NYR/MTL 2/15 Review: “The Canadien Crippler” Chris Kreider Blows Up Another Montreal Goalie; A Case of “Montezuma’s Revenge” for Sam Montembeault, Blake Wheeler Severely Injured & It’s Not Looking Good, Chris Drury’s Edict to M$GN; Jim Ramsay Ignored All Game Despite The Veteran Blueshirts Paying Their Respects, Six Straight Wins Ahead of The Stadium Series Cash Grab Game, Predictions & More

It’s a night like tonight where I really hate my new working hours, as the Rangers, in their final game prior to their outdoor showdown against the Islanders, steamrolled the Montreal Canadiens by a final score of 7-4 – and in a match that took over three-hours to complete. While a lot of the same problems with this team remain the same – it’s tough to find too much fault in a team that’s currently third-best in all of the league – and on a six-game winning streak to boot. However, this win also came with a price, as Blake Wheeler suffered a severe knee injury during the first period – and where you have to imagine that he will be missing significant time – and worse than that – perhaps the remainder of the season too.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Once again – never a slow news day, never a slow news day!

(OF NOTE: As you all know by now, I’m currently working wacky hours (3PM-11:30PM) which in turn, means that I’m dead-tired as I write these words at 4AM. As a result, I apologize in advance for any typos or bad grammar – but should they “apeer” – then I think that you’ll know what I’m trying to say anyway!)

Riddle me this Batman: Even when the Blueshirts win and score seven goals in the process – there’s always a negative backdrop afterwards – and no – I’m not talking about both the Rangers & M$GN’s refusal to acknowledge Jim Ramsay – and where if you didn’t already know it – now you do – there is a franchise edict where Ramsay’s name has been stricken from the Rangers’ record.

Of course, and at least for right now, I’m not talking about Jim Ramsay. Instead, I’m talking about this:

On a night where there were multi-point games galore for the Blueshirts, including Chris Kreider’s hat trick, a goal and an assist for Will Cuylle, four apples for Mr. Adam Fox, three baked assists from Artemi Panarin, and a goal and two assists for Mika Zibanejad – and without even mentioning Jonathan Quick picking up his fourth consecutive win (fourteen wins in total on the season) – it’s the Wheeler injury that takes precedence.

Sure, most of us, and I’m including myself too, have made the “Blake Wheelchair” jokes all season – and where after tonight – such a thing may now become a reality.

However you feel about Wheeler as a player, as a human being you have to feel for the guy after sustaining this sickening injury.

Just like many of the other injuries we’ve discussed this season, and whether they were endured by the Rangers or their opponents – this was another example of the high risks that are involved with playing this game.

Down to an ironic 9:11 remaining in the first period, Wheeler needed to place a 911 call himself, after being hit by Montreal’s Jayden Struble by the backboards behind Canadiens’ backstop, Sam Montembeault.

Let’s be clear off puck drop when discussing this: Struble’s hit was clean. There was nothing dirty about it.

In other words, this wasn’t P.K. Slewban cowardly slewfooting Sammy Blais – even if Wheeler let out a loud yelp as Blais once did on Garden ice.

And if you don’t believe my opinion on this hit being clean – then just ask the Rangers themselves.

Hell, look at how they reacted following this injury – there was no fight that immediately ensued, nor were the Blueshirts ever looking to get at Struble in an attempt to avenge Wheeler.

This was just one of the sad risks of playing this game – and go figure – of all the players on the roster today – it’s Wheeler who has been the most proactive when it comes to player safety, as he, and along with the now exiled Nick Bonino, were the first Rangers to wear neck protection following the tragic death of Adam Johnson.

Wheeler during his first game with the neck protection – and in a shot that looks like it’s paying tribute to Alfred Hitchcock. Photo Credit: NYR

To jump ahead a bit, following the game, Peter Laviolette acknowledged that this was a bad injury but also said what you’d expect him to say – we won’t know anything about the severity of this injury until Friday.

As I always say during one of these horrific events, and as you may have already figured out on your own – I’m not a doctor.

In other words, I can’t tell you what’s in store for Wheeler – but let’s face it – it’s hard to imagine him skating up on Sunday afternoon, when the Rangers play next, during the outdoor game at Metlife Stadium.

As far as speculating?

I really don’t like to do that – but for what it’s worth – and every injury is independent of another – but this looked worse than the leg injury sustained by Kakko – and an injury that cost him more than 25% of the season.

Without trying to sound cruel, but in another one of my adages, and one that you’re all aware of too, the following:

“The Show Must Go On.”

