Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. What a win for the Wolf Pack!
On Saturday night, the reeling Rangers, presently in “one step forward, two steps backwards” mode for most of the past two months, took the right step against the Senators – but of course and following the victory – you’re also just waiting for this team to revert back to their wrongful ways.
It’s just in this core’s DNA.
I know that these opening remarks sounds like that I’m pissing on the parade (and maybe I am) – and it’s probably not the best tone to begin tonight’s manifesto with either considering the 7-2 victory – but really – did anything change tonight?
Yeah, you’re happy about the win and with the crucial two-points netted in the standings too, but if you’re “King-Konging” your chest and defiantly proclaiming that “THE RANGERS ARE BACK” – then you’re on the crack.
And even if you’re not a “Rangers’ Historian” like yours truly – and unless you’re Sam Rosen – then your memory should at least be able to maintain events that took place just a week ago.
Need a refresher?
Here you go:
After getting molly-whopped and embarrassed in Sin City last Thursday night, the Rangers followed up that “performance” by choking against the Los Angeles Kings some two days later.
Come Sunday, just six-days ago, and now on a two-game losing streak – the Blueshirts looked god-awful for two periods against the lowly and second-to-last place Anaheim Ducks.
Trailing 2-0 until Vincent Trocheck scored at the 37:58 mark of the game, the Rangers then had an explosive third period, where they added four more unanswered goals onto the board in their eventual 5-2 win.
Fast-forward to last night, Friday night, and now back in New York – the Rangers got embarrassed and brutalized by the Vegas Golden Knights – again.
A day later, Saturday night in Ottawa, and just as it was in Anaheim – the Rangers looked god-awful during the first frame – and in some deja vu – by the 21:24 mark, they were once again trailing by a score of 2-0.
The difference between their time in Anaheim as opposed to tonight in Ottawa, is that during this go-around, the Rangers found a way to explode some twelve-minutes earlier.
And it wouldn’t have happened without the Rangers’ recall from earlier in the day, Wolf Pack defenseman, Connor Mackey.
At the 4:58 mark of the middle period, Mackey, who cleanly hit Tim Stutzle, was forced to defend himself following his legal check, as he was challenged to a battle of the fists with Ottawa’s captain, Brady Tkachuk.
And while I’ll get more into this during the GAME REVIEW – yes, and once again – this was another example, of about 98767868967896789678969 of them, where a player was tasked to fight because of the impact from his clean hit.
As I noted on my Tweeter account when watching the game live (I’ll share that tweet with you during the GAME REVIEW too) – while it was unfortunate that Mackey was forced to fight (and you can’t really blame Tkachuk for defending his young star’s honor either – and every Ranger fan would have cried foul had the roles been reversed) – this was a hell of a trade-off for the Blueshirts.
After all, for the next five-minutes, the Blueshirts had their AHL defenseman in the penalty box, while the Senators had their captain in the sin bin.
The end result?
Four Ranger goals scored within a time-span of 5:25 – and all Tkachuk could do was watch all of it.
In a somewhat fortunate, if not lucky occurrence; at the 5:51 mark of the second stanza, Alexis Lafreniere finally received some “puck luck” himself, as he was able to take a puck that ricocheted off of the back boards and then have it ricochet off of the leg of Sens’ goalie, Joonas Korpisalo.
2-1, bad guys.
Less than three-minutes later, and while on the rush, Chris Kreider scored his 23rd goal of the season, as CK20’s chase of breaking Rod Gilbert’s franchise record of 406 goals continues.
2-2 – tie game.
Then, and just some 39-seconds later, and in a rare occurrence where the Rangers flipped the script – it was their turn to score two goals within a minute – and something that’s happened against them nine times this season.
The recipient of the eventual game winning goal?
No other than Zac Jones, who buried the puck past Korpisalo after receiving a picture-perfect pass from Panarin.
Zac Jones everyone.
3-2, GOOD GUYS.
Hell, going into this game – and had you put a gun to my head over such a silly thing – then I would’ve said that tonight’s starter, Jonathan Quick, had a better chance of scoring a goal (an empty-netter) than Jones – you know, the guy with the worst plus/minus stat on the team.
