Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. This will be a short one, because as I start this, it’s now 1AM. Maybe I’m getting old, but there is no reason to start these home games at 8PM!
On Friday night, the Rangers honored the 1994 Stanley Cup Rangers. Immediately afterwards, the 2018-2019 New York Rangers rewarded the 1994 team by shitting the bed & losing to the Carolina Hurricanes, by a score of 3-0. For the first time in 17 meetings between the two teams at M$G, the Carolina Hurricanes finally won a game. Of course, the Canes had to win it on this night, when emotions were high in the arena. One step forward, two steps back.
There have been many bad Ranger losses this season, that it’s tough to rank this one or say this loss was the worst of the bunch. Whether it’s Lundqvist getting blown out in Philly, Lundqvist getting blown out by Arizona, Lundqvist choking one goal games to LA (twice), Lundqvist being embarrassed by Ottawa, Lundqvist getting laughed at by last place Chicago or Lundqvist losing a goalie duel to a Carolina goalie not even making half of Lundqvist’s salary, you really have your pick of the litter when trying to rank the worst losses of this 2018-2019 campaign. It is what it is, but on a night like this, this is a game you really wanted to see the Rangers win.
I mean really, even if you’re pro tank/all about the draft type of fan, after seeing the 1994 celebration, were you really hoping that the Rangers would lose tonight? I guess some fans are, but that line of thinking isn’t for me.
I attended tonight’s fiasco, so this review won’t follow my normal format. In hindsight, I kind of wish that I stayed home, just because I heard the MSG Networks did a fantastic job with their coverage tonight. I have everything on my DVR, but do I really want to re-live this game again, just to see interviews with the 1994 guys or to hear JD reunite with Sam Rosen?
While it was cool to see everyone available from the 1994 team live and in person, it is my opinion that this was probably a better event to watch on TV than to attend, as you don’t get the close-ups or the in-game interviews with the players. That said, if you stayed home, you didn’t get one of these:
Going into this night, I had mixed thoughts. On one hand, the 1994 stuff has been to death. It’s also a stark reminder that the Rangers haven’t won anything in 25 years. It’s also a reminder that Dolan has owned this team for 25 years. Talk about a shot to the gut. The other problem is that the Rangers have honored the Core 4 of 1994 Rangers so many times, that it feels like not enough time has passed to drag these guys out again, here in an attempt to boost attendance. If you’re a pessimist who feels like the Rangers have gone to this well far too often, I wouldn’t attempt to argue with you.
That said, the Rangers were going to do this no matter what, so for me, I might as well enjoy it. I still believe that Frank Boucher and Bill Cook deserve their own night before anything else. However, the Rangers can’t make tons of cash on Boucher & Cook merchandise, so the Rangers will continue to spit in the faces of those families and snub their nose at the Hall of Fame legacies those men had with the Rangers. But hey, GET YOUR JAY WELLS PUCK HERE!
While I thought this night was purely about attacking the wallets of fans, it was cool to see everyone there. I thought Messier’s speech at the end was absolutely fantastic. I felt like a kid again. Listening to Messier and just going back to that period of time; well it made me forget about the Lundqvist Era of Error, albeit only for a few moments!
Also worth mentioning – the long overdue return of Neil Smith, who was previously shunned by NYR and Dolan at similiar gatherings. It was great to see him back and I thought Ranger fans did a good job of welcoming the architect back to MSG.
That said, while I thought tonight was a smashing success, I’m just surprised the Rangers didn’t do more with this. Granted, the MSG Networks was dedicated to the 1994 team all day long, but outside of the 1994 team, what games from the Rangers archive does the MSG Networks air anyway? You won’t find any games pre-1994 on the MSG Networks. SAD!
With everyone alive from the 1994 team in town, from the players to the coaches to the massage therapist, sans Brian Noonan, who had a previous commitment, I’m surprised that the Rangers didn’t have a meet & greet for monetary purposes.
Put it this way, if the Rangers printed up 1000 posters, with the 1994 team autographing each poster, and they had a line where fans could walk up, pose & get a picture with the entire 1994 team, couldn’t you see fans plopping down $100 or $200 for all of this? I know I would.
