NYR/MINN 2/21 Review: The Wild Tame the Life-Less Rangers; Rangers Lose a Game Devoid of Any Energy, The Flip-Flop Life & Times of Larry Brooks, The Puzzling Lias Andersson Call-Up, The End of Days For Zuccarello, The Great Play of TDA, Trade Rumors, Horrible Officiating Ruins Another Game & More From M$G

In what could’ve been his final game as a New York Ranger, Mats Zuccarello, and the much heralded first line, were scoreless in tonight’s 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. I know Zuccarello wants to stay in New York, but like Andy Dufresne in “The Shawshank Redemption”, it may be in Zucc’s best interest to exit this M$G shit-pipe.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. With trade rumors at an all-time peak, perhaps the Rangers let all the noise get to them, as the Rangers lost a dreadful 4-1 decision to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. For the Rangers, who just came off a four game road-trip where they went 2-2, the effort in Madison Square Garden just wasn’t there in this game with the Wild.

Immediately after this game, I felt like the Rangers were embarrassed tonight. After all, Minnesota had been struggling. In fact, the Wild have had a tough time scoring goals of late, but the Rangers wound up being just what the doctor ordered.

Minnesota, who seems like a perennial first round exit in every recent Stanley Cup playoff, are currently one of the “better of the worst” teams in the Western Conference today. Just take a look at the Western Conference standings, where lowly teams like the Ducks, the Coyotes and the Canucks, are all still alive in the chase for a wild card spot.

With tonight’s win over the Rangers, the Wild reclaim the second wild card position in the West. However, with over 20 games left in the season, and after trading Coyle to Boston, it won’t take much for a team like the Colorado Avalanche or the red-hot Chicago Blackhawks, to make Minnesota an “outside-looking-in” type of team.

On January 25th, Minnesota picked up Anthony Bitetto off of waivers. Photo Credit @Abitetto7

I don’t know how other Ranger fans feel, but even as someone who watches a ton of the league, meaning that I watch more than just the Rangers, the Minnesota Wild are just one of those teams I don’t give a crap about. I know they play in a rabid hockey community and I know the state has produced a ton of great NHLers over the years. However, when it comes to these recent Wild teams, when I’m looking for a game to watch during a non-NYR game night; the Wild just aren’t high priority to me. The Wild just seem to be one of those teams that will always be a middle-of-the-pack team and while good enough to make the playoffs, not good enough to make any noise in the playoffs.

In tonight’s Rangers game with the Wild, this was the first time the two teams met during this 2018-2019 season. In three weeks time, these two teams will meet again and most likely, the rosters will be drastically different.

As far as tonight’s game with the Wild goes, I’ve been so unaware of what the Wild have been doing, that I didn’t even realize that the local boy, in Anthony Bitetto, was on their roster. I didn’t know Nashville waived him! When it comes to Bitetto, some of my friends know him, as he grew up/lives 10 minutes from me. According to Minnesota native Joe Micheletti, Bitetto had a crowd of 25+ in attendance tonight.

The reason I bring up the Wild and my unawareness about them is because during my last blog, I spent a ton of time talking about Carolina and their “Bunch of Jerks” nonsense. It got me thinking a bit. While I’m obviously more aware of Carolina because of their close proximity and because they are in the Rangers division, it’s funny how a small market team like Carolina is the talk of the league, where a team in a city known for their hockey-rich tradition, is somewhat of an afterthought.

Oh and speaking of my last blog on Carolina, what a sweet time to transition to the PLUGS section of tonight’s blog! As usual, here are my last few blogs in case you missed them:

NYR/CAR 2/19 Review: Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers Shut Down “The Jerk Store”; NYR Get Secondary Scoring Again, TDA Continues To Shine, The Canes Celebrations, The End of The Mr. Holland’s Opus Era, Dissecting the Propaganda From Brett Crygalis of the NYP, Player Politics, Torts Talks About Poo & Then Dumps on Duclair & More

NYR/PITT 2/17 Review: The Penguins Win The Matinee Showing of “The Battle of the Back-Ups”, How One Play Swung This Whole Game (And How Everyone Knew It At The Time Too), Jeff Gorton To Define His Rangers Legacy Soon, The Ever-Annoying Pierre McGuire, The Case For Keeping Zuccarello, 30 vs 40, Vinni “FN” Lettieri & More

NYR/BUF 2/15 Review: The Russian Rangers Dine on Buffalo Wings; Whoop The Sabres 6-2, “By George, I Think He’s Got It!”, Tony DeMAGAngelo’s One Hitter Quitter, A New Boston Boy, The Mind of David Quinn, Secondary Scoring, Lundqvist vs Pitt Stats, MSGN, THE CAM TALBOT TRADE & More

NYR/WPG 2/12 Review: Lundqvist Chokes Another Game; Gives Away Two Points, More Ammo For the “Georgiev Should’ve Started This One” Fans, 30 vs 40 Stats, Dave Maloney & Integrity Vs The Rest of the Fake News MSG Networks Crew, Zibanejad Continues To Stun & Awe, Rangers Trade the Wrong Goalie, Halverson, Dirty Byfuglien & More

NYR/TOR 2/10 Review: On His 23rd Birthday, “The King of Kings” Alexandar Georgiev Has The Best Game of His Career; Makes 55 Saves Against a Tough Toronto Team, Lundqvist Eagerly Awaits The Next Non-Playoff Team on The Schedule, 11F/7D Finally Produces a Win, Potential Last NYR Home Game For 13 and 36 & Much More On The NYR & Georgiev’s Highlight Reel Victory

It looks like the car is going to have make a hard left and continue along the yellow-brick Rebuild road.

At the beginning of the season, I understood all the Jack Hughes hype. I get the tank talk. Then the puck dropped on the 2018-2019 season, and despite losing to Nashville in a tightly contested game, I felt good about the season. I wanted the team to win. I still do. I root for the team to win every game and I’m not happy when they lose. After all, players don’t care about “tanking”. They want to win. They want to play well. They are playing for their jobs, their money, their pride and their livelihood.

I’m not the only fan who thinks this, but I truly think if I was the GM (not the coach) I could’ve engineered a playoff team this season. I’m sure Jeff Gorton could’ve too if he tried. Even with the roster available, if you flip-flopped the starts Lundqvist got with the starts Georgiev got, I think this team could’ve been a wild card team. However, as is evident, the plan never was for this team to make the playoffs.

That said, when I see half-empty and lifeless crowds in M$G, like I saw tonight, and when I see the Rangers incessantly begging for people to buy tickets, it makes me really believe that we won’t have another season like this one, come 2019-2020. I mean, look at a team like the Islanders. Who had them at top of the Metropolitan division this year? Anything can happen.

While I know that James Dolan does not care about his hockey team in the same way he cares about his pathetic, miserable and down-right fucking disgusting basketball franchise, Dolan does care about money. I just don’t see the Rangers going through a long rebuilding process, like the way the Capitals, Penguins, Blackhawks and Kings once did. While long rebuilds have worked for other teams, as Dave Maloney said on his podcast with John Giannone, a five year rebuild could turn into a forever rebuild and next thing you know, you’re the Edmonton Oilers or Arizona Coyotes.

In a league of constant playoff team turnover, I think whatever happens at this trade deadline is it. From there, I see the Rangers being players in free agency. That said, you know my deal – as long as Lundqvist is here, the team has no chance at the Cup.

“What, me waive?” Photo Credit: @WhalePack

In the past, and you already know my position on this – I wanted Henrik Lundqvist out of here because of his contract. Now, every time Lundqvist starts, it’s just another game where you’re taking a start from a young goalie that needs the experience as the team grows. Tonight, the MSG Networks ran another graphic of how incredible Igor Shestyorkin has been in the KHL this season. It’s a cock-tease. What’s the point of telling me how great Shestyorkin is doing, especially if Lundqvist and his second-highest-in-the-league salary is still here, come next season?

I think what bothers me the most, at least on 2/21/2019, is that we’ve seen so many guys get shipped out of town for a variety of reasons. We’ve seen stalwarts such as Derek Stepan, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh and others get moved. We’ve seen two starting (and cheaper) goalies get moved, in Cam Talbot and Antti Raanta. Now the buzz is about moving Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider. At what point do the Rangers look at themselves and realize that it’s pure insanity to keep Lundqvist here?

Lundqvist just isn’t held to the same standards as everyone else. Dan Girardi was considered old and expensive. What’s Lundqvist? Ryan McDonagh, a current Norris candidate, was deemed not worth investing in. Lundqvist is? Derek Stepan, a natural leader, and who like Ryan Callahan, would’ve been perfect for this young group, were both considered high-priced. Again, Lundqvist isn’t?

Time and time again, the Rangers have moved on from pillars of the team, thinking that they can get someone better and for cheaper, while all along, they’ve had plenty of goalies that have been better and cheaper than Lundqvist. With the Rangers failing at their goal of winning a Cup, a new crop of players will be shipped out of here, and it’s the same old cycle and same old story – “We rather lose with Lundqvist than win without him.”

The fake news and flip-flopping out of the mouth of Larry Brooks has been incredible during this trade deadline period. Reading the latest columns from Brooks is like listening to Cliff Clavin. (Mandatory Cheers reference!)

I’ve talked about how much Larry Brooks has flip-flopped this season. Brooks flipped once again today. Seriously, he should be in politics, as I’ve never heard someone speak out of both sides of his mouth as much as him, nor have I heard someone who changes his opinion based on who he is talking to. If Al Trautwig brushed his teeth as often as Larry Brooks changes his opinion, Al Trautwig would have a billion dollar pearly white smile.

If you need examples of Brooks tossing and turning, go to the NY Post website and type in Larry Brooks.

If you want to just take my word for it and continue reading this blog, here’s what Brooks wrote, JUST LAST WEEK:

Brooks has changed his opinion on Zuccarello and Hayes all season. Even worse, Brooks reports his opinions as facts.

Just a week after gushing about Zuccarello and saying how Zucc should be an exception from the Rangers fire sale, Brooks wrote this drivel today:

Make up your mind already.

Do you know what makes all of this even worse? When I see tweets from Brooks like this:

What happened to just reporting the news?

Seriously, if you look at the tweets from Larry Brooks and Rick “I’ve been fired three times in two years” Carpiniello, both of these washerwomen have snarky comments to say about the statuses of Zuccarello and Hayes. It’s like they are getting off on seeing these two have their lives turned upside down, via a potential trade.

For REPORTERS, both of these two seem to enjoy reporting their opinions as facts, which in turn, brainwash a segment of the Rangers fan base.

I’m not saying that Zucc and Hayes won’t be traded. I get why they most likely will be moved. That said, it just seems like Brooks and Carpiniello seem to be reveling in the news – and why not? Both need the clicks/ad revenue. By going back-and-forth on this topic, reporting misinformation and presenting their opinions as facts, it drives up site traffic. With the Rangers in a down year, Beavis and Brookshead need to come up with something to draw eyeballs.

At least here on this blog, and while I’m not comparing myself to them, nor calling myself a reporter because I am not, you know that on this site, what I’m telling you is MY OPINION. I’m not presenting my opinions as facts. Edward R. Murrow must be flip-flopping in his grave as much as Larry Brooks flip-flops when talking about this team. With the print media on its last legs, real journalism is dead. Long live fake news and click bait.

Moving along!

When Lias Andersson was called up today, Ranger reporters tried to drive up their site traffic by reporting that this MAY and SHOULD be an indication that Zuccarello and Hayes would be “bubble-wrapped” in this game. Of course, these reporters know everything and nothing all at once. Photo Credit: NYR

Lias Andersson was called up and played in tonight’s game. I was surprised to see Andersson called up because after all, he hasn’t been that great in Hartford. In fact, he’s been a disappointment.

With Brett Howden still out with injury, Andersson took his spot on the roster. Boo Nieves, who I thought has been playing well as of late, was a healthy scratch. I didn’t get that and look at it from a blue collar perspective. You work hard, bust your ass and what happens? You get bumped for the apple of the bosses eye.

I’ve talked about this before with Lettieri. Some guys on this team will get the silver-spoon treatment. Andersson is one of them. After all, the Rangers gave up a starting goalie and a great leader to get him. Guys like Andersson, Chytil, Namestnikov and others will get multiple opportunities to shine, because of what either the Rangers gave up to get them or because of what the Rangers are paying for them.

For guys like Lettieri, Nieves and others, they can easily be discarded by the Rangers, because the Rangers didn’t give up anything to get them, nor do they have any real big money invested in them.

Speaking of Lettieri…


The Hartford Wolfpack didn’t play today. However, the Wolfpack will play three games in a row, starting on Friday and concluding on Sunday. In other words, I’ll have something to report back to you in my Saturday and Sunday blogs!

Oh, and I 100% have a feeling that Lettieri is going to get traded between now and the deadline. It will be just my luck, so enjoy these LETTIERI WATCH segments while you still can!

Are you ready for the “SCRATCH LIST OF QUINN?”

As mentioned in the Andersson news, Boo Nieves was a healthy scratch tonight. I don’t agree with it, but hey – I’m not running this team. If anything, giving Andersson time felt like an “organization” move, rather than a decision based on merit.

Joining Nieves in the “QUINN BINN” (Credit, as always, to BSU Radio) were Fred Claesson and Brendan Smith. It felt odd that Claesson was back in the press box after coming back from injury, but to me, it is what it is. Smith has been a mess all season, so it doesn’t bother me. In fact, when it comes to this roster, outside of Henrik Lundqvist, I’d like to see Smith traded more than anyone else.

With this all said, here were the lines Quinn rolled out:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Zuccarello (Another scoreless night for the top line. If this was Zucc’s last game as a Ranger, and I’ll have more on him at the end of this blog, it’s tough.)

SECOND LINE: Vesey/Hayes/Buchnevich (By the third period, Vesey and Kreider were flip-flopped like an opinion from Larry Brooks. That’s good news for Vesey, but an indication of Kreider living up to his consistently inconsistent label.)

THIRD LINE: Namestnikov/Strome/Fast (Great showing tonight. Strome is really growing on me. You can see the confidence oozing out of Namestnikov too.)

FOURTH LINE: Brickley/Andersson/Chytil (You can make the argument that they were the best 5 vs 5 line tonight. In fact, that’s what I believed when watching this game.)

Defensively, Quinn went with this:

FIRST PAIR: Skjei/McQuaid (McQuaid would be a topic of discussion in this game. More on that in the game review segment of the blog.)

SECOND PAIR: Staal/Pionk (In my opinion, Pionk has gotten worse as the season has gone along.)

THIRD PAIR: DeAngelo/Shattenkirk (DeAngelo has been the best skater on the team during these last few games. Again, this is my opinion.)

Gambling wise, here’s what I said before the game:

The Rangers lack of goal scoring is putting me on a cold streak with my over-under bets. I drop to 25-13-1 on the season. I’ve also noticed teams are playing the Rangers more conservatively now, especially in regards to the Rangers top line. I’ll get you a winner on Saturday. I might just take the under, as the rosters of both the Rangers and the Devils may be anemic going into the game and those afternoon games do tend to be low-scoring.

Another game and another assist for Tony DeMAGAngelo. (Credit, as always, to @NYRKELSMADS.)

ESPN.com box score time:


1st Period
15:04 Jared Spurgeon (12) (Power Play)

Assists: Eric Staal, Ryan Donato
1 0
2nd Period
5:06 Pavel Buchnevich (12) (Power Play)

Assists: Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome
1 1
8:41 Mikael Granlund (15)

Assists: Greg Pateryn, Zach Parise
2 1
3rd Period
11:03 Zach Parise (24)

3 1
17:23 Jordan Greenway (10)

Assists: Eric Staal, Ryan Donato


1st Period
13:12 Adam McQuaid:

2 minutes for Tripping
2nd Period
4:37 Jordan Greenway:

2 minutes for Tripping
3rd Period
12:27 Ryan Donato:

4 minutes for Hi Stick – double minor


34 1 33 .971 28 0 5 0 0 60:00 0
34 3 31 .912 28 1 2 0 0 58:12 0
Devan Dubnyk won the battle of the All-Star goalies, but the Rangers made it easy on him tonight. Photo Credit: Getty Images

When it comes to this game, and you see the final score of 4-1, in favor of Minnesota, you might think this was a bad game for Lundqvist. It wasn’t. Trust me, I kill the guy more than anyone else, and tonight isn’t on Lundqvist. The Rangers were just a boring team all game, showed no sense of urgency and came out extremely flat tonight.

Two things swung this game for Minnesota tonight and both occurred in the third period. In a 2-1 game, where both teams looked uninspired offensively, Brady Skjei was tripped by Eric Staal. Immediately afterwards, Zach Parise backhanded one by Lundqvist. Instead of the Rangers going on the power-play in a one goal game, Minnesota took a two goal lead.

