NYR/CAR 3/12 Review: Blueshirts Bend But Never Break; CZAR IGOR Shuts Out Canes, Next Man Up Lavy’s Lot Go All Out; Young D-Men Improving Leaps-and-Bounds, Don’t Buy The Anti-Trouba Nonsense, The One “Concern” Against a Rangers’ Playoff Contender, Rempe’s Reputation “Earns” Him an Unwarranted Lengthy Suspension, New Faces Fitting Like a Glove, Maloney, M$GN & More

On Tuesday night in “Raleighwood,” and in what was billed as a playoff preview between the top-two teams of the Metropolitan Division, CZAR IGOR defeated Pyotr Kotchetkov in a goaltender’s duel, as the Blueshirts derailed a chance of the Canes gaining ground on them in their 1-0 victory. As a result of the “four-point” win, the Blueshirts (90-points) increased their first-place lead over the “Bunch of Jerks” (84-points) to a six-point margin – and where each team has seventeen games left remaining during this 2023-24 campaign. In other words, that “magic number,” as in officially clinching a playoff berth, is soon upon us.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Remember when Tony DeAngelo being on the other team used to be a big thing?

Funny enough, on this night, it was another defenseman, the one that went on to replace DeAngelo as the Rangers’ power-play quarterback (and as you may have heard – then went on to win the Norris Trophy during that same controversy-riddled 2020-21 season), that received the most hometown jeers, Adam Fox.

While I’ve talked way too much about DeAngelo already, where for the record, #77 was a healthy scratch for Rod Brind’Amour’s Canes’ tonight – if it wasn’t for all of the nonsense once the NHL resumed play following the COVID-19 pause – then who knows if Fox goes on to replace him on the team’s first power-play unit that season – where again – ended in some major hardware for #23 of the New York Rangers.

(To be clear – I am talking about that season only – as without a doubt – over time – Fox would have eventually replaced him. The stuff with David Quinn & Alexandar Georgiev only accelerated the process.)

But when it comes to “WHAT IF” questions – the Fox and DeAngelo stuff is way, way, way back in the rear-view – and obviously – not pertinent tonight following the Blueshirts’ 1-0 thriller over the team that they used to throttle year-in and year-out during the Henrik Lundqvist era – and where today – the Hurricanes are now a bigger rival for the Rangers than two of the biggest nemesis’ (or is the plural of nemesis “nemesisi?” – I kid, I kid!) from #30’s era – the Penguins and Capitals.

(Holy dashes and run-on sentence Batman – but give me a break – I’m coming off an eight-hour shift at work and it’s now 3:30AM as I write these words! And heck, in case you’re new here, then check out last night’s blog as what I did on Monday night is what I did tonight, and you can find those words here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/31124/)

(Also of note? I apologize in-advance for any “tipos” or “grammetical eras” tonight, as my dinosaur computer, and like CZAR IGOR did to the Hurricanes, just completely freezes on me. I’m currently typing this blog on my phone – and where I’m going to need to ice my thumbs afterwards – while also hoping you check out the PLUGS segment and make a purchase so I can buy a new computer too!)

With that out of the way, tonight’s tilt.

For a while there, it looked like CZAR IGOR wouldn’t post one shutout this season. Following his first NYET NYET from this past Saturday night, in Game 63, the Rangers’ 4-0 pasting of the Blues, come Game 65, and in his first start since his first no-no – CZAR IGOR did it again – and while under much more pressure in this go-around. Photo Credit: NYR

Suffice to say, there was a whole lot to like about the Rangers tonight, and let me bullet-point the ways:

— CZAR IGOR proved that his shutout against the Blues was no fluke – or an easy game against a bad team.

In his biggest test yet, and against the revamped Canes now featuring Jake Guentzel and Evgeny “Scarface” Kuznetsov – CZAR IGOR denied all.

— For the Rangers, going into this game, it would’ve been very easy to chalk up a potential loss due to the schedule, where not only are they playing six-games in nine-nights – but this road game was the second half of a back-to-back too.

In addition, Carolina had a full night of rest the day prior.

Rather than slowing down as the game progressed – the Blueshirts never ran out of a gas – a true testament to their will.

— The two new guys, Roslovic and Wennberg, and not even a week into their respective Ranger careers – have fit like a glove – and such a fit that even the prosecutors who once put O.J. Simpson on trial must be envious of!

I don’t want to get too giddy, but Roslovic has most certainly given the BFF line a boost. And while the former Jet-turned-Blue Jacket hasn’t been credited with any points just yet – similar to the night prior – once again, it was his hustle that prevented an icing which then set-up a score tonight – where let me remind you once more – the only goal of the game.


While perhaps he could use some help on his line at the right-wing position, once again, he was generating offense – but more importantly – he was once again part of a flawless penalty kill.

The end result remains to be seen, but for the former Little League World Champion Chris Drury – he may have hit another homerun this deadline.

— The shot blocking, oh man, the shot blocking!

