Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com.
Off of puck drop here, I have a funny feeling that this may be one of the longest blogs of the year, and that really says something, since these blogs usually wind up in the 10,000 word range as is!
Prior to tonight’s game, there was so much stuff that went on. It just feels, even in a season where the Rangers may not make the playoffs in, that there’s always something to talk about. Heading into tonight’s game, you had the major stories, concerning Lias Andersson and the Rangers three goalie system, going on. Minor stories also included Valiquette blocking more fans on Twitter for disagreeing with his awful takes and Ron Duguay telling an incredible story about ex-Ranger Don Murdoch. Then, if that wasn’t enough for you, the Rangers beat the Devils, in a game where the scoreboard read, “Rangers Touchdown – Devils Field Goal.”
Obviously, the in-game stuff is what’s more important. CZAR IGOR SHESTYORKIN remains the lead story. That fact will remain as long as he’s here. The Rangers have a three goalie system right now and that’s the talk of Rangerstown. However, that said, Tony DeAngelo took some of the headline thunder away tonight. In tonight’s game, DeAngelo had a hat trick and two assists – before the third period even started!
If you’re a regular reader of these blogs, know me in real life or follow me on social media, you know what I’ve been preaching since day one on these blogs. You know what I’ve preached all off-season. You know what I’ve preached all season long. Foo-foo & analytical charts don’t matter. Salary cap hits do matter. The political beliefs of these players don’t matter. Proven players are more important than unknown European prospects.
What happens in tonight’s game? Tony DeAngelo, a player that these liberal crybabies on Twitter hate (more on this below) has the best game of his life. The rookie CZAR IGOR, in his second game as a Ranger, puts together a 46 save effort, while a $8.5M goalie, long past his prime and who serves no purpose on this roster anymore, just sits there and watches.
While what I’m about to say next is an exaggeration – watching this all come together tonight, made me feel like a proud father, akin to watching their child walk or talk for the first time. And that’s what happened here – the Rangers are taking their first steps out of the Lundqvist Era of Error, as they approach a new brand and era of Ranger hockey.
Oh, and I have to mention, as a fan, I bought two jerseys this season. Here they are:
Gotta say, it’s been one hell of a week for my Rangers fandom! As my pal Spiggy always says, “LIKE IT?!” Yes I do!
Speaking of that signed Igor jersey, you know where I’m going next – the PLUGS section of the blog. I talked about meeting Igor in my last blog. To read that blog, and my most recent blogs, check out below:
NYR/COL 1/7 Review: A CZAR IS BORN! Igor Shestyorkin & The Rangers Knock Off The Av’s; Igor Delivers In Much Anticipated Debut, Rangers Rack Points, Meeting & Talking with The CZAR & Ryan “Eff Your Charts Strome”, Crybaby Andersson & Much More From M$G
The 2019-2020 New York Rangers Mid-Season Report Card: Grading Every Ranger on the Roster & Coaches, In-Depth Profiles, Panarin Aces; Skjei Disgraces, Quinn’s Status, JD, Are the Rangers Any Better Than Last Year, Looking Ahead & Breaking News: IGOR SHESTYORKIN IS HERE!
NYR/VAN 1/4 Review: The Rangers Play One Of Their Best Games of the Season; Find a New Way to Lose, Markstrom Gets Away with Armed Robbery, NYR Swept in Western Canada, The Final Dagger, Looking Ahead To The Final Half of the Season, DQ/Ruff, “SLAP SHOT” & More
NYR/CGY 1/2 Review: Cam Talbot & The Flames Burn Lundqvist, The Rangers & Their Playoff Hopes, Brady Skjei Gets The Hook & Evil Eye, Booing Fuels Fox, Trouba Dominates, Top Guns Silenced, Trades, Duguay, Huge Fear, $5 Beers & More From The Last Straw Loss of the Season
NYR/EDM 12/31 Review: Oil Spill in Rangerstown; Rangers Show Up Fashionably Late in Edmonton, Panarin Racks While Georgiev Cracks, DQ & Terrible Officiating Cost The Blueshirts, Stinknevich Gets Scared, Micheletti, Paul Newman & More From The Final Game of 2019
BCBS For New Year’s Eve: Artemi Panarin’s Potential NYR Record Setting Season Earns Him All-Star Nod; Mika Possibly Next, DeAngelo Owns & Triggers Twitter (Again), Re-Sign Strome & Lemieux, The Georgiev & Kreider Trade Rumors, CZAR IGOR, NYR/EDM Preview & More
As talked about up top, there were some things that went down after the Rangers win over Colorado and puck drop today. I guess I’ll start with the most serious story, and then work my way to the lighter side of things. After that, I’ll eventually get into the game tonight!
Let’s start with Crybaby Lias Andersson.
I talked about Lias Andersson a bit in my last blog. On Wednesday evening and on Thursday morning, more stories came out about Lias Andersson. Most of them were pretty much the same, but two RUMORZ~! came out of these reports.
The first rumor was that Andersson may be suffering from mental health issues. The second rumor was that the Rangers were feeding Andersson painkillers, in order to get him to play while injured. That’s a lot to unpack right there.
