NYR/NJD 2/22 Review: Nine is Divine! Blueshirts Brutalize Their Battle of Hudson Rival; REMPESTEIN & TROO TROO TRAIN Bash Bastian To Oblivion Too, The Most Perfect Penalty Kill Yet, Lafreniere Finally “Lafinishing” – But Chase For Hat Trick Mars a CZAR IGOR Shutout, Panarin’s 3-Pointer, Officiating, People Pay & Leave Early When Watching Hughes, Bring on the Flyers, M$GN & More

The Rangers, seeking their ninth consecutive win on Thursday night in Newark, wasted no time making their presence felt in their 5-1 victory over the Devils. An early and erroneous match penalty, assessed to Matt Rempe, following the seven-footer’s monstrous hit on Nathan Bastian at the 2:25 mark, not only put the Blueshirts down by one player for the remainder of the game – but forced “Lavy’s Lot” to kill a five-minute major too – and that’s exactly what they did. Ultimately, the Rangers’ penalty kill went a perfect six-for-six (including killing off a double-minor assessed to Kaapo Kakko) – and where as a result – the PK has to be considered as the lede story on a night where many were created. And oh yeah – the Rangers are now 2-0 in New Jersey this week too!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Bring on the Flyers!

Once again, I wish that I didn’t have a 5:30AM alarm clock in my future!

That’s how impressive the Rangers have been during their current nine-game winning-streak.

(Sorry everyone – 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! Plus, where else will you find 10,000 words for free – and with no ads/video pop-up players either!)

And once again as well – not only did the Blueshirts decimate a rival as they did on Sunday while in the Garden State (okay, I may be using the word “decimate” very liberally when speaking about the win over the Isles!) – but more important than that – they also gave another complete sixty-minute effort too.

There are so many different ways to open this manifesto – and that’s a great problem to have!

While I do have Jacob Trouba and Matt Rempe featured in tonight’s blog header photo – make no bones about it – the lede story of this game was the Rangers’ perfect penalty kill.

Of course, while this is perhaps a case of hindsight being 20/20, but following a bullshit match penalty assessed to Matt Rempe for a clean hit on the Devils’ Nathan Bastian – the Rangers killed off this five-minute penalty – and then used the momentum gained to absolutely molly-whop the Devils back to hell – aka outside-looking-in at the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoff field.

For good measure, CZAR IGOR, who made 39 saves in total in this game – and a dozen denials while the Blueshirts were short-handed too – made five saves on this initial penalty kill.

CZAR IGOR, the most important player on the penalty kill, wasn’t just satisfied in blanking the Devils’ power-play. In fact, he drew one on his own – which then set up the lone Rangers’ power-play goal of the game too.

At the 9:09 mark of the first period, and following the Devils blowing their best chance to gain a lead tonight, Curtis Lazar decided to slash the CZAR.

Five-seconds later?

Mika Zibanejad, while looking to force a pass to his Thunder Buddy Chris Kreider, saw the puck ricochet off of the skate of Devils’ d-man, John Marino.

With the puck back on his blade and with the red-and-black goaltender, Nico Daws, out of position – blammo – 1-0, GOOD GUYS.

While the Rangers’ power-play still remains as an issue in spite of this goal scored (1-5 tonight) – as already stated twice this week on this site – how can you really be upset about this when the Rangers are on a nine-game winning streak – and with team improving in other areas that previously failed them this season?

One of those perceived issues?

Alexis Lafreniere’s well-known inability to score goals this season.

While yes, that’s somewhat an exaggeration, as he did enter tonight’s tilt with fourteen of them – but as everyone and their mother is well aware of – that number could be forty by now.

On a night where the Devils out-shot their visitors above a 2:1 ratio (40-18) and where during this first period you had no idea what the final score would be either; come 2:04 remaining and there was the first-overall pick, who by the end of the game, had out-played the one drafted in the year prior to his own selection, who capitalized on a Luke Hughes turnover that was forced by the man with the newest contract in town, JONNY HOCKEY.

