NYR/WPG 3/19 Review: Same Old Problems Plague Blueshirts in Loss to The Juiced Up Jets; “Mika Don’t March, We’re In Trouble!” Rempe Scratch Leads to Morgue $quare Garden, Lindgren Injury Not as Bad as Feared; Ruhwedel Ready, The Hucklebuck “Goalies” The Rangers Again, RIP Chris Simon, Brutal M$GN Broadcast – But At Least We Had Brian “Mini Maloney” Boyle & More

I know that I sound like a broken record, but what else am I supposed to say following the Rangers’ 4-2 loss to the Jets? After all, I can only work with the material that I’m given! On Tuesday night, at a Matt Rempe-less Morgue Square Garden, also devoid of life were the FAT CATS in blue. Against another top opponent, the BFF, Mika Zibanejad (2 SOG, -1) and Chris Kreider (4 SOG, -2), were blanked by Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck – aka “THE HUCKLEBUCK.” Another broken record of mine? One of my usual suggestions – it’s time for Peter Laviolette to take a look at Alexis Lafreniere (1G, 1A and a game-high 7 SOG) on the team’s first power-play unit. And this too – where else will you get a Madonna reference following a Rangers’ loss? But it’s true – if Mika don’t march, then the Rangers are in trouble come the postseason. Recent history tells us as much.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. I think that I’m more bothered by tonight’s brutal M$GN broadcast rather than about the 4-2 loss itself!

Then again, that’s how I feel most nights after the Rangers go down – and as ten-years of blogs would suggest!

I know that what I’m about to say next all comes off like a barrel of excuses, rah-rah and dismissive chatter about one game out of eighty-two – but then again – for whatever you want to say about me (and there’s a whole lot!) – at least I’m consistent.

After all, I’ve only been printing the following 25-word disclaimer during every GAME REVIEW blog this season – and where I should’ve long put this text on a t-shirt too:


Excuse or no excuse, this is a fact: It’s tough to win games when you’re missing 50% of your top-four of defense. Photo Credit: NYR

Going into this game with the Jets, I still thought that the Rangers didn’t have enough time to rest up following their grueling schedule, where by now, if you don’t know about it, then you can read all about it here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/31724/

Compounding matters was not only was Lavy’s Lot still without their captain Jacob Trouba – but now added to the Blueshirts’ walking wounded was Ryan Lindgren. (More on Lindgren’s status below.)

Elsewhere, the ‘Peggers, rested-and-ready, entered this match with the same mentality that a lot of contending Ranger opponents have had this season – they were treating the Blueshirts as a true litmus test – and for a team that doesn’t get much league attention to begin with due to their drab-and-dreary locale – they wanted a big win on M$G ice.

(Thought? I wonder how this game would’ve played out had it been held in Manitoba – and not in New York.)

While of course, every fan, player, coach and anyone else with an interest in the Rangers, wants to see the team win every night; at the same time, no team goes 82-0 either.

And no – I don’t think that I’m breaking any news to you here – and contrary to a lot of the stuff that I saw on social media following this loss – and stuff that perhaps was stirred up by the seven-foot shithead himself, the worst back-up goalie in franchise history, M$GN stooge, and why does he still have a job with this Original Six franchise, Sieve Vagistat.

While not a fan-friendly decision, but one that was also completely understandable; for a tired Rangers’ team, the head coach decided not to use the off-of-his-“remputation”-suspension, Matt Rempe.


Come Thursday night in Beantown – and #73 will be right there to battle the likes of Trent Frederic and Co.

And no – I don’t believe this will be the case solely because of REMPESTEIN’s catcher’s mitt fists either.

Instead, I believe that we’ll see Rempe back because he provides energy – and one hell of a forecheck too.

The biggest asshole in sports – and perhaps in all of the tri-state area too, Mr. Vagistat.

To jump ahead a bit, the craziest thing to me following this 4-2 defeat was the reaction – and where if you didn’t see Tuesday’s tilt – then you would’ve thought that the Rangers got their dicks kicked in.

The reality?

The Jets’ stars showed up – the Rangers’ stars did not – and where yeah – I do believe the schedule matters.

In front of 18,006 people who thought they were attending a funeral of a loved one, and where even these high-paying patrons heard all of Sam Rosen’s 18,006 follies due to the lack of crowd noise too; Winnipeg center, Mark Scheifele, who had been linked to the Rangers during the past three seasons in various trade proposals prior to re-upping in the city voted as the worst city to play in by the players themselves, picked up a hat trick.

