NYR/DAL 2/20 Review: Blueshirts Extend Winning Streak to Eight Straight; Another “Best Win of the Season” Contender, CZAR IGOR Shines Brightest During a Team-Wide Sixty-Minute Epic Performance, Ryan Lindgren’s Face Continues to Rival a Maskless Goalie; Has a Heck of a Game (As Usual) Anyway, A Victory to “King Kong” Your Chest About, Laviolette, Senile Sam Hits New “Mile Highs,” M$GN & More

While it’s the Rangers’ Stadium Series 6-5 overtime win from Sunday night over the Islanders that will always be remembered – “Lavy’s Lot” were much more impressive 48-hours later – and now returned to M$G on Tuesday night. In what was easily CZAR IGOR’s best game of the season (including his shutout against Calgary), the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner made 41 saves in the Blueshirts’ 3-1 victory against one of the best teams in the league, the Dallas Stars.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. EIGHT STRAIGHT!

Off puck drop – man, do I wish that I was off from work tomorrow – as I could literally write all night about this game – but I do have a 5:30AM alarm in my immediate future!

That’s how impressive tonight’s 3-1 win over the mighty Dallas Stars was.

(And yep – time is of the essence tonight – so I’m publishing this blog first – and then hopefully proof-reading it afterwards! But in either event, and should there be typos/formatting errors – then I think that you’ll know what I’m trying to say anyway!)

To give you where my head was at prior to puck drop, I did tweet the following at 5:56PM Tuesday:

In other words, I can understand if you think that I’m exaggerating about the magnitude of this win – but even so – I don’t think that I am.

My opinion – and one that was later echoed throughout the entire M$GN broadcast?

The Blueshirts had every excuse in the world to lose tonight’s game to a dangerous Dallas team – and where such an idea of a “Stadium Series’ Hangover” was just that – an idea – and not “Rangers’ Reality!”

In addition, to even go back to CZAR IGOR in net, the one player that Blueshirts’ bench boss Peter Laviolette could have given the night off to – well that decision took the biggest of balls as well – and where come 9:42PM, when the final horn sounded at 33rd & 7th – it were the balls of the goalie that were the biggest and brassiest amongst all.

And yes – I have to stop making testicle references here – but after listening to Sam Rosen remind us no less than 986786676966 times tonight that Stars’ defenseman Miro Heiskanen had sex nine months ago (he just became a father) – then I guess that (subconsciously) reproductive organs are on my mind right now!

While I’ll admit there’s been some rough sledding for Shestyorkin this season – I have never left the CZAR IGOR train (heck, I’ve been the conductor) – and I still continue to wear this jersey in public – and in a proud manner! And for a lot of you – welcome back aboard the CZAR IGOR TRAIN too! And to think, some of you thought that giving up five goals in an outdoor gimmick game was a big deal. Furthermore, what did I tell you prior, during and after that game? It meant nothing!

Question: Do you know what’s a good problem to have?

Answer: Debating what’s the best win of the Rangers’ 2023-24 season.

And after tonight, a new contender for that status has emerged.

Granted, and to be fair, had CZAR IGOR not been lights out, then very easily, this could’ve been a 6-2 or 7-2 loss for the Rangers – as about 90% of his 41 saves were of the robbery variety – and perhaps 100% of them when it mattered most during the latter stages of the third period.

However, CZAR IGOR’s performance shouldn’t take away from anything that the Blueshirts did either – as yet again, another “Ranger Killer” (but one that’s not featured in my new book – and I’ll save him for “Volume II”), Scott Wedgewood, had a heck of a showing himself (23 saves – and don’t let that low number fool you – he had his ski-mask on too).

But as they say – winning defines everything (and trumps all too) – and coupled-in with CZAR IGOR’s best game of the campaign – it’s kind of easy to forget how the Rangers’ power-play had another goose-egg showing (0-4) and where during three separate two-vs-one odd-man rushes between Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider – #93 forced a pass every time – which not only let Wedgewood off of the hook – but ended up as an o-zone turnover on each occasion too.