Up 2-0 after twenty minutes – this insurance goal was nice to have – and ironically – because of a late third period turnover (2:07 remaining) by Lafreniere while chasing a hat trick – this goal wound up becoming the game-winner too.

The Rangers, who just continued to kill penalties and bash Nathan Bastian to kingdom come (this time, Jacob Trouba – and I’ll have more about all of these plays, and the videos too, in the GAME REVIEW segment below), had another 2-0 period in the second stanza.

Good old Artie Panarin, the best free agent in franchise history, set up both of them, as following his first assist at the 9:53 mark on Chris Kreider’s goal, “The Breadman” picked up his second on Lafreniere’s second goal, the team’s 4-0 goal – and one that was scored in a backbreaking fashion for the Devils – as #13’s second finish took place with just forty-seconds remaining.

Even better than that, and while talking about CZAR IGOR’s huge night?

To go along with his near shutout and penalty drawn – he also picked up the secondary assist on Kreider’s goal.

And on a night where the two players who wear the digits of “1” and “3” on their backs – while Lafreniere didn’t get his hat trick – these three accomplishments for CZAR IGOR, 39 saves, a penalty drawn and one point – well that’s one hell of a “Goalie Hat Trick” in itself.

To open the final frame, the Rangers, now up by four goals, weren’t exactly interested in running up the score.

Case in point?

After being out-shot 16-8 in the first period and 11-6 in the second period – the Blueshirts were out-shot by the “home team” (on paper) by a tally of 13-4.

But just like the first forty-minutes – when the Rangers shot the puck – it mattered – and as was evident when Panarin picked up his third assist following another GAG 2.0 Line odd-man rush strike, this time off of the stick of the team’s first-line center, Vincent Trocheck.

Now up 5-0 with 5:31 remaining, and with the team-wide victory secured and in the bag, there were two auxiliary/bonus items left to be checked – a Lafreniere hat-trick goal and a CZAR IGOR shutout.

While those two things didn’t place, even if it would’ve been a nice cherry on top had they occurred – who cares?

Bottom line?

Another statement win, this time by a 5-1, GOOD GUYS, final – and perhaps the real cherry on top was watching Devil fans walk up the aisles and leave the arena throughout the entire third period – an event that only followed after many fans of the Newark team bailed during the second intermission.

I guess these days, people pay little money to leave mid-way through the third period whenever Jack Hughes plays!

And before wrapping up this intro and getting into all of the usual segments – I forgot to mention the following:

With their ninth consecutive win, the Rangers not only maintained their healthy first-place lead in the Metro division – but they are now the BEAST OF THE EAST – as the top team of the Eastern Conference.

The only team in the league that’s left to be chased down are the Vancouver Canucks, who have 80 points in 58 games played.

The Rangers, who actually have more wins than the ‘Nucks (38-37)?

They have 79 points in 57 games played.

In other words, they control their own destiny when deciding their “Presidents’ Trophy” fate with 25-games remaining.

But of course, and you had to know this was coming too – my 25-word season-long daily disclaimer for this 2023-24 campaign – and one that reads as such:


But once again – you can only enjoy the moment – so like the big win against “The Big D.” – feel free to KING KONG your chest about this victory – and ship over a pile of shit (a Devils’ or Islanders’ jersey) to WFAN’s Evan Roberts too!

Let’s now rapid-fire through everything else prior to getting into tonight’s GAME REVIEW.

In case you missed it, then I covered all of the Rangers’ off-day news from Wednesday here:

Laviolette wouldn’t reveal his line-up prior to tonight’s puck drop.

Following the news from yesterday, where both Artemi Panarin and Jimmy Vesey missed practice; come Wednesday morning, the team didn’t have one of their usual “RISE AND SHINE” sponsored morning skates.

In other words, we had to wait until puck drop to find out what “LAVY’S LINE-UP” would be.

