NYR/COL 2/5 Review: Jonathan Quick Puts The Rangers On His Back; All Previous Problems Remain the Same, Blueshirts Blessed by Backstops; A Historical Retrospective, Gilles Villemure, Kakko/Ducks Trade Rumors Heating Up; One-Line Blueshirts Need Help ASAP, Bless Sam Rosen’s Heart; Micheletti Massacres Mika, Lundqvist v. Vagistat, M$GN+ & More

For yours truly, watching tonight’s game was a grueling battle, as my DVR, cable and internet all crapped out as I was approaching the third period at 1:30AM! But once I figured out how to watch M$GN+ on my phone, and while also fighting the good fight against sleep – I was able to hang in there – and see it all – and then ultimately witnessed the Rangers’ back-up backstop put the team on his back in the Blueshirts’ 2-1 overtime victory against Alexandar Georgiev and his Colorado Avalanche. While you have to be happy about the two-points netted in the standings; this win, like many of them during the past six-weeks or so, felt like a “BAND AID” victory – and where if it wasn’t already apparent, then it is now – the Rangers DO have a “goalie controversy” on their hands – and this time, and for the first time – I’m being serious.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. A goalie carries the Rangers to victory! Where have I read this story before?!?!?

And this too:

My new work hours are a killer – but it was worth staying up to see a “Rangers’ Killer” flip the script against the Avalanche tonight. (Or is it tomorrow/Tuesday morning?!?!? I’ve lost track of time!)

Off puck drop, I apologize in advance if I sound so cranky and cantankerous tonight following a Rangers’ win (and perhaps for some of the bad jokes included below too – but I will not apologize for all of them!) – but between my own lack of sleep, my internet/cable issues, an offensively inept sixty minutes of Blueshirts’ hockey and the fact that it’s now 3:30AM as I write these words – give a brother a break!

Plus, seeing Sieve Vagistat’s smug and jackass face throughout this broadcast didn’t make things any easier for yours truly!

What’s calming me down?

Two things:

One, Jonathan Quick, who without a shadow of a doubt, was the Blueshirts’ bedrock tonight – and where this much is true too – this was his best game yet since his 1-0 overtime shutout against the Penguins.

Two, my season-long daily disclaimer that I had to keep reminding myself about when watching this game (and as I have been doing since being shifted to new hours at work – I stayed off the internet thus avoiding all spoilers – so I didn’t know the final result until I saw it myself) – and one that goes like this:


That said, and while I am attempting to write from a state of serenity in my own struggles against Mr. Sandman and the heavy eyelids as a result of this waging war against him – there’s a whole lot to worry about in Rangerstown, USA – and it’s the same stuff that I covered last night on this site.

And in case you missed it, I covered all of Sunday’s news here:

Never in my life, including this summer and at the start of the season too, did I ever think that I’d type out these following words: “I don’t know if the Rangers would have won this game had CZAR IGOR, and not Jonathan Quick, had been in Lavy’s net tonight.” That sentence tells you all that you need to know these days about our beloved Blueshirts. Photo Credit: Getty Images

This is no hyperbole, nor an exaggeration either, but you can “quickly” (har-har-har – and I know – this pun is older than my underwear) summarize this 2-1 overtime win in just two words:


The Rangers, blessed with starting goaltending in 98% of their 98-years, have also been nearly as blessed with back-up goaltending ever since the inception of the back-up goaltending position (circa 1967).

I know that this is all stuff that I’ve previously covered in all of my books, and on this site too, so let me just give you the “Cliff Notes” (or at least the most abridged version that I can write) for tonight.

This franchise has been carried by franchise goaltenders for the majority of their existence, going all the way back to the early days of Lorne Chabot, who was then followed by the likes of Dave Kerr, Chuck Rayner, Gump Worsley, Eddie Giacomin, John Davidson (even if he’s a step below the names listed here – but he’ll always have that 1979 run), John Vanbiesbrouck, Mike Richter, Henrik Lundqvist – and despite whatever you may presently think of him today – CZAR IGOR too.

But what’s often lost in that celebration, is the fact that this franchise has also had some of the best back-up goalies in league history too – and really, it goes all the way back to the first true back-up goalie in Rangers’ history – and of course, I’m talking about Gilles Villemure.

What happened to Villemure later took place for other Blueshirts back-ups, including players such as Mike Richter, Cam Talbot, Antti Raanta and tonight’s starter for the Avalanche, former Ranger Alexandar Georgiev – A GOALIE CONTROVERSY – and where bench bosses had to make a decision between their number one and number two.

But make no bones about it – Villemure (as a back-up) was the most successful of the lot – and as his Vezina Trophy win from 1971 would suggest.

(It should be noted that he co-won that hardware with Giacomin.)

Like anything else, the league continues to go through many adaptations and changes as time marches on.