The fourth-and-final goal scored within the 5:25 timespan saw another unlikely hero, JONNY HOCKEY (government name, Brodzinski, Jonny), deflect a puck past Korpisalo that Jones had sent to the net from the point.
4-2, GOOD GUYS.
But the Rangers weren’t done just yet.
Down to 3:06 remaining in the period and it was Blake Wheeler putting this game out of reach, as #17 scored for the second time in back-to-back games since being “re-promoted” to the Rangers’ second line.
5-2, GOOD GUYS.
And yep, now with a three goal lead – you didn’t feel that this lead was ever “dreaded” – and as you may have felt had CZAR IGOR been in net tonight.
Come the final frame, the last twenty-minutes prior to the nine-day break, the Rangers, while not coasting, let things get hairy for a bit.
In a way, this felt like an NFL team using their prevent defense at the end of the game – and where the only thing that’s prevented is a stranglehold over your opponents.
Put it this way: Quick only saw sixteen shots through the first forty-minutes. He saw fifteen shots on goal – and recorded fifteen saves too – during the final twenty-minutes.
An Artemi Panarin goal, an empty netter, which gave him a nice round total of 30 goals on the season, was scored at the 17:17 mark.
6-2, GOOD GUYS – but there was an extra point still left to be kicked.
In some deja vu from the night previous; come the 17:52 mark, there was Kaapo Kakko, at the same spot where he was with 1:05 remaining against Vegas, to pick up another “A-Rod” goal.
7-2, GOOD GUYS.
Perhaps crazier than Kakko, Lafreniere and Jones all scoring in the same game?
The fact that since the calendar flipped, Kakko (2) now has more goals scored than Zibanejad (1) in 2024.
Why bring this up?
It just goes to show you that not every problem was rectified in one night – nor could it ever be against a last-place and bad team in the “first place” (and I haven’t even talked about the 0-3 power-play or K’Awful Miller yet) – and when you look at tonight’s goal scorers – how many of you expect players like Jones, Kakko, Lafreniere, Brodzinski and Wheeler to score on a game-in and game-out basis?
In other words – this was an anomaly – and not the norm. Can anyone really debate otherwise?
And for all of the positivity and good-will that could have come out of this win – all of the momentum now stops dead-cold, due to the All Star Game and bye week.
My last, but not least, thought as I close out tonight’s intro segment?
If you missed it, then here’s what I predicted last night about this game – and I’m sharing this to show you that none of what I’m writing tonight comes from a perspective of hindsight being 20/20:
When the Rangers return from their break on February 5th, they will host the Avalanche on that date, the Lightning two days later and will then travel to Chicago for a Friday night game on 2/9.
Will it surprise anyone if the Rangers lose two of these next three games on the docket?
But I will be fair.
Should the Rangers sweep their return week – then I’ll cool down my jadedness.
But I have been through all of this before (and so have many of you too), and as I’ve said from day one ever since that May 1st, 2023 loss to the Devils – it’s easier to have no expectations whatsoever, just so you can never get let down.
Something else that I’ve been saying all-season – and going all the way back to late August of 2023?
You know what’s next – my season-long daily disclaimer – and one that goes like this:
“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!”
At this time, let’s get into all of the pregame news and notes (and in another rare occurrence – we do have a lot of stuff to hit – something that usually never happens during the second half of a back-to-back game) – and then into tonight’s GAME REVIEW.
Up first, the horrible decision to suspend Jacob Trouba.
Just hours prior to tonight’s game, the league’s comical Department of Player Safety announced the following via https://www.nhl.com/news/new-york-rangers-defenseman-jacob-trouba-suspended:
NEW YORK — New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba has been suspended for two games, without pay, for elbowing Vegas Golden Knights forward Pavel Dorofeyev during NHL Game No. 755 in New York on Friday, Jan. 26, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
The incident occurred at 18:08 of the second period.
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Trouba will forfeit $83,333.34. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Trouba, and as was obvious by his absence tonight, isn’t appealing the two-game ban assessed against him.
I watched the video that the horrendous DOPS released in which they used to explain their decision.
To me, I can see the cause for concern – but at the same time – I also just watched Brendan Gallagher try to take Adam Pelech’s head off with a vicious elbow – and the Canadien only received a five-game suspension.
