NYR/NYI 3/17 Review: Live from M$G! NHL Officials Ruin an Amazing Goaltender’s Duel & Entertaining Game; No Luck of the Irish for the Rangers, CK40, Frank Vatrano Trade, A Poor Soul with Brown Stains, DQ, Holland, Trade Market Heating Up, The Garden is Back & More

Horrendous officiating marred an otherwise entertaining goaltender’s duel (and game in general) at an electrified M$G on Thursday night. As the two Russian comrades, CZAR IGOR and Ilya Sorokin, traded saves, the officials then soon took it upon themselves to make themselves the top story of the contest. It felt like the Isles had bent over the officials and made the zebras call them “daddy.”

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. The bozos in the Foot Locker shirts, these disgusting nimrods which appeared on M$G ice on St. Patrick’s Day/Night, should be tarred-and-feathered. At least that’s what I would’ve done if I were the commissioner of this league!

If Gary Bettman isn’t going to tar-and-feather these bums (and needless to say – I don’t suspect that he will), then at the very least – he should check their bank accounts, in addition to checking for unmarked cash under their mattresses.

Let me be clear here before throwing a fit – as I know blaming officials for a loss comes off as very amateurish.

Had the Rangers cleanly lost this game, while I wouldn’t have been happy about it – I could’ve at least understood it. It’s one thing to lose fair-in-square; it’s another thing to lose in the fashion that the Rangers lost this unbalanced contest.

During the majority of Thursday’s affair at M$G, we saw two goalies write the next chapter of this soon-to-be fifty year rivalry; as both CZAR IGOR and Ilya Sorokin were fantastic. My hat is off to both goalies.

If you don’t know this already – a classic goaltender’s duel is my favorite brand of hockey. Then, when you throw in all of the big hits that we saw in game (27-21 overall, in favor of the boys in blue), without a shadow of a doubt – I was thoroughly entertained. This game was a blast for me.

Leave it to these inept officials to ruin an otherwise superbly played game, where by the end of it, not only did these morons swing the final score – they left the ice to a reception akin to the one that Kathy Hochul received on Tuesday night.

I understand that the officials and referees have a tough job, but if you’re going to fine players for infractions on the ice, then these clowns should be fined too for their misdoings.

I attended Thursday’s game, where going into it, I felt pretty good about the Rangers’ chances. I also felt good about my bet on the Blueshirts too!

As talked about last blog, Betway opened up the line for this game with the Rangers as a -180 favorite. Despite Betway and most books dropping the Rangers down to -140 favorites prior to puck drop, I still felt good about this game.

(The reason for the huge swing in odds? Most likely the addition of Frank Vatrano, who we’ll cover tonight during the NEWS segment.)

This is also my way of telling you that I’m even more incensed with these officials, because not only did they solely cause the Rangers to lose this game – they took money out of my bank account too.

(And while I’m not telling you to gamble; whenever I attend a game, I like to put a few “shekels” on it. After all, with beers at M$G running $20 a pop these days – a nice $100 wager can make a dent into my beer tab!)

This site, entitled BlueCollarBlueShirts.com, will always address the issues of the working man (and working women too) – regular types like myself, who are also looking to find different ways in order to enhance their enjoyment at these games!

Oh yeah – it’s much better to win a bet than to have a referee take money out of your wallet!

Despite Ryan Reaves delivering a game-high seven crushing hits during this tilt, the leprechauns posing as officials didn’t give the Rangers any “luck of the Irish” on this night. Instead, the zebras took out their wee peckers and pissed on that. Photo Credit: NYR

Since I attended tonight’s game, the GAME REVIEW segment won’t be as detailed as usual. My normal style of game reviews will return on Saturday night.

However, before getting into everything pertaining to this game; a few news and notes that you would not have received from the M$GN, nor anywhere else! I know you guys and gals enjoy these different takes and casual observations, so let’s roll:

— With this game taking place on St. Patrick’s Day, I saw many fans say that they wanted nothing to do with M$G or NYC on Thursday night. I can understand that line of thinking – but really, for most fans, they are taking a train to M$G and not really dealing with NYC itself. And heck, you don’t even have to breathe “fresh” city air if you don’t want to, once arriving at Penn Station.

— For yours truly (and like many of you too), I take the LIRR to NYC. There were no issues on my train ride in. I’m also happy to report that while inside of M$G during the game, outside of M$G after the game, and during my travels home – I didn’t see one drunken fight. I didn’t even see a sober fight either. Color me impressed!