Then, a little bit after Parise’s goal, the newest member of the Wild, in Ryan Donato, who was acquired from Boston in the Charlie Coyle trade, high-sticked Jimmy Vesey. This gave the Rangers a four minute power-play. The Rangers would do nothing on the PP and the game remained at 3-1.

It’s funny, before and during the game, Steve Valiquette was raving about the Rangers PP of late. What he omitted was the fact that during big situations/crunch time, the Rangers PP has failed tremendously. In fact, this PP has failed the Rangers for three straight games.

In Pittsburgh, in a tied game, they couldn’t score a PPG with 3:47 of PP time and with Crosby in the box. Then, against Carolina, they couldn’t score during a 5 vs 3 PP. In tonight’s game, they flubbed this four minute PP and it cost them. Sure, the refs didn’t help tonight, but the Rangers had a chance and they blew it.

I still don’t understand why Tony DeAngelo is on the second PP unit. He should be on the first PP unit. Photo Credit: Getty Images

The MSG Networks were all over the place tonight. Despite Vally, Trautwig, Pidto and Maloney all getting nominated for the NY Emmy’s before tonight’s broadcast, the big two in Sam & Joe did not get a nomination. Quite honestly, it’s easy to see why Sam and Joe were overlooked. As Thomas O’Neill said on Facebook, “Listening to Sam Rosen today is like watching Junior Soprano in the final season of “The Sopranos.”

Oh, and for those counting, during the half hour pregame show, Vally, Trautwig & Pidto said the name “Henrik Lunqvist” 39 times. Team game folks! Micheletti ran with the ball during the broadcast. Seriously, I think Micheletti would slaughter orphans at center ice, just for the chance to sniff Hank’s used underwear.

Before tonight’s game, all the talk in Rangerstown, USA was about the futures of Zuccarello, Hayes and McQuaid. The “experts” all wanted these three “bubble-wrapped”, meaning all three of these players in the press box and away from any type of injury risk.

Zuccarello and Hayes would play and walk out of this game injury-free. However, in the first period, McQuaid was shaken up after taking a penalty and wouldn’t return to the game. After the game, the following was reported by Dan Rosen:

Two things here:

1- You’re losing this game. Why wasn’t it prudent to bring McQuaid back? Did Quinn want to play with 5 defensemen all game? After all, this is the coach that has employed 11F/7D more than any other coach in the league!

2- Wouldn’t the natural follow-up question be – “Was McQuaid held out because of a future trade?” When you’re too busy opining and not reporting, I guess follow-up questions get lost by the wayside.

Along with everything else, the non-stop Lundqvist ass-kissing is another reason why I want Hank out of here too!

Despite the final score, what I found most depressing was the dead and empty crowd at MSG. I don’t blame Ranger fans, because the team was bad tonight. Tickets are expensive. They are throwing in the towel on the season. There’s not much to root for. That said, with everyone on social media having their tears flowing at a Niagra Falls like level, on behalf of a one Mats Zuccarello, it didn’t seem that anyone cared about Zucc inside of MSG. (Let me be clear – I’m sure people in MSG cared about Zucc, but it didn’t come off that way on TV.)

What hurts Zuccarello from getting that fan reaction, is that hockey isn’t like the three other major sports. You can’t pull Bernie Williams from centerfield in the 9th inning, so the fans can give him a send-off. You can’t call a timeout and pull Michael Strahan from the grid-iron. You can’t call a timeout and pull Patrick Ewing. Hockey is a fast sport and there isn’t that pause in the game for fans to show their appreciation to a player that they are attached to.

In my personal opinion, I’m a huge fan of Zucc, but I do get the business end of things. I saw a lot of fans on social media overreacting to the Zucc news, as it’s now being reported that Zucc won’t come to a team friendly deal with the Rangers and once he’s gone, he’s gone. That was always my feeling anyway, because after all, how many players leave the Rangers, then come back during the off-season? It just doesn’t happen.

For younger fans, Zuccarello is to them as what Adam Graves and Brian Leetch were for me. For older fans than me, Zucc is their Eddie Giacomin, their Brad Park, their Rod Gilbert.