Plus, and as noted up top – I thought what Trouba did to Frederic, accidental or not, was much worse than his elbow coming out of faceoff.
Around league circles, Trouba, and despite his clean and thunderous “TROO TROO TRAIN” hits, is not only gaining a reputation for injuring players (even if his ways are legal) – but some are accusing him of being dirty too.
It’s my belief, my opinion if you will, that Trouba only received this suspension because of what Gallagher did and because of the captain’s own reputation.
And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Last thought about this?
If a player can get suspended for a play that the referees didn’t penalize, then shouldn’t these officials get banned/fined/suspended for not doing their jobs too?
Ah, but alas, and unlike the players – the league doesn’t hold their officials accountable – and all while the NHL shoves gambling down everyone’s throat like a bulimic using their finger after dining at an all-you-can eat buffet – and such a buffet where you’ll find the Blueshirts’ beat reporters on any given night of the week.
Just ask Filip Chytil – where still – no one knows what actually caused his latest “setback.”
Since the Rangers knew what was coming down the pike for Trouba, along with the news following last night’s game when Ryan Lindgren left the match and never returned; the Blueshirts announced a Hartford call-up for Saturday night’s contest:
UPDATE: Connor Mackey has been recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack.
— NY Rangers PR (@NYR_PR) January 27, 2024
Let’s face the facts.
Unless you’re a downright and disgusting liar (or related to Mackey or Mackey himself) – no one wanted, nor was clamoring for either, Connor Mackey on the varsity roster.
Instead, and I’d peg the percentage at around 99.9%, the majority of Blueshirt backers wanted to see Matthew Robertson, who has racked up the frequent flier miles this season but hasn’t yet played in his first NHL game of his career, to receive the call.
And while it’s impossible to know what would have happened had Robertson played tonight – we do know what happened during Mr. Mackey’s first game as a Blueshirt.
Without Mackey, the Rangers don’t win tonight – as he started the comeback.
Many are now demanding that Mackey replace Lindgren and Miller on the roster.
While I can see the cause for the latter but not for the former (and many also said the same about Jones too, following his first NHL two-pointer), what this told me was the following:
The faith in this team has fallen so bad that everyone is willing to forget that Jones has been awful during all of his games played with the Rangers this season and that the 27-year-old Mackey, primarily an AHL player during the course of his professional career (tonight was his 40th NHL game, having previously skated for both the Coyotes and Flames), left a hell of a first impression.
But, and I’m not trying to discredit Mr. Mackey here – consider the competition too – or lack thereof.
And when it comes to the man from South Park, Colorado (okay, I’m making that up – he’s really from Tower Lakes, Illinois) – how can one argue for Miller over him?
With no morning skate since his team had played the night before; come 5PM, Laviolette spoke to the media during his mandatory pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”
Here it is:
Laviolette immediately expressed his displeasure in losing Trouba for the next two games.
While of course, Trouba makes a big difference – with or without him – the Rangers should have been able to handle the shitty Senators – and as they did.
However, I do believe that losing the captain for the team’s first game back against the Avalanche will be a major loss.
I also felt (and my live tweets don’t lie) that losing Trouba would hurt Miller big-time.
And that’s what happened.
In other news, all Laviolette said about Lindgren was that he was “day-to-day” and that he’d be a “game time decision.”
As you already know, #55 was withheld from the game – and with the break now in effect – it didn’t really make sense to force Lindgren into tonight’s game in the first place.
As far as Filip Chytil goes, not one member of the beat asked Laviolette for an update.
What a bunch of hard-hitting reporters!
However, leave it to yours truly to get the scoop for you!
Here’s your BLUECOLLARBLUESHIRTS.COM Chytil exclusive:
My source, who is never wrong and is always right about stuff on this, tells me that Chytil saw those new Stadium Series jerseys that the Rangers will be wearing – and then faked an injury so he wouldn’t have to wear them – and where he didn’t want to see those even worse looking Islander Stadium Series jerseys either!
Just call me Walter Cronkite.
Two more things before getting into tonight’s tilt – and like tonight’s goalie – I’ll make it “quick.”
After posting last night’s blog (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/12624/ ), my rage continued to fuel me when I opened my Twitter/X account.
