NYR/NYI 3/17 Review: Blueshirts Put Five Pots of Gold Up Sorokin’s Five-Hole; Lavy’s Lot Impressively Thrives During Grueling Schedule, Ryan Lindgren Injury Mars Otherwise Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Mass at M$G, Scoring From All Places & Faces; Jones Capitalizing on New-Found Opportunity, A Request To Dolan & Drury from The Phil Watson Family, Horrible TNT Broadcast & More

It would’ve been easy to make excuses and move on had the Rangers lost on Sunday – and even with their most-hated rival on the other side of the ice. Thankfully, and following the Blueshirts’ impressive 5-2 victory over the nomadic Islanders – such hypothetical talk is not required. Despite the deck being stacked against Lavy’s Lot, where this St. Patrick’s Day Mass at M$G was the team’s sixth game in nine nights, their fifth game in seven days – and the second half of a back-to-back set where the Blueshirts had just played a road-game 22-hours prior – stamina, nor endurance either for that matter, was ever a concern. The Rangers immediately flew out the gate at puck drop, and outside of an early hiccup, which was a short-handed goal* allowed – the Blueshirts largely dominated their pathetic opponent. And yes, this asterisk will be explained below!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. That’s a win as good as any, and where like many of these victories from this 2023-24 season – more milestones were not only reached – but surpassed too.

And oh yeah – “Take Three” for me too – as this is the third time that I’ve attempted to write this blog tonight – as my dinosaur computer (born in 2002) continues to battle its never-ending affliction of full-blown AIDS.

And should I finally bite the bullet and buy myself a long overdue new personal computer – then I’m going to go all levels of MATT REMPE (who by the way returns this Tuesday night) meets OFFICE SPACE on this machine – a dated piece of technology that decided no less than two times tonight to freeze and shut down, thus losing all of my work, during my first two tries when writing about this St. Patrick’s Day tilt.

Hell, how fitting – as my computer is as effective as a drunk trying to fly a plane!

Nothing but crashes!

Then again, 22-years with this old boy has been a hell of a run – and even as this computer battles and battles – allowed me to write ten books too.

More on my eleventh below!

A real photo taken on Long Island following Sunday’s game at M$G. Photo Credit: News 12

Whether or not the league considers their players to be machines that require no sleep, relaxation or a chance to have their bodies heal between games – well I don’t know – but what I do know is that for a Rangers’ team that’s been motoring for the majority of the season – these last six games may have been their most impressive stretch of matches yet.

And let’s not forget the magnitude of such an opinion – as previously this season, this 2023-24 club matched a franchise record when they won ten consecutive games.

When I look back at these past nine days, where the Rangers went 5-1 during this six-pack of challenges, what just blows me away the most is the fact that Lavy’s Lot really embraced the “NEXT MAN UP” mentality.

Team captain Jacob Trouba goes down?

No problem, as Zac Jones, K’Andre Miller and Braden Schneider answered the call – and where without question – this trio of rearguards are now playing their best hockey of the season.

Matt Rempe receives a questionable four-game suspension?

No problem there either, as his captain in Hartford (where although, I doubt we’ll ever see JONNY HOCKEY or REMPESTEIN return to the Wolf Pack this season – if ever), Jonny Brodzinski, rings the bell in the giant’s absence.

Aside from a third period glitch in Tampa on Thursday night – and where you can blame the schedule for that loss (and as I did here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/31424/ ) – the Rangers have otherwise been perfect when up against this grueling schedule that the NHL taskmasters laid at their doorsteps.

Perhaps a stat that’s not getting the full attention that it deserves?

Following today’s 5-2 win, the Rangers are now 16-3-1 during their past twenty games played.

That’s pretty much a sample size of 25% – and with this sample size taking place right now, and with fourteen regular season games remaining, rather than all of this taking place in October and November (where wouldn’t you know it – that IS what happened too!) – you have to feel good about the team as they approach the only puck that matters – playoff hockey.

And the fact that both Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko scored goals in consecutive games over the weekend?

While I can’t forget what’s been poor seasons for both of them – at least I don’t have to post the MIKA MILK CARTON picture tonight, nor use the alliterative “FECKLESS FINN” “frase” either!

That said, I also wonder if this scoring against bad teams will continue once the competition improves too – and I’ll leave it at that for now.

And who knows, and as I give you the glass half-full perspective?

Perhaps it’s this weekend that propels these two disappointments, thus eventually shedding such labels, into a successful postseason.