While officially, the Rangers out-blocked the Canes to a tune of 23-13 – it felt like 230-130 – and while such high numbers are exaggerated – I should remind you that the NHL has actually had to go back this season and adjust their blocked shot stats, as the league’s official statisticians have been too tight when crediting players for these sacrifices this season.

Aside from Gustafsson, who did draw both of the penalties that Carolina was charged with tonight (and don’t lose sight of that), and who only was “officially” credited with one blocked shot – every other member of the Rangers’ sextet of rearguards had two or more blocked shots next to their names in the box score.

Adam Fox, who scored the game’s only goal?

For the man who told the Hurricanes that he’d never play for them and then demanded a trade to the team that he grew up rooting for as a result (this took place in 2019 – and right before the Hurricanes would lose his draft rights to boot); not only did Fox score the lone goal of the game, the game-winner no less, but #23 blocked a game-high five shots – including two in the final seconds of the match in order to preserve the lead – and the win.

But as said – it wasn’t just Fox.

While we can debate such a comment as “so-and-so had their best game of the season” – at the very least – you’d be hard-pressed to find a better collective effort than what you saw tonight out of the likes of Braden Schneider, K’Andre Miller, Zac Jones and perhaps the man that many have forgotten about recently, Ryan Lindgren.

And to go back to Gustafsson for one second – isn’t it amazing Suzyn that he’s at his best whenever he’s tasked to fill-in following a major injury sustained by one of the team’s top d-men?

Previously this season, Gustafsson played admirably, perhaps earning himself a big deal come this summer, when he stepped in for Fox – who wouldn’t you know it – was injured on 11/2/23 in the Rangers’ 2-1 win over the Canes, following a dirty knee-to-knee hit perpetrated by Sebastion Asshole.

After looking like a stud during Fox’s nine-games missed; today, and with captain Jacob Trouba down for a lengthy amount of time – THE GUS BUS is motoring again.

So is the man from the press box, Zac Jones – where if anyone has increased his value during the past three games since Trouba went down – then it’s number six.

And for Jones, he has to feel pretty damn good about himself these days, and as he should, following his strong 13:34 of ice time.

As alluded to, and as I’ll flesh out during the GAME REVIEW – I think that many may have taken Lindgren for granted – and where most of the talk about double-nickel is in regards to his toughness and how that trait allows him to play while never at 100% health.

For the man who always finishes with the best plus/minus stat on the team, Lindgren assisted on Fox’s game-winner – good for his tenth assist of the season.

But of course, Lindgren isn’t known for his offense, and where once again on this night – his defensive acumen was on display for all.

And then there was the new pair, Miller and Schneider – and where both not only arguably had their best individual games of the season – but they most definitely had their best game together, now in their third showing.

How good have they been?

Many instant reaction fans are already clamoring for this pair full-time – and with Trouba thrown to the wayside.

However, I can’t get involved in such silly nonsense, nor waste my time explaining why this idea is so stupid either – and it’s my belief that everyone will be chanting TROO TROO once “THE GREAT EIGHT” gets back on track.

But if you should need such proof, then take a look at Trouba’s blocked shots, ice-time and hit totals this season – and then ask around about the people who have found themselves in a state of stupor after being railroaded by the THE TROO TROO TRAIN.

That said, #4 and #79, and to quote Larry David, have been “pretty, pretty, pretty good” together – and due to their ages – maybe one day, they’ll become a full-time pairing.

However, today, or at least not this season, isn’t the time for that.

Miller (3 blocks) and Schneider (2 blocks) averaged over 21:00 together tonight and where only Fox (and of course) was on the ice more than these two (24:51).

But when they weren’t blocking shots, this new-formed second pair were clearing pucks, clogging lanes and just creating all-out havoc for the Carolina shooters.

Again – let that sink in.

Against a red-hot Canes squad, on the road, in a back-to-back game and where all of the momentum was in favor of the home team – Schneider & Miller (along with the rest of the defense) – didn’t only pass the test – but they aced the damn thing too.

So where do my worries, if any, lie?

Before getting to that, now would be a good time to share my season-long daily disclaimer that I’ve been posting throughout this 2023-24 campaign on this site – and in the attempt to give every reader (and perhaps myself too) some perspective.

Say the 25-words with me if you know them:


With that said, my following concerns about this win.

Simply stated – in the big games, your big money players need to show up.

This is just a tiny concern for now – and where again – keep in mind the circumstances going into this game.

That said, unless CZAR IGOR is going to post a shutout every night and your defense is going to play perfect too – then you’re going to need to get some scoring out of your two highest-paid forwards.

Of course, and like you, I’m well aware of the career-season that Panarin is enjoying.

I’m also aware of one of the worst Ranger seasons in Zibanejad’s career that he’s experiencing.

So what am I getting at?

While I will admit that the two words of “playoff preview” have hyperbole attached to them, in any event – this was a big test for the Blueshirts.

During this exam, they got no goals out of the two players who combine for 25% of the team’s salary cap – or $20M+ in total.

Furthermore, not one Ranger forward scored tonight – and where of course, Zibanejad still remains on the team’s struggling first power-play unit – and one that went 0-2 tonight.

And before you scream at me for giving you the other side of the coin right now, as it’s not my intention to besmirch this Blueshirts’ win – I get it – it’s one game – and that’s why I shared my disclaimer at the top of this too!

As I’ve been saying all-season – the ghosts from whatever that was during the first-round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs hasn’t escaped me.

Hell, that loss inspired me to write a book – and for more about it – then check out tonight’s PLUGS segment!

I also haven’t forgot how it took the Rangers seven-games to knock off a Penguins’ club playing a third-string goalie during the first-round in the year prior – and where a fluke goal, as big as it was, scored by Panarin in Game 7 was the only goal that he scored in that series.

I admit it – those scars, those memories, have not left me – nor will they ever until the Rangers are parading down the streets of NYC in June.

While I get that this game was just one out of eighty-two, or a singular sixty-minute showing in a vacuum – I just couldn’t shake the fact how easy it was for the Canes to shut down the Rangers’ offense – and where come the playoffs, and for two FAT CATS who haven’t really dined when it matters the most in recent years – I just had postseason PTSD when watching tonight’s tilt.

And since every postseason team will be scouting each other come the playoffs, and where these clubs will be watching the regular season games where their opponents lost as a way to see what works against them – I just hope this wasn’t a blueprint for such future foes.

A hopeful thought and while continuing to speak out of both sides of my mouth?

You need downright assholes, players that are hated amongst the league, in order to win the Stanley Cup.

The Rangers’ captain, Jacob Trouba, is one of those guys – as outside of New York – he’s detested everywhere else.

Don’t believe me? Then take a trip to Pittsburgh, PA and conduct a poll.


The Rangers now have another one of these guys – Matt Rempe – and who like Trouba – didn’t play tonight.

That now brings us to our pregame news and notes segment, as presented by Tullamore Dew!

(Sorry, I still have Dave Maloney’s hilarious Tully ad reads, and that whiskey’s comical jingle, stuck in my head!)

Unlike his rearguards in Raleigh, Laviolette didn’t really defend against the league’s decision to suspend Matt Rempe for four-games, as he pretty much chalked it up to being a “learning experience.”

At 11:00AM Tuesday morning, and with the Rangers still inside their Raleigh hotel rooms, the Department of NHL Player Safety announced that Matt Rempe would have a phone hearing following #73’s monstrous elbow that connected with the head of the Devils’ Jonas Siegenthaler.

At the time, and since it was a phone hearing, rather than a sit-down face-to-face meeting, we knew that Rempe would be suspended for five games or less.

I forgot to mention it last night, and while this doesn’t excuse Rempe at all – but for all of the Devil fans (both of them!) complaining about the nasty hit – have you all forgotten about Scott Stevens and Claude Lemieux?

For shame, for shame!

Anyway, come 4:30PM, and while everyone knew that Rempe would be suspended but didn’t know how long his timeout would last (most people, yours truly included, thought two games would be suffice), the league’s Department of Player Safety settled on a four-game suspension.

For the full explanation on this ruling, then check out: https://www.nhl.com/video/topic/player-safety/rempe-suspended-four-games-6348769738112

As you may have deduced, I thought this suspension was severe.

But now, and just ten-games into his NHL career, and mainly because of the force that he delivers due to his size – Rempe now has a “reputation” – or is it “Remputation?”

And now with a four-game suspension under his belt – what’s next after he crushes his next victim? Five-games? Ten-games? Half-a-season?

For a player being suspended for the first time, four-games was too much – and where you could use previous suspensions from known repeat offenders, such as Tom Wilson, Brad Marchand, Brendan Gallagher and the list goes on-and-on, when making your argument in defense of Rempe.

To me, the NHL was trying to send a message to Rempe – it doesn’t matter how big you are – you must control yourself.

Even so – two games would have sent such a message.

To give you the whole story, in their ruling/explanation, the league said that since Siegenthaler is hurt and will miss some time, then that’s why they gave a first-time offender a four-game timeout.

Of course, we can use previous precedents set by the league’s Department of Player Safety to debunk such junk.

And when Adam Fox missed nine games when he was hit with a dirty knee-to-knee – was Sebastion Asshole suspended for a lengthy amount of time due to the injury sustained?

Of course not.

He wasn’t even fined the normal pocket change $5,000 sum.

I’m a fair man, so I’ll give the league this – I would compromise on a three-game suspension, where as a result, Rempe would miss the games against Carolina, Tampa and Pittsburgh.

But since it’s four games, that means that Rempe won’t only be available in those three games – but as a result – he’ll also be MIA for the St. Patrick’s Day national broadcast this Sunday when the Rangers host the Islanders.

So much for Martin v. Rempe II.

Best league in the world – and the worst people running it.

Since this news was broken thirty-minutes prior to the pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE,” the head coach answered questions about it – and here’s what he said:

I wouldn’t say that Laviolette was dismissive about Rempe’s suspension – but he didn’t suggest appealing it either – and just took it for what it was, while also saying it was a “learning experience.”

But, and for a team that’s personified the “NEXT MAN UP” mantra all-season, this Rempe loss was JONNY HOCKEY’s gain, as it allowed Brodzinski, who has now become the team’s spare forward ever since the trade deadline, to return to Lavy’s line-up.

And just like Rempe usually he does, the captain of the ‘Pack averaged a team-low TOI tonight, 10:46 in all.

As far as anything else as a result of this suspension, with two more road games ahead prior to returning home, it will be interesting to see if Adam Edstrom is recalled as an insurance policy sometime on Wednesday, during the team’s off-day.

Prediction – I think that will be the case come 10AM 3/13.

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Wenneberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Brodzinski

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Schneider

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Jones


BACK-UP: Quick

Healthy Scratches: Ruhwedel

Suspended: Rempe

Injured but not on the IR yet: Trouba


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





24 1 23 .958 20 2 1 0 0 58:00 0


28 0 28 1.000 26 0 2 0 0 60:00 0

Dave Maloney, with Don La Greca sitting a row in front of him, doing his pregame scouting. (AND YES – THIS IS A POORLY MADE PHOTOSHOP BY YOURS TRULY!)

As noted last night and earlier up top – I listened to this game live on the radio at work, returned home and watched the television broadcast, and now, and as you’re reading, hammered out this blog on my poor overheating cell phone.

Sadly, Kenny Albert wasn’t around tonight, so Dave Maloney, best in the biz, was paired up with Don La Greca.

I know that many fans like Mr. La Greca – but I just can’t get into him.

Mainly because of his other radio work, where he acts like a low rent Mike Francesa with the insufferable Peter Rosenberg and the nearly as bad Michael Kay – he’s just an instant turn-off for me.

Plus, he’s a Devils’ fan.

But granted, while I will always prefer the future Hall of Famer Kenny Albert over La Greca – the fake Francesa wasn’t too shabby tonight.

And of course – Maloney was great as usual – and where he had me cracking up (and other fans furious) when he called Kaapo Kakko “lackadaisical” during the first period.

Then it’s everything else that I’ve previously written about Maloney that I enjoy the most – his all-out homerism and fandom – where at points, I thought he was going to run downstairs and bust a referee’s jaw loose.

I also take joy in the way that he just calls out anyone and everyone without fear of hurting anyone’s feelings.

Gee – I wonder why I gravitate to such a personality?

As mentioned to the point of ad-nauseam on this site, the first time Rosen started openly rooting and sympathizing for the other team was many years ago – and when he first started doing it when the Canes were routine doormats for the Rangers. Today, Rosen usually roots for the other 31-teams – or at least that’s what it comes off like, as he regurgitates everything that he read earlier in the day from the Rangers’ opponent media guide. That said – no one loves the Hurricanes more than Rosen – and as we heard a lot of tonight.

Since tonight was a Sieve Vagistat solo performance, devoid of any true talent in-studio such as Henrik Lundqvist, Brian Boyle or Mike Rupp, I skipped the M$GN pregame show.

Once deleting thirty-minutes of made-up charts and garbage graphs from my DVR, I then started tonight’s broadcast the second when Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti came on – aka “The Comical Relief Kings of Blog Fodder!”

Sam, still baffled how Kaapo Kakko and Kakko Kahkonen weren’t related, opened up the broadcast by telling us, “there’s a great race going on” – but didn’t let us know if the New York City marathon was related to the race riots from 1960s Alabama.

After that, Rosen and Micheletti told us that this would be a big game tonight. This was very informative.

Equally illuminating was when Micheletti told us that both teams would like to win the Stanley Cup this season.

Similar to what I said last night, our affable announce duo then praised both K’Andre Miller and Braden Schneider for stepping up in place of team captain, Jacob Trouba. Well, these two were sure damn right about this!

As Rosen brought up what I’ve been saying for the last few years – the Canes are somewhat like the Lightning – knock-knock-knockin’ on heaven’s door but never being able to walk through it by winning the Stanley Cup – Rosen sounded downright giddy when talking about the two new faces in Raleighwood, Jake Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

In a response, Micheletti did some double-duty when he served as Kuznetsov’s public relations firm.

Since this was a Rangers’ broadcast, Sam and Joe then spent five-minutes fawning over Sebastion Aho, but to their credit, they did name a Ranger as their “TACO BELL TAKE” player of the game, Vincent Trocheck.

But of course, Trocheck is a former Cane too.

And when speaking of the alumni, Sam and Joe closed their pregame show by giving former Ranger Brady Skjei a verbal smooch on the lips.

Those nine games that Fox missed because of Asshole may have cost him a Norris Trophy this season. Photo Credit: NHL


In what turned out to be a tremendous duel between CZAR IGOR and his fellow comrade Pyotr Kochetkov (PK for the rest of this GAME REVIEW – as his name makes my spell-checker go nuttier than Rosen – and I’m typing this on my phone too!), Zibanejad lost the first draw of the game.

Right away, Micheletti said that he thought Mika’s goal from last night would spark him. Instead, by the end of the night, D.J. Zibanejad’s goal drought is now at one game.

For good measure, when speaking about Peter Laviolette, Rosen & Micheletti reminded us that he won a Stanley Cup in Carolina – but not one word about what Lavy is doing these days.

At the 56-second mark, and as Sam and Joe tickled the balls of Rod Brind’Amour, and where of course, we were told that the Canes’ bench boss “works hard” too; Miller blocked a Sebastian Asshole shot.

Three-seconds later and Jimmy Vesey was boxed for interference during a d-zone faceoff to the left of CZAR IGOR, when he bumped into his former teammate Jesper Fast – and where Rosen didn’t let us know if Fast and Jonathan Quick were related or not.

We also weren’t told if former Hofstra standout, Speedy Claxton, was related to these two either.

As has been the case for a long time – once again – the Rangers’ penalty kill was absolutely phenomenal – and where Miller led the way.

Zibanejad also made a nice clear during these two minutes – but as is also often the case – couldn’t finish when wide-open in front of PK.

As Sam and Joe joined the Raleigh crowd in cheering when Jake Guentzel took his first shift as a member of the Canes, Miller ended the penalty kill with a final clear.

With 16:37 remaining, CZAR IGOR made his first save on Martinook and then saw a rebound slide across the goalmouth.

A few seconds later, and following a Canes’ shift change, CZAR IGOR stopped Svechnikov. Rather than praising the save made, Sam and Joe made googly eyes when talking about the Blueshirts’ opponent instead.

Down to 14:53 remaining and Mika couldn’t finish PK again – and despite being wide open and on a two-vs-zero opportunity as Roslovic was right by his side.

As Sam gave us the career history of Canes’ d-man Dmitri Orlov, PK was able to prevent Trocheck from scoring with 14:33 remaining.

While admittedly, I said the same exact thing at the deadline – this is also when Sam brought up how bad the goaltending was in Carolina – and how often their goalies get injured.

Of course, PK then nearly pitched a shutout himself – so in a way – this kind of was a SAMMY WHAMMY.

Out of a TV timeout at the 6:11 mark, Sam and Joe then gave us the free agent report in Carolina. It’s just incredible how Rosen fangirls for the Canes.

As both teams played disciplined hockey and didn’t give up much, Sam gave us his ODE TO CHATFIELD and where he said that Chatfield is a mini Brent Burns.

Not one word about how Ranger fans, and the team themselves, have said the same about Trouba and Schneider.

As both teams played some dump-and-chase, Adam Fox received some boos with 12:02 remaining. Such jeering baffled Rosen, as apparently, the Hall of Fame announcer had no clue how Fox once told Carolina that he’d never play for them – and then forced a trade to his hometown club instead.

I guess Rosen hasn’t read “Tricks of the Trade” – and you can by that book by visiting the PLUGS segment below.

As Miller and Schneider continued their natural peanut butter and jelly act, as these two seem perfect together; with 10:48 to go, Gustafsson broke up a Carolina attack, and for good measure, gave Jarvis a nice hit.

Twenty-seconds later?

Roslovic made a blind pass to Kreider while on a rush, and on CK20’s shot, PK made the save.

While PK did make the save – Roslovic, following the pass, was already at the net and screening the goalie.

Jack has come to play!

With 10:11 to go, Panarin stripped a puck in the d-zone and then created offense in the o-zone. As this was going on, Trocheck got clipped in the nose by a loose puck, and like Kuznetsov, was fiddling around with his bloody nose.

As we hit 9:42 remaining, it was impressive that CZAR IGOR only had three saves to his name – a testament to the Rangers’ defense – and their PK too.

Six-seconds later and in an example of this – JONNY HOCKEY deflected a Noesan shot, one right from the doorstep, out of play.

Come 9:00 remaining and PK stopped Mika again – which funny enough – kicked off some “LET’S GO RANGERS” chants, where in a response, were met with “LET’S GO CANES” chants by the several hockey hicks that call Tobacco Road home.

I’m not sure if these chants are related or not.

As Kakko got smashed by Necas at the boards, while never leaving the boards either; down to 7:08 to go and Trocheck blocked a shot.

A few seconds later and Gustafsson laid a hit on Svechniknov –  where right after – Svechnikov tried to return the favor – and where this favor wasn’t paid off – as following it, one of Sam and Joe’s favorite players went straight to the tunnel for repairs.

Now on the power-play with 6:45 remaining – the same old shit – and 0-1.

Say it with me:

Why is Zibanejad still on the first power-play unit?

Get Lafreniere up there with his linemates!

No joke, Mika coughed up the puck twice in a time-span of forty-seconds.

Let’s just hope that CZAR IGOR can record sixteen shutouts during the playoffs if these PP1 “results” continue.

Following the failed power-play, Svechnikov returned, as Guentzel had been serving his penalty while his new crybaby teammate got a bottle and a diaper change in the locker room.

As Fast shot wide with 3:38 to go, Sam decided to praise Jordan Staal – who is related to Marc Staal – but he’s not related to Michael Jordan.

Thirty-seconds later and Sam’s lusty eyes wandered over to Teravainen. I wish that I was making this up but I’m not, as this time – Rosen was in awe of Double T’s point-scoring streak – and one that ended tonight!

With 2:30 remaining, white stick Wennberg kicked off a long attack in the Canes’ zone – which set up a Fox one-timer that was saved – which led to a Skjei block on what could’ve been a slam dunk rebound for the former Krakhead (Wennberg, not Kuznetsov).

In total, this attack, again started by the new Swede in town, lasted 45-seconds – the longest Rangers’ attack of the contest.

Down to 1:15 remaining and Trocheck went wide on a rare scoring opportunity – and a breakaway at that. As the Eyetalians would say, “no molto bene!”

As we hit the final thirty-seconds of the period, Roslovic, and as he had done the night before – beat out an icing – which as a result, and for the second time in two nights, set up a goal:

1-0, GOOD GUYS, following Fox’s last-second rip that bounced off of Skjei.

Not only was this the lone goal of the game – but yeah and duh – your game winning goal too!

What a demoralizing goal allowed by Carolina too – and with the way that CZAR IGOR was playing tonight – it was the only goal required.

1-0, GOOD GUYS, through twenty.

The top-two of the left-side of the Rangers’ defense had a heck of a night. Photo Credit: NYR


With the fourth line taking the first draw of the game, Brodzinski had a shot blocked just 19-seconds in.

Ten-seconds later and following a shift change, Trocheck had a shot blocked too.

As Jones had trouble clearing a puck with 18:42 remaining, Gustafsson was right there to pick him up – and where it’s amazing how THE GUS BUS does his best work whenever a teammate goes down.

This was proven even more so, when #56 was tripped with 18:29 remaining, as the coke-head tripped Mr. Gustafsson – and the second penalty that the Swedish d-man drew during the match.

However, the result here was the same as the first one – a power-play that can’t score – but it wasn’t for a lack of trying here, as PK robbed Trocheck just 28-seconds into the man-advantage.

Then, and with a minute remaining, the PP1 wouldn’t change, despite two consecutive turnovers – and this is when Dave Maloney lost it on the radio broadcast too.

And when the PP2 came on with 20-seconds remaining?

A CZAR IGOR homerun pass was intercepted by Fast, which then forced #31 to bail himself out with a save made following his turnover.

Come 16:07 remaining, and now at full-strength, CZAR IGOR flashed the cow on a screaming shot sent his way by Orlov.

A minute later and CZAR IGOR did it again, this time with a robbery on Necas.

Such a save created loud sounds of “IGOR! IGOR! IGOR!” in the friendly confines of Raleigh – or perhaps this was just a case of southern hospitality too!

Of note, this was CZAR IGOR’s ninth save of the game.

As we hit 14:10 remaining, Sam and Joe were begging for Guentzel to register his first shot – and why these two dolts thought that any Ranger fan wanted to hear this was beyond me.

Come 13:00 remaining, and Lindgren had one hell of a shift – and where at times – I think we take the heart-and-soul of the Rangers for granted.

Sure, we all marvel in his ability to comeback from bloody injuries, nicks and hits – but I think we also forget how amazing he is when he’s healthy – and he was as healthy as a horse tonight too.

Forty-five seconds later and there was Roslovic who came up with a huge shot block on Staal – and where shot blocks is a great way to endear yourself to not only to your new teammates – but to your goalie too.

Down to 11:26 remaining and it was Gustafsson’s turn (again), as this time, he hit Fast as the former Blueshirt was looking to bury a puck from the low slot.

26-seconds later and Kuznetsov won a board battle against Kakko – and while on the same shift and now returned with the puck – Kakko turned it over.

In what was now a fast moving and quick paced game, a two-vs-one odd-man rush, where Mika fed Roslovic, led to a break for PK, as #96 sent the puck wide.

As the shot blocking continued, Schneider stopped Slavvin who was looking for a gimmie goal from three-feet to the left of the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner with 9:15 to go.

If there was a passing of the guard moment, then it was following this shot block, as during a TV timeout, we saw Miller coaching up Schneider on the bench – and as Trouba has done so many times for #79.

Down to 8:15 remaining and CZAR IGOR made a shoulder save, his eleventh stop of the game, on a shot from Aho.

As both teams continued to trade chances and block shots, and where a fourth line attack almost set up a shot for Vesey in the slot; the Fox/Lindgren pair wouldn’t let the Canes even look at CZAR IGOR with 4:45 remaining.

Come 4:23 remaining, we had a Rangers’ icing – which broke up nearly five-minutes of uninterrupted play.

As we approached 3:00 left in the period, CZAR IGOR came up with a pair of saves – and where the Rangers only had three shots on goal at the time. (They’d get two more in the final-seconds of this frame.)

Down to 2:08 to go and CZAR IGOR came up with another denial, this time on Burns.

Carolina, threatening for most of the period, had a long attack broken up when Skjei broke his stick on a slap shot with ninety-seconds remaining.

Needing a big faceoff win after the second pair and third line was out there for nearly 2:10 a piece, it was notable that Goodrow was used at the center circle with 22.8-seconds remaining – and where the alternate captain used the Nick Bonino style when winning the draw.

As both Dave Maloney on the radio and Joe Micheletti said on television – the Rangers just had to get out of this period – and get out of this period unscathed they did.

1-0, GOOD GUYS, through forty-minutes.

Of note, I found Schneider’s second intermission interview very amusing – but for the right reasons.

The young man, who always sounds like a seasoned-veteran during these interviews, was asked by John Giannone, “what’s it like playing a three-minute shift?”

No. 4’s answer?

“It sucks!”

Schneider then followed such poignant and straight-to-the-point remarks by saying, “we bent a bit at the end there – but we didn’t break.”

Damn right!

Don’t worry, I won’t call anyone out by name who said that CZAR IGOR should’ve been dealt at the deadline this season! Just apologize and we’re all good! Photo Credit: NYR


As Lavy’s Lot looked to protect their one-goal lead, the fourth line had a heck of a shift, and where a Goodrow hit extended a brief Rangers’ attack as this period approached the two-minute mark.

Down to 17:26 remaining and CZAR IGOR came up with a pair of saves following a bad turnover from Zibanejad.

Following the save-and-freeze, Zibanejad lost a d-zone draw – and where CZAR IGOR bailed out the $8.5M alleged first line center again.

As we hit 16:12 remaining, Aho went wide on a slap shot, where following it, Svechnikov hit the end of the net while attacking against the Rangers’ top line.

As Chatfield just missed on a two-vs-one odd-man rush, in the other end, PK stopped a Panarin-Trocheck two-vs-one odd-man rush too.

To keep the craziness alive, Schneider broke up a Kuznetsov breakaway, and where right after, CZAR IGOR stopped Guentzel, who was standing in the blue paint with 14:47 to go.

And kudos to Sam – as he finally let his Ranger fandom out – as he was just in awe, and like everyone else, while watching all of these big saves and wide-open play unfold.

As this clench-your-cheeks period continued, PK stopped Roslovic on a breakaway with 13:47 left. A minute later and CZAR IGOR stopped Kotkaniemi from a foot out.

As we hit 11:57 remaining, PK came up with a glove save on Lafreniere, which then led to our first TV timeout of the period – and a chance for everyone to catch their breath.

This also led to a stupid Vagistat in-game segment which I didn’t get a chance to fast-forward through – and where the goalie who once gave up ten goals in one of his career 46-games played pretended that he was a better hockey player than Trocheck.

As the GAG Line 2.0 were attacking, PK was able to freeze another puck off of Lafreniere’s blade with 10:57 left to be ticked.

A few seconds later and CZAR IGOR’s number was called again, as he stopped Kuznetsov.

Down to 8:51 to go, and there was Fox again, this time who made a sliding block on a Skjei shot.

In a 1-0 tightly contested game, and with 8:12 to go, Sam thought this was a good time to blow Jake Guentzel again – and then featured him as tonight’s KIA CARD PLAYER OF THE GAME.

This praise was then followed up by previewing Carolina’s playoff chances.


Not to be outdone, Micheletti then talked about Kuznetsov wanting to join the Rangers many years back because his grandfather used to live in Brooklyn.

Micheletti also mentioned that Kuznetsov’s grandfather, like many Ranger fans today – couldn’t afford to go to games at M$G.

While this was an interesting story – with 6:30 remaining – now was not the time for it – and especially as both teams continued to ping-pong with one another.

Speaking of Kuznetsov, a minute later and Schneider forced the new Cane into turning over the puck which then set-up a PK save on Cuylle in the other end.

Now past the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark, it was evident – the Rangers weren’t looking to score – they were looking to prevent Carolina from scoring.

While not exactly like an NFL prevent defense – the mission was the same – and a mission accomplished.

After Fox got a puck out of dodge with 2:30 to go, Miller did the same some fifteen-seconds later.

Come the two-minute warning – and PK’s night was over – as he took a seat on the bench.

Down to 100-seconds remaining, and following a quick Rangers’ icing, this is when Brind’Amour used his timeout during this crucial four-point (in the standings) game.

Right out of the timeout and CZAR IGOR made a monstrous save on Burns.

In some coaching, Laviolette used Goodrow with Mika and Kreider with 1:34 to go, just so #21 could take the important d-zone draws – and draws that Goodrow lost.

But there was #23, who came up with two quick blocks as we hit sixty-seconds remaining in a game that the Rangers hoped would end in regulation time.

For good measure, Fox hit his “friend” Aho after the second block made.

In a play that I thought Maloney was going to leave the top of the arena and strangle the referees – Kreider iced the puck with 27.3-seconds remaining – and a most questionable icing at that.

With ten-seconds remaining, Miller just went for the empty net from his own zone – and thankfully – this didn’t come back to bite him in the ass – as he could’ve dicked around and run the clock out.

And really, had the Canes then scored following a potential o-zone faceoff win – then a lot of the good work that Miller did tonight would have been forgotten about.

But thankfully, the Rangers won the final faceoff of the game – and where Trocheck got the puck out as triple zeroes flashed!

1-0, GOOD GUYS – and the fourth time in CZAR IGOR’s career where he has now recorded back-to-back shutouts – and for a goalie who seemed immune to posting shutouts during this campaign too!

Here’s an over-the-moon Laviolette following his team’s hard-working and sixty-minute bell-to-bell showing:

Here’s Shestyorkin and company after the win – and where your favorite goalie and mine, credited his mother’s March 12th birthday as the inspiration for his second shutout of the season:

While this is no longer the case, as former Rangers-turned-Bolts such as Brian Boyle, Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are long gone; what still remains is the huge Blueshirt fan contingent in Tampa, FL – and where just like tonight (and really every other road game that the Rangers play) – expect a heavy pro-Ranger audience come Thursday night at Amalie.

Up Next: An off-day on Wednesday then a tango in Tampa on Thursday.


Besides needing ice for my fingers and a pillow for my head – I may try to return tomorrow night, as I have an interesting alumni story to share – and I didn’t want to rush-job it and include it during this manifesto.

Until next time, it’s bed-time for me and for you, it’s…

PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)

My fourth title and tenth book is now available!

“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” is now available for sale!

For complete information, please visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/

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

My second plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”

As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:


For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:

Order “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Book Today

My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.

My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”

The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!

“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.

All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

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

NYR/NJD 3/11 Review: Mika Zibanejad Finally Ends Ten-Week Drought – But Needs to Make It Rain From This Point Forward, Fans Pay To See Rempe For 40 Minutes; Jack Hughes No Goals In 60 Minutes, REMPESTEIN Talk of the League Again; What Did Siegenthaler Do To Him? Special Teams Swing Games, Lavy Relies On His New “R&R Boys” in Big Win, Quick Continues Epic Comeback Season, Sam “No Relations” Rosen Has a Night; M$GN & More

NYR/STL 3/9 Review: The New Look New York Rempes Dominate Buchnevich’s Blues; “Matt Square Garden,” CZAR IGOR Posts Second Nyet-Nyet of the Season, Perfect Game Aside from Stinka Zibanedud; Blueshirt Fans Await the Hopeful Return of Mika Zibanejad, Fourth Line Heroics, Super Special Teams, “R&R Boys,” GAG LINE 2.0 Strikes Again, Lavy, Excellent M$GN Broadcast; Give Us More Boyle & Maloney & More

“Dollar Tree” Chris Drury Uses His Summer Playbook at the Deadline; Tells His Cowardly State Media That He Embraces The First-Place Core Without Adding Much More, All Trades Can Only Be Judged After the Playoffs; Carolina & Florida Load Up, Trouba Injured For a While But Kim Jong Drury Doesn’t Learn From McCrimmon, Kakko Insanity; “Untouchable Kids,” Breaking Down The Newest Blueshirts; Deals with Two Rivals, DeAngelo’s Fall From Grace Continues; Waived For a Drug User, No Ranger Reunions & Plenty More

Wacky Wednesday Produces Several Wild Trades; The Loophole Golden Knights Big Winners (Be Jealous – But Don’t Hate!), Rangers Dip Their Toes in the Water with Wennberg; But Will The Blueshirts Make a Big Splash? Who The Former Swedish Krakhead Knows, Two Members of the Alum & A Pen New Drury Trade Targets, Bad News for Brodzinski, The East Runs Through Sunrise & More

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

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”

If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on Amazon.com

For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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2 thoughts on “NYR/CAR 3/12 Review: Blueshirts Bend But Never Break; CZAR IGOR Shuts Out Canes, Next Man Up Lavy’s Lot Go All Out; Young D-Men Improving Leaps-and-Bounds, Don’t Buy The Anti-Trouba Nonsense, The One “Concern” Against a Rangers’ Playoff Contender, Rempe’s Reputation “Earns” Him an Unwarranted Lengthy Suspension, New Faces Fitting Like a Glove, Maloney, M$GN & More

  1. Sean – Every one of the NYR D-men played a great game, and they all played smarter than they have earlier in the season. Looks to me like Associate Head Coach Phil Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman himself, deserves a lot of credit. The D-men didn’t simultaneously all get smarter on their own. Someone is telling them what to do, and they’re paying attention. The Housley Effect on the D-men, like the Allaire Effect on the goalies, is producing winning results.

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