As I was wondering whatever happened to those two buzzwords from earlier this season, two words that were recited like a bunch of Catholics, in stereo, reciting “Our Father” at Sunday mass, you know, “STRUCTURE” and “SYSTEMS” – I tweeted the following – and then received one hell of a response:
Yes, no one is a bigger fan of CZAR IGOR than me, but I legitimately spit out my drink and was crying laughing when I saw Nick’s response.
And unlike others (I’m looking at you Larry Brooks) – I don’t steal material from others – and always credit everyone – especially when they make a joke like this!
I am not here to promote gambling to you (we all know how much I hate all of these never-ending commercials – and how I think that they should all be banned from television too); but I found it interesting that heading into tonight’s game featuring a first-place vs last-place battle – that it was the worst team of the Eastern Conference that was favored against the best team from the Metro division.
During this Blueshirts’ slide – the Rangers are usually favored – and they are favored big.
Perhaps after numerous sharp gamblers were cashing in against all of these sports books, then it was tonight when these gambling operators finally took notice.
And wouldn’t you know it – the underdog won again – where in this case – it were the Rangers!
Furthermore, the Rangers, who opened at -135 favorites, dropped 30 points as -105 dogs.
Yeah, Trouba was out – but he’s not swinging a line by 30 points.
I only say this because it tells you that all of the money was coming in on Ottawa tonight – and where people with such bets were feeling good about themselves after the first period – but not so much after the second period!
Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the forty-ninth game of this 2023-24 season – and the final one before the All Star Game/bye week:
FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere
SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Wheeler
THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Brodzinski/Kakko
FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick
FIRST PAIR: Miller/Schneider
SECOND PAIR: Jones/Gustafsson
THIRD PAIR: Mackey/Fox
BACK-UP: CZAR IGOR
Healthy Scratches: Leschyshyn
BOX SCORE time.
The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:
J. Quick G
At 6:30:00PM, I tuned into the M$GN, where I was hoping to see “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist and/or Brian Boyle.
Instead, we got “The Chart Boy.”
Since I wasn’t going to sit through thirty-minutes of ANALytics and non-stop plugs for Vagistat’s shitty little company, I went to go make my dinner – but I did leave on my television.
I haven’t watched one of these “SOLO SIEVE” performances in a long time, but holy shit – is he even worse than I thought.
I am not exaggerating when I say the following:
Vagistat, and no less than one hundred times (and in every single one of his segments too) said these three meaningless words:
Is that all this idiot has – a compass to go along with his made-up charts and graphs?
Unlike Lundqvist and Boyle, Vagistat can’t draw from experience and offers no insight, outside of repeatedly talking about his bloody groin and getting drunk with the boys.
Vagistat is so bad that he makes you miss P.K. Slewban.
Seriously, M$GN could’ve pulled any junkie out of Penn Station and ask them to say “east-to-west” – and it would’ve been the same exact thing that you got out of Vagistat.
Once I was done cooking my meal (Ellio’s Pizza – I’m a world class chef with an Italian background as you can tell); come 7PM, we went to Ottawa where we were then greeted by Sam and Joe.
I was kind of expecting Rosen to belt out, “OH JOE, SHANE PINTO JOE. HE TAKES RISKS JOE! HE BET THE JETS TO WIN THE SUPERBOWL AT THE START OF THE SEASON JOE!”
While Rosen never said that, he did mention that Pinto was from Franklin Square, NY (Long Island) about 767696789689678686896896276363743 times.
Rosen would later bring up Pinto’s gambling suspension – and right after a commercial for Caesars’ sportsbook aired.
Dumb comedy aside, I thought that our affable announce duo was actually pretty good tonight, as while Sam is still infatuated with opposing players which always gets tiresome and exhausting – both men had no issues pulling punches when speaking about the Blueshirts.
(And of course, and as you already know – these two are much easier to listen to whenever the Rangers are winning – or so I say!)
Between saying all of the obvious stuff that they really don’t get into on most nights (Miller stinks, CZAR IGOR is struggling, many guys can’t score etc) – Sam and Joe covered all of it in the limited time that they had.
As far as who they praised, it were the three most likeliest suspects – Trocheck, Panarin and Cuylle.
And while a lot of this praise was redundant – how can you blame them?
After all, there’s nothing else positive to talk about these days.
