NYR/STL 3/10 Review: Rangers Get Blue Balled in Worst Loss of the Season – But Don’t Jump off of the Bridge; Help is on the Way, Gallant Calls Out Team with the “S” Word, Igor, Georgiev, Gauthier, Bass Reeves, Isle Tix, Gilbert Tribute Game, RIP Howell, Duguay, M$GN/Vally & More

The Rangers were massacred on Thursday night, where they dropped a 6-2 decision to the St. Louis Blues. There’s no way to sugarcoat this loss, but I’ll try my best in explaining it!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. BRU-TAL!

Our beloved New York Rangers, after turning in a listless performance on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild, continued their losing ways just two nights later – where they were “embarrassed” by the St. Louis Blues to a tune of 6-2.

The Rangers never had a chance during this tilt – or should I say that CZAR IGOR never had a chance with this team in front of him.

I put the word “embarrassed” in quotes here, because for the first time this season – that’s the word that head coach Gerard Gallant used when describing the loss. (His post-game interview is featured at the end of this manifesto.)


If you’re new here, I guess I should tell you that I’m very optimistic, and remain “glass half-full,” when writing about these 2021-22 Rangers.

After all, I predicted that the team would be a playoff contender this season, and despite this one loss, where yep, it was the worst loss of the season – my faith remains unchanged.

Needless to say – one bad loss won’t deter me!

If you’re a regular reader here, then you already know that I rarely agree with M$GN analyst Steve Valiquette, and very often, use him for comedic relief on these blogs. I don’t think I have to explain all of this again!

And contrary to popular opinion – I don’t hate the guy. In fact, he’s very fan-friendly and genuinely a nice guy. And in an attempt to be fair to him – to a younger generation, he’s the bee’s knees’. He’s just not for me – at least not this version of him.

I just don’t think he’s any good as an on-air talent, especially when analytics first became his way to boost his bank account.

That said, I thought he was good at the start of his broadcasting career – when he just talked hockey, rather than bombarding us with 786786789678968 useless stats a game – stats that never factor in the human element.

Furthermore, if the option of having Henrik Lundqvist full-time on these broadcasts can become a reality – I’d rather hear from him than hear from his back-up. I much rather hear from the guy who did it, rather than from the guy who watched him do it.

This long-winded preamble is my way of saying, that imagine my shock and surprise, when during the post-game show that aired following this contest – that Mr. Clear-Sighted Clairol Analytics pretty much said word-for-word what was on my mind.

Once in a while, an eye-test fan like myself, and the self-proclaimed king of analytics, can see “eye-to-eye.” (Just don’t tell him that.)

What I’m about to say next pretty much echoed what Vally said after the game, where I want to be “clear-sighted” with you – these were already my opinions before Vally said them on-air.


Some people have asked me to post a picture of myself, despite me previously doing so 786786789678967896 times. Here’s a picture of me and the analytical one, back in the days when he used to read this site!

Again, let me be clear – this was the ABSOLUTE WORST LOSS of the season. There’s no denying that.

Some fans, and/or you readers, may tell me about the four games with the Flames and the Avalanche – but in my eyes, I think you can “explain away” those losses.

As said following those four losses, and even after them – you could blame the schedule, COVID-19, and a not-so-ready Adam Huska in net. And even if you don’t embrace excuses – the Flames and Avalanche are both currently in first-place in their own respective divisions.

At the end of the day – losing to a top team isn’t the end of the world, nor something to get upset about.

However, if you’re upset about this loss to the Blues, I get it. I’m not too happy about it myself!

That said, I always try to approach these game reviews with the “big picture” in mind. I also try not to overreact to any singular big win or loss either.

(Much easier said than done, as admittedly – I do go into rah-rah mode after a scintillating and exciting victory. But hey, I’m just a fan – I should be busting out the pom-poms after big wins!)

If there’s anything that truly bothers me about this loss, it is that for the second game in a row, the Rangers were a “slump-buster.” They were a feel-good opponent for a team that desperately needed a win. That needs to end.

Just like how the Minnesota Wild were struggling before defeating the Rangers on Tuesday; prior to this game on Thursday night, the Blues were on their own schneid too:

Photo Credit: ESPN.com

Entering this game, the Blues were on a four-game losing streak, where during their last three games, they dropped decisions to three awful teams in the Islanders, Devils and Senators.

And just like the Rangers, the Blues are also in second-place in their own division. They are also trying to maintain a home ice advantage for the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

During the Blues’ losing streak, they had only scored seven goals in those four games. Tonight, they scored six, and if it weren’t the iron – they very easily could’ve hit double-digits.

Throughout the broadcast, Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti (and Steve Valiquette too), kept on hammering the point home that the Blues were hungry and desperate. In a way, the M$GN crew tried to sell that the recent frustration of the Blues powered their way through the Rangers. I found that stuff to be hogwash and poppycock, because after all – the Rangers were in the same exact boat.

The Rangers, much like the Blues, had suffered an embarrassing loss during their last game played. They too, like the Blues, are jockeying for position in the standings. So while it’s true that the Blues had some extra motivation – what’s also true is that the Rangers should’ve had that same exact drive. They didn’t.

Even worse was that the Blues were without Pavel Buchnevich tonight, who is currently in concussion protocol – after suffering a cheap shot from Austin Watson, during the Blues’ last game against the Senators.

In other words, the Blues were without their number one star who had a grudge to bear.

Then again, after seeing Buchnevich meet-up with the Rangers during their pregame skate on Thursday morning; I still don’t think that Buchnevich, much like his fans (or is it “stans?”), is over the trade.

The optimist perspective? Buchnevich still yearns for the Rangers, despite his great year in St. Louis.


During the last eight months, I think I’ve seen fans talk more about this trade than any other trade in Rangers’ history. If that’s not the case – it sure feels like it! Photo Credit: NYR

I totally understand if you’re at your wits’ end and pulling your hair out after this loss. However, before jumping off of the bridge, consider the following:

(This is also what Vally said, while using different words than me, during the post-game show.)