While Vincent Trocheck is the Rangers’ number one center now – he’s also not paid $8.5M per-season like both Scheifele and Mika Zibanejad are.

Once again, and against a top team – it was like the Monstars from “Space Jam” had zapped the Swedish-Iranian dee-jay from all of his talent.

On either side of the ice featured a Vezina Trophy winner, as both Connor Hellebuyck (2020) and CZAR IGOR (2022), who aside from winning the prestigious hardware, both men have also finished as runner-ups in other years for it to boot; where on this night, it was the Jet who “goalied” his opponents – and “out-goalied” the Blueshirts’ backstop too.

While CZAR IGOR was fine enough despite what his three goals allowed may suggest; Hellebuyck was most certainly better.

I’ll have the GOALIE STATS posted for you below, but needless to say, the man from Winnipeg had the much harder workload tonight, and the only two goals that he surrendered were the end result of Blueshirt man-advantages – a power-play goal and a 6 x 5 empty net attack strike.

And go figure: Of the two goals that Hellebuyck gave up – Alexis Lafreniere was involved in both scoring plays.

Perhaps another big money and name comparison is at the left-wing position, as Kyle Connor, the other Jet with a goal on this night, played at a superb level, while Chris Kreider, and just like his BFF, and to be nice – wasn’t that hot.

Not to be nice?

Kreider sucked tonight like a hoover vaccuum.

In fact, while Zibanejad has been much worse this season, and where at this point, you don’t expect anything out of him during what’s now a lost season for #93 – this was arguably Kreider’s worst game of the season.

But of course, no one bats 1.000 either.

Also of course?

Kreider has been much more good than bad this season.

But another of course?

It would be nice to see Zibanejad at least bat his weight.

Once the final horn went off and the Jets were victorious, then M$GN went straight to their useless seven-foot tool, Sieve Vagistat.

For those wondering Part I: YES – I did turn off the broadcast once Vagistat came on (me and a pal were watching this game on his laptop) – but since I had so many people asking me about this – ugh – once returned home from work – I watched this nonsense on my DVR.

For those wondering Part II: I was able to watch this game at work, as for the first time since having my hours changed on me – I had a nice, slow and boring day. I just hope that I get these days again come the playoffs!

As noted, Vagistat went on-and-on about how the Rangers can’t beat any good team this season and how they’ve lost to every potential playoff opponent this month besides Carolina – where both humorously and ironically – the butt boil of hockey then said that CZAR IGOR “goalied” the Canes – and where without such a performance – the Blueshirts would have been pummeled.

I guess the same logic doesn’t apply when the opponent (Hellebuyck) does the same to the Rangers!

That said, and while not technically wrong about Lavy’s Lot against these heavyweights of the league; the chart-humper also omitted the Blueshirts’ crazy schedule – and oh yeah – forgot that the Rangers entered this game with a 16-3-1 record in their last twenty games played.

Also forgotten by the man with the bad CVS hair dye job?

That oh yeah – the Rangers were missing 50% of their top-four of rearguards.

Had Vagistat said something like, “Johnny Gianonne my boy, it’s the same old shit – Mika Zibanejad turns into Stinka Zibanedud in big games, and the Feckless Finn was once again a no-show against a top team,” then, and in an ultra-rarity – I would have agreed with him.

But to discount what the top line, Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere, have been doing all-season was reckless.

Ditto ignoring the fact that the Rangers are tops in the Metro.

And to pile on – all of the facts noted above – where prior to the game, the Jets said verbatim how they were treating this game as a litmus test.

But there’s even more, because really, while the top stars were no-shows again – it’s not like the team played bad, or at the very least, gave up and/or didn’t provide effort.

As said, Hellebucyk was just in the zone – and he did have to see a total of forty shots too.

Had the Rangers got blown out, then yeah, I would have been a little concerned.

However, the only thing that I’m concerned about goes back to my disclaimer – the playoffs.

With 69 games down and 13 to go – I just want the Rangers to continue to show effort in every game – and perhaps more importantly than that – NO MORE INJURIES!

