NYR/CBJ 2/28 Review: BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS BEAT BLUE JACKETS; First Team to Hit 40 Wins, Matt Rempe The Top Talk of the League; Gets Gary Bettman’s Attention, What The Duck – Verbeek In-Attendance Too, Panarin Continues Career-Best Season; Another 3-Pointer Netted, Mika March Needed After His February Failure, Maloney & Albert = Gold, M$GN & More

Unless you’ve been living underneath a rock, then by now, you have to be aware that the Rangers’ Matt Rempe is the top story in all of the NHL these days. While REMPESTEIN didn’t record any stat needed for a Gordie Howe Hat Trick on Wednesday night, after previously picking up two-thirds of what’s required in his previous two games played – he proved that his mere presence alone – and even without fighting – was good enough. Elsewhere on the penultimate night of February, where the Blueshirts ultimately wrapped up the month with a 10-1 record? Led by the two Russians, CZAR IGOR (30 saves, 1 goal allowed) and Artemi Panarin (2 goals, 1 assist), the Rangers got their revenge from Sunday night’s loss in their 4-1 win against the Blue Jackets. As a result, not only did “Lavy’s Lot” become the first team in the league to hit forty wins – but the Blueshirts, now with their 40-17-3 record (83 points), are first-overall in all of the NHL too. As noted many times before – the playoffs can’t start soon enough!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. BEST IN THE WORLD!

Man, oh man, did that feel excellent to write again – after previously writing those four words, “BEST IN THE WORLD,” for most of the Fall.

We all know that if Sam Rosen wasn’t an institution, then Kenny Albert, his current assumed successor, would be calling these games on M$GN TV – rather than on ESPN/M$GN radio – and as he does today. Dave Maloney? How Joe Micheletti, who has no affiliation with this team like the former captain does, has the color-gig aside Rosen is still beyond me – and I say that as someone who really has no problem with his work – but I just want a former Blueshirt in that seat. Photo Credit: M$GN

Off puck drop, and prior to the celebration & elation, some personal news and site notes:

As you all know by now, I’ve been working a new schedule at work for the past six-weeks (3PM-11:30PM), where in addition – this week – I’m now working overtime into the wee hours of the morning.

In other words, I didn’t get a chance to watch the M$GN broadcast of this game until 1:45AM.

And before getting into what I really want to talk about at this moment – the radio broadcast – I have a busy rest of the week – including a twenty-one hour shift on Friday – so barring anything major breaking – I won’t be be back until Saturday night, with a Rangers/Leafs review.

(If something breaks, and that could be the case and as I’ll get into below, then I’ll try to power my way through by “fat-thumbing” a blog on my phone!)

Last but not least when talking about my work schedule that’s increasing by the week?

I’m running on no sleep as I write these words – and with only an EXPECTED (but I didn’t use a Sieve Vagistat chart to come up with this stat) of three hours of sleep in my future – I apologize in advance – as there’s no way that I could proof-read and edit everything – as I do need some shut-eye!

However, and as usual, I think you’ll get the gist of what I’m trying to say should any typos “apeer.”

While it’s been my policy to go “dark” on social media on my work nights/game days, in order to avoid spoilers and not to have anyone influence my opinion before watching these games – that policy was broken tonight – although intentionally – and with an asterisk too.

During the game, and while on my dinner break, I walked into the break room, where as it would so happen, the Rangers’ radio broadcast was on.

Up 1-0 at the time, I was about to leave the room and go elsewhere just to avoid any more spoilers.

However, just listening to Dave Maloney and Kenny Albert, who had the call on 98.7FM, was too good to pass up.

As mentioned about a billion times on this site before, I believe that Maloney and Albert should be on television – and not wasting away on radio – where these days – not many are dialing into their radios – and that’s assuming that people even have radios anymore.

(Holy dashes and bad grammar Batman!)

After all, take one look at your home.

Where’s the radio?

Once a staple of American living rooms, the radio, and much like newspapers, is going down the path of the dinosaurs – extinction.

But what I heard at the 13:38 mark of the second period had me hooked – as while I don’t really listen to them often (and as a writer – I need to see the games with my own two eyes – and not just go by what is being told to my ears – and to prove that I’m not a hypocrite – I’ve even told you readers that you should watch every game yourself – and then read my stuff to “bookend” the festivities) – these two reminded me that much like the Rangers on this date – both Albert & Maloney are THE BEST IN THE WORLD TOO.