Aside from the power-play and the failed odd-man rushes – everything else about this game was perfect – where let me remind you again – it would have been very easy for the Rangers to come out flat tonight.

Instead, they played a bell-to-bell and team-wide sixty-minute showing – and where NOT once – could you ever question their effort.

And plus – when you win eight straight – then it’s tough to find fault in anything.

Also impressive tonight?

You even had the current #10 of today, Artemi Panarin, doing what his predecessor with this number (Marian Gaborik) would never do – block shots!

But it wasn’t just all about the Russians either – as all nineteen men on the ice – and Quick from the bench lending moral support too – gave it their all.

Simply stated?

There’s not one negative thing to say about any player that skated in this game – and isn’t that amazing Suzyn?

To run it all down, K’Andre Miller, who has had an up-and-down season with more downs than ups, was arguably at his best tonight.

In his 22:43 of ice time (highest amongst all defensemen – only Trocheck, 24:24, logged more minutes), Miller blocked five shots, broke up several Stars’ attacks, was a stud on the penalty kill – and for good measure – assisted on the game-winning goal too.

The two towering rookies, Matt Rempe (team low TOI of 5:08) and Adam Edstrom (7:47 TOI – the second-lowest), while benched during crunch time, laid a bruising during their shifts.

Rempe led all Rangers in hits (5), while Edstrom tied team captain, Jacob Trouba, for the second-most amount of hits (4).

And for the morons who consistently cry about Barclay Goodrow?

He led all centers in faceoff percentage (69% – nice) – and when it mattered the most – Laviolette went to his two-time Stanley Cup champion to take the majority of d-zone draws – and nearly all of them in the third period during a one-goal game.

While Mika Zibanejad extended his 5 x 5 goal scoring schneid to thirty games, he did draw two penalties and later assisted on Trocheck’s sigh-of-relief empty-net goal – and where for NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO – he was credited with a team-high five shots on goal – but it felt like a million.

There was also Kaapo Kakko, not a “Feckless Finn” on this night, who decided to finally shoot the puck – and what I believe is for the second time this season among his now seven goals – scored a “real” goal – and as opposed to an “A-Rod Goal.”

While I’d like to think that this only increases his trade value (again – I’m operating under a “WIN NOW” mentality – and just like the owner, general manager and head coach are – and don’t forget – Kakko hits free agency this summer too – and there’s that Othmann feller to consider as well) – for #24, and for the Rangers of today – he couldn’t have found a better time to finally score a game-winning goal.

And while the rest of the regulars all played strong, including Artemi Panarin (one assist), Alexis Lafreniere (no points – but damn it – that venom from that 100,000 pound snake that bit him hasn’t left just yet), Adam Fox (opening goal), et al.; how about Ryan “THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR” Lindgren?

I know that tonight is all about CZAR IGOR – but as a fan of OLD TIME HOCKEY – I have to pay my respects to Mr. Lindgren! Photo Credit: Getty Images

The 2023 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner, double-nickel himself, continues to be held together by whatever materials that linger around the Rangers’ training room.

After missing most of the Blueshirts’ third period on Sunday once being hit with an accidental high stick from Alexandar Romanov – Lindgren, who was hospitalized after this risk of playing the game – not only had his eye swollen shut for a while – but also received ten-stitches as a result too.

Seriously – whenever I look at Lindgren’s face these days, I’m reminded of those goalies from yesteryear, including a pair of former Blueshirt backstops, Terry Sawchuk and Chuck Rayner:

Thanks to Stan Fischler, I currently own an original copy of this Chuck Rayner drawing!
It wasn’t a kind era to the goalies that played prior to the inception of the mask – and where once the mask was introduced to the league – many rejected it (including Rangers’ goalie Gump Worsley – and who had his fair share of stitches too) – as they thought it was for “sissies.” Photo Credit: NHL.com

While Rayner and Sawchuk are just two of the many goalies from their time who had their faces stitched up-and-down like Frankenstein – when it comes to Lindgren of today – it are these two pictures that first pops up into my mind.