Following Lafreniere’s terrible preseason, it was noted by Jonny Lazarus, then working for The Hockey News, how Laviolette pulled Lafreniere aside during pregame practices. Whatever Lavy has said, and yeah – Panarin & Trocheck are part of it too – it’s been working. On this night, Lafreniere continued to improve his career-high numbers, including his 20th goal, 24th assist and 44th point of the season. While still not a generational first-round pick like others in his position during recent years – at least he’s improving and progressing. That’s better than the alternative – and just ask Kaapo Kakko if you don’t believe me! Photo Credit: Jonny Lazarus

Following a spirited first period, where had the Rangers won, then everyone would have been raving about not only Lafreniere, but Will Cuylle too (Hellebuyck made three robbery saves against the Rangers’ rookie), both teams left the ice scoreless, and with the home team out-shooting their visitors to a tune of 13-9.

Then the middle period happened.

At the 4:04 mark of his second stanza, Scheifele picked up his first of three, on what was pretty much the end result of “created puck-luck.”

While, and to their credit, the Jets were pressing and attacking; the Winnipeg man-in-the-middle didn’t get all of a rebound afforded to Alex Iafallo. Since CZAR IGOR was expecting more of a direct point-blank shot, Scheifele’s miscue proved beneficial for him.

In a way, this shot/goal looked like a batter being fooled by a knuckleball.

Four-minutes later, and still trailing 1-0, Kakko, in his lone cameo of the night, drew Josh Morrissey for hooking.

Following another dreadful outing for the first power-play unit, and as misled by Mika; the second power-play unit hopped over the boards for their finite seconds of ice time.

This second quintet would quickly maximize their minutes, as Alexis Lafreniere set-up a power-play goal – and Alex Wennberg’s first as a Ranger.

Picking up the secondary assist? The other new face in town, JACK THE RIPPER!

Now tied at 1-1 at the 9:30 mark – the Rangers wouldn’t score again until they pulled CZAR IGOR late into the final frame.

A Braden Schneider hook on Iafallo put the Jets on the power-play at the 11:50 mark – and where if #4 didn’t take this penalty – then the visitors probably would have scored here.

Instead, they regained the lead just seconds into their power-play, as Kyle Connor beat CZAR IGOR for the 2-1, bad guys, goal at the 12:18 mark.

The Rangers, now looking for the equalizer once again, would never get it.

But Chris Kreider did pick up an assist at the 17:55 mark (2:05 remaining – a late demoralizing goal), and as he did following a god-awful turnover to Scheifele, which in turn, put the Jets ahead 3-1 – and following the breakaway goal allowed by CZAR IGOR.

And yep, and for good measure – this was a dagger – and not only because this goal was scored late – but because the Rangers also extended their 7 for their last 8796675675768565576565 breakaway attempts this season during this game too.

Come the third period, and where the Rangers actually out-shot the Jets 16-7 – they did everything but score – that is, until there was only 1:54 remaining – as Lafreniere decreased the margin to 3-2.

Of note at the start of this period?

Lavy hit the line blender again – and where this time – I didn’t agree with him for doing so – but only because it makes no sense to me to break up the 10/16/13 line.

This terrific trio are the only top-six horses this team has – so to limit their minutes and mix them up – it just doesn’t work in my opinion.

But again, my opinion shared to you comes from a beer-bellied blogger – and one who hasn’t spent one second in this locker room.

Laviolette’s opinion comes from a man who is destined for the Hall of Fame – and around these guys every day!

For whatever reason, and following Lafreniere’s 3-2 goal – neither coach used their timeout here – and as you thought that one of them would do at this point in the match.

(And no – the ignorant Ranger reporters never asked Laviolette about this either – aka – the expected.)

For Scott Arniel, holding the seat warm for the recently ill Rick Bowness, you’d think that he would have wanted to give his best five defenders a break.

For Peter Laviolette, you’d think that he’d want to give his top-six attackers a breath before going for one more.

And had these six got a chance to regain their composure?

Then who knows?

Perhaps Chris Kreider doesn’t miss by hair when going for the 3-3 goal – and as he did in the final minute.

A Scheifele empty-netter, scored with nine-seconds remaining, his hat-trick goal, sealed the deal.

But again, and as I wrap-up this super-long intro – I just can’t get upset about this loss – and no matter what others and Vagistat are saying.

However, everything that I’ve said this season, and even over last summer too, still remains – and where these feelings are even more intensified today.

If Zibanejad can’t pull his head out of his ass, then I feel that “Devils Deja Vu” could be in the Blueshirts’ future.

And for my own sanity – I hope that the Blueshirts bust out the jaws of life and remove his head from his five-hole.

After all, I don’t know how I’ll deal with another summer of Mika pouting and Kreider crying.