In other words, while this completely sucks for Wheeler and the Rangers – the league isn’t going to stall their schedule and await #17 to return to full health – and assuming that he ever does.

For all we know – this could wind up as Wheeler’s last game as a Ranger.

That’s how bad this injury looked.

As said last night, “when one door closes, another one opens…” Photo Credit: NYR

In some weird and eerie irony, Tyler Pitlick, and just like Nick Bonino, watched a (former) teammate receive a potential season-ending injury in the Rangers’ first game after being waived.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then read what I wrote last night when I covered all of the most recent Rangers’ off-day news:

If you recall, when the Rangers first waived Bonino, just hours later, Filip Chytil had his incident on M$G ice – and an incident that led to the Czech being shut down for the season.

(While it hasn’t officially been reported – but for what it’s worth – I heard it was a seizure – and to be clear – I am not reporting this – I’m just telling you what I was told from someone, a Garden staffer with no affiliation with the team themselves, but who was there.)

At the time, the Rangers could’ve recalled Bonino and brought him back into the fold. Instead, they continued to run with Jonny Brodzinski.

As explained last night, while there are similarities between Bonino & Pitlick – there are also differences too.

It still remains to be seen if Pitlick even reports to Hartford (although there hasn’t been any reports or evidence to suggest otherwise), but with Wheeler now lost, perhaps Pitlick can ditch his potential Wolf Pack jersey and go back to wearing his usual #71 Rangers’ sweater.

Of course, another option is for Chris Drury and Company to back their original decision – and keep Pitlick where he is – and temporarily have either Alex Belzile or Matt Rempe fill the roster spot.

Why “temporarily?”

Because if Drury wasn’t going to address his team’s hole at right wing, then he has to now – and where perhaps there’s no other GM in the league with a wider ear-to-ear grin than the Ducks’ Pat Verbeek – who in one shot – can fill every Blueshirts hole with center Adam Henrique, right-winger Frank Vatrano and defenseman Radko Gudas.

I know there’s something to having youthful players who can give your a club a huge shot in the arm – but there needs to be a balance – and you need guys who can perform for you in the playoffs too – and especially for a “WIN NOW” Rangers’ team.

Furthermore, until a major trade is made, then it should be Jimmy Vesey, and as he did several times on Thursday night, who slots in with the BFF/second line.

But until such a potential trade is made – then the Rangers will need someone to skate as their 12th forward – and where need I remind you – Mrs. Panarin is now in her tenth-year of her second pregnancy – and where once she finally pops – then Mr. Panarin won’t be around for a game or two.

How I feel right now – and since I’m entering my 22nd hour without sleep – I’ll return on Friday night with more – including with a Rangers/Islanders preview.

While tonight’s blog will still hit 10,000 words – once again – I feel like I have to rush a bit – and again – I apologize for that – and for all of my dashes and bad grammar too!

As you can see, it’s the loss of Wheeler that’s the lede in Rangerstown, USA right now – because really – the Rangers should’ve beaten up a bad team on home ice – and as they did in their 7-4 win.

And heck – I nearly predicted all of it too:


The first half of this game was a slog for the Blueshirts – but really – while they didn’t look so hot prior to the Wheeler injury – due to how horrific it looked – I’m sure that this injury took them out of the game for a bit.

But once they woke up in the second period, behind four goals within a time-span of 4:10?

Then the game was never in doubt – and where Quick’s performance in net shouldn’t be lost to the wayside either.

(And once again – this is why the EYE TEST trumps all – because if you didn’t watch this game for yourself, then you’d just look at the box score and see that JQ32 gave up four goals and finished with a .886% save percentage. But make no bones about it – he was the best Blueshirt on the ice prior to the scoring explosion – and an explosion that didn’t begin until the 11:09 mark of the middle period.)

While I know there’s a lot of rah-rahing and King-Konging of the chests right now – not me.

But don’t get it twisted – I’m happy about the win – but this is what a good team like the Rangers should do to a bad like the Canadiens are – beat them to oblivion.

And of course, there’s my 25-word season-long daily disclaimer too – and one that reads as such:


As far as everything else from the game?

Let’s save all of that for the GAME REVIEW, as I continue to cross my fingers and hope to get at least three hours of sleep!

Everyone’s telling me how MIKA IS BACK after tonight’s game – but just like his stat-stuffing games against the Flyers when they sucked – let me see him show up against a true playoff contender. And should that ever happen – then that will be the first time it has taken place in 2024 for the $8.5M man without an even-strength goal in his last twenty-nine games played.

I must be upfront with you.

As regular readers of this site know, ever since starting my new hours at work – I go “dark” on social media and then once returned home – watch these broadcasts and games on my DVR machine.