— This was game 58. It took 58 games for the Rangers to have their worst loss of the season. And why was this loss so bad? It was because you’ve seen this team play so well all-season long. Don’t forget that. That’s why you’re pissed – you’ve seen much better from this group.

— While I’m not trying to make excuses, the facts are the facts – the Rangers are still banged-up. Kakko is out. Rooney remains out. Even a reliable penalty killer like McKegg is out. In-steed, we’re seeing the likes of Brodzinski and Gettinger – players who won’t be on this roster come playoff time. We’re also enduring the Dryden Hunt on the second line experiment, due to a lack of better options. (Unless you want Goodrow there, which then weakens the bottom six.)

— We’re still biding our time to the March 21st NHL Trade Deadline. To go crazy about a team that’s not healthy, nor at their best – well that’s just silly to me.

I have no way of knowing this, and this is a prediction and not a spoiler – but I think general manager Chris Drury will wait right until the last second to make his moves, where presumably, the cost for rentals will then be cheaper – especially when teams start to fade out of playoff contention.

I know it’s excruciating to watch these patch-work Rangers get decimated, but with every fiber in my being, I still believe this – help is on the way.

That said, I just don’t know who specifically that help will be – but I do believe Drury will eventually make moves that positively impacts this team’s performance.


Don’t let his sullen and non-animated facial expressions fool you – Drury knows what he’s doing. He’s been a winner at every level. Photo Credit: NYR

Before pressing on and getting to the main event, which is the GAME REVIEW; a quick note.

Everything you’re about to read next, up until the line-up segment, was written before this game took place. I had some free time earlier this afternoon, and banged out a few things.

As you know, rather than posting 7867868678967896 articles for clicks, I rather just post one big-ass blog and call it a day. Read at your own leisure I say! (I’ll never put ads on this site either, but I will ask you to buy my book!)

I tell you this, because Alexandar Georgiev wound up playing tonight, in relief of CZAR IGOR.

So while I was wrong about Georgiev never playing for the Rangers again, I still have this going for me – “I don’t think we’ll ever see Georgiev start a game for the Rangers!”

Something else that I was correct about? Julien Gauthier can’t buy a goal. I suppose that even Gene Carr is having a laugh about this too!

Let’s roll.


Alexandar Georgiev is still a New York Ranger. Photo Credit: Alexandar Georgiev

Just a follow up on my thoughts from Tuesday night, in regards to Alexandar Georgiev.

“THE BULGARIAN BEAST,” as noted on previous blogs, hasn’t done many post-game interviews after losses this season. To his credit, Georgiev faced the heat and talked to the media following the Rangers 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

Here’s the interview:


I share this interview, because what Georgiev said, and how he said it – pretty much confirmed what I said on Tuesday night.

Maybe I’m being a bit too dramatic, but if you watch this interview, Georgiev reiterates that he needs more playing time – playing time that he just won’t get with the Rangers.

I don’t want to suggest that Georgiev is a bad teammate or anything of that nature; but this latest interview is just another reminder that Georgiev has his eyes set on a starting goaltender gig.

In a way, this interview kind of reminded me of Henrik Lundqvist during his final years, where he had no problem calling out the team in front of him after a bad loss.

For a comparison, just watch CZAR IGOR interviews, even after his rare losses.

While yes, he speaks Russian (and uses a translator too), what he says and how he says it, is the complete opposite of what Georgiev did on Tuesday night.

During his short stint thus far on Broadway, Igor is always very complimentary of the team in front of him – even if he’s lying through his teeth. He never throws the team under the bus, a team that’s cost him at least a dozen shutouts by my estimation. (And a team that lessened his historic stats tonight.)

Again, maybe I’m overselling this, and looking too deep in order to sell my own narrative. That’s fair. However, I just got the impression that Georgiev is pretty much checked out.

No joke, I have watched this interview three times over already, and after each viewing, I feel even stronger in what I wrote on Tuesday night – I think we’ve seen Georgiev’s last start as a New York Ranger. (And if you disagree, that’s fine too – I’m just telling you my opinion!)

And while following up on things said from last blog, here’s this graphic for your consideration:

Photo Credit: Hockey-Reference.com

As you can see here, Julien Gauthier ranks dead-last not only among all forwards, but among all full-time skaters too, in the shooting percentage statistic. To be honest, I’m surprised that his shooting percentage is 4.9% – I thought it was even lower than that.

On to the NEWS segment.


Gallant’s Gang practiced on Wednesday. Photo Credit: NYR

Following the loss to the Wild, the team flew out to St. Louis on Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, the team practiced, where it was reported that Gallant, while keeping his composure, bag-skated the team a bit, following a drill that he thought wasn’t going well.

After the practice, Gallant met with the media:


Not much came out of “The Turk’s” chat with the beat, although Gallant confirmed that Sammy Blais has been hanging around the team ever since they arrived in Minnesota.

While Blais is nowhere near ready to return (Gallant said that he wasn’t even sure if Blais was skating yet); the head coach said that Blais, and general manager Chris Drury, have been speaking, where Gallant also said that Drury was the one who gave Blais the a-okay to hang around the team.

Blais, who hasn’t been skating, was seen at the last two practices, where he was passing pucks and hanging out with his teammates. As Gallant said, this is a way for Blais to get out of the house, hang around his friends, and break up the nothingness of sitting home and waiting to heal.

This all sounded like a temporary thing since the Rangers are currently playing near where Blais calls home. In any event, it was nice to see Blais reconnect with the team, after his season was robbed away from him by P.K. Slewban.

As far as anything else, Gallant, who has added the phrase “he works hard, he competes hard” to his repertoire; praised several of his players, including Morgan Barron, who the head coach said he’d like to work back into the line-up soon.

Gallant also mentioned that just because a young player doesn’t play, it doesn’t mean that he’s down on that player – it just means that it’s all part of the development process.

In another interview conducted on Wednesday, Ryan Reaves spoke to the media. Reaves, who is usually the most entertaining, and the most honest Ranger too, made a few telling remarks:


To go back to the Georgiev stuff, Reaves showered heavy praise upon CZAR IGOR.

While not saying Georgiev’s name (nor using #40’s name in a comparison), Reaves said how #31 always gives the Rangers a chance to win games and how the team feels inspired when playing in front of him.

At the end of the interview, Reaves brought up how his father, Willard Reaves (a former CFLer, and who also received three games of NFL action during the late 1980s), was running for office in Manitoba.

To read about Willard’s political aspirations, his campaign website can be found here: https://willardreaves.ca/

Since I have no life, I checked out Willard’s site, and then found myself in a Google/Wikipedia/YouTube rabbit-hole, where I then found this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_Reeves

Maybe some of you knew this already (but I didn’t know this until Wednesday), is that Ryan Reaves is the great-great-great-grandson of Bass Reeves, a Bass Reeves who was the first black United States Marshall west of the Mississippi River, where he spent most of his days in Arkansas and in Oklahoma.

(Over the years, “Reeves” became “Reaves” – a fact that #75 talked about when he first found out about this relation two years ago, following Willard doing a DNA ancestry test.)

Bass Reeves had an extraordinary life, where he was kind of like a black Wyatt Earp, although Reeves obviously had more to overcome than Earp ever did. (Reeves, unlike Earp, was a slave prior to the Civil War.) And also unlike Earp – Reeves didn’t dabble with nefarious activity either.

Perhaps crazier than all of that? Reeves was forced to arrest his own son after a murder charge.

For regular readers of this website, you already know about my affinity for hockey history. I’m also a huge fan of American history, especially stuff from the “Wild Wild West,” where I always tend finding myself watching western movies from any era.

I’m like Doc Brown from “Back to the Future III” – I can’t get enough about the days of saloons!

After pursuing through Bass Reeves’ Wikipedia page, I didn’t realize that many Hollywood projects (and the “Red Dead Redemption” game), were based on Reeves.

According to Wikipedia (and other websites too), there’s currently an Amazon movie in the works on the life of Reeves. Looking forward to it!

Until that movie comes out, an entertaining, although somewhat fictionalized, movie on Reeves’ start in law enforcement is worth your time – “Hell on the Border,” which was released in 2019.

(There’s another movie on Bass Reeves, entitled “Bass Reeves,” an independent movie which was released in 2010. While the story is good; the acting, the production, and the fact that they used the wrong era of clothing is all abundantly apparent.)

The more you know!

From history to comedy, let’s continue this magic carpet ride.


The Isles have been a trainwreck this season, where in turn, fans of the inferior hockey team can now purchase tickets for the cost of a coffee and a bagel.

Very often on this site, I bring up the low cost of Islander tickets. I do this for several reasons, including that I enjoy seeing the Rangers on the road, I want knowledge when it comes to comparing prices of Ranger ducats to the prices of opposing teams, and because yep – I hate the Islanders too!

(And after a Rangers’ loss like tonight, why not kick the Islanders around a bit?)

While the Rangers were out in St. Louis on Thursday night; the Islanders were hosting a divisional rival at the IBS Arena on the same night, as the orange-and-blue played the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For all of the pomp and circumstance about the Islanders latest home, their 78566785676758th arena in a span of five-years – you could’ve attended Thursday’s game at the IBS Arena for six bucks:

Photo Credit: StubHub

It’s at the point where the Islanders may have to start offering free gasoline, in order to entice fans to attend their games.

Seriously – $6! That’s a steal for a hockey fan, especially considering that the IBS Arena is a great venue to catch a game in. Plus, put it this way – the cost of a beer at the IBS Arena is $18! A beer costs three times as much as a ticket!

It gets even better for fans looking to attend hockey games on the cheap; as if you look at the rest of the Islanders home schedule, you can find $6 tickets for every game except one – when the Rangers have their “home” game there.

Get a load of this:

Photo Credit: Stubhub

As stated, right now, you can find tickets to every other hockey game played at the IBS Arena for $6. Heck, there are even some games where tickets go for $5 too!

When the Rangers return to Elmont on April 21st, not only are ticket costs inflated (due to Ranger fans flooding the building), but the price of parking is nearly ten times as much as the cost as one of these $5 tickets!

Put it this way – you can buy tickets to ten Islander games (where the Rangers aren’t the opponent) for $50.

Conversely, you can use that same $50, and park your car at one of the parking lots at the IBS Arena – parking lots where the smell of horseshit will penetrate your nose with all of the force of a Ryan Reaves hit or a Bass Reeves’ arrest!

That’s hockey Suzyn.

Back to the Rangers, and a more serious topic at that.


Rod Gilbert’s legacy lives on, including this Friday night at Chelsea Piers.

Before getting into the line-up, I just wanted to plug an event. I know I could’ve put this in the PLUGS segment, but for those who just scroll on by the plugs – I wanted to give this event some prominence in this space.

From the Ronald McDonald Charity House, a charity that Rod Gilbert worked hand-in-hand with during the majority of his adult life:

Date: Friday March 11th
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Location: The Lighthouse & Sky Rink at Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, New York, NY 10011

Ronald McDonald House New York (RMH-NY) and the New York Rangers once again team up to host the 28th Annual Skate with the Greats.

Please join us as RMH-NY will remember and pay a Special Memorial Tribute to Hockey legend and New York Rangers Hall of Famer #7, Rod Gilbert.

For 27 years, Rod had co-founded, championed, and hosted our annual “Skate with the Greats” event alongside his fellow New York Rangers hockey legends and alumni, while raising awareness and millions of dollars to support our families and children who are battling pediatric cancer.

Plans are underway to provide our guests with that special fun and excitement experience to include many of your New York Rangers Greats such as Brian Leetch, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Adam Graves, Ron Greschner, Tom Laidlaw, Stephane Matteau, and others.

Special highlights will include Ice Skating, Honorary NY Rangers Jersey presentation, autographs, silent & Live auctions, and much more. It’s truly an event for both your business associates as well as the whole family, especially any hockey fan, young or old.

Please note, this event will require masks and proof of vaccination upon entry. 

For more information, visit the website at: https://www.rmh-newyork.org/blogs/events/2022skate

And while on the topic of legendary Ranger alumni who have since left us, I’d like to make mention that today marked the third anniversary of the passing of #3 himself, Harry Howell. RIP.

Photo Credit: NYR

Finally, before getting into the GAME REVIEW, Gallant’s pregame interview from Thursday:


Gallant didn’t say much, outside of confirming that CZAR IGOR would be in net.

A new narrative that’s out there (where admittedly, there is something to it), is that Adam Fox is playing a lot of minutes. Gallant said that he’s aware of all the minutes that Fox is playing – but there’s also a reason why #23 is the reigning Norris winner.

Larry Brooks, both in the New York Post and “Up in the Blue Seats” (link for the podcast located in the PLUGS segment), feels that Fox hasn’t been the same player since his injury. I feel that once the season is over, then we’ll hear about whatever Fox’s injury was/is, as opposed to the bland description of “upper-body injury.”

Brooks, who usually is spot-on, championed that perhaps Fox shouldn’t play on every penalty kill. After he said that on “Up in the Blue Seats,” Duguay opined that maybe #23 should only play on penalty kills during key moments and during the third period.

Of course, since the Rangers really don’t blow anyone out – it will be tough for Gallant to cherry pick when and when not to use Fox on the penalty kill, in an attempt to limit his minutes, should that be the action the head coach decides to take.

Just something to keep an eye on, as we march to the end of the regular season.


Here’s what “The Turk” went with for this Micheletti homecoming game:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Mika/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Strome/Hunt

THIRD LINE: Gettinger/Chytil/Gauthier

FOURTH LINE: Goodrow/Brodzinski/Reaves

Defensively, we had this:

FIRST D-PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND D-PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD D-PAIR: Nemeth/Schneider

And in net, CZAR IGOR


BOX SCORE time.

The following information and graphics come from the new world-wide leader in NHL coverage, ESPN.com:

SCORING:

PENALTIES:

TEAM STATS:

GOALIES:

STL
SA
GA
SV
SV%
ESSV
PPSV
SHSV
SOSA
SOS
TOI
PIM
29 2 27 .931 21 2 4 0 0 59:00 0

 

NYR
SA
GA
SV
SV%
ESSV
PPSV
SHSV
SOSA
SOS
TOI
PIM
18 2 16 .889 16 0 0 0 0 39:45 0
17 4 13 .765 8 0 5 0 0 20:04 0

We all know that I like to have my fun with “Sieve Vagistat” on these blogs, but I have to be fair – I thought he was actually good tonight. Just saying this feels like the penultimate scene of “Ghostbusters!” (The 1984 movie.)

Maybe the M$GN pregame show should go back to airing clips of Ryan Reaves belting out, “(Insert goalie here) RELEASE US!” – because for the second game in a row after omitting this clip, the Rangers got pummeled.

With no Henrik Lundqvist in-studio tonight, I thought this broadcast was doomed. Instead, it wasn’t that bad, or so I feel!

Vagistat opened up the broadcast by saying, “the Blues will be hungrier tonight.” Of course, I didn’t want to hear such tomfoolery, but the seven-foot goof would be proven correct.

After Giannone and Vally lamented over the Rangers’ poor performance against Minnesota; the duo then raved about CZAR IGOR and Mika Zibanejad. Sadly, these predictions didn’t work out in favor of the Rangers tonight.

It was announced that Ryan Martin, Drury’s hire and his assistant general manager, is now the general manager of TEAM USA for the upcoming IIHF Worlds Tournament. Hopefully, that team can do better than DQ’s squad did during the 2022 Olympic games.

After showing us the lines for once (a good thing), Vally told us more stories from his epic and legendary NHL career of 46 games. You’d think he would’ve run out of material by now, but you’d be wrong.

After talking about the goalie match-up between CZAR IGOR and Ville Husso, we went to Sam and Joe, who just like Steve and John – raved about CZAR IGOR and Mika Zibanejad. Jinx? Nah!

Let’s blow through this game review.


In what was CZAR IGOR’s worst game statistically, and where he was pulled for the first time this season (more on that below), he did pull off a new feat tonight – his first assist, an assist that was long overdue. (He probably should be credited with four or five of them already, but the team in front of him is the reason why he only has one.)

What’s a nice way to put this? Hmmm. How about this – “this game was Father Fink’d the second when the puck was dropped.”

Igor opened up the game with two quick saves, where after both of them, he was bumped, which then led to two separate scrums.

In something positive, it was nice to see K’Andre Miller, who has been more physical as of late, getting into the face of Ryan O’Reilly.

After Miller tried a homerun pass to Kreider, a pass that Husso broke up; Igor was forced to make another big save, where fortunately, the Blues didn’t capitalize on the empty net afforded on the rebound.

Up next were three consecutive Ranger penalties, where at the the 4:31 mark, Lindgren was boxed for a phantom hooking call on Robert Thomas. During a Ranger penalty kill where Igor was the top PKer, Jonny Brodzinski was then boxed, after sailing a puck over the glass during an act of desperation.

This gave the Blues a two-man advantage for 1:07, where to their credit, the Rangers survived.

Once returned to full-strength with 12:35 remaining, Igor had made four saves on the penalty kill. However, the Blues were also out-shooting the Rangers 9-0. They’d soon make it 10-0 – before the Rangers got their first SOG at the nine minute mark of the period (Mika-to-Kreider attempt).

With 11:55 remaining, Lindgren was off to the penalty box again, after a blatant trip committed on Alexei Toropchenko – a call that could not be debated.

Once again, the Rangers penalty kill came up big again, where instead of Igor doing all of the heavy lifting, it was Mika Zibanejad. (It was during this penalty kill where the Rangers got their first SOG of the game.)

Now back at full-strength, the Blues kept pressing the issue, as the Rangers looked “offensive offensively.”

In what may have been a game-changer; with 8:45 to go, Strome and Hunt had a two vs one odd-man rush, which was a mirror image of the one they had against Minnesota. However, this time, Hunt couldn’t bury the puck, as Husso made a FABULOUS save – even if there was some luck behind it. That said, Hunt should’ve buried this puck. He didn’t.

And had Hunt buried this puck like he was supposed to; the Rangers, who did have some sort of momentum after killing three penalties already, would’ve also then taken a 1-0 lead. “Coulda, woulda, shoulda.”

Following another one of those classic Chytil and Gauthier plays, where they do everything but score; the disastrous duo coughed up the puck. Immediately following the turnover, the Blues marched up the ice, and both Kyrou and Thomas got behind the Rangers defense. Painful to watch.

More painful than that? Watching Thomas score on what was basically a two vs zero chance, in what had to be his easiest even-strength goal of the season.

1-0, bad guys, with 6:55 remaining.

It gets worse, and I won’t even bring up again how Hunt should’ve had a goal, and how Gauthier and Chytil flub 767867867896 chances per game.

After another defensive zone faceoff loss by the Rangers; Brandon Saad (who could’ve had a hat trick tonight), went to Gretzky’s office and found Ivan Barbashev all alone in the slot. The Blues centerman, untouched and unmolested, easily beat Shestyorkin. 2-0, bad guys, as this goal was scored just 35 seconds after Thomas’ tally.

The pain was never-ending.

Following Panarin missing during an easy scoring chance; the Blues, who had no trouble owning the puck on this night, had a long possession in the Rangers d-zone. With no clear to speak of, Thomas scored again. 3-0, bad guys.

On this goal, the Rangers were gassed, Thomas got the puck in the slot, and then roofed it past Igor.

Call me an Igor sympathizer, and I am – but none of these three goals were on him.

You know I don’t care about that “HIGH DANGER” stuff, because after all, hockey players have been scoring this way since the league first began in 1917; but yeah – three easy goals for the Blues here, goals that were on the Rangers defense, and not on the ’22 Vezina and Hart winner himself.

And I have no clue if this is true, but let’s go with it anyway – this had to be the first time in NHL history, where a team killed three penalties, including a 5 x 3 penalty, and then gave up three straight goals. More times than not, after a strong bout of penalty killing, you’re the one who gets the goal. Not tonight, not tonight.

With 2:12 remaining in a game that was slipping away, the Rangers received a slight reprieve, after Robert Bortuzzo held Goodrow’s stick with 2:12 remaining.

Up next? CZAR IGOR’s first assist of the season:


3-1, bad guys, where yep – I wish the Rangers won this game so I could be doing back-flips (maybe that’s not physically possible for me – that damn beer gut) about this assist.

On the goal, CZAR IGOR got the puck to Fox, and #23, who didn’t look tired or “beat-up,” as many would lead you to believe; skated the puck into the zone, made a move, and then found Ryan Strome for the PPG.

In what was funny, Strome, rather than shooting right away at an unsuspecting goalie; #16 took his time, and sent a mini-slap-shot towards the direction of Husso. Had he missed, people would’ve been groaning.

Now, with 1:23 to go, you were hoping that the Rangers would comeback, just as they did the last time these two teams squared off. Again, so much for that.

With thirty ticks remaining, CZAR IGOR stopped comrade Vladimir Tarasenko on a one vs one.

During the save, CZAR IGOR did a snowman, where he thought that he had the puck under him. He did, but the referees, instead of blowing the whistle, then allowed Tarasenko to kick the puck out and play continued. Igor was irate about this, and as the Rangers were getting the puck out of the zone – #31 gave an official an earful.

After twenty minutes, 3-1 bad guys, where at least the Rangers were perfect on special teams. (PK 3-3, PP 1-1.)


The two Ranger goalies weren’t embracing tonight. Photo Credit: NYR

At 3-1, bad guys, to open the middle frame, and following Igor’s assist; you thought (or at least I did) that the Rangers would mount their comeback. Instead, like a bad Mexican donkey show featuring an unfortunate soul looking to make money the hard way – the Rangers got mounted themselves.

After losing another faceoff, just fifteen seconds into the period, Ryan O’Reilly scored, where again, he was untouched. Mika, in a rare gaffe, also fell down during this, which then left ROR wide-open for the easy goal.

4-1 bad guys.

Right after the goal, Gallant pulled Igor in favor of Georgiev.


At the time, my number one concern was Igor’s health, especially knowing his history with groin injuries. Increasing my fears was that Igor didn’t go to the bench, as instead, he skated right to the locker room. He’d eventually return to the Rangers’ bench, so my fears would soon be alleviated.

(And to be clear – Igor isn’t injured, and expect him to start on Saturday in Dallas.)

In other words, while I don’t think Igor was pissed at Gallant – he was pissed off at the game. Once he calmed down, he returned, where need I remind you – I wouldn’t have pinned any of these four goals on the CZAR.

As far as the decision to pull Igor goes, while I wasn’t a fan of it – I understood it.

The Rangers looked like dog shit, and rather than allowing Igor to get pummeled (and decrease his historic stats too), Gallant, knowing that his team didn’t have it on this night, and akin to a good cornerman of a fighter – threw in the towel and lived to fight for another day.

While I tried to remain optimistic; the second you saw Georgiev skate to the net, you knew that Gallant was done coaching this game. It was something that Gallant admitted to after the game. (His post-game interview will appear at the end of this blog.)

Of note: this was the first time that CZAR IGOR was pulled from a game for a performance/scoreboard issue.

Prior to his pull, he only left games for concussion spotters and injury issues.

And again, this pull had nothing to do with Igor – this was Gallant conceding this contest and looking ahead to Dallas on Saturday.


About a minute after Georgiev took over, Saad missed a vacated net. Georgiev got a break here.

Trying to comeback, Fox then had the puck. On his first shot, it was blocked by a Blue. On his second shot, Gauthier blocked Fox’s shot, and for good measure, whiffed on a rebound so badly, that he broke his stick. I’ve seen enough of Gauthier for one season.