All of these rumors started after a news report from Sweden, which again, I recapped in my last blog. In response to the rumors, NHL reporter Darren Dreger tweeted the following:
I called @TitanSports365 Jarrett Bousquet following up on Lias Andersson situation. Bousquet clarifies Andersson has not been diagnosed with mental health issues and doesn’t suffer from depression or anxiety. He is however, upset with his situation with the Rangers.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 9, 2020
I’m glad to hear that. Quite frankly, if Lias Andersson went down the “mental health issue” rabbit hole, I would’ve thought that would’ve been a cop-out. I think mental health is the new “woke” term of this millennial generation.
While I’m not ignoring that people do have mental health issues, at the same time, I think some people use that term as a crutch. I don’t want to do a whole spiel about that topic right now, but let’s face it – life is tough. Going through adversity and tough times is part of life. Having to battle struggles is not a mental health thing, that’s just life.
When it comes to pro athletes, attaining success at the highest level is something that a tiny percent of the world’s population will ever achieve. The fact here is that not everyone is cut out for this, not everyone is talented to play pro sports and for the majority of people chasing a dream of being a professional athlete, well it just doesn’t work out. Lias Andersson may be one of these people. It looks that way right now.
And want to know the funniest thing about Dreger ENDING SPECULATION AND REPORTING FACTS? He was buried by the millennial liberal social justice warriors on social media, for having the gall and the audacity, to kill a rumor and report a story. I guess in this safe space world, some fans on social media aren’t aware of what real reporting is anymore.
Anyhoo, Lias Andersson does not have mental health issues. I’m glad to hear that. After all, the timing of this would’ve been horrible. Andersson said he thought he should’ve been the second centerman in New York and thought his demotion to Hartford was wrong. If he used the excuse of mental health issues here, it would’ve been extremely suspect. In any event, it doesn’t matter, as Andersson isn’t claiming that, as was originally rumored.
The second rumored issue was about the Rangers giving Lias Andersson pain killers. I had a twitter conversation about this, with new Rangers beat reporter, Vince Mercogliano. You can read the whole thing on Twitter, by checking out my account.
The gist of the conversation, was that it was my contention, that this story about the painkillers was bigger than anything else going on. Vince disagreed, saying it was common for players to use prescribed drugs. Here’s the thing, in regards to this specific story – not one reporter said if these pills were prescribed. I know the reporters think this is commonplace, and I’m sure that 99% of the time, the pills are prescribed. However, it would’ve been nice to follow-up on the painkiller topic. That’s all I’m saying.
Furthermore, Lias Andersson isn’t even old enough to legally drink or now smoke a cigarette in this country, but he’s old enough to take pills? Pills that sometimes lead to heroin for people, and in a country that has an opiod epidemic right now? Don’t believe me on this? Just check out Penn Station after a Rangers game, and look at all the homeless drugged out zombies that litter the place. No joke, as I was leaving M$G on Tuesday night, I had to tip-toe around, as I made my way past drugged out homeless people, that were sleeping on the staircases.
Now, the painkiller stuff may not be a story. Maybe Lias Andersson had the drugs prescribed to him. All I’m saying, is that this story should’ve been followed up on. I mean, we’re feeding a young man dope pills. How did that work out for Tyler Skaggs of the LA Angels? I’m not saying the two stories are the same, but to bury your head in the sand on this issue, well that just seems reckless to me.
I’ve had enough about Lias Andersson and talking about Lias Andersson. All I’ll say is goodbye and good-riddance. His comments in Sweden continues to drive down his trade value even more for the Rangers. The Rangers should just wash their hands of him and cut their losses. It’s not worth their time and energy to keep this issue and story alive, especially when they got bigger fish to fry.
Good luck to Lias Andersson in life. Just stay away from the Rangers.
One story, with levity, making the rounds today, was Larry David’s comments on a recent episode of “The Michael Kay” show. I’ve seen this story reported all over the place, but I was shocked to see NHL.com cover it!
Here’s the story, courtesy of NHL.com.
The following comes from: https://www.nhl.com/news/larry-david-defends-kaapo-kakko-new-york-rangers/c-313672106
Larry David has no issues airing his grievances when it comes to the handling of New York Rangers rookie Kaapo Kakko.
The “Seinfeld” creator, star of the hit HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiam,” and budding hockey analyst was making a case for the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on ESPN Radio’s “The Michael Kay Show” on Tuesday.
David, an avid Rangers and New York sports fan, was upset that Kakko was benched after taking a holding penalty with 7:52 remaining in New York’s game against at the Calgary Flames on Saturday. The Rangers were trailing 4-3 at the time and yada, yada, yada lost by the same score.
The penalty, and benching by coach David Quinn, came after Kakko scored his seventh goal of the season at 5:46 of the second period.
“Why did he bench Kakko in that third period after he scored?” David asked Kay and co-host Don La Greca. “(He scores) his first goal in 14 games, had an assist, and he benches him because he takes a bad penalty. C’mon that’s ridiculous.”
Quinn, when asked about the comments on Thursday, said he thought what David had to say was funny, but also fired back.
“It made me laugh. It made me laugh,” Quinn said. “Listen, that’s coaching. If your feelings get hurt easily do not get into coaching. I’ve watched a few bad Seinfelds and Curbs. I still love Larry David and his work.”
During the radio spot, La Greca, who also calls Rangers games on ESPN Radio, defended the coach.
“You gotta learn when you take the bad penalties you can’t be out there in these one-goal games. Every game is important,” he said. “I can’t believe I’m breaking down hockey with Larry David.”