For example, Villemure, had he been born in the late 1990s, rather than in 1940 (there’s that number again), would have been a starting goalie in today’s NHL, a league that now features 32-teams.

Heck, had the Frenchman been born ten-years later than he was in 1950 – then he still would have become a starting goalie during his career.

It wasn’t until the league expanded for the 1967-68 season when Villemure would get his chance to become an everyday NHLer – and that first opportunity took place when he was already at the age of thirty-years old.

While Villemure did benefit from a six-team league doubling up to twelve-teams, the league now has twenty more teams than it did in #30’s day (he wore this number long before Lundqvist).

Plus, Villemure was a pioneer as an everyday back-up goalie – and something that only came to be during the league’s first expansion, now known today as “The Great Expansion of 1967.”

As we’ve seen in New York, and really, everywhere else too – back-up goalies come from all walks of life, including veterans, rookies, “1B’s,” etc.

The next big back-up goalie in Rangers’ history following Villemure was some guy named Mike Richter.

Due to being three-years younger than his starter, Vanbiesbrouck; when the league was set to expand again to include both the Florida Panthers and the Mighty Ducks from Anaheim in 1993, it was Richter who remained – while Beezer was traded to Vancouver and later became the first-overall expansion pick of the team from Sunrise, Florida.

(The full story of this draft, and the Beezer trade too, is included in my “Tricks of the Trade” four-volume set of books.)

Richter, who was only twenty-nine-years old at the time, and already the Rangers’ back-up of the past several years – got the chance that Villemure never got – to become the true starter of the Blueshirts.

His first full year as the no-doubt-about-it starter?

I think you already know about those four digits, you know, 1994.

When Richter was forced into retirement after the 2002-03 season due to head injuries (both concussions and a cracked skull), the Rangers, and really, for the first time since World War II, were in a state of goaltending despair.

(Hello Mike Dunham!)

But of course, some Swedish seventh-round pick, a guy named Henrik Lundqvist, would change all of that, as he basically became the Rangers’ “Wally Pipp” during the onset of the 2005-06 season – and all due to an injury sustained by then-starter, Kevin Weekes.

Again, and as fully covered in “Tricks of the Trade,” Lundqvist was so damn good prior to signing his final contract that a back-up goalie was never necessary during his prime years.

No offense to the alumni who stood in-between the pipes for the Rangers, but from 2005 through 2014 – no one was ever clamoring for the likes of Jamie McLellan, Chris Holt, Al Montoya, Chad Johnson, Alex Auld, Matt Zaba, Marty Biron, David LeNeveu and of course, the absolute worst back-up goalie in franchise history (and this can’t be debated), Sieve Vagistat, who admittedly, his government name is Steve Valiquette.

While I’ve run this routine before, here’s something for the newbies of this site (and again – read my books which are plugged below for the full argument):

Lundqvist, who arguably didn’t even hit his prime until the 2010-11 season (his lone Vezina Trophy winning season), had Vagistat as his back-up during the 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.

During these three 82-game seasons, Lundqvist played in 70 games in 2006-07, 72 games in 2007-08 and 70 games in 2008-09.


In these same respective seasons, he started in 32 games – combined – which averages to 10.6 games started per-season.

But if you listen to this seven-foot jerkoff tell it, then you’d think that he was Georges Vezina himself.

And really, since Vagistat didn’t do much winning unlike the back-ups that would soon follow him (and he was only signed on the cheap as a warm body to sit on the bench and wear a baseball hat) – then very easily, either me or you could’ve backed-up Lundqvist during those three-years – and the end result would have been the same.

Hell, I also think that I can give up ten goals in one game – and as Vagistat once did to the Dallas Stars in 2009.

Long-time readers of this site may be familiar with this graphic!

As said – the league changes era-by-era – and “The Lundqvist Era” was no exemption, nor exception to the rule, either.

What Lundqvist had to contend with that his predecessors never had to deal with, was the triple hard-salary cap system.

And like Villemure, who as a pioneer of expansion – Lundqvist was a pioneer himself – as he was the first Rangers’ starter to deal with this ridiculous salary-cap.

I don’t need to give you this site’s history again – but for the first time in league history – what goaltenders were being paid mattered – and in a point that I must’ve repeated no less than 9567577657868346367843 times over the years – you can’t win a Stanley Cup with a top-five paid goalie, nor a backstop earning over 10% of your salary cap dollars.

(Andrei Vasilevskiy, of the Lightning, would later become the exception to my point in 2021 – but of course – that comes with the Nikita Kucherov “LTIR – okay the playoffs are here – I’m healthy now” cap-circumnavigation, a legal one though, asterisk too.)