As I was wondering if the Blues were Igor’s kryptonite, just as the Bell Centre in Montreal once was for Lundqvist; Panarin, who is having a perplexing season, got the puck. Instead of taking a shot while wide-open, he looped around Husso’s net and forced a puck to Trouba – a turnover.

It was also around this time where we saw that Sammy Blais was hanging out with Libor Hajek and Morgan Barron in the press box. Rosen remarked that the Rangers miss Blais. I would concur.

The misery continued.

The Rangers committed a penalty with about 13:30 left in the period, where for the next ninety seconds or so, the Blues enjoyed a lengthy 6×5 delayed penalty attack.

The Rangers couldn’t sniff the puck here at all, even if Georgiev did make one save – a rebound in favor of the Blues.

As the Rangers became statues on ice, Jake Walman was left wide-open. Bang. 5-1, bad guys and with 12:53 remaining. Making matters worse, was that Georgiev fell on his ass when trying to make this save, which somewhat describes his season thus far.

Just 38 seconds later, the Blues scored again. 6-1.

On this goal, Perron flung the rubber at Georgiev and Nemeth deflected it into his own net. It happens, as this game was pure “Murphy’s Law” – anything that could go wrong did go wrong.

With 10:40 remaining, Gauthier drew a penalty. After a lot of uncertainty and a turnover to boot out of Panarin; with just one second remaining on the man-advantage, Chytil drew a slashing call on Faulk.

This second power-play (third of the game) would be successful, as Artemi Panarin found K’Andre Miller streaking to the net for the PPG. 6-2, bad guys, and with 7:37 to go in the second period.

This 6-2 score would hold up as the final.

For the remainder of this game, I can tell you that the Rangers never gave up. Husso and the Blues were just better.

Schneider, Mika, Kreider, Panarin, and Trouba would all try to find the Rangers’ third goal during the next five minutes of play.

Georgiev, after his two goals allowed, buckled down, where to his credit, he made some great saves, including one on ROR and another on Saad, which was a pure robbery save. Saad, once again, would then miss on an easy chance.

With three seconds remaining, Chytil had another breakaway, but you know how that goes.

6-2 after forty minutes.


When Julien Gauthier and Alexandar Georgiev practice, I wonder who wins those breakaway drills? Photo Credit: Getty Images

As you couldn’t believe there was another period of this dreck; to open up the period, Gauthier had a breakaway. He was stopped – aka, the norm.

Seriously, what do you have less faith in these days? Gauthier scoring on a breakaway or Georgiev making a save on an opponent while on a breakaway?

Again, while I wouldn’t question the Rangers desire in this game, as they didn’t give up in my eyes; this period was just an agonizing way of spending twenty minutes. We even saw a shot of a dejected CZAR IGOR on the bench, who looked like someone had told him that he’d have to serve in Putin’s army.

Georgiev, who as mentioned, did make some good saves, also got some luck too – as both ROR and Saad hit iron in this period.

Panarin, who will make your head spin this season as you try to figure out how to accurately assess him; found himself wide-open, and a foot away, from Husso. Down four goals, you’d think he’d shoot it. Instead, he passed the puck to the blue line to Miller, who wasn’t able to get a SOG. Even if Panarin didn’t think he’d score, he could’ve at least tried a puck-on-pads play to Hunt, who was right there for a rebound opportunity.

As we hit ten minutes remaining, I was reminded that Hunt had previously fought Niko Mikkola at the 4:52 mark of the second period, a fight that I didn’t mention earlier since Mikkola easily disposed of Hunt in seconds.

Ever the optimist, I was thinking that perhaps in garbage time, #29 could get a goal and an assist for the Gordie Howe Hat Trick! When you’re thinking like that, you know it was a bad game!

With 5:29 to go, Lafreniere and Perron went at it, where both were tossed to the box for two minutes.

During the two minutes of foreplay, Georgiev made three stellar saves, so I guess that’s something. Georgiev would later stop Tarasenko with one minute remaining.

6-2, bad guys, your final from the Arch city.


Here’s Gallant after the game:


For the first time this season, Gallant used both the “s” word (soft) and the “e” word (embarrassing). He had every right to do just that.

I think it was Valiquette who first said this a while back; but the word “soft” is a trigger word for players. It’s also a word that you don’t want to see parroted from fans, the media and others. However, with Gallant saying this – it will now open up the doors for critics of this team to do the same.

In fact, I can confirm as much. As I was writing this blog, I was tagged in several tweets from Ranger fans, who all used the word “soft.”

I won’t call the Rangers soft. Instead, I’ll use the “d-word,” as in disappointing.

This should’ve been two points in the bucket. While I understand that no team goes 82-0, you don’t want to see your team play the role of “slump-buster” in two consecutive games either.

The Rangers haven’t lost three games in regulation all season. They’ll try to avoid that this Saturday with the Dallas Stars – a team, much like Minnesota and St. Louis, who are also jockeying for a playoff spot in the Central Division.

PLUGS time!


On Thursday morning, Ron Duguay and company returned with a new episode of “Up in the Blue Seats.” For the first time on the show, Duguay discussed his relationship with Sarah Palin – where he said that his new squeeze gets better accommodations in Las Vegas than he does!

At the time of the recording, Duguay was in Vegas for a Bernie Nicholls charity game. Duguay also talked about hanging out with members of both the NHL and Rangers alumni in “Sin City” too.

In addition, Duguay, who has been very vocal in his criticism of Alexandar Georgiev, talked about #40, where the former #10 said that he doesn’t envision the Bulgarian as an NHL starting goalie. To Duguay’s credit, he’s been saying that for a while.