But David wasn’t having it.
“But you think putting him on the bench is going to make him …. You don’t think he knows that he took a bad penalty. He knows,” David said. “Benching him is not going to do anything … They need another goal.”
La Greca again defended Quinn, saying he wasn’t going to second-guess the Rangers coach, which only got David more fired up.
“You are such a fraud,” David said.
Here was David Quinn’s response to Larry David, which was made on Thursday morning:
Larry David was critical of David Quinn’s coaching recently on @TMKSESPN. Quinn isn’t letting it faze him:
“I’ve watched a few bad Seinfeld’s and Curb Your Enthusiam’s, I still love Larry David” 🤣 pic.twitter.com/K5s9DADEQw
— Rangers Videos (@SNYRangers) January 9, 2020
A few things here!
For starters, I can’t believe it’s okay to watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm” anymore. Isn’t it offensive? The show uses bad words! The show isn’t politically correct! THE HORROR! I guess since Larry David plays Bernie Sanders on “Saturday Night Liberals”, Larry David gets a pass to make fun of who he wants. However, if Tim Allen does the same thing – FORGET ABOUT IT!
I’m a big fan of Curb and Larry David. You’d have to be an idiot not to be. That said, even as a big fan of his work and career, I had no clue that he was a Rangers fan. Put it this way – Larry David was criticizing David Quinn over something that happened during a late night game in Western Canada. That said, Larry David knew everything that was going on. I was impressed!
I had no problem with Quinn benching Kakko in that game. Whether I agree or disagree with Quinn’s decision is not important, even if other bloggers will tell you that their opinion matters here. What I 100% agree with, is Quinn deciding to coach the team the way he sees fit. Yeah, he benched Kakko, the potential future crown jewel of the organization. Maybe this move pays off in the future. I just agree and support Quinn’s decision to run the team the way he sees best. We’re not there every game. We’re not there for practice. We’re not on the planes with these guys. You may not like that Quinn benched Kakko, but Quinn has every right to do what he wants.
I thought David Quinn, in responding to Larry David, handled the situation well. Quinn used comedy to deflect and even fired a shot back at Larry David. Of course, Larry David is much better in his field than Quinn is in his, but that’s besides the point.
This is good publicity for the Rangers and hockey as a whole, as you have one of the most famous comedians in all the world, talking about your product. And really, would it shock anyone if this leads to a Larry David appearance/skit at a Rangers game or a David Quinn cameo on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”? And yeah, David Quinn may want Susie Essman around, just in case. I would reprint some of her famous quotes here, but Larry Brooks would consider them racist, misogynist, sexist, xenophobic and puerile. If anyone isn’t laughing about this story, it’s Larry Brooks, who thinks it’s racist when you fart after eating Mexican food.
During the last few blogs, I mentioned that we had a Steve Statiquette-free broadcast. Joe Micheletti & Sam Rosen handled all the pregame, intermission and post-game segments, when the Rangers were on the road. I really enjoyed Micheletti during all of this, as I thought he was on-point and all of his stuff had merit and validity.
Enter Steve Valiquette.
M$G Networks didn’t do the game on Tuesday, as it was an NBC game. Of course, because he wasn’t there, Valiquette, like a legion of people who rather make charts while watching the games, rather than you know, just watch the game itself, had to tweet out charts.
Funny enough, after Vally tweeted out his inane chart nonsense, a reader of this blog responded to Vally. Here’s the exchange:
Statiquette needed a stupid chart to assess Shestyorkin’s debut. Of course, Vally, whose head is so wedged up Hank’s ass, so much so, that Hank needs a proctologist to remove it, blamed Igor for goals allowed.
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 9, 2020
No joke, Vally blocked @RangersTown91, for criticizing Vally’s charts. And Vally had the balls to call players soft on the air! What a wuss.
Just like tonight’s game, when I watched Igor play live on Tuesday, I didn’t need a chart to tell me how he did. I have two functional eyeballs. Igor played great! What’s a chart going to tell me, that I didn’t already know, from watching the game?
Of course, during tonight’s game, Valiquette was the ultimate hypocrite and walked back some of his previous comments.
You know I cover the M$G guys on this site all the time, so if you don’t believe me here, just check the archives of this site.
TWICE on tonight’s broadcast, Vally said he wasn’t going to play “arm-chair GM” or try to figure out what to do with the three goalie system. However, in five different broadcasts this season, Valiquette said the Rangers should try to trade Georgiev. Vally even said this during TWO SEPARATE GAMES, where Georgiev recorded SHUTOUTS in. I won’t even bring up how Vally talks about cap hits from time-to-time, except for the $8.5M cap hit in the room, you know, the contract that’s an albatross on this Rangers rebuild.
Then, later on in the broadcast, when critiquing Igor, Vally had to compare him to Lundqvist. Who cares? Igor is playing. No one cares how he plays shots as compared to Lundqvist. And do you know what Vally didn’t mention? How the Devils were denied every time they tried to go five-hole on Shestyorkin, shots that always go in against Lundqvist.