It just seems that with the 1994 team in town, who knows if this opportunity will ever arise again? When will all these guys be in the same place and at the same time again? I really thought that the Rangers missed out on monetizing this occasion to its maximum potential. That’s what shocks me the most. Even if the Rangers had a mini convention on Saturday, where they had their “RANGERSTOWN” hockey tent during previous playoff runs, that idea would generate more money than a 1994 pennant would. I just thought a major opportunity was lost, on behalf of not only the Rangers, but more importantly, the Rangers fan base.
With this 1994 night now in the books, it’s time for the Rangers to stop with previous retreads. No more 1994. No more GAG line. If they want to go in the past, honor the people that have never been honored before, guys like Frank Boucher, the Cook Brothers, Lester Patrick, Davey Kerr, Bryan Hextall, Edgar LaPrade, Chuck Rayner, Gump Worsley, Emile Francis and Ron Greschner.
This 1994 night was done perfectly. The ceremony was perfect. You couldn’t ask for anything more. The Rangers knocked it out of the park. That’s why it makes no sense to ever do a 1994 thing again, because now it’s been done and really, you couldn’t top what the Rangers did tonight.
Plugs time. In case you missed my last few blogs, you can find them below:
NYR/BOS 2/6 Review: The Baby-Faced Rangers Overcome Major Adversity; Shock The Bruins In a Thriller, The King of Kings Comes Up Huge Again, Tony DeMAGAngelo FU’s His Critics, All of the Young Guns Stun, The End of the McLeod Era, The Return of Vinni Lettieri & Much More From M$G
NYR/LA 2/4 Review: Like Clockwork, Lundqvist Gets Embarrassed Late by Last Place LA Again, The Ticking Time Bomb Rangers Await The Inevitable, Carl Hagelin’s Success Against NYR, TDA Returns (And Why He Was Benched), NYR Media & More From Another Lundswiss Fiasco
NYR/TBL 2/2 Review: The Rangers Play a Strong 60 Minutes But Domingue Carries The Bolts To Victory, The TB/NYR History, NYR Fans Booing McDonagh, 1994 Night Disrespect, The Final Days of Zuccarello, #89 In Crunch Time, Hank’s New Record & More
NYR/NJD 1/31 Review: The Rangers Top Line Continues To Dominate Behind Zibanejad’s Hat Trick & Zucc’s Three Assists; NYR Edge The Last Place & MVP-Less NJD, Missing Rupp, Bickel & Prust, The Never-Ending 89 vs 26 Debate, Questionable Officiating, Meet TDA and Pionk & More
NYR/PHI 1/29 Review: Rangers Offense Stuck in a Black Hole of the Stolarz System; Make a 19th String Goalie Look Like Georges Vezina, David Quinn Punishes The Team By Punishing A Fourth Line Failure, LOL at BSB, Trump Flag in MSG Sets Off The Snowflakes & Much More From a Lifeless Night at M$G
As stated, I had mixed thoughts going into the 1994 celebration, but as the time neared, I was buying in. Sure, I would prefer Frank Boucher night, but the Rangers were doing this, so I might as well have fun. Plus, it’s always fun to throw this jersey on:
I posted a ton of pictures from 1994 Night on my Twitter account, so you can check @NYCTHEMIC for more pictures from the event.
However, one thing I definitely wanted to share on this blog is the video I took once all the Rangers were at center ice:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) February 9, 2019
This is not breaking news – ever since the renovations at MSG, the Garden isn’t the same place. Quite frankly, it hasn’t been the same for a long time. The Garden is overpriced. The Garden is a fire hazard for fans in the upper-rotunda. The beer is fucking horrible (more on that later). The Garden just isn’t a fan-friendly experience.
If you’re a regular here, you know that I’ve been to nearly 20 NHL arenas. I am telling you, outside of the Barclays, MSG is the worst arena I’ve ever been to. It’s not for fans. It’s for suits. The soul of the Garden has abandoned the venue long ago. You go anywhere else in the league, and as a fan, you’re treated much better. When you factor in the price of tickets for Garden events, it’s not even a debate – the Garden sucks.
