NYR/COL 3/28 Review: BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS Prevail in Mile-High Marquee Match-Up; CZAR IGOR Reminds The Bulgarian Beast Why He’s The Starter of the Rockin’ & Rollin’ Rangers, Third Overtime Victory in a Row, Lindgren’s Miraculous (Or Impossible) Return, Wennberg’s Commitment, Panarin Continues His “Jagr Watch,” Brilliant Lavy Benchwork, Please Stay Healthy, “Did. Larry. See. Chris?” God-Awful M$GN Broadcast & More

If you were able to mute the two Avalanche pom-pom waving bozos in the M$GN broadcasting booth on Thursday night, Sam Rosen & Joe Micheletti – or if you just listened to the radio broadcast version of this game instead – then you are already aware of this fact: The Blueshirts maintained their BEST IN THE WORLD status following their 3-2 shootout victory in Denver. Following a slow, but defensively-oriented and hardworking first period, these two NHL heavyweights, the Rangers and the Avalanche, soon gave us a goalie’s duel – and where by the end of it – CZAR IGOR reminded Alexandar Georgiev why it was he, and not the Bulgarian, that was anointed as the successor to Henrik Lundqvist’s former throne in the Blueshirts’ net – and as it was the case dating “all the way back” to 2021. And yes – this is the best-worst blog header photoshop picture ever conjured up by yours truly too – and where there are about 667678687678636887634 different things “wrong” with it – but for the joke – let’s just assume that Alex Wennberg impregnated a transgender CZAR IGOR and then birthed Georgiev as a result some nine months later! Of note? Had the Rangers lost tonight, then I would’ve featured Nathan MacKinnon, and his lover-boy, Mr. Rosen, next to Wennberg. Thankfully, I never had to go that far – as who wants to see Senile Sam sucking on a teet these days? “OH JOE, BREAST FEEDING JOE! TITS JOE!”

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. “All they do is win Joe!”

But both alas, and of course, when speaking about the virtues of a great team playing hockey on the M$GN broadcast on Thursday night – such commentary was exclusively reserved for the Colorado Avalanche – and while the Rangers’ successes were largely ignored by the befuddled and all-out Senile Sam Rosen, and his partner, to boot, Jumpin’ Joe Micheletti-head.

And don’t get me started again about that useless seven-foot pile of feces, Sieve Vagistat, either – and where need I remind you, that just nine nights ago, the worst broadcaster in sports told fans, and I quote, “The Rangers can’t beat any of the good teams in the NHL.”

In the time since such shit spewed out of the mouth of the worst goalie in franchise history?

The Rangers have knocked off the other two beasts of the east, the Bruins and the Panthers – and then followed up that pair of victories with a wild win over the third-place Flyers.


The Rangers not only won their third consecutive game in overtime, but they also won their fourth straight game too – this time over the 2022 Stanley Cup champions – and the sixth-best team in the league overall as well, the Colorado Avalanche.

As a result of this 3-2 shootout goaltenders’ duel in Denver, here are your updated NHL standings:

Following tonight’s win, the Rangers created distance in both the Presidents’ Trophy and Metropolitan Division races – and while I know that these games are played on the ice – and not on paper – with an easy stretch of games to close out the 2023-24 regular season campaign too. More on this below. Photo Credit: ESPN

Before new readers (this site’s readership continues to grow on a regular and exponential basis – which of course – is largely due to two factors – the playoffs are coming up and the Rangers are pretty damn good) chastise me, while also trying to belittle my Blueshirts’ intelligence by telling me, “THE REGULAR SEASON DOESN’T MATTER;” at this time, let’s get my season-long daily disclaimer out of the way – you know – my 25-word slogan that I’ve been sharing on this site ever since August of 2023:


With that said – you have to be happy with these “NEXT MAN UP” and “NEVER GIVE UP” Rangers too – and yes – everything that I’ve been saying all-season, including yesterday as well, (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/32624/ ) still applies, which is my way of saying this:


That 2023 postseason loss to the Devils will never be exorcised until the hopeful event that the Rangers prevail come the end of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In what will soon go down as one of the best regular seasons in franchise history, one full of many milestones, career-years and a hell of a first foray behind the Blueshirts’ bench for head coach Peter Laviolette – even a Stanley Cup Final loss will be considered as a “failed season.”

It’s been “CUP OR BUST” for the Blueshirts ever since Laviolette was employed as the 37th coach in franchise history – and where we are all rooting for the former.

I know that a lot of what I’m saying here, if not all of it, is all redundant by now – but I guess that will also be the case for the next three-weeks – and as we eagerly (and nervously) anticipate the first puck drop of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After all, with nine-games remaining – should the Rangers go 9-0 or 0-9 – it doesn’t matter.

Sure, a Presidents’ Trophy would be a nice cherry on top, and as a result, would create even more 1994 comparisons too (and especially if the Islanders should sneak themselves into the second wild-card berth, thus setting up a 1994 redux first-round pairing) – but for these Rangers – it’s 100% about the playoffs.

Nothing else.