(Holy dashes and bad grammar again Batman! But it’s late – so give a brother a break!)

It was at this point in the game when Trocheck received a five-minute major for his accidental collision with Johnny Gaudreau – aka the fake “Jonny Hockey.”

Maloney’s response?

He blew a gasket – and when returning home and finally watching the M$GN broadcast of this game – I finally understood why.

While in real-time, Maloney was going absolutely bonkers over a bad call, and where Albert, in his infinite poise and wisdom, had to keep reminding his buddy that the officials only called a five-minute major in order to allow them to review the play – this was RADIO GOLD – and for me – who grew up listening to these games on the radio but come the advent of cable television, that was that – brought me back to a nostalgic place – and one that was hockey heaven.

I don’t want to turn this into anything knocking Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti (the hockey gods know that I do enough of that without being provoked anyway) – but if there was ever a reminder that the two best announcers in hockey today are being miscast in the wrong medium – then tonight was the night for yours truly.

Maloney’s passion, his ire, his all-out incredulous rage, was to be marveled.

The jack-of-all-trades Albert, the straight man in this act, was perfect.

In a way, and despite their ages, Albert was like a father imparting advice, while Maloney, like any one of us – a diehard fan that bleeds blue – had a fit over the travesty of justice that had been callously perpetrated in front of him.

When the truth finally came to the surface, which was when the officials got everything right (Trocheck’s major was stricken from the record, while Matthieu Olivier was penalized for his dirty crosscheck on NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO), Albert was just laughing, while Maloney, who like Matt Rempe, wouldn’t go down without a fight, defiantly stated:

“Okay, well they got that right, but they could’ve gave Olivier a five-minute major for that crosscheck on a downed Trocheck.”

All you could do was laugh – and as these two did – and where yes – this radio call had much more passion, description and color than the bland nonsense that fell out of the mouths of Sam “OH JOE, THE RUSSIANS IN OHIO JOE” Rosen and Joe “I’VE SEEN KENT JOHNSON WITH HIS SHIRT OFF” Micheletti – and where these two nicknames are warranted – and check the GAME REVIEW segment for all of it.

Long story short? (Yea right – that’s easier said than done for me!)

I couldn’t walk away from the radio.

And when my break was up?

I downloaded the ESPN radio app and listened to the rest of the game on my phone – as that’s how much Kenny and Dave had me reeled in.

I wish that I had more time tonight to devote more attention to this (but then again – what other site or recap of this game will cover Albert and Maloney like this anyway?) – but these two were excellent.

How excellent?

I think that I’m going to break my policy about avoiding spoilers at work – and just tune into Kenny & Dave every game.

In a way, it’s better for you readers too – as not only am I watching these games on M$GN – but I’m now getting real insight rather than the inane nonsense that Sam and Joe pollute us with – and where not once tonight – did the radio broadcast ever tell me the ages, the blood types, the shoe sizes, the condom sizes, the anal plug sizes and every other piece of useless information about the Rangers’ opponents that Rosen & Micheletti bombard viewers with on a regular basis.

And one day, let’s hope that those “OH JOE’S” are replaced with “OH DAVE’S!”

Artemi Panarin, the greatest free agent signing in franchise history was at it again on Wednesday night – but sadly – Missing Mika Zibanejad was also a no-show – again. Photo Credit: NYR

While I know that this tome will be the longest and most detailed around – as usual – I do feel like that I’m selling you short – but that’s the mindset of an alleged perfectionist!

And while I’ll have an informative GAME REVIEW segment for you below – I think my biggest takeaway from tonight’s win, the 40th victory of the season, was just that fact – being THE BEST IN THE WORLD – and not so much about what actually happened on ice.

I know, I know, I know, what you’re saying right now – “Sean, you’re either drunk or near fatally fatigued!”

Let me explain what I mean.

Once listening to Dave and Kenny, and now breaking my going dark on social media policy too – I checked my Tweeter feed as this game was going on – and where if I didn’t know any better – every Ranger sucked, the team was in last-place and the playoffs were a pipe-dream!