And here’s a challenge for someone much better at photoshop than me (and really – that’s anybody with a heartbeat) – create a photo of Lindgren like the Rayner one depicted above – and should you do such a thing – then I’m sure that the defenseman’s face will resemble something out of a horror movie.

Speaking of my photoshops (and my bad ones too)?

It’s time to run these two again:

Collages are easy.

Transposing heads and facepaint are not easy!

I know that I’m already all over the place tonight, and as if I were Sam Rosen at Mile High Stadium on Sunday (more on that below) – but it’s the excitement that has me jumping up-and-down and my heart racing like a Kenyan.

Long story short?

This was as good of a win as any – and where under these conditions (possible hangover, against a good team that was pissed-off, etc) – to play a full sixty-minutes – and where no one took off on any shift – one more time – “IMPRESSIVE!”

Before moving on to our usual segments, in case you missed it, then I wrote about one of my favorite Ranger regular season games of all-time late Monday night here – and where after the fact – combined, these two consecutive wins, of eight in total, are my two favorite of the season too:

I just want to get to the trade deadline – and of course – to the playoffs too!

Yeah, I guess that I should this out of the way too – and just so that you can’t accuse me of being a hypocrite for being too joyous after tonight’s tilt – my 25-word season-long daily disclaimer for this 2023-24 campaign – and one that reads as such:


That said?

I think this win, and especially since it was the Rangers’ eighth consecutive victory, IS something to “King Kong” your chest about – and with two middle-fingers directly pointed at that pissant, Evan Roberts, of a radio station (WFAN660) that no one listens to anymore!

Prior to tonight’s game, the Rangers, who had off on Monday, returned to M$G for a “RISE AND SHINE” morning skate.

Once concluded, Laviolette held his pregame edition of “LAVY’s LOUNGE” – and here it is:

As you’d imagine, Lavy was full of pleasantries and was ecstatic about his team.

As far as the news, the head coach confirmed that both Lindgren and CZAR IGOR would be playing.

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the fifty-sixth game of this 2023-24 season:

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Vesey

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Brodzinski/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Rempe/Goodrow/Edstrom

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider


BACK-UP: Quick

Healthy Scratches: Belzile and Jones


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





25 2 23 .920 15 6 2 0 0 57:13 0


42 1 41 .976 31 10 0 0 0 59:45 0

We had one of our best pregame shows of the season on Tuesday night on M$GN, as two accomplished NHLers, and a pair of men who actually played in outdoor games too, Henrik Lundqvist and Brian Boyle, covered the game. Photo Credit: Esquire Magazine (Really – that’s where I found this!)

In a foretelling moment, and where you knew that good things were coming; come 6:30PM, it was revealed that we had a VAGISTAT-free broadcast – where equally as good as that news was the fact that both Lundqvist and Boyle were there.

Whenever we get one of these rare outings, everything is just excellent in life – and where food tastes better and the beers are colder – and of course – where your hemorrhoids are non-existent too – including the worst one – the seven-foot jackass!

As I was left wondering if Vagistat skipped this game so he wouldn’t be reminded that he once gave up ten goals in a game to these Stars from Dallas, Lundqvist opened up the broadcast by saying what we all felt – Sunday was just an amazing spectacle and it was just impossible to top.

While the Rangers most certainly played better against the Stars – everything that Lundqvist said here rung true – you just couldn’t top Sunday’s game (the feeling) – and even if the Rangers didn’t look so hot during most of it.

After showing us highlights of Laviolette’s inspiring post-game speech, Lundqvist and Boyle talked about Panarin:

“He’s so dynamic and so unique. There isn’t a forward in the league like him.” – Boyle.

“He’s like a shark. If teams allow him to go to the slot, then he’s going to go there. He reads the game so well, if you give it to him, then he’s going to take it.” – Lundqvist.