Following a commercial and during a rare second segment (the puck drop of tonight’s game was delayed, as this was also a “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast), Rosen spent all of his time jizzing himself silly when talking about Sens’ coach Jacques Martin, Tim Stutzle, Shane Pinto and one of my “RANGER KILLERS” from my new book, former Flyer Claude Giroux.
Rosen, and I’m not making this up, also excitedly shrieked, “OH JOE, BRADY TKACHUK HAS GREAT BLOODLINES JOE! HIS SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER IS…”
(Okay, he only said the former, and not the latter, sentence!)
And to close the segment – and this had me howling with laughter – is when Rosen just let out a huge “AAAAAAAHHHHHH” out of nowhere – and as if he had either finally took a piss that he was holding in for an hour – or if he had finished rubbing himself red raw after reading the Senators’ media guide.
(HNIC assist/a reminder to yours truly credit goes to Mike Silvers, as I forgot about it at the time. The Rosen piss joke credit goes to Jim Schmeideberg of “The Blueshirt Underground Show.” The masturbation joke was my own, as despite my own age of 41-years-old – I have a maturity level of a 12-year-old.)
GAME REVIEW time.
This is what I said right at puck drop:
Mr. Mackey, mmm’kay, wearing #14, starts the game with Fox. Goodrow wins the draw and we are underway from the world’s least expensive arena. #NYR
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 28, 2024
While I don’t think that Ranger fans were off buying a massive amount of #14 jerseys after this game – what I do know is this – everyone now knows who wears #14 for the Blueshirts – and even if it’s just for this one night.
Similar to nearly every other game played from this month (and this match marked the last Rangers’ game of January ’24 too), the Rangers had another one of their textbook first period fiascos.
And really – you know it’s bad when both Sam and Joe don’t waste anytime whatsoever and just start shredding these guys to kingdom come (and they weren’t wrong for doing so).
Micheletti, and immediately after puck drop, said that the last-place Senators would be a tough challenge for the Rangers. However, what team isn’t a tough challenge for the Rangers these days – and where both CZAR IGOR and Jonathan Quick must be thinking about Gump Worsley these days too.
(If you don’t get the Gump Worsley reference, then read my first book, which you can find here: “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden”).
At just the 51-second mark, Zibanejad had Kreider set-up, but Korpisalo, who entered this game with a sub .875 save percentage and an above 3.50 GAA, was able to keep his stat sheet clean.
As not much was going on, I have to admit – by the three-minute mark – I was already bored to tears and expecting the “same old script.”
And while we did get a repeat episode tonight – it was the episode as talked about above – the win against the Ducks.
For whatever reason, with 16:06 remaining, Trocheck, who has more than deserved his spot at the All-Star Game, had an all-day look at Korpisalo – but instead, he made a cross-ice pass to no one – or in other words – a free turnover for the Senators.
While on the same shift and now back in the zone, with 15:45 remaining, the newest Ranger, Mr. Mackey, hit iron.
I was just glad to see him shoot the puck, but as you’d imagine, it’s better to put pucks into the back of the net rather than creating a loud <DINGING> noise, “MMM,KAY!”
(I promise – that’s my last South Park joke of the night – or so I hope!)
As Sam would not shut up about what deli’s and pizzerias Pinto used to go to on Long Island, Quick made his first save of the game on “future” Ranger Jakob Chychrun.
And after tonight’s game?
I was deeply disappointed that the Rangers didn’t leave K’Awful Miller behind in Ottawa – while also taking Chickie back home with them.
Down to 13:20 remaining and the Rangers got a break when Tkachuk had a breakaway – but the Sens’ captain made one move too many (due to Lafreniere getting back at the last second) – and where the end result saw him lose the puck before he could even shoot it.
Do you know how dreadfully boring that this devoid of life game was?
With 12:42 remaining (7:18 of elapsed time) – Micheletti then spent two-minutes telling us all about his DVR plans and his TV schedule for Sunday.
I am not making this up.
After Fox got hit in the o-zone which then led to a turnover; Quick, with about 11:00 remaining, recorded his second save of the game.
Down to 10:25 remaining, and the former (and hopefully two-time) Ranger, Vladimir Tarasenko, forced Panarin into a turnover. D.J. Casper, the guy wearing Petr Nedved’s old jersey, then blocked the ensuing shot, but this much was obvious – the Senators were picking up the pace.