While I understand that jadedness and negativity is a birthright for Ranger fans – and where such feelings and vibes are passed down from generation-to-generation ever since the start of World War II – I will still never understand going bat-shit bonkers over this 2023-24 team whenever things aren’t going well in one game – and where I should you remind you of this too:


But of course, it’s easier for me to say all of this, where yep, you know it, brings us to my season-long daily disclaimer, and one that you have tattooed on your brain by now:


Granted, the Rangers haven’t accomplished a thing yet – and even should they win the Presidents’ Trophy – all that’s gained is a banner in the rafters – and one that will have you pissed-off should the Blueshirts’ fate be a first-round exit.

(I still get mad whenever seeing the 2014 and 2015 consolation banners.)

But, and as I always like to say on this site – you can only live in the present – and where you should enjoy this team right now – and then bite your fingernails down to the nubs come the playoffs.

Another one of my famous cliches?

“Not every game is a Picasso.”

Were the Blueshirts at their best on Wednesday night?

Of course not – and where the third period illustrated that point the most.

But did you ever question their effort?


Furthermore, and as we’ll get into below?

This team isn’t in its final form just yet – and come eight days from now, March 8th, the date of the annual NHL Trade Deadline – then, and only then, we’ll finally get a real look at what this roster will be when it matters the most – the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

And while a lot of gripes these days are valid, including Zibanejad’s ungodly drought of not being able to score an even-strength goal (12/23/23) – or really score at all these days; the power-play leaving a lot to be desired; and of course, the lone mandatory “BLUESHIRTS’ BRAIN FART” that maintains CZAR IGOR’s standing as the goalie with the most one-goal games allowed in the league ever since his January of ’20 debut – to harp on these facts as headlines is silly too.

And let’s face it.

The real headline these days?


This now brings us to the off-days that led up to tonight’s 4-1 win.

Aside from the Stadium Series weekend, Laviolette never had to deal with as many reporters as he saw on Tuesday this season – and he can thank Matt Rempe for that!

Following the end of the ten-game win-streak (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/22524/ ) and the three-game road-trip too; come Monday, the team had the day off – and a well-deserved off-day it was.

On Tuesday, and now returned to the team’s practice facility in Tarrytown, NY, an unusual occurrence took place – as media from all ends of the hockey world were in-attendance.

You can call this “THE REMPE EFFECT.”

While commoners and media members looking to increase their traffic/footprint only know REMPESTEIN by his government name – either way, it’s the monstrous winger that’s the top talk of the league these days.

And if Matt Rempe has taught us anything, then it’s not only the reminder that only fights (not goals) has every fan in-attendance on their feet – but that a fighter can sell out his locker with a reporter SRO audience too.

While the stuff on the ice during Tuesday’s practice was pretty much normal, including Ryan Lindgren needing repairs after a collision with Barclay Goodrow (he’s fine – and played tonight) – the only thing – or should I say a player – that anyone wanted to talk about was Mr. Rempe – who of note – was sporting a proud battle scar in the form of a black eye:

Rempe’s shiner looked like black facepaint that you’d see a member of KISS wearing! Photo Credit: Colin Stephenson (Newsday)

Following the practice, the head coach conducted another episode of “LAVY’S LOUNGE” – and with the biggest media presence in Tarrytown this season – all that anyone wanted to talk about was Matt Rempe.

Take a gander:

I don’t know if using the word “annoyed” is accurate when describing Laviolette’s demeanor to all of the never-ending Rempe questions – but you could see he was getting tired of being challenged by the media too.

With outlets such as ESPN, TSN and even the Wall Street Journal asking questions, Lavy, when asked no less than 98678678696796 times – and in 7678678679676796 different ways too – stated, reiterated and then repeated until he was blue in the face – that, YES, the Rangers have talked to Rempe – and have informed him that he doesn’t have to fight in every game.

As far anything else worth noting with my self-imposed time restraint – Lavy also was snippy when being asked about using “so many different right-wingers on the Kreider/Zibanejad line” this season.

The head coach was quick to point out that many of these changes were influenced/mandated by injuries – but this question was also somewhat valid – as Kaapo Kakko, and for the fourth time this season, and following stints from Blake Wheeler, Jimmy Vesey, Will Cuylle and Artemi Panarin with the BFF line – was now returned to it.

Not asked?


(And yes, I’m nearing the explanation to this teaser – but first – who else – Rempe!)

According to my SAUCES, both marinara and meat, Rempe jerseys were not only showcased at the M$G kiosks on Wednesday night – but they were also front-and-center at the NHL’s store on 9th Ave. too.