Following a segment where Michelle Gingras informed us that Adam Fox was born on Long Island, “THE KING OF COMMENTARY” then talked about his successor, stating, “This is a great test for him and the team. I’d just like to see less goals through. If he can cut that out, then we will see top of the game Igor.”

Post-game analysis?

The Rangers and CZAR IGOR surely passed their tests with flying colors!

After showing/letting us listen to the call that Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney had from Sunday’s win, and where it only reminded you how bad Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti are these days; we saw our first close-up shot of Lindgren’s eye – and where his face was so black-and-blue that it reminded you of the face of Mrs. Potvin.

Up next, we saw the pregame speech from Sunday where both Mark Messier and the Steven McDonald family addressed the team – where after seeing this, I was left wondering – how in the hell did the Rangers go down early, 4-1, after hearing all of this motivation prior to puck drop?

But who cares about that now – as the only thing that matters is the win.

In our final segment, and now at the BUD LIGHT BAR that no one ever imbibes at, Lundqvist, Boyle and their trusty sidekick, John Giannone, brought up the whole hangover thing – and where #30 said that he thought it was a perfect thing for the Blueshirts that they had drawn a strong Stars’ team after the Stadium Series, rather than playing a cellar-dweller.

As he usually is, he’d be proven correct, some two-and-a-half hours later.

Then, and come 7:00PM?

Perhaps the worst performance from a pair of announcers that you’ll ever hear.

I feel like I have to repeat myself 87637896876768967 times whenever talking about Sam and Michelettihead – they are great guys, you won’t find a pair of two better human beings, etc – but god damn pal – were they absolutely horrendous tonight – and much more so than usual. Photo Credit: M$GN

When we first went to Sam and Joe, I was kind of expecting Rosen to say something stupid and senile such as, “OH JOE, THE DALLAS STARS JOE! WHO CAN FORGET WHEN JOHN WILKES BOOTH SHOT TED KENNEDY JOE!”


Rosen told us how the Rangers just played at MILE HIGH STADIUM (that’s in Denver, CO if you don’t know) – and he would repeat this all game.

Here’s how he first said it:

And before you accuse me of picking on Rosen’s diminishing mind – like Rosen, don’t forget – he said the same thing multiple times all of last week – and where I didn’t mention it once on this site to be nice.

But how can I ignore this?

After all, this was the first thing that he said – and he had all day to prepare his opening remarks!

Sadly, one day, if that day should come, Rosen will retire. (And I won’t have any comedic relief to work with either!)

Sadder than that, and just like any one of us, he will one day pass away too.

Perhaps the saddest thing here?

When Rosen retires and later passes away, then I feel that a large majority of fans will only remember this version of Rosen – “The Forgetful Grandfather” edition – and not what led him into the Hall of Fame in the first place.

Then again, another sad thing that fans will most likely remember him for – and especially should the Rangers not win their fifth Stanley Cup anytime soon?

“This one will last a lifetime” – the most literal words ever uttered by Rosen – or at least as of this writing!

Micheletti, who still has all of his mental faculties, and following another “Rosenism,” then shrieked out the word “FABULOUS” five times in a span of two-minutes.


After Rosen told us that John Elway dropped the first puck on Sunday, Rosen, and this part I’m not making up, brought up how the Stars’ Miro Heiskanen was just in the hospital the other day, as his wife had given birth to the couple’s new daughter.

While this was fine to bring up – for whatever reason, Rosen would repeat this fact no less than 986786796789696966766 times tonight.

I just don’t get why Rosen must not only talk about the other team all game – but then repeat what he’s said 8796786896789668967896768976 times too.

Then again, I guess that’s a sign of senility.

Following Rosen yelling, “OH JOE, MIRO HEISKANEN CUT AN UMBILICAL CORD JOE! HE’S BACK JOE – AND WITH A PLACENTA IN HIS HAND JOE!” (okay now I’m being an asshole and making things up to make you laugh); Micheletti named Kaapo Kakko as his “Takko Bell Takko” player to watch.