I used to go to 30-40 games a year at MSG, but whether it’s a combination of getting older, being more comfortable at home or just hating the Garden experience, I have found myself going to less and less games at MSG. To be fair, I like traveling and would rather save my hockey budget money for road trips. I get the appeal of the Garden for tourists and out-of-market fans, but for New York Ranger fans, going to the Garden isn’t worth your time, money or the hassle. It’s just not a building for hockey fans. It’s a building for corporate America, a building that promotes caste system values.
I really don’t think I’m the only person thinking like this either, based on how desperate MSG and NYR are with their season ticket cold-calling. They are already trying to collect season ticket money for the 2019-2020 season. They also are relentless in trying to get fans to purchase an overpriced four-game pack.
Oh and I’ve talked about these two things before – there is a study that says once you hit 34 years old, you prefer staying in your home than going out. I know I’m starting to enjoy the confines of my home more than going out and blowing cash. The other thing I wanted to mention is that with high priced tickets, families don’t go to these games anymore. As time goes on, and as people would rather stay home than go out and as kids are entirely priced out from going to games, where are the next generation of Ranger season ticket holders coming from?
As far as the 1994 ceremony goes, the Rangers couldn’t have done a better job. This was a complete win. You can debate if this has been done to death or not, but as far as what the Rangers did tonight – they knocked it out of the park. The only way this could’ve been better is if the Rangers were playing Vancouver instead of Carolina.
All over social media today, I saw Ranger fans discussing where they were in 1994. Some weren’t alive. Some were in bars. Or some were like me, a year shy of being a teenager. I think I’ve told this story before, but since this is the 1994 blog, I may as well tell it again.
June 13th is my birthday. In 1994, I got the best birthday present possible from the Rangers, although it came a day late! It’s something you don’t forget, just like how I will never forget the Rangers losing in 2014 on my birthday. Worst birthday ever!
I must make mention, at 12 years old, I thought the Rangers were just a team that won a lot. I thought winning the Cup would be easy for the Rangers to repeat. I say this because I want to be fair to the older reading this blog – I never had to truly suffer with this team, or at least, during 1994!
Back in 1994, you know the days before AOL CD-ROMS flooded America, there were these things called pay phones. I can remember watching the game at home with my parents. My grandfather was at the game. As a newly minted 12 year old, I don’t remember everything about that night, and a lot of my memory from Game 7 has been altered by re-watching that game as an adult. Shit, I just watched the third period of Game 7 tonight, at the Molly Wee, here before this tilt with Carolina.
The one lasting memory I have from that June 14th, 1994 is staying up late and waiting for my grandfather to call my dad from a payphone. It’s a story from that period of time, before the advent of cell phones, texting and facetime. Can you imagine if Twitter was around in 1994? I wonder how many people would be bitching about Mike Keenan’s usage of the INTOXICATING Alexei Kovalev?
I’ll tell you what, that June of 1994 will never be forgotten between the Rangers, John Starks 2-19 and because of that OJ Simpson fella. For me personally, as a fan of Nirvana, you also had Kurt Cobain offing himself just two months prior. 1994 was just a crazy year and that doesn’t include the baseball strike that would eventually eliminate the World Series from taking place too. I’m still mad about that. I thought the Yankees had a good of a shot as any and Jimmy Key may have won the Cy Young that year.
Oh, also taking place in 1994? The movie releases of “Forest Gump” and “Shawshank Redemption”, two movies that if you find them on cable while you’re channel surfing, you leave them on to this very day. What a time to be alive.
After a great celebration for the 1994 team, there was still a game to play. If you know your Rangers, you know that whenever the Rangers have one of these nights, they are usually on the losing end of the game. That trend continued tonight.
Oh, worth mentioning – I wonder how the bars near MSG did tonight? With the Rangers wanting everyone in the building two hours ahead of game time, I’m sure the bars took a hit tonight. I’m also sure the concessions at MSG had a record night too.
