NYR/FLA 3/23 Review: ACKNOWLEDGE THEM! “The Tribal Breadman” Bakes Three Goals Again; BEST IN THE WORLD & BEAST OF THE EAST BLUESHIRTS Neuter Cats, More “Broken Records” – GAG LINE 2.0 Does The Heavy Lifting; Not Much From the BFF & The Feckless Finn, Zac Jones Apology, Lavy Wins War Against “The Cuylle Crybabies,” A Hell of Game & ESPN Broadcast – But What’s Up with Kaplan? Stunning Defense; Stupid Sieve Vagistat & More

While technically, Artemi Panarin scored three goals tonight – one of them took place during the shootout, in what eventually became a Rangers’ 4-3 victory over the 2023 Eastern Conference champions, the Florida Panthers. However, while not officially recording a hat trick tonight, which had that been the case, then “THE BREADMAN” would have not only had back-to-back games with three goals to his name – but a nice round number of 100 points next to his name too – but either way, and as usual – “THE TRIBAL BREADMAN” saved the Blueshirts’ bacon on Saturday night. Behind two regulation goals, two scores that both brought the Rangers back when trailing by one; Panarin, for a cherry on top, scored the shootout winning goal too. What a season!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. I don’t even know where to begin – that’s how jacked-up I am right now!

Needless to say – what a win – and where these following five-words, “best win of the season,” seems commonplace these days too!

What a good problem to have – and feel free to debate amongst yourselves over what you consider to be the best win of the season – and there have been a whole lot of them – and as the present NHL standings would suggest:

And we’re back to being THE BEST IN THE WORLD! And no, and as repeated & explained often on this site – I don’t believe in “The Presidents’ Trophy Curse” either. After all, take a look at what happened in 1994! Photo Credit: ESPN

At this time, let me get all of the “BROKEN RECORD” stuff out of the way first – and then talk about all of the other events from Saturday.

The most redundant thing on this site throughout the course of this 2023-24 campaign?

The obvious – my season-long 25-word daily disclaimer – and one that goes a little like this:


This is my way of saying that tonight’s 4-3 victory over the Cats produced an all-time high – and a good feeling that no drug, whether legal or illegal, could ever match.

My other repetitive talking points – but stuff that’s all valid & true too?

The following:

— Once again, in another big game, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Kaapo Kakko were nowhere to be found – that is – aside from a Zibanejad goal during the skills competition (the shootout).

— Kreider had one shot on goal tonight – during the 3 x 3 overtime – and where on a two-vs-one odd-man rush – he couldn’t lift a puck past goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky for the no-doubt-about-it walk-off goal.

— Stinka Zibanedud remains as an all-out mess on the offensive side – and where no one has been a bigger passenger than the player formerly known as Mika Zibanejad this season.

Again, while strong defensively – for $8.5M – he needs to score – and especially as opposing teams focus all of their energies on stopping the players who actually carry their weight on this team – aka “THE GAG LINE 2.0.”

— Speaking of “THE GAG LINE 2.0,” where I promise, I’ll at least get the math for you by the end of this season – once again, these three, Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck and Alexis Lafreniere, lived up to this esteemed billing.

— Panarin scored two goals (both at even-strength) and where each strike was also an equalizer. As mentioned, he later scored the game-winner during the skills competition too. His center, NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO, finished the game with assists on each one of the Rangers’ three goals scored in regulation. And the right-winger, Alexis Lafreniere, while not receiving a point tonight, continued to wreak havoc – and where if Panarin didn’t score himself – then the first-overall pick would have – as like a 1990s Dennis Rodman – he was in position for the big rebounds.

— The Feckless Finn?

Also known as “The Wallflower,” Kakko made sweet love to the boards all game and looked terrified of going to the net – and where you have thought that it was he – and not the Panthers – that had to watch out for Matt Rempe all-game – and as Matt Tkachuk would later admit to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan during the broadcast.

— And my favorite person to kick around on this site (but it’s most certainly deserved and warranted), the useless and the biggest pile of shit walking the planet today, Sieve Vagistat?

After defiantly proclaiming on Tuesday night, following the loss to the Jets, that the Rangers couldn’t beat any of the top teams in the league – what happened next?

The Jets, and as noted then (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/31924/ ), entered-and-left M$G as if it was their Game 7 of the Stanley Cup, then lost their next two games – and to two of the worst teams in hockey today – the Devils and the Islanders.

The Rangers, since that ho-hum loss, and one that I thought was schedule-induced too?

LAVY’S LOT are now winners of their last two games – where need I mention – as a result, they have now dethroned the two previous top teams of the NHL (Boston and Florida) – and now solely lay claim to that title.

