NYR/BUF 3/31 Review: Rangers Shamed by Sabres, Gallant Calls Out Team Over “Joke” Performance; Begs His Fat Cats to “SHOW UP,” An Inexcusable Loss with No Positives; Top Six MIA, Blueshirts Dreadful Ways Matched by Miserable M$GN; Fire Vally, HBD Stan Fischler & More From an Ugly Night

While Friday night’s game against the Sabres wasn’t of the “MUST WIN” variety – it was a game that the Rangers should have won. Rather than cruising to victory – instead – the Blueshirts came out like dog poo on a hot summer day, never seemed to care, and were completely embarrassed by their “WINTER CLASSIC” rivals in overtime, by a final score of 3-2. And before you say, “hey, at least they got a point” – it should have never came to that. At this stage of the game – there’s no time for “moral losses” – nor can any excuse be made for these routine bad first periods either.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Pathetic.

In fact, following the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night – perhaps the Blueshirts should wear that word, P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C, and in a diagonal fashion, on the front of their jerseys.

For both long-time and new readers – the tone of tonight’s manifesto may shock you – because after all – no one is more optimistic and positive about this team more than me.

While my “RANGERS’ FAITH” remains undeterred, and where I also don’t believe that this one loss defines them either – there’s just no way to sugarcoat or polish this turd – because that’s what this game was – absolute shit.

Whenever the Rangers lose, I always try to find a positive, a silver lining if you will, following the game. (Plus, I’m aware that no team goes 82-0, nor plays sixty minutes of perfection every night!)

It’s really tough to find something nice to say tonight, mainly because all of the negatives severely outweigh the positives – and where trying to find something good to say is the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack – or getting Sam Rosen to shut his trap.

And this is true too, and as mentioned many times before on this site – these M$GN broadcasts only add to the infuriating frustration after disgusting losses.

That’s why it’s so easy to pick on the Hall of Fame announcer (and as tonight’s blog header photo does), Sam Rosen – an affable gent who I believe made his way into the “Guinness Book of World Records” following this game – as the person who said the word “Levi” more times than anyone else during a time-span of two-and-a-half hours.

No joke, I will go to sleep tonight hearing “OH JOE, LEVI JOE, HE’S A ROOKIE GOALIE JOE!” while tossing-and-turning through an REM-induced nightmare.

But truth be told – this loss had nothing to do with Sam Rosen’s fawning, adoration and idolization of the Sabres’ newest goalie – a fandom that was the equivalent of a teenage girl during the height of “Beatlemania.”

(More, and a lot more, on Rosen to come – as he was absolutely unbearable to listen to tonight.)

So no, this loss wasn’t Rosen’s fault. Instead, and without a shadow of a doubt – this loss was all on the Rangers themselves.

As far as any “positivity” from this absolute stinker and sixty plus minutes of sheer embarrassment?

The Rangers’ penalty kill went 2-2.

Anything else has asterisks attached to it, such as:

— The third line scored a goal. The asterisk? They should have had three.

— Halak had a decent game. The asterisk? He was outplayed by a goalie making his first NHL start – and also gave up a horrid goal during the second period – easily the worst goal that he’s allowed all season.

But if there was anything else truly “positive,” then it was the fact that the head coach, Gerard Gallant, and in a rarity – called out the team – a post-game “TURK TALK” that I’ll share at the end of the GAME REVIEW.

I thought tonight’s post-game “TURK TALK” was the angriest and most pissed-off that we’ve seen Gallant all season – and understandably so.

I know this sounds egotistical, but it is true (after all – blogs don’t lie) – more times than not, as in 99.9% of the time – my views and opinions on both the Rangers and hockey usually align with Mr. Gallant’s.

That’s also why many people call me a blinded “TURK STAN!” (Not to be confused with the B.C. Asian-region known as “TURKISTAN!”)

If you followed my Tweeter/social media throughout tonight’s game (as I use Twitter as my blog notes), then you can see that for the first time in a long time – I had a very negative view of this game.

(My buddy Roc, of “2 Guys, 1 Cup,” must be doing cartwheels right now!)

Come the end of this wretched affair, and when it was time for Gallant to speak to the media – once again, he echoed my thoughts – and where not only did he call out his team – he was absolutely pissed off about what he saw too.

In something else that I’ve brought up before (usually whenever a head coach describes a player or his team as “soft”), whenever a head coach or general manager calls out his team, then it allows the fans (and writers) to do the same.

I bring this up because I’m glad that my favorite coach and yours, “THE TURK,” said what he said – as it gives me a one-day pass to do the same.

And if you don’t know – I hate, hate, HATE, writing negative GAME REVIEWS. That’s not why I started this site.

After all, who wants to spend 82 nights (plus playoffs and off-days) writing bad stuff on a daily basis?

But for this one night, March 31st, 2023, I need to vent and purge it all from my system.

After pressing the publishing button tonight – then, and only then – can I move on, get back on track, and focus on the big picture – the playoffs.