Before getting into the game itself, I wanted to mention that the Rangers continued to deliver with this 1994 night theme (too bad beer prices weren’t 1994 prices) when they did what they did at the home opener, and showed a video of a 1994 John Amirante singing the national anthem:
In the gambling section of the blog, here’s what I said before the game:
— BlueCollarBlueShirts (@NYCTheMiC) February 8, 2019
Oops. Dead wrong. Rangers lose 3-0 and my record drops to 22-8-1.
In tonight’s “SCRATCH LIST OF QUINN” portion of the blog, Quinn used the same line-up from Wednesday, with the only change being Lundqvist in, Georgiev out. Neal Pionk remains the lone healthy scratch. For a reminder, here are the line and D combinations:
FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Zuccarello
SECOND LINE: Buchnevich/Hayes/Fast
THIRD LINE: Chytil/Strome/Namestnikov
FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Nieves/Lettieri
Defensively, we had:
FIRST PAIR: Skjei/McQuaid
SECOND PAIR: Staal/DeAngelo
THIRD PAIR: Smith/Shattenkirk
Real quickly, just because I want to put this out there – there was no reason for Henrik Lundqvist to start tonight. However, Henrik Lundqvist got a special mask made up for this game, so FASHION SENSE > MERIT.
Alexandar Georgiev should’ve been rewarded for the win against Boston with a start tonight. Furthermore, if David Quinn is going to punish everyone under the sun for every fart and cough, then why is Lundqvist immune from the same treatment? It’s a team game right? I guess not all the rules apply for everyone. Lundqvist should be punished for a month after choking against LA again.
And to even stress this point even more – after wins, Quinn uses the same line-up more times than not. So why take Georgiev out of the mix? Just because Henrik Lundqvist has a mask? This just goes to show you that Quinn, despite what he says or wants known, just like his 11F/7D idea, doesn’t have winning games as his number 1 priority.
I mean really, Quinn says he wants to win all the time and how he talks to Allaire & Hank about Hank’s starts. Did they have a conversation where Quinn said, “You know, Hank should start against a playoff team in Boston, but since he has a new mask, let’s put Georgiev in against Boston and we will start Hank & his new mask when the Candy Canes come into town.”
Now that I think about it, this might be the first time in hockey history, that a goalie got a start because he got a nice little pretty mask made up. In tonight’s game, despite the score, the overpaid asshole still was outplayed and beat by a guy making $5M less than him. SAD!
Of note, I saw a lot of “Lundqvist vs Richter” debates on social media today. I already wrote that blog. Check it out here: http://doinow.com/richter-vs-lundqvist/
ESPN.com box score time:
While the final score says 3-0, in favor of Carolina, Carolina scored two empty netters late. Essentially, this was a 1-0 win for the Hurricanes.
Very simply, you can individually pick from the following or just use the “all of the above” standard answer, when answering this – “Why did the New York Rangers lose tonight?” Was it because…
1- Petr Mrazek was better than Henrik Lundqvist tonight. This was a one goal game and the opposing goalie, as usual, made that one extra save that Lundqvist couldn’t.
2- The Rangers PP sucked ass. In fact, in two chances, the Rangers wouldn’t log a shot on either two minute PP.
3- The Rangers couldn’t score and couldn’t get laid in a whorehouse with a fistful of $50 bills.
4- The Rangers had no puck luck, as Carolina defenders swept potential goals from crossing the Carolina goal line.
5- The Rangers turned the puck over 19 times in this game and had a terrible time staying onside/keeping the puck in the Carolina zone during key moments.
I’m so infuriated with the way the team laid an egg tonight, that this won’t be the normal review that I usually do. I don’t want to relive this game and just want to keep the memories of the 1994 celebration alive. Plus, I didn’t take notes like I usually do, as it was my goal to watch the Rangers win this game.