I don’t mean to sound so gloom-and-doom, and especially not after a big win either – but as you may be aware of – we’ve seen this before – and as a world renowned Rangers’ historian too – the Blueshirts don’t exactly have a history akin to the New York Yankees.

But at least they aren’t the New York Jets either!

I guess what I’m trying to convey here, is that following all of these big wins, milestones and impressive feats – the pressure to triumph during the playoffs has only increased.

These aren’t your “Little Engine That Could Rangers” anymore – and as they were in 2022.

Grow your fingernails now – so you’ll have something to chew on later!

And yep, and I fully admit it – I’m “scared” about the Rangers – as I’m not used to seeing them play like this – and as they largely have been playing ever since the management regime change that was made by owner James Dolan in May of ’21.

Last word before moving on from this topic – and mainly because I continue to be prodded by some well-intentioned detractors? (And I love all of it!)

The only way for Laviolette to shed that “Lateralette” nickname that I bestowed upon him, which first took place following the Chris Drury firing of Gerard Gallant, is by winning the holy silver of hockey.

And should that become the case – then I’ll never be happier when admitting how dead-wrong I was about something – and I’ll even say it to your face during a please-let-it-happen-hockey-gods* parade in June!

*But only if you buy me a beer once there!

The former 1-2 punch of Blueshirt backstops over-delivered on Thursday night – and where by the end of it – CZAR IGOR reminded the world why he won out over Alexandar Georgiev.

Going into this game, I must openly admit to you – I wasn’t that jazzed up.

While somewhat a litmus test game for the Rangers; at the same time, and as I continue to relentlessly and redundantly hammer this point home – the only thing that matters for “Lavy’s Lot,” and during the remainder of this regular season, is to get as healthy as possible for the playoffs.

Had the Rangers got blown out tonight – then I wouldn’t have cared as long as every player escaped without injury.

Now, and in light of the win, all of us were reminded of this fact all-game – as four different players went to the locker room for repairs, including Adam Fox, K’Andre Miller, Chad Ruhwedel and Vincent Trocheck.

Thankfully, all four of these players were sitting on the Blueshirts’ bench come the shootout – which means that the Rangers avoided a perilous predicament.

And I don’t think that I have to explain to you wise fans that aside from Ruhwedel, and despite the “NEXT MAN UP” mantra too – that it’s nearly impossible to replace what Fox and Trocheck bring, and to a lesser extent, Miller too.

And perish the thought of Panarin ever getting “Ratelle’d” (1972) or “Nilsson’d” (1979) either.

No lie?

Anytime Panarin is on the ice, and whenever an opponent is looming to hit the Breadman – then I get as squeamish as a young child watching “Nightmare on Elm Street” for the first time.

But thankfully, Panarin didn’t have to walk down that tunnel tonight – that is – only after his go-ahead assist, and for the kicker, his shootout goal scored too!

Just a “hint-hint” and a reminder to all!

There were two major story lines heading into tonight’s tilt.

One, CZAR IGOR and Alexandar Georgiev, while never officially confirmed (but often speculated and thought), as not exactly being the best of friends, would be meeting head-to-head again.

And for the 9578675678678567856785th time on this site too – I don’t blame Georgiev one iota for feeling resentment towards CZAR IGOR, nor do I question his passion either.

Both goalies, at the same age, wanted to be starters.

CZAR IGOR won out, and while the net would’ve been Georgiev’s in the post-Lundqvist era had #31 not been around; simply stated – The Bulgarian Beast had to move on in order to not only prove himself – but to make the big bucks too.

(And don’t forget – during the the three-headed goalie monster that we saw during the 2019-20 season, a campaign that was eventually cut short by Covid-19 – it was Georgiev that started the most amount of games amongst this trio – and then only to be shelved during the bubble playoffs.)

And as we’ve seen-and-heard in the past, Georgiev treats these contests against the Rangers as “revenge games” – and as he did following his first win against his former team last season:

All players need to find motivation, so I don’t fault Georgiev for wanting to prove the Rangers wrong as his. Photo Credit: B/R Open Ice

Two, and the other big story-line prior to puck drop, concerned Nate MacKinnon, as the current Hart Trophy candidate entered this game with two phenomenal streaks – and two streaks that the two morons in the M$GN booth would bark about all-game – and where it all came off like Sam and Joe were rooting for these streaks to extend at the Rangers’ expense too.

These two streaks were MacKinnon’s 35 consecutive home games played with a point registered – and his points netted during his last 19-games played (both home and away) too.

And while arguably, MacKinnon probably should’ve received an assist on Devon Toews’ third period equalizer – the NHL’s official statisticians thought otherwise – and a costly mistake if I say so myself.

Come the end of the game?

Not only was Georgiev the loser of what turned out to be one hell of a goalie’s duel – but all of MacKinnon’s streaks were broken by the BEST IN THE WORLD ROAD WARRIOR BLUESHIRTS!

Since the Rangers weren’t playing the Flyers tonight, that meant that Zibanejad’s offensive presence was M.I.A. – again. But in a nice surprise, the player that I’ve dubbed as the Feckless Finn, Kaapo Kakko, was anything but that! Arguably, and considering the competition too, this was Kakko’s best showing of the season yet.