My stupid friend, Eddie S., texted me around the nine o’clock hour with, “WOW, KREIDER HAT TRICK!”

A few minutes later, this text: “Who do you think will replace Wheeler?”

In other words, and for the first time in over ten-years since this site’s inception – I watched a Rangers’ game with the knowledge of what had happened – and the final score too.

But in a way – it kind of worked out – as after being spoiled – I then checked my Tweeter and Facebook feeds.

No joke, from 7PM-9PM, all I read was nothing but negativity, how this player sucks, how this player can’t score, how this player needs to be traded, how this team needs to rebuild, et al.

From 9PM-10PM?

99% of all social media commentary that I read may as well have had “WE WANT THE CUP” at the end of these postings!

That said – I understand the excitement – but as my disclaimer says – I don’t get too high or too low after wins-and-losses.

Let’s see what the roster looks like after the deadline – and then let’s see what they do when it matters most – the playoffs.

At this time, let me get through tonight’s game as fast as possible – and once home Friday night – and without having to worry about working on the weekend either – I’ll fill-in any hole that I missed.

Up first, the pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

How fickle fans can be – as there were some people actually bitching about Quick getting the start in net tonight!

The only thing to note from Laviolette’s pregame chat with the mindless twits on the Blueshirts’ beat was that Quick would get the nod in net.

While this surprised some people, not me.

After all, I wrote this last night:

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the fifty-fourth 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/Edstrom

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider



Healthy Scratches: Belzile and Jones


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





31 7 24 .774 22 1 1 0 0 60:00 0


35 4 31 .886 24 6 1 0 0 59:28 2

Following his Super Sunday in Vegas, and a Wednesday night spent in Georgia with the good people at TNT; come Thursday night, Lundqvist returned to M$G. Photo Credit: Henrik Lundqvist

At the top of tonight’s brutal M$GN broadcast, it was nice to see that THE KING OF COMMENTARY, Henrik Lundqvist, was back. However, it was equally as horrendous to the see the seven-foot douchebag, the worst goalie in franchise history, Sieve Vagistat, back on-air too.

“Winning is fun, winning makes things easy,” said Mr. Lundqvist, who then talked about the team’s consistency afterwards – and where I think that word, “consistency,” is somewhat up for debate.

To me, and as the first half and second half of this game would suggest?

The Rangers remain more Jekyll & Hyde than ever – but to their credit – this strategy is working – at least for now.

Lundqvist then said that he was fine with the current two-goalie system that Laviolette is employing these days – and a system that there’s no shot in hell that Lundqvist would have been a fan of during his own playing days. Just ask Cam Talbot, Antti Raanta, Alexandar Georgiev and even CZAR IGOR himself!

Following that, the grinning smug jackass sullied my screen – so I quickly found my remote control and fast-forwarded through his nonsense. After all, time was of the essence.

Still, and I know that I’m like a broken record about this, but it bears repeating:

M$GN has Lundqvist there and then repeatedly cuts him off so this useless loser, Sieve Vagistat, the worst back-up goalie in franchise history, can give us his mindless and made-up nonsense.

After Lundqvist raved about the new third line, while also making sure to tell everyone that he’s aware that this line might not be together for too long (the NHL Trade Deadline); M$GN’s roving reporter, Michelle Gingras, interviewed Jonny Brodzinski at the bench.

Speaking of Gingras, it looked like she was wearing pants in tribute to “Ax” and “Smash” of the 1980s WWF tag-team, “Demolition” – all leather and gaudy dominatrix zippers!

“Here comes the Ax, and here comes the Gingras – the DEMOLITION – Walking Disaster!”

(Yes, I just wasted two-minutes making this horrible reference!)

JONNY HOCKEY told Gingras what you’d expect him to say – and especially as the captain of the Wolf Pack – the team leader in his own right just praised his linemates.

Up next was John Giannone telling us how much Montreal sucks – but how they still beat the Rangers a month ago anyway.

As Lundqvist was assessing the Canadiens, Sieve Vagistat horned in to pathetically plug his shitty little analytical company.

Seriously speaking here – Sieve Vagistat is the type of guy that during a funeral, he’d break up the eulogy to talk about his bullshit analytical company – and then give expected death stats and how the person in the box should still be alive right now.

Once Giannone then asked Vagistat to give us his analytics, where in a response, the useless moron said that he’ll put on his GM hat too – and while Lundqvist just sat there stunned in silence – that’s when it was enough of this pregame show for me.

However, as I was fast-forwarding through this, I saw Gingras and her kink pants do a feature on “Casino Night.”