Valiquette should take a page out of Joe Micheletti’s book and toss away the Swedish pom-poms. It would make him a better analyst. That said, even if Vally was able to shut up about Lundqvist for two seconds, I don’t know if he can bring anything to these broadcasts. He’s terrible as a solo act. The Rangers really miss this guy:
I’ve covered Ron Duguay, his status with M$GN and his podcast previously on this blog. In a new update, Ron Duguay dropped the latest episode of his podcast, which you can find here:
— Ron Duguay (@RonDuguay10) January 9, 2020
In the latest episode, Ron Duguay tells the story of Don Murdoch and a transgender person. I don’t want to spoil it. All I’ll say is this – there’s no way Duguay could’ve ever told this story on the M$G Networks and there’s no way he could tell it during “Pride Night”! And don’t get what I’m saying twisted. Duguay’s story isn’t offensive at all. It’s funny. However, we all know how social justice warriors look to pounce on anything these days.
My only critique about the podcast remains the same – I wish it was longer. However, I get we’re in an attention deficit disorder world. If you’re reading this blog, you don’t have ADD. Duguay’s podcast will be an easy listen for you. For other people, a 35 minute podcast is perfect.
The reason I bring up the length of Duguay’s podcast is because he gets some great interviews, but once Duguay gets into the heat of things with his interviewee, the interview wraps up. In the latest episode, Duguay has ex-referee Kerry Fraser on. I would’ve liked to hear Fraser’s take on the recent calls the Rangers have experienced. While Lemieux was brought up, I was kind of interested about the elbow Buchnevich received from Ryan Ellis.
In any event, Duugay’s podcast is worth your time.
And oh, check out the latest episode of the “BLOCK PARTY” with Dan Girardi. Girardi interviewed JT Miller and there are some good Ranger stories on the episode, including how Miller has some eerie stories about Vancouver. The city of Vancouver has always been linked to Miller’s career, in one way or the other.
There’s also a good story about partying with Cam Talbot and how Sather sent Miller on two separate planes. To hear the podcast for yourself, check out either https://www.nhl.com/lightning/video/block-party–jt-miller/t-277437434/c-5062195 or search “BLOCK PARTY” on Apple iTunes podcasts. That’s how I listen.
And worth note – Dan Girardi has Derek Stepan on his next episode. Girardi’s producer/co-host, in Seth Kush, is promising an epic episode. I’ll report back once it’s uploaded!
At this time, let’s go to the GAMBLING segment of the blog!
Here’s what I said before the game:
Season record: 22-19-1
Tough game to predict. I think Shestyorkin will be better after getting the nerves out in his debut.
Devils are better than their record, but their goaltending is suspect. #nyr can put up 5 spots at any given time.
I’ll go UNDER, in a defensive game. pic.twitter.com/fN5FImKg0G
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 9, 2020
Just like the last game, I take the loss here. Luckily, I took the Rangers too! No Father Fink’s given about being wrong tonight. I’ll happily be wrong on my predictions, if it means the Rangers will score 5+ goals a game!
With my loss, my record drops down to 22-20-1 on the season. And newsflash, since I do these predictions based on my heart, there is no way I’m going to predict an over when CZAR IGOR is starting!
I will say this, I did say the Rangers “can put up 5 spots at any given time.” I had that right!
4000 words in already. Minga!
Lastly here, the line-up tonight stayed the same for the Rangers. Haley and Georgiev were your only scratches. Speaking of Georgiev, I was sent the following picture after the game tonight:
I’ll talk more about Georgiev at the end of this blog, but I feel bad for the guy. He’s done everything asked and now everyone has him out the door, with the most likely destination being Toronto. It’s just a shame that he looks to be the third consecutive goalie victim of the horrible Lundqvist contract. I’ve said it so many times on this blog, it just makes no sense to keep an $8.5M cap-hit 38 year old goalie, when you have two young goalies, who are 25% of that Lundqvist cap hit, COMBINED! Plus, Lundqvist is the weak link goalie here.
Finally, at this time, let’s go to the official box score, courtesy of ESPN.com:
After Vally’s useless yammering, we had a segment where Mike Richter promoted the upcoming Yale vs Harvard game. In perhaps what was foreshadowing, since Tony DeAngelo had such a big game tonight, Mike Richter talked about how the game was also going to feature talks about political topics. After previewing the game, Richter said that there would be a discussion about “climate change” and “global warming”, during the intermission breaks of this upcoming Ivy League tilt.
I’ve talked about DeAngelo so much on these blogs, in regards to his support of Donald Trump. I’m not going to rehash all that. I will just simply say, he’s a great New York Ranger, he’s having a season that we haven’t seen from a Rangers defenseman since the days of Brian Leetch and the hatred he gets from a disgusting section of this fanbase, SOLELY BASED ON HIS POLITICAL beliefs, is idiotic to me. I don’t care how these players lean politically, as long as they don’t support terrorists. I don’t care if they are a super left wing liberal or a staunch right wing conservative. As long as they produce for the Rangers, I’m happy. And that’s what Tony DeAngelo has done for the Rangers – PRODUCED.
(I will admit, that I will ham it up on social media and on these blogs, as you can tell from the photo at the top of this blog, when TDA does well. I just like to rile it up too and fight back, just like other great Americans do, in Donald Trump and Tony DeAngelo!)
That said, for as much as I love Mike Richter, I don’t see the point in opening up a discussion about global warming during a hockey game. I’m consistent on my opinion on this. For the same reason I don’t like Pride Night, I don’t think it’s necessary. (I just don’t like exposing young fans/kids to topics that are sexually & politically oriented, which is what Pride Night is. I personally also don’t like celebrating people who get transgender surgeries, as if they were a returning war hero. That’s me. You don’t have to agree with me and that’s fine. We’re never going to agree on everything anyway.)
After the pregame show, we went to Sam Rosen (sporting the worst comb-over ever, even worse than Trump’s!) and Joe Micheletti. As I’ve said in the past, Valiquette has been so terrible this season, that he makes Micheletti look like the second coming of Foster Hewitt. And really, Micheletti has been great this season, at least in my opinion.
And before getting into the game, is anyone else sick of that Rangers fan who married a Devils fan commercial? The guy seems like the ultimate cuck, right down to proposing to his wife on Devils home ice. I would be embarrassed to admit that, much less tell that story on camera!
In a move out of the bizarro world, it were the Rangers applying the early pressure tonight, even getting a shot off in the first 15 seconds of the game. The Devils would even turn the puck over in their defensive zone, which led to MacKenzie Blackwood making a save on Panarin. After this save, the Devils would get their first shot on goal, and CZAR IGOR would make the save. Had to be nice to get the first save out of the system, especially after giving up a goal on the first shot faced in his debut game.
2:50 into the game, Brendan Smith was penalized for delay of game. Igor would make four saves on this Rangers penalty kill and none of them were easy. Igor stopped a two-on-one Devils chance, a shot while 100% screened and made a big save on PK Subban. I don’t know folks, if third string goalie Henrik Lundqvist was in net, the Rangers may have needed a double-digit amount of goals to win this game!
At 5:42 into the first period, the Rangers got on the board first. Who scored the goal? Why who else, in a one Artemi Panarin:
— Tony D Stan Account (@RangersMSGN) January 10, 2020
1-0 GOOD GUYS. And look at the account where I took this .gif/video from. It’s the official twitter account of the Rangers MSG Network, who have now rebranded themselves as a Tony DeAngelo fan account!
I’ll talk more about this vile woman in a bit, but how about this reaction to the Rangers MSGN twitter account supporting Tony DeAngelo tonight:
On this opening goal, Adam Fox made a great defensive play, fed Tony DeAngelo, TDA got behind the net, made a great backhand pass to Panarin and Panarin sniped it. What a pass and what a goal.
Oh – Artemi Panarin had a three point game tonight, but once again, that’s lost in the mix. Who would’ve thought that? DeAngelo & Shestyorkin will get all the headlines, but let me put this in CAPSLOCK and big print to reiterate:
ARTEMI PANARIN HAD A THREE POINT GAME TONIGHT AND THAT STORY ISN’T THE HEADLINE!
Like Rodney Dangerfield – Artemi Panarin isn’t getting any respect. And really, do you know what it comes down to? We are now taking Panarin for granted and we are becoming accustomed to seeing this every game, where if he doesn’t have a 2+ point game, we’re shocked.
Mark my words – while Panarin will smash every Russian Ranger single-season scoring record this season, he will one day break Jagr’s single-season scoring records too.
After this goal, Brendan Smith, who wasn’t benched after his early penalty, drew one himself, when PK Subban hooked him at the 7:40 mark of the period.
After a Rangers icing on the PP, the Devils won the faceoff in front of Igor and Kevin Rooney scored a short-handed goal, a rebound goal, just twenty seconds into the Rangers PP. This is a common thing for the Rangers this season. They often lose faceoffs to the left or right of the goaltender and bang-bang, it’s a goal for the opponent. It happened here and it would happen again in this game. This is something to work on. I understand you can’t win every faceoff, but something has to be done once you lose the faceoff.
Right after the Rangers PP ended, Tony DeAngelo gave the Rangers the lead again:
— Tony D Stan Account (@RangersMSGN) January 10, 2020
2-1, GOOD GUYS.
Of note here, most of TDA’s goals this season have come from the goalies paint, or right in front of it. In tonight’s game, TDA sniped all three of his hat trick goals right by Blackwood. Between Panarin and DeAngelo (I’ll share the stats at the end of this blog) these two are having a historic season for the Rangers. Imagine hating Tony DeAngelo? COULDN’T BE ME!
At the 11:32 mark of the period, John Hayden was called for interference, after halting Kaapo Kakko. This put the Rangers on the power-play again.
In what may be the prettiest and most impressive goal of the season, Chris Kreider scored 40 seconds later, after this amazing pass from Tony DeAngelo:
— Tony D Stan Account (@RangersMSGN) January 10, 2020
3-1, GOOD GUYS!
On this PPG, Tony DeAngelo bombs the puck, making a two line pass, off the opposing boards, the puck ricochets back to Kreider and Kreider backhands the puck past Blackwood. WOW!
Of course, this is a set play, a play the Rangers practice during most of their practices. Like a Hail Mary pass, you never know when you will have the chance to do something like this, but here’s TDA doing it here. Even more impressive? On the Devils first goal of the game, which came as a result of a Rangers icing, TDA risked icing the puck here, but said “eff it”, and couldn’t have made a more perfect pass than this one. Also of note, this is knowing your home rink and how the boards react to the puck.
I can’t get over this goal enough. This was like looking at Monet painting.
At 3-1, the Rangers were just rocking the Devils. The Devils would try to go five-hole on Igor, but that crap wasn’t working. Hank wasn’t in net!