From the files of “ISN’T IT AMAZING SUZYN?”

Despite 98667895789567895675657 media members fawning over Mr. REMPESTEIN – the Rangers decided not to share his interview on their official YouTube channel.

And hey, this too:

All it took was Matt Rempe to finally draw real hockey reporters to a Rangers’ practice!

Hell, I hope he lasts following the trade deadline for that one reason alone – and just so fans can get better coverage – and then truly realize how horrible Wince and Mollie are.

A beat reporter that’s not horrible?

Jonny Lazarus, who covered Rempe’s interview:

I will say, all of this stuff (the media attention, the fanaticism, etc), most likely adds pressure onto him when asking to be involved in unnecessary fights.

But to fast-forward to the end of Wednesday night?

Rempe, while physical (and an offensive presence too), didn’t drop the gloves.

And I think Matthieu Olivier, even if he was a shitheel when cross-checking Trocheck, deserves some credit – as he didn’t break the unwritten code among fighters – never challenge a peer when he’s hurt – and with Rempe’s glaring shiner – it was easy to detect that the seven-footer on skates wasn’t at 100%.

As REMPEMANIA continues to run wild – not only does he have the media’s attention – but he’s the focus for everyone else in the hockey world too.

John Scott, on his “Droppin’ The Gloves” podcast, told his listeners that he reached out to Rempe to impart knowledge – and where he’s also willing to workout with Rempe, and with no cameras around, in order to make his fellow big man a better fighter – and where yes – Scott stressed the word “defense” – as the “Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em” style has a short shelf-life.

It’s up to the Rangers to make this happen – and why not?

After all, knowledge and experience is power – and if the Blueshirts, like any other rich hockey team, can have a coach for every other little thing – then why not a fight coach?

It can only better Rempe.

Another member of the alumni, but one that may be a bit more fondly remembered than Scott, the legendary #22 Nick Fotiu, also said that Rempe has caught his eye – and how he’d be willing to work out with him too.

Again, why not take up the pride of Staten Island on this offer?

Both Fotiu and Scott can help Rempe in different ways, as Fotiu knows all about being scrappy and energetic, while Scott, as another towering giant, can teach Rempe how to use his height to his advantage.

While these two face-punchers made it known that they were willing-and-able to help out a member of their small circle – NHL FIGHT CLUB – another brute-turned-podcaster, TNT’s Paul Bissonette, and who never uses such language on those airwaves, said the following about Rempe’s impact:

And how big was Rempe’s impact tonight – and again – for a player that hasn’t even been in this league for two-weeks?

During the second period, Sam Rosen informed us that he introduced Gary Bettman to Rempe.

Say what you want about Bettman – but he’s no dummy.

He sees the money in Rempe – and as everyone else does these days.

It’s just up to Rempe to remain in the league – and a game like tonight was exactly what was required.

And before closing on this, I must ask –

Remember that Adam Edstrom guy?

How about Will Cuylle?

All of a sudden, it’s Rempe that’s “The Rangers’ Calder” – and hell – if he remains through the end of the season – then there will be a large contingent of Blueshirt Backers who will want him to win the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award too!

Konspiracy Theory – and one that I’ve been pushing on you guys for months now? We may be nearing the final days of Kaapo Kakko as a New York Ranger.

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Kakko

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Brodzinski/Vesey

FOURTH LINE: Rempe/Goodrow/Edstrom

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider


BACK-UP: Quick

Healthy Scratches: Belzile and Jones


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





28 2 26 .929 25 1 0 0 0 58:37 0


31 1 30 .968 29 0 1 0 0 59:48 2

I must have ten of these cards signed by “The Little Ball of Hate” somewhere in my collection – and I had a fun time writing about former Ranger, Pat Verbeek, in my “Tricks of the Trade” four-volume set of books too (buy them today – full info located in tonight’s PLUGS segment). Photo Credit: Fleer

At this time, I’d like to refer to you what I wrote back on 2/12 – and where I have pushed such rhetoric before in regards to the Rangers trading Kakko: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/2124/

As probably hammered into my keyboard about 986778967896796896 times since December – I’m ALL-IN on a potential trade of Kakko, Zac Jones and something minor (and where every major prospect is OFF the table in my eyes, including Brennan Othmann, Gabe Perreault, Adam Sykora, etc) to the Ducks, and in exchange for Adam Henrique, Frank Vatrano and Radko Gudas.