That said, this game really tested my confidence, because as we inch closer-and-closer to the playoffs, I’m now worried that bad habits are being developed and that the Rangers are now limping into the playoffs – rather than entering the post-season red-hot – something I envisioned just one week ago.

How do you reverse these feelings and the current state of the team, a state that admittedly, can change as frequently as one changes their underwear?



Need a recent example?

Look no further to the last time when the Rangers were in Buffalo, during the the second game of a three-game road-trip.

The Blueshirts ultimately went 2-0-1 on that trip – but where in all three games – they didn’t look so hot.

Once returned to M$G – the Rangers won their next four games – then lost a tight game to the Canes – and following that – then ripped off two wins on the road, where they got their revenge in Carolina and then out-clawed the Panthers too.

Following this garbage tonight, the Rangers have a six-pack of games remaining, and where outside of the Lightning this Wednesday night – the Blueshirts will be the heavily favored team in all of them – including their season finale with the Leafs, since Toronto will most likely rest their starters.

I’ll get more into what needs to happen next once complete with the GAME REVIEW; but as you already know – something needs to change – and change fast.

These poor and flat starts must go the way of the dodo bird.

While no team plays a perfect sixty minutes, as every opposing team is paid to play hockey too – for the Rangers – they need to at least show that they give a damn during first periods.


Let’s breeze through the pregame news & notes – where really, there isn’t that much to talk about.

After that, the GAME REVIEW and everything else.

Take a deep breath, and if the old cliche of “misery loves company” is true – then you’ll love everything that you will read tonight.

Ryan Lindgren remains “day-to-day,” but Gerard Gallant did say that he expects to see #55 back in his line-up prior to the commencement of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Photo Credit: NYR

Since the Rangers played last night and arrived in Buffalo late Friday night/early Saturday morning – there was no morning skate prior to tonight’s tilt.

At 5PM, two hours prior to puck drop, Gallant held his daily “TURK TALK,” where the only thing of note, and as we all expected – Jaroslav Halak was going to start.

Here it is:

You know the motto on this site!

Here was the Rangers’ line-up from Friday night in Buffalo:

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Mika/Tarasenko

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Trocheck/Kane

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Motte

FIRST PAIR: Miller/Trouba

SECOND PAIR: Mikkola/Fox

THIRD PAIR: Harpur/Schneider



DAY-TO-DAY: Ryan Lindgren

PRESS BOX: A leftover Jake Leschyshyn game-worn jersey


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





33 2 31 .939 27 4 0 0 0 61:50 0


34 3 31 .912 30 1 0 0 0 61:50 0

Adding to the pain tonight? Henrik Lundqvist had the night off, which meant that the ears and eyes of Rangers fans were tortured by the useless seven-foot idiot, Sieve Vagistat.

Tonight’s broadcast was a fundraiser for James Dolan’s “Garden of Dreams” charity.

For whatever reason, the Rangers & M$GN scheduled this night without their official (and handsomely paid) ambassador, Henrik Lundqvist, in the building.

Talk about poorly produced.

Rather than having Lundqvist in-house to promote the cause (and to be clear – this is on the M$GN – and not on “THE KING OF COMMENTARY”); instead, M$GN had their resident moron, Sieve Vagistat, ask for donations throughout the entire broadcast, where at one point, he compared his career to Brendan Shanahan’s.

How idiotic is this?

M$GN can pick any night/game of the season to run this fundraiser – and they do it without their best pitchman – and a face of a generation?

While I’ll get more into the seven-foot pissant with the bad CVS hair dye and fake watch at the end of this blog (Vagistat said something so ridiculous that he should’ve been fired right on the spot after saying it); needless to say, once I saw that the clear-sighted bozo was doing this broadcast solo – come 6:30:01PM – I flipped back to the NHL Network.

Come 7:00PM, and now returned to the Buffalo Sabres broadcast that was being aired on M$GN; Joe Micheletti told us how “FABULOUS” the Garden of Dreams is.

Talk about killing a word. (And I’ll bring this up later on tonight.)

If diarrhea, poor defense, Chytil’s faceoff percentage stats, Papa John’s pizza and everything else in the word is “FABULOUS” – then what does it mean when Micheletti proclaims the charity to be “FABULOUS” too?

And yes – this is a remark that I’m making in my moment of lowest despair and disappointment!

As mentioned last night, the Sabres were starting a new goaltender tonight, Devon Levi, a collegiate goaltender playing in his first NHL game.

Sam Rosen would then remind us of this no less than one thousand times for nearly the next three hours – and I’m not exaggerating.

At some points throughout this broadcast, I thought Rosen gummed up his pants. He sounded like he was having an orgasm every thirty seconds as he screamed out “OH JOE, LEVI JOE!” tonight.

One more time – it’s easier to give Rosen a pass when the Rangers are winning.

Whenever they are losing, and then go on to lose – Rosen’s fandom for Blueshirt opponents becomes sickening and maddening.

I’m not even kidding.

This entire broadcast consisted of Rosen shrieking out Levi’s name and then either giving us a fact about the goaltender or repeating a fact that he already had mentioned.