I was FURIOUS when Graves & Leetch were traded. So I kind of understand the sentiment from the younger fans. As fans, we all have that moment when our favorite team moves on from our favorite player. It’s like losing a pet, as it’s just one of life’s cruel lessons. That said, Leetch is a Mount Rushmore player for the Rangers and Graves went on to become Saint Graves in his post-Rangers career. And oh yeah – both won a Cup here. In other words, I get why fans are upset about Zucc, but both Graves and Leetch were far superior and more important to this franchise than the greatest player from Norway. Facts.

Ever since this image aired during the NBC Sunday game with Pittsburgh, the top line has been held off the scoreboard.

The first period was an absolute snooze-fest. While there was some action, there wasn’t much of it. In fact, the biggest highlight of this game, Rangers wise, is when they showed clips of a Don Maloney hat trick!

I thought the fourth line played well during their shifts, which is something, considering Brickley was never on a line with the 2017 draft picks before. I thought Andersson had a good game too. He made the most of his opportunity. Both Chytil and Brickley showed a willingness to go to the net, which I enjoyed.

Dubnyk would make a few big stops in the period, especially one on a Jimmy Vesey one-timer.

In a conservative first period that even VP Pence would be proud of, Adam McQuaid would take a penalty, an infraction which I thought was completely soft. Is this hockey or flag football? This would be also the last of McQuaid in this game.

On the PP, Minnesota, who looked terrible on the PP, would scoring in the waning seconds of their PP.  At 15:04, Jared Spurgeon broke up the 0-0 score:


1-0, bad guys.

Then, immediately after, Minnesota scored again. However, David Quinn challenged the goal. It was ruled that 30 seconds before the goal, a Minnesota player was offside by a cunt hair. This cost me the PUSH on my over-under bet!

While this call went the Rangers way, as mentioned in past blogs, I hate these reviews. This is not why the rule is there. As I’ve always said, how many goals would Gretzky lose if this rule was in effect? I get a blatant offside, which leads to an odd-man rush goal, but when it comes to this ticky-tacky bullshit, I rather see this rule amended in the rule-book.

For a league that wants scoring, taking goals off the board because one player is .000000000001 millimeters offside; well that doesn’t make sense to me. Photo Credit: @HockeyRodent

After one period, 1-0 bad guys.

The Rangers highlight of the period? Sam Rosen referring to the Wild as the “Vikings”:


In the second period, the Wild would trip Namestnikov. This led to a Rangers PP and it led to a Rangers PPG:


1-1, at the 5:06 mark of the second period.

On the goal, TDA, who is becoming one of the more prolific passers on the Rangers, fed Buchnevich. I thought Buchenvich was going to one-time it, but he held it for a second. Before I could scream “SHOOT THE PUCK”, he did and it caught Dubnyk off-guard. I’ll take it.

Unfortunately, this would be the lone Rangers goal of the game.

At 8:41, Minnesota broke up the tie:


2-1, bad guys. This was the game winning goal.

On the goal, this is Lundqvist’s fault. However, you’re not going to win many games when you only score one goal. As we’ve seen as Lundqvist gets older, his rebound control has worsened. He didn’t play the initial shot clean, the rebound is in the slot and Lundqvist had no clue he was beat by Granlund.

If there was anything great, from the Rangers end of things in this period, after the Buchnevich goal, it was Zuccarello still showing that he cared. He was involved in scrums. He was hitting guys. He was even doing little things like this:


Like most of the fan base, I’ll miss Zucc when he’s gone. However, it’s a business, a business where you hang on to an overpaid and overrated goaltender and give the finger to everyone else.

2-1 at the end of two periods.

The MSG Networks has jumped on the CZAR IGOR train, but what does it matter if Lundqvist remains here next season? Photo Credit: MSG Networks

The third period came down to the two plays I mentioned earlier in this blog. The refs missed this penalty by Eric Staal on Skjei:


3-1, bad guys.

The Rangers would then get a four minute power-play, and did nothing with it. In fact, they would pull Lundqvist with over four minutes remaining and in a two goal game. If the Rangers can’t score on the PP, what makes you think they can score 6 vs 5?

With the net empty, Minnesota had about 5 chances to put the game away. It was their own ineptness and laziness that prevented them from getting that fourth goal. Then, at 17:23, Minnesota finally got tired of fucking around and Jordan Greenway scored the empty netter. 4-1, bad guys and that would be your final.

Of note, Eric Staal, you know, a former Ranger, had two assists in this game. Donato also added two assists.

Another game lost and another game where the officials (This time Wes McCauley) had to apologize to David Quinn for fucking up. Ironically, referee Francois St. Laurent was also officiating this game but would get injured and would have to leave this game. I can’t believe the NHL doesn’t have a back-up/in-house referee, like they do with goalies. Too bad apologies don’t lead to points. Seriously, I don’t know how these refs don’t get fined when their bad calls or bad no-calls blatantly swing a game. Photo Credit: Getty Images

In closing on tonight’s game, I felt the Rangers looked like the Hurricanes in the game the Rangers just played with the Hurricanes. They didn’t seem to care. It’s just not a good time to be at the Garden right now, as the crowds suck, the building sucks, everything is overpriced and the team sometimes doesn’t show up to play. With an average ticket price of $200, it’s no wonder why these crowds are dwindling and season ticket holders are selling off their tickets.

Moving forward, expect more drama swirling around Zucc and Hayes, and to a lesser extent, Adam McQuaid. I still feel that Gorton will make some “out-of-left field” trades. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kreider was dealt, as contractually, he’s in the same boat as McDonagh was in last year. It also wouldn’t surprise me if a name that wasn’t in the papers, such as a Jesper Fast or Pavel Buchnevich, were also traded.

When thinking about whatever happens from now until the deadline, I go back to Dave Maloney – it’s great if you want to make all these trades, but are you going to get the production back? I still think some of the proposed deals that I have read, which come off like trading a sure thing winning scratch off ticket for a high risk/high reward scratch off ticket. As I said in a recent blog, only time will tell and this period of time will be something everyone goes back to, when discussing the “legacy” of Jeff Gorton.

Pittsburgh Penguin scouts were in attendance tonight…

Couple of things before closing time.

When it comes to Zuccarello, the two teams he’s been linked to are the Calgary Flames and the Pittsburgh Penguins. How ironic would it be, if Zuccarello goes to the Penguins, the team that traded off his two best friends, earlier this season, in Derrick Brassard and Carl Hagelin? Where’s Alanis when you need her? Oh, and speaking of Hagelin…

Hagelin joins his third team this season, this time as a member of the Washington Capitals. Photo Credit: Getty Images

The LA Kings traded ex-Ranger Carl Hagelin to the Washington Capitals today, in exchange for draft picks. To me, this is a great trade for the Caps, as they get a proven playoff player and someone who can close games. This trade makes sense for the Caps. It gives them a player that knows the Penguins, a team that until last season, has always been a tough out for the Caps.

If you’re one to look at things from a historical perspective, the last time Hagelin was traded from California to the Metro division, he won a Stanley Cup. Will Hagelin help the Caps in their bid to repeat? Time will tell, although in my opinion, this is the year of the Lightning. We’ll see.

Up next.

Before I hit the publish button on tonight’s blog, let me check to see if the Rangers made a trade. Okay, I just checked – they didn’t.

Barring a major deal being made on Friday, I’ll be back Saturday afternoon, after the Rangers/Devils tilt. Remember when these games meant something?

The Rangers play the Devils at home on Saturday, then have a matinee game with Washington on Sunday. By Monday, we’ll know where this team is and quite frankly, I can’t wait until this trade deadline crap is over with.

Get me to October 2019.

See ya Saturday.

As always, thanks for reading, and win or lose…


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on twitter

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5 thoughts on “NYR/MINN 2/21 Review: The Wild Tame the Life-Less Rangers; Rangers Lose a Game Devoid of Any Energy, The Flip-Flop Life & Times of Larry Brooks, The Puzzling Lias Andersson Call-Up, The End of Days For Zuccarello, The Great Play of TDA, Trade Rumors, Horrible Officiating Ruins Another Game & More From M$G

  1. I gave up on Brooks decades ago when he used to have his seemingly weekly “inside information reports” in the NY Post about NY Ranger trade rumors and after noting that these “Ranger insider trade rumors” rarely if ever panned out or lead to an actual trade realized that Brooks was just playing “armchair GM” or “Fantasy GM” and doing it in his role as a reporter……..they were just trades Brooks himself wanted to happen not that there were actually any rumors coming from the club about any of them……..either that or his sources on the team were giving Larry the business and treating like an Ahole
    I dont see him doing this so much anymore but the guys still a jerk.

    1. Because he’s more prominent now and because there aren’t as many reporters now, his words carry more weight and people fall for his traps even worse today.

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