Perhaps Volumes 2 and 3 of “Ranger Killers” anyone?


Let’s now get into the pregame news and notes, followed by our usual segments, including what’s going to be a shorter-than-usual GAME REVIEW – or so I say!

While not confirming such a notion, the head coach sounded optimistic about both Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren returning to his line-up come the playoffs.

On Monday, and following the schedule from hell – the Rangers had a much needed and well-deserved day off.

While the players were away from the ice, Rangers’ general manager Chris Drury was still in his office, and come 5PM, the club announced the following on Elon Musk’s app:

At the time of this tweet, this confirmed the obvious to everyone – Ryan Lindgren would be down for some time, hence the need for a defenseman. And with Connor Mackey currently hurt in Hartford, then, and by the process of elimination, in turn, Brandon Scanlin had to become the “next man up.”

Following this news, and go figure – it was former Rangers’ general manager, Neil Smith, who now currently doubles-up as a “reporter” for his new podcast, who broke the news that Lindgren’s injury wasn’t as bad as many initially feared.

However, with the team idle on Monday, we’d have to wait until Tuesday morning to get more information from the bench boss.

Come Tuesday morning, and following what some may consider as an “interesting” practice, as Laviolette deployed the same lines (12-forwards) that had played and smacked around the Islanders on Sunday – and rather than returning Matt Rempe to his fourth line – the head coach conducted his pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is for you below:

As far as the biggest story in Rangerstown, USA, and one that didn’t include Rempe – Laviolette confirmed that Lindgren would miss some time.

While never giving a set-in-stone timetable (verbatim, he said, “it might be two or three weeks” – a comment where the word “might” can be interpreted in different ways) on when expecting double-nickel to return, Laviolette did sound positive when talking about the injury.

In other words, this wasn’t a Blake Wheeler situation for Lindgren, as the team’s top LD should be back for the playoffs.

While on the topic of injured defensemen that the Rangers will most certainly need for the postseason, Laviolette also said that Jacob Trouba is now skating on his own.

Similar to Lindgren, Laviolette didn’t provide a timetable on the captain’s return, but did say that Trouba is progressing and that soon enough, he’ll be back practicing with the team – first in a non-contact jersey – and then with the real thing.

On the no-longer-suspended Rempe, Lavy said what he’s said a few times this season when the team is hot – he wanted to reward the players who gave it their all in the Rangers’ last victory.

While this is just yours truly spit-balling, based on what the head coach said, then it’s my belief that had the Rangers looked bad, or perhaps if JONNY HOCKEY wasn’t playing well, then Rempe would have been in his line-up on Tuesday.

However, and to go back to what the bench boss said following the trade deadline, Laviolette reiterated that he was going to alter his line-up from time-to-time and said, “I am going to move guys around. We’re going to keep thirteen players moving and get ourselves playoff ready.”

In other words, Rempe, following his four-game suspension, will be back soon enough, and perhaps as soon as Thursday night, when the Rangers play their 70th game of the season.

This comment, “thirteen players,” also tells you that Rempe isn’t going back to Hartford.

Elsewhere, and as he always does (I’ve gone long-form on this topic before, so check out this site’s archives for more), Laviolette continued to spread the love, as he singled-out and praised Zac Jones, K’Andre Miller and Braden Schneider – and all by name.

As far as any other pregame news, it came from the Jets’ side, as Winnipeg announced the following on Tuesday morning:

Obviously, best wishes to Jets’ head coach Rick Bowness, but with him taking some time off, this meant that former Rangers’ assistant head coach, who also served as an interim head coach at times, Scott Arniel, “master of the power-play,” was calling the shots behind the visitor’s bench tonight.

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Brodzinski/Wennberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Cuylle/Goodrow/Vesey

FIRST PAIR: Gustafsson/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Schneider

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Ruhwedel


BACK-UP: Jonathan Quick

Healthy Scratches: Rempe and Scanlin

Injured: Lindgren & Trouba


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





40 2 38 .950 36 1 1 0 0 59:55 0


26 3 23 .885 20 3 0 0 0 57:35 0

Over the years, and as Rosen has made a mockery of his Hall of Fame career – as he’s gone from one of the best in the sport to a senile grandfather telling you random stories – he’s repeatedly said that if he’s ever lost his fastball, then his family will tell him, and in turn, he’ll retire. After listening to him this season, I’m left to wonder if his family is even watching him anymore – as perhaps they’ve ditched M$GN broadcasts for the head-and-shoulders better radio duo of Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney. I’m also wondering if Micheletti’s family is checking in on him these days as well – and perhaps Mike Modano, his son-in-law, can gently let Grampa Joe know that the day has finally come for him to spend more time with his grandkids – and where he then can phone Rosen and let him know the weights, the ages and the second-grade teachers of all of his seedlings! Photo Credit: M$GN

As noted above – I actually got to watch this game during my dinner break – and one that was slightly extended!