Am I a prophet?

Time will answer that question, but what we do know for a fact is that former Ranger Pat Verbeek, currently the general manager of the Anaheim Ducks, was in-attendance at M$G on Wednesday night – and where I doubt that he was scouting the Blue Jackets, in the attempt to pull off a last-place for last-place trade.

The timing of Kakko being promoted to the top-six seems bizarre – and where this comment isn’t even a knock at a player that I have once dubbed as both “The Feckless Finn” (I do love my alliteration) and “The Wallflower.”

What I mean is that Kakko has been solid on the third line beside Cuylle and JONNY HOCKEY – and where I didn’t see a reason to break up this line – and especially with the Rangers 10-1 in their past eleven games prior to tonight’s tilt.

After all, why fix what’s not broken?

But Verbeek in the house – and where the Rangers, specifically g.m. Chris Drury, knew that he was going to be there?

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you must – but the timing doesn’t seem coincidental.

In other words?

I think the general manger told the head coach what to do with his line-up – and where really – I don’t think that Laviolette minded Drury’s alleged (by me!) request.

As noted about 30678067867896967896967896 times before – the Rangers, and no one knows more about their history than me except for Stan Fischler (so you don’t have to tell me “FOUR CUPS IN 98-YEARS DUMMY!”) – do have as good of a shot as any team of winning the Stanley Cup this year.

They have to go ALL-IN – and as also noted a billion times on this site too – this was the mantra from the first day of the Laviolette hiring.

The Ducks can offer a one-stop shop for Drury – as they have every piece required that can bolster a Blueshirts’ Cup bid – a scoring right-winger (Vatrano – the best option as he got the most out of the BFF pair), a depth center (Henrique), and a nasty d-man with playoff experience (Gudas).

And while Drury will have to pay a price, as Verbeek has the keys to the Ferrari and many suitors who want to drive it – what Drury has that many of his peers don’t, is an ample amount of cap-space due to the Filip Chytil LTIR designation.

While I openly admit that I’m trying to manifest such an epic swap – we’ll find out in eight-days if I’m talking out of my ass here – or if tonight will be looked back as a turning point of the season – or at least from a roster-wise perspective.

Remember that time when Zibanejad was immortalized in bobblehead form, following his five-goal game against Washington? He doesn’t even have five goals in 2024. Ugh. Photo Credit: FOCO

For someone who needs sleep and didn’t plan to go too long tonight – so much for that hopeful thinking!

As far as tonight’s television broadcast goes, once I saw that Sieve Vagistat was left all alone to his own devices, I then immediately deleted the M$GN pregame show from my DVR.

Wednesday night was one of those M$GN $potlight games, this time featuring Jacob Trouba – and where in a rarity – while the player spotlighted didn’t really factor into the box score (at least not offensively – but most certainly defensively) – the Blueshirts actually prevailed at the end!

Our affable announce duo, Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti, kicked off their brief face time with what you’d expect them to say – the Rangers wanted revenge against the Blue Jackets.

Once through talking about Lavy’s Lot and their thirst for some “Columbus Comeuppance,” Sam and Joe then talked more about Trouba, where Micheletti actually called the captain a “street fighter” – which may have been true ten-days ago or so – but of course – Rempe now holds that status.

And of course, Rosen, after fellating the three Blue Jacket Russians last broadcast, went right back down on his knees, opened his mouth and then told the three commiesиди сюда.”

(For those too lazy to google the translation, that’s “come hither!”)

Prior to puck drop, Rosen reminded us that Trouba just turned thirty-years-old the other day and how he’s the only player in the league with 150+ hits and blocks.

Following their horror show on ice on Sunday night; now rested and recharged, I thought the Miller/Trouba pairing played well – and where each man got an assist on the final score of the game.


Lavy went with his top line to open the game where as a result, Vincent Trocheck took the draw.

In what was a harbinger of what was to come, Elvis reminded us that he was in the building, and where at just the 36-second mark, he made one hell of a save on Lafreniere – and I don’t think that I have to mention #13’s issues with finishing on plays either this season.

As the two teams were feeling each other out, Rosen brought up how the Rangers close the season with fourteen of their final twenty-three games on home ice. Talk about a huge advantage during the playoff push for THE BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS!

With 16:41 remaining, Fox stripped Boqvist of the puck in the d-zone which then set-up an odd-man rush for the first line. Once dishing the puck to Miller – K’Andre the Giant whiffed.