Go suck on another one of your made-up ANALytics, chartboy!

And that my friends, completes both my usual talking points and this BROKEN RECORD segment – but as a reminder – I can only work with the material that I’m given!

While I never had anything “against” Zac Jones – I also didn’t think that he had the makings of a varsity athlete either. However, I always enjoy being proven wrong about my negative theories – so unlike Vagistat – I must PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE for my wrong-doings! While I don’t know what’s in store for #6 once both Trouba and Lindgren get back – either way – Chris Drury has to keep Jones around – and thank the hockey gods – the general manager avoided heeding the opinions of a beer-bellied blogger – and didn’t ship away Jones at the trade deadline! Photo Credit: NYR

If you’ve been reading me long enough, then you know that I have no problem with calling myself out for my own bullshit.

(I’m not Vagistat – perish the thought!)

Heck, and in case you forgot, I gave myself a MATT REMPE sized ass-kicking back on 11/22/23, in my apology letter to Jonathan Quick!

(You can read it here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/112223/)

Granted, while Jones hasn’t meant as much to the Rangers as Quick has this season (at least not yet) – I must admit – I was dead-wrong about him.

I don’t know what he’s been ingesting or doing during the past few months in the press box – but whatever it is – it’s worked – and it’s worked out big-time!

I know that I’ve said this before, and I probably should’ve said it during the BROKEN RECORD segment too – but what the hell – let’s go for it again!

Despite whatever I thought about Jones as a player prior to this recent stretch in light of the Trouba injury – I always respected him.

The archives of this site don’t lie either.

If you recall, then two-years back, and Jones, long past his NHL rookie status, captained the Rangers’ rookies in their two-game summer series against the Flyers’ youths.

That spoke a lot to me about his character, especially since some in his position would flat-out refuse to play in these games that are beneath them.

The high-character and looking-to-improve-his-game Jones?

He asked the Rangers to play in those games – as the Blueshirts didn’t want to offend by asking him to take a late August stroll to Allentown, PA.

Jones, just another one of the folk in blue to embrace the “NEXT MAN UP” mentality, is now playing the best hockey of his career.

And I know that people hate when I do this – but it’s true:

There’s something to North American players, as unlike their foreign counterparts – they grow up only knowing the NHL – and rooting for their favorite NHL team too.

The Swedes, the Finns, the Russians and whoever else?

While they are aware of the NHL, they mainly grow up rooting for their favorite hometown team – and where these teams don’t play the physical brand of hockey that their American & Canadian peers do.

This is my way of saying that Nils Lundkvist, once in the same position as Jones, and when tasked with overcoming a stacked Rangers’ RD depth chart (Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba and Braden Schneider) – cried like a bitch and demanded a trade out of town – rather than believing in himself and trying to overcome the odds.


He took this challenge head-on – and even when he had to remove months-old dust from himself – always came to work with a smile on his face.

And now, when finally getting the chance, that deep-down, you know that he feels that he deserves?

He now has a future in New York – and perhaps a bright one at that.

While I do think that Jones’ work tonight may get lost in all of the hoopla of Panarin, the team’s first-place ranking in the standings, ESPN’s love-affair with Rempe and the win in general; but don’t get it twisted – the Virginian was just as important to this win as anyone else.

In his 13:59 of ice time, Jones, the man who gets Mollie Walker’s pants steaming hot, was a defensive stalwart – and better than that – picked up the primary assist on Panarin’s late third period equalizer.

While not truly a “Mighty Mouse” story, and even if his diminutive size of 5’10” and 170 pounds fits such a superhero label – Jones has proved his value to everyone – and where the idea of trading him, once a popular thought amongst many (myself included) – is now as extinct as dinosaurs and dodo birds – and hopefully soon enough – Vagistat’s broadcasting career too!

While no one is a bigger fan of Matt Rempe than me, other than perhaps Jim Schmeideberg and Eddie Gieck, of the best Rangers’ podcast in the land, “The Blueshirt Underground Show” – I have to admit – if I was a non-Blueshirt backer watching tonight’s game, then I too would have been sick of the never-ending love affair that ESPN had for FEED MY REMPESTEIN! Photo Credit: NYR

Perhaps due to tonight’s late puck drop (8:21PM EST), where with an extra hour to burn, Ranger fans bellied up and imbibed more than they normally do – either way – the electricity at M$G tonight was off of the charts (not Vagistat’s – proverbial charts) – or at least that was the case for the first eight-minutes or so.