Adding a monkey wrench into the equation was when the Blueshirts, at 10AM, announced a Hartford call-up of Brennan Othmann, where at the time, sounded like an “insurance recall” in the event that Vesey and Panarin wouldn’t be able to go. (Keep in mind, Alex Belzile is still with the team, where in addition – all of these transactions now leaves the Wolf Pack with only ten forwards.)

Once 5PM struck, the head coach conducted his mandatory edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is for you below:

As noted, Laviolette didn’t discuss who was in and who was out during this meeting with the press – but he did confirm that CZAR IGOR would be getting the nod in net.

And as discussed last night on this site, during this go-around, it was Braden Schneider who the head coach spoke highly of.

Last but not least?

All of the Panarin and Vesey stuff was white noise – as come puck drop – both were back in their usual spots in the line-up.

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the fifty-seventh 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, Othmann and Jones


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





18 5 13 .722 10 3 0 0 0 59:40 0


40 1 39 .975 27 12 0 0 0 59:39 0

“THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, was back in-studio tonight – and in a solo performance too – as neither Brian Boyle or the useless Sieve Vagistat were there. Photo Credit: M$GN

To open tonight’s M$GN broadcast, Lundqvist said what we were all feeling – the Rangers had to keep this train rolling.

And while the Rangers, as a team, did keep this train rolling – we also saw an individual train too during the second period – THE TROO TROO TRAIN!

On the then eight-game winning streak, Lundqvist said, “They [the Rangers] haven’t been perfect, but they always find a way to win. The confidence and trust they have in each other goes a long way.”

And yep – Lundqvist nailed this pregame prediction too – because while the 5-1 final was amazing, but in no way was it perfect either – and only due to all of the penalties assessed – and the lack of power-play goals too.

But again, when you win nine straight and are improving on your other weaknesses – then you really can’t fixate on any negativity.

After showing us a clip where CZAR IGOR received the Broadway Hat after the win against Dallas – and a 2022 Vezina Trophy winner who is not only BACK – but now mastering the English language as well (in recent weeks, he’s now doing interviews in English – and cracking jokes in his second language too); Lundqvist & John Giannone then did a segment about the offensive production that the Blueshirts have been getting out of their rearguards – where currently – this sextet are the third-highest scoring d-men in the league.

As usual, the Rangers’ side of M$GN talked about what the opponent should be doing at the trade deadline – and as mentioned last night, this was obvious – the Devils need a goalie.

Following an interview conducted by Michelle Gingras with a very happy Jonny Brodzinski, where as you’d expect, MISTER HOCKEY was over-the-moon about re-signing with the club; in a first – the Kaapo Kakko trade rumors were addressed on-air.

While Lundqvist and Giannone didn’t do a deep dive about the water cooler talk, they did bring it up and where #30 said that he felt that #24 was aware of it – hence his recent five-game scoring streak. (That streak, and unlike the nine-game winning streak, was snapped tonight.)

Giannone also brought up how Kakko will forever be linked with Jack Hughes – but didn’t bring up what his partner, Sieve Vagistat, said about the first- and second-overall picks of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

I wonder why!

But I do know why we didn’t have to hear anything about “east-west passing,” “expected pantless goalie stats,” “clear-sighted assholes,” etc tonight – the feckless freak, the worst back-up goalie in franchise history, wasn’t there to promote his made-up bullshit!

Sadly, and brace yourself too – Vagistat returns on Sunday.

We had a nice run without him – and I hope that run will become permanent one day too!

After Giannone demanded that we drop everything that we’re doing and place parlay wagers on every game being played in the league tonight (I wonder if he gives his own kids such advice?) – we finally went to Sam and Joe, who were atop of the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, as the Rangers were set to play the Rockies.

(And if you don’t get this joke, then that’s on you!)

I was expecting Sam Rosen to gush tonight, and as he always does, about Jack Hughes. Miraculously – this didn’t happen once! KUDOS TO SAM.

I gotta say, following what I thought was Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti’s worst performance of the season on Tuesday night – I thought our affable announce duo did a bang-up job tonight.