While I know that some fans, perhaps both impatient and sleepy ones (this game started at 9:00PM on the east coast), considered the first period of this game to be “boring” – I was not one of them.

I thought what I saw were two premier NHL powerhouses not giving up an inch of ice – and during the rare times when one team bent (but never broke) – then both Russian-speaking goalies were there to shoulder the load.

That’s playoff hockey (Suzyn).

The second stanza was a lot more uptempo, and where we saw a ton of scoring chances too; but yet again, neither rival goalie wanted to be the first to surrender a score.

However, and in what was completely demoralizing, but not “end-of-the-world” either for these “never say die” Rangers; the recently acquired from Buffalo, and a player that the Blueshirts once passed on in favor of “Crybaby” Lias Andersson too, Casey Mittlestadt, scored with just 32-seconds remaining.

While I know that many of my Blueshirts’ brethren want to rake every player over the coals after every goal allowed, again – not me.

I mean, do you really think that the Rangers should not only go 82-0 in the regular season – but finish with 82 shutouts too?

In other words, and in of my most famous phrases – “the other team is paid to play too.”

And Colorado is one hell of a team.

Trailing 1-0 when entering the final frame, the Rangers fired up by cooking with gas.

Following a 6-6 SOG first period and a 12-10 SOG second period (with the home team recording the dozen SOG), the Rangers peppered Georgiev to begin the final twenty minutes of play.

And it all started with the Rangers’ third line – and with Kaapo Kakko scoring at the 2:59 mark to tie the game, as the Finn beat his off-season training partner, and former teammate to boot, Mr. Georgiev.

Following another strong shift from this trio of third-liners, Laviolette cycled all of his lines, and where the momentum carried.

This hard work continued to pay off, as at the 8:47 mark, Zach Parise hooked/held a dazzling Panarin.

Now on the power-play, the Rangers scored less than a minute into it, which then put them up 2-1 at the 9:35 mark, following Chris Kreider’s career 299th goal – and his 34th of the season.

Avalanche head coach, Jared Bednar, who is now striking a strong resemblance to former actor Charles Rocket (google it – but don’t google how Rocket died unless you have a thing for depression), decided to challenge Kreider’s goal – in what essentially was a desperation challenge during a low-scoring affair.

Bednar’s shot in the dark challenge went nowhere, and as a result – the Rangers were right back on the power-play – thus having a chance to increase their lead to two goals during the waning minutes of regulation.

And this is when the game turned.

The Rangers never challenged Georgiev during this power-play, and following this successful kill, the Avalanche really turned it on.

Put it this way: After having control for the first half of this final frame, the Rangers then saw their opponents out-shoot them to a tune of 17-7.


He made sixteen saves, as Devon Toews tied the game at the 12:47 mark.

As the Rangers/Laviolette were forced to skate mix-matched lines and pairings due to their frequent visits to the team’s trainer – CZAR IGOR, and his defense, held on.

In what was an extremely patient, yet hairy at times, overtime/bonus period (and where Zac Jones increased the heart rate of every Blueshirt backer in the land too); both teams remained tied at 2-2 following 65-minutes of play.

A gimmick contest, a shootout, was required to settle this score – and how fitting considering the perceived cold war feelings between CZAR IGOR and the BULGARIAN BEAST.

CZAR IGOR, not exactly the best goaltender during these skill competitions, went a flawless 2-2.

Georgiev surrendered goals to both Panarin and Trocheck – and as a result – the Blueshirts, who need I remind you, are still without captain Jacob Trouba, won out against another top team of this league.

It may have started off slow and dull to some, but once Trocheck sealed the deal – it was another huge feather added to the Blueshirts’ cap.

Before detailing everything else that occurred on Denver ice on Thursday night; at this time, the pregame news & notes segment – and perhaps an explanation too for those who don’t know what picture I massacred in tonight’s blog header photo!

Come the start of the playoffs, and even if we’re already hearing some of this chatter now, then all you will hear about is 1994 – especially since Laviolette, in his first-year behind the Rangers’ bench, can do what Mike Keenan did some 30-years ago. However, don’t expect Laviolette to talk to other teams during the playoff run – nor desert the Rangers during the summer either!

Following the explosive (yet sloppy) 6-5 overtime win against Philadelphia from Tuesday night; come Wednesday, the team had a day off from the ice – but also had a travel day in the air.

Come Thursday morning, and following the Rangers’ sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” morning skate; we had a bevy of positive news, including:

— The return of Ryan Lindgren.

I don’t know what else I can say on this site about the Iron Man/Cyborg – but following going down as if he was Nancy Kerrigan being attacked by Tonya Harding – #55, in total, only missed four games – after what originally looked like what could’ve been a season-ending knee injury.

To fast-forward a bit?

Lindgren logged 21:11 on the ice tonight – and if you didn’t know – then not once would have you ever thought that he was returning from a major injury.

What’s that word again?

Oh yeah…


— Jacob Trouba should be back any day now too.

Trouba, and as he was on Tuesday, was a full participant during the morning skate – and where he may return as soon as this Saturday at the college rink in Arizona.

And should that happen, then both Trouba and Lindgren would have returned way in-advance of their projected time-tables.