To listen, click the link below:


The hardcover version of my book, available now at Amazon.com

The first plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my new 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:

https://www.amazon.com/Rangers-Rafters-Madison-Square-Garden-ebook/dp/B09CM5N2WD

For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have 2 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


Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

NYR/MIN 3/8 Review: Rangers Look Mild vs. Wild; Perhaps Georgiev’s Last Game as a Ranger (And Why That’s a Possibility), Homecoming Ruined, “Glass Half Full” – Igor Boosts Hart Bid; Rangers Maintain Second-Place, M$GN, Talbot & More


NYR/WPG 3/6 Review: Rangers Ground Jets; CZAR IGOR and Chris Kreider Continue to Chase Hardware & History, Gallant Plays with Line-Up, Too Many Penalties The Only Weakness, McDonald Award, WIN NOW, M$GN & More


NYR/NJD 3/4 Review: Barclay Goodrow Takes Care of P.K. Slewban; Rangers Trash Devils, Another CZAR IGOR Highlight Reel Game; #31’s Historical Season, Kreider 18 Goals Away From Franchise Record, “Next Man Up,” JONNY HOCKEY, Big Time Trouba & More


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


With the Dallas Stars now in the thick of things for a playoff spot, I doubt we’ll see Joe Pavelski as a Ranger. It was a good idea though!

Up next: the Rangers try to avenge their home-opener loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday night, in their fourth and final game of this road-trip.

Needless to say – the Rangers would most certainly like to come out victorious in this game, especially after these last two games and with a long flight home ahead.

As always here, thanks for reading and…

LET’S GO RANGERS!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

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29 thoughts on “NYR/STL 3/10 Review: Rangers Get Blue Balled in Worst Loss of the Season – But Don’t Jump off of the Bridge; Help is on the Way, Gallant Calls Out Team with the “S” Word, Igor, Georgiev, Gauthier, Bass Reeves, Isle Tix, Gilbert Tribute Game, RIP Howell, Duguay, M$GN/Vally & More

  1. This game was a horror show!

    Well, Igor has proven to be a human after all and here I was hoping that he was some kind of Terminator type hockey playing cyborg fabricated in a secret lab in Blinsk or Minsk or some such place like that in Russia……I guess not, damn.

    Speaking of secret labs.

    Ok not to get on a C19 rant or anything but have you heard that Hunter Biden’s investment firm Rosemont Seneca Technology Partners did a round of B series financing for a firm called Metabiota that was working with Daszak’s Eco Health Alliance at the Wuhan Lab on bats and corona viruses?

    No politicians, MSM or academics are even touching that story thus far although the evidence for it is very credible.

    It gets better, the same firm is now implicated in funding these bio labs in Ukraine as well.

    Trust me this stuff is not about Democrat vs Republican politics or the Biden’s per se it is about the 2 NGO’s these people from both sides of the aisle always answer to and work for.

    Anyway shitty loss………don’t forget to get the next booster shot!……..heh sheesh, no thanks!!!…………sometimes knowing who made the sausage is even more repulsive than knowing how the sausage was made!

    heh

    1. If Igor is human, then the Rangers were inhumane to him!

      M$G has lifted their mask/COVID requirement policies. You can attend games again!

      1. TDA was right. It was all a scam from the beginning. I sold all of my season tickets to the Avs, But I can go to the playoffs.

        1. Landeskog now out. I said at the start of the season, both here and in my article for Fischler’s site, that I think the Avalanche will have another second-round exit, just like how Toronto will be bounced out in the first by one of the Floridian teams. We’ll see!

          1. Colorado got bounced in Game 7 with both of their goalies out, and then with no Kadri.

            Do you think the Avs lose in round two again? I don’t think so.

          2. Yeah, I think they are the Maple Leafs of the second round. I’ve been wrong before though! After all, Georgiev is starting tonight!

    2. Zap – Nice job translating that bullshit bio lab story from Russian to English. You repeated the Feb 25 report circulated by the Russian media company Yandex almost word-for-word. Does Putin pay you, or are you doing his dirty work for free?

      Meanwhile, what do you think NYR will do for goaltending when USA and CAN ban Russian players? Georgiev might be able to slide by, since he has dual citizenship in Bulgaria and Russia, but Shesterkin is 100% Russian. Good thing NYR still have Keith Kinkaid, a good old LI boy, under contract.

  2. Bill
    Post a link to this Yandex story and we will then research it together and see if there is any supporting evidence to their claims.

    Whether a story like this one is true never matters to people like you or your Republican counterparts all that matters is whether the person accused has the political D or an R in front of their names.

    I do not listen to Yandex, Fox News, Trump, the NYT, Wapo, Huffpo, Alex Jones, the Wall Street Journal or any media outlet about anything not even the alternative media sites like Zero Hedge, I look at the story and research the evidence presented in that story myself as any intelligent person should do these days because all of the media is nothing but propaganda of one sort or another……..all of it.

    I don’t listen to the Republicans or Democrats and then respond in knee jerk fashion, people like you do that.

    I will be interested to see all of the direct quotes I made plagiarizing this story from Yandex because I am curious to see how I could quote a story “almost word-for-word” that I have never read.

    Would the story be a huge scandal if Donald Trump Jr and his investment firm did B Series financing for a company working with Eco Health Alliance at the Wuhan Lab?

    I imagine I would get a hearty 10-4 from you if that were the case, good buddy

    I got news for you, the story is an immense scandal exactly the same as the Wuhan Lab story has been all along and it does not matter which political party the actors involved in any story are associated with it only matters whether the story is factual or not.

    You sound run down Bill, go get your another booster shot.

    1. Zap – Gotcha! Your earlier comment said “Trust me this stuff is not about Democrat vs Republican politics,” but your latest comment admits that “all that matters is whether the person accused has the political D or R in front of their names.” Double talk. You wrote one thing, then you wrote the opposite. You don’t want to prove what’s true. You just want to argue with me about some bullshit story you made up. I don’t care what you think about politics.