Okay, maybe he didn’t say the part about the elementary school teacher – but I think you get my point.

Seriously – if I was the CEO of Levi Jeans – then I’d pull Rosen’s audio from this game and use it in my commercials – because you’ll NEVER EVER hear someone squirt while screaming “LEVI” in the way that Rosen did tonight.

And come the year 2073, when some of us are long-dead & buried – Levi, no matter whatever happens next for him during his career – he’ll always have this tape to share with his grand-kids – where speaking of grand-kids – it’s long past the time for Rosen to become a full-time grandparent – and stop making a mockery of his once former legacy.

The Hockey Hall of Famer, one of the best to ever do it, has now become a Saturday Night Live parody of a sports broadcaster – akin to those days when Will Ferrell would mock Harry Caray – where Caray’s senility was always part of Ferrell’s comedy too.

And oh – I’ll never wear Levi jeans ever again after listening to Rosen tonight. The thought of doing so, much like this game, is simply unbearable.

Give me my Wranglers.

It’s now time for me to give you my GAME REVIEW too.

<Deep breath>

Let’s get into this trainwreck.

While I still largely believe that the Rangers are in “coast mode,” and trying to get out of every game without injury too; against a team like the Sabres – the FAT CATS need to step up and take over. A game like this, combined with the top-six no show from last night (no even-strength goals), makes you wonder – or at the very least – creates doubt in the back of your mind.


As a generality, over half of this game was complete trash – at least when it comes to the Rangers.

Here’s how it went: Long Sabres’ possession, a save or two for Halak, Rangers couldn’t get into the zone, rarely put a shot on goal and rinse-wash-repeat.

By the halfway mark of this game, the Sabres were out-shooting the Rangers by a tally of 20-5 – where I don’t think I have to remind you – the Blueshirts dress a far superior line-up than the Western New Yorkers – and where the Rangers have the highest-paid winger in hockey on their payroll.

If you want to make excuses, and we all know that I’ve made them before, then perhaps you may say, “ah, they were tired from last night,” or “it’s the second half of a back-to-back.”

That doesn’t fly tonight – especially because of what we’re seeing lately – which is now a trend, and NOT an anomaly – the Blueshirts sleepwalk through first periods.

I don’t know if this is the case, and honestly, I’m joking right now (laughter is the best medicine) – but ever since Daylight Savings Time first went into effect – the Rangers play like horseshit during first periods – sans a few games.

The games against Pittsburgh and Nashville aside, and to a lesser extent, Columbus as well (but they almost blew that match too); it’s like the Rangers’ body clocks have not adjusted to the one-hour time difference.

Following these slow-and-inexcusable first period starts, where only the goalie seems to have adjusted and knows how to read a clock – come 8PM, which is usually when the second period begins – then, and only then, do the Rangers show any sign of life.

Need more proof?

Last week, in the games against Carolina and Florida – the Rangers finished both of these first periods with only three shots on goal.

Tonight’s game? They finished the first period with only TWO shots on goal. TWO!

Again, this team features a bevy of goal scorers in their top six – and while goals can’t be expected every night – SHOTS ON GOAL and TESTING GOALIES, ESPECIALLY A DAMN ROOKIE MAKING HIS FIRST NHL START – should be expected!

And I hate EXPECTED STATS and I’m saying this!

This is a pic from a bygone year, but the point remains the same – Zibanejad, much like his fellow forward FAT CATS, snoozed through this game. While I’m not trying to kick one of the team’s best players for one bad game; needless to say, he didn’t take one SOG tonight, finished with a -1 and looked absolutely dreadful on the Sabres’ game-winner. A player like Zibanejad, much like the other players in the top-six, should thrive and shine in games against lowly teams like the Sabres – who not only started a rookie goalie tonight, but were without their best player too, Tage Thompson.

The Rangers’ second line, featuring Patrick Kane (although Gallant would later shake-up the lines and pairings as this mess progressed), started the game, since #88 is a native of Buffalo.

Now in his second game as a Ranger in his hometown, Kane finished with a -2 – and worse than that – only put one shot on goal.

Following Trocheck’s faceoff win, and the first of many giveaways and turnovers tonight; at just the 24-second mark, Halak came up with his first save of the game, as he pulled off a glove robbery on Jack Quinn – you know, BIG BAD QUINN – who finished tonight’s tilt with a game-high five SOG.

Among the Rangers’ top-six, Panarin finished with the most SOG, three in total – but he also finished as a -2 too. Unacceptable.

Right after Halak passing his first test – the Rangers unnecessarily iced the puck – something else we saw a lot of tonight.

Come the 3:30 mark, and with the Rangers devoid of life – Halak stopped Quinn again. Not to be outdone, Jeff Skinner, who has one of the worst contracts in the league but always seems to turn into Wayne Gretzky whenever playing the Rangers, was stopped by Halak too.

For a Buffalo team that everyone on the M$GN said only focused on offense; the home team did a hell of a job of preventing SOG and getting sticks into lanes – and as a Sabre did when he broke up a Tarasenko one-timer at the 4:35 mark.

Now down to 14:23 remaining, and nary a Blueshirt SOG; it looked like Levi had recorded his first NHL save, following a long-distance and weak blast from Schneider. However, since the puck was going wide, the official statisticians didn’t give Levi a break – not that it would’ve mattered.

Two minutes later, Skinner, against a Rangers’ first line that did nothing, and a Blueshirts’ third-pair that wasn’t at their best either, went wide, as he just missed Halak’s net.

Come 11:40 remaining, Skinner did put a puck on net – twice – but fortunately – two more saves for Halak, who at this time now had his seventh save to his name. The goalie making his NHL debut? Zero.

At the halfway mark of the period, the SOG stat read as Buffalo 8, New York 0.

You couldn’t be this bad if you tried.

Now down to 9:40 remaining – A MIRACLE – a Rangers’ SOG – but Levi made short work of Vesey’s innocent attempt.

At the time, and knowing what I’ve seen from the Rangers before – I just chalked this up to another horrific start – and one they’d later recover from – as for whatever reason – they love this “Rope-A-Dope” style.

They were the dopes tonight.

And my wishful thinking was pretty dopey itself.

Following a TV timeout, where mind you, Halak now had nine saves and Levi had one; we returned to Sam Rosen wagging his tongue like Gene Simmons, as he salivated all over the Sabres’ goalie – during a Rangers’ broadcast.

If anyone watched the Sabres’ feed tonight, then can you answer me this: did the Sabres’ broadcast fawn over any Ranger tonight and did they run multiple video & graphic packages on their opponent?

I can tell you that this Rangers’ M$GN broadcast did – and all game to boot!

As Sam fingered his prostate and raved about Levi some more; down to 8:40 remaining – the inevitable – a Sabres’ goal.

On another one of these infuriating failed Ranger clears; the Sabres remained with the puck, Halak stopped Dylan Cozens and BOOM – JJ Peterka scored into the vacated net on the rebound.

1-0, bad guys.

Prior to the goal, Trocheck collided with Mikkola, which took the defenseman out of the play, while Kane looked lost when trying to get to the puck.

However, just forty seconds following the goal, the Rangers had a chance to tie – but Kreider’s breakaway five-hole try on the man named after the five-pocket jeans was denied.

These were the goals/shots that he was scoring last year – and as mentioned last night – and really – during the past few weeks on this site.

As we approached five-minutes remaining, the Rangers had yet to have one sustained shift in the Buffalo zone – and were being out-shot 12-2.

Come 4:53 remaining, Zibanejad was boxed for tripping Peterka – a legit penalty.

The fourth line forwards were the stars here, where a Goodrow blocked shot set-up Vesey in the other end – but he went wide.

Of note – I thought the fourth line, and the bottom-six as a whole, were the few bright spots tonight – even if they had their bouts with awfulness too. Keep this in mind for when we get to Gallant’s post-game presser.

Following the Sabres’ failing to capitalize on an odd-man rush with 1:36 to go, as Jordan Greenway had missed the net (he’d later redeem himself – and embarrass Halak in the process too); with 43 ticks left – the Rangers’ third line “one-upped” Greenway.

With Kakko wide-open, he fed a puck to Chytil in the paint. Despite being all alone and in front of an empty net – Chytil missed.

This is not up for debate – this should’ve been a Rangers’ goal. They let Levi off of the hook.

In real-time, I had some readers suggest that Kakko should’ve shot the puck – and they were blaming him for this failure.

Not me.

After all, had Chytil did his job and banged home this gimmie – then everyone would have been raving about Kakko’s assist.

Did Kakko make one pass too many? Maybe, but you can’t deny the fact that his pass was successful and all Chytil had to do was tap it home. He didn’t. That’s on Chytil – and not on Kakko.

And can you imagine if you had a significant prop-bet wager on a Chytil goal tonight – and then saw that?

I’d be throwing up out of my b-hole, as if I had just inhaled a “CRAVE CASE” from “White Castle.”

1-0, bad guys, after twenty – in what has to be considered the worst and most uninspiring periods of Ranger hockey since the trade deadline.

Here’s what I said at the time:

To the third line’s credit – they rebounded following their failure to score in the first period. They were also the best Rangers’ line of the game – where this time – that’s a direct shot at the top-six who did absolutely nothing. Sure, not every line is going to be perfect on every night – but as of late – it’s the third line doing the heavy lifting. That’s great for them – that’s not great for the Rangers.


While I always try to approach these GAME REVIEWS from a “glass half-full” approach; despite the Rangers winning both the second and third periods, 1-0 a piece – the fact that this game needed an overtime is the real story.

Again – where were the top-six, against a team that for the twelfth straight year will miss the playoffs, and as Rosen reminded us all night, featured a goalie making his first NHL start?

One more time – INEXCUSABLE!

During intermission, and once returned, both Sieve Vagistat and Joe Micheletti implied that the Rangers were tired from last night.

Then what’s the excuse to their poor start from that game?

What’s the excuse for their poor starts from every other game from these past two weeks?

These questions were never answered.

And oh, this comes from reader Chris C.: “I heard that the zamboni driver had to clean only half of the ice during intermission!”

It wouldn’t surprise me if what Mr. C. heard was correct!

Trocheck won the opening draw of this middle frame; but at just the 23-second mark, and while behind Levi’s net – Panarin took a foolish high-sticking penalty on Dahlin.

These offensive zone penalties will drive you to the needle – where on this night – it looked like the Rangers had all been hit with a tranquilizer.

After facing no shots on goal during the previous Rangers’ PK, Halak only had to make one save here, when he stopped Quinn.

One last time – the Rangers’ PK was the only true highlight/positive from these sixty minutes, as they went 2-2 and only allowed one SOG.

Now back to full-strength, Levi stopped Kakko with 17:15 to go. A minute later, and boy-oh-boy, did Tarasenko have bad luck tonight – he broke his stick as he was winding up for a blast.

As we approached the five-minute mark of the period, Halak made another pair of saves – and where this game was as exciting and sleep-inducing as watching a Bob Ross painting program, with a few pops in you, at 2:00AM.

It was also around this time where Gallant started shaking things up, where it’s impossible to keep up with everything. The most noticeable change was that Panarin and Kreider were flip-flopped, while Fox had two shifts with Trouba too.

Down to 13:21 remaining, and with the Rangers only having four shots on goal to their ledger; Sam Rosen, like an excited puppy seeing his/her owner for the first time in two weeks – he once again wagged both his tongue and his tail, and sung the praises of Levi.

Again – this stuff doesn’t bother you as much when the Rangers are winning – but when they are losing – you start to see red.

At least I do.

It’s also why I wanted the Rangers to demolish Levi – just to get Sam to shut up.

Neither event would take place.

Now down to 12:40 remaining, Chytil was double-teamed and ping-ponged twice while on the attack. This then allowed Jordan Greenway to break loose, where the Sabres’ left-winger drove to the net – and with Ben Harpur draped all over him – beat Halak, with the back of his blade, on a one-handed shot.

2-0, bad guys, and with 12:20 to go.

This goal brings us back to the word “INEXCUSABLE.”

This was terrible – and the worst goal that Halak, or any other Ranger goalie, has allowed all season.

To be fair to Halak, he was otherwise solid tonight – but for a game that finished 2-2 following regulation time – this goal became a backbreaker.

But of course, the Rangers’ FAT CATS didn’t have a fancy feast themselves, as they pretty much shit in their litter box all game.

After Tarasenko had a shot blocked, now down to 10:52 remaining – Peterka split the Rangers’ defense – and Halak came up with this save.

In other words, Halak kept the Rangers alive all game, and made a ton of great saves in the process – but because of the loss – it’s the Greenway goal that will largely be remembered.

Now at the half-way mark of the game/period – Miller had a clear-path breakaway – and missed the net.

Following this brutal miss, the M$GN cameras (where the production/camera work is the only thing worth praising night-in and night-out) caught Miller stomping his stick at the bench.

The feeling of frustration was mutual.

Now down to 8:43 remaining, the Rangers were being out-shot 20-5. You can’t blame Lindgren’s injury or CZAR IGOR having the night off for that.

I also said this at the time:


However, my feelings would soon swing, because with 7:43 remaining, the Rangers finally ripped Levi’s jeans:

2-1, bad guys.

This was a complete puck-luck goal – but at the same time – you create your own luck too.

During a long third-line attack, Lafreniere, on the second wave of this rare sighting of offense, drove to the net. He ripped a shot at Levi, one that was stopped, and on the rebound, Chytil put a puck up high, a puck that took a weird and awkward bounce. Once landed, there was Kakko to play the role of a clean-up hitter, as he brought this play home.

So despite all of the pollution on ice that the Rangers were exhibiting; this game was now just a one-shot/one-goal affair.

Speaking of one-shot, with 7:14 to go, this is when Kane took his first-and-only shot of the contest. That’s not good enough – and I say that as someone who wanted #88 here more than anyone else.

The Sabres shook off this rare glimpse of Rangers’ offense, as now down to six-minutes, Skinner, who sucks against every other team but becomes a Hall of Famer against the Blueshirts – he completely owned Gallant’s “new-and-improved” top line.

A few seconds later, Halak stopped Quinn again – as for whatever reason – Quinn was more noticeable than all of these Ranger forwards making $6M+.

With 3:05 to go, an Alex Tuch spinorama went wide. Thirty seconds later, following a bad Sabres’ turnover – Fox went on one of his FOXTROTS to the net – but then shot the puck at Levi’s chest.

Once we hit 1:24 remaining – a Levi save that Rosen had every right to praise – as the rookie made his best save of the contest – a stop on a Chytil-to-Kakko one-timer.

No joke, between what had happened at the end of the first period and what happened here – Kakko should’ve had three points in the box score.

But as opposed to Chytil’s first period theatrics – at least Kakko’s shot was on goal.

We remained at 2-1, bad guys, after two periods – and where it was a miracle that the Rangers only needed one shot to tie.

Here’s what I said at the time:

One of these two Ranger All-Stars looked like an All-Star tonight. Spoiler: It wasn’t Panarin. Photo Credit: NYR


Through two periods, the Rangers only had eleven shots on goal.

They went on to average over a shot-per-minute during this final frame (21 SOG in total) – but where it was the bottom six and the defense doing most of the work.

Following Trocheck winning another opening faceoff; Rosen went right back to lauding Levi – where it wouldn’t have surprised me if his ass was up in the air while doing so.

During the first two minutes, both Mika and Chytil turned over the puck in the Sabres’ d-zone.

Following the puck leaving play; M$GN ran a video/graphic package on Levi.


But wait, there’s more – M$GN then ran a video/graphic package on Alex Tuch too!

WHY WHY WHY?!?!?!?!

I hate this freakin’ network.

Just look at the other regional networks, whether it be in New York or around the NHL.

Have you ever heard Paul O’Neill (YES) or Keith Hernandez (SNY) rave and jerk-off over the Red Sox or Braves?

Rosen? He would have no problems taking it right up his own five-hole whenever heralding the Islanders or Devils.

And thank the hockey gods that the next two Ranger games are TNT broadcasts.

I need a break from this circus – much like how the Rangers did during their early years – as Rosen and Vagistat have just become clowns – and where their nonsense reeks of elephant shit too!

I rather hear “JUAN MICHELETTI,” on “HISPANIC HERITAGE NIGHT JUAN,” say “Fabuloso” 1,000 times, rather than ever listening to Rosen or Vagistat ever again!

One more time to be clear – YES – these broadcasts drive me nuts whenever the Rangers are losing.

Following Levi stopping Goodrow and Vesey during the third minute of this period – well I don’t need to tell you how Rosen reacted.

By the five-minute mark, Halak accumulated three more saves – and where the Rangers were playing with fire – as you just felt that a Sabres’ insurance goal was just a matter of time.

Thankfully, that didn’t take place.

As Halak and Levi traded saves with 12:30 remaining, Lafreniere started taking draws for his line, as Chytil couldn’t be trusted to take zone draws – but this line had to be out there – as they were the only ones displaying any effort.

However, down to 10:13 remaining, it was the fourth line’s turn:


This goal was kicked off by Mikkola, who unfortunate for him, didn’t get an assist on this goal.

Mikkola drove the puck into the zone, forechecked the hell out of three Sabres, which in turn, allowed the fourth line to join the attack, and following an all-out crash at Levi – there was Adam Fox, swooping around the net, to push the puck into the five-hole.

I won’t lie – I really thought the Rangers were now going to win this game – and where tonight’s headline would’ve been “THE FIND A WAY RANGERS DO IT AGAIN,” and where my opening line would’ve been “WHEW.”

I especially thought this, because right after the goal, and with 9:51 to go; Ilya Lyubushkin hooked Panarin, which in turn, gave the Rangers their first power-play of the game – and a chance to score the game winner.

Due to the Rangers’ inability to win power-play faceoffs; the Sabres quickly burnt forty seconds off of the clock.

However, during the final minute of the man-advantage, Panarin, Tarasenko (who had the best chance), Trouba and Miller were all stopped, as Levi, in his first penalty kill, finished 4-4, for a SH save percentage of 100%.

“The Rangers’ Way.” (Trademark still pending!)

No one turns a no name goalie into the second coming of Patrick Roy like the Rangers – something that Rosen was absolutely giddy about.

And once again – with the game on the line – the Rangers’ power-play came up empty-handed.

Now under seven minutes to go and back to full-strength – Goodrow may have gotten away with an interference, hook or trip on Skinner – where this is true too – Skinner also embellished the heck out of.

(I know – don’t close a sentence with a preposition – but give me a break!)

The officials, and to their credit, said play on – and didn’t penalize either player.

And Goodrow knew he got away with one here, as again, kudos to the M$GN camera people – they caught Goodrow chirping Skinner – and then laughing about the no-call on the bench too.

He wasn’t laughing by the end of this game. No resident of Rangerstown, USA was laughing either.

Following consecutive hairy possessions from the Sabres; at the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark, Lafreniere & Chytil teamed up to create a turnover.

Levi stopped them, which led to ANOTHER VIDEO PACKAGE on the Sabres’ goalie.

I keep bringing up all of this just to tell you how ridiculous both Rosen and the M$GN were. Not one Ranger fan wants to see this shit, much less in crunch time during a tied game.

In what could’ve been GAME OVER; with 1:28 to go, and with a mad scramble in front of Levi – Sam’s favorite player came up with his second-best save of the game, as while screened – Levi denied “The Breadman” from baking.

During the final 25-seconds, Gallant used his fourth line to close regulation time – where again – keep this in mind for later.

2-2 after sixty. Overtime would be needed.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Jeff Skinner will surely be featured in my new book covering the Top 100 Villains of Rangers’ history. Photo Credit: Tim Nolan


For the first time this season, Gallant opened with Chytil, Panarin and Fox. Fox almost found Chytil for a tip-goal, while Levi stopped Panarin.

Following Levi’s save, Panarin decided not to backcheck – the usual.

Since Panarin didn’t care to play defense, the Sabres then had an odd-man rush – where the end result was a <DING> for Tuch.

Following the paint chip, Mika, Miller and Tarasenko came on.

At just the 1:50 mark, Skinner, channeling his inner Connor McDavid, split Mika & Tarasenko, scooted on by Miller – and then beat Halak.

3-2, bad guys.

3-2, bad guys, final – an absolute horrific night for the Rangers.

And when it comes to the “loser’s point?”

It’s the word LOSER, not the point gained, that’s the takeaway.

One last positive?

The fact that yours truly, you and Gallant too – are all furious about this loss – one that the Rangers received a point in – speaks volumes.

It just means that we all know that this team is much better than this.

At this time, let’s get into Gallant’s most fiery post-game “TURK TALK” of the season.

Here it is:

For those who are too lazy to watch a video, here’s the transcript, courtesy of Adam Rotter from https://nyrangersnews.com/2023/03/31/what-gerard-gallant-said-after-the-loss-to-buffalo/#more-198006 :

  • On the start, “I don’t know what it does. Honestly, we talk about it all the time and I think we had a good start a couple of nights ago and then the last five or six has been a joke.”

  • But at least you came back, “we came back, but we still didn’t play much better, we were fortunate to get a couple of goals, but we didn’t play well. We had one line show up tonight and play hard every shift and that was it and we were fortunate to get a point.”

  • Are you still trying to climb the standings, “we want to win win games. I’m pissed off tonight because we got one point. We want to win hockey games, that is what we’re here for. We clinched, what, a week ago? It seems like we clinched and the season is over and it’s not the way it’s supposed to work, you are supposed to compete every night and try and play hard every night and do the best you can. I didn’t like the way we played tonight at all.”

  • What is the message then, “that’s the message…there is no message, it’s show up, you gotta play NHL hockey games. You play like that and people get hurt, you get run over in your own zone, people get tired, you gotta respect your goalie, respect your defense and everybody’s got to play the game the right way. We’re not playing the game the right way.”

I 99.9% agreed with everything that Gallant said – what a shock!

The only thing I didn’t agree with? Gallant implying that only the third line showed up.

As mentioned, I thought the fourth line did their job too.

And similar to these blogs not being that negative – Gallant usually isn’t that negative either.

That’s why when I write a blog like this and when Gallant reacts in this fashion – it means something.

I bring up the “DOOM & GLOOM” fans all the time on this site – and often mock them.

After all, if every game is a freakin’ tragedy – then every game becomes meaningless.

It’s just like a comedian who uses the “f-word” all of the time – a word I don’t use on this site. If a comedian’s act is nothing but F, F, F – then the impact of that vulgarity has no meaning.

But tonight?

This game was a f-ing disgrace.

One last thing I have to get off of my chest before going home.

Virtual reality is a pure reality to some – and apparently to Sieve Vagistat too – who actually believes his NHL career is one to rave about. Photo Credit: M$GN

When tonight’s black stain on hockey concluded – I actually stuck around and watched the M$GN post-game show – and for one reason – I wanted to hear what Gallant had to say.

As previously brought up on this site, whenever something controversial or negative happens – the Rangers’ YouTube channel will edit/filter out what Gallant said. (To be fair – they didn’t do so tonight – but since they have done so many times in the past – that’s why I hung around.)

As I waited, waited and waited for M$GN to finally air Gallant’s post-game presser; following it, the boil on broadcasting – Sieve Vagistat.

Here’s what the full-time Rangers’ M$GN analyst, a former Islander, had to say:

“John, I never thought the Rangers would win tonight. I expected them to lose.”

Of course, this asshole didn’t say this before the game, nor during his multiple intermission segments.

Vagistat then went on to say that he thought the Rangers would lose because they lost a tough game the night before.


So according to this clear-sighted loser – should the Rangers lose a tough Game 1 during the playoffs – then you can forget about Games 2-7!

You know, a same Ranger team that found themselves down 3-1 last year during the first-round to the Penguins – only to then rally back and win the next three games of the series.

Maybe Vagistat was being a “homer” here – but when you say that you expect the Rangers to lose – that disqualifies that.

Bottom line – tonight’s loss is a game that you CAN NOT make an excuse for – and I say that as one of the biggest optimists around!

A rookie goalie making his first start in net. A team missing their best player. A Rangers team that needed a response and should’ve been angry after losing to the Devils on Thursday night.

And this is how they come out? This is how they finished?

Once again – Vagistat proved to the hockey world why is he the worst analyst in all of the NHL.

He also showcased that despite being on the M$GN the longest – of the ten+ M$GN employees who also work on national broadcasts – he isn’t one of them.

Fire this clown.

Ranger fans deserve better than his self-serving goofball.

Panarin needs a game on Sunday where he proves to a national audience why he’s deserving of being the highest-paid forward in the league. Photo Credit: M$GN

The Rangers will have off on Saturday, as they travel to Washington D.C. for a Sunday 1PM matinee against the Capitals. Of note, the game will air on TNT – and not ESPN – which is usually the case during Sunday afternoons.

In other words – no practice time for a team that Gallant should bag-skate.

Furthermore, this will be the Rangers’ third game in four days – and since Sunday’s start is at 1PM – it’s also three games in less than 96-hours too.

But after these two disappointing outings on the road – the Rangers will have no excuse.

They better show up on Sunday.

I wish I was happier right now, because I do want to close tonight’s manifesto on a high note.

“The Young Maven” with “The Maven!” (If you don’t know, Stan Fischler has bestowed upon me that prestigious nickname/moniker!)

I would like to wish my buddy, my friend, my advisor, and someone who has gone out of his way to help me whenever he can (including writing the foreword to my latest book, “Tricks of the Trade,” and giving me a guest-spot on “The Hockey News” too), Stan Fischler, a Happy 91st Birthday.

There’s so much I can say about “The Maven” right now – but I’ve said it all before.

At 91-years-old – Fischler remains in love with hockey – and has now accepted a new spot with “The Hockey News,” now as an Islander reporter.

(His previous “BLUELINE” columns, which I edited and contributed to, have since ended, as THN & “The Maven” have struck a deal where Fischler will exclusively cover the team that has paid him the most respect – including naming their media room after him.)

To personally know Stan is to love him – something that anyone in the same boat as me will attest to.

I’m one of the fortunate ones – where to this day – it always amazes me that Fischler has time for people like me and other writers.

And don’t be fooled.

At 91-years-old – Fischler remains as sharp as a tack – and where every email sent his way is answered before the time that you finish sending it!

With his age, experience and resume – he doesn’t need to help anyone – but on a daily basis – he’s always trying to help out other writers – and I know many of them too – and I am one myself.

Thank you Stan.

And this is true too – no one has a better cornier joke than “THE MAVEN!”

The biggest travesty in hockey today?

No – it’s not about the daily trials and tribulations over the almighty rainbow-themed “PRIDE” jerseys.

Instead, it’s the fact that Fischler, and his wife, Shirley, a true pioneer – aren’t in the Hall of Fame today.

Fischler has only been a legend in the game for eighty years.

I guess the powers-to-be in Toronto want one hundred.

And for all of the talk about promoting females in hockey?

His wife only blazed the trail – and she was the first to break barriers – as she fought – and won – for the right for females to be allowed to cover teams and enter locker rooms.

I guess that isn’t enough for Toronto either.

Had Shirley, at the peak of her powers, been around in today’s world?

She’d be on national broadcasts – and would’ve done a much better job than the lot that you see today.

(Whenever I think of Shirley, I think about the BALLS she displayed in 1970 – when she was the one to break the Terry Sawchuk story – and the unfortunate aftermath following it.)

Happy Birthday Stan – you’re the best.

And thank you for everything.


The hardcover version of my first book, available now at Amazon.com

My first 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/NJD 3/30 Review: Rangers Fall One-Goal Shy in Second-Place Showdown; Devils Eye First-Place, No Comeback After Another Disastrous First Period, Motorin’ Mikkola, Chytil Gets A New “PayCzech;” Team-Friendly Deal w/Some Concerns, Sykora to Make Wolfpack Debut, M$GN & More

NYR/CBJ 3/28 Review: Rangers Play with Their Food a Bit; Devour Blue Jackets For Dinner, CZAR IGOR & A Blueshirts Touchdown Sets Up a Second-Place Dance with the Devils, Voting for the 2022-23 Frank Boucher Trophy Now Open, M$G Tragedy, Rosen Jinxes Never Fail, “TURK TALKS” & More

NYR/FLA 3/25 Review: Terrific Third Line Propels Rangers’ Comeback; Lafreniere, Chytil & Kakko All Score, Blueshirts Inch Closer to Officially Clinching; Could Finish with First-Round Home Ice, Penalty Kill Remains Strong; Power-Play is All Wrong, Not the Best Night For Sam Rosen, “TURK TALKS” & More

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

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my recently released 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/BUF 3/31 Review: Rangers Shamed by Sabres, Gallant Calls Out Team Over “Joke” Performance; Begs His Fat Cats to “SHOW UP,” An Inexcusable Loss with No Positives; Top Six MIA, Blueshirts Dreadful Ways Matched by Miserable M$GN; Fire Vally, HBD Stan Fischler & More From an Ugly Night

  1. Two things:

    1 – The Greenway goal was deflected by Trouba over Halak. Maybe Halak should have hugged the post, but it looked like Greenway was going to try to cut across in front.

    2 – Kakko’s tipped the puck in out of mid-air — not “Once landed”

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