My biggest takeaway from this fluff piece?

The fact that the Rangers actually had Sam Rosen as the auctioneer at Casino Night!

Oh man, I can write 10,000 words on just this alone – and perhaps fortunately for you – I don’t have the time to do so tonight.

However, I’ll leave you with an, “OH JOE, WE HAVE A BID FOR $2M JOE, PARDON ME JOE, IT WAS ONLY TWO CENTS JOE!”

Sam’s response to Vagistat’s “Pantless and Positionless Expected Goalie Stats.”

At the top of the hour, we then went to Sam and Joe, where during a B-roll shot, I thought it was interesting to see a large ad for a Pantera concert plastered on M$G:


Sam and Joe opened up by talking about the Rangers’ five-game winning streak – and a streak that would hit six straight after tonight.

After that, our affable announce team then talked about the Blueshirts’ backstops and how Jonathan Quick, tonight’s starter, has been on a heater. Of course, Rosen also fumbled all over the place when talking about JQ32.

And for once – Micheletti praised a Ranger as if he were a Ranger opponent, as Jumpin’ Joe gave Quick all of his flowers – and a big bouquet of them too.

After praising the team’s third line, Sam reminded us that Montreal embarrassed the Blueshirts in their last go-around.

This then led to Sam pulling his pants down, locating his schmekel and then pleasuring himself beyond belief when talking about every young Montrealer in-town, including when fellating Suzuki, Caufield and Slavkofsky.

Finally, GAME REVIEW time!

It took them five periods this season to get there – but I was elated to see the Rangers’ finally erase the legacy of the great Sam Montembeault – and a goaltender who got some “Montezuma’s Revenge” bestowed upon him by one of the biggest heels of the modern era in Montreal history – CHRISTOPHER JAMES KREIDER.


After quickly (no pun intended) mentioning our goalie match-up, Quick vs Sam Montembeault, we then saw the second line start the game – and where Zibanejad won the opening draw.

In total, the Rangers would win 61.8% of their faceoffs tonight – and where even that figure seems low – as the Blueshirts were just monsters among men at the circles.

Not even a minute into the game and Sam was having a full blown “Harry Meets Sally” orgasm when talking about Caufield, Suzuki and Slavkofsky – AGAIN!

At just the 26-second mark, Kreider shot the puck wide from the high slot. Fortunately, that wouldn’t continue throughout the contest.

As Sam recapped every game that Montreal has played this season, Fox then tried to set-up Trocheck with 18:53 remaining – but no go – at least not yet.

Following that, Sam talked about the Canadiens’ AHL team and as the Blueshirts’ third line took their first shift with 17:50 to go. This was very pertinent to discuss on a Rangers’ broadcast.

Twenty-seconds later, Edstrom, following a hit at the corner boards to the left of Montembeault, extended an o-zone attack. So already, BIG ED had contributed to this match.

As that was going on, Rosen was happy that Brendan Gallagher was back in Martin St. Louis’ line-up after serving his recent five-game suspension. Two-seconds after that, and with 16:31 to go, Gignac seemingly scored, but it was obvious that the Hab had deflected the puck with a high stick. The refs would then confirm as much.

Following the waved off goal, Wheeler led a two-vs-one odd-man rush with Kreider by his side. Despite being wide open, Wheeler forced a pass to CK20 – and a feed that was sent too far for Kreider to catch up to – so no SOG here.

Come 15:54 remaining and Jayden Struble was boxed for high-sticking Mopey Mika.

The Rangers’ power-play, and one that entered this game on a zero for their last seventeen schneid?

They extended their power-play drought to zero of their last eighteen tries – and where Rosen was still waiting to bust out his “IT’S A POWER-PLAY GOAL” for over 22 consecutive periods.

This was another ugly power-play, where not only did the Rangers come up empty-handed in both the goal and shots on goal departments – but where Montreal also came up with a short-handed shot – and six clears too.

And did I mention that the Habs entered this game with the league’s third-worst penalty kill?


Once returned to full-strength, Quick stopped Slafkovsky with 13:32 remaining.

After talking about Carrie (Mike) Matheson from Montreal (“HE WORKS HARD SAM!”), Vesey tried to set-up Edstrom for a screened/deflected/tip-try, but no dice. Just as you thought that Montreal had survived, Fox then made a good keep at his blue line which then allowed the Rangers to change – and then a save for Montembeault on Kreider with 12:14 to go.

Of note?

That shot, at the near eight-minute mark, was the first Rangers’ SOG of the game.

Right after that? Montembeault came up with his second stop, this time on Fox.