In other words – “Jumpin Joe'” got something right tonight!

To close, Sam and Joe pulled their pants down, found some KY Jelly and then rubbed themselves down to the bone when screaming about how young the Stars’ Tom Harley is (21-years-old).

Seriously, can you name any other broadcasting duo in all of sports that are just flattered, inspired and flat-out in awe over the ages of athletes – and especially athletes from the opposing team?

What an introduction to tonight’s game!

GAME REVIEW time – and where admittedly – I’m going to have to leave some things out due to the time crunch that I’m up against.

However, if you want the full play-by-play, then check out my Tweeter feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

The bad lighting when taking a picture from a television screen makes this photo of Lindgren even better than it actually is! Photo Credit: M$GN


As was to be expected (or at least as I thought), the Rangers had some opening yips to begin the game.

Not even a minute in and Fox made a brutal turnover – but the Blueshirts got a break when Jamie Benn went wide on his all alone shot.

Thirty-seconds later?

Another guffaw, where this time, CZAR IGOR had to make a save on Marchment following the turnover.

But as I’ve been saying all night – and even at the time when this was going on – I was fine with these hiccups. You just can’t expect sixty-minutes of perfection – although that’s pretty much what we got out of CZAR IGOR!

Down to 16:40 ago, and following Rosen reminding us about Sunday’s game at “MILE HIGH STADIUM” too; Matt Rempe, aka REMPSTEIN, ended a Stars’ attack – and for good measure – recorded his first hit at M$G too – and a hit that the Garden Faithful let out a huge roar in a response to boot.

As Rosen confused Erik Gustafsson for Ryan Lindgren (after all – their faces look exactly alike these days), the Stars got away with a trip with 15:45 remaining – but no call.

The Rangers, never undetermined tonight, recovered and the top line almost scored – but Panarin just missed the net after a great pass from Lafreniere.

Just six-minutes into the game, and both goalies had three huge saves each – and where not only did the Stars (Pavelski) hit the crossbar – but where Kreider almost scored too.

In other words – both goalies were experiencing a case of their turtleheads touching cotton!

After Rosen confused Trocheck for Panarin for the 978697868966th time this season (one day, Rosen will look at the second digit on the back of a Rangers’ jersey – and not just the first), Rempe ended another Stars’ attack – but was also called for icing the puck – as the giant was about an inch away from the center line.

I don’t know, and maybe this is my fandom getting the best of me – but had a veteran did the same thing that Rempe did here – then I don’t think that this would’ve garnered a whistle.

After Rosen astutely informed us that 6+1=7 (he was talking about the Rangers’ winning streak), down to 12:47 to go and “LAFRENIEREITIS” was back – as this time – the first-overall pick couldn’t bang home a puck when set-up dead-to-rights in the slot by Panarin.

You know the deal – if Lafreniere was able to convert on just 10% of his scoring chances this season (and the same applies to his linemates too – as they’ve missed their fair share of shots after being set-up by him), then he’d be a 30 goals and 100 points player.

But, you can only talk about the facts – and while Lafreniere has played well all-season – all of these misses are frustrating.

Perhaps frustrating for Lafreniere too?

The fact that he wasn’t awarded an assist on the game’s first goal, as it was his forechecking that set-up Fox’s strike with 12:12 remaining:


Following Lafreniere sticking with a play (and looking for a rebound too), Lindgren tipped the puck to Panarin and then “The Breadman,” on what was basically a broken/loose puck play, found the 2021 Norris Trophy winner at the edge of the right circle for the BANG job of a goal.

And for the Rangers – just getting out of this period tied would’ve been great.

To score the game’s first goal was even better.

But best amongst all?

CZAR IGOR – who finished the first frame with a flawless ten saves – and whose workload only increased period-by-period (14 saves in the second, 17 saves in the third).

As the goalie continued to bail out his rearguards following their turnovers, including a save made on Seguin after a Schneider turnover with 11:05 to go; a minute later and CZAR IGOR did the same for Miller – as yet again, #31 had denied Seguin and Co., this time on a two-vs-one odd-man rush.

After Giannone told us that the “Rangers looked engaged tonight,” and where I’m surprised that Rosen didn’t reply with “to who?” – the Blueshirts received their first power-play with 8:13 remaining, as Duchene was boxed for interfering with Lindgren.

For what it’s worth – I thought this was a ticky-tacky penalty – and one that you’d never see called during a playoff bout either.

As I was wondering (and I said this four times on my Tweeter feed tonight too) if Laviolette should’ve pulled his goalie for another (and hopefully successful) 6 x 4 power-play attack; the first power-play unit didn’t register one shot on goal.

Once the second power-play unit came on with 45-ticks remaining, Rosen decided that this was a good time to read us his “ODE TO BRAY WYATT JOHNSTON.”

Trouba would record the only SOG of these two-minutes, where in a response, and for the first time of four occurrences during this broadcast – Rosen sang the praises of the Stars’ ability to score short-handed goals.

What an idiot.

It gets worse.

Once the Stars killed this Rangers’ power-play – Rosen then decided to talk about the Stars’ traveling itinerary – and in a first – then let us know where the Stars would be sleeping on Tuesday night.

I am not making any of this up.

Following Rempe’s fourth hit of the game, this time on Pouliot, Rosen confused Pouliot for Lindell.

I am not making this up either – and where it’s just sad listening to Rosen confuse every player on the ice during every shift of a game.

Once through with a “THIS IS YOUR LIFE MATT DUCHENE” dedication – and Rosen also naming new father Heiskanen as tonight’s KIA CARD PLAYER OF THE GAME (again – I bring this up just to prove my point – Rosen is obsessed with the opponent – and when he’s not reading the team’s media guide then he’s telling us the blood-type of the Rangers’ foes), the Stars hit the iron for the second time of the match with 3:10 to go.

This is when Micheletti, and for the 50th time this season (not an exaggeration), mentioned how he talked to the Stars’ general manager earlier in the day.

What Ranger fan cares about this?

Furthermore, and as I’ve said about fifty times myself too this season – I’m still waiting for Joe to tell us about a conversation that he had with Chris Drury.

Following a good shift from the top line and the Miller/Trouba pairing; down to 1:23 to go and Fox was boxed for a FAKE NEWS holding penalty on Benn.

The only good thing about another ticky-tacky penalty?

At least the officials were consistent – and called bad penalties against both teams.

During this end of the period Rangers’ PK – once again – CZAR IGOR.

Following a shot block from Lindgren, the defensemen fell to his knees – and not because he was hurt – but because his skate blade was knocked off.

In turn, the Stars essentially had a 5 x 3 power-play here – but CZAR IGOR came up with the stop-and-freeze, thus allowing a change after the whistle.

1-0, GOOD GUYS, through twenty.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Will Kakko’s perceived trade value ever be greater than it is right now? Hmmmm – and where yes – this is the Finn’s reaction to my remark too!


During an intermission where most Ranger fans were discussing their plans to attend a Blueshirts’ game at MILE HIGH STADIUM, I was hoping to hear the following exchange prior to puck drop:


“Denver Broncos tickets Sam!”

“Oh Joe, they are playing the Jets Joe! Zack Wilson, Russell Wilson, no relation Joe.”


The Rangers killed off the remainder of the Stars’ power-play to start the period – and where CZAR IGOR made three short-handed saves in the process.

After Micheletti reminded Rosen that they forgot to fellate Roope Hintz during the first period (he may have not used those words verbatim – but that’s what it sounded like), Benn blew by Schneider, and before he could get a crystal-clear shot off – Panarin hooked him.

This was a good penalty to take – as it may have saved a goal.

Now back on the penalty kill with 18:17 remaining, Kreider came up with a pair of clears, Wedgewood prevented Goodrow of a short-handed goal, and then the Dallas goalie stopped Trocheck too.

Either way – and as you can see – this was another good penalty kill.

And yep – for as bad as the power-play has been – the penalty kill has equally been as strong.

Once Panarin returned from the box, Wedgewood came up with another monster stop, where he prevented “The Breadman” of a mini “jack-in-the-box” goal.

Despite the 1-0 score – it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

Following stops on Kakko (14:52 to go), Trocheck extending the Rangers’ zero for their last 96786767867896786896 breakaway drought (14:23 remaining), and a Miller blind drop pass for Zibanejad that Wedgewood was in time for (13:30 left) – you could feel it coming.

Heck, here’s what I said at the time:

Like Rosen talking about the Stars or Heiskanen nine months ago – the Rangers “came” – but not on this power-play.

Just 1:02 into their man-advantage and Trocheck was boxed for tripping Lindell while behind Wedgewood’s net.

Now on the foreplay, and where you were just expecting to get through this and into the Stars’ abbreviated power-play – enter Kakko:


This goal was similar to other goals we’ve seen scored during goalie duels – as a goalie on heater, who has stopped every tough shot ever known to man – then allows something weak to go by him.

And I’m not burying Kakko here – this was a good goal – and it was great to see him shoot the puck too.

But when you consider all of the other saves that Wedgewood made tonight – then the fact that this was the game-winning goal is pretty amazing – and again – this happens a lot.

(Heck, I can think of about 89786879678969 games where this has happened to CZAR IGOR too.)

Now up 2-0 with 11:37 remaining, the Stars finally went on their power-play.

As Rosen was telling us all about the IGOR! IGOR! IGOR! chants and how well Shestyorkin was playing – BOOM – the SAMMY WHAMMY hit – as Heiskanen, who had Rosen’s lips tightly affirmed to his johnson all game, scored.

2-1, good guys.

This goal, scored with 10:50 remaining, was the only goal that CZAR IGOR allowed – and where it wasn’t his fault either.

Following a failed Rangers’ clear on the PK, Heiskanen scored into a wide-open net that the Blueshirts afforded.

And yep – another example of a lone “BLUESHIRTS’ BRAIN FART” marring what otherwise would’ve been a CZAR IGOR SHUTOUT.

That said, to be upset about this goal allowed would be silly, as the other team is paid to play too and the Stars are extremely good.

Plus, and when you look at the rest of this game – then how can you be mad about this?

As Kakko and Vesey traded places, as Laviolette flipped them while also benching Rempe for a bit; the Rangers returned to the power-play with 9:40 to go, as Hanley had held Mika.

While the power-play went 0-3 here, this is what I said at the time:

I bring this up because this is exactly what Lundqvist opened the post-game show with – by talking about how you know that CZAR IGOR is in his groove whenever he’s making passes like this – as it just tells you about his confidence level – and yes – this is all stuff that I’ve said in the past too.

As CZAR IGOR was just stopping everything, with 2:42 to, perhaps his best denial of the evening:

Why the word “perhaps?”

Because just a minute later and CZAR IGOR did it again – this time robbing Lindell.

However, Wedgewood was no slouch either, as with 30-seconds remaining and now it was his turn to come up with a monster stop, as he robbed Panarin after Lafreniere set-up his fellow winger in the slot.

2-1, GOOD GUYS, through two periods.

Here’s what I said at the time:

While CZAR IGOR did shutout the Flames just nine nights ago – without question – tonight’s win over the Stars was his best showing yet. Photo Credit: NYR


It’s getting late and I have to get a move on – and where I’ll try to return tomorrow to fill in some post-game blanks too.

In two words, “GOALIE DUEL.”

While Wedgewood only had to make six saves during this final frame when compared to CZAR IGOR’s seventeen stops – both goalies were fantastic.

It was also at the 4:15 mark of this period when Panarin was blocking shots – and where after wincing in pain – he was back out there.

Also blocking a ton of shots were the Stars (and as Wedgewood’s light save total would suggest) – and where had this team from Dallas been in existence on 11/22/1963 – then they would have blocked Lee Harvey Oswald’s shot too. (Too soon?)

Following another failed Rangers’ power-play (check the PENALTIES segment above), this is when Mika forced the puck to Kreider on two separate two-vs-one odd-man rushes – and where Heiskanen, who blocked both of these passes – didn’t even go over to cover Zibanejad – as the whole league knows that Mika will always pass the puck in these situations.

Again, sorry to blow through this period, but I do need some sleep before my alarm clock goes off, but another two words to describe this final frame?


While he was at his best all game, so saying that he “saved his best for last” isn’t entirely true – either way – CZAR IGOR was his best as the Stars employed their all-out attack in the final minutes – and as the clip above will tell you.

The Stars pulled Wedgewood with 2:44 to go and then called a timeout with 1:55 remaining.

Right out of the timeout (as in thirteen-seconds)- and Trocheck, playing alongside of the BFF’s, and where the top center seemingly had about 978678678968968976876 shot attempts tonight – ended the drama and sealed the deal with an empty-netter.

3-1, GOOD GUYS – and a goal that let us know that CZAR IGOR was going to be credited with a “W” for his amazing night in-between the pipes.

Following the insurance empty netter, the Stars, and with Wedgewood still on the bench, continued their now last gasp effort – and where CZAR IGOR made saves #40 and #41 – including a save off of his mask on Hintz.


You couldn’t have asked for anything more tonight.

Here’s Laviolette, happier than ever, following the win:

CZAR IGOR sure played like an all-star tonight! Photo Credit: NHL

Again, I apologize for breezing through a lot of this game tonight, even if I did still manage to pen 10,000 words – but much like the Stars – I feel like I’m leaving 10,000 chances (or words in this case) on the table!

I’ll be back tomorrow night with more about this game, Wednesday’s practice and the Devil that lies ahead – Lindy Ruff’s team from nefarious Newark, NJ – and who the Rangers will see next at “The Rock” at “The Swamp” on Thursday night.

Prediction: While I’d like to see Quick get a game, how can you deny CZAR IGOR’s hot-hand?

Plus, with a back-to-back coming up this weekend (in Philly on Saturday, in Columbus on Sunday), Quick will get one of those games.

But really, with both goalies playing at their best right now – does it really matter who’s in net?

What does matter?

Getting this power-play back on track.

See ya tomorrow – and where for yours truly – how am I going to get any sleep?

After all, I’m still jacked about this performance!

LGR – and this too….

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/

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:

NYR/NYI 2/18 Review: MIRACLE ON ICE! Rangers Win Superbowl Spectacular Stadium Series Game; One of The Most Incredible “Disney Finishes” of All-Time, What Fans Will & Won’t Remember, Rempe’s Historical Debut Lives To All Hype & Expectations; Give Credit To Matt Martin Too, Questionable Officiating, Both Teams Exhibit Their Season-Long Issues & Microcosms, Alumni, ESPN & More

Rangers & Islanders Set To Do Battle For the 290th Time; First Regular Season Meeting in 424 Days, Matt Rempe(STEIN) Set to Make Unique NHL History; Laviolette & NYR Too, Blake Wheeler Officially Down For Remainder of the Campaign; Pat “Price Gouge” Verbeek, Panarin’s Politician Murdered in a Russian Prison, Ramsay & More

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

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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2 thoughts on “NYR/DAL 2/20 Review: Blueshirts Extend Winning Streak to Eight Straight; Another “Best Win of the Season” Contender, CZAR IGOR Shines Brightest During a Team-Wide Sixty-Minute Epic Performance, Ryan Lindgren’s Face Continues to Rival a Maskless Goalie; Has a Heck of a Game (As Usual) Anyway, A Victory to “King Kong” Your Chest About, Laviolette, Senile Sam Hits New “Mile Highs,” M$GN & More

  1. I’m still looking forward to a NYR Line of Doom – Cuylle (LW), Rempe (C)., Edstrom (RW) – that will inspire fear in the hearts of opposing teams.

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