(In the past, I have seen full-blown fist-fights at these Ranger vs Islander battles, including one game where two fans/dopes of the warring teams fell into the tracks. This drunken altercation then delayed my train home by an hour. In addition, if you read my game review from the last time these two teams played, at the IBS Arena back in November – I talked about how I saw Islander fans in police bracelets after the game.)

— However, what I did see on my train ride home, was some young white male, most likely in his mid-twenties, blacked out and dead-to-the-world, as he was sprawled out on a three-seater. While that didn’t surprise me; what did shock me, was the overwhelming scent of pure SHIT in the air. Upon further inspection, this young lad had crapped his trousers.

— Everyone, whether you will admit to it or not, has pooped their pantaloons at one time or another. For this young and unfortunate bloke, he just happened to do so publicly. I was originally going to post a picture of this messy affair (during the peak of my anger with these officials), but in the interest of being kind to my fellow man (and since he wasn’t wearing Islander garb) – I’ll just talk about it instead. (And yep, had this been an Islander fan with a bad case of the brownout – I then would’ve included that picture on this site!)

— What surprised me the most (as I guess I’m immune to seeing people deal with fecal problems in NYC), was despite my train home being half-empty – people just sat there and talked about it. Rather than moving to an empty car; people wafted in this pungent poo, as if this sloppy mess was an open wine bottle hand-delivered to Henrik Lundqvist on his jersey retirement night.

— And in case you’re wondering; after dealing with this wretched stink, where I suppose the combination of alcohol, fishsticks and corned beef is always an accident waiting to happen – me and my brother-in-law, who attended the game with me, quickly left the car for an empty seat two cars away. Why some people sat there and penetrated their nostrils with this filth – well that’s not a question I can answer for them. For yours truly, I wanted a “buffer” car in-between me and this mongrel.

— Outside of the first intermission, where I heard someone throwing up their guts in one of the bathroom stalls –  I didn’t see one person puke tonight, nor did I see vomit in Penn Station, at M$G or on the LIRR. That’s a hell of a triple crown there, as I thought that I’d see the remnants of at least one person’s bad decisions.

And yep, this descriptive segment, while all true and not exaggerated at all – is my way of providing comedy following a negative game result!

Let’s get into the NEWS segment (and as you know by now, there’s a lot of news to get into), followed by everything else, including the main event – the GAME REVIEW.

Wednesday, a practice day for the Rangers, started off like any other non-game day, but following the practice, Rangers general manager Chris Drury made his first trade of the season when he acquired Jacob Trouba’s long-time pal, Frank Vatrano, of the Florida Panthers. Photo Credit: Jacob Trouba

Obviously, the big news from Wednesday was Drury’s trade, where the general manager finally replaced Sammy Blais by trading for Frank Vatrano. Before getting into all of that, let’s hit all of the news which preceded this transaction.

On Wednesday, around noon, the Rangers had a light practice, where not much really came out of it.

Prior to head coach Gerard Gallant addressing the media, Johnny Brodzinski, JONNY HOCKEY himself, talked to the beat writers.

Brodzinski said that he appreciates this opportunity he has and how he wants to make the most of it. He also stated that he would’ve rather “earned” the chance to play for the Rangers, rather than being called-up because of an injury. This was Mr. Hockey’s way of saying that he wishes the best for Kevin Rooney.

Brodzinski was also asked about his thoughts when Rooney returns to the roster. Brodzinski, no dummy, didn’t take the bait and just said that he hasn’t thought about it and is only preparing for the Rangers next game. Smart man!

Following Brodzinski’s chat, “The Turk” took the podium next. Here’s his interview:

I might sound like a broken record here, but yep, yet again – the head coach praised his role players, where he specifically raved about Brodzinski.

Gallant said he’s liked what Brodzinski has done thus far, and also stated that #76 has “caught my eye.” Gallant was then quick to add, that once Kevin Rooney returns, #17 be re-entering the line-up.

As of right now, and as talked about on Tuesday night; it doesn’t seem like Rooney will be able to return to the team until after the NHL Trade Deadline, and even then, he may miss more games following the yearly deadline.

As Brodzinski said, he can only do his job. It’s up to him to play at a high level and serve his purpose, so that Gallant is then forced to play him.

Plus, while neither Gallant, nor Brodzinski for that matter, said this – no one can fully assess this roster until the late afternoon hours of March 21st.

At this point in time, that was pretty much all of the Rangers news, although there was also this:

David Quinn, after his Americans were upset during the first round of the the 2022 Olympic Games, will get a second chance to win gold, as he’ll be coaching USA Hockey during the 2022 IIHF Worlds Tournament. Photo Credit: USA Hockey

It was announced on Wednesday afternoon that David Quinn will remain behind the American bench during the next international tournament, when USA Hockey competes in the 2022 IIHF Worlds Tournament – an annual tournament which will take place between May 13th through May 29th in Tampere and Helsinki, Finland.

Needless to say, Quinn should have a better roster during this go-around, as usually, NHL players from non-playoff teams (and even players who suffer quick first-round exits) accept invites to compete in this tournament.

What is kind of ironic about DQ remaining as the bench boss of USA Hockey, is that Rangers’ Assistant General Manager, Ryan Martin, a Chris Drury hire, made this announcement. That said, Chris Drury was behind DQ’s hiring for the Chinese Olympic games.

In any event, all the best to David Quinn, a head coach who definitely needs a good showing in this tournament in order to bolster his chances at returning to an NHL bench.

For what it’s worth, the Canadians won the 2021 IIHF Worlds Tournament. Their coach? Gerard Gallant.

For the complete press release and information about Quinn’s hiring, check out: https://teamusa.usahockey.com/news_article/show/1215423

Vatrano time!

Frank Vatrano follows Phil Esposito and Tony DeAngelo in becoming the third player in franchise history to wear the #77 jersey. Photo Credit: NHL.com

As I always like to do whenever the Rangers make a notable transaction, let’s take a look at what they said first. After that, then I’ll chime in.

Here’s the Rangers press release regarding this trade, courtesy of: https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-acquire-frank-vatrano/c-331903004?icmp=int_web_nyr_news_rightrail

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has acquired forward Frank Vatrano from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The fourth-round pick Florida receives from the Rangers will be the later of the two fourth-round selections the Rangers own (either their own fourth-round pick or Winnipeg’s fourth-round pick).

Vatrano, 28, has recorded 10 goals and nine assists for 19 points in 49 games and has notched one power play goal with Florida this season. It is the fifth time in his career he has scored 10 or more goals in a season.

The East Longmeadow, Massachusetts native has skated in 379 NHL games, split between Florida and the Boston Bruins, registering 93 goals and 64 assists for 157 points. Last season with the Panthers, he led the team with a career-high seven game-winning goals, three overtime goals and 10 third period goals. In 2020-21, Vatrano ranked second on the team in shots (158), tied for second in even-strength goals (16) and tied for third in goals (18). During the 2018-19 campaign, he set career-highs in games played (81), goals (24) and points (39).

Vatrano has played in 14 career playoff games with Florida and Boston, collecting two goals and one assist for three points.

A 5-11, 197-pounder, Vatrano was acquired by Florida on February 22, 2018 after parts of three seasons with Boston. While with Boston’s American Hockey League (AHL) team, the Providence Bruins, he led the AHL in goals (36) in 2015-16, earning the league’s Willie Marshall Award as the top goal scorer in the AHL. He was named to the 2015-16 AHL First All-Star Team and 2015-16 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Internationally, Vatrano represented the United States at the IIHF World Championship on two occasions (2016, 2019).

Vatrano attended the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (2013-14 to 2014-15) where in 2014-15 he finished second on the team in scoring (28 pts) and first in goals 18). That same season, he ranked 10th in Hockey East in goals scored, sixth in power-play goals (6) and first in shots on goal (194).

Vatrano was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Boston on March 13, 2015.

Frank Vatrano and Jacob Trouba have a long-lasting friendship. Photo Credit: Getty Images

I know I’m late to the game when writing about this trade, so I won’t go too overboard. However, I’d like to mention that friend of the blog, the strange Derek “No Flex,” wrote a pretty good article on the trade, just minutes after the trade was announced.

You can read Derek’s piece here: https://newyorkpuck.com/2022/03/16/rangers-make-solid-pickup-acquiring-frank-vatrano-from-panthers/

I plug No Flex’s article off of puck drop, because he pretty much wrote what I was going to write. Plus, I always try to plug as many fan endeavors on this site anyway. This is also my way of saying that I’ll try not to repeat what Derek had previously said.

As Derek correctly predicted in his article; following this trade, Morgan Barron was indeed demoted to Hartford. When you look at the Rangers pecking order among players on the fringe/on the bubble, Brodzinski is obviously heads-and-shoulders above Barron.

So for those trying to keep track, that means that Gettinger and Barron are out; McKegg, Brodzinski and now Vatrano are in. And once Kakko and Rooney get back, I’d imagine that Vatrano is above both the Kegger and Jonny Hockey on the depth chart too.

Vatrano, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent, made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins during the 2015-16 season. Photo Credit: Boston Bruins

I had a lot of thoughts when I first heard about this trade, and as you may have guessed – all of them are positive.

For starters, Vatrano joins the Rangers with a friend on the team already, in #8, Jacob Trouba. Trouba will help Vatrano’s transition to his new team. (This was also confirmed following tonight’s game.)

In fact, following the trade, the two men retweeted old tweets of theirs, from their high school years in Michigan and when they were playing for the United States National Development Program. The two have remained friends, and this chemistry should only help Vatrano.

As stated above, finally, after months-and-months of waiting, Chris Drury found a suitable replacement for Sammy Blais, following the P.K. Slewban attack on #91. While Vatrano doesn’t have a Stanley Cup to his name like Blais does – #77 is a hardworking/gritty bottom six type, and a player who can score too.

Heck, just prior to this trade, on Tuesday night, Vatrano scored two goals in what turned out to be his last game as a Panther, in Florida’s 3-2 overtime win over the Sharks. Not only did Vatrano score the tying goal – he also scored the walk-off overtime goal too.

What I also found amusing, is stuff I’ve previously said throughout this entire build-up to the NHL Trade Deadline – expect Chris Drury to acquire a player that nobody is talking about. Enter Frank Vatrano, who nobody had linked to the Rangers.

Worth noting – I don’t think this trade will be Drury’s last this season.

As opined previously, I think Drury will make a major splash, two depth trades and a trade of the AHLer for AHLer variety. You can now cross off one of my predicted depth trades here.

The best part about this trade is that Drury didn’t have to give up much to acquire a reliable and versatile player.

All the general manager gave up was a ’22 fourth round draft pick. In turn, the Rangers will assume Vatrano’s remaining $2.53M salary for the rest of the campaign. Once the season is complete, Vatrano will then become an unrestricted free agent.

In other words, for a fourth round pick (which the Rangers have two of in 2022), the Rangers added a solid depth rental. You can’t go wrong with that.

In case you don’t know already, Vatrano is a left winger, and a forward who can also play center. It will be interesting to see how Gallant shuffles his line-up, where I must reiterate this one more time – we still have to wait until March 21st to fully assess everything.

All the best moving forward to Vatrano, a #77 who I hope to see hoist the Stanley Cup come June of this year!

I have to add one last comment on this before moving on.

When it comes to now three different “eyetalians” wearing #77 for the Rangers, I thought Jim S., of “The Blueshirt Underground Show,” made the best joke of them all, when he said this:

“They trace your relatives all the way back to the old country before you can wear #77. Jimmy Conway and Henry Hill could never wear #77, because they had Irish blood. It didn’t even matter that Henry’s mother was Sicilian.”

Yep, that’s a “Goodfellas” reference! Can’t go wrong with that!

While the Rangers were done for the day, the Panthers, and the NHL in general, were not.

Let’s quickly gloss through everything else from Wednesday, as I know this blog is asking for a lot of your time tonight!

A few names changed places on Wednesday, thus decreasing the amount of names available prior to the March 21st NHL trade deadline. Photo Credit: NHL.com

In perhaps the biggest news of Wednesday, the San Jose Sharks ended the rumor mongering of Tomas Hertl, as the franchise signed the center to an eight-year deal worth $65,100,000, which breaks down to $8,137,500 per season.

Not only does this take Hertl off of the board – in a way, it helps Ryan Strome too, should it be his desire to remain a Ranger after this season. (And from all accounts, Strome does want to remain a Ranger.)

The Florida Panthers, who received some salary cap relief when they traded Vatrano; then took that money saved, and the Rangers fourth-round pick too, and went out and traded for Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot.

For a team that has to be all-in, the Panthers made a wise trade. In turn, they basically flipped Vatrano, a first round pick and a prospect for the stellar rearguard.

Prior to this trade, Chiarot was linked to a bunch of different teams, including the Rangers themselves; although what Drury’s interest level was in the defenseman is presently unknown.

However, we might find out everything that Drury has been thinking about soon enough, as the general manager is slated to conduct a public press conference on Monday evening, following the deadline.

In another trade, the Seattle Kraken received a 2022 second-round draft pick, a 2023 third-round draft pick and a 2024 fourth-round draft pick from the Calgary Flames, in exchange for long-time Nashville Predator, and now formerly a Kraken of all of 49 games, in Swedish right winger Calle Jarnkrok.

The Flames, who have been very active in the trade market, and as a result of this trade – added another solid piece for a team that also has Stanley Cup aspirations.

I have no knowledge if the Rangers were ever interested in Jarnkrok, but when it comes to the Blueshirts – it’s just another player now off of the trade market, a trade market that will continue to burn all the way into Monday afternoon.

Moving on.

Former Ranger, and now the newly retired Peter Holland. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lastly in news from a busy Wednesday; former Ranger, and alternate captain of the Hartford Wolfpack too, Peter Holland, announced his retirement from professional hockey.

Holland had a “mock press conference” on Twitter, where he posted eighteen tweets in total, which recapped his career.

You can find the tweets here:

I found Holland’s “tweet-storm” to be uplifting, humorous and engaging, as Holland never took himself seriously during it.

If there was anything Rangers-related to take out of it, it was the fact that Holland said that after he was traded from his boyhood team of the Toronto Maple Leafs (December of 2016), he just never had the same passion for hockey ever again.

Starting with the 2017-18 season, Holland spent nearly two years in the Rangers organization. While he received twenty-three games of NHL action with the Rangers (which turned out to be the final 23 games of his NHL career too); he primarily played for the ‘Pack, before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in February of 2019 for Darren Raddysh.

Anyway, the best of luck to Holland during his next chapter in life.

Frank Vatrano did play tonight. He was also robbed of an assist too.

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

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Mika/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Strome/Vatrano

THIRD LINE: Goodrow/Chytil/Hunt

FOURTH LINE: McKegg/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


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





30 1 29 .967 24 2 3 0 0 59:46 0


28 2 26 .929 18 4 4 0 0 58:06 0

I had an up-front and personal seat for this game, where once again, I saw the future ’22 Vezina and Hart winner, CZAR IGOR, put on a show.

Since I was at the game, I have no commentary about the M$GN tonight, nor nothing to chime in about the broadcast either.

And since I’m just a beer-bellied blogger, who also enjoyed a few libations during my trip to Manhattan – I didn’t take any notes during the game like I usually do. My normal style of recap will return on Saturday night, when the Rangers travel to Tampa.

Speaking of boozing – as usual, and just like I do before any home game that I attend, I had a few pregame pops and belts at “The Mollie Wee.” For the first time in two years, I saw a NYC bar packed, shoulder-to-shoulder, with no masks and/or COVID card required. Between seeing the bar stuffed to the gills, and seeing that previously mentioned unfortunate soul who let loose in his drawers – it was glad to see things back to normal in the “Big Apple.”

(Or in the case of that poor schmuck on the LIRR – “The Big Crapple.”)

I also think I’m setting a Guinness World Record (with the word “Guinness” most certainly fitting on this date), for most scatological references during one hockey blog. At least I have that going for me!

One more time before going into the review – I really enjoyed this game. If it weren’t for the officials – this would’ve been a perfect game to watch with a fan looking to get into the sport.

This game was so freaking entertaining, which is why I’m so pissed about the officials – where I should remind you, officials that I don’t really try to bury during these blogs. I understand that they have a rough job; but after a game like tonight – you just can’t ignore how horrible they were.

When it comes to talk unrelated to the officials and poo; Ilya Sorokin’s save on a Panarin shot (after a perfect feed from Vatrano) was an early turning point in the game. What could’ve been 1-0 good guys, remained as nil-nil.

One last thing, unrelated to the stuff on the ice, and then I’ll get into the game itself – I promise!

M$G was absolutely rocking tonight. That can’t be denied.

For so many years, the suits who usually litter the lower bowl, also known as the people who drink kale wine smoothies and eat caviar in their seats – have sucked the life out of the building.

With more-and-more people working from home, no clients to take to games, and other factors – M$G has become M$G again.

In fact, I sat in the lower bowl tonight, and outside of 2-3 people – I didn’t see one person dressed as if they had a presentation to pitch at a business meeting. The whole arena was either decked out in traditional Ranger blue or in green Ranger gear, in honor of St. Patrick.

As a result (and maybe alcohol was a factor too), the building was buzzing all game. The energy and electricity was contagious and you could feel it in your veins.

While ticket prices remain sky-high; game-by-game, you’re seeing the hardcore fan return.

I have no way of knowing this, as I didn’t bother to conduct such market research; but had you asked every single member of the 18,006 person sold-out crowd, I’d bet that at least 75% of them were aware of the Frank Vatrano trade and his history.

After nearly two-decades of M$G resembling a morgue, this was a game that reminded me of the 1990s.

For fans who are older than me, the crowd energy tonight may have reminded them of a bygone era, such as the Emile Francis era, or even those years from the early 1980s, which we’ll gloss over.

Simply put – while M$G remains corporate as all-hell, and most games will cost you an arm-and-a-leg to attend too; at least you’re now getting a better in-arena experience than in seasons prior.

It’s okay to scream again. It’s okay to curse out an Islander (as long as there are no young kids around.) It’s okay to get vocal in supporting the team again. And heck, for the first time in years – I even saw beer vendors in the aisles, as previously, all you saw were cotton candy vendors.

The more you know! (Who else would give you this straight 411?)

One day, I’ll forget that the Rangers lost this game. What I won’t forget is that I was in-attendance for Kreider’s 40th goal of the 2021-22 season.

The first period, and pardon my French on this Irish holiday, was entertaining as Father Fink.

If you didn’t check the standings, and weren’t aware of the Islanders’ struggles (new building, tough schedule, injuries, COVID, etc), you would’ve thought this game featured two teams battling for first-place. It was that good, and I say that as a bonafide hater of all things Islanders.

The first period was a wrecking ball, as the two teams were hitting anything that moved, just like any playoff game that you’ll see in less than six weeks time – playoff games that the Rangers will be a part of, while the Islanders watch at home.

For the two head coaches, Gerard Gallant and Barry Trotz, two men who competed against each other during the 2018 Stanley Cup Final – they also knew this rivalry game would be a heated affair going into this match, as each bench boss opted to start their fourth line tonight.

While the two teams exchanged thunderous body blows (with Ryan Reaves, as usual, dominating all); the two goalies, the BFF’s, compiled a bunch of highlight reel saves – where unfortunately on this night, it was Ilya Sorokin who had the best save of them all.

After Ryan Reaves had perhaps the most physical shift of the season (I counted three hits on it, where two of them you could hear from many yards away), the save of the game occurred with about 7:12 remaining in the first frame.

On the play, Frank Vatrano, the newest soldier in blue, found Panarin wide-open and in front of a vacant net. Somehow, and you have to tip your hat to Sorokin here – the Isles netminder robbed “The Breadman.”

In the first act of bullshit of many; with 1:10 to go, Barclay Goodrow was called for a hook on Mat Barzal. There was no hook here to speak of, and even if there was – the officials let on-ice violations much worse than this infraction go without a blow of the metal. Just ask Ryan Lindgren.

In a period that was mostly all Rangers (the home team out-shot the away team 12-7), we had no score – but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Rangers were buzzing and making mad dashes at Sorokin – the goaltender just held up his end of the bargain.

I thought Filip Chytil had a decent game tonight, but I still wouldn’t be upset if he was dealt.

With the Isles still on the power-play to open the middle stanza, Anders Lee scored just 49 seconds in. 1-0, bad guys.

And yep – a goal after a false hooking accusation bestowed on Goodrow, a Goodrow who also serves as a penalty killer.

The Rangers pretty much shrugged off the goal, and as they did during the first twenty minutes – kept on attacking.

After failing to score on their first power-play of the game, a penalty that Chytil drew (Pelech for holding) – the Rangers scored one of their biggest power-play goals of the season at the 13:38 mark, following a penalty that Vatrano drew (Mayfield for a blind-side hit, as the goon was called for interference):


No joke – after this goal, I thought this game was going to be a cakewalk for the Rangers. The energy and emotional levels were that high, including Chris Kreider’s – as the unofficial captain jumped so high, that I thought he was going to take down the Mike Richter #35 banner during his descent.

For Chris Kreider, this was his 21st power-play goal of the season, and as you know by now – his 40th goal of the season. Ten more for fifty, twelve more to match Graves, fourteen more to tie Jagr, and fifteen more to set the franchise single-season record.

What was also FABULOUS about this goal, was the fact that Vatrano drew the call, Vatrano’s buddy Trouba got the puck to Lafreniere, and the 2020 first overall pick, who despite playing well, hasn’t picked up many points recently – got the primary assist.

With the Garden absolutely motoring, with 3:13 to go, the refs decided to call a phantom roughing call on Ryan Strome.

Yes, I know that it feels obligatory for Strome to take one penalty a game, but this time – this was as real as the Wizard of Oz. The refs clicked their heels and said “there’s no place like the penalty box, there’s no place like the penalty box,” and for whatever reason – singled-out Strome.

Fortunately, after killing off nearly ninety seconds of the penalty, the refs correctly penalized Brock Nelson for interfering with Zibanejad. Unfortunately, the Rangers wouldn’t score on this power-play, nor on the four vs four foreplay either.

Once forty minutes were completed, we remained at 1-1.

I can only speak for myself, but with every fiber in my being, I’m sure that every other Ranger fan who watched this game felt like the team would complete the comeback and win the game.

As you may know – the officials aren’t Ranger fans.

As he always does, CZAR IGOR turned it on big-time in crunch time. The refs weren’t happy about that.

The third period was defined by one play.

Following another phantom call, this time a Lafreniere slash at the 9:37 mark, a penalty that the Rangers killed; now with under three minutes to go, Oliver Wahlstrom blatantly elbowed Ryan Lindgren in the face. DESPITE #55 BLEEDING FROM THE COWARDLY ATTACK IN FRONT OF AN OFFICIAL – no penalty was called.

I mean, you have this jackass right there, WATCHING LINDGREN EAT AN ELBOW TO THE FACE, AN ELBOW THAT DREW BLOOD. No call. However, every fart, cough and sniffle was called on the Rangers tonight.

(Lindgren and Mika were absolutely irate about the no call, and as they should’ve been.)

WITH LINDGREN HURTING, BLEEDING, AND NOW AWAY FROM THE PLAY – with 2:44 remaining, Kyle Palmieri scored a rebound/loose change/garbage/horseshit/eff these officials goal.

2-1, bad guys.

And I will admit this to you too – despite these referees having their heads plunged in their assholes – I thought that the Rangers were going to score on the 6 x 5 empty net attack. They didn’t.

2-1, referees, your final.

Here’s Gallant following the game:

“The Turk,” as he has to be, unless he wants to be fined and/or suspended; did bring up the poor officiating, but didn’t pull a John Tortorella while doing so.

And as this blog would suggest – I 100% agree with Gallant. This was a great, fun and entertaining game. The referees took that joy away.

I know I sound like friend of the blog Howie S. here – but as a paying customer, a fan, and anything else you want to call me – I don’t want to invest hours of my life, only to then see the officials become the lede story.

As far as anything else that I quickly want to brush upon, I want to mention that I thought the Miller/Trouba pairing were fantastic tonight. They made a countless number of positive plays tonight, where all of them stuck out.

When it comes to Vatrano, I thought he made a strong debut, where once again – he should’ve had an assist too.

PLUGS time!

On Wednesday night, our pals Jim and Eddie, of “The Blueshirt Underground Show,” returned with a new episode of their award winning podcast.

To check out the show, click the play button below:

On Thursday morning, Ron Duguay and company returned with a new episode of “Up in the Blue Seats.” Of note, the podcast, which features an entertaining and informative interview with Dave Maloney; was also recorded prior to the Vatrano trade.

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:


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/ANA 3/15 Review: Adam Fox Says “Et Tu” & “FU” to Anaheim on “The Ides of March;” Rangers Snipe Ducks, Panarin Bakes, Kreider Rakes, Offense Awakes; Georgiev Finally Gets a W, Gov. Hochul, Women’s Night, NYR Ticket Prices & More

NYR/DAL 3/12 Review: Rangers Score a TD & Kick the XP in “Jerry’s World,” Multi-Point Games Galore; CZAR IGOR, Panarin, Nemeth’s GWG, Gallant Pushes Right Buttons Again; Line-Up Changes, The Unusual Suspects, Jerseys, M$GN, Standings & More

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

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

The Rangers will see “OLD FRIEND,” and two-time Stanley Cup champion too, Ryan McDonagh, this Saturday night in Tampa. Photo Credit: NBC

Up next: a pair of tough road games.

The Rangers will travel to Tampa this Saturday night, in a game featuring a puck drop of 8PM.

Less than 24 hours later, the Rangers will battle the top team of the Metropolitan Division, the Carolina Hurricanes, on Sunday, with a puck drop scheduled for 6PM EST.

Of course, the Canes will be idle on Saturday while the Rangers try to wrest two points from the Bolts. Horrendous scheduling, if I say so myself!

As always here, thanks for reading and…


Sean McCaffrey


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17 thoughts on “NYR/NYI 3/17 Review: Live from M$G! NHL Officials Ruin an Amazing Goaltender’s Duel & Entertaining Game; No Luck of the Irish for the Rangers, CK40, Frank Vatrano Trade, A Poor Soul with Brown Stains, DQ, Holland, Trade Market Heating Up, The Garden is Back & More

  1. It was a exciting and well-played game for sure, but to lose again like the Pittsburgh game due to officiating is ridiculous and so frustrating. It’s hard to understand why the refs at the garden seem to officiate for the visiting team but to not call a obvious penalty but call soft penalties is ridiculous.

    1. 100%, that Isles game, and the Pittsburgh contest too, were horrendously officiated. These morons are going to swing a playoff series again.

  2. “However, we might find out everything that Drury has been thinking about soon enough, as the general manager is slated to conduct a public press conference on Monday evening, following the deadline.”

    Is it just me or does it sound like Drury plans on making a few moves?

  3. Sean
    Do you have any sources for online for full games featuring Jacques Plante?

    Yea you know I have seen Plante play but it was at the end of his career so I cant recall his style………Tony Esposit’O……Ken Dryden…..Bill Smith……Roy……Hasek……Eddie Mi’O……….a tremendous Irish Italian American, he was Jack Old Boy!……..JD……..ok them guys I know………but Plante I cant recall a thing about how he played

    Ok the other night I rewatched this game………..and watching JD play is funny as hell!………..you do have to remember that a lot of goalies played like JD then……….even Dryden would flop around like this!………but it sure looks funny today………..and as you well know the Good Guys did indeed win in this one………..and wow isn’t Marchand the spitting image of the original Rat…….Ken Linesman?……. and they both play the exact same way!!…..slewfooting and all………it is uncanny……….I really think Ken must have b banged Brad’s Mom at some point and here Brad is now……….little bastard………heh


    Commercials are included

    1. Yes, some are on YouTube, some I have through DVD/Tape traders. Some are on Amazon, but his Montreal ones.

      LOL at the Marchand reference. You might have something with this.

  4. Yeah, refs have a tough job. Things happen so fast and a lot goes on away from the puck. Granted, they can’t see everything. But “on the puck”, where everyone is watching, you know, where the TV cameras are focused at least one of the two refs had to see the cross check to the back of Zibanejad and the blatant elbow which by the way targeted the head of Lindgren. They saw it, they just chose not to call it. On the Lindgren elbow, it changed/turned the game. I’d love to hear what they told Lindgren. “I didn’t see it?, that was a shoulder not an elbow?” Yeah it’s one game, 2 points in a long season, blah blah blah. But you wonder if this could happen in say, a game 7. We’ve all been watching hockey for a long time. We know what a cross check to a player’s back looks like. We know what a elbow/head shot looks like. To have 2 NHL trained referees tell me that neither of those infractions warranted a 2 minute minor kinda makes me feel stupid.

    1. It was a big two points, especially with Pittsburgh and Washington heating up. Just like that Game 7 between the Sharks and Knights in ’19, these horrendous officials will swing a playoff series again.

      You know I don’t make a habit of ragging on the officials, but as Barbara said, that’s now two games the Rangers have lost this season by one goal due to inept officiating. Four points is a huge difference right now.

  5. the tension mounts…….who stays and who goes?

    nerves are jangling

    I doubt if the Canucks will trade JT Miller but he could be an ideal fit for the Rangers, he is certainly the guy who checks off the most check boxes……..scores, hits, blocks shots, good at the dots and I always liked him as a Ranger

      1. Next year maybe we get Miller because I am sure he is dying to get out of that shite hole in Vancouver and get back to Manhattan, MSG and the NY Rangers so we do have an edge in any trade………I mean who would not want to flee a place like that?



      2. Next year maybe we get Miller because I am sure he is dying to get out of that shite hole in Vancouver and get back to Manhattan, MSG and the NY Rangers so we do have an edge in any trade………I mean who would not want to flee a place like that?



        Nerve wracking game but great finish!!

  6. Great to see Scramblehead automatically going at Maroon for that cheap shot on Igor even though Maroon has 40lbs on him!!

  7. That one felt like a coin toss game until the Rangers finally won the toss.

    If the Rangers had beaten the Isles I would have not been bothered by a loss in this one because, hey its Tampa and we already won 2 against them and you cant win every game but since they lost too the Isles I was glad to see them pull this one off.

    Wow Zibanedjad has just been ripping accurate shots on net lately!

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