And even with the Rangers out-shooting their opponents 8-2 at the time – not many of their shots were memorable or of a high quality – and where it also felt like every Senators’ shift was spent in the Blueshirts’ d-zone.
Then, and with 8:17 remaining – the inevitable.
Following the MANDATORY MOROSE MENTAL MILLER (or Quadruple M) turnover of the game – bang – there was Tkachuk to beat Quick.
1-0, bad guys.
This latest Miller gaffe led to a one-on-one opportunity for Tkachuk – and he wasn’t going to fail on this chance.
And Miller is the luckiest Ranger after the fact.
Had the Blueshirts lost this game, then all of the attention would’ve been on him – again – and for another boneheaded turnover and goal allowed.
But with seven goals scored – this mistake will be swept under the rug a bit.
As I was wondering if it was “PRIDE NIGHT” in Ottawa, as Rosen was seemingly willing to give up his asshole to Claude Giroux – all I could think is that I’ve seen more life at a hospice care facility than out of these guys.
Even the “Cowardly Lion” had more heart.
Down to 6:02 remaining, and not much going on, Korpisalo froze an innocent puck. Once the whistle was blown, Barclay Goodrow and Mark Kastelic had a scrum – but one that was quickly broken up by the zebras.
Thirty-seconds later, and these two were trading haymakers with one another – and where yes – it was Kastelic that got the better of Goodrow here.
But keep in mind, Goodrow lost half of his face a month ago or so – and it was only last week when he was able to take the fishbowl helmet off of his head.
Despite all of this, Goodrow was willing to risk his mangled mouth not only with a scrum – but with a fight too.
And this is the stuff that you’ll never find on any retarded ANALYTIC chart and/or graph.
EYE TEST ALL THE WAY!
However, this fight didn’t produce the intended result – or at least not for Goodrow.
It did produce the intended result for Kastelic, as during the next two Senator shifts, Mika lazily turned over the puck, which then led a to a wide shot while on a 2 x 1 odd-man rush – and where right after, and with 3:43 remaining – Ottawa absolutely caved in New York’s top line.
I know what many thought and I really can’t argue against them here.
If the CZAR IGOR of today was in net, then it probably would’ve been 2-0 here.
Instead, Quick fended off all attackers and kept the deficit to within one shot.
With 2:37 remaining, Batherson high-sticked JONNY HOCKEY, which as a result, gave the Rangers their first power-play of the game.
The $50M PP1 unit?
They didn’t even register a SOG against one of the worst penalty killing teams in the league – and I already gave you all of Korpisalo’s pathetic stats too.
All the Rangers did here was set a league record for most passes within a two-minute time-span.
1-0, bad guys, through twenty-minutes.
Here’s what I said at the time:
1-0, bad guys, through 20. 1P Thoughts:
— I wish I was working my 3PM-11:30PM shift tonight.
— Bring on the Royal Rumble.
— Same old script/deja vu
— Miller is putrid, but he’s not the only one.
— It’s amazing that this PP is still ranked second-overall in the NHL.#NYR
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 28, 2024
It didn’t start off great – but it sure ended that way for “Lavy’s Lot.”
The second period began with Micheletti sinking his fangs into the Rangers – and kudos to “Jumpin’ Joe” for showing no restraint.
For all of the talk about him being a former Blue and having no ties to the Rangers – he let out his “homerism” here – as he was absolutely irate about watching his favorite team playing like shit again.
In other words, you don’t talk this way about the team unless you have a vested and passionate interest in them winning.
Just 1:15 into the period and there was Milk Carton Mika who had high-sticked Tkachuk.
This was a careless high-sticking penalty, as following a save made from Quick on Stutzle, Mika couldn’t control his stick at all while Tkachuk was sniffing for a rebound.
Just nine-seconds later, and now on the power-play, Chychrun, who aced his “audition” if there was one – beat Quick.
2-0, bad guys – and where I’m not making this up – I had many Ranger fans, some who are equally as passionate about this club as me or you, who told me that they were turning off the game and were done for the night.