Like Villemure, and like Richter; during the back-half of Lundqvist’s career – and where for the first time in NHL history – the disparity between starting goalies and back-up goalies was never thinner – as Lundqvist back-ups such as Cam Talbot, Antti Raanta, Alexandar Georgiev and CZAR IGOR himself, all out-played “The King.”

(And this wasn’t only exclusive to the Rangers either – and today – the disparity among back-ups and starters continues to decrease to both unprecedented and minuscule levels.)

And for this quartet – all four of them became the defacto starter for a period of time too, as all four of these back-ups, all making 1/8th the money of Lundqvist, made you regret “The King’s” contract.

In time?

All four of these men, Talbot, Raanta, Georgiev and CZAR IGOR, became starting goalies in the league.

Hell, three of them just played during the 2024 All-Star Game too.


For the first time in Rangers’ history – it’s an end-of-the-line goalie, yet a future Hall of Famer too, Jonathan Quick, that’s out-playing a goalie making nearly six-times his money, CZAR IGOR – and a CZAR IGOR that’s supposed to be in his prime years.

I don’t need to tell you all about Quick – as you already know how he was unceremoniously beheaded by his former team last season, the L.A. Kings – and where he was left for dead.

And while he did get in enough regular season games for the 2023 Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights – even with injuries up-and-down the barrel – Quick never entered a playoff game for the club.

And when Chris Drury signed Quick over the summer?

Well, do I really need to rehash all of that again?

After all, I have already written my PUBLIC APOLOGY to Quick here – https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/112223/ – and I wrote it in November of ’23 at that – three months ago!

A real-life photo of Jonathan Quick! Photo Credit: NYR

I know that I have written these words before, but I truly mean them this time:

With the Metropolitan Division never as weak as it is today, and with the Rangers not doing much offensively these days – it’s the same old story – they will need their goalie to carry them.

And as CZAR IGOR’s biggest fan, I must admit – it’s now time to give Quick the ball.

While obviously, it’s in the best interest of the Blueshirts for CZAR IGOR to regain his game and return to his Vezina levels – it’s also in the best interest of the Rangers to win as many games as possible right now – and for as much as it pains me to say this – that means by passing the baton to the hot-hand – Mr. Quick himself.

That said, and to be clear – I’m not giving up on CZAR IGOR or anything like that.

I’m just saying that for RIGHT NOW, the Rangers, including both Drury and Laviolette, must go with the best line-up every night – and such a line-up includes #32 in net.

Let CZAR IGOR play around with Benoit Allaire a bit and try to get back to the goalie that we know, while in the interim, Quick does the heavy lifting.

As perhaps STALK BOY STEVEN, R-Kelly, Woody Allen and Chris Hansen co-stars may say, “Age is nothing but a number.”

Yes, Quick is 38-years-old, but for a goalie with a more impressive Hall of Fame resume than the 2023 Hall of Famer, Lundqvist himself has – going with an older goalie isn’t unprecedented for this franchise.

What’s unprecedented is the fact that the older goalie is out-playing his junior starter of ten-years.

But this much is true following win #11 for #32:

He’s the best goalie on the team today.

You have to do what’s best for the team – and not what’s best for an individual.

And who knows?

Maybe Quick can become a trend-setter himself – and become the reverse Matt Murray and Jordan Binnington of the league – where unlike those two back-ups who replaced their aging starter and then went on to win the Cup – maybe it’s Quick’s fountain of youth that’s the recipe to Stanley Cup #5 for the Blueshirts.

And yes – I am writing way too much at this late hour – but I wanted to give Quick all of the flowers that he most certainly earned.

As far as anything else from tonight’s 2-1 overtime victory against the Avs?

I’ll save it all for the GAME REVIEW segment.

But before getting there, the regular bits, where up first – the pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE!”

Laviolette didn’t say much prior to Monday night’s game.

Here’s the pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE” for you below, where really, the only things of note was that the head coach was going to give Quick the start (due to CZAR IGOR’s “All Star Hangover” – and my words – and not his); and while he was impressed with Connor Mackey – he wanted to give another solider, one that’s seen more action from the press box than on the playing surface, Zac Jones, a chance:

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Wheeler

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Brodzinski/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Pitlick

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Schneider

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Gustafsson



Healthy Scratches: Leschyshyn and Mackey

Suspended: Trouba


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





29 2 27 .931 22 1 4 0 0 61:48 0


33 1 32 .970 29 3 0 0 0 61:53 0

It’s a shame that M$GN, Lundqvist’s home network, doesn’t feature him like the national broadcaster, TNT, always does. Photo Credit: TNT

To open tonight’s broadcast, Lundqvist, from the Chase Bridges, said that he thought that the Rangers would come out hot tonight, as they’d be re-energized coming out of the break. Vagistat immediately horned in and gave us some of his made up foo-foo stats.