But of course – it always feels that way whenever the Rangers are dominating – and beating the snot out of a big-time rival too!

Outside of just mentioning Jack Hughes because that’s their job – not once tonight did Sam go on-and-on with his “OH JOE, I WANT TO BLOW JACK HUGHES JOE” stuff.

And when Hughes later broke up CZAR IGOR’s shut-out?

Rosen pretty much dismissed it.

The funniest thing during Rosen’s opening face-time was when he said, “OH JOE, I WAS CHANTING IGOR! IGOR! IGOR! ON MY CAR RIDE HOME ON TUESDAY NIGHT!”

However, he didn’t finish this thought by saying, “AND MUHAMMED MY UBER DRIVER TOLD ME TO SHUT UP JOE!”

Following Micheletti lying through his teeth and saying that Kakko has been noticeable in all of his games played this season; A RARE PRO-RANGERS’ SAMMY WHAMMY HIT – as Rosen informed us that the Rangers and Devils usually play nasty against one each other.

For the Hall of Fame caller – he was never more right – and was proven correct time-and-time again tonight.

I also want to add this:

I wish this was the Rosen that we can get every game.

Aside from not spewing sperm all over the place whenever talking about Hughes – Rosen didn’t do his usual act either – as he wasn’t reading the Devils’ media guide to us all game, didn’t tell us about the Devils’ itinerary, the second grade teachers of everyone on the opposing team, et al.

Rosen called this game as a Ranger fan – and that’s when he’s at his best.

While of course, the Blueshirts gave Rosen a good script to work with, just the fact that he limited the praise for their opponent was well-noticed – and well-received too.


While not horrendous, he did irk me all game, but only because of one thing:

He would not give CZAR IGOR any credit at all.

Despite making 39-saves and where his only goal allowed took place when the Rangers were fooling around and trying to get Lafreniere a hat trick with 2:07 remaining – Micheletti kept repeating that CZAR IGOR had an easy night.

39 saves, and again, 12 while short-handed, and you would’ve thought that CZAR IGOR had turned his net into a hammock by the way that Jumpin’ Joe was talking.

GAME REVIEW time – and where yes – I have to make this quicker than usual.

In other words, for the complete play-by-play, then check out my Tweeter feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

Rempe only played thirteen-seconds tonight – or four-minutes less than usual! But once again, what an impact he left. And if you don’t believe me, then just ask Bastian Booger – I mean Nathan Bastian!


Following Mika’s opening faceoff win, the first line then come on, and at just the 50-second mark, Panarin, whose “lower-body injury” was clearly a maintenance day, blew by four Devils, leaving this quartet all in his wake – but his pass to Trocheck wasn’t clean.

No matter, as “The Breadman” quickly retrieved the puck and then worked the rubber to Lafreniere.

Wide-open and five-feet away – Lafreniere went wide with 18:47 remaining.

Once the fourth line jumped over the bench for their first shift of the match, the following:


As mentioned earlier, Rempe was tossed from the game for this – but really – I don’t get why.

For starters, he’s seven-feet tall on skates – so of course any hit he makes is going to catch these opposing midgets up high.

But as you can see from the clip here – the hit was clean – as Rempe had tucked his elbow and braced for contact – and it’s not his fault that Bastian wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings either.

In my eyes, this was another call assessed against Rempe because of his rookie status and AHL reputation.

And I’ll be fair – had the tables been turned – and someone had hit a Ranger this way – then yeah – I’d be screaming bloody murder too – and as I have done several times over the years whenever Zdeno Chara was the opponent.

But more proof to my point?

During Chara’s Hall of Fame career, I’ve seen him hit many players this way – and not once can I recall him being tossed from a game afterwards.

But Chara was a highly touted prospect and then became a face of the NHL – and where I don’t think that I have to spell this out for you – he’s held in a higher regard than a rookie of all of three games played in the league – and where if you add up Rempe’s TOI and game totals – then these numbers fare pale in comparison to his PIM assessed.

I also believe that if Bastian didn’t come up looking like his face was eaten alive by zombies, then there would have been no penalty – nor the need to review the call either.

But since Bastian’s face looked like he had went through a car windshield – and then had to leave the game too (he’d return in the second period) – Rempe received the stiffest punishment imaginable.

Worse than that?

Presently only three games in and about ten minutes of ice time in his NHL career – Rempe, much like his career in the AHL, now has a reputation in the top league too.

In other words, overzealous officials will have an extra eye on #73.

And for Rempe?

He’s most likely going to receive a suspension – and a fine that he really can’t afford to pay either.

And all over a clean hit that would’ve been old hat had Chara been the hitter (and a Ranger being the “hitee” too).

Also ridiculous?

Following the hit, Jonas Siegenthaler tried to pick a fight with Rempe – and got squashed like a bug in about two-seconds.


Of course not.

Instead, both Siegenthaler and Rempe received two-minute offsetting roughing minors – another two PIM tacked onto Rempe – and all because he defended himself and hit back at the Devil as if he were an in-his-prime Mike Tyson.

In my eyes, this penalty was the turning point of the game.

Rather than allowing the Devils to score a goal or two during their five-minute interrupted power-play – instead – the Rangers blanked them – and where Chris Kreider, following a ring off of the iron, had the best shot attempt/scoring chance during this Blueshirts’ PK.

Without question, this was the BIGGEST BIG DICK ENERGY PENALTY KILL of them all – and all the Devils could do was skate around in a despondent fashion.

And as I always say during these situations – if you can’t score on a five-minute power-play, then you deserve to lose – and lose, and BIGLY at that, the Devils did.

Following the huge and successful PK, and out of a TV timeout too, Rosen reported that Laviolette had a few words for tossing Rempe from the game.

While yes, losing Rempe wasn’t the end of the word, since he only averages three-minutes per-game in the first place; losing him this early meant that Lavy was forced to double-shift his top guns – and where Lafreniere (18:12) and Panarin (18:27) received the bulk of the work.

And while those numbers may sound low to you at first glance – keep in mind – the Rangers were on the PK for nearly twenty-minutes tonight – and neither of these guys play on the penalty kill.

Following saves on both Bratt and Nemec, which then induced loud chants of “POTVIN SUCKS” in New Jersey; come 10:51 remaining and this is when Lazar decided to get cute with CZAR IGOR – and then put the Rangers on the power-play for the first time in the contest.

And yep, this is when Zibanejad got his puck luck PPG too – but even so – he was in the right position as well:

1-0, GOOD GUYS – and where yes – Mika exhibited his pass first, shoot second mentality again – but it worked out this time.

As Lafreniere and Panarin received their first double-shifts and as CZAR IGOR made a heck of a stick save on former Blueshirt Brendan Smith with 6:42 to go; forty-seconds later – and Islander Nation (population 12) all cried.

With 5:32 remaining and with the Devils attacking – CZAR IGOR’s net came off the pegs – and in a response – the refs blew the whistle.

Poor Noah Dobson! Ha! Ha! Ha!

After Sam, in his only display of “Sympathy For The Devil” tonight, bawled his eyes out over the missing Dougie Hamilton (he didn’t bring up how the Rangers were missing Filip Chytil and Blake Wheeler), Panarin went wide on one-shot and then saw Daws stop another with 3:55 to go.

During this same shift, and now down to 3:01 remaining, Tyler Toffoli poke-checked a puck lose off of “The Breadstick.” As Toffoli started his breakaway, Panarin hooked him. Toffoli got the shot off anyway – and CZAR IGOR stopped it too.

Just three-seconds into the Rangers’ PK and CZAR IGOR had already recorded his 16th save of the game.


The Devils ended their own power-play, as with 2:09 remaining in regulation and 1:09 left on their man-advantage, Erik Haula, one of last year’s “Ranger Killers,” hooked Adam Fox.