(However, some of them later told me that they were following the game from their phones – and then returned to the broadcast once the Rangers got the lead. How fickle! Say what you want about me – but you can never question my loyalty – and as my “new work blog era” writings would suggest!)
Down to 15:50 remaining, and Quick prevented a three-goal deficit as Kastelic absolutely blew by Miller for a clear SOG.
Then, and with 15:02 remaining – the start of the turnaround:
— David 🏒 (@DaveyUpper) January 28, 2024
Here was my reaction at the time:
Same old story – a clean hit (Mackey on Stutzle) led to the fight. Sam and Joe are giving us all of the usual talking points – and they aren’t wrong. And a Mackey for Tkachuk tradeoff favors #NYR too.
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 28, 2024
And yep – and as noted in my tweet above – Sam and Joe were absolutely correct about these fights that always happen after clean (and big) hits.
But I think that I’ve discussed this topic about 90634783786384897638934 times before on this site, so no need to go on another deep-dive about it tonight.
However, I’ll just say for tonight that the NHL needs to hand out a second five-minute major for these retaliation fights – and as a way to deter these commonplace showings of fisticuffs.
As noted at the top of this blog (if you can still remember – I know – these blogs are never-ending), with Tkachuk now in the box – the Rangers then ripped off four unanswered goals in a time-span of 5:25.
Here’s Lafreniere, who scored the first of the four:
Some catching up to do….
1) Laf banks it in
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) January 28, 2024
2-1, bad guys.
I got some flak on the good old Tweeter Machine for saying that this was a lucky goal.
I guess that I should clarify that remark.
While Lafreniere hustled, busted his ass, and put himself in the right position – he did get some “puck luck” here too.
Two different and conflicting things can be true – but when it comes to my live blog notes on Tweeter – I don’t have the time to write out qualifying statements and full sentences. (And you should know that by now.)
It should also be noted that this was Lafreniere’s first goal in ten-games – so before you throw a parade over this Haley Comet goal – let’s see him string a bunch of games together with a goal next to his name – and just like most first-overall picks do.
(And again, and as noted all-season – I’m not saying that Lafreniere has been bad. The opposite. I’m just saying that he rarely scores and it’s hurt the team big-time, as there have been at least a dozen games this season where had he hit the net – then the Rangers would have at least received a point, if not two, in the standings.)
Down to 11:33 remaining and Wheeler and Joseph took off-setting penalties.
With both teams now on the “foreplay,” and with Tkachuk and the AHL d-man in the box too – the Rangers then scored two more goals:
Chris Kreider tied it up with this goal!
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) January 28, 2024
2-2 – a much needed even-strength goal for Kreider – and off of the rush too!
39-seconds later, the aforementioned game-winner:
Zac Jones for the lead!
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) January 28, 2024
3-2, GOOD GUYS!
And when you’re giving up goals to both Jones and Lafreniere, well needless to say – it wasn’t Korpisalo’s night.
Once back to five-vs-five play, and with Tkachuk still in the box (due to no whistles), this is when Jones, from the point penalty box side, fired a rocket at the net – and where his captain in Hartford, JONNY HOCKEY, got a piece of it.
4-2, GOOD GUYS.
This goal, scored with 8:44 remaining, ended Korpisalo’s night.
Martin, a former d-coach of the Rangers (under David Quinn), then hooked his goalie for the team’s third-stringer (starter Anton Forsberg is injured), Mads Sogaard – and where Sogaard wasn’t “So Good” either.
Up 4-2 – Quick continued to make the big saves when needed – and where I have to admit it – another strong showing out of him only adds more fuel to the “GIVE QUICK A RUN OF GAMES” fire.
(I’ve already done the Talbot/Lundqvist vs Quick/Igor stuff before – so check the archives of this site for all of it – but even with the age-difference, where these players are/were at their stages of their career, etc – I do have to be consistent and not the let my fandom get the better of me when I say this – RIDE THE HOT HAND.)
With Tkachuk back on the ice, the Rangers nicked away at his plus/minus stat with 3:06 remaining:
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) January 28, 2024
5-2, GOOD GUYS, as while your $8.5M center can’t score a goal to save his life these days – he can set them up – and as he did here – as this was Zibanejad’s second primary assist of the game.
And how about BLAKE WHEELCHAIR – who is crippling opposing goalies himself these days?