      This Blue Collar Blue Shirts blog is about the New York Rangers. I come to this site to see what Sean and his readers have to say about the Rangers. I’m not going to explain Russian propaganda to you word for word. I doubt that you really care what it says, but if you really want an analysis, go parse the Yandex story yourself. If you’re too lazy to do your own homework, I’m not going to do it for you. I’d rather see what you have to say about Tony DeAngelo’s latest bellyache. You probably have an unbelievable explanation for his absence from the Carolina Hurricanes lineup. Looks to me like he’s just taking advantage of another NHL team by collecting a salary while contributing little value. Reminds me of “people like you or your Republican counterparts.” heh

        1. Sean
          This guy is like every political hack in the media………..he took my easily understood comment about partisan Democrat and Republican political hacks……jumbled it up…..quoted me out of context and came up with a completely opposite meaning of the point I was making.

          Then when you ask him to present or go over evidence……….whoops it is time to go………and he is gone

          Where is that Yandex story I supposedly plagiarized?

          Straw men. ad homs, logical fallacies all in the headlines telling the reader what he SHOULD think about the facts before even getting to the first paragraph in the article and the entire point of all of it is to avoid looking at or debating any and all evidence and encouraging the reader to do the same………….and they do………….and then you have………this guy we are talking about whose name I will not mention………..and 100’s of millions of other just like him…………no facts or evidence need be presented or ever even looked at.

          It is getting dangerous now because government and media are beginning to call people traitors and are suggesting they be investigated by the DOJ for treason……….the Gals on the View were quacking about this very thing I have read so it is definitely going mainstream and we can only expect more of this in the future.

          When is the roundup?……..hey if it happens to me……….”is Putin paying you!!??”……….at least maybe then I will get to meet Joe Rogan and maybe even Tony DeAngelo…………at the reeducation camp,

          I have read the Gulag Archipelago so I would not likely be a supporter of old Vlad Putin and I doubt if very many people in the US would be either.

          I am rescinding that chicken dinner and worlds tallest beer award because I had not seen this last “rebuttal” from him until tonight and it kind of pissed me off

          The other stupid shit accusing me of being a Russian operative did too.

          anyway

  3. Sean
    Bill hits all the notes and gives all the typical responses of the average Democrat or Republican political moron doesn’t he?……….a straw man argument about a persons sources (Yandex) and then an ad hominem attack (“does Putin pay you”)……….no evidence needs to be looked at after that, right?……..no matter how damning or verifiable that evidence may be!

    heh

    Which is always the point of arguments of that type and that is to avoid addressing any evidence.

    Yea Bill, I am running a “Russian disinformation, misinformation, malinformation campaign” on Sean’s NYR hockey blog at 50 rubles a pop and as soon as Putin sends me my windfall I am going to use the money to buy Sean’s book……..ok at 50 rubles a pop that may take awhile…….a few decades maybe……..but that is what I will use the money for so who can blame me for doing it!?

    Have you heard this new censorship guideline called “malinformation” that has been going around in the tech and social media sphere?…….previously I don’t think this was even a word in the English language and spell check seems to agree with me on that but here is the gist of it……….malinformation is information that although completely factual and verifiable may cause upset to a person or cause a person to make bad decisions and is therefore information that should be censored by social media sites.

    Oh and here is another one…………scientific data no longer has to be published or even admitted to by authoritative bodies like the CDC or WHO if that data might tend to encourage vaccine hesitancy……….you know……….to protect us all from ourselves………for the greater good and all that………..the implications of this are of course immense because it means science as we have known it is over and we are in a new era of science being declared fact merely by government decree.

    1. Zap – You’re babbling about your vaccine obsession. I don’t give a damn about your scientific bullshit. Don’t you have anything to say about NYR?

      1. Bill

        I asked you many times……..can we go over the evidence?

        Let us look into it

        but like most people like yourself……we cannot do that…….because the evidence would upset you

        It is your problem Bill, not mine

      1. Sean

        No brother, I am not trying to get Bill going with politics

        I am talking about issues that are by far more serious than any hockey game that was ever played in human history……but like most people who are like Bill they can never debate the facts. or even examine the evidence……it is all just some big thing that involves Democrats vs Republicans

        Sean have you noticed in my conversation with both you and Bill……that whenever I say…..hey lets go over the evidence about the Wuhan Lab……..all I get back from Bill is shrieking hysteria…….ad hominem attacks and the like

        It is your blog Sean

        1. Bill

          I get it now…….the Democrats are the good guys and the Republicans are the bad guys!!!?

          am I right?

          Sheesh it was so simple all along……..how could I go through a lifetime of not knowing that

          Bill, I want to thank you for tipping me off about how it all works

  4. Sean, I have to admit, you were right and I was wrong. I didn’t think that this team was good enough to make the playoffs this year.

    I think that I was right about the skaters. I had no idea that Igor would be so good. Vezina winner for sure. I had a Bruins fan ask me how our goalie was this year, I said top 3 in the league. I was close.

    I still do not think that we are two trades away from being a Cup contender. I think Drury also knows that. I hope he doesn’t give away any assets for a cup run.

    This team in front of Georgiev? No playoffs. I also don’t agree with your claim that Georgiev will not start for the Rangers again. They have to play him. He will play out the year.

    Thankfully, I missed this game. I was going to switch over after the Avs loss, but it was already 5-2.

    As usual, thanks for the game write-up.

    1. Hey Tom–

      I knew Igor would be great. Hart contender, no, Vezina candidate – 100%.

      It’s so tough to get a grip of Panarin. Yeah, he leads the team in points, but we’re not seeing the 2019-2020 version of him. If he was at his best, I think it’s a different story with the skaters. Obviously, the Blais season-ending injury and Kakko’s inability to stay healthy hasn’t helped either.

      I think the “two trades away” stuff all depends on how you count. When Kakko comes back, and if he can get going, that’s a “new” add.

      I don’t claim to know it all, I’m just opining here. I think AG40 gets moved at the deadline, and if I’m wrong – well that’s happened before lol

  5. Sean

    Who are these people at Eco Health Alliiance and Metabiota?

    It seems Bill is fantastically interested in NOT knowing……..even though he already does not know……but Sean, I know who these people are and exactly who they work for…….and I don’t mean to be arrogant about it

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