Down to 11:22 remaining, and I’m not making this up, Rosen informed us that Joshua Roy and Patrick Roy weren’t related. Whew – I was worried that they might be second-cousins!

After Sam plugged the “FAMILY FRIENDLY” special offers for upcoming games, where for “only” $5,000, a family of four can sit sit in the lower bowl at M$G, this new Rangers’ third line had another impressive attack – and with 10:30 left on the clock.

I gotta say, this third line looks good – and it will only look better once Kakko is traded. (You knew I was going there!)

As the Rangers’ first line attacked, Montembeault was able to come up with another save – which then led to a scrum between Trocheck and Wifi. Sam’s response? Naming Juraj Slafkovsky as our KIA CARD PLAYER OF THE GAME.

This then led to a Sam & Joe jerkoff session about Slafkovsky’s age.


Then, and with 9:11 left on the clock (how fitting – call 911 in case of emergency) – this is when Wheeler got hurt. While Wheeler was down, Quick had to make three saves in his end – as Montreal basically had a 5 x 4 power-play with #17 being unable to put any weight on his right leg.

Following Wheeler being stretchered off, Rosen confused Cuylle for Goodrow.

Bless Sam’s heart.

At the time, you also wondered if Wheeler’s injury was felt amongst the team, as the Rangers, who had the momentum prior to their second-line right-winger going down, kind of cooled off a bit – and you could understand why.

But as mentioned up top – the Rangers didn’t fight here – which tells you that they knew that the hit/play was clean.

Down to 6:00 remaining and Montembeault made a big save on Lindgren.

Fifteen-seconds later and Tanner Pearson almost had a tap-in goal. While he didn’t score, Jake Evans did, and with 5:31 remaining.

1-0, bad guys.

On the goal, Evans took a rebound from Larry Brooks’ favorite player, Josh Anderson, and then backhanded the puck past Quick.

There wasn’t anything JQ32 could do on this one.

And kudos to Micheletti, as he called out the Rangers for their horrible defense.

Right after that, and Montreal had a 3 x 2 odd-man rush (and where the Rangers gave out odd-man rushes like Oprah Winfrey) – but Miller made a perfect textbook slide to prevent the 2-0, bad guys, goal.

With 4:00 to go, Mika led an odd-man rush with Kreider – but refused to shoot. And again, kudos to Micheletti for calling out Zibanejad for all of these unnecessary and frustrating turnovers.

Down to 2:37 remaining and Montembeault made an easy glove save on THE GUS BUS.

As Kakko was dangling around and looking somewhat productive – he then put the puck offside with an errant (and backwards) pass with 2:09 to go.


He was still trashing Zibanejad – and where everything he said was valid, such as Mika doesn’t have a 5 x 5 goal in 28 games and isn’t a threat to shoot.

Then, and come 45-seconds remaining?

Zibanejad made another brutal turnover, thus ending what could’ve been a goal scoring opportunity for Kreider.

With 17.1-seconds remaining, we got a close-up shot of Laviolette and where Micheletti suggested that the bench boss was pissed-off.

As we hit the horn, 1-0, bad guys, through twenty minutes.

After never finishing above 28 goals in his first nine seasons, Kreider, who scored 52 goals in 2021-22 and 36 more in 2022-23, now has 27 goals in 2023-24. Photo Credit: NYR


Following our usual question of “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?” – and where Micheletti should’ve replied with “FOUR GOALS FOR BY MINUTE FORTY” – Zibanejad lost the first draw of the frame.

As Montreal had their way with the Rangers’ first line and the Trouba/Miller pair – Quick came up with a pair of saves in the first minute.

Montreal then continued to attack – and with the Rangers’ third line now on.

However, once the Rangers’ top line came on with 17:52 to go, they were able to thwart the Habs’ offense for a bit.

As Edstrom and Goodrow combined for a hit on their first shift with 16:49 remaining, this fourth line had a nice amount of time spent in Montreal’s zone – but at the same time – no SOG either.

Come 15:09 to go, and the porous Rangers’ defense did no favors for their goalie, as the third line and Fox/Lindgren pair allowed Pearson to walk into the crease – but thankfully – Quick came up with a monster save – and arguably – his best of the game.

Forty-seconds later, Kakko made a good move towards Montembeault, but since it wasn’t “A-ROD TIME” just yet –  the Finn then shot the puck wide.

With 13:30 remaining, Montreal was out-shooting the Rangers 5-1 in the period.

As not much was going on, Rosen belted out, “OH JOE, EDSTROM HAS PARENTS JOE!” – and then told us how Mr. & Mrs. Edstrom are flying over to New York from Sweden to watch their son play in an NHL game. (I am not making any of this up.)