As a result of this 3-0 loss, I’m 0-9 this season when attending Ranger games! Want to know something sadder? In the last five games I’ve been to (@OTT, @MTL, @COL, @ARI and tonight) the Rangers have been outscored 22-3! In the last five games I’ve attended, I’ve also seen these jerkoffs get shut out three times and get blown out twice. (OTT 3-0, MTL 5-2, COL 6-1, ARI 5-0, CAR 3-0.) FUCKING PATHETIC!
When watching this game tonight, one thing was apparent – there’s just no sense of urgency. I know there is in other games, games that I don’t attend, but here tonight, there’s no driving force behind this team. And for all the ballyhoo about the Rangers top line, they got shut out again. Against fucking Carolina. The same Carolina that carried a 16 game losing streak at MSG into this game. SAD SAD SAD!
What’s the point in recapping this whole game? The Rangers SUCKED and I don’t feel like wasting my time tonight going through it all.
The Rangers did nothing in the second period. Whoop-de-doo.
At the 6:43 mark of the third period, Warren Foegele broke up the nil-nil game:
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 9, 2019
1-0, bad guys. That’s your game winning goal.
I heard that Steve Valiquette was blaming Brady Skjei for the goal. The Rangers basically lost this game 1-0. Are you going to credit Skjei for keeping this a scoreless game for nearly 46 minutes? However, you have to remember the MSG credo – “Nothing is ever Hank’s fault.”
Seriously, you can’t blame Hank for this loss, because you can’t win if you don’t score, but at the same time, you have to admit the other goalie was just a bit better and that was all the difference in a 1-0 game. Keep in mind the Rangers pay Lundqvist the most money in professional hockey to do his job and routinely, Lundqvist is on the losing end of these games. And some mental retards still say that Hank is worth every penny. Losers.
Furthermore, if you’re going to blame a defensive lapse for the lone goal in the game, you can’t ignore the defensive lapses Carolina had too. Mrazek was just a tad better at his job tonight than Lundqvist was at his.
After looking god-awful on a late power-play, so bad that these idiots couldn’t even manage to keep the puck in Carolina’s zone, Lundqvist was pulled. Svechnikov and McGinn would each put the puck into the Rangers empty net. 3-0, bad guys. I’m just so disgusted.
And to be clear, in case your new here – I’m not for the tank. After all, I have no faith in these bozos doing anything right, come the draft. I want them to win. Especially on a night like tonight. They should’ve started Georgiev, rather than going with the fashion plate start. The team is usually offensively better for Georgiev than they are for Lundqvist too.
Sorry for not going so deep into the game review portion of this blog. What’s the point? This was an embarrassment. No goals against the Hurricanes? The Rangers sure love talking the talk, but they can’t walk the walk. I wish I had a remote like Adam Sandler had in “CLICK” and I could just fast-forward to the NHL draft and free agent signing period. This team has no heart and came out like a flying bag of wet diarrhea tonight. They should individually apologize to every member of the 1994 Rangers for laying a T-Rex turd tonight. Unforgivable.
The Rangers host the Maple Leafs on Sunday night. I wonder if Lundqvist has a mask made up for that game? With Toronto being a playoff team, I would expect Georgiev to start.
Of note, my friend has a pair of tickets, section 111, row 17, seats 1&2 for sale for this game. He will sell under face value and just wants to make sure the tickets go to a Rangers fan, rather than selling on Stubhub and selling to a Leafs fan. I would take the tickets myself, but the MSG experience, even if it was free, doesn’t seem worth it these days. And that’s not a shot at the team, because I don’t mind them rebuilding, it’s just that as a whole, Madison Square Garden is one of the worst arenas to watch a professional sporting event in.
For all the shit about the history of MSG, the iconic ceiling and all that other hyperbole crap – that’s what it is – crap. They have a fucking Phish banner hanging from the rafters for fucks sake. SAD SAD SAD SAD SAD!
See you Sunday. Who knows what shows up for that game? Will it be the Rangers that fought to beat Boston or the Rangers that looked like the Bad News Bears against Carolina? Flip a coin.
As always, thanks for reading and win or lose…
“LET’S GO RANGERS”
RICHTER > LUNDSWISS
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter