos got louder after Hill made a blocker save on Pitlick.
Come 3:33 remaining and CZAR IGOR took a seat for the extra attacker.
I was expecting Howden to score into the empty net here but it never happened – and if you’re looking for something nice to say – then at least the Rangers didn’t allow the Knights to score for nearly three-minutes.
As Ferraro was rooting for the Marchessault hat trick; with 1:05 remaining, Kakko scored his “A-Rod” goal, as the worthless second-overall pick scored his fourth goal of the season.
4-2, bad guys, following Brodzinski winning an o-zone draw after a Vegas icing and Kakko banging home Trouba’s rebound.
Ferraro sold this goal as if this “strike” will be the start of something big for Kakko.
I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard that.
Prediction: Kakko won’t score again for another ten-games.
Five points for #24 in 27 games played by the way – which really isn’t that impressive when you consider the fact that the other team seems to average five goals a game against the Rangers these days – and as Vegas scored tonight, following Marchessault’s hat-trick goal with 28.4-seconds remaining.
5-2, bad guys, final.
The sad thing?
This wasn’t the worst loss of the season – it’s now just a routine thing.
Is anyone really mad anymore?
You just go into these games expecting the worst – this way you can’t be disappointed.
Here’s Laviolette after the game – and where I’m sure he could use a group therapy session with DQ and “THE TURK” by his side:
While Laviolette didn’t really call out Shestyorkin, he did acknowledge that something is off with him.
But again, it’s not like CZAR IGOR is the lone issue here.
It’s everything – a power-play that’s gone cold, not much scoring outside of Panarin & Trocheck, a defense that just watches, an $8.5M center that’s been rendered as useless, two lottery picks that have come nowhere close to reaching their potential, and so on and so forth.
As stated all summer (just check this site’s archives) – the Rangers have a CORE problem – and not a coaching problem.
The Rangers, just like any other team, came out for their new head coach, but as always, then reverted back to their old ways.
While this team will only be judged by what they do in the playoffs – and we don’t know the final roster yet until the deadline either – every team in the league knows how to beat the Rangers.
Shutdown Panarin and Trocheck.
And you don’t have to worry about leaving Lafreniere, the other member of this line, wide-open either.
Outside of the standings, where with a loss and a Carolina win on Saturday night, the Rangers will have then blown their former comfortable perch atop of the Metro division – does Saturday’s game really matter?
If they win, whoop-de-doo, they beat a bad team and nothing has changed.
If they lose, then it’s just like that brutal loss to the Sharks – and where nothing has changed.
As noted a few times during the past several weeks, the Blueshirts’ biggest saving grace right now is that outside of the Hurricanes – the rest of the division is also reeling like them.
In other words, I don’t think that the Rangers are in jeopardy of losing their playoff berth – but confidence in winning a round, or two, or three and hopefully four?
It’s tough to envision such pipe dreams.
See ya tomorrow 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!
“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” is now available for sale!
For complete information, please visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/
My second plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”
As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:
For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:
My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.
My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.
To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/
To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”
The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!
“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.
All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.
To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com
To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com
To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/
Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:
The First “Skate” Drops: Nick Bonino First Casualty of Reeling Rangers – Yet All Flaws Still Exist, Chris Drury’s Summer of ’23, Filip Chytil Back with Blueshirts – But for How Long? Jake Leschyshyn Round III, Ron Duguay “Cancels” Rangers, What Did Will Cuylle Do To Laviolette; Fox and Lindgren Broken Up Too & More
NYR/SJS 1/23 Review: The One Line Blueshirts Blow It Against The Last-Place & Historically Awful Sharks in the Most “Rangery” Way Possible, Another Two-Goal Lead Evaporates in Two-Minutes; The Alumni Goal Allowed Too, Mopey Mika, The Feckless Finn & LaCantFinish Still Stuck in the Mud, Help is NOT on the Way; Latest on Chytil, Emily Kaplan Pilfered By Beat, Too Many Excuses, M$GN & More
NYR/ANA 1/21 Review: Rutted Rangers Get Sigh of Relief Win Against Downtrodden Ducks – But All Recent Problems Remain the Same, CUYLLE HAND LUKE & Video Replay Lift Blueshirts, Return of the “Lavy Line Blender;” Kakko Demoted & Benched, Mika Norwood, Best M$GN Broadcast of the Season, Site Future & 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