Out of a TV timeout and M$GN got a great camera shot of Cuylle hitting and riding Pearson.

Come 11:26 remaining, and the Rangers with only one SOG in the frame – Quick came up with another save while Schneider stepped right in front of a slap shot.

As we hit the halfway mark of the game/period – Fox had to break up another Montreal odd-man rush.

At the time, and knowing the final score – I couldn’t believe that the Rangers were about to score a touchdown – and then kick the extra point.

Come 9:15 remaining and Kreider extended the Rangers’ zero for their last 347389439863969346364 breakaways drought, as Montembeault came up with his third save of the period.

However, and with the Rangers still attacking, this:


1-1 – as Kreider tied the game with 8:51 remaining.

Kreider just wristed a puck past Montembeault here – and perhaps caught the goalie, who was inactive and never challenged, sleeping too.

In other words, this should’ve been stopped.

But of course, and in another example of “THE RANGERS’ WAY” – Quick had to come up with a breakaway save just twenty-seconds later on Caufield.

Twenty-seconds after that? Another big save from Quick, as he stopped Savard while screened.

Jeez – but all of this tells you how huge Quick was for the team – and where the final score shouldn’t fool you either.

Following a stoppage, Giannone reported that Miller dented his right skate after blocking a shot – which only demonstrates how hard these guys shoot.

Miller had to cut his laces, kick off the boot and then put on a new one.

As we were seeing that, the Rangers (Brodzinski) won an o-zone draw – and bang – with 7:33 to go, the following:

2-1, GOOD GUYS – and following CUYLLE HAND LUKE’S tenth goal of the season!

Come 7:04 remaining, Trocheck was stopped and as Panarin was going for the rebound – NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO was hit with a two-minute minor for high-sticking.


Score a goal and then take a penalty – and an o-zone infraction to boot.

During the PK, Goodrow had a breakaway, but rather than going for the short-handed goal, left a drop pass for Vesey instead – and where the shot didn’t hit the net – as Matheson blocked the shot with his left leg.

After the Rangers changed their PKers, Mika drew a penalty while there was 40-seconds left on Montreal’s power-play.

With Quick out of the net, Mika did this:


3-1, GOOD GUYS and with 5:17 to go.

And yep – a shorthanded goal too – as Mika found the little space afforded between Montembeault’s right blade and the goal post.

Martin St. Louis challenged this score for goaltender interference (due to Kreider crashing the net) – but no such thing occurred.

There’s something about Kreider and crashing Montreal goalies, no?

And during this review – Micheletti was predicting that the goal would be overturned.

As a result of MSL’s failed challenge, the Rangers now had a power-play – and their first power-play goal since the Millard Fillmore administration too.

Up next?

4-1, GOOD GUYS – and where Rosen almost forgot his signature call too – it’s been that long!

This power-play goal was textbook Kreider – as Panarin fired a shot and there was CK20, still chasing Rod Gilbert’s franchise record of 406 goals, screening the goaltender. Once the puck arrived to its destination – Kreider deftly deflected it past Montembeault – and where like Quick – this was a goal that the goalie had no chance on.

Following this 4-1, GOOD GUYS, goal?

Cuylle, like Kreider, almost had his second goal too – but Montembeault, and with 3:59 remaining, was able to prevent such a thing.

The Rangers?

They had just scored four goals in 4:10 – and that was loooooooong overdue!

But fresh out of a TV timeout, the mandatory “BLUESHIRTS BRAINFART,” as Slafkovsky scored.

4-2, bad guys.

This goal, scored with 3:30 remaining, cut the Rangers’ lead in half – and where Trouba could have done a better job here. But to rail on the captain like others did/are doing? That’s not for me.

With 2:12 to go, Montreal had another odd-man rush, but Caufield shot wide. Four-seconds later and Miller was boxed for tripping.

However, on replay, it was evident that Quick had committed the trip – and not Miller.

Laviolette challenged the officials for the call – but not because he didn’t think a penalty was committed – but because it was Quick’s penalty. As a result, Lavy was able to send Edstrom to the box to serve the penalty, which then allowed the head coach to use Miller, one of his regular man-down players, on the PK.

Either way, the Rangers were on the PK, but more important than that – they killed it – and just like they did on their first kill of the game – by drawing a penalty of their own.

With 23.8-seconds remaining in this second stanza, and with 16-seconds left on Montreal’s power-play, Pearson was boxed for interfering with Fox.

As a result, the PK was now two-for-two – and with a 1:37 power-play to open the final frame.

4-2, GOOD GUYS, through forty-minutes.

Things just feel right whenever Kreider, the longest-tenured Blueshirt, is leading the team to victory. Photo Credit: NYR


Zibanejad won the first face-off of this third period – and with the Rangers looking for their second straight power-play goal – which was perhaps too high of an expectation.

As Dr. Leo Marvin once told Bill Murray in “What About Bob?”“BABY STEPS!”

Heck, the Blueshirts didn’t even register a SOG during this power-play.

In other words, and to be clear – the score remained as 4-2, GOOD GUYS, following the opening 1:37 of the frame.

With 17:24 to go, Quick made his second save of the period, a glove save, on Holden Caufield.

As the period progressed and with the Rangers more than willing to allow the clock to go tick-tick-tick – the Blueshirts were just owning the Habs at the dots – and where it felt like the centers were winning 75% of their draws.

Kreider almost got his hat trick goal with 16:09 to go, but Montembeault was alert enough to prevent the deflection from the goalmouth.

A few seconds later, and with 15:37 to go, Panarin dished the puck to Trocheck, and his favorite center just fired a nasty wrister at Montembeault for the 5-2, GOOD GUYS, goal!

On replay, the puck caught a piece of a Montreal defender – and with Lafreniere also looking for some wood-on-rubber contact.

And go figure – now with the “dreaded three-goal lead,” this goal was required – as it eventually became the game-winner.

Down to 14:45 remaining and Brodzinski was banged for a delay of game – for backhanding the puck over the glass during a failed clearing attempt.

Montreal, now on their third power-play of the contest, scored with just 23-seconds remaining on it.

5-3, good guys.

While this wasn’t a fluke goal, as it was a “HARDWORKING” goal, the puck took a fortunate bounce and deflection right in front of Caufield, and as Quick was playing the puck, the rubber ricocheted off of his right skate and then across the goal line.

So despite everything, and those explosive 4:10 from the second period – this was now a two-goal game with under thirteen-minutes remaining.

But it didn’t long for the Rangers to regain their lead, as with 12:01 to go, Kreider scored his hat-trick goal:


6-3, GOOD GUYS – and Kreider’s first hat trick since January of ’22 (against another bad team, the Arizona Coyotes).

And talk about a skilled goal, as Mika made a tough pass over a Montrealer and Kreider was able to get all of it on a shot that Montembeault never had a chance on.

And sorry – unless it’s a Stanley Cup Final game – then I’m not parting with my head-wear after a hat-trick goal.

After all, do you see what these animals at M$G are charging for hats these days? (Up to $50!)

This too:

Picking up the secondary assist on Kreider’s third goal of the game?

Jimmy Vesey – and when playing on his first shift with this line.

And yep – just 19-seconds later – and Quick had to make a glove save on Armia, following Montreal’s odd-man rush. Sam just ignored this.

Come 10:04 remaining and this is when Kakko scored his “A-Rod Goal.”


Rosen spoke about this goal (Kakko’s fourth “A-Rod” Goal of his six on the season) as if it was a Game 7 winner – and where I think he’s trying to sell the Finn to the rest of the league.

No less than ninety-seconds later?

7-4, good guys, as Caufield got past the Rangers’ defense and just fired a wrist shot from the slot right through Quick.

I guess we could analyze this goal and wonder what Mika was doing here – but what’s the point?

And with 8:33 remaining – and where you thought that you’d see another goal or two (and maybe three and four too) – Caufield’s goal would become the final tally in this eleven-goal total game.

This game, which felt never-ending and ran for over three-hours, continued to slow down as we had a few more penalties and failed power-plays to endure.

Prior to that, and with 6:38 remaining, Montembeault stopped both Panarin and Trocheck.

Then, and just thirty-seconds later, Lafreniere made one hell of a Harlem Globetrotter move at the net and during his race towards Montembeault, he was hooked by Kovacevic.

However, this power-play met its end fate in just eleven-seconds, as Fox slashed Carrie Matheson during a Habs’ short-handed two-vs-one odd-man rush.

I was fine with this penalty, as Fox most likely prevented goal #5 for the Canadiens here – but this was just another indictment on this putrid power-play.

Following the scoreless two-minutes of foreplay and now a minute beyond the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE too; come 3:03 left to be skated out, Lafreniere high-sticked Pearson.

Obviously, you’d be ticked off had this been a one-goal game at the time – but because of the final score – this needless and dumb penalty will be forgotten.

For whatever reason, MSL didn’t pull Montembeault for the extra skater. I guess he was adamant about losing by three – and not four – and for that matter – not concerned about making a comeback either.