However, such energy was quickly zapped away from the World’s Most Expensive Arena, following a Matthew Tkachuk deflection goal at the 8:18 mark of the first frame.

But as you may have already deduced – such electricity and feelings would return – and then soon exceed the initial outpouring.

In what was a largely defensively-oriented game throughout, and this was most certainly the case during the final frame; the Panthers, who were trying to prevent the Rangers from taking the first-overall spot in the league, took a 1-0 lead to their litter box as the first intermission hit.

Come the start of the second stanza, and following a Trocheck faceoff win – boom – and just 21-seconds into the period – Eetu Luostarinen, on a Florida three-vs-one odd-man rush (against Fox), capitalized after some horrendous defense from THE GUS BUS.

Luostarinen or “Listerine,” not only put the visitors ahead 2-0 – but for the slap in the face too – gave a “mouthwash” full of ice to CZAR IGOR too.

Then it happened – the turning point of the game – and where as you’ll see during tonight’s GAME REVIEW segment – I was all over this like shit on a monkey.

Just a few seconds past the five-minute mark of the period, Jack Roslovic made the worst play of his young Rangers’ career – as he directly coughed up the puck to Florida’ Nick Cousins.

Cousins, from the low slot, and with no one in front of him besides CZAR IGOR – hit iron.

In other words, what should’ve been 3-0, bad guys, remained as 2-0.

Following this miss of centimeters – Kyle Okposo then held Adam Fox.

The Rangers, beneficiaries of some puck luck, were now off to the races.

At the 6:22 mark of the middle period, and there was Fox, who drew the penalty, scoring on the power-play following another one of his FOX TROT SNIPES from the slot.

Two-minutes later?

Fox, along with Trocheck, assisted on Panarin’s wicked wrister from the circle to the right of his good buddy, Sergei Bobrovsky.

Tie game.

In a match full of heavy momentum swings and where a Goodrow penalty eventually ended the Rangers’ pendulum swing in this period too; both teams were left tied, 2-2, following two twenty-minute periods of play.

In what was both a slow and long third period (15 whistles in the first nine-minutes for icings, offsides, etc) – the Panthers were held to only one SOG through the first 15:51 of play.

Then at the 15:52 mark, or 4:08 remaining – Carter Verhaeghe, following a terrible play from the Feckless Finn, took the road team’s second shot of the period – and beat CZAR IGOR on a puck that the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner probably should’ve stopped.

3-2, bad guys – and where you could feel the life being drained out of M$G.

But praise the hockey gods for that guy wearing the #10 jersey in New York these days.

With the Ghosts in the #93 and #20 jerseys doing jack-shit – the Breadman hit.

Just 43-seconds following what everyone thought was Verhaeghe’s game-winner – Panarin put a stop to that.

Once again, and during a chaotic play, “The Breadman” wristed a shot towards Bobrovsky – and with Trocheck forcing former Ranger Niko Mikkola into screening his own goalie – and with Lafreniere awaiting a rebound too – Panarin tied the game at 3-3.

And that was the score following sixty-minutes too.

Following the fast and frenetic overtime, and about a minute’s worth of Florida stalling with the puck too – the gimmick contest, the skills showing, the shootout, was required.

Zibanejad, offensively ineffective all-game, came up big on the first Rangers’ shootout try, when he successfully beat Bobrovsky with “The Peter Forsberg.” (One hand tuck.)

But Sam Reinhart quickly stunted the cheering by blowing a puck past CZAR IGOR.

However, and alas once again – Panarin – who took his time – swung to the right of Bob – and BLAMMO – beat his comrade low glove side.

Following saves made on both Lundell and Trocheck, and if this was a Hollywood movie, the game came down to another member of the alumni, Vladimir Tarasenko, going head-to-head with CZAR IGOR.

On a night where Panarin beat his Russian buddy three-times, CZAR IGOR denied his fellow comrade here too.

2-1, GOOD GUYS, in the shootout – 4-3, GOOD GUYS, in the box score – and for your BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS!

And to think:

Prior to this game, many Ranger fans had an issue with Laviolette for scratching Will Cuylle – including the getting worse-by-the-day Larry Brooks.

(I still think that Mollie is dumbing him down, rather than the HOF scribe bringing his lapdog up.)

These tears from the CUYLLE CRYBABIES were evaporated by the end of the night – or at the very least – were replaced with tears of joy after the win!

And what a segue-way, as this now brings us to our pregame news and notes segment!

The head coach remained a calming influence during Saturday’s pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Following the Blueshirts’ big win in Boston, come Friday, the team had a well-deserved day off – and where I am to assume that Wennberg, Ruhwedel and Roslovic are still trying to get their current living arrangements in order.

Come Saturday morning, nine-hours prior to puck drop at M$G, the team reconvened for a sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” skate.

The top topic of Rangerstown, USA during the light pump was the fact that Will Cuylle, and for the first time this season, was made a healthy scratch.

When I first heard the news, I didn’t really make much of it – as after all – Laviolette has already said, and numerous times to boot, that he’d be rotating players in-and-out of his line-up during the homestretch of the regular season.

Such logical thinking wasn’t shared by others, and where of course, all of the SKY IS FALLING and GLOOM & DOOMERS made their voices loudly heard.

Again, the Rangers have pretty much wired-to-wired this 2023-24 campaign as the top team in the Metro – yet many become the best pessimists they possibly can be over any story – and no matter how minor it may be.

Once the practice concluded, the bench boss conducted his mandatory pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE” – and where yep, Laviolette confirmed that Cuylle was scratched as he wanted to continue his “Rangers’ Rotation.”

Here are the words straight from the horse’s mouth:

This “LAVY’S LOUNGE” was brutal to listen to, especially since you had Wince Mercogliano pushing his nonsense of “load management” – because you see – soy boy Wince, in his off-time, is more of a basketball and football guy than he is a hockey fan.

To waste my time and fully destroy this silly theory is beneath me – and beneath you too; but in short, and as Laviolette even said on Saturday morning – every player wants to play – and hockey players are creatures of habit.

And while injuries are always a concern, you can’t have that mentality.

Heck, what’s the difference if a player sits out during Game 82, then only to get hurt blocking a shot during the first game of round one?

Long-story short?

Injuries are a crap-shoot – and you can’t predict when they’ll take place either.

Laviolette, in response to Mercogliano’s nonsense, did say that he’d rest guys if they weren’t at 100%, but at the same time, he’s not going to give anyone the night off just to give them a night off.

Worse than Wince was the usual culprit, the insufferable Mollie Walker.

As the birdbrain normally does, she cackled like a diseased hyena that needs to be put down throughout this near eight-minute chat – and in a first – was actually offering up coaching suggestions.

Again, Walker never watched hockey until the New York Post needed the cheapest idiot that they could find to become Larry’s Lapdog – and now, a few seasons into her undeserved gig – this airhead is now telling a future Hall of Fame coach what to do.

Then again, I guess this is on brand for her, as the evolution, or should I say devolution, of her career continues.

On Cuylle, Laviolette reiterated that he wanted to rotate his forwards and that this scratch wasn’t a play-related issue.

Hell, if Laviolette was going to scratch anyone for play-related issues, then he could’ve scratched either of the BFF’s, or the Feckless Finn too, following their no-shows from Thursday.

In some positive news, not only did Laviolette reconfirm that Jacob Trouba is still skating on his own and still on the three-week timeline that the team publicly offered up following the trade deadline – but miraculously, and in what sounds unbelievable too – so is Ryan Lindgren.

While neither man is back with the team just yet – Laviolette sounded very optimistic about the progression of these important defenders – and where again – I am in absolute shock that Lindgren’s already back out there, as his injury sustained just a week ago looked as nasty as whatever is going on with the hair on the heads of both Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti.

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Brodzinski/Wennberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Rempe

FIRST PAIR: Gustafsson/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Schneider

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Ruhwedel


BACK-UP: Jonathan Quick

Healthy Scratches: Cuylle and Scanlin

Injured: Lindgren & Trouba


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





37 3 34 .919 28 5 1 0 0 65:00 0


30 3 27 .900 24 2 1 0 0 65:00 0

Emily Kaplan. Photo Credit: Blair Witch Project/ESPN

I gotta say this about tonight’s ESPN/ABC broadcast – if I was Emily Kaplan’s agent, then I would be fuming right now.

Throughout the entire course of Saturday night’s broadcast, ESPN made their bench reporter look as if she was running away from a monster in a horror movie – and a B-movie at that!

For whatever reason, and Kaplan’s stylist crew does her no favors either, as it looks like they used a broken weedwhacker when doing her hair – and a shotgun when applying her make-up too – ESPN decided to use a fifty-pound EVERREADY flashlight, straight out of a 1970s basement, to shoot her.

Whenever she came on my screen, then I thought that ESPN was paying tribute to “The Blair Witch Project” – as that’s how bad they presented her – and through no fault of her own.

In a way, she reminded me of that “Seinfeld” episode when Jerry was dating that woman who looked good in the daytime, but horrible at night.

And to be clear – I don’t care what she looks like and this isn’t my issue.

And for what it’s worth – I think she’s a good reporter too.

These disclaimers aside, my issue is with ESPN’s lighting crew – as I’ve seen better production in my sixth-grade A/V class – and that was thirty-years ago!


A network worth trillions and trillions of dollars – and they make Kaplan look like the “Sixth Sense.”

Then again, she may have seen dead people too – or at least the ghost that’s wearing the #93 Rangers’ jersey these days anyway!

As far as a pregame show tonight, I really enjoyed what I saw at 7:30PM.

In a unique twist, ESPN/ABC had three people spinning a big wheel and solving word puzzles for cash prizes – and they called this segment “Wheel of Fortune!”

And for what it’s worth – Vanna White was produced better than Kaplan too!

All of this was much better than what we see on M$GN – as I can’t stand Sieve Vagistat and the two blowhards screaming about gambling for thirty-minutes!

Come 8PM, we were then greeted by Sean McDonough and Ray Ferraro – and where I must admit – they weren’t that bad tonight.

In a way, and really, I personally know this to be the case too – Ferraro is aware of the accusations of him being anti-Rangers – and I think that he did his best in trying to avoid old (and bad) habits tonight.

During one of Kaplan’s reports, and this bothered me to no-end, is when she said that Kaapo Kakko told her that the Rangers really missed Rempe during the loss to the Jets – and how without him – the team had no energy.

While I guess this is praise for Rempe (and this broadcast was a sixty-minute-plus tribute for #73 – and where the network was just begging and pleading for him to drop the gloves with Tkachuk too) – Kakko is in a contract year.

Are you telling me that the Feckless Finn needs a rookie to bring up his energy level and to show up?

How about bringing up the energy level and competing on your own yourself?

In his limited facetime, Mark Messier, prior to the game, agreed with Laviolette’s decision to scratch Cuylle, and while like all of us, he didn’t know if #50 was dinged up either, wisely stated, “health trumps all playoff positioning.”

He’d know – and as the six rings on his hands would suggest.

Also worth noting?

P.K. Slewban was M.I.A. tonight – which is why this was the best ESPN broadcast that I’ve ever seen/endured too!

In one final note, and since this was an ESPN/ABC game, and not a M$GN broadcast; prior to puck drop, Sam Rosen called me and wanted me to let all of you guys and gals know that the Florida Panthers and Carolina Panthers are not related.

Furthermore, there’s also no familial link between these two teams and the Black Panthers either.


The top 1-2 punch in Rangerstown, USA today, Vincent Trocheck and Artemi Panarin. Photo Credit: NYR


I’m up against the clock tonight, so for the full minute-by-minute recap, then check out: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

Despite Trocheck (10-6, 62.5% overall) losing the first draw of the game – M$GN remained rowdy after puck drop.

How rowdy you ask?

After Jones broke up a Florida scoring threat with 18:20 to go, Matt Rempe then hopped over the boards – and where thunderous “REM-PE! REM-PE! REM-PE” chants ensued!

Listen, I have no problem with ESPN making Rempe the focus of their broadcast, although I’d like them to talk about his forechecking and physical presence too, rather than just solely limiting their chatter about him to his fights – but you can see why #73, and even over #10, was all that they could talk about.

Put it this way:

Panarin, in Year 5 of his New York stay, is not only having his best season as a Ranger – but of his career too.

But no one is chanting “BREADMAN! BREADMAN! BREADMAN!” either.

And even when Panarin, who is threatening all of Jaromir Jagr’s single-season records, jumps over the boards – there’s never a pop.


All-game long, and whenever the monster amongst men swung his first foot over the boards – then based on the Garden reaction – you would have thought that a 1980s Hulk Hogan had just dropped the big leg on The Iron Sheik.

REMPEMANIA is real folks – and as noted before – it’s not every often when M$G is chanting the name of a skater – as usually such chants are reserved for goaltenders.

The REMPE chants are even dwarfing “IGOR! IGOR! IGOR!” too

Following a Bobrovsky save on Miller; with 16:40 to go, CZAR IGOR made his first of several successful HOMERUN passes of the game – which as always – just tells you that he’s dialed in.

However, Trocheck couldn’t capitalize on this one – but hey – the Panthers are a fine team too.

But they aren’t first-overall anymore either!

It was also around this time where it felt like Miller was being targeted, as during this first period, he must’ve been hit at least a half-a-dozen of times – including one here – and as Matt Tkachuk had sent him into the third row.

But to Miller’s credit – he never let any of this get to him – and as the game progressed, and especially following this first period, he just grew stronger and stronger – and laid a hit or two too.

Down to 15:57 remaining, and THE GUS BUS, who has had much better games than this one during the course of the season (and everyone is entitled to a bad game – as nobody is perfect), slashed Sam Reinhart.

The Rangers’ PK?

Not only did they finish as a perfect one-for-one – but they never allowed Florida to register a SOG either – and where Mika & Miller were outstanding here.

It’s just a shame that Mika’s offense can’t match his defense these days – but as noted many times before – he can change all of that when it matters most – the playoffs.

Come 11:42 to go, and as both Jones and Lafreniere were flying around at a high-octane level; Josh Mahura blasted a puck from the blue line and Tkachuk, while approaching the paint, made a perfectly timed deflection for the 1-0, bad guys, goal.

Simply stated: There’s nothing that anyone in blue could have done here, which includes all five skaters and the goalie – as this was just a superbly executed play by the Panthers – where need I remind you – they aren’t slouches either.

The Rangers, who opened up hot but now were without a SOG for over eight-minutes, almost had a chance to match Tkachuk’s goal, but with 10:50 remaining, and during a GAG LINE 2.0 3×1 odd-man rush – Montour broke up Panarin’s centering feed.

And really – following Matt The Cat’s goal – the Panthers largely dominated this period – as Florida strung together many long possessions in the Rangers’ zone, while Kreider telegraphed all of his passes, for turnovers, and as he did again here with 7:55 remaining.

After back-to-back Rempe hits on Montour with 7:00 to go, and just to show you how much Rempe has impacted this team, while also showing you how engaged Panarin is too; following these consecutive body blows – of all people, Panarin, and of all people, hit bruiser Nick Cousins with 6:40 left to be ticked.

Right after, and with 6:14 to go?

Larsson tripped Trocheck, which meant that Zibanedud had to burn two minutes off of the clock with all of his one-timers that never go into the back of the net.

Following the Rangers’ 0-1 power-play, with 3:15 to go and CZAR IGOR made one hell of a save on Tarasenko – but little did we know at the time that Mr. Shestyorkin was due to make a bigger save on his former teammate – and as he did during the shootout.

After Kakko was through impregnating the boards, as he never leaves the yellow paint; down to a minute remaining and the GAG LINE 2.0 were generating offense – while Bobrovsky continued to generate defense.

1-0, bad guys, through twenty-minutes – but unless you’re an idiot (and there are many of them out there) – then you couldn’t count out the Rangers from coming back.

Here’s what I said at the time:

While I 100% understand all of the high praise for Jones, Miller and Schneider during Trouba’s absence – let’s also not forget about Adam Fox too – and who has really carried the load with the captain out. Photo Credit: NYR


Prior to this period commencing, Kaplan interviewed Tkachuk and where the big man in Florida admitted that no one on his team had any interest in fighting Rempe – and how he wouldn’t chirp the sixth-round draft pick either.

While this also speaks to ESPN’s obsession with Rempe – it also tells you the positive impact and presence that #73 brings.

However, Tkachuk also said that he’d focus on the name-brand Rangers – and as all of the hits on Miller would suggest.

Also prior to puck drop?

Another one of my dumbass tweets:

As noted above, just 21-seconds into this period, and the Cats were up 2-0 – and where Ferraro was right on the money when he called out Gustafsson for his horrendous defense – as #56 didn’t make a play on the puck – nor go for the body either – which then allowed Listerine to score while unmolested.

And this is when I saw a lot of Blueshirt fans on social media throw in the white towel – and where I thought – have these morons ever watched this team this season?

In other words, and to continue all of my other WWE references tonight – as John Cena made famous, “NEVER GIVE UP!”

Here was my Nostradamus tweet following Cousins ringing a post off of the iron:

And with 13:38 to go – Fox’s career-high 14th goal of the season – and as Mr. Norris continues to excel:

2-1, bad guys.

Right after this goal, and this shocked both ESPN and the mentally retarded Blueshirt beat reporters too – Laviolette employed his fourth line – and where Rempe almost set up a goal for Vesey too.

I don’t know why anyone was that surprised about Lavy’s deployment of his fourth line, as one, he’s done it before, and two, the top-six were just out there for the power-play.

I mean, who else would you want to see in this high-energy spot?

The Feckless Finn?

Once the fourth line was done ruffling the tails of the Cats, the GAG LINE 2.0 hopped on, and with Stinka Zibanedud and his grey-bearded buddy, Chris Kreider, watching from the bench – Panarin showed them how it was done:

2-2 – and as Panarin continues one of the best individual seasons in Rangers’ history – and a history where you may know – now encompasses nearly 100-years.

Down to 10:34 remaining, and in a rare Feckless Finn sighting, Kakko was slashed by Carter V.

The first power-play unit went the full two-minutes here, but between 956756767856756785 passes and the odor that Stinka emits – nothing doing here – and where for the 9678678678678678678686th time on this site – please, oh please, I beg of you Mr. Laviolette – please give Lafreniere a twirl with his linemates on PP1 – and with Zibanedud on the bench too!

Also at this time?

Florida was approaching ten-minutes without a shot on goal – and such a streak would only get worse as the game progressed.

Down to 8:16 remaining and for as much as I hate to say it – Goodrow killed all of the Rangers’ momentum here, as he ripped off Tkachuk’s helmet while behind CZAR IGOR’s net.

The Harvard Boys, Vesey and Fox, were the best penalty killers here – and all CZAR IGOR had to do was stop Bennett when ending this Florida man-advantage.

I don’t know where else to say this, so I’ll say it here:

I thought that Chad Ruhwedel (goose eggs in his 13:54 – and that’s not a negative) was strong tonight.

While you don’t notice him – that’s a good thing for a stay-at-home defender.

In other words, you’re not talking about his mistakes – and as Brian Boyle recently said – he comes as advertised – as the new number five (don’t get me started how this number should be retired for Bill Cook) is reliable and does his job when needed.

And with the Trouba and Lindgren injuries – the depth defender is doing exactly what’s tasked of him.

Down to thirty-seconds remaining and Fox, who blocked a game-high three shots tonight, blocked another here – and perhaps prevented a potential demoralizing goal allowed too.

2-2 after 2.

Here’s what I said at the time:

The three Rangers’ all-stars from 2022 played like it tonight – where admittedly – CZAR IGOR quietly picked up another win, while Fox and Panarin roared. Photo Credit: NYR


This period came down to one-word – defense.

Put it this way:

With 13:40 remaining, Bobrovsky had made five saves, none of them difficult – while CZAR IGOR could have done what I did during this time – drink some beers – and then leave the ice and piss them out too.

Following a never-ending barrage of whistles and stoppages, and all of them legit too; Miller prevented another Florida SOG, as he blocked a Tkachuk-to-Verhaeghe two-on-one try – and as he did with 12:16 remaining.

This is also when Ferraro paid tribute to Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti, as he praised Sam Reinhart, told us who his brothers were, who his father was, and for the kicker – said the word “fabulous” ten-times within a minute!

Down to 9:16 remaining – and CZAR IGOR, from his hammock, made his first save of the frame.

Again, in what was a tightly contested defensive front, and from both teams, I said the following with 6:00 remaining:

How prophetic!

And the Panthers weren’t able to stop Panarin either!

Following Ferraro correctly calling out the BFF for their lack of production, the third line jumped on the ice.

Now approaching 4:00 remaining – we never got there – that is – not until Florida scored.

On this sequence, both Wennberg and Brodzinski blocked shots, which then allowed the Feckless Finn to easily cruise – and then clear – the puck.

Rather than that?

The man with a war against gluten loafed like a piece of moldy bread (not Panarin!) which then allowed Florida to extend their attack.

Also allowed?

A 3-2, bad guys, goal, for Carter Verhaeghe – and with just 4:08 remaining.

And I’m not exaggerating – Kakko was as lazy as a summer day here – as all he had to do was take stride and boot the puck out of the zone.

Instead, Florida’s second shot of the period put them ahead.

But praise the hockey gods that Panarin never wanted the extra money that the Islanders presented to him on July 1st, 2019.

As noted above, right after Florida regained the lead – Panarin took it away from them:

3-3 – following Panarin’s 43rd goal of the season.

And if your heart wasn’t flying out of your chest, like something that you’d see in a Bugs Bunny cartoon – then you’re not a Rangers’ fan.

With Rempe now benched for the remainder of the game – I was left wondering – why not bench Kakko too?

For whatever reason, the Feckless Finn was still out there, while the effective big man was stapled to the bench.

But alas, this is a minor gripe.

Panarin almost had the hat trick with 1:00 remaining, but Bob was able to make a save on the knuckleball/flutter shot.

Then, and with four-seconds left to be ticked – Miller prevented what otherwise would’ve most likely been a game winner.

Tied at 3 after 3 – and where overtime was needed.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Panarin should not only shave Kakko’s head stone cold bald – but Zibanejad’s scalp too!


Lavy used 10/16/23 to start, and following Florida’s faceoff win and never-ending possession, then 93/20/79 jumped on.

Once Miller got the puck, he fed the BFF, and with 3:30 remaining – Kreider couldn’t score a gimmie goal, as set up by Zibanejad, against Bob – and despite the goalie throwing his stick into the Phish banner at M$G.

And had the Rangers lost tonight – then you would be going nuts over this most recent BFF failure.

Thankfully, we can somewhat gloss over this – but while also not forgetting about it either.

We’ll see what Monday brings (the Rangers have a well-deserved off-day on Sunday), but as we approached the 2:00 warning – Gustafsson was absolutely creamed to kingdom come by Sam Reinhart into the boards – a clean hit – but what wasn’t clean is when the Panther delivered an elbow to the head of the GUS BUS – and an elbow that wasn’t penalized either.

In other words, come Tuesday night, then it may be Scanlin’s turn to embrace “NEXT MAN UP.”

With Gustafsson out of the play, and with these bozo officials allowing play to continue too – Trocheck saved the game during a Florida 3 x 1 attack at CZAR IGOR’s goalmouth.

As Florida remained patient with the puck (just a guess – but I’d reckon to say that the Panthers had possession of the rubber for 4:30 of these five-minutes), CZAR IGOR stopped Montour during a 2 x 1 odd-man rush – and with just 15-seconds remaining.

A skills competition, the shootout, would settle this BEAST OF THE EAST primetime match-up.

While Zibanedud does nothing in regulation most nights – at least his alter-ego, Zibanejad, shows up in gimmick time!


To open, Zibanejad successfully pulled off the Forsberg in the top of the first inning, only for Reinhart to easily defeat CZAR IGOR in the bottom of this inning.

Panarin, a man on a mission, then beat Bobrovsky to open the second inning.

This was the final goal of the game, as afterwards, Lundell, Trocheck, and lastly Tarasenko, were all denied by the Russian goaltenders.

2-1 in the shootout, 4-3, GOOD GUYS, your final from Manhattan!

And one more time – BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS too!

Here’s a jovial Laviolette after this statement victory:

As I wrap-up these 10,000 words of madness – it’s hard for yours truly not to get sucked into all of these positive vibes.

But I still remain aware of the big picture – the only picture that matters – the playoffs.

And if we get this 2023-24 version of Panarin come April through June – well – I’ll stop here as I don’t want to jinx it!

Needless to say – I am extremely ecstatic with this club – but all of those feelings will turn to nerves in a month’s time.

The Rangers are off on Sunday and will then look to pad their first-place in the league lead over the Flyers on Tuesday night.

Of note: I am working a 20-hour shift on Tuesday – but I’m a trooper – which means that I’ll post something on this site about the game afterwards – but it may be shorter than usual.

Also of note? I was recently sent an excellent article about Ching Johnson from my friend, my peer and a fellow co-author of ten-or-so books, Ty Dilello – and I’ll post that article for you tomorrow night (Sunday).

Following Rangers/Flyers, the Blueshirts head out west for the last time this season, where they will play the Avalanche (3/28) and the Coyotes (3/30).

A better of note?

I’m off of work those two nights – so I’ll be able to go long-form with those games – and as I did tonight – and even with my pillow screaming for me as loud as Ranger fans chant #73’s surname!

Closing thought?

Enjoy this ride – as it doesn’t happen often – and then chomp your fingernails, if not your fingers too, when the real games begin.

Another thought?

Don’t you need more books for your shelves, which brings us to….

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/BOS 3/21 Review: Breadman Bakes Hat Trick in Beantown; No Clam Chowder For Pasta or Cheese For “The Rat” Either, Rangers Give The Middle Finger to Sieve Vagistat, Jonathan Quick Makes History Again During 2023-24 Comeback Tour, Fox Trots, Mining For Miller, Rempe Returns to Mixed Results; “Laviolette Neutering,” Debunking Playoff Positioning Malarkey, No Show Mika Gets an ENG, M$GN & More

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

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

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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1 thought on “NYR/FLA 3/23 Review: ACKNOWLEDGE THEM! “The Tribal Breadman” Bakes Three Goals Again; BEST IN THE WORLD & BEAST OF THE EAST BLUESHIRTS Neuter Cats, More “Broken Records” – GAG LINE 2.0 Does The Heavy Lifting; Not Much From the BFF & The Feckless Finn, Zac Jones Apology, Lavy Wins War Against “The Cuylle Crybabies,” A Hell of Game & ESPN Broadcast – But What’s Up with Kaplan? Stunning Defense; Stupid Sieve Vagistat & More

  1. Za Jones in fact has the makings of a varsity athlete.

    The lady will have young chow fried rice and a Coke with no ice.

    Team does not give up. That bodes well. And if 93, 20 and 24 can contribute ANYTHING…

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