The other positive piece of news?

The following:

Congratulations to the Wennberg’s on the birth of their second child, a daughter, Ivy Wennberg. And as Sam Rosen told us tonight – Ivy Wennberg and Poison Ivy aren’t related (Joe)! Photo Credit: The Wennberg’s

As both speculated and assumed following Wennberg’s absence from Tuesday night; his wife, Felicia, gave birth, and where as a result – the couple’s first child, Rio, is now a big brother.

Following Ivy’s entrance to this world?

Wennberg was right back with the team.

Wennberg boarding the team’s flight to Denver really shocked and impressed me.

After all, he was only acquired from the Krakheads just three-weeks ago – and it’s not like he owes anyone in this organization anything – or at least he doesn’t owe them anything when it comes at the expense of his growing family.

Put it this way: Had Wennberg decided to spend time with his wife and new child during this two-game road-trip – then I wouldn’t have had a problem with it.

Hell, I would have championed it.

After all, with the Rangers already having a playoff berth long sewn up, and with an extra forward like Matt Rempe chomping at the bit too – then it’s not like the Blueshirts “needed” Wennberg for these two games in Colorado and Arizona.

I’m to assume that the Wennberg’s have a strong support system – because once baby Ivy was determined to be fully healthy – then there was her father in the Rangers’ line-up on Thursday night.

Again – while I wouldn’t have cared had Wennberg prioritized his family over the Blueshirts – the fact that he didn’t?

I have all the respect in the world for him – and it tells me a lot about his dedication and passion for both his craft and work.

<Fist bump>

Congratulations Alex – and I’m sorry for butchering your public photo with my poorly-made photoshop – but I couldn’t resist!

Here is the pregame edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE” for you:

Lavy wouldn’t really hint at his line-up, but during the morning skate, Matt Rempe, the biggest name in the league today (apparently – and based on social media metrics), skated with the extras.

Lavy didn’t say this, but I am to assume that since Colorado favors speed over physicality, then that’s why the head coach scratched Rempe.

But of course, these two things:

1) Lavy has said that he will be rotating his line-up for the remainder of the season, as he tries out new things and gives out the playing time that he thinks is best.

2) Lavy is with these guys everyday. We are not. He knows his players better than we do, so in turn, we just have to trust his judgement.


3) The Rangers have been winning all season – so how can you question Gallant’s replacement?

As far as anything else, Gustafsson remains out after taking that elbow from Reinhart that wasn’t penalized.

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the seventy-third 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/Brodzinski

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Schneider

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Ruhwedel


BACK-UP: Jonathan Quick

Healthy Scratches: Rempe and Scanlin

Injured: Trouba and Gustafsson


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:






25 2 23 .920 20 3 0 0 0 65:00 0


40 2 39 .975 35 2 2 0 0 64:51 0

How Vagistat still has a job with this network is beyond me. Photo Credit: Steve S.

Come 8:30PM, I tuned into the M$GN – and with the knowledge of knowing that Brian Boyle wasn’t there either – as the former #22 of New York was on my other television that was tuned into the NHLN.

As I was hoping that Henrik Lundqvist, Dave Maloney, Roman Ndur or the ghost of Lester Patrick would be handling the studio duties with John Giannone; sadly, and on a rare weeknight off for me – the biggest moron in sports, Sieve Vagistat, was there to smugly promote all of his self-serving and always wrong bullshit.

(Of note? The Hockey News has great Ranger pregame bits with my good pal, Stan Fischler. Why M$GN can’t do the same is beyond me – as I could listen to “The Maven” speak for days on end – and I cherish all of my conversations with him – and M$GN viewers would feel the same as me if he was given face-time on their airwaves.)

In other words, as a result, I flipped my TVs and then watched the NHLN during this half-hour – while leaving M$GN on mute – and where I should’ve left M$GN on mute once Sam and Joe came on at 9:00PM too!

I know that I always preface my negative remarks about Sam and Joe by telling you how nice they are, how they are great people, and how these two are just excellent human beings – but after tonight – I think that both of them should be taken behind a barn – and then receive the “Old Yeller” treatment once there.

While no one is worse than Vagistat; these two were brutally, and that says a lot coming from me, at their utmost worst.

I’ll bring it up below, but I am not joking or making up the following:

For the first 12-minutes of this game, all these two could talk about were the Avalanche.

It was non-stop.

They only came up for air after fellating every member of the Avalanche, both past and present, to tell us that Lafreniere looked good.

After that?

Then they went right back to opening their mouths and firmly applying their lips to the Avalanche’s johnson’s – including former Ranger, Jack Johnson, too!

We all know how Rosen has said that once his family tells him it’s time, then he’ll retire; but since his family must be as senile as him, or just don’t have the heart to tell him – then it’s up to the M$GN higher-ups to make the tough call – and pull the plug on the Hall of Famer – and one who is only making his legacy worse-and-worse with each game called.

And again – I’ll bring up these moments below – but it wasn’t just about his never-ending praise for every member of the Avalanche either – because as usual, he routinely confused the names of the players, couldn’t see what was going on, and despite Vincent Trocheck obviously taking a puck to the nuts – the nutty Rosen then proudly proclaimed that Georgiev had come up with a brilliant save.

I know that not many want to hear this, but it remains true:

Sadly, this senile grandfatherly version of Rosen will be remembered once he does eventually retire – and not the incarnation that got him to the hallowed halls in Toronto.


I’ll never understand why the Rangers employed a former Blue, rather than a Blueshirt – and especially with former captain Dave Maloney willing-and-able.

Aside from spending their five-minutes of opening face-time praising the Avalanche, while ignoring the fact that the Rangers were the best team in the NHL; Micheletti did give us one useful tidbit – but one that really meant shit at the end of the day.

There was a flu bug in the Colorado locker room – and how Georgiev also caught it.

Micheletti then told us that Georgiev looked horrible during warm-ups too.

In turn, Georgiev had a fantastic night in net – and where let’s face it – it took a gimmick competition to beat him.


While we all knew that playoff swag would be expensive, but for a hat that will cost you over $40 with shipping and taxes – then you’d think that the Rangers would come up with a better design than this bland and no effort at all product. But since this team treats their fans as their own personal ATMs – they don’t care about such things. Photo Credit: Shop.NHL.com


Zibanejad, and as he would do at the start of the second period too, lost the first draw of the game to Casey Mittlestadt – and where no – the Avalanche center never tripped over a wire like Loser Lias Andersson once did either.

Ugh, that 2017 NHL Entry Draft still pains me!

As Rosen told us that “Ryan Lindberg” was back in the line-up, Georgiev stopped Cuylle at just the 32-second mark.

In a response, both Sam and Joe then spent the next twelve minutes going on-and-on about nothing – and I’m not making this up – then told us what Avalanche players once bumped into each other in Halifax, NS.

As Jim Schmeideberg, of “The Blueshirt Underground Show,” always says, and as my friend/reader, Linda H., always asks too, the following:

“Do the opposing team’s broadcasts spend the bulk of their time blowing the Blueshirts – or is that just a Sam and Joe thing?”

And sadly – I think we all know the answer.

In a game played in front of a largely dominant pro-Ranger crowd (Denver, CO has a lot of N.Y. transplants – and it’s a fun city to visit too – and should you ever go – then hit up one of my favorite hockey bars, Sobo 151), Georgiev stopped Panarin with 17:50 remaining.

During a match where a lot of Rangers were dinged up in, but thankfully escaped without any real injury; Goodrow was the first, as a puck had ricocheted off his shoulder and onto his cheek.

He never missed a shift.


Rather than talking about Goodrow’s endurance and toughness; instead, Sam and Joe then spent three-minutes despondently talking about the injured Colorado captain, Gabriel Landeskog.

With 13:10 remaining, and with not much doing from an offensive perspective, Sean “Joe, no relation to the brain-dead gash Mollie” Walker, blocked a Fox shot from his new spot in the slot.

How did Sam call this play?

By telling us all about MacKinnon’s streaks – and where he sounded giddy at seeing all of them being possibly extended.

Please retire.

Down to 12:17 remaining, and CZAR IGOR made his first real tough save of the match, as he denied a blast from Jonathan Drouin.

This then led to our two asshole announcers into raving about the many-times-traded-over Drouin – and the Halifax story too – and where I’m surprised that we didn’t hear what supermarket Drouin shops in whenever visiting Nova Scotia too.

No joke – we heard more about Drouin, and Wantagh, NY for that matter too (MULCAHEYS JOE!), than talk about any player from the home team’s network.

Down to 11:22 remaining and the returning Lindgren made his first positive impact, as not only did he draw an interference penalty – but he drew it on Sam’s sweetheart too, Nate MacKinnon.

Georgiev made two strong saves during Colorado’s PK – including what looked like a slam-dunk goal – as #40 denied a Panarin-to-Kreider tip/deflection try while CK20 was all alone in the paint.

Senile Sam’s response?

Ignoring the Rangers’ power-play and talking about Colorado’s schedule and how they may win the Central Division title.

Once the Rangers’ power-play concluded, Lafreniere tested Georgiev – but the Bulgarian Brute passed it. As a result, Rosen went right back to talking about Landeskog again.

To quote Larry’s lackadaisical lapdog, Mollie Walker – “WHO GIVES A SHIT?”

With 7:43 remaining, CZAR IGOR denied Zach Parise, where yep, you know it, led Sam into a spiel about Colorado’s Cup chances – and how they could win the Stanley Cup two times within a time-span of three-years.

Sorry, but don’t BLESS SAM’S HEART tonight.

Instead, lock him into the home of his grandchildren.

Come 6:25 remaining and Georgiev came up big again, as he denied a sneaky backhanded shot from Brodzinski.

Back to Sam, who following this save, then gave us his report on the legacy of Colorado’s Jean-Luc “Who” Foudy.

This has to be Sam’s last season – as he’s just an embarrassment now.

And if M$GN can’t make the tough decision – then with all of their networks and channels – sync the radio broadcast for us fans who want to hear about the Rangers – and more importantly – what’s actually happening on the ice.

Speaking of Foudy, he eventually ended Colorado’s then eleven plus minutes SOG drought – and with 3:01 remaining.

With 2:48 to go, Miller took a smart penalty when he hooked Rantanen.

If he hadn’t committed this infraction, then Rantanen most likely would have extended MacKinnon’s scoring streak, as CZAR IGOR had given up a big rebound.

The Rangers’ PK was lights-out here – and didn’t allow a red-hot power-play to register one SOG.

Nil-Nil after one period – and even if it was slow – you had to like how the Rangers came out.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Jack The Ripper, government name, Jack Roslovic, had a few chances to score tonight – but following a strong start in NY, he’s somewhat cooled down – and you can now see why Columbus gave up on him. But like anyone else – what he does in the playoffs will determine his future – and a future that includes free agency this summer.


Here’s how friend, colleague and peer, Mr. Schmeideberg, summed up the first period:

And by the time Rosen asked his usual question of, “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?” – then I was hoping that Micheletti was going to respond with, “anesthesia for you Sam!”

Just 21-seconds into this second stanza and Georgiev had come up with another robbery save, this time on Jack The Ripper.

If anyone was starting to truly stand out at this time, then it was Braden Schneider, who once again, looked absolutely fantastic tonight.

Formerly known as “Baby Trouba,” B-Schneids is now a bonafide big-time NHL threat.

And as usual – I love listening to him speak – as despite his young age and career – he always sounds like a well-seasoned and grizzled veteran.

As CZAR IGOR prevented Miles Wood from erecting with 17:45 to go, a minute later, Zac Jones bailed out the new two-time father, Alex Wennberg, following the forward’s o-zone turnover.

And that’s not a knock at Wennberg – it’s just what it was – and it’s also another example of this team always playing and picking up each other too.

With 15:34 remaining in the newly named “BALL ARENA,” CZAR IGOR showed off some balls himself, when he stopped a Toews’ taser.

A few seconds later and the Bulgarian robbed The Ripper – again.

Come 14:04 to go – another one of Georgiev’s highlight reel saves:

As a result of this save, Panarin is now 0-10 on breakaways this season – but to make much ado about this fact, and as the special needs Sieve Vagistat did during the second intermission, is a waste of time.

I mean really, of all things to pick a bone about, you’re going to make it about Panarin’s lack of success on breakaways?

And did I mention that Panarin, and as he did against Florida, scored a shootout goal tonight too?

If you want to rag on D.J. Zibanejad for not producing this season, then I’m fine with that.

Hell, I do so myself.

But to criticize Panarin?

Then I have to question if you’re legally retarded or not – and I don’t use the dreaded “r-word” in vain either – as I really mean it.

Down to 12:41 remaining and Georgiev recorded his sixth robbery save of the period, this time when he denied his old buddy, Chris Kreider.

41-seconds later and Jimmy “Two Teeth” Vesey was boxed for interfering with MacKinnon.

While a legit penalty that you could never question – at the same time – you’d never see such a call during the playoffs – and even with MacKinnon getting the superstar treatment.

Colorado spent the first 1:30 of their power-play in the Rangers’ zone, but following two CZAR IGOR saves and a Fox clear too – the ROAD WARRIORS’ PK had prevailed – again.

For good measure?

Trocheck loudly rang a puck off of the iron as the penalty kill expired.

Fox, who would arguably win the Norris this season if it weren’t for the nine games that he missed after Sebastion Asshole callously attacked him, then came up with a huge save with 7:50 remaining.

With CZAR IGOR on his belly after a right toe save, Fox came in and swooped the puck away before it could cross the goal line.

Down to 7:00 remaining and this is when Lavy hit the line-blender – or just started to play Lafreniere and Panarin more – as these two were then centered by Missing Mika.

Come the final period and Panarin (20:29) was double-shifted.

With the pace of this game picking up, Sam Rosen decided to use this time to congratulate the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes for clinching playoff spots.


Again – what Ranger fan wanted to hear the home team broadcaster sing the praises of teams that the Blueshirts will need to defeat in order to win the East?

Then, and with 2:43 remaining, Rosen called a Trocheck nut shot as a save for Georgiev:

How fitting that a Trocheck testicle was nearly ruptured at the Ball Arena.

Thankfully, and after some excruciating, yet temporary pain – Trocheck returned for the third period.

Then, and with 32-seconds remaining, Mittlestadt got behind the Rangers’ defense and sniped a puck past CZAR IGOR.

1-0, bad guys.

There wasn’t much that CZAR IGOR could do here – although we’ve seen him make these saves before.

But to criticize him here, and as many did, was a fruitless endeavor in my own not-so-humble opinion!

In other words – he was excellent tonight – and as usual – saved his best for last.

1-0, bad guys, through forty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Another Hall of Famer, Larry Brooks, of the New York Post, is seemingly getting worse by the day – and where unlike Rosen, where I think senility and old age are the two biggest contributors – instead, and in the case of Dancin’ Larry Brooks – I think that it’s his useless partner, birdbrain Mollie Walker, who is evaporating his brain cells. After all, how many times will Brooks write “DID. YOU SEE. CHRIS?” – and despite CK20 now having 34 goals to his name this season. Perhaps Brooks SHOULD. GET. GLASSES. Photo Credit: NYP


For the full play-by-play of the remainder of this game, then check out my Tweeter feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

In other words, and as usual – it’s getting late as I write these words – so let’s highlight only the pertinent plays.

(Plus – I have to be up early tomorrow, as I’m making an airport pick-up on Friday – as my jet-setting nieces, and their parents too, are returning from Disneyland – and where when I look at the Rangers’ place in the standings – then I feel like I’m experiencing a Disney movie too!)

Rosen predictably opened this frame by begging for MacKinnon to score.

Prior to the equalizer, both Trocheck and his bruised testicles were back, but Ruhwedel was now in the locker room – and after taking a nasty spill into the boards when successfully breaking up a Wood breakaway.

Reliable Ruhwedel (and it speaks volumes that Lavy uses him in the final minutes/seconds of games), and like Trocheck, would later return.

As noted up top – the Rangers took control of the first ten-minutes of this period – and with Kakko arguably making his best play of the season when putting the Blueshirts on the board:


This goal was set-up by Lindgren, and following a shot from JONNY HOCKEY, the Finn, camped out behind the net when looking to set-up his teammates, swooped in and beat his off-season sparring partner.

Hell of a goal – and for as much that I’m down on a player that nowhere resembles a former captain that once previously wore his #24 (Ryan Callahan) – he can make a believer out of me should he have a strong playoffs.

Until then, this was another “Haley’s Comet” play for the Finn – rather than being one of his regular routine hits.

The potential is there – but needless to say – we just need to see more of it on a regular basis.

As the Rangers continued to motor, and as CZAR IGOR accumulated a few more stops too; down to 11:13 remaining – and “Lavy’s Lot” found themselves returned on a power-play.

I was thinking this at the time – but I have no way to prove it to you outside of saying, “TRUST ME BRO” – but Laviolette did exactly what I would’ve done in this situation – as he astutely used his timeout.

Since Panarin had drawn the penalty, and with most of the Rangers’ first man-up unit on the ice too – then they were on the ice for a long time.

Rather than going on the power-play with no rest after a long shift – instead, Lavy gave all of them a breather during this critical moment.

And to give credit to Micheletti – he mentioned all of this too – and he even noted how Lavy, nor his assistants, even bothered to coach up PP1 – as this was all about giving them rest.


He was wondering if MacKinnon could score a shorthanded goal.

Prior to Kreider’s 2-1, GOOD GUYS goal, it was also noticeable how Panarin was coaching up Fox – while also directing his teammates where to go should Trocheck win the faceoff.

By default, Fox is the team’s power-play quarterback, and as most offensive-defensemen usually are – but don’t get it twisted – Panarin is THE GUY – and it was great to see him taking control over this pivotal moment.

And here’s “The Breadman” continuing his chase for Jagr’s franchise single-season record of 123-points, with his 103rd point, via his 60th assist of this 2023-24 campaign:


This was just perfectly executed all-around, from Panarin drawing the penalty, Lavy calling the timeout and Kreider banging this puck home.

I’m a proud Ranger fan after watching this goal!

Following this 2-1, GOOD GUYS, goal; Bednar challenged the score for a Trocheck handpass – and despite #16 having both hands on his stick – and Georgiev shoving him away to boot.

Since there was only 10:25 remaining, and without watching Bednar’s postgame interview – then I’m just led to believe that this was a “hope-for-the-best” challenge during a one-goal game – and a contest devoid of much scoring.

Such hopes weren’t realized, and instead, the Rangers then received another power-play – but they couldn’t put their skates on the throats of the Avalanche here.

And as mentioned above – this is when the tide turned.

With 7:13 remaining, and following failed clears from Zibanejad and Kreider – Toews scored.


Here was my immediate reaction – and one that I still firmly believe in too:

As the Avalanche employed an all-out attack, Fox took a puck to the cheek.

He’d never return to the game – but he was on the bench during the shootout.

(In his post-game interview, which is included at the end of this blog, Lavy said that Fox was good – and yep – another potential crisis averted!)

Then, and with 2:45 remaining – Miller went to the locker room.

However, while you were shitting your pants at the time – he’d quickly return too – and in my best guess – it looked like he had an equipment issue rather than anything else.

Down to 30-seconds remaining and Ruhwedel made back-to-back superb plays.

On his first, he forced the Avalanche to go wide and to the boards on their 3 x 2 odd-man rush attack.

A few seconds later, and he prevented MacKinnon from realizing Sam’s hopes-and-dreams, as he thwarted a potential breakaway goal – and one that would’ve been an absolute kick to the jewels.

Overtime was needed.

With Fox out and Trouba in the press box, Jones, who once captained the Rangers’ rookies in games that he didn’t need to participate in, filled in during the overtime. While he was an absolute nightmare during his bonus period shifts – I can’t really get on him either, and for several reasons – including that he rarely plays during these situations, Colorado is strong and because otherwise, he was magnificent during the first 60-minutes. Photo Credit: NYR


This was a patient and tentative five-minutes, as neither team wanted to give up a scoring chance.

Heck, the Rangers, once winning the opening faceoff, just held onto the puck for the first 1:30 or so.

But when Jones came on the ice?

Then CZAR IGOR had to make three saves following #6’s trio of turnovers and “OH NO” plays.

But as noted in the caption – I’m giving Z.J. a pass – as he’s never played in a 3 x 3 overtime before – much less on the road and against a high-quality team to boot.

Schneider, who has prevented Jones from a regular roster spot?

He proved why he deserved such a designation – as he was brilliant whenever on the ice during these frantic five-minutes.

After five-minutes where you may have required an underwear change, and one final Georgiev robbery (Trocheck) to boot – it was shootout time.


As I even said at the time – if the Rangers could get the first goal, then I think that the Bulgarian would have buckled – because Georgiev is an emotional guy who can get rattled easily.

Just ask Tony DeAngelo if you don’t believe me!

And Panarin did just that – as he beat A.G. high and glove-side at the top of the first inning.

For whatever reason, Mittlestadt was Colorado’s first shooter – and as CZAR IGOR told the former Sabre “NYET.”

Come the top of the second inning, and Zibanejad went for a reverse Forsberg – but Georgiev had this move scouted.

With a Colorado chance to tie the shootout, CZAR IGOR stopped Rantanen.

Now entering the top of the third, and with the game on his stick – Trocheck deftly made a move – and beat Georgiev for the 2-0 shootout goal and better than that – the 3-2, GOOD GUYS, your final, score!

What a win – and man oh man – do I love the shootout too!

Here’s the head coach after the big two-points netted – and where let me stress this too – and despite whatever you may think about a perceived and silly curse – THE RANGERS, THE HEAD COACH AND THE TEAM, ALL WANT TO WIN THE PRESIDENTS’ TROPHY!

And like 1994 – I hope that they fulfill that goal!

We all love Jaromir Jagr – but as an ESTEEMED RANGERS’ HISTORIAN (and an official one, as decreed by “The Maven” Stan Fischler) – I love seeing history being made too – which is my way of saying that I hope that Panarin breaks Jagr’s 123-points single-season franchise record. And look at the scrub goalie trying to get in on a Jagr goal too! Photo Credit: NYR

The Rangers, now 73-games down and nine matches remaining, will experience an “on paper” soft schedule to close the campaign.

Panarin, with 103-points, is 20-points shy of matching Jagr’s franchise record – and obviously – will need a bunch of multi-point games in order to make history.

The Blueshirts close the month of March on 3/30 in Arizona – and as you all know – the Coyotes absolutely suck.

Perhaps a three-pointer could be in Panarin’s future on that night.

Here’s how the Rangers stack up in April:

Home games against the down-and-out Penguins (4/1), a what should be a fiery night against the Devils (4/3 – and where if I was Laviolette – then I WOULD bench Rempe – as there’s no point in soiling his hands with a non-contender who have nothing to lose), a 4/7 match against the already playoff-eliminated Canadiens, a return bout with the Flyers (4/11), the fourth-and-final meeting with the shitbag Islanders and a season-finale against the terrible Senators (4/15).

Of the eight-games remaining following the clash with the Coyotes, only two of them will be played on the road – and where let’s face it – one of them is pretty much a home game anyway.

The first one takes place on 4/5 in Detroit – and perhaps against the toughest foe left remaining on the schedule – Patrick Kane’s Red Wings – a team that’s battling for a wild-card spot.

The other is on 4/9 at the IBS Arena at Belmont – the Rangers’ new second home.

As an elective to the main goal of remaining healthy – Panarin’s “JAGR WATCH” is the most riveting Rangers’ story left remaining.


I hope the greatest free agent in franchise history not only makes history – but does what Jagr never did in New York too – wins the Stanley Cup!

Barring something crazy happening on Friday, back at it on Saturday night following the game at the college rink – and where be forewarned – the camera angles will make your head spin.

Take a Dramamine prior to puck drop!

And let me be the first to wish you an early Happy Easter and Passover too – and how fitting – as these Blueshirts are hoppin’ mad these days!

It’s almost time for me to head to the airport, which for you, means…

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/PHI 3/26 Review: BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS Officially Clinch Playoff Spot in Wackiest Game Imaginable; GAG LINE 2.0 Picks Up Eight Points; Panarin Surpasses 100-Point Barrier, Mika Zibanejad Shows Up Against His Favorite Opponent; But This Can’t Be It, Norris Winner Picks Up Vezina Victor, NEXT MAN UP Mentality Passes Another Test, Those “Four Words” & More

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


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

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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4 thoughts on “NYR/COL 3/28 Review: BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS Prevail in Mile-High Marquee Match-Up; CZAR IGOR Reminds The Bulgarian Beast Why He’s The Starter of the Rockin’ & Rollin’ Rangers, Third Overtime Victory in a Row, Lindgren’s Miraculous (Or Impossible) Return, Wennberg’s Commitment, Panarin Continues His “Jagr Watch,” Brilliant Lavy Benchwork, Please Stay Healthy, “Did. Larry. See. Chris?” God-Awful M$GN Broadcast & More

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