Up next and for the second consecutive game?



For whatever reason, the official statisticians didn’t give JONNY HOCKEY an assist on this play – but make no bones about it – this was all about Brodzinski.

During a puck battle at the corner boards to the left of Daws, Brodzinski forced Brother Luke into tossing the puck into the slot – and where this time – Lafreniere wouldn’t be denied.

Following the goal and with the Rangers now on the power-play – Zibanejad whiffed on a one-timer.

But again – who cares about stuff like that – especially when you’re up 2-0 in what could’ve been a “trap game” – and despite the Devils’ status as a heated rival?

2-0, GOOD GUYS, through 20-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Artemi Panarin is the best free agent signing in Rangers’ history – but Vincent Trocheck is now making a case as the second-best free agent signing that the Blueshirts have ever inked. Photo Credit: M$GN


When Sam asked Joe his usual question of “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE HERE JOE?” – Micheletti responded with, “a 4-0 score Sam.”

Joe got his wish just twenty-minutes later.

Down to 18:52 remaining and Barclay Goodrow prevented Jack Hughes from going on an odd-man rush. Goody should’ve been credited with drawing a penalty too, as once stripping Hughes from the puck, he fired it at the Devils’ bench where the sixth man had stepped on the ice.

However, and in a penalty-laden game – the officials decided not to call a “too many men on the ice” infraction tonight.

Forty-seconds later and it was Braden Schneider’s turn to make a big play on defense, as he prevented a back-door/tap-in try.

With 17:36 remaining, this is when the TROO TROO TRAIN arrived at Newark:

Just like Rempe, Trouba obliterated Bastian too.

Bastian, perhaps tired of being treated like a bitch, decided to defend himself.

This didn’t go well for the “Cowardly Devil.”

Following Trouba’s CLEAN HIT, Bastian skated towards Trouba with the captain’s back facing him.

Once arriving at his destination – Bastian, this little bastard, head-locked Trouba from behind.

For his efforts?

Trouba knocked the ever-living shit out of him – and where Bastian’s face, already looking like Marty Jannetty after being thrown at a “Brutus The Barber Beefcake” glass window by Shawn Michaels (that reference is for you Gideon D.!), looked like the face of ten Ryan Lindgren’s!

And yep, and once again – the end result was ridiculous – and an example of poor officiating – both designed and unintended by the league.

Trouba, who again, was attacked from behind and then defended himself – was taken away from the game for five-minutes.


While he did receive an extra two-minutes – it was for roughing, due to his headlock.

Apparently, Rempe accidentally catching Bastian up high is a match penalty.

A premeditated headlock?


Worse than all of that?

They didn’t even call an instigator penalty on Bastian, where had the refs done their job, then the Rangers would have received a four-minute power-play to fail on.


As noted, the Rangers didn’t score on this power-play, and where Kakko had the best chance with just a second remaining.

But really, up 2-0 and just kicking these losers from New Jersey around?

Like McDonalds’ tag line, “I’m loving it!”

Following the Devils’ kill, Sam informed us that this was a Rangers’ road game – but while technically true – the crowd make-up seemed to be 75-25 – and in favor of the visitors – and where the majority of attendees WEREN’T paying to see Jack Hughes either!

With 13:47 remaining, Panarin drew a penalty as Brother Luke tripped him.

Again, no PPG was scored here – and where the best opportunity to do so took place when Kreider, all alone in the slot, didn’t get all of the puck – which was a huge break for Daws.

Up next?

I’ll let my live tweet do the talking:

3-0, GOOD GUYS – and following CZAR IGOR’s first assist of the season, which means that both Blueshirt backstops have points next to their names!

And yep, as I always say, and as Lundqvist is now saying too – when CZAR IGOR is connecting on these homerun passes – then you know that he’s locked in.

Following the 3-0 goal, and with 9:52 remaining – I finally noticed Kakko – as he took a double-minor for high-sticking Simon Nemec.

Similar to Rempe, this penalty also drew blood – but it wasn’t a spigot either.