With 1:55 remaining, Artem Zub put a puck over the glass, which then gave the Rangers their second power-play of the game.
I can’t lie – at the time – I thought that the Rangers would finally end their power-play drought.
Instead, they ultimately finished 0-2 here – and where Quick had to make two saves while his team had a man-advantage.
But when you win 7-2, a brutal and ineffective pass-happy power-play won’t garner much headlines, nor receive the lede story treatment either.
5-2, GOOD GUYS, through forty-minutes.
Here’s what I said at the time:
5-2, GOOD GUYS, after 40. 2P Thoughts:
— Mr. Mackey, even if he was forced to defend himself, changed this whole game. Four unanswered goals with Tkachuk in the box after the fight.
—It’s a feel good period, but doesn’t change anything – let’s see how they look against…
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 28, 2024
We can breeze through this final frame.
Most of this period saw the Rangers adopt a conservative approach, and as if they were Mike Pence, which then allowed the Senators to run wild like a bunch of liberal looters.
As noted up top, Quick, who only had to make 16 saves in the first two periods, had to come up with 15 denials during these final twenty-minutes.
Among the stuff that you need to know:
— As Quick was lights out for the first ten-minutes, come 9:56 remaining, the Rangers received their third-and-final power-play of the game when we had ARTEM-ON-ARTEMI violence, as the Sen slashed the Blueshirt.
— The Rangers’ power-play finished the match 0-3 – and only put one SOG on this particular power-play.
— To be fair, while you would’ve liked to seen a goal scored – this power-play was more about killing two-minutes off of the clock than anything else. However, Quick did need to come up with another save – so it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park here either.
— With 4:23 remaining, Sogaard was pulled for the extra attacker.
— With 2:43 remaining, Panarin ended the game with his empty netter.
— 6-2, GOOD GUYS.
— For the second-time in the game, the Rangers then scored two goals within forty-seconds or less, as this time, and with 2:08 remaining, Kakko deposited the puck into the vacated net following a pass from JONNY HOCKEY.
— 7-2, GOOD GUYS – and your final score too.
And yep – if only the Rangers were able to spread these seven goals scored during Quick’s four previous starts, then JQ32, who hasn’t received much goal support lately, would be nearing his 15th win, rather than “settling” for his tenth.
Here’s Lavy after the win:
I really enjoyed this interview – and for one reason only – Laviolette went right back to talking about the loss against Vegas – as he was still obviously miffed about that.
And in a way – I think Laviolette is like me – he knows that tonight’s win didn’t change a thing.
The Rangers still need help, need to use Chytil’s freed-up cap money to get a center and something has to be done about this power-play.
And of course, Miller, Mika and CZAR IGOR need to regain their games/prime forms too.
This was a feel-good win for the team – but all of their problems are still glaring.
Plus, it felt like it was the Wolf Pack players who led the way, as outside of Quick, players like Jones, Brodzinski, and of course, Mackey too, did the bulk of the heavy lifting.
What does that say about the varsity players?
I’m sure that Laviolette is asking himself the same question.
Up Next: A nice break before the Rangers return against “OLD FRIEND” Alexandar Georgiev and his Colorado company.
As mentioned last night, this break couldn’t have come at a better time for both the Rangers and yours truly – as my new work hours are taking some time adjusting to.
Barring anything major breaking (a trade), I’ll have something for you next week – but really – during the past few weeks on this site, including tonight, I think that I’ve hit everything.
But I’m sure that I’ll be able to scrounge up something – and if not – then I’m going back to work on my next book, the biography on Phil Watson, where admittedly, and due to a lack of time, I’ve been neglecting this project that I hope to have released by the summer.
Enjoy the break – and where if you’re like me – then you might be “Ranger’d Out” a bit and also need a timeout!
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:
NYR/VGK 1/26 Review: Take Your Pick – “Deja Vu” or “Same Old Script!” Blueshirts Blown Out Again; Every Flaw Remains the Same, “Lateralette” Joins David Quinn & Gerard Gallant, Chytil’s Return Shutdown After Another Concussion Scare; Nick Bonino Goes Unclaimed, WHO’S WORSE: Mika or Lafreniere? Lindgren Out, A Decent ESPN Broadcast & More
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
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