Trouba, our spotlight player, then hit Elvis right in the mask – a save for a goalie that’s had some career games against the Blueshirts.

As Rosen made all of the excuses in the world for Columbus rookie Kent Johnson with 14:30 to go, Rempe led a two-vs-one odd-man rush – and to prove that he’s a Ranger – he passed the puck!

However, Rempe didn’t only pass the puck to Goodrow, he also stayed with the play and where the Garden Faithful roared with appreciation over the big man’s forecheck. (And these loud roars would continue whenever Rempe hopped over the boards.)

Those cheers quickly turned into sounds of “IGOR! IGOR! IGOR!”, as with 13:30 remaining, CZAR IGOR made a breakaway save on Sean Kuraly.

Down to 12:00 remaining and Damon Severson broke up an odd-man rush that Panarin was leading – which just tells you how often the Blueshirts were able to get into their opponents’ zone – and as even Kakko himself displayed some 45-seconds later – on a shot that of course – went wide.

If that wasn’t enough, then on Panarin’s next shift – Elvis, from his throne in net, robbed “The Breadman” following a strong pass from Lafreniere.

Come 9:30 remaining and this is when Sam mooed when Joe informed him that both Olivier and Rempe were on the ice together.

29-seconds later, and perhaps the forgotten skyscraper, the 6’7″ Adam Edstrom, drew the prideful Ivan Provorov for interference.

The Rangers’ power-play?

0-1 here – and where damn pal – Zibanejad needs a timeout from this first power-play unit – and where Lafreniere deserves a chance. (I think I’ve written this sentence about 75776565676756756743643 times this season too!)

As usual, Mika couldn’t hit a net on a shot from two-feet away which then set up a CBJ short-handed breakaway.


Once returned to full-strength and Lafreniere came <this-close> to setting up Panarin for a backdoor goal and then forced Elvis to come up with a save during the same shift.


He looked for a hug from the bench.

It gets worse.

With 5:40 to go, Mika lazily and nonchalantly skated to a loose puck in the Rangers’ end.

The Blue Jackets?

They put four shots on goal in twenty-seconds – and where CZAR IGOR saved them all.

Out of a TV timeout and M$GN had a good video package of all of Trouba’s big hits.

But before Sam and Joe could digest the piece, Brodzinski and Vesey went on a two-vs-one odd-man rush – and where once again – there was Elvis with another huge save with 4:58 remaining.

As CZAR IGOR kept his NYET NYET going with a save on a Johnson backhander with 4:31 remaining – Sam and Joe decided to praise the Blue Jacket rather than the Blueshirt – and where I’m not making this up – Micheletti then talked about seeing Johnson with his shirt off.


Following the save, it was around this time when Lavy decided to shake up his bottom-six, as Rempe and Vesey exchanged places. This almost produced a goal instantly, as Cuylle had Elvis beat dead-to-rights – but again – Elvis just has the Rangers’ number.

Nearing the two-minute warning, and Kakko, all alone and at the top of the goalmouth, was stopped twice by Elvis. Right after that? A Panarin shot hit the heel of Elvis’ glove – where a centimeter either way – it would’ve been the first goal of the game.

Come 1:20 remaining, and there was Elvis again, this time with a nasty glove save made on a rising Miller Time shot.

Despite the little time remaining – Elvis wasn’t done yet – as he came up with another robbery, this time on Vesey following a CBJ turnover.

Scoreless through twenty – and where the Rangers put seventeen shots on goal – while Elvis made about fifteen robbery saves too.

It’s safe to say that my favorite goalie and yours, CZAR IGOR, is BACK!


The Blue Jackets took the first draw of this period, and in a response to Sam’s usual question of “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?”, Micheletti said the obvious – “Keep doing what you’re doing Sam!”

That advice wasn’t really heeded – at least not during the final frame – but by then – the Rangers did have a two-goal lead.

For whatever reason, and not even two-minutes into this second stanza – and Sam & Joe, in this then scoreless game, were already in wrap-up mode and previewing the next two upcoming games.

After that?

The usual Rosen routine:

“Joe, Barclay Goodrow and Johnny Gaudreau are not related and they spell their names differently. They even have different accents on the syllables of their names too Joe!”

I didn’t make that up.

Right after this?

Sam went right back to jerking off the “Three Columbus Commies” – and where in a response – Micheletti then talked about how thick their legs (but not their third legs) were.


With less odd-man rushes afforded in this period, as both teams tightened up a bit – Jake Bean almost flicked the first goal of the game with 13:15 to go – but the rubber hit the crossbar.



And as Rosen was going on-and-on about Trouba’s brushes and canvas – Panarin shut the old coot up:

1-0, GOOD GUYS, as Panarin extended his career-high to 34 goals – and he wasn’t done yet.

Heck, not only did he score the first goal of the game – he scored the final goal too!

Now up 1-0 with 12:43 to go – and where against this goalie and this last-place team that has given them headaches all season – once again – “THE GAG LINE 2.0” not only scored the first goal of the game – but they did the heavy lifting too.

Zibanejad at the time?

He was wishing that he could hug Kreider as hard as Rosen’s lips were hugging the members of “The Three Columbus Commies.”

With 10:41 to go, Rempe banged right into Kuraly – and where like anything else on this night – the Garden cheered in fervor for their REMPESTEIN!

A few seconds later?

We had a fourth line scrum – and while Olivier was mouthing off to Schneider – there was Rempe to pull back his “old friend.” (And kudos to Olivier for not picking a fight with Rempe either – as obviously – #73 was in no condition to fight tonight.)


He actually said something worth knowing – prior to puck drop – he introduced the league’s newest sensation, Rempe himself, to league commissioner Gary Bettman, as the man with the never-ending shakes was in-attendance.

Down to nine-minutes remaining and CZAR IGOR came up with another big save, one that he bailed himself out on as he was out of the position when playing the puck, where in a response, Micheletti said, “Sam, that’s the double-shuffle! Did you watch the pregame show?”

Rosen exhibited to us that he still has his right mind, as he replied, “NO, I am not sitting through thirty-minutes of Sieve Vagistat!”

(Okay, he only said the word “no” – but go with it anyway – and what’s that phrase of mine – oh yeah – “never let the truth get in the way of a good story!”)

Micheletti, hurt that Sam won’t suffer through Vagistat, then promoted the worst analytical company that covers the NHL – and the one that every other broadcast and league outlet ignores – Clear Sighted Assholes.

Back to the game, as with 7:00 remaining, there was the top line again, where this time, Elvis stopped Lafreniere.

With 6:22 remaining – the turning point – and my favorite moment of the game – at least when listening live to Dave Maloney:

Also noticeable during this play?

Following the accidental collision between Trocheck and Gaudreau – there was Edstrom and Rempe – again – going on a two-vs-one odd-man rush.

And kudos to the officials – as they got all of this right following the review – although, and as Maloney said – Olivier could’ve received a five-minute major for the dirty crosscheck.

Now with the Rangers on the power-play and Johnny Gaudreau in the locker room to get his shoulder checked (he’d return for the third period) – FINALLY – a Blueshirts’ power-play goal – and of course – it wasn’t Zibanejad – as instead, it was your 2021 Norris Trophy winner:

2-0, GOOD GUYS, following Fox’s all-out rip from the slot – and man, oh man, what a hell of a pass from Kreider who capitalized following Erik Gudbanson’s turnover by the boards bench-side.

Now up by two-goals with 5:41 remaining – sadly, the usual – the lone “Blueshirts’ Brainfart” that mars what otherwise would’ve been a shutout for CZAR IGOR.

However, the only Columbus goal of this game would take place at the start of the final frame – and not at the end of this one.

And I really thought that tonight would be the night too – and I said as much prior to the game – while also bringing back my season-long final score prediction from the previous two seasons as well:

And had CZAR IGOR finished with a clean sheet?

Then I would’ve finished with a clean sheet myself – as Mika did nothing and Rempe didn’t fight.

But not for nothing – I did get the four Ranger goals correct!

With the home team ahead by two scores and when approaching two-minutes remaining, Micheletti once again told us how he talked to the opposing coach prior to the game – and then said how Columbus hasn’t won two consecutive games in a row since October – and how they were due.

And yep – if I heard this in real-time, rather than hours after the fact (and knowing the final score) – then I would’ve wanted to go all REMPE on Micheletti’s mouth!

(And to be clear for the morons out there – I am joking – I would never lay a hand on Mr. Micheletti!)

Under a minute remaining and there was Rempe forechecking (again) and the Garden roaring (again) – as the crowd at M$G, whether blue collar or corporate, were all collectively excited to see their new hero play well.

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

Up next – somewhat the usual – BUTT CLENCHING AND SWEAT, SWEAT, SWEAT time.

Due to the ascension and recency bias of Rempe, you’re not hearing as much about CUYLLE HAND LUKE anymore – and don’t be one of those fans!


We can blow through these final twenty-minutes – and especially at this late hour for yours truly.

The quick-and-dirty:

— The Rangers, who had out-shot the Blue Jackets 17-9 in the first period and were then out-shot by one puck, 10-9, in the second period – were then tripled-up by the visitors during this period – 12-4.

— So, and as you may have figured out – the Rangers survived these final twenty-minutes – rather than closing out – and where once again – CZAR IGOR earned his flowers.

— Just 1:52 in and Goodrow tripped Boqvist. 37-seconds later and Johnson ended the Columbus power-play when he hooked the man with only one 5×5 goal since 12/23/2023.

— As this was going on, Sam and Joe talked about every trade in the league, and the rumor mill too – and where of course – not one word was uttered in regards to what the Rangers will do – nor was Verbeek’s presence ever mentioned either.

— During the foreplay, Sillinger scored on a play where Kreider did his no goalie no favors – but of course – the other team, and for as bad as they are – are paid to play too.

— And perhaps CZAR IGOR was overeager himself – but it’s tough to find fault with him being so aggressive when trying to play the puck – as that’s when he’s at his best

— 2-1, good guys – and with the idea of a shutout flushed down the toilet.

— At the 5:20 mark, we had some “Russian on Russian Violence,” which really upset Comrade Rosen, as CZAR IGOR tripped Marchenko.

— The Rangers’ PK? They finished the game as a perfect two-for-two.

— For about ten-minutes, and I’m not making this up, Sam and Joe praised every Blue Jacket on the roster, told us who their fathers were, confused Boone Jenner for Bruce Jenner, told us who shaved their crotch today, informed us who plays Wordle and everything else under the sun.

— With 4:28 to go, the Rangers’ rookie fought again – but this time – it was Will “Remember Me – I was the talk of town a few months ago too” Cuylle:

— As Elvis continued to limit the Rangers’ offense to only two goals – with 1:52 remaining – he took a seat for the extra attacker.

— A minute later, and Kreider allowed the building to exhale, as his 30th goal of the season was of the empty net variety – and where Panarin unselfishly gave up a chance to score too – but he’d get the next one – as all good deeds are rewarded.

— 3-1, GOOD GUYS!

— For good measure? Panarin scored his 35th goal of the season – and if anyone deserved an easy empty netter then it’s him – and with just twelve-seconds left to be ticked.

— That said, this empty net goal wasn’t really that “easy,” as while ten-feet back of his own blue line – Panarin’s pin-point accuracy notched him this latest career-high goal.

— 4-1, GOOD GUYS.


Here’s Lavy after the monumental win:

Up Next: Rangers vs Leafs this Saturday night – and while I originally thought we’d get a Ryan Reaves vs Matt Rempe tilt – after seeing how bad Rempe’s face looked tonight – I don’t think we’ll get it.

But who cares?

As long as Rempe, and the Rangers too, play well – then that’s all that matters.


I need sleep – as I’m working about 33 hours in the next 48 hours – but since I’m dedicated (and perhaps mental) – should something big break – then I’ll post something short from my phone.

If not, see ya Saturday night – where for the fans of my live-tweeting – and like Arnold – “I’ll be back.”

Until then, enjoy the good feelings created by THE BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS.

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

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/CBJ 2/28 Review: BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS BEAT BLUE JACKETS; First Team to Hit 40 Wins, Matt Rempe The Top Talk of the League; Gets Gary Bettman’s Attention, What The Duck – Verbeek In-Attendance Too, Panarin Continues Career-Best Season; Another 3-Pointer Netted, Mika March Needed After His February Failure, Maloney & Albert = Gold, M$GN & More

  1. Happens I usually have to pick someone up from the train around 730 every weeknight, so I’m in the car for a bit. Dave Maloney’s radio calls are a pleasure; paints a picture, knows the game and has a sense of humor. Kenny Albert is a total pro. Not gonna badmouth Sam and Joe but they miss a lot. And the haircuts…

    Mika needs a serious adjustment.

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