To their credit, Montreal fought to the end – but so did Quick – who as a result of his fourth straight win, now has fourteen wins on the season too.

7-4, GOOD GUYS, your final – but wait – there’s more.

Kreider with the man who shall not be named. Photo Credit: Steve Veyland

As successfully predicted and as previously mentioned – both M$GN and the Rangers ignored Jim Ramsay all night.

There was never a tribute video for the employee of 29-years – which really says something – as people like Brett Howden, Kevin Rooney, and other fringe former Blueshirts have received such tributes.

It also tells you what a sell-out Sam Rosen is these days – as he didn’t dare to mention a person who was at least at one time, a close friend.

Whether you care about this story or not – this much is true:

Following the win, M$GN had to keep switching their camera shots, as many of the Rangers skated towards Ramsay to thank him for his years of service:

Vesey and Rammer. Photo Credit: Steve Veyland
Goodrow and the man who Drury considers to be Osama Bin Laden. Photo Credit: Steve Veyland
Mika and Jim “Adolf” Ramsay. Photo Credit: Steve Veyland

As M$GN was just waiting to do the “Three Stars of the Game,” Vesey, Goodrow, Mika and Kreider all greeted Jim Ramsay at the Montreal bench.

All M$GN could do was show us anything but what was going on.

And this really tells you how cowardly and terrible the Blueshirt beat reporters are – as they have yet to cover this story – and most likely in fear of being cut-off by the team.

And as reported over the summer – all I know is that Drury wanted his own people – but you have to think that there is more to this story than that.

You just don’t fire a 29-year employee because you want your own people – because after all – then what’s Benoit Allaire still doing here?

(Someone told me that he knows someone through someone and you know how that goes – how Ramsay had two cell phones and was telling “Ranger Secrets” to Jeff Gorton. While this person has been correct on stuff with me in the past – there’s no way that I can confirm such a thing – and it does sound like a conspiracy theory that you’d see on one of those A&E “Ancient Alien” shows.)

One day, and maybe when Ramsay retires, we’ll find out the full story – but for now, here’s the story:

Chris Drury has excommunicated Ramsay from the Rangers – and is also trying to erase him from their history.

There’s obviously an edict where M$GN and the Blueshirts are not even allowed to say his name or show him on TV – and where the feckless scribes that masquerade around and call themselves “reporters” are also in on the “cover-up.”

Again – you might not care about this – but you could feel the awkwardness as M$GN was waiting for Kreider (tonight’s first star) to finish up talking to Ramsay – and where during it – the cameras were pointed down on the ice.

Here’s Laviolette on the win – and confirming that it doesn’t look good for Wheeler:

Up next: Bed Time!

I’ll be back prior to the Rangers/Islanders game – and with an update on Wheeler too.

And what a six-pack of wins for this maddening team!

PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)

On Wednesday night, our good friends over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show” returned with a new episode.

You can watch it here:

Speaking of BSU, and to remind you once again, they are also hosting a Rangers/Flyers watch party on 2/24:

Photo Credit: BSU

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/

The hardcover version of my first book, available now at Amazon.com

My second plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”

As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:


For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:

Order “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Book Today

My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.

My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”

The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!

“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.

All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

The Summer of 2023 Now Down Two Players; Tyler Pitlick Clears Waivers & Sent to Hartford – But Was This Chris Drury’s Master Plan? Adam Edstrom Promoted To Varsity Roster; Laviolette’s Vote of Confidence, BSU Watch Party, Casino Night, Trap Game Ahead Prior To First Meeting with Isles, Stan Fischler on Rivalry, Standings & More


NYR/CGY 2/12 Review: Will & Grace! CZAR “What Goalie Controversy?” IGOR Posts First “NYET NYET” of the Season; Will Cuylle’s Lone Goal Holds Up as Game-Winner, Time for “Unlucky #13” To Get a New Number, Crazy Standings, New (And Now Abandoned) Power-Play Produces Same Results – But At Least the PK is Humming, BIG ED Marvelous Again, Bottom Six > Top Six; Baby Bread Insurance Policy Revealed, Lavy, SB, M$GN & More

NYR/CHI 2/9 Review: “Jekyll & Hyde” Rangers Scalp Hawks in OT; Have a “My Dog Just Died” Reaction Afterwards, No Postgame Hugs from the BFF, Winning Ways Extended To Four Straight (And For the First Time Since T-Day), “The Stairway To Heaven” Perspective; Yet All Problems & “Controversies” Remain, Fox Snubbed, Brooks Downs Dreger, Lavy’s Lounge, M$GN & More

If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”

If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on Amazon.com

For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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