After Giannone stressed the importance of drinking during the nine-day break, we then went to Dave Maloney who was hanging out by the box office for some reason – and where I’m to assume that he was making some coin by scalping tickets.

Maloney raved about the Rangers’ practice from the day prior and how Jimmy Vesey said how it wasn’t important for him to work as hard during the All-Star break as it was for him in his earlier years.

I wonder if that attitude is contagious?

Exhibit A? Tonight’s tilt.

After Lundqvist and Giannone did the normal (raving about Vincent Trocheck and/or Artemi Panarin, as there’s no one else to really pump up these days), Vagistat then reared in his useless head again. Admittedly, I fast-forwarded this part.

Giannone then brought up what I said last night – the best part about the All-Star Game, at least from a Rangers’ perspective, was Leo Trocheck.

Vincenzo Trocheck then told Michelle Gingras how excited his son was to see the mascots and how excellent the experience was for his family in Toronto.

Trocheck then reiterated what Lundqvist had said at the top of the broadcast – these post All Star Games, the final 33 games of the 2023-24 campaign, the homestretch, was the most important part of the season.

Lundqvist, on his old foe Jonathan Quick, praised his peer and said that the Rangers need him to come up big. Vagistat, even from the Square Space studio, immediately horned in and then plugged his shitty analytical company and said the words “east-west” a few times – and where once was enough.


After Giannone told us to bet on the Islanders/Leafs game, we then saw a shot of Zibanejad with his family and new child, which only proved that even when he isn’t scoring on the ice, he can score off of it.

On the Avalanche, Lundqvist said that Colorado’s biggest strength is their speed – and no joke – Vagistat then cut him off again in order to plug his shitty and useless analytical company.

I’m not making this up – Vagistat cut off Lundqvist at every turn during these thirty-minutes.

Once Vagistat went back to his glory hole, Lundqvist then said that Nathan MacKinnon is his favorite player to watch in the league – and also stated that he was the best player in the game too – and with all respect paid to Connor McDavid.

After that, Vagistat continued the “ODE TO SAM ROSEN” and then basically said that Adam Fox couldn’t hold a candle to Cale Makar.

Following a commercial break, we then got some highlights from the All Star Game.

Riveting – and fast-forwardable stuff too!

Once returned, Giannone reminded us to gamble our life savings again. Vagistat then babbled about Ryan Lindgren, where again, I had to fast-forward through this jackass – but I did hear “The Ramrod’s” favorite customer say, “it all starts in the back end.”

And here I thought tonight was “Black History Month” – and not “Pride Night!”

Once again, M$GN had “THE KING OF COMMENTARY” on their airwaves, and where they rarely featured him – and in favor of the worst back-up goalie in franchise history.

It’s amazing how M$GN has learned nothing from TNT.

These two, who I do like and respect, are never harder to listen to than whenever the Rangers are losing. Photo Credit: M$GN

Come 7PM (or 12:15AM for me!), we went to Sam and Joe at the top of the building.

Sam, after ejaculating, told us how great the Avalanche were.

Sam then told us all about “Black History Month” and how the league will be dusting off Willie O’Ree again.

These two then did the basic stuff and then compared Panarin to MacKinnon and Fox to Makar.

What insight.

Since it was Black History month, we saw a singer of African-American descent sing the National Anthem.

Maybe John Brancy should go blackface?

Should he, then maybe we’ll see him bust out the pipes on this network.

And for what it’s worth, the singer featured tonight, Jermaine Paul, was pretty good.

But still – and this is the only point I’m trying to illustrate to you – I think that Brancy should be featured too – and no matter the night, day, event, celebration, whatever.

After running down the big goalie match-up, Georgiev vs. Quick, we finally went to puck drop.

Laviolette, who hugged Quick after his shutout against Pittsburgh, may have given his “back-up goalie” a handjob after this 2-1 win against Colorado. Photo Credit: M$GN


Laviolette went with his first line to begin this match, but after Trocheck lost the first draw – Colorado immediately received a great scoring chance (at the fifteen-second mark – aka the usual) and where Rosen said, “WHAT A SAVE BY SHESTERKIN!”

Bless Sam’s heart.

Sam had no clue who shot the puck either.

(It was Josh Manson and Miles Wood who almost had the rebound.)

Following a save on new Av, Zach Parise – I was surprised that Rosen didn’t bring up that he was a former Islander. A few seconds after the save, and with 18:24 remaining, Gustafsson went off for holding the former Isle.

What a heck of a start – and where the Rangers didn’t look as “energized” as Lundqvist said that they would look – but that’s their problem – and not Hank’s.

To the Rangers’ credit, they killed this early power-play afforded to the Avs – and where Kreider almost got a short-handed goal – twice at that – and where on the second attempt – CK20 extended the Blueshirts’ zero for their last 6864836463683846 breakaway streak.

