NYR/CBJ 2/25 Review: Running on Empty Rangers Lose To Another Cellar-Dweller; Two Major Winning Streaks Snapped, Despite Loss – The Tradeoff Was Worth It, Someone Fix Missing Mika, Rempe Fights Again; Proves Previous Point Made in Philly, Lundqvist’s Point Made Too, Schedule Loosening Up; Three More Games Prior to Deadline, Buchnevich Rumor, M$GN & More

On Sunday night in Columbus, the Rangers, now playing their fifth game in eight nights and their third game in a span of 96-hours too, looked a bit flat in their lowly 4-2 loss to the Blue Jackets. While of course, every resident of Rangerstown, USA wanted the win – it’s tough to get upset about the final result – especially since this was the Blueshirts’ first loss in their last eleven games played – and their first defeat since returning to play following the NHL All-Star Game/bye week. Of note, and in an example of “The Rangers’ Way” – the Blueshirts are now 0-2 in the home of the worst team in the conference – and where you can find my road-trip review to lovely Ohio from 10/14/23 here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/columbus/

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. I told you so.

And no – I’m not talking about Matt Rempe or the Rangers’ loss right now – but we’ll get there.

However, what I did tell you, and all following the playoffs, during the off-season/summer and into the regular season as well, was that general manager Chris Drury should have taken a chance on Patrick Kane!

But of course, once the Rangers made no offer to the future Hall of Famer – and despite Kane’s own openness to return – and where he then ultimately signed with the Detroit Red Wings too – I did also tell you that I’d close the book on this chapter.

That said, it is kind of hard to ignore the fact that #88, in his twenty-six games played thus far this season – and where it feels like he’s scoring a game-winning goal in each Detroit contest during the past two weeks too – now has 11 goals and 15 assists on the season.

And some of these morons out there defiantly (and sometimes proudly) proclaimed to yours truly, and to others, that “KANE IS WASHED!”

What did I say prior to Kane’s Detroit arrival – and about 88 billion times over at that?

Medical advancements are being made each day, and while the two injuries were different – this felt like Jack Eichel deja vu all over again.

For you math majors and “88 Truthers” who haven’t figured it out already, Kane is now averaging a point-per-game.

But don’t fret yet Ranger fans.

The “elite” Kaapo Kakko, where his fans move the goal posts every day whenever talking about him (“HE KNOWS HOW TO PUT A STICK ON THE PUCK EVERY NOW-AND-AGAIN AND WHO CARES IF A SECOND-OVERALL PICK CAN’T SCORE?”), currently has 11 points in 38 games this season!

While that’s just a comparison of two right-wingers, perhaps a sadder one than that?

How your $8.5M projected first-line center, Mika Zibanejad, still only has one even-strength goal scored since the Christmas break – and a drought that extended to 35-games following Sunday’s 4-2 loss in THE OHIO STATE.

The comparison?

Adam Edstrom ($846,667 cap-hit) has two even-strength goals in just seven games played, while Matt Rempe, aka REMPESTEIN ($820,000 cap-hit), has one even-strength goal in his five-game NHL career.

And I haven’t even discussed the playing time of these three men – and how unlike Zibanejad – the two most recent Ranger call-ups of February ’24 don’t receive the luxury of playing alongside the likes of Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider.

Granted, and not to go back on what I’ve previously said during the past two-weeks on this site, there is a reason why the word “streak” is defined as “a period of time during which something continues to happen.”

And as the textbook definition of this word suggests – eventually, time ends all streaks – as no streak lasts forever – that is – except for the poor play of Mika Zibanejad this season.

What once began as his usual start-of-the-season-slump has now become a season-long streak – or slump – and where Mika can’t be relied on to carry the team at all.

Put it this way: You know it’s bad when Zibanejad doesn’t even get on the scoreboard against Philly, one of the league’s teams that he always torments, and as was the case on Saturday night.

And while it wasn’t all Zibanejad’s fault on Sunday in Columbus, when two positive streaks came to an end – the Rangers’ ten-game win-streak and their perfect 9-0 record on the second half of a back-to-back set – since he’s been nothing but a large disappointment this season – it easier to single him out than anyone else on the ice.

It’s not a good thing when I’ve been running this picture once a week – which averages out to more times than Zibanejad has scored goals in his games played this season.

As previously noted a few times this season, Zibanejad has largely received a pass from his head coach, his teammates, the inept Blueshirt beat reporters and the fans alike.

In other words, if the Rangers weren’t presently red-hot right now (and as I’ll explain throughout this tome – don’t make much of tonight’s loss either), and if they weren’t flirting with winning the Presidents’ Trophy too – then much more would be made today about a lost season for #93.

At the same time, there’s also my 25-word season-long daily disclaimer for this 2023-24 campaign too – and one that reads as such:


What am I getting at?

For as much as Zibanejad is known for his piss-poor starts, he’s equally also known for his MIKA MARCHES – as whenever the calendar flips to the third month of the year – he’s usually at his best.

This season?

He couldn’t fare any worse in March than he has during the other months of the campaign.

To quote George Costanza, “IT’S ONLY UP FROM HERE BABY!”

And as the disclaimer explains – while it is disappointing to watch Zibanejad shit the bed on a game-in and game-out basis – a strong and productive run during the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs from Mr. Z?

Then this lost regular season will also be lost from Blueshirt brains too.

Conversely, the same stuff about Zibanejad also applies to Artemi Panarin, who is having a career-season in Year 5 with the Blueshirts. On Sunday, “The Breadman” baked his 33rd goal of the season, breaking his career-high from his first campaign in New York, the 2019-20 Covid season, which was cut short and as a result, he finished with 32 goals. But if he has another “no show” when it matters the most – the playoffs – then none of what he’s doing during the regular season will matter. Furthermore? With 79 points in 59 games played, Panarin is well on his way to hitting the century mark – and where should he notch his hundredth point this season, then it will be the first time he’s ever done so in his career – and where yes – the two Covid seasons prevented him from already reaching this milestone too.

I don’t know if I would say that tonight’s loss was “to be expected,” because after all, the Blue Jackets are the worst team in the Eastern Conference – and for good measure – they were also missing two of their top players tonight, Patrik Laine and Adam Fantilli.

But to be cursing, throwing stuff and screaming bloody murder about this loss to these Columbus cellar-dwellers?

I don’t think that’s the right reaction either.

I know that you can only live in the moment, but if someone were to tell you that the Rangers would win ten in a row, knock off three heavyweights in the process (Colorado, Tampa and Dallas), beat two of your biggest rivals in their own barns (Devils and Flyers) and then for the kicker – win one of the most incredible regular season games of all-time (the Islanders) – but in order for that to happen, then the Rangers would have to lose to the Blue Jackets – then wouldn’t you have signed up for such a scenario/hypothetical – and today – reality?

I get it – contrarians to my opinion will say there’s no excuse for losing – and I do understand that.

But for the Rangers, and just like any of us – who is perfect at their jobs at a 365/24/7 basis?

In addition, and I’m speaking for the majority here:

We’re also not enduring non-stop travel and then have to worry about being hit to kingdom come once we arrive at our workplaces – and as hockey players ALWAYS do.

While it’s still all about the playoffs for me, I think when we just look back at this 2023-24 regular season, there will be two periods of time that trumps all.

The first was the early five-game road-trip, where the Rangers swept the entire thing, as they beat the Kraken, the Canucks, the Flames, the Oilers and the Jets – and the first time in franchise history where such an event like this happened – where yes – that’s because the Seattle team hasn’t even celebrated their third birthday yet.

And I can hear it now once team #32 has their birthday:


The other period of time, the most impressive to me, was the one that we just experienced – the ten-game winning streak, the third time this has ever happened in 98-years of Rangers’ history – and where fifty-years from now, and assuming that we’re all still alive – we’ll be telling everyone about that Blueshirts’ 6-5 overtime win against the Islanders.

In a way, Rempe, who made his NHL debut in the outdoor game against the orange-and-blue, kind of personifies the final four games of the now concluded ten-game winning-streak.

His childlike (in a good and pure way) and emotional nature was akin to our own feelings.

In what was the busiest week of the campaign, the Rangers won the most memorable regular season game of all-time last Sunday, played one of their best games in their Tuesday night win against Dallas, kept their foot on the neck of the Devils on Thursday and then for good measure – won a thriller in Philadelphia on Saturday.

That quartet of games were four huge tests – and where the Blueshirts aced all of them.

And somewhat like a college student who was cramming all week for their May finals – once over the testing period – the Rangers needed a break.

Instead, they had to play again on Sunday, their fifth game in eight days – and while they will never admit it – they just looked tired, flat and needed some time off.

Four impressive wins – and where the tank was emptied in all of them.

And then there was all of the emotion that was drained too.

Sadly, we were stuck with the seven-foot plug tonight, Sieve Vagistat, rather than listening to “THE KING OF COMMENTARY” and/or Brian Boyle on the M$GN broadcast.

This past Tuesday night, Henrik Lundqvist, who unlike Sieve Vagistat, would know what he’s talking about, and prior to the game against Dallas, said how he was happy that the Rangers were playing a top-team after their emotional and big comeback victory over the Islanders.

In a point that was later proven true by “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Lundqvist said had the Blueshirts drawn a crappy team (my words, not his verbatim), then it would’ve been understandable had the Rangers came out flat.

What happened next?

The Rangers had one of their best games of the regular season yet – and where they gave it their all in their impressive victory over the Stars.

I think Lundqvist, who was sadly not on the broadcast tonight, was proven correct for a second time on Sunday.

The Rangers just won four ginormous games in a row – and against a Columbus team going nowhere – they just weren’t inspired.

And while fatigue, the grueling schedule and all of the physicality of these past four games was also a part of it – had the Rangers drawn an opponent that had something to play for other than pride – then I think that “Lavy’s Lot,” and as they largely have been doing all season – would have answered the bell.

While I don’t want to come off like I’m making excuses, I guess what I’m trying to convey is that while I would’ve been over-the-moon had the Rangers made history on Sunday – it’s not the end of the world – and I can understand why they lost.

Plus, and in your 406786789689678967896789678969th reminder of the season – it’s all about what the Rangers do in the playoffs anyway.

At this time, and before hitting our usual segments; if you missed last night’s blog, the Rangers/Flyers GAME REVIEW, then click the link below:

Outside of shamelessly promoting my own work, I ask you to check out those words for one reason only – a lot of what I said there was proven true on Sunday night – and yes – now I’m talking about Rempe.

Lavy, and just like his players, dismissed the idea that this was a “must win game” and how the Rangers had to make history tonight. At least he didn’t set anyone up for disappointment I suppose!

Since the Rangers played Saturday night in Philly, there was no morning skate on Sunday.

Come 4PM, two-hours prior to puck drop, the head coach conducted his daily pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is for you below:

Outside of tempering expectations of what eleven wins in a row would’ve meant, and how this game had to be treated like any of the other 81-games on the schedule (and we know that’s not true – and especially after seeing the head coach’s reaction after the win against the Isles); the only thing that Laviolette said of note was that Jonathan Quick would be receiving the nod in net – and I think we all expected that anyway.

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the fifty-ninth 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



Healthy Scratches: Belzile and Jones


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





40 2 38 .950 29 8 1 0 0 59:42 0


41 4 37 .902 34 3 0 0 0 56:41 0

The seven-foot clear-sighted asshole was back tonight – and where unfortunately, one of the Rangers’ seven-footers, Edstrom or Rempe, didn’t physically remove him from the studio either!

Come 5:30PM, and already knowing that the worst back-up goalie and analyst in franchise history would be there, I tuned into the M$GN, with the hopes of that someone with real NHL experience would also be on the broadcast.

That wasn’t the case – and come 5:30:01PM – I changed the channel – as I wasn’t going to hang around for thirty-minutes of made-up charts and graphs nonsense.

As I was perusing my phone, I received this email from FOCO, the premiere bobblehead company in America (and yes – there is such a thing too!):

REMPEMANIA is runnin’ wild – and where FOCO, without even having a prototype image, is already trying to cash in on the craze. Photo Credit: FOCO

Around the same time and still waiting for the top of the hour, I finally realized who Nic Deslauriers reminded me of – Marv from “Home Alone.” Take a gander:

Also around this time?

It came to me that tonight, 2/25/2024, was the 45th anniversary of the “POTVIN SUCKS” chant.

While I was hoping that this piece of trivia would propel the Blueshirts to what would’ve been the first time in franchise history where they won eleven consecutive games – well you already know how that went.

Nearing 6:00PM, and fully expecting Sam Rosen to confuse Boone Jenner for Bruce Jenner again, I tweeted the following:

And that’s what pretty much happened.

Outside of having a raging hard-on for “THE COLUMBUS COMMIES,” as Rosen, and no less than 79567575788675 times tonight, brought up the all-Russian Blue Jacket line of Kirill Marchenko, Dmitri Voronkov and Yegor Chinakhov – Rosen, and Micheletti for that matter too, was good during the broadcast.

(It was also never mentioned by Rosen that the two best Rangers, CZAR IGOR and Panarin, are also Russian. Bless Sam’s heart.)

But of course – this was another SAMMY WHAMMY too.

Combined, this Soviet line produced five points tonight – and also teamed up for an early go-ahead goal at the start of the second stanza.

Bless Sam’s heart.

As far as anything else, there was one funny point during this brief face time where the cannon in Columbus went off – and where I think Micheletti’s underwear, as a result, looked like whatever is on top of his head these days.

As that was going on, Rosen addressed some of the managerial changes in Columbus – but also tippy-toed around this subject – and for the obvious reason (his relationship with John Davidson).

And Micheletti, and for the first time this season, didn’t tell us how he talked to the opposing team’s general manager or team president either.

GAME REVIEW time – and where I’ll try to limit the pain – because I think it’s more about what happens next than what happened tonight.

How dare Sam and Joe praise some guy in Columbus, a player named Johnny Gaudreau, who also uses the same nickname as the Rangers’ Jonny Brodzinski – “JONNY HOCKEY!” Photo Credit: NYR


It wasn’t all bad – but a lot of the negative trends that we have seen all season, including during this winning streak, took place tonight.

Examples of such occurrences? The following:

Once again, the power-play, while only having two opportunities tonight, finished 0-2 – and where Laviolette needs to give Zibanejad the boot from the first power-play unit (in favor of Lafreniere) – even if it’s only temporary.

The Blueshirts also bled a ton of shots on goal – but unlike their previous games – held pace with their opponents.

The home team out-shot the Rangers 16-14 in the first period and 14-8 in the second period, but come the third period, and where in a rare instance – it were the Blueshirts who were trailing – it were the visitors who out-shot their foes, 18-11, during the final frame – and where yes – a large part of that was because the Rangers had a late power-play, which then set-up two-minutes of a 6 x 4 attack that went nowhere.

Just 2:12 into the game, and on Rempe’s first shift no less – everything that I said last night played out here:

Need a reminder of what I said last night?

Here you go:

Just a few talking points about this fight [Rempe v. Deslauriers]:

— Not to piss on anyone’s parade – and as you can tell – I’m loving this as much as anyone else – but for as much as I enjoy these tilts amongst monsters – I don’t want to see them in every game either.

— I don’t think that I have to remind anyone why fighting was lessened by the league in the first place – and where every Ranger fan by now is keenly aware of the Derek Boogaard story as well – but between the risks of CTE (and the crippling addictions, mainly opiates, that usually result afterwards) and broken hands too – while I’m not saying that Rempe should never fight again – I’d rather see him spread these bouts apart.

— But damn pal – not only are these fights exhilarating, and just like goalie duels, it’s one of my favorite brands of puck too – OLD TIME HOCKEY.

I’m enjoying all of Rempe’s big tilts – and his points produced too – but there’s no reason to fight some fourth liner of a last-place team. Photo Credit: NYR

This fight, against Matthieu Olivier, was Rempe’s first loss of the season.

I include what I said last night just to prove to you that what I’m saying here isn’t a case of hindsight being 20/20.

I know this is a tough slope to navigate, because for Rempe, not only does he feel the need to trade hands every game – but he’s now getting challenged by the toughest guy on each team too – and like Marty McFly – no one wants to be accused of “being chicken.”


Don’t go nowhere near the red line during warm-ups – as this is where three of these four staged fights were arranged.

Another suggestion?

I’m just a beer-bellied blogger (and as my buddy BUTTA will tell you) -so my words don’t matter to him.

But for the Rangers, and for the sake of both Rempe’s long-term health and career, someone with clout, and whether it be Chris Drury, Peter Laviolette or Jacob Trouba, needs to tell him that his roster spot is secure – and that he doesn’t need to fight in every game in order to protect it.

And another way to prevent a return to the Wolf Pack?

Keep on picking up the points – and as REDWOOD REMPE – or as BUTTA’s kin is now calling him, “THE REMPIRE STATE BUILDING,” did again tonight.

As someone who loves the fights, both in hockey and in general (MMA is my second favorite sport – and I do like those “World Star” videos on the internet too) – I absolutely HATED this fight.

This wasn’t OLD TIME HOCKEY – as there’s no real rivalry between these two teams – and despite both of these clubs playing in the Metro division – where need I also remind you – the Rangers are first and the Blue Jackets are worst.

Somewhat similar to the Rangers losing tonight, as it’s a good reminder for Drury that something has to be done at the deadline – perhaps Rempe losing his first tilt was a good thing too – as he’ll now pick his spots better – or so you hope.

You just don’t want to see him fight every fourth line plug in the league – and especially such men from last-place teams with no future.

Furthermore, someone has to tell him that his “ROCK’EM, SOCK’EM” robot style of fighting, while entertaining for the fans – will only shorten his career.

Simply put: He needs to protect himself better – as he’s just charging full-boar and throwing hands – and not worried about what hands will come his way either.

To ultimately illustrate my point, following this fight – Rempe was sent to the locker room, where a league concussion spotter assessed him.

While Rempe, with multiple marks on his face, was able to return and deemed concussion-free – it’s bound to happen eventually – and should that unfortunate, and likely, Filip Chytil-esque event take place – then let it happen against a rival and in a game that matters.

To be clear and to wrap-up on this – I love everything that Rempe brings – and I’m not saying to be peaceful on the ice.

I’m just saying that he needs to avoid the unnecessary fights – and these tilts need to be more organic and spread out – rather than dropping your gloves the second when you first take the ice – and especially against some bum from a last-place team.

Just 22-seconds after the Rempe & Olivier five-minute majors, Trouba took a two-minute minor for holding Justin Danforth.

As it looked like the heralded and successful Rangers’ penalty kill had done their job again – with just one-second remaining on the Blueshirts’ power-play – Dmitri Voronkov, one of “Rosen’s Russians,” got behind the defense and beat Quick.

1-0, bad guys, and at just the 4:34 mark.

Originally, this went as an even-strength goal, but once it was later changed to a power-play goal, all this scoring change did was prevent Miller (-2) and Trouba (-3) from finishing with a -3 and -4 respectively.

But unlike Zibanejad – I can give Miller and Trouba a pass – as they’ve played well during this winning streak.

Furthermore, these two rearguards usually log the most TOI per-game – so of course – they will also be on the ice for more goals than most.

While Rempe was still being assessed by the head doctors, once Olivier came out of the penalty box, he continued to be a force to be reckoned with, as he laid a huge (but clean) hit on Braden Schneider.

This hit allowed Columbus to have their way in the Rangers’ zone – and where they hit iron twice on the same shift before Quick was able to freeze the puck with 11:15 remaining.


While I don’t want to take anything away from Merzlikins, as “Elvis was in the building” tonight – a lot of the shots that he saw weren’t really that challenging – including a save made on Lindgren with 9:44 to go.

And like Quick, Elvis also got some help from his best friend too, as Panarin hammered a shot into the post with 8:51 left to play – and on the ensuing ricochet – the puck landed firmly inside of the goaltender’s gear.

What a break.

Columbus allowed New York to hang in there, as with 6:45 remaining, Marchenko had a mini breakaway – and perhaps paying homage to Zibanejad – decided to force the puck backwards while one foot away from the crease. This went for a turnover.

As Sam and Joe ran down every player in Columbus that just had a baby and then told us how proud they were of the Blue Jackets’ JONNY HOCKEY for having sex nine months ago; Panarin baked his career-high 33rd goal of the season with 5:38 remaining:

1-1 – and where this goal doesn’t happen with Adam Fox, who prevented the CBJ from clearing the puck at the boards near the home team’s bench.

The Rangers also got good news after Panarin’s top-shelf roofer, as Rempe was now back on the bench – and where on his first shift returned – had a few words with Olivier – but wisely refrained from a round two.

Better than that?

Rempe, while screening/eclipsing Elvis, almost scored again – and in the same way that he scored on Saturday night. However, Elvis, perhaps with some extra weight on him due to all of those peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches, was able to prevent the Rangers from gong ahead.

Down to 4:12 remaining and Vesey extended the Rangers’ zero for their last 9866967967696896 billion breakaway drought – where this time – #26 hit the post.

So despite the loss – the Rangers did find iron twice – where in other words – you can’t really knock their lack of effort. They were just tired – and I know that people hate to hear that.

But if you’re one of these people who hate hearing that cliche, then I must quote Jack Nicholson here:


The final minute of this first period belonged to Quick, who successfully did everything in his power from allowing CBJ to score a late goal.

With 38-seconds to go, JQ32 made his best save yet – as the 38-year-old, and like an Olympic gymnast, made a full split when making a stop on Werenski.

Just watching that, I had to ice my own groin!

And to quote Costanza again – “Do women know about shrinkage Jerry?”

1-1 after 1.

Here’s what I said at the time:

I wouldn’t hang tonight’s loss on Quick, where as a reminder, he’s been idle for the past ten days too. Despite the layoff, I thought he played well enough for the Rangers to win. Photo Credit: NYR


Here’s my first tweet of the middle twenty minutes:

2-1, bad guys – and yep – this is when the SAMMY WHAMMY hit too – as CBJ’s Red Line scored following a brutal turnover made from Zibanejad.

If only Zibanejad played as well as he hugs – then Connor McDavid would have nothing on D.J. Mika!

Following the goal allowed, CBJ kept their pressure, including a 90-second shift against the Rangers’ fourth line – and one that only ended following a block from Rempe.

It wasn’t until there was 15:15 remaining when the Rangers entered the CBJ zone for the first time – and recorded their first SOG of the period too – as Elvis stopped Vesey here.

Come 13:22 remaining and there was Elvis again, as he poke-checked a Panarin two-vs-one odd-man rush pass intended for Lafreniere away from his net.

Following this shift, this is when Laviolette hit the line-blender – where really – I understood the decision, and at the end of the day it didn’t matter – but with a ten-game winning streak – I would’ve just left things alone.

But again – I’m just a beer-bellied blogger – and not a future HOF head coach.

The new lines were:





(These lines would change again, where Goodrow and Vesey swapped lines and with JONNY HOCKEY serving as the third line center.)

With 11:26 remaining, Vesey, who had a good game tonight, but that will most likely be forgotten about due to the loss, drew the prideful Provorov for a tripping penalty.

Zibanejad was absolutely horrid – and where three of his horrible shots were blocked and then cleared out of the CBJ zone.

And you know it’s bad when “Jumpin’ Joe” is calling all of this out too.

But while the $8.5M “elite” center can’t score to save his life these days, the $800K players can – as the following took place right after the power-play had expired:


I’m a blue collar guy, and as all of my boozing and this site’s name would suggest – so I always have a special place in my heart for these lunch-pail fourth-liners.

On this goal, Rempe got the puck to BIG ED, and Edstrom, while nearing the goal line to the right of Elvis, flipped the puck towards his fellow towering titan.

While Rempe didn’t get a piece of the puck, CBJ d-man, Jake “Flick My” Bean did, as the rearguard got to the rubber first – and then deflected into his own net.

In some Blueshirts’ trivia that no one will care about – and I have no way to double-check this either – I think this is the first time where a Rangers’ rookie, in only five games-played, had two-thirds of a Gordie Howe hat trick in consecutive games – and where 33% of such a feat included the fight.

Talk about the most confusing #CadillacTrivia question of all-time!

For Rempe, following his goal and fight from Saturday – he now had an assist and a fight on Sunday.

And while Rempe and Edstrom will always stand out, due to their super skyscraper dimensions – while it’s great for them when they stand out in the box score – it’s not great for the Rangers when Zibanejad doesn’t.

That said – one hell of a hard-working goal – and sadly – the last real Rangers’ highlight of the game.

I don’t know what happens for these two following the deadline – but I am enjoying every minute whenever watching them play today. And should Rempe remain post-deadline? Then that’s when I’m pulling the trigger on a #73 jersey for myself!

Forty-six seconds following Edstrom’s big goal?

Another UGH performance from the Trouba/Miller pairing, which then led to a Jack Roslovic goal.

3-2, bad guys – and the game-winner too.

You can see that Laviolette was a little pissed-off about this, as following another Mika turnover, we saw a lot more of the fourth line during this period. (That would change in the third with the Rangers trailing and with the “super six” exclusively playing the final three-minutes and change.)

Come 5:47 remaining and Trouba was boxed for his second holding penalty, as his bad game continued, this time when he was questionably assessed for holding Kent Johnson.

Again, the Rangers’ penalty kill played a strong 1:50 or so, but unlike their first foray – received a huge break with ten-seconds to go on this PK, as Chinakov, while all alone and a foot away from Quick – went high-and-wide.

As Quick was doing everything that he could to keep the deficit to one-goal – egads – the Miller/Trouba pairing again.

This time, the CBJ had a 4 x 2 odd-man rush, where at the end of it, Provorov, the trailer, banged home the 4-2, bad guys, goal with only 1:25 remaining.

Rempe almost got his Gordie Howe hat trick with 20-ticks left on the clock, but Elvis and Co. were able to prevent it.

4-2, bad guys, through forty minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

While you’re only as good as your last game played, and while of course, it’s only human nature for these guys to feel like shit on their flight home to New York; they should still keep their heads held up high and appreciate what they accomplished during their ten-game winning streak. This one loss doesn’t define them. Photo Credit: NYR


We can blow through this final frame as this 4-2 score held up as the final.

Among what you need to know, the following:

(But if you want the complete play-by-play, then you can visit my Tweeter feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC)

— It just irked me to no end, like a boil on your asshole, when I saw Ranger fans trashing the team, said the season was over and all of that other GLOOM AND DOOM bridge-jumping bullshit.

— While yes, you can go after Zibanejad a bit, and speak the truth when talking about how bad Miller/Trouba looked – but to completely write-off this team in general was heinous to me.

— Kudos to Rosen, who despite everything, remained optimistic and actually tried cursing the Blue Jackets! It was appreciated for this viewer!

— This period, one full of lost opportunities, began with Lafreniere whiffing on a puck from three-feet out.

— And no – I’m not going to bring up #13’s issues with scoring this season – because not only did he score during the past two consecutive games – the whole team didn’t have it tonight – and he, and by no means, is worth singling-out in a negative manner.

— Bean, after blocking a shot with 16:54 to go, lost his skate blade, which in theory, gave the Rangers’ a 5 x 4 attack. However, CBJ cleared the puck, Elvis pushed his d-man who had scored on him earlier towards the bench and that was that.

— Despite more porous defense from the captain and his partner – Quick would not allow goal #5.

— In a funny moment, when talking about the “C!B!J!” chants in the arena, Sam informed us that CBJ stands for “Columbus Blue Jackets.”

— Bless Sam’s heart.

— Sam then went into wrap-up mode with 8:30 remaining – and while CBJ continued to block shots and clog passing lanes  – you couldn’t blame him, as the writing was on the wall.

— With 7:17 to go, Lindgren high-sticked Chinakov, which in turn effectively burnt two-minutes that the Rangers needed when down by two goals.

— During a two-vs-one odd-man rush, and for the 9863748637896826896969 trillionth time this season, the ghost in the #93 jersey, when all alone and in front of the goalie, decided not to shoot and force a pass to his BFF – and an easy save for Elvis.

— Come 3:19 remaining, and following a successful Rangers’ PK, Lavy pulled Quick after a CBJ icing.

— Mopey Mika remained miserable here – where on one of his never-ending one-timers that never hits the net – he almost took out the cannon in the arena.

—  With 2:23 to go, the Rangers got one last chance, as Voronkov was bagged for a delay of game penalty after putting his hand over the puck during a faceoff.

— The final 2:23 of this game, and with the Rangers on a 6 x 4 attack, was Elvis’ best work yet – as he denied all-comers.

— 4-2, bad guys, final – and where I wasn’t shocked that this ten-game win-streak, and 9-0 on the second half of back-to-backs too, were both broken up once that feckless freak, Sieve Vagistat, returned to the M$GN airwaves.

Here’s Laviolette following the disappointing loss:

The fact that Laviolette, who can speak for days on end, only spoke for 1:11 here – well that tells you all that you need to do know.

If you ever get the chance, then attending a Rangers’ game in Columbus is well worth your time.

Up next:

Both teams are off until Wednesday – and where come that day – the Rangers will look to salvage the season-series on home ice.

Prior to that game, the Rangers have a scheduled off-day on Monday and will then return to their training facility in Tarrytown, NY on Tuesday.

Once the Rangers are done seeking their mediocre modicum of revenge on Wednesday night – the schedule softens a bit – but not because of the opponents on the docket – but because of all of the off-days in-between games.

As said, the Blueshirts close February on 2/28 against these same Blue Jackets.

After that, the Rangers travel to Toronto for a Saturday “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast.

And yes – the world, or at least two countries, America and Canada, will be watching – as everyone anticipates and hopes for a Matt Rempe vs Ryan Reaves heavyweight title prize fight – and where yes – it’s fine if #73 engages the former #75 of the Blueshirts.

Once out of Canada, one more game remains prior to the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline (3/8), as the Rangers will host the Florida Panthers on 3/4.

The first game following the deadline?

A 3/9 home game against the St. Louis Blues – where much like the Rangers – should feature a different roster than the one they presently have.

However, and unlike the Rangers who will be buying – everyone expects the Blues to be selling – including perhaps trading away Pavel Buchnevich – and where no – I don’t see a Rangers’ return for #89 – and especially after reading this “Reddit Rumor”:

I usually don’t buy such junk, but I did have several people tell me that they heard similar things. However, I can’t confirm such a thing – and really – I still have trouble buying it.

With most likely no news on Monday, I’ll probably return on Tuesday night.

If not, then see ya Wednesday night.

In the meantime, why don’t you catch up on your reading, which 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:

NYR/PHI 2/24 Review: HEAVE HO, TEN IN A ROW! Rolling Rangers Make History; Matt Rempe Creates Two Moments That You’ll Never Forget Too, REMPESTEIN Overshadows Another Monstrous Performance from CZAR IGOR – But Why He Shouldn’t Fight In Every Game, Insane Lafreniere Stat, Enjoy The Moment & More

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

“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

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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1 thought on “NYR/CBJ 2/25 Review: Running on Empty Rangers Lose To Another Cellar-Dweller; Two Major Winning Streaks Snapped, Despite Loss – The Tradeoff Was Worth It, Someone Fix Missing Mika, Rempe Fights Again; Proves Previous Point Made in Philly, Lundqvist’s Point Made Too, Schedule Loosening Up; Three More Games Prior to Deadline, Buchnevich Rumor, M$GN & More

  1. Agree 100% on MZ. But (silver lining) I believe that eventually things even out. Despite his lack of production we’re in first place coming off a 10 game streak. So maybe we ask ourselves “what are we gonna look like when he does heat up?” Since the break the goals he DID score weren’t A-Rod goals. Game winner in OT vs Chicago, first goal of the game vs Devils, shortie vs Montreal that made the score 3-1 and the game tying goal against the Islanders. So there’s that. But you’re right. If he doesn’t get it together, especially 5 on 5 we’re in trouble. Maybe he heats up around mid April.

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