With less than two minutes remaining in the period, the Devils would get the next goal of the game. Blake Coleman would score off a floater of a shot, while Igor was screened. 3-2. On this goal, once again, the Devils won a faceoff in front of Igor and scored. Another defensive zone faceoff loss for the Rangers for a goal the other way. This goal was kind of controversial too, because before screening and scoring, Coleman collided and took down Adam Fox. The refs called interference penalties all game, but let this one slide. Hmmmm.
Then, in the final minute of the period, Buchnevich, who was in pure STINKNEVICH mode tonight, got a breakaway and came within inches of scoring a goal. Stinknevich hit the cross bar, the puck bounced directly behind Blackwood, but never crossed the goal line. The play was stopped here, as the refs reviewed the shot and it was clear as day – no goal. Replay was used for good here, even if it didn’t go the Rangers way. That would not be the case later on in the game.
Blackwood would make one more save on Trouba to close this period. 3-2 after one. The Devils led the SOG category, 17-14.
The second period of this game started off with Panarin undressing the Devils defense, leading to a Rangers SOG. I’m sure you can tell already, but anytime Panarin and/or DeAngelo were on the ice tonight, you noticed them. They were Father Finkin’ fantastic tonight.
After this, Miles Wood of the Devils, would get a breakaway chance on CZAR IGOR. Igor made the save, which led to huge IGOR chants around M$G. The crowd is into him. I’m telling you, I have debates about Lundqvist being on this team all the time and not just with crazed Cult of Lundswiss fans.
One of my good buddies, in Al “SMD” Delmauro, who isn’t in the Cult of Lundswiss and will argue intelligently with me, will always say – “The Rangers need Lundqvist to draw.” I don’t see how he, or anyone else, can believe that after watching these two past games. Panarin is your draw. The crowd is already behind Igor. You also have Kakko, DeAngelo, Lemieux, Zibanejad and Fox, who also have their legion of followers. TEAM SUCCESS AND WINNING, will always draw. A cupless Swedish goalie, no longer has any effect on empty or full houses at M$G anymore.
Later on, Zibanejad made a great drop pass to Buchnevich. The shot was saved. As we’ve seen so many times before, Buchnevich couldn’t finish. Even Micheletti was laughing on-air about this. What else can you do? Buchenvich, 99/100 times, just can’t finish when set up.
In a wacky play, Jacob Trouba pushed Blake Coleman into the net, which led to the net coming off the pegs. During a mass hysteria in front of the net, Trouba kicked the puck past Igor, while the net was already adjacent to the boards. This then led to a long review, where this goal would count, despite the whistle being blown. 3-3.
I’ll say this – I’ve never seen one of these goals like this count before. I guess it’s a good call, according to the NHL rulebook, but this looked fugazi to me.
I also want to say this – look at the three goals Igor gave up tonight, in his 46 save game. Two came off of defensive zone faceoffs and then this questionable goal counted. Another strong game from IGOR. If you’re looking to critique him here, and that’s not my aim here, maybe he could’ve stopped the Rooney SH rebound goal. He was perfect otherwise.
With under 8 minutes remaining in the second period, Tony DeAngelo broke the tie again:
— Tony D Stan Account (@RangersMSGN) January 10, 2020
4-3, GOOD GUYS!
Once again, TDA sniped a goal past Blackwood, which Blackwood had no chance on, as Howden had him screened. Howden was a lunar eclipse here!
I have been saying it since the summer – the Rangers should’ve re-upped DeMAGAngelo. TDA is another reason to get rid of Hank – you gotta give TDA the money.
And this is what gets me about these idiots who hate TDA. It’s not even the idiots who hate TDA because of politics. Take a look at this mook:
The fool above wants Tony DeAngelo traded because DeAngelo should get paid. Of course, paying Brady Skjei and Henrik Lundqvist isn’t the issue here. The issue for this MR above, is that TDA is playing well, so the Rangers should trade him for unknown prospects and picks.
I will never understand this fanbase, that wants to run players who are producing out of town, so they can keep guys who aren’t producing. It’s not just TDA either. These same cretins want Strome, Lemieux, Georgiev and others out of town. Why not trade Panarin too? IMAGINE THE HAUL YOU CAN GET BACK? Get Father Finkin’ lost!
Of note here, during this, after a blocked shot, Lindgren went to the trainer’s room and never returned. No word if this was because of lingering injuries from the last game.
At the 12:58 mark, the Devils took a TOO MANY MEN ON THE ICE penalty. Bizarro world! The Rangers wouldn’t score on this PP, but with 7 seconds remaining on the power-play, Nico Hischier high-sticked Adam Fox. This gave the Rangers 7 seconds of a 5 x 3 PP. Fortunately, unlike the case when Lundqvist is in net, the Rangers didn’t give up a 5 vs 3 short-handed goal here!
After the first penalty expired, the Rangers continued the traditional 5 x 4 power-play. This is when DeAngelo got his hat trick:
🧢 Tony D3Angelo with the hat trick!!! 🧢 pic.twitter.com/nzUFI4Gw65
— Tony D Stan Account (@RangersMSGN) January 10, 2020
5-3, GOOD GUYS!
How about Ryan Strome, the player the chart geeks hate, setting up DeAngelo here?
After this goal, the Devils switched goalies, putting Louis Domingue in net. As Domingue has experienced, he’s no longer in Tampa anymore!