The Rangers’ penalty kill, once going 1-1 (only one SOG allowed too), then saw Will Cuylle, who was celebrating his 22nd birthday tonight, set up Brodzinski – and also Georgiev’s first save of the game with 15:54 remaining.

Rosen’s words of wisdom following the first Rangers’ even-strength SOG?


Bless Sam’s heart.

Rosen then told us how Laviolette’s All-Star team lost the championship game from Toronto in three periods. Of course, ASG’s feature two periods of ten-minutes a piece.

Bless Sam’s heart.

Sam then told us that Miles Wood played with the Devils for eight-years.

Bless Sam’s heart.

Down to 14:28 remaining, and the useless second-overall pick, following a Miller SOG, had all day to bury the rebound for what should’ve been the game’s first goal.

Instead, the feckless Finn decided to trip the former Devil (Wood) – so our first SAMMY WHAMMY of the night had hit here – and as a bonus – the Rangers’ second penalty of the game was of the o-zone variety – and where you have to wonder if Kakko’s head is in the o-zone layer clouds these days too.

Once again, and to their credit – the Rangers’ penalty kill did their job again – and where you felt at the time that Colorado would capitalize – especially after Quick made a save six-seconds into the PK on MacKinnon.

After Sam and Joe took turns licking the balls of MacKinnon, Makar and Rantanen, the Garden Faithful reminded us that “POTVIN SUCKS.”

This chant needs to retire – and just like Rosen.

And as was the case on the Rangers’ first kill – Kreider had another chance here – but again – was unable to score a momentum-changing short-handed tally.

Down to 11:36 to go and Quick already had eight saves, having made his eighth on a strong wrap-around try from Olafsson.

Once returned from a commercial break, Giannone, from in-between the benches, told us how the Rangers flubbed a line change after the Kakko penalty – and how everyone (Panarin and Brodzinski) was laughing about it.

I’m glad that someone was amused.

Come 10:45 remaining and Georgiev made his fourth even-strength save of the game when he stopped #4 himself, Braden Schneider. It was also at this time where Micheletti said what I said last night – how three goalies under Benoit Allaire made the All-Star Game this year (Georgiev, Shestyorkin and Talbot).

After MacKinnon skated Zibanejad out of his shorts with 9:13 remaining, we had a rare display – as K’Andre Miller was actually fired up and tried to pick a fight with Rantanen – and where Miller got the better of it.

Both men took off-setting penalties here – and where really – all Rantanen did was defend himself from Miller’s attack.

However, it was then announced that Rantanen had received an extra two-minutes (a cross-check to go along with his roughing minor) – and where I have no clue what the refs were doing here – even if it benefited the Rangers.

At best, this should’ve been two-minutes of foreplay – and in reality – should have been another Colorado power-play.

When both men finally took their seats in the box, we then saw a very vocal Miller screaming at Rantanen.

Again, this was totally uncharacteristic from #79 – and where I thought that the Colorado bench boss, Jared Bednar, had a good case when arguing about his player receiving any sort of penalty here too.

But perhaps with Trouba suspended, Miller decided to finally channel his captain’s ways.

The Rangers dominated the first 1:10 of their first power-play of the game, but Deejay Zibanejad decided not to spin a SOG – and kudos to Micheletti – as he absolutely had it with #93 here.

While JUMPIN’ JOE didn’t say these words verbatim, he did imply that for $8.5M, you’re expected to score goals – and not see how hard you can hug your BFF every night.

And during this Micheletti diatribe, Joe was two-seconds away from screaming “SHOOT THE PUCK YOU MORON!”

With 30-seconds remaining on the Rangers’ power-play, Lafreniere was boxed for tripping.

Similar to Ranaten’s penalty – this wasn’t an infraction either.

I guess this was a make-up call – and where Micheletti was irate that Lafreniere was boxed here. However, he didn’t say anything about the wrongly assessed double-minor to Rantanen.

The Rangers’ power-play? 0-1 – but following the thirty-seconds of foreplay – the Blueshirts’ PK was now a perfect three of three.

After Rosen reminded us that Jack Johnson was a former Ranger with 5:00 remaining (but you know it’s bad when Rosen didn’t give Johnson the customary “OLD FRIEND” preface), Quick made another save while Trocheck & Panarin came close to connecting.

Following another Rangers’ turnover, this time by Pitlick after a rushed Miller pass with 3:34 to go, Quick prevented Colorado from scoring when he laid down the wood on Wood himself.

Come 2:20 remaining and Georgiev made his best save of the game when he stopped Cuylle. Immediately after – Quick had to come up with a robbery save himself.

Then, and following all of the chances and bevy of odd-man rushes allowed – Nate MacKinnon beat Quick with 1:48 to go. No one was happier about this goal than Rosen himself, as he said, “OH JOE, WE CALLED THIS! WE WERE TALKING ABOUT MACKINNON EARLIER JOE!”