And with all of the bleeding that the Devils were doing tonight after getting beat up by the Rangers – then they are lucky that they aren’t hemophiliacs – because if they were – then they’d be deader than the careers of Mike McLeod and Cal Foote.

(Oh Sean, how dare you make such a joke without expressing any sympathy for the alleged victim! But if the allegations are true, then yes, the victim does have my sympathy. However, I do want to see how this case plays out in court first – and just like any of these types of cases, including the current charges against Rangers’ owner James Dolan – and charges that Mr. Larry Brooks and friends refuse to talk about – and as if Dolan was the man stricken from franchise history himself – Jim Ramsay.)

This was a pretty dumb penalty to take, as the Blueshirts were up by three goals.

But no matter – as the Rangers’ PK, who had already killed a five-minute major, then killed this four-minute double-minor too.

Again, what a role-reversal, as this team, known for their power-play ever since David Quinn rolled into town (and maybe Panarin is part of it too!); today, it’s been the penalty kill doing the heavy lifting.

The captain, Jacob Trouba, was a freakin’ beast – and as his team-high of 8:07 short-handed time would suggest.

More evidence?

Trouba also led the team in blocked shots (5) and hits too (5) – and with many of these stats taking place while his team was on the PK.

And when Trouba and Co. weren’t blocking shots?

Then CZAR IGOR was saying “NYET NYET” to anything that came his way.

Once killing this Devils’ power-play, the Rangers’ parade to the box continued, as this time, and with 3:25 remaining, “THE GUS BUS” took a ride to the sin bin after tripping J. Hughes.

Following a strong kill where CZAR IGOR, Mika, Kreider and Lindgren all made it happen – the IGOR IGOR IGOR chants returned too.

And as this period was nearing its conclusion, and where it felt like a twenty-minute never-ending Devils’ power-play too; the following with 39.2 seconds remaining:


Man, if this can be the start of something for Lafreneire – then watch out.

And yes, and as you may expect, many fans, mainly from a younger generation, are proclaiming that LAFRENIERE HAS ARRIVED and how he’s now hit a Sidney Crosby level of a first-overall draft pick status.

I don’t want to piss on anyone’s parade – but this was one game – against a bad team and an even worse goalie.

Let me just see this happen again-and-again – and then I’ll feel better.

While Lafreniere has played well all season – these types of games, where he finishes, are far and in-between.

But that said – I am rooting that this is the genesis of something special.

And like anyone else on the team – I’d love to see these goals when it matters the most – during the playoffs.

But for now?

Lafreniere’s confidence level has never been higher – and that’s a good thing.

4-0, GOOD GUYS, through forty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

CZAR IGOR should have had his second shutout of the season tonight. Photo Credit: NYR


I have to be up in four hours, so I gotta breeze through this final frame – but where really – the game’s victor had long been decided.

Among the stuff that you need to know:

— CZAR IGOR made four saves in the first two-minutes.

— The SOG total at the four-minute mark was 32-14, red-and-black.

— Meier tripped Trocheck with 12:29 remaining – and now, on the power-play, and the victor decided – the rest of this game was all about setting up Lafreniere for a hat trick goal, where had goal #3 been scored – then it would’ve been his first career NHL hat trick.

— Instead of that, the Rangers’ power-play didn’t score here – and where they had chances to do so – but all Mika and Panarin did was refuse to shoot and set-up Lafreniere.

— I get it – so I’m not admonishing this (and it’s great for team chemistry/bonding too) – but it would’ve been nice to see the power-play try to get back on track too.

— With 8:00 remaining, the Rangers only had one shot on goal in the period.

— After dicking around a bit, the Blueshirts had to score the goal that was afforded to them – as Trocheck made the game 5-0, GOOD GUYS, with 5:31 remaining, following an odd-man rush with Panarin as his flank.

— A minute later? CZAR IGOR made his best save of the game, one that Micheletti blew off, when he waved his Dikembe Mutombo NO NO finger at Dawson Mercer.

— Now in the final meaningless minutes – it was an all-out FEED LAFRENIERE show.

— This backfired – or at least for CZAR IGOR who was looking for his second shutout of the season.

— Rather than getting the puck deep and burning off time in the Devils’ zone, instead, the puck was returned backwards to Lafreniere. He couldn’t handle the puck, as Toffoli forced a turnover at the Rangers’ blue line. Just 2:07 shy from a shutout, the man that no one pays to see broke up the shutout.

— 5-1, bad guys.

— You felt for CZAR IGOR here, and while this wasn’t really as bad as other “BLUESHIRT BRAIN FARTS” that have led #31 into becoming the league-leader in most one-goal games allowed since his NHL debut – and now four-years removed from it to boot – the Rangers were more focused on a Lafreniere hat trick rather than a shutout for their goalie.

— And don’t get it twisted – while the turnover was Lafreniere’s fault – this strategy wasn’t his idea – as it were his teammates doing everything that they could for him. And I’m sure that he would’ve liked his goalie to finish the game with a clean sheet too.

— Then again – maybe he just wanted the game-winning goal! (I KID, I KID!)

5-1, GOOD GUYS, your final.

The Rangers are now three wins away from sweeping the month of February – and where the club can win their tenth straight this Saturday in Philly.

Here’s our man of the hour, the head coach, during his post-game edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE”:

Here’s what the Rangers are reporting after their ninth consecutive victory:

For fans looking to watch the game with fellow fans, then check out “The Blueshirt Underground Show,” as they are hosting a watch party this Saturday. Photo Credit: BSU

Sorry to get out of here so fast tonight – but blah, blah, blah – you know my deal.

The Rangers will do battle with Tortorella’s Flyers this Saturday afternoon.

Of note: While I won’t be attending the BSU party (it’s nothing against them – but I just have no desire to go to Manhattan on my rare days off), I am attending a watch party at my local watering hole – and for the second week in row (the bar is doing good business ever since throwing them).

(Also of note? My dad and all of my local friends go to these watch parties – and I wouldn’t be able to drag any of them to NYC either.)

Long-story short (easy for me to say), there will be no “live tweet-treatment” on Saturday – or at least not as detailed as usual.

Barring a bigger amount of beverage consumption than usual (that says a lot), then I’ll be back on Saturday night with something quick about the Flyers/Rangers.

Then, come Sunday, I’ll return with a complete and detailed Rangers vs Blue Jackets review.

And who knows – I might return tomorrow night too – but that’s just tentative for now.

What’s not tentative these days?

The New York Rangers, who are just imposing their will on everyone!

And should you require more words and writing from me?

Well that brings us to…

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:

“Rangers’ Revenge World Tour” Sells Out “The Rock;” The Players That Fans Really Pay To See, Blueshirts Look For A “Divine Nine” Against Devil Dogs, JONNY HOCKEY Re-Signed; Quick Should Be Next, Akira Schmid Assigned to AHL, Big Road-Trip Ahead, Laviolette’s Words of Wisdom & More

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

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

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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4 thoughts on “NYR/NJD 2/22 Review: Nine is Divine! Blueshirts Brutalize Their Battle of Hudson Rival; REMPESTEIN & TROO TROO TRAIN Bash Bastian To Oblivion Too, The Most Perfect Penalty Kill Yet, Lafreniere Finally “Lafinishing” – But Chase For Hat Trick Mars a CZAR IGOR Shutout, Panarin’s 3-Pointer, Officiating, People Pay & Leave Early When Watching Hughes, Bring on the Flyers, M$GN & More

  1. Another great review Sean !
    I know about your crazy schedule but it’s not the same unless I read your retelling of the game. You’re much appreciated!

  2. I don’t know if you said anything about but the no-call high stick on Mika. There is a lot to read. Sorry if I missed it. Your reviews are good! Maybe Rempe can shrink! (not a chance!) Have a shot of bourbon, your choice!!

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