But I did haul ass (no breaks – or brakes too!) from 3PM-7:08PM – and I finished the rest of my tasks during intermissions too.

Talk about multi-tasking!

(And before you try to narc on me – my boss knows exactly what I was doing! As long as everything is done and done right – then there are no problems!)

Furthermore, because I was at work, rather than at home, I didn’t take any “blog notes” – but I did tweet a few things out that I wanted to bring up for the GAME REVIEW.

Since I was breaking my hole from 6:30PM-7:08PM, I didn’t see tonight’s pregame show – a good thing – as Vagistat was left to his own devices – and I wasn’t in the mood to have any pregame diarrhea after listening to his verbal diarrhea.

However, and once tuning in, I was pleasantly surprised to see Brian Boyle in-between the benches tonight – and where very quickly (but not all there yet) – he’s becoming like Dave Maloney – a broadcasting jack-of-all-trades.

This is my way of saying that Boyle was the only good thing about tonight’s broadcast.

And it’s funny – Boyle had no problems cutting in and talking over the two buffoons in the booth either – and where at times – it seemed like Rosen & Micheletti were getting annoyed about this – as Boyle would interrupt their “who’s related to who” bullshit and in turn – actually talked about the game in front of him!

In addition – Boyle, and unlike that annoying pest Darren Pang – never let us know what he was drinking tonight either – a broadcasting faux pas!

No joke, Boyle has been a natural during his debut season as part of this woefully bad M$GN team – and where by the way – when is “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, coming back?

A Boyle & Hank tandem, which we’ve seen a few times this season, works.


He’s better off working at a 25 cent peep show – and cleaning up the aftermath.

While Boyle needs more time in this in-between benches gig to perfect it, I think we saw what he can bring – and thankfully – he cut in as much as he could as Sam and Joe were yammering on about nothing.

And I bet that many of you readers would like him to interrupt me and to derail all of my own tangents too!

The only thing left for Boyle, and as he embarks on his new career in broadcasting, is to see if he can call a game.

If he’s able, then he’ll really be like Dave Maloney – and where the former captain can call games both on television and radio.

Another final thought before getting into the GAME REVIEW?

If I’m Boyle, then I’d just shadow and spark up a friendship with Maloney.

I’d also ask Maloney for his employee discount at the liquor store that he works at during the off-season too!

After all – and I promise this is my last tangent – did you see the skyrocketing costs for Buffalo Trace these days?

As regular readers know, I use/ingest/guzzle Buffalo Trace as “blog juice.”

Once $29.99 a bottle at launch, the price tag soon crept to $34.99 and then to $39.99.


It’s up to $69.99, mainly due to its popularity and a shortage where there is much more demand than supply – which in turn – I’m enjoying a “smooth” glass of Wild Turkey right now.

Gobble Gobble.

Where else do you get such junk important information whenever looking for Ranger news?


I won’t knock anyone who wanted Rempe to play tonight – and especially since I was one of those people! However, to blame his absence for tonight’s loss is completely foolish – but you can blame his healthy scratch status for the Terry Schiavo/lifeless crowd – and a crowd that really only woke up late into the third period with their “WE WANT REMPE!” chants. Too bad M$GN didn’t give us a shot of Rempe from the press box as such thunderous echoes bounced off of the iconic ceiling at M$G.


I’m not going to give you my Sam Rosen spiel again – so if you want it – then just check the archives of this site.

The Cliff Notes version?

He’s an institution, one of the friendliest humans that you could ever meet and a genuinely good guy.

But he’s also beyond senile and now just desecrating his legacy these days – where sadly, once he does finally retire – this goofball version will be the one that most remember – and as only the minority will remember what brought him to the Hall of Fame in the first place.

To open, Rosen told us that Mika Zibanejad was going to play on the left side of the Rangers’ defense.

Bless Sam’s heart – but then again – maybe this wouldn’t be a bad idea? Hell, maybe Sam still has one last fastball to fire with this notion!

After all, the one thing that Zibanejad has going for him these days are his “Selke Skills” – and could that second line be any worse, should say K’Andre Miller get some middle time in-between Kreider and Roslovic?

As Rosen usually responds to Micheletti, “MOOOOOOOOOO!”

After Micheletti corrected the batty Rosen, Sam then told us that the Rangers were going to play at M$G tonight.

I’m not making this up – and this wasn’t a statement connected to something else either. He just said that the Rangers were playing at M$G and then trailed off into something else.

As both teams went back-and-forth to start, Rosen asked Boyle to jump-in whenever he wanted.

Famous last words – as by the end of the game, Rosen & Micheletti seemed incensed with Boyle cutting them off about 987578589567678585 more times than Giannone usually does – and where with their reactions – you would’ve thought that Boyle had pissed in their tapioca puddings – and then flipped over their senior home “Bingo” cards too.


As I was expecting a Rosenism here, something as silly as “OH JOE, THE JETS JOE! BROADWAY JOE, JOE! JOE NAMATH AND NATHAN HOT DOGS, NO RELATION JOE!”; instead, Rosen told us that he was impressed with the jerseys that the Rangers were wearing – you know – their home blues which they must’ve worn at least 3,000 times since Senile Sammy became the team’s play-by-play man.

In Hellebuyck’s first big save of the game, with 12:25 remaining, he robbed Cuylle for the first time.

As noted up top, while CUYLLE HAND LUKE didn’t score tonight – it wasn’t for a lack of trying either.

Down to 9:16 remaining, we had our first of two back-to-back penalties, as Fox had interfered with Nino Niederreiter.

I’m not hating, I’m just stating – but it does feel like Fox has been taking a ton of these interference penalties lately.

However, just 52-seconds later and this Jets’ power-play crashed, as this time it was Connor going off for interference, after fooling around with Goodrow.

And too bad the Rangers lost tonight too – as Goodrow had one hell of a game – but because of the defeat – it will largely be forgotten.

It should be noted that following this Connor penalty, a big scrum ensued. While punches were thrown, I liked how nothing else was called here – because that’s playoff hockey.

That’s also why I get furious whenever I see off-setting penalties, and even angrier when only one player gets boxed – and especially for far less than what had transpired here.

End result?

Some foreplay followed by an abbreviated power-play – where yep – you knew that Stinka Zibanedud wasn’t going to hit the net during the man-advantage.

Instead of that, CZAR IGOR had to make a spread-eagle breakaway save on Nick Ehlers.

Of note?

This means that CZAR IGOR made a GINORMOUS breakaway save tonight – so if you’re one of these people hanging him for the Scheifele breakaway goal scored – then you’re an idiot!

As Joe was going on and on about every Jet that he’d like to take to his hotel room after the game, what wasn’t brought up once during this broadcast, nor did M$G ever have a moment in silence to honor their fallen fellow member of the alumni either, was the death of Chris Simon.

RIP Chris Simon. Photo Credit: Getty Images

I wish that I had more time to write about this, but for more on Simon, then check out the PLUGS segment and buy my book “Tricks of the Trade.”

On Tuesday, it was reported that Simon, 52-years-old, was found dead.

Simon, who (unofficially – but will be confirmed as officially following his autopsy) battled CTE at the end of his playing days and throughout the remainder of his time on this Earth, committed suicide – where yep – he’s another former NHL enforcer to leave this world after taking his own life.

Officially, here’s what the NHL said about Simon, courtesy of https://www.nhl.com/news/chris-simon-dead  :

Chris Simon, who played 15 seasons in the NHL, died Monday. He was 52.

Selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round (No. 25) of the 1990 NHL Draft, the forward played 782 regular-season games for the Quebec Nordiques, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild, and had 305 points (144 goals, 161 assists).

“Chris was a great teammate, linemate and friend,” said Peter Bondra, who played in Washington for all of Simon’s seven seasons there from 1996-2003. “Always kind. Have a lot of great memories with him, Rest in peace, Si.”

Simon had 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in 75 Stanley Cup Playoff games and helped the Avalanche win the Cup in 1996.

“Chris was a great guy, a beloved teammate and an important part of our first championship season,” Avalanche president and former teammate Joe Sakic said in a statement. “He was a really good hockey player who could score goals, was a big presence in the dressing room and was the first person to stand up and defend his teammates. Off the ice he was an unbelievable guy and a caring father, son, brother and friend. He will be sorely missed.”

Simon reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Capitals in 1998 and led them with 29 goals in 1999-2000. He also helped the Flames get to the Cup Final in 2004.

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Chris Simon, who played in more than 800 NHL games over 15 seasons,” the League said in a statement. “A fierce competitor and teammate, Simon won the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996, and reached the 1998 Stanley Cup Final with Washington as well as the 2004 Stanley Cup Final with Calgary.

“Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and former teammates.”

As you may have noticed, the words “concussion, “CTE,” nor “suicide” either, was mentioned in the NHL’s story/obit.

Furthermore, all of Simon’s former clubs honored him with statements on Tuesday.

The Rangers were the only franchise that refrained from doing so.

While no excuse, and in an attempt to explain the Blueshirts’ callous omission of Simon’s death, perhaps it was because the enforcer wasn’t that great as a Ranger – and once becoming an Islander – he almost killed then-Blueshirt Ryan Hollweg with a two-hand chop to the head.

Simon received a 25-game suspension for this attempted-murder.

RIP SIMON – and for a bad and tasteless joke, which fits the Rangers’ omission of Simon’s passing too – the following:

Since Simon’s passing was never mentioned, we never got to hear Sam Rosen say, “CHRIS SIMON, SIMON SAYS, NO RELATION JOE!”

And yes – laughter is the best medicine in dark times – but to be serious – Simon had a lot of dark times – and the way his life ended fully speaks to that.

As this game continued, Hellebuyck robbed Cuylle again, this time on a breakaway.

Come the end of the period, I thought the Rangers were the better team, but the Jets would change such feelings at the time of the next intermission.

Scoreless after twenty-minutes.

It’s a shame that Zibanejad hasn’t been a fit this season as Wennberg and Roslovic already are. Photo Credit: NYR


As Joe just refused to come up for air when fellating every member of the Jets, I was waiting for Sam to say, “Nate Schmidt, No Shit, no relation Joe.”

Instead, and since the Jets were just flying around to open this frame, Micheletti continued to get down on his knees and praise any player that’s ever stepped foot on Manitoba soil.

And at the 4:04 mark, this is when Scheifele scored his rebound goal.

1-0, bad guys.

As the already deathly quiet M$G got even quieter, so silent, that you could even hear the forehead hair on Micheletti’s scalp hitting the ground; at the 8:08 mark, this is when Kakko drew a penalty.

Once Mika went wide, skated around and produced nothing, the second power-play unit came on – and blammo – Wennberg’s first as a Ranger:

Again – why is Lafreniere sitting whenever Lavy strolls out his first power-play unit?

And while I’d replace the Swedish Zibanejad for Lafreniere – look at the first-overall pick setting up a Swede himself!

Sadly, this was pretty much the final highlight for the Rangers – unless you count the late 6 x 5 goal that #13 scored.

Following the goal, and with 8:19 to go, we had a furious sequence, where Hellebuyck robbed a Lafreniere-to-Trocheck two-vs-one try, and following it, CZAR IGOR stopped Ehlers again on a breakaway.

And this is when Micheletti grew even more maddening.

After telling us about random Jets who were “good knifers of the puck” and who were “good at firing releases of the puck,” Jumpin’ Joe then said, “Ehlers is a good shooter of the puck.”

Joe, we get it!

We’re not on a LIRR/MTA train – so you don’t have to use the word “puck” when describing knives, shooting and releases!

It was also around this time where my co-worker, not really a big Ranger fan but getting into it because of my enthusiasm, said “are the guys calling this game for the Rangers or for the team they are playing against?”

Down to 9:10 remaining and this is when Schneider, during an all-out Jets’ attack, hooked Iafallo in order to prevent a goal.

And right after that, Connor scored on the power-play.

2-1, bad guys – but not a penalty you can be mad about – as it was a good penalty to take – where in addition – the Rangers’ PK has been strong all season.

The law of averages just worked out for Winnipeg here.

Following this goal, Sam Rosen, and for the second time tonight (he would also say this in the third period too), reminded us that Dave Gustafsson (WPG) and Erik Gustafsson (NYR) were not related.

Nobody loves telling you who’s not related to who more than Senile Sam.

But there’s more.

Right after this, Rosen then went on a long speech about Tyler Toffoli and Alex Iafallo, and where no less than three-times, he confused their names, calling them Tyler Iafallo and Alex Toffoli. This was all part of his 2014 LA Kings’ tribute – and where for the life of me – I didn’t know what this had to do with this game, nor why Rosen would promote this painful memory to Ranger fans either.

And yep – when I’m railing on the broadcast this much – then I’m looking for something to entertain you with – while also making you suffer the same fate that I did when listening to Beavis and Michelettihead!

For the rotten cherry on top, with 2:05 remaining, this is when the former rumored-to-be Ranger beat CZAR IGOR on a breakaway, following Kreider’s turnover.

3-1, bad guys, 3-1, bad guys through forty-minutes – but where I will say – while the Rangers did lose – I did think they’d comeback at the time.

And they almost did – and yes, I know – “almost” only works in horseshoes and hand grenades (no relations).

While their GAG LINE 2.0 teammate scored a goal tonight (and Trocheck did get the secondary assist on it) – Panarin & NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO were unable to beat “The Hucklebuck.” But as noted about 69 times (nice) this season – I can’t get on these two – but there is something to say about them not lighting lamps against top teams. Photo Credit: NYR


Lavy hit the line-blender to open this frame, which led to the following:





In other words, since the BFF line was terrible tonight – the first line was broken up.

Again, I’m just not a fan of this – and where I don’t get why Lavy will make all of these changes but won’t address his first power-play unit.

And how about those cowards on the Blueshirts’ beat who never ask him about this either?

But at least you know what Wince & Larry’s Lap Dog had for dinner.

And at the end of the day, and much like the first forty-minutes – these new lines didn’t produce an even-strength goal either.

As I was thinking that “Mika Marches Against Only Inferior Competition,” Kakko tripped former Ranger, Neal Pionk, just 5:02 into the period.

The Blueshirts’ PK did their job – but the Rangers lost two-minutes of an attack when down by two goals too.

Right out of the successful man-down, Hellebucyk made three tremendous saves and when he stopped Lafreniere, Jones and Schneider. (Notice how you don’t see the names Panarin, Zibanejad and Kreider here.)

As Mika was sinking two other linemates, all you could think was that the Rangers hadn’t been “GOALIED” in a while, and with the last such occasion taking place when Sam Montembeault did it against them for Montreal.

As Hellebucyk continued to deny all-comers, and where at least this time, and as opposed to Montembeault – the Jets’ goalie is both a Vezina winner and perennial All-Star; nearing 3:00 remaining and CZAR IGOR took a seat on the bench.

The Rangers’ 6 x 5 attack here was the best it has looked since the Stadium Series win over the Islanders (2/18) – and where it should be noted that the Rangers haven’t really needed to employ such an attack since that game – a good thing.

But don’t tell Vagistat that – nor tell him how the Rangers, while losing to the Jets tonight, also recently came up huge in every rivalry and division game that mattered – including wins against the Isles, Devils, Flyers, Hurricanes and Penguins.


With 1:54 remaining, this is when Lafreniere gave us some hope, following his 6 x 5 goal.

3-2, bad guys.

As noted earlier, neither coach took their timeout here – but I was wondering – maybe Lavy should have pulled Mika, and not a prolific passer like CZAR IGOR, for the extra attacker?

The Rangers came close to tying this game, but whether it was fatigue from both the schedule and over 3:00 of ice time – whatever it was – the same six attackers couldn’t come up with the tying goal – although Kreider came close.

But again – horseshoes and hand grenades.

The Scheifele hat-trick goal ended it.

4-2, bad guys, your final – and where the “WE WANT REMPE” chants continued.

Here’s the man who can satisfy such needs after the loss:

If you’re looking for the SEASON IS OVER reaction after one loss, then look elsewhere.

And while I wouldn’t be thrilled about it – the Rangers could lose their final thirteen games of the schedule – and it wouldn’t matter to me.

(Yes, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.)

For the Rangers, it’s just getting to the playoffs as healthy as possible.

And don’t listen to the moron in the cheap suit during M$GN postgame shows either.

Could the Blueshirts have done more tonight?

Perhaps, but at the risk of injury – and even if you can’t have that mentality.

And like any other loss – win on Thursday and no one will even remember this game.

Vagistat’s theory will be taken to the test in the next two tilts, as the Rangers play the top two teams of the East – a roadie in Boston on Thursday and a rematch with the Cats on Saturday night at M$G.

Outside of no injuries, and Sam Rosen going to whatever fountain of youth that Jonathan Quick jumped into this summer – what I’d like to see the most?

Mika Zibanejad just going off.

Speaking of the word “off,” it’s time for me to log-off, as it’s bed-time for me, which means it’s this for you:

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/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

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

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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