And really, and just like everyone else – even the players playing out of their minds right now, such as the “GAG LINE 2.0” have been doing all-season – only the playoffs will determine how all of these players are judged, which of course, brings us to our season-long daily disclaimer on this site – and feel free to heartily belt out the following 25-words with me:


That said, when you consider the schedule from hell, which these past nine nights were for the Rangers – then there’s only one way to judge them today:


Rangertown, USA waits with bated breath in regards to what appeared to be a knee injury sustained by Ryan Lindgren during the second period of today’s win against the Islanders. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first – and then sing-song our way like merry little bagpipers to the finish line at the end of the golden pot rainbow.

At the 15:01 mark of the second period, JONNY HOCKEY, following a blast from K’Andre Miller, beat the Isles’ Ilya Sorokin to put the Rangers ahead on the scoreboard, 3-2.

Just thirty-seconds later, and before public address announcer Joe Tolleson could even read out, “Goal scored by Jonny Brodzinski, his fifth of the season, from K’Andre Miller and Alex Wenneberg,” we had a stoppage in play, as the refs immediately blew their whistle as a crumpled on-the-ice Ryan Lindgren struggled to get back up.

While fans in-attendance were able to see what happened live; since this play took place off-camera, we didn’t see what happened until the TNT broadcast busted out their video replay machines.

Upon replay, “Ranger Killer” Jean-Gabriel Pageau (and he’s in my new book too – one that you can purchase here: The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History) had gotten himself tangled-up with double-nickel, where as a result, a nasty collision between the two occurred.

To be clear – this was NOT a dirty hit from JGP – and similar to other knee and leg injuries that we’ve seen the Rangers sustain this season (Kaapo Kakko and Blake Wheeler) – this was just one of those injuries that unfortunately comes with the risk of playing this extremely physical sport.

But of course, and as it would be the case for any other playoff-bound player – the timing of this injury couldn’t have been any worse – then again, and if you’re looking for a silver lining – then it’s better that this injury took place during Game 68 than in Game 82 – but of course – that’s just a sliver of silver.

If there’s anything that ever bothers me about these injuries, then it’s what I always say on this site – it irks me to no end when people on social media share their expert diagnoses with their followers.

Apparently, or at least on Twitter, more fans have their medical degrees than I would have imagined!

And really it’s the same old shit, as you had the same folk saying, “it’s an ACL,” “it’s an MCL,” “it’s a hyper-extension of his knee,” “it’s a broken bone,” “it’s a disease from the ‘Oregon Trail’,” or as Beavis and Butthead said, “it’s his liver!”

While I understand where these people are coming from, and where all of these folk have now seen the same sort of injury suffered by a Ranger on three separate occasions this season – I’m not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be one either (but I am well-versed in “asshole” – so maybe by default, I should receive a Twitter M.D. in proctology) – so I just can’t do the same.

However, yeah – it didn’t look good for Lindgren – as both Erik Gustafsson and Alexis Lafreniere had to assist him off of the ice – and where it looked like #55 couldn’t put any weight on his left leg either.

To fast-forward to the end of Sunday, Blueshirts’ bench boss Peter Laviolette said what you’d expect him to say during his postgame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE” – Lindgren was being further evaluated and was now “day-to-day.”

With no practice on Monday, and unless the Rangers leak something themselves (they haven’t done this before), then we won’t find out until Tuesday how long Lindgren will be out for – and fingers-crossed, but not likely – if at all.

As I try to find a ray of sunshine here, and as we’ve been seeing all season – this has been a “NEXT MAN UP” team throughout this campaign, and where now for Chad Ruhwedel, and to quote Bill Goldberg too, “YOU’RE NEXT.”

At the end of this GAME REVIEW, I’ll have the upcoming schedule for you, but just as a preview – the Rangers, who can call up anyone without worrying about the salary cap as an emergency recall due to injury, will play their next four games in the area, aside from one road game in Boston – and where if you know your geography – then you already know that Hartford is right in-between the two Original Six cities.

The Rangers aren’t set to leave this time zone until Thursday, March 28th, when they visit Alex Georgiev’s Avalanche in Denver, CO.

In other words, the Rangers won’t have to call anyone up until then (assuming that both Lindgren and Jacob Trouba remain out) – and where perhaps Connor Mackey deserves a call, as in a way, and if you want to make this argument then I won’t stop you – he was the one, that following his fight (a win) against Brady Tkachuk in the Rangers’ final game prior to the NHL All Star Game/bye week – the Rangers then went 16-3-1 in their next twenty games – and that’s where we stand right now.

Those six-weeks of .500 hockey from the dog days of winter are now forgotten.

And just to think – some fans wanted Chris Drury to trade CZAR IGOR at the time too!

For shame, for shame!

Whatever the case, the best of luck to Lindgren – and get back soon!

The Rangers, and their fans, will need him for the playoffs.

The Rangers didn’t need the luck of the Irish on Sunday – as their skill, will and overall team-play carried them. Photo Credit: NYR

Despite the madness of this schedule, one thing was evident right from puck drop on Sunday – the Rangers were never going to let fatigue become a factor.

Despite playing in Pittsburgh, PA the day before, which as a result, a flight and little-to-no sleep, much less preparation/practice time, followed – the Rangers were relentless when imposing their superiority over “little brother.”

The Islanders, who did play on Saturday, albeit a 12:30PM game on home ice, where afterwards, they took a short bus ride to the crime-ridden NYC streets where a comfortable hotel bed at 28th & Madison awaited them (I only know this because I used to work on a job site where right next door was the hotel where the Ranger opponents stayed at – and as mentioned throughout all of last season) – you would’ve thought they had just gotten back from a west-coast swing the night before by the way they played today.

Right out the gate, the Rangers attacked, attacked and attacked Sorokin and Co.

Following a string of three consecutive penalties that all bled into each other, a rare Rangers’ hiccup occurred, one completely excusable as explained, as Bo Horvat struck first blood – and a short-handed goal no less.

This man-down goal, while officially a shorty for the Isles, does deserve both an asterisk and explanation – and as I’ll get into during the GAME REVIEW segment.

The Rangers, now trailing 1-0 at the 14:08 mark of the first period, would never return serve during these first twenty-minutes.

Instead, they exploded with a three-goal middle period.

Mika Zibanejad, where maybe it took him 65-games to return to his old self, tied the game just 27-seconds into the second stanza.


About ten-minutes later, there was CUYLLE HAND LUKE, government name Will Cuylle, to put the Rangers ahead 2-1, following his nasty wrist shot snipe which was set-up by the team’s first-pair of defense, Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren.

However, at the 13:55 mark, and following three consecutive Islander o-zone faceoff wins, Horvat scored again, which as a result, knotted the match at two-goals a piece.

But that was it for the Islanders.

The previously mentioned Jonny Brodzinski goal, followed by the Lindgren injury, transpired next.

Come the third period, and the Rangers had maintained their 3-2, GOOD GUYS, lead – but despite the razor-thin margin – you never thought that the Islanders ever had a chance of winning this game – or at least that was my feeling.

At just the 2:36 mark of this final frame, and there was Kaapo Kakko of all people scoring his second consecutive non-“A-Rod Goal” of the weekend.

And yes – for the first time this season – both Zibanejad and Kakko, the two biggest disappointments on this team in 2023-24 – had now scored in back-to-back games.

As noted above – all you can hope is that this is the start of something – while also being weary about the non-playoff teams that these two scored against.

In other words – do it against the contenders too – and more importantly – score in the playoffs too!

But I’ll stop myself here – as I don’t want to discredit either one of them – as both played well this weekend – and against rivalry teams too.

In a rarity, the Rangers, now up 4-2, didn’t see any of their GAG LINE 2.0 players, Panarin, Trocheck and Lafreniere, factor into any of these four goals.

That would soon change, as at the 10:42 mark, there was Alexis Lafreniere to put the Rangers up 5-2, following a pass from who else, “The Breadman” himself!

I just need to find the time to do it, and maybe one of you sleuths can do the work for me – but ever since Laviolette was forced to put these three together following Filip Chytil’s season-ending concussion – then I believe that this line, which I’ve dubbed as “GAG LINE 2.0,” are collectively averaging 1.75 goals per game this season.

Bump that number up and then I’ll have to start calling them “THE TWO GAG LINE 2.0!”

Then again, that doesn’t really roll off the tongue – so I’ll need to find a better nickname than that – and preferably an alliterative one!

All in all, and as I wrap-up this intro segment – this was a win to KING KONG your chest about – and no matter what that miscreant Evan Roberts, of WFAN, has to say.

And oh yeah – in Sorokin’s two games against the Rangers this season, CZAR IGOR’s BFF has surrendered a total of eleven goals.

The Rangers and Islanders have two more meetings this season, 4/9 at IBS and a fourth-and-final game on 4/13 back at M$G.

And come April the 13th – can the Rangers hang a total of twenty goals against Mr. SIR CHOKIN’?

What a fine question that remains to be answered!

Before getting into everything else from Sunday, at this time, the piece that I’ve been teasing all week – a request from the Phil Watson family to the New York Rangers.

“Fiery” Phil Watson, who received a lot of real estate in my first book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden,” is a perfect example of someone who deserves to be featured in my proposed “Rink of Honor” idea.

As previously discussed on this site throughout the course of this season, I’m currently working on my fifth title (11th book in total), a biography on “Fiery” Phil Watson.

While I know that this project is a niche of a niche project, and where going into it, this is more of a passion of labor rather than writing something that will truly be lucrative – I just hope that non-readers of this site (because I know that you loyalists will support it) give this future book a chance too.

As one of the most controversial figures in Rangers’ history, although extremely successful as a player too – the “Fiery” Phil Watson story needs to be told – and not be lost to the annals of time.

I’ll most likely finish this book over the summer, and where as we get closer to release, I’ll continue to give you previews and snippets; but for now, and I’ve mentioned this many times before on this site too – anything that’s presently out there about Watson is from people who weren’t exactly that high on him to begin with.

While there are some old articles and interviews to be found from his best friend, Muzz Patrick, where the former Rangers’ d-man, coach and general manager always spoke glowingly of his 1940 Stanley Cup winning teammate; the bulk of Watson stories shared today comes from his former goaltender and long-time nemesis, the Hall of Famer Gump Worsley.

Another wrinkle?

My good pal, my buddy, “The Maven” himself, Stan Fischler, and who never has a cross word to say about anyone – also wasn’t too keen on Mr. Watson – and where “Fiery” Phil once booted the scribe off of the team’s train car – but more on that story, and both sides of it, for the book!

In all of my writings about Watson, including in my first book, I have always said some version of the following:

“I wish that Watson wrote an autobiography or gave a tell-all interview to combat all of the negative stories that are out there against him. I would’ve loved to hear his side.”

Again – I know that this appeals to a small audience (as you may have been able to determine – writing about Mark Messier or Wayne Gretzky attracts more eyeballs) – but Watson’s story, his career, his life, just fascinates me – which I guess is why Mr. Fischler has anointed me as an official “RANGERS’ HISTORIAN” – where with that title and $500 – I can buy the cheapest ticket at M$G these days!

As I was digging around this past summer after releasing “Ranger Killers,” and while also having about ten other book projects juggling in the air too, I found myself trying to find as much information about Watson for a future blog posting.

Instead, I soon ran into the daughter of Watson, former Hollywood actress, Janet Watson-Winston (and a woman, who like her father, also has an interesting story to tell).

Now in her eighties, Mrs. Double W. can recollect many personal stories in regards to her father – and for the first time – can publicly explain the mentality of his personality.

While she doesn’t really know the ins- and outs- of her father’s playing career (heck, and in a funny story for the book – I was the person who actually informed both Janet and her son Tony that her father had actually won the Stanley Cup on two occasions, as following 1940, he won his second on loan in Montreal in 1944 due to World War II) – she possesses a treasure trove of pictures from Watson’s days in New York as both a player and head coach – and where all of these pictures will be released for the first time in this upcoming book.

By now, and as regular readers of this site already know, I have pretty good relationships with many of the Rangers’ alumni and their family members.

All you have to do is look up my stuff on Frank Boucher – and where if you read my first book, then you’ll notice that his granddaughter, Frankie Baird, still a good friend of mine to this very day, wrote the foreword to it.

Since no one else in the fan base, or writer for that matter, from aside Fischler, seems to care about Rangers’ history, I have had many of the alumni and their families find this site, including the families of Bill & Bun Cook, Alex Shibicky, Dave Kerr, Chuck Rayner, Bob Nevin and now Phil Watson, just to name a few.

One last plug/reminder – check out my first book – as I don’t want to rewrite everything said there tonight.

But long-story short – for some time now, I’ve been championing the Rangers to retire the numbers and hang banners in the rafters of M$G for Frank Boucher, the Cook brothers, Emile Francis, Ron Greschner, Bryan Hextall, Ching Johnson and Lester Patrick.

I’ve also been promoting the idea that the Rangers need to create a “RINK OF HONOR” too – and for a franchise that’s obsessed with money – then you would think that by now that they would’ve done so – and especially after watching the cross-town Yankees rake in the bucks when promoting their history – albeit, and needless to say – a history much more successful than the Blueshirts!

During her acting days, Janet Watson-Winston worked with a “who’s who” of Hollywood, including the legendary Dean Martin. To read about her days on both the silver screen and on television, then check out: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0914684/

As the Rangers near their 100th anniversary, Watson, and on her own site, http://janetsjourneytohope.blogspot.com/, wrote the following, and with her permission, I’m sharing it here:

I have been very fortunate to have two women reach out to me on Facebook, because our fathers played together on the New York Rangers Stanley Cup Hockey team in 1940.

They are Valerie Patrick, granddaughter of Lynn Patrick, and Lori Patrick, daughter of Muzz Patrick.

I have known Valerie since she was born because her father, Lester Lee Patrick, was like my brother, as the son of Dorothy and Lynn Patrick. 

Lori Patrick I have never had any contact with, but she found out Valerie had made contact with me, so she did too. 

We have something in common coming up in two years when the New York Rangers will have their 100 anniversaries as members of the National Hockey League.

I am hoping that the New York Rangers will invite (at our expense) the children of the 1940 Stanley Cup team who have passed on and so we can represent our fathers at Madison Square Garden.

I don’t know if they will have any kind of celebration, but it would be very nice for Valerie, Lori and myself to be invited.

We’ll see what the Rangers do as they approach November of 2026 – but this ceremony (and hopeful banner raisings too) long overdue already – has to at least take place during the 100YA season.

And I know that other members of the alumni, and their families, are fully backing Watson-Winston’s request too.

It’s time for Chris Drury to earn his Team President salary – and for owner James Dolan to finally show some level of interest in this historic franchise.

More on Watson, both of them, in future site updates.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming – Rangers vs. Islanders!

Well, prior to this game, Laviolette said that he wanted to get a look a Ruhwedel. He now has his wish – or so it seems.

With not much of a turnaround to speak of, Laviolette was very brief during his Sunday morning pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is for you below:

Adam Edstrom, who was returned to Hartford at 10AM Sunday morning, was never brought up – but this ping-pong move told us that the same twelve-forwards would be in Lavy’s Line-Up today.

As far as anything else, Laviolette said that he was going to use the same defensive pairings that he’s been using ever since Trouba went down – and while he’s “excited” to get a look at Ruhwedel – Sunday wasn’t going to be the day.

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Brodzinski/Wenneberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Cuylle/Goodrow/Vesey

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Schneider

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Jones


BACK-UP: Jonathan Quick

Healthy Scratches: Ruhwedel

Suspended: Rempe

Injured but not on the IR yet: Trouba


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





31 5 26 .839 25 0 1 0 0 59:41 0


27 2 25 .926 23 2 0 0 0 60:00 0

I’ve always praised TNT ever since they first got the rights to nationally broadcast NHL games. However, and for the first time in three-seasons – I thought this broadcast was insufferable – and not because of the studio panel, or for that matter, reporter Jackie Redmond either – but because of Isles’ announcer Brendan Burke and that annoying prick Darren Pang. Photo Credit: TNT

I just want to get this out of the way and then move on – because if I bring this up throughout the entire GAME REVIEW segment, then much like my patience with my terrible-and-dated computer – then I will lose it on Darren Pang too!

For someone who craves these TNT broadcasts (heck, it’s my favorite show on television) – this was the worst one yet.

For whatever reason, this marquee game was presented by TNT’s B-Team.

In the Atlanta, GA studio were Keith Yandle, Anson Carter, Liam McHugh and Craig Berube.

While not exactly Wayne Gretzky, Henrik Lundqvist, and to a much lesser extent Paul Bissonnette, this quartet was fine – but unless they have talked about it before – Carter’s recent move to bring hockey back to Atlanta for the third time in league history was never brought up.

It was the fingernails-on-chalkboard commentary from the announce duo that was ungodly.

In one corner, you had Isles’ play-by-play caller Brendan Burke, who just lied through his teeth all game, where he even went as far as saying that the crowd at M$G was evenly split between Ranger and Islander fans.

Perhaps he was imbibing on the holiday – but then again – even if he was drinking and seeing double the amount of Isle fans that were there – then even so – the amount of Blueshirt Backers were much more prevalent – and maybe to a tune of 18,000 – 6!

Burke’s repeated statement couldn’t have been any further from the truth – and really – even when the Rangers visit Long Island – that statement isn’t true either – as Ranger fans, and as they did today, largely outnumber Islander supporters!

In what people at the game told me was a crowd make-up of 98% Ranger fans and 2% Islander fans, Burke tried to sell his own narrative – and badly sold it he did.

Elsewhere, you had the exhausting Darren Pang, who wasn’t able to drool over Matt Poitras tonight (and as he did previously this season during a Rangers/Bruins preseason game), going on-and-on, and for sixty-minutes at that, about some green drink that he was having – and where I’m to assume after watching his clown act – was the liquid version of crack-cocaine.

You see, on St. Patrick’s Day, people drink green beer – but not Mr. Pang – who no less than 966785675765678567857865 times told us that he was drinking green Gatorade.

What a rebel.

And did I mention yet that he spent half of this broadcast dressed up as the poster boy for “Lucky Charms?”

Heck, his commentary (and overall appearance) from today was more frightening than those “Leprechaun” B-movies from the 1990s – and how fitting – as TNT gave us their B-team too!

Maybe for Passover, Pang can run around with a yamaka/kippah on his head while screaming about the manischewitz that he’s guzzling.

And for an encore, on Easter Sunday, he can shit eggs out of his ass while jumping around like a diseased and hopped-up-on-meth bunny.

There was one point on this broadcast, and at the start of the third period, where Burke solemnly informed viewers of the expected – Lindgren would miss the rest of the game.

In a response, this little schmuck, Mr. Pang, orgasmed on-air while telling us 9678669678967896789689 times that <GASP> – Artemi Panarin took a swig from his plastic cup full of Gatorade!


If I ever see Pang on my TV again, then it will be too soon.

Please treat the Rangers like A-Games TNT – which means – I MISSED YOU KENNY AND EDZO!

What a season these three are having. Photo Credit: Pauly D.


Sorry, due to the time and this crappy computer, I can’t do my normal minute-by-minute commentary, but if you want such a recap, then check out my Tweeter feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

That said, I’ll give you my all – and the longest and most-detailed recap of this affair anyway!

The Islanders left this period with the game’s only goal – but even so – the Rangers looked vastly superior.

The Blueshirts, wearing their cash-grab gimmick third jerseys, where after today, I now believe they are 7-1 in these threads, took control of the game right away.

Not even two-minutes in and Sorokin had to make stops on both Trocheck and Panarin.

Then, and just 2:30 in, Kakko, from two feet away, went wide – and where yes – all I could do was groan.

But as noted – at least he’d later redeem himself!

By the five-minute mark, the Rangers had strong a bunch of shifts in the Isles’ zone – and were also out-shooting them, 4-0.

Despite not having to make a save just yet, CZAR IGOR let us know that he was dialed in, as with 14:20 remaining, he made one of his patented homerun passes to Panarin, which then set-up a shot on goal for Miller – and yes – a save for Sorokin too.

For an encore, during his first denial of the game, CZAR IGOR made a perfectly timed blocker save on a Brock Nelson breakaway try.

Come 11:45 remaining, and CZAR IGOR stopped Nelson again, this time following a Zibanejad o-zone turnover.

And I’m not going to rail on Mika for this bad turnover – and for all of the schedule reasons as noted above.

Shit happens – and especially when you don’t get any rest.

As Burke continued to lie about the millions-and-millions of Islander fans in-attendance, he actually gave us a pertinent stat too – entering this game, Will Cuylle led all NHL rookies in hits (212).

This just tells you how important Cuylle has been for the Rangers – and how he’s a bonafide NHLer too – having not spent one day in Hartford this season.

Down to 10:30 remaining, and Zac Jones, who not only found the light switch in Trouba’s absence, but has powered that son-of-a-bitch up to 1,000,000,000 watts, made a sliding block during an Islanders’ three-vs-one odd-man rush.

What a defensive play – and maybe I was wrong when I said that I didn’t see any future for him with the Rangers.

And yep, some of my pro-American bias too – as say what you want about the Virginian-born Jones – but he didn’t cry and demand a trade out of town when he saw Fox, Trouba and Schneider slotted above him – and just like the Swedish native Nils Lundkvist did.

And wow – what a career Lundkvist is having in Dallas these days too.

To date myself, and to quote the great Wayne Campell and Garth Algar (and “Borat” too) – “NOT!”

As Burke was informing viewers where the Islanders slept last night, and which one of them, and like George Costanza, preferred “the tuck” or not; up next was a three-step potential turning point of the game – but by the end of it – and like a bad fart – a stench ensued, but once airing out during the intermission – this vile scent, an Isles’ lead, left the arena.

Here’s how it all went:

— With 8:03 to go, Trocheck was boxed for holding Barzal.

— With 6:10 remaining, Engvall was sent to the sin bin for holding Lindgren’s twig.

— The Rangers’ PK was now 1-1.

— However, and with 5:52 remaining, Horvat, off a one-timer set-up by Nelson, who was in Gretzky’s Office, beat CZAR IGOR.

— 1-0, bad guys, and because the Rangers were on the power-play following their brief time of foreplay (4×4 for new readers), this went down as a short-handed goal.

— But while this did suck – this was just one of those bang-bang plays – and not some incredible turnover in the o-zone that led to a shorty goal in the d-zone, as the Isles had the puck when the Rangers’ power-play began.

— The Rangers’ PP, most certainly a weakness these days, and no matter what the schedule is, ended their man-advantage stay as Fox was boxed for interference with 5:28 remaining. This time, the foreplay would last 1:19 rather than seven-seconds – and I’m sure that the female supporters were happy about that!

— Sorokin stopped the best Rangers’ chance yet during the foreplay, during a Panarin-to-Trocheck two-vs-one odd-man rush.

— But once the Isles went on their power-play – the Rangers PK was there to stop it.

— Rangers’ special teams at this point? PK 2-2, PP 0-1 – and with one goal allowed. But again, to cry about this would be foolish.

— With 30-seconds remaining, the GAG LINE 2.0 threatened, but nothing doing – yet.

1-0, bad guys, through twenty-minutes – and where you knew that the Rangers would put some goals on the board soon enough – and as they did – five in total.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Similar to a horse racing “Daily Double,” I wonder what a prop bet of Zibanejad and Kakko scoring in consecutive games would have paid out on a $1 bet? To quote another Michael Myers movie, “One million dollars!?!?!” Photo Credit: NYR


As Zibanejad won the opening draw in front of an empty lower bowl that was presumably draining and removing contents from their bowels; these fans missed the following goal at the 27-second mark:


Say it with me (again):

Jack Roslovic has given the BFF line a huge shot in the arm – and as his assist here would suggest.

Three-minutes later, and following a Miller keep at the Rangers’ blue line – Mika almost had his second.

Baby steps.

And right after that, and similar to the goal that Isles scored, where arguably, an icing should have been called – CZAR IGOR was furious about another Isles’ icing being ignored.

But that wouldn’t derail him.

In fact, the Rangers just pressed even harder.

At around the seven-minute mark, Sorokin came up with tough saves on Miller and Panarin. Right after that, we almost had an ALL-HARVARD goal, as Fox set-up Vesey – but yet again – CZAR IGOR’s BFF was right there the denial.

A minute later, and with 11:20 to go, JONNY HOCKEY hit iron – but you could feel it coming.

Following a CZAR IGOR save on “Barzy,” CUYLLE HAND LUKE called his shot:

2-1, GOOD GUYS, and for those counting, after tonight, Cuylle has 12 goals this season, Kakko has 10.

So I’d “cuylle” it with the KAKKO IS BACK stuff!

For Cuylle, this was kind of a redemption goal after being demoted to the fourth line – and how about those apples, as recorded by Fox and Lindgren?

As the Isles looked for the equalizer, CZAR IGOR stopped Pelech with 7:52 remaining.

Following a Jackie Redmond interview with Patrick Roy, where the Hall of Famer looked incensed (in comparison – Laviolette was more jovial in his chat with Mrs. Redmond – and where he even made a snide remark about the horrible schedule), Pelech came up gimpy a bit after blocking a Panarin shot.

However, and perhaps motivated by Roy’s fierce tongue; Horvat tied the game with 6:05 to go.

To say that Barclay Goodrow has looked better than he did today would be an understatement – but as previously noted 967856865 times – I entered this game with the intention of giving everyone a pass because of the schedule.

That said, previous to this goal, the Isles won three o-zone draws in a row – and for the rotten cherry on top – with Goodrow holding Horvat – the former Canuck, who would probably love to return to Vancouver these days, was still able to score anyway.

For the Rangers, who have embraced the “NEXT MAN UP” motto all season?

They’ve also personified “PICKING UP MY FELLOW MAN” too.

Just 66-seconds after Horvat had tied it, Brodzinski regained the Blueshirts’ edge:

3-2, GOOD GUYS – and where Miller, following his three-pointer on Saturday, finished with two-points next to his name in the box score today – and who registered the pretty primary assist on this JONNY HOCKEY GOAL.


As noted earlier, a few seconds later, the Lindgren injury:

Again, all the best to Lindgren – and while I have no medical expertise – I can’t argue against the popular opinion – this didn’t look good.

And in a way, this injury sapped the life out of the building too, as it was tough for the crowd to get up when Brodzinski’s goal was called out.

Down to 2:15 remaining, and Lafreniere was questionably boxed for tripping Brock “No Relation to Lesnar Joe” Nelson.

While I thought this was a ticky-tacky penalty – it does feel like #13 gets penalized frequently – and maybe as a result – he has reputation with these referees.

But no matter, as the Rangers’ PK once again did their job, and finished today’s tilt as a flawless three-of-three.

And if Zibanejad was able to convert on a two-vs-one short-handed rush, where he was all alone with Sorokin, then it would’ve been 4-2, GOOD GUYS, here.

However, he airmailed the puck – which is why I am hesitant to scream that MIKA IS BACK – as the Mika of old would’ve at least put this puck on net – and then scored too.

3-2, GOOD GUYS, through forty-minutes of play.

Here’s what I said at the time:

It’s been a trying season for Kakko thus far, but as said 9678678679679696 times before – show up in the playoffs and that’s all that people will remember. Photo Credit: M$GN


As I was hoping that Panarin had spit a roofie into Pang’s drink, just in order to shut him up; Jones, on his first shift, displayed his puck-handling skills, as he created a ton of open space for Gustafsson – but the GUS BUS went wide on his shot.

I guess that’s a Swedish thing these days!

A Finnish, or should I say “finish,” thing these days?

The second-overall pick of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, who scored his second goal in as many games, and as Kakko did here just 2:36 into the period:

There’s no way that this was an A-Rod goal.

Nor was it “feckless” either!

In fact, this was demoralizing for the Islanders – as after this goal – they may as well have taken off their white jerseys and waved them around as if they were white flags.

The Rangers never sat back on this lead – and as Sorokin would tell you – as he was very busy for the remainder of this frame.

As I was kind of hoping for Roy to pull Sorokin, and then hope for Lavy to put Jones out there (#6 deserves a feel-good goal these days), such an event never came to be, as at the 10:42 mark, Lafreniere said “GAME OVER,” and as he did here following a pass from Panarin:

5-2, GOOD GUYS – and the rout was on.

And oh, to go back to what I said earlier this week, when I was combating the mooks and morons who said that the Rangers were better off without Trouba?

After Lindgren went down today, the Rangers had a net-gain of two goals (2-0).

For these fans, does that mean that you want the Blueshirts to play with five defensemen all of the time too?

Again, the reality?

The Rangers are pretty damn good and one last time – “NEXT MAN UP!”

It felt like the Blueshirts would get their touchdown, but to Sorokin’s credit, he stopped everyone, including Mika, Kreider, Roslovic, Cuylle, Panarin, et al.

And with 3:30 remaining – Trocheck hit the post – which I must mention – as it just tells you that the Rangers weren’t satisfied with their lead – as instead – they wanted to add to it.

As we got to the end, one thing was truly apparent:

While the Rangers could never top the performance, or at least the feelings, the vibes and the “Disney Moment” created following their Stadium Series win against these blue-and-orange “Belmont Bozos” – this was one hell of an encore – and come April, the Rangers will look for repeat encores against “Lou’s Losers.”

Here’s Laviolette, who will hopefully fully shed the “Lateralette” nickname when it matters this Spring, following this huge statement and schedule-be-damned victory:

I’d pay to watch these two star in a buddy-cop movie! Photo Credit: NYR

The Rangers, who completed their final back-to-back set of the regular season on Sunday – and where they impressively finished with a 10-1 record on the second-half of the back-to-back – will play their final fourteen games of the 2023-24 campaign on alternating nights.

The Blueshirts will host the Jets this Tuesday night at M$G and will then travel to Boston for an Original Six tilt with the Bruins on Thursday night. 48-hours later, Saturday, and the Rangers will return home for another late-night meeting (8:15PM puck drop) with the big cats from Sunrise, FL.

Heading into Easter week, and to close out the third month of 2024, the Rangers will host the Flyers on Tuesday, March 26th and will then go on their last road-trip to a different time zone (until the Stanley Cup Final!!!!) when they play in Colorado on Thursday, March 28th and then at the college arena in Arizona on Saturday, March 30th.

The Rangers will then open April with a home match, their first “post-Easter” game, against the Penguins (Monday, 4/1).

Also of note?

The Rangers will play eight-times in April prior to the playoffs.

Aside from a 4/5 game in Detroit – all of the games are at home – including a 4/9 game at their second residence at the IBS Arena in Belmont.

I know that many people don’t want it because of the perceived curse – but this team has a real shot of finishing the season as the Presidents’ Trophy winners.

And for all of the comparisons to 1994, ones that I know that many fans are sick of too – then why not?

As we saw then – such a curse is able to be overcome.

Up next for me?

Trying to physically restrain myself from unloading a sledgehammer on this computer!

Up next for you?

Your favorite segment!

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/PIT 3/16 Review: Rangers Open a Can of “Whoop Ass” in the Steel City on Austin 3:16 Day, Breadman’s Five Points > A Hero From Primanti Brothers; Miller’s Three-Pointer, BUY A LOTTO TICKET – Zibanejad & Kakko Actually Score Timely Goals, Trocheck for 2024 McDonald Award, Tons of Signings, Special Teams, Bring on the Isles & More


NYR/TBL 3/14 Review: The Ides of No Mika March Robs Ranger Fans of “JACK THE RIPPER” Headlines; Bolts’ Big Guns Go Off Late, GAG LINE 2.0 Scores Again – But the Powerless Play Still Remains, Defense Plays Well Enough – But The Trouba & Rempe Absences Are Noticeable, Not a Loss To Be Mad About, Lavy, M$GN, Rosenism’s & More

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

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

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/NYI 3/17 Review: Blueshirts Put Five Pots of Gold Up Sorokin’s Five-Hole; Lavy’s Lot Impressively Thrives During Grueling Schedule, Ryan Lindgren Injury Mars Otherwise Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Mass at M$G, Scoring From All Places & Faces; Jones Capitalizing on New-Found Opportunity, A Request To Dolan & Drury from The Phil Watson Family, Horrible TNT Broadcast & More

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