No shit Sam – all you do is talk about the other team!

1-0, bad guys – and another one of those goals allowed that was kind of weird – but only because Quick was stopping tougher and a higher quality of shots on goal.

But if you’re going to be beat, then it’s better to be beat by the best, rather than some fourth-line schlub.

Following a Jones turnover with thirty-seconds remaining, Quick was able to keep the deficit to one-goal as the period concluded.

1-0, bad guys, after twenty-minutes.

They say a picture can tell a 1,000 words. This picture sums up this second period. Photo Credit: CPAP.Shop


To open the middle frame, Rosen asked his usual question of, “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?”

I was hoping that Micheletti was going to reply with, “Frank Vatrano, Adam Henrique and Radko Gudas for Kaapo Kakko, Zac Jones and a first-overall pick Sam!” – but sadly – that’s not what we heard.

Instead, Micheletti said that the Rangers needed to tighten up in all three zones – which is really a nothing answer – as you can say that about any team and during any game on any given night.

Sam also talked about former black Rangers – but all of this stuff comes off as shallow, hollow and transparent – and only because you never hear these names unless it’s February – and where Tony McKegney deserves much more respect than what he was given tonight by this network.

(And Kevin Weekes was never mentioned either. FOR SHAME!)

(I also wonder if the Knicks’ broadcast talks about the great David Lee during “White History Month?”)

(“Oh Sean, you can’t say that these days! How dare you!”)

Nine-seconds into the period and Quick had to come up with another save – so once again – the Rangers were off to a hot start.

After Kreider got away with a tripping penalty on Manson with 18:30 remaining, the Rangers seemed resigned to playing this period in their own zone – and so much for “tightening.”

Sam then decided to use this moment to give a prostate exam, with his tongue, to MacKinnon.

Joe then replied by talking about Sidney Crosby – so this is the stuff that Ranger fans wanted to hear.

With 16:55 to go, Quick lived to his surname – as he made three saves in rapid-succession against Colorado’s top-line and Makar.

As the Rangers were being out-shot 5-0 in the period, Micheletti then told us how Colorado’s defense stinks and how it’s easy to create chances.

All I could do was sigh and laugh at the same time.

Five-minutes into the period and the Rangers were still looking for their first SOG.

With the Blueshirts not doing much, Sam and Joe then decided to fellate Zach Parise some more – and where I was surprised that Rosen didn’t bring up what Parise’s father did to the Rangers in the Spring of ’75.

Down to 13:50 remaining, and Kakko, when left all alone in front of Georgiev – went wide. On brand, on brand.

Seriously, can you imagine if people in other professions went as high and wide as Kakko and Mika regularly do in their line of work?

“Sorry Frank about carving your freakin’ head open on your appendectomy surgery, but despite your appendix a foot in front of me, I just missed!”


Another ugh?

When Sam anointed Rantanen as our “KIA CARD PLAYER OF THE GAME.”

Bless Sam’s heart – and where the affable announcer kept on confusing Joe Micheletti for John Giannone too.


Sam then told us that Kakko and Rantanen are good friends – but where none of Rantanen’s talent has rubbed off on his fellow Finn.

And yep – when I’m talking this much about the broadcast – then you know that nothing was going on at this point in the game.

Come 12:16 remaining and Zac Jones had the best Rangers’ scoring chance of the period yet, but his shot was blocked by Wood. Rosen then reminded us that Miles Wood once played for the Devils.

Bless Sam’s heart.

And for what it’s worth – Rosen didn’t dare to talk about what Wood’s old friends in Newark, Mike McLeod and Cal Foote, are up to these days.

With 11:00 remaining – the Rangers only had two SOG in the period – and where not one of them was memorable or ever made Georgiev fear for his life – and as if Tony DeAngelo was awaiting him in the tunnel.

During this break, and as the officials were fixing the ice, we saw a despondent Panarin on the bench – and where Micheletti brought this to our attention.

Fourteen-seconds later? Quick stopped MacKinnon as all five Rangers on the ice (first line and second-pair) watched.

With the second line on the ice, Micheletti then called out Zibanejad again for doing nothing but getting his cardio in.

We then saw a replay of Schneider hitting Rantanen in the face with the puck at the halfway mark of the game/period.

Sam’s response?

“That doesn’t look like it feels good Joe,” and as Rantanen’s face looked like a victim from a Law and Order SVU crime scene.

Bless Sam’s heart.

Down to 9:15 to go and Georgiev easily swatted away a Fox attempt.

In a weird play, with 8:30 to go and following a Quick save on Devon Toews; Fox, when trying to alley-oop the puck, actually hit the scoreboard.

Now returned from a TV timeout, and Sam, Joe and John brought up the great work that the Colorado trainer had done on Rantanen.

I wonder if they would’ve said this under the same circumstances, had the Montreal Canadiens been tonight’s opponent?


Come 8:00 remaining and Quick racked up two more tough saves – and as he was the only Ranger on the ice exceeding all expectations.

Forty-seconds later and THE BULGARIAN BEAST denied a Panarin-to-Lafreniere attempt from the goalmouth.

Then, and with 6:45 to go, Georgiev robbed Kreider – again – but this time while on 5 x 5 play.

With 5:11 remaining and the third line motoring – Kakko ended the attack with a no look turnover.



Down to 3:35 remaining and Georgiev came up with a big-time stop when he denied Wheeler when a foot-away.

As we hit 2:00 left on the clock, Panarin had his best shift of the game thus far, but no goal was baked.

Forty-seconds later and Quick came up huge with a gorgeous save made on Connor.

Following an uneventful twenty-minutes, we remained at 1-0, bad guys, after two periods.

If the first line players don’t score, then don’t expect the players on the second line, Zibanejad, Kreider and now Wheeler, to give the team a jump. Photo Credit: NYR


It’s getting really late now (5AM), so I’m going to have to fly a bit here.

The Rangers, who opened with their first line and first d-pair, had a strong opening shift, but alas, Georgiev was able to come up with a big save on Lindgren. Lindgren later ate friendly-fire from Panarin, but while hurting (the usual), never left the game (the usual).

As the Rangers were doing everything but scoring, including a Georgiev save on Trocheck with 16:17 remaining – Sam finally said it – and during his latest tongue-bath of Parise – brought up how he was a former Islander.

Down to 12:52 remaining, and Kakko tried to set-up Schneider, but no dice – and another chance that failed to produce the Rangers’ first goal of the game.

A minute later and Georgiev kept his shutout in-tact with a head/mask save on Mopey Mika – and #93’s first shot attempt of the game.

Right after that, and MacKinnon came close to scoring the insurance goal – but thankfully – no dice.

As both teams continued to bleed chances, chances that both goalies denied; down to 8:43 remaining, it finally happened- the Rangers’ first goal of the game – and the equalizer too:

1-1, TIE GAME!

This goal was very similar to other comeback goals scored this season, as when down by one late – Laviolette double-shifted Panarin.

And as we’ve seen before – and even on his very first double-shift too – Panarin, replacing Wheeler on the BFF line, woke up M$G.

Panarin, following a Zibanejad o-zone faceoff win, dipsy-doodled around with the puck and just fired a wicked wrister against his former goaltender – and where it felt like he had skated half-a-mile before finding the top shelf goal against a screened Georgiev.

And praise the hockey gods that Mrs. Panarin didn’t bake her second loaf of human bread earlier in the day – because if she had – then her husband doesn’t score this goal – and even with Quick’s superhero efforts in net – the Rangers don’t win tonight either.

After all, who would come up big for the Blueshirts?

Mika? Kakko?

And <gulp>, Kreider too?

Perhaps inspired a bit by Panarin, Mika then woke up from his slumber a bit following the tying goal – but of course – couldn’t beat the BULGARIAN BRUTE.

Despite Colorado applying tourniquet pressure on the Rangers late, including a save made on MacKinnon with 58.2-seconds remaining – once again – and say it with me in the Jan Brady voice, “QUICKIE, QUICKIE, QUICKIE!”

And to Georgiev’s credit – he prevented a MILLER TIME finish himself with 23-seconds remaining.

1-1, after sixty-minutes.

Overtime would be needed.

Buy a lotto ticket: It didn’t take Lafreneire ten-games to score his “Haley Comet’s” goal tonight! Photo Credit: NYR


Officially, Panarin tied it and Lafreniere won it, but again – none of this happens without Quick – and with 32 saves for #32 – how fitting.

But of course, Rosen wasn’t done yet – as prior to puck drop – he pulled down his pants and rubbed his schmekel red-raw when predicting Cale Makar to end the game.

And no joke – just ten-seconds later – and Quick prevented Makar from scoring the walkoff goal.

Please retire Sam.

The Rangers would overcome the final SAMMY WHAMMY of the game – as Quick came up with another robbery denial with 3:38 remaining – and against both MacKinnon and Toews.

Following a Goodrow d-zone faceoff win, Mika came on for his fellow center, and after a turnover, Quick found a sprung Mika – and the man of one goal in 2024 then found Lafreniere for the game-winner:

It’s late, and I’ll have to look it up – but I believe with the assist – Quick now has more assists/points than CZAR IGOR has this season.

And with one assist on the season – Quick now has as many assists as Zibanejad has goals in 2024 as well.

And how about it?

Quick not only shone as the best player in the game – but he assists on the game winner too!

I wouldn’t shelve that baseball hat just yet Mr. Shestyorkin.

Here’s a lengthy post-game edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE” for you:

It’s 5:30AM, I’m up to word 10,000, I haven’t slept since the Harry S. Truman administration, and I know that I have written more about this game than anyone else – yet I still feel like I’m short-changing you tonight!

My apologies!

But if I want you to take anything away from this recap, then it’s these four things:

One – Prior to tonight’s game, Arthur Staple, of “The Athletic,” said/reported something that first appeared on this site some six-weeks ago – the Rangers are now interested in trading for both Frank Vatrano and Adam Henrique of the Ducks.

It’s amazing how whatever I write here appears everywhere else, no?

And you’re welcome too, Larry Brooks!

Two – The player most likely going the other way – or at least what Staple is suggesting? Kaapo Kakko – who looked absolutely horrible tonight against a real NHL team.

After all, you can’t play against the Senators every night.

Three – Be happy about the win – and the Rangers did beat a good team tonight – but to think that anything truly changed is akin to an ostrich with its head in the sand.

Four – What does it say that the Blueshirts, now winners of their past two games, won both of these games without Jacob Trouba and CZAR IGOR in the line-up?

Sure, you can say the Senators suck and then dismiss that win – but to beat a good Avalanche team with nearly $14M payroll out of the line-up does speak volumes.

A reminder that our good friends over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show” will be hosting a Rangers’ watch party on 2/24. Photo Credit: BSU

I’ll definitely be back late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, with a Rangers vs Bolts GAME REVIEW.

I’d like to write something tomorrow, time permitting, as I feel that I missed some things tonight – but that could be the worries of a perfectionist.

I also want to say that if you have the M$GN streaming service as part of your cable package, and should you also be working asshole hours like yours truly – then it’s easier to watch these games back on that app – as they eliminate all of the commercials for you.

But if only they could eliminate Vagistat too!

See ya Wednesday night, if not tomorrow.

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:

Chris Drury Continues to Play Tom Petty’s “Waiting is the Hardest Part;” Chytil’s LTIR Cap Space Still Not Addressed, The “Rangers’ Refresher,” NHL All-Star Weekend Thoughts; Maybe a Blueshirt Should Date Bieber, Upcoming NYR/PHI Watch Party, “LAVY’S LOUNGE” From Tarrytown, First-Place On The Line; Upcoming Schedule & More

New Kakko On The Blockko – But Does The Finn Have “The Right Stuff?” Rebuilding Flames Get a Haul From “Win-Now” Canucks in Elias Lindholm Trade, Should Chris Drury “Overpay” or “Stay?” James Dolan, Jeff Gorton, Larry Brooks, Trouba v. Johnson; Get Well Fischler, The Ridiculous Stadium Series Cash Grab & More

Filip Chytil Officially Shutdown For Season; Rangers Release Statement (And Where the “C-Word” Isn’t Mentioned), The Irresponsible Gary Bettman, Drury Makes Two Transactions, Lundqvist Beats Isles & More

If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my recently released 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/COL 2/5 Review: Jonathan Quick Puts The Rangers On His Back; All Previous Problems Remain the Same, Blueshirts Blessed by Backstops; A Historical Retrospective, Gilles Villemure, Kakko/Ducks Trade Rumors Heating Up; One-Line Blueshirts Need Help ASAP, Bless Sam Rosen’s Heart; Micheletti Massacres Mika, Lundqvist v. Vagistat, M$GN+ & More

  1. I completely agree, if Igor doesn’t find himself soon, we are screwed. Even at the all-star game, everytime we scored a goal a few seconds later, Igor let in a goal, nothing has changed.

  2. It was good to see K’Andre Miller respond after that vicious cross-check by Mikko Rantanen. It looked to me like Rantanen was trying to cut Miller in half. I was pleasantly surprised when the officials actually gave Rantanen the extra 2 minute penalty for cross-checking, but there was no doubt that Rantanen deserved it. On the other hand, I wasn’t surprised at all by the phantom tripping penalty against Lafreniere just for being in the neighborhood when one of the Colorado players was accidentally tripped by his own teammate. After several replays showed the penalty call against Lafreniere was a mistake, Sam and Joe got excited about the idea that the officials might reverse the call, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Quick is playing great, so let’s start a rumor that Shesterkin is about to be moved to another team, just like Worsley, Giacomin, Talbot, Lundqvist, Georgiev, et al. It’s a NYR tradition!

    1. Eh, I didn’t think the Rantanen penalty was that bad, and I guess I view it as a player trying to cement his stance in front of the net. But of course, I’m against most penalties and try to view them as if a Ranger had taken it.

      I really thought the phantom Laf penalty was a make-up call.

      I’m glad that Igor still has another year on his deal. If it were to expire this year, then I can only imagine the hairy contract negotiations.

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