Let’s take one last look at someone who is earning her “Little Ball of Hate” nickname:
No joke, the above graphic went viral around Rangerstown, as I was tagged in this about 76789678967896786789 times.
You know what I loved about this? Ranger fans went right back at this thing. They weren’t going to let this thing’s hatred of TDA go without a response. As BSU Video host Jim Schmeideberg said, her Twitter block list must be longer than the dictionary. She’s better off deleting her account and complaining about TDA privately to Frasier Crane, or a psychiatrist like him!
Tony DeAngelo – MAKING THE RANGERS GREAT AGAIN!
Really, how can you bury a guy for making history and having a 5 point game? SAD!
With under two minutes remaining in the period, Trouba and Wayne Simmonds had a scuffle, leading to some four vs four foreplay. No damage done here. 5-3 after two periods. And really, as I said on Twitter at the time, I felt like I already had seen two hockey games already, yet we still had a period to go!
During intermission, Tony DeAngelo’s sister, Vienna DeAngelo, tweeted out the following:
I love the fans that support my brother – such a great feeling to hear such positive things 🥰
— Vienna DeAngelo (@ViennaDxo) January 10, 2020
I mention Vienna here, because she told me that Tony DeAngelo is aware of the MAGA hat I want to get signed, as she told him about it. Hopefully this happens! And while I’m not a big autograph guy, I would love to take a pic with Tony, as we do the Trump Thumbs Up!
In the third period, Trouba and Simmonds would come out of the box and we were back at full strength.
The Rangers gave up a ton of shots this period. Put it this way, the Devils had something like 30 SOG before this period. Igor finished with 46 saves.
And oh, do you know who else I’m overlooking tonight? Mika Zibanejad, who had two assists. There was just so much great stuff in this game. This blog is already going super-long, and I haven’t even mentioned how great he was tonight. WHAT A TEAM WIN!
Igor did his best work in the third period, once again. He stopped the new Ranger killer, in Gusev. Then, Igor stopped a Devils two-on-once chance. For the remainder of the period, Igor kept the Devils off the board and would flash the cow repeatedly, on many Devils GOOD LOOKS.
Here’s what I tweeted while this third period was going on:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 10, 2020
While DeAngelo didn’t get his six-pack of points (he came close), the other two things happened. Like Meatloaf once said, “two out of three ain’t bad!”
At the 8:50 mark, Kreider was boxed for interference. Led by Igor, the Rangers PK kept the Devils from scoring here.
With about 12 minutes or so remaining in the period, Domingue picked up his first save of the period. That’s what this period kind of was – the Devils repeatedly shooting and the Rangers not pressing the offense like they did in the first two stanzas.
As the period progressed, Panarin kept trying to feed everyone. I don’t know what else I can say about Panarin this season. He’s the best Ranger free agent signing ever. Very rarely, do you see an athlete take to NY in the way Panarin has.
With seven minutes remaining in the period, Strome fed Fast on a two on one chance. 6-3, GOOD GUYS. DeAngelo almost had the assist here, but Panarin’s stick deflected the puck to Strome. And who would’ve thought, that we’d be disappointed with Panarin picking up an assist here, rather than DeAngelo? Of course, I’m being funny here, but you get the point. Every Ranger fan, the ones that aren’t demented, wanted DeAngelo to get his sixth point.
With under five minutes to go in the game, Zibanejad was hooked by Buchnevich. Buchnevich once again missed an easy chance to score, when he tripped. Ice is slippery I suppose. This is when Micheletti piled it on here, in regards to Buchnevich. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time, which tells you he’s doing his job, but he just can’t put it all together.
From this point on, the Rangers cruised to the finish, thus beating the Devils 6-3 and picking up a huge two points in the standings.
Here’s my favorite defenseman and yours, in a one Tony DeAngelo, after being named first star of the game:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) January 10, 2020
6-3, Rangers your final. One last time – WHAT A TEAM WIN.
For the Rangers, and for yours truly, these were two great games. These past two games are why I started this blog – to share my Rangers passion and fandom, in 10,000+ word missives. If it wasn’t so late, I could do 10K more words on this game.
I don’t think this team will make the playoffs this year. I hope I’m wrong. I’ve talked about all this stuff already, and the Binnington/Blues vs Shestyorkin/Ranger comparisons in-depth already. Check the archives.
As it stands right now, the Rangers are six points out of the second wild card spot, and with a game in-hand. The schedule is brutal, but if the Rangers can play the way they have during these past three games (I know they lost to Vancouver, but Markstrom stole that game in my eyes) who knows? I wouldn’t bet on the Rangers to make the playoffs, but I sure am hoping for it.
Let’s quickly take a look at the goalie situation before heading home here.
You know all my takes and opinions already on this – goaltending wise, this team should be Shestyorkin & Georgiev. Use Hank’s money to keep TDA and Lemieux. (And Strome, but Hank’s contract really doesn’t effect this. Just use the money you’re paying Strome now and re-sign him for four more years. From what I can tell, Strome loves being here.)
I don’t think David Quinn has the balls to make Lundqvist a healthy scratch. While DQ has gotten the okay from the organization to start Igor, I don’t think he’s gotten the okay to put Hank in the press box yet, a move that would benefit the Rangers & could force Hank to waive his NMC.
I’ve heard people, including Larry Brooks on the Duguay podcast, say how Georgiev didn’t wrestle away the number 1 goaltender position from Lundqvist. I don’t get that at all. Georgiev has similar numbers, more wins and for $8M less. What more do you need to see? Georgiev can be the future of this team, even if it’s in a back-up role to Igor. Lundqvist serves no purpose to the future. To do another year of this or lose Georgiev and then worry about a back-up in two seasons from now, well that seems silly to me.
In a perfect world, Lundqvist does a Ray Bourque, and ironically, goes to the very same Colorado Avalanche organization that Bourque once went to. Colorado has a good of a shot as any team, of going to the SCF this year. Colorado has the cap room (assuming NYR assumes 50% of the salary in a trade) and has a goaltending crisis going on. If Lundqvist is good as he thinks he is, this would be a perfect scenario for him to chase a Cup. And really, a Stanley Cup victory would cement him as a future Hall of Famer, rather than the borderline status he has now. (CuJo isn’t in, and he had a somewhat similar career to Lundqvist, despite wearing different jerseys throughout.)
Even if you’re one of these people who think Lundqvist is this great mentor and can have a Socrates relationship with a young pupil in Igor, you don’t pay a back-up goalie $8.5M to have that role on your team. Allaire is the mentor. Not Lundqvist.
These last two games have been exciting. They’ve also been the loudest crowds at M$G this season. Furthermore, on the secondary market, ticket prices have increased exponentially. There is an excitement about this team and this roster. You don’t need Lundqvist to draw.
Yes, I’m a fan of Georgiev, but I think it sucks he gets the short straw here. He’s done everything asked of him, yet he’s the one punished. The Rangers must stop placating to someone who has no future during this rebuild.
The Rangers are now on a two game winning streak and now have an outside-looking-in shot at the playoffs. They also have this three goalie system.
Going into Saturday’s game with the Blues, followed by two games with the Islanders, all I know is this – Lundqvist is horrible against the Islanders. He hasn’t beat them on the road since the Isles moved to the Barclays. Georgiev shut them out last year. Quinn, who has played past trends before, may be opt to using Georgiev against the Islanders.
As far as the next game, as the Rangers take their “we’ll see” approach, I don’t know who you start here. Do you ride Igor? He’s played a ton of games this season. Is he due for a break? Or do you ride what’s been working?
Lundqvist hasn’t played in nearly two weeks. Do you want to get him going or do you face facts and keep him benched? After all, Quinn has said the playoffs are the goal. Why would you pump the brakes on what’s working right now?
How long do you want to keep Georgiev out of pads? Would it make sense to dress Igor & have Georgiev as the back-up? Or do you play Georgiev and make Igor the back-up? Will Quinn ever make Hank a healthy scratch?
As mentioned several times on the broadcast, even by Mike Richter himself, in a three goalie system, the only person that’s happy is the goalie that was just called up. These are not ideal times for Georgiev or Lundqvist, but you can’t deny Shestyorkin either.
Gut feeling here? I stick with what’s working. Give Igor the start against St. Louis.
As I get to the end of this manifesto, I want to share with you some stats that actually matter. Here’s everything, courtesy of @NYRSTATSINFO:
— Igor Shesterkin’s 46 saves were tied for the third-most by a Rangers rookie goaltender in one game since the NHL began to track saves in 1955-56 (Richter – 59; Georgiev – 55; Vanbiesbrouck – 46).
— According to NHL Stats and Information, Igor Shesterkin is only the sixth goaltender in franchise history who has earned a win in each of his first two NHL appearances (Lorne Chabot, Jim Henry, Marcel Paille, John Vanbiesbrouck, and Mackenzie Skapski).
— Per NHL Stats and Information, Artemi Panarin is the fourth Ranger in franchise history who has recorded three or more consecutive three-point games at home (Andy Bathgate, Bill Cook, and Frank Boucher).
— DeAngelo’s hat trick is the ninth instance of a Rangers defenseman recording a hat trick in franchise history. His five-point game is the third by a defenseman in franchise history, and the first by a defenseman other than Brian Leetch.
— Tony DeAngelo has tied single-game franchise records for goals (three) and points (five) by a defenseman. He is the first Rangers defenseman who has recorded a hat trick since Reijo Ruotsalainen on Mar. 17, 1982 vs. Philadelphia.
After a crappy Western Canada trip, the Rangers swept their two home games and will now go to St. Louis. After that, it’s a home and home with the Islanders. I’ll be at the Rangers vs Isles game at Nassau Coliseum, as my buddy TEN O’CLOCK TOMMY got me a ducat. Our plan, work schedule permitting, is to tailgate. I have many of you readers asking to hang out, so that would be a great time to do it, should you can make it.
As you can tell by the length of this blog, which feels like nothing to me to write, I’m jacked and ecstatic about these past two games. I love what we’re seeing and the future looks bright, even if this team doesn’t make the playoffs.
I will be back late Saturday night, with a Rangers vs Blues review.
If anything crazy happens between now and that game, I’ll try to get something up on Friday.
Furthermore, I was sent a press release where you are guaranteed to meet some of the Rangers, if you’re up to ponying up some cash. You can read that PR here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/baypr1/
Until next time, thanks for reading. Also, I got to plug my comments section more, although I know many of you feel more comfortable emailing me instead. Feel free to sound off in the comments section, even if it’s just you saying “LGR!”
Speaking of LGR, I’m out of here. One last time though –
“LET’S GO RANGERS!”
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter