NYR/STL 3/9 Review: The New Look New York Rempes Dominate Buchnevich’s Blues; “Matt Square Garden,” CZAR IGOR Posts Second Nyet-Nyet of the Season, Perfect Game Aside from Stinka Zibanedud; Blueshirt Fans Await the Hopeful Return of Mika Zibanejad, Fourth Line Heroics, Super Special Teams, “R&R Boys,” GAG LINE 2.0 Strikes Again, Lavy, Excellent M$GN Broadcast; Give Us More Boyle & Maloney & More

While some fans, and really, just for the sake of arguing/debating, will bring up former Blueshirts such as Sean Avery, Tie Domi, Nick Fotiu, Don Murdoch and others – but really – has there ever been an other rookie in Rangers’ history, that just three weeks into his career, that became a true Cult of Personality and fan favorite in the same fashion that Matt Rempe has? On Saturday night, and during his eighth career game, the Garden Faithful roared whenever REMPESTEIN took the ice for a shift – and for good measure – loud “REMPE! REMPE! REMPE!” chants were also belted out towards the end of the Rangers’ 4-0 win over the Blues – and chants that were only replaced by “IGOR! IGOR! IGOR!” screams as the Blueshirts preserved the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner’s second shutout of the season.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Can the Rangers play like this every night?

Wow – WHAT A WIN – and where if it wasn’t for Stinka Zibanedud – then this game would have been considered as 100% flawless.

But when you win 4-0, have a rookie sensation taking over the league, your other top players show up, the penalty kill goes a perfect two-of-two (and where they drew a penalty themselves on each of their kills), your new fourth line snaps the team’s now formerly zero of their last fifty-million breakaway drought, the two new faces have a strong debut – and when your power-play had its best showing in 2024 too – then it’s hard to make the player formerly known as Mika Zibanejad your top story of the night.

However, we’ll talk about Missing Mika later on – and where he should be kissing the feet of Rempe these days – as #73 has taken all of the attention, negative attention at that, away from his teammate that is paid ten-times as much as him.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Rempe had the best all-around game of his career yet on Saturday night, and in turn, was rewarded with a career-high ice time of 11:08 – and received/earned nearly forty-seconds of power-play time too. Photo Credit: M$GN

Before continuing, at this time, allow me to get my season-long daily disclaimer out of the way, and feel free to say these following 25-words with me:


I bring this up now, and it’s not my intention to take away from what the Rangers did on Saturday night either – as I only want to paint the full picture – but the playoff-bound Blueshirts did exactly what they were supposed to do on home ice in their 4-0 win over the way outside-looking-in St. Louis Blues.

Granted, while this is an “Any Given Sunday” league, and the hockey gods sure know that the Rangers have had their own issues with beating bad teams too (I don’t think that I have to tell any Blueshirt backer about Lavy’s Lot four matches with the Columbus Blue Jackets this season); the Rangers, and especially after having the last four nights off – should have handled business against the Blues – and as they did.

I know that I’m already sounding like a curmudgeon by giving you a pessimist perspective to open tonight – but let’s see these Rangers from Saturday, March 9th, play exactly like this on Tuesday, March 12th, when they travel down to Raleigh, NC to face the Jake Guentzel led Carolina Hurricanes.

The funny thing about such a remark?

Similar to both Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti during tonight’s excellent and Vagistat-free M$GN broadcast – and as they did what I’m doing right now – I’m glossing over the fact that the Hurricanes aren’t even the next team up on the Rangers’ docket – as 24-hours prior to arriving on Tobacco Road, the Blueshirts will host the Devils on Monday night.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

Following one of the worst playoff losses in franchise history, the Rangers will once again rematch with the Devils this season – and today this once anticipated “Battle of the Hudson” rivalry game is now somewhat overlooked as if it were a trap game.

My, oh my, how have the times changed since May 1st, 2023!

And so much for those “SORRY LINDY” chants that were once heard at “The Pebble” in Newark too!

Another thought?

This is another example of the poor work that the NHL schedule makers orchestrated/perpetrated last summer.

I mean, who schedules three games in two-weeks for the Rangers, and then follows that up by having the Blueshirts play six times in nine nights – and so much for player safety too!


Going into the season, 99.9% of all pundits and prognosticators had the Devils and Hurricanes finishing 1-2 in the division – and with the Rangers trailing both of these teams as the third-overall team of the Metro.

The schedule makers’ response to such opinions and conjecture?

Having the Rangers play both of these teams on back-to-back nights.

Best sport in the world but the worst people in the world running it!

In case you missed it, and like Chris Drury, you took off at the deadline too (“hey yo” – Johnny Carson – and yes, I kid, I kid), then here’s what I wrote on Friday night about the Rangers following their three trades made (and non-trades too):

To answer the 96263478926347896384968368347 comments that I received following this game – NO – I did not bet on a 4-0 Rangers’ victory tonight. My usual $5 bet (for new readers, I routinely placed a 4-0 final wager for the past three-years but stopped doing so this season, that is except for three times) would have netted me $300 tonight – the cost for two beers at M$G these days – but I’m not mad about it! I’m just happy with the win! Photo Credit: NYR

I already brought up how bad the Blues have been and how the Rangers should have handled business tonight – and there’s a method to this madness too.

The reason why?

I just wanted to get all of that out of the way so I didn’t come off like a complete teenage fanboy with what I’m about to say next (and really throughout the GAME REVIEW segment too):

Holy shit – was I proud of the Blueshirts tonight!

No joke, going into this game, I didn’t really know what to expect – and admittedly – I wouldn’t have been surprised had the Rangers fell in defeat.

(And maybe that’s why I didn’t bet a 4-0 final too!)

Between Trouba being out, Laviolette saying he was going to tinker around with his line-up, the long layoff, assimilating the new players to their surroundings and Zibanejad’s head not being removed from his five-hole yet – I just felt this game had “letdown” written all over it – and yep – I couldn’t be any happier about being proven dead wrong with such thoughts!

While there were a few hairy situations, and two-or-three CZAR IGOR robbery saves mixed-in too (don’t forget – the other team is paid to play hockey as well – and that’s why every team pays a goaltender!); for the most part, the Rangers just dominated the Blues for sixty-minutes.

In a way, it all began with Rempe, the Garden’s newest son, as he received fitting giant-sized roars whenever he jumped over the boards – and no – I am not exaggerating – this took place all night long.

And maybe since it was Saturday night, and where most fans had the next day off too – the Garden, mainly overrun by a white collar crowd on weeknights, was never louder this season as it was tonight.

Their passion & enthusiasm was noted & appreciated – and ultimately – soon rewarded.

The Blues put the Rangers on the power-play twice in the first 4:36 worth of action.

Following a first power-play that really went nowhere, on their second try, a Panarin shot from downtown Julie Brown deflected off of the stick of his GAG LINE 2.0 center, NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO, for the 1-0, GOOD GUYS, goal at the 5:51 mark of the match.

With CZAR IGOR obviously still ticked off and steaming about the bad goal that he allowed to Ryan Lomberg on Monday night – this Trocheck goal, his 23rd of the season – held up as the game winner.

To their credit, it wasn’t like the Blues folded and packed it all in either, as they did out-shoot the Rangers in this first frame by a tally of 14-11.

However, a Jimmy Vesey breakaway goal allowed with just under 23-seconds remaining, an event as rare as Haley’s Comet these days, as it was the team’s first breakaway goal in their last 98678575667578585685656578 tries (this number is not confirmed – and I may be off by one or two tries!) broke the Blues.

Up 2-0 when entering the second stanza – the Rangers never relented – and that fact most certainly applies to their defense.

The Blues, after watching CZAR IGOR stop all fourteen of their shots in the first twenty minutes, only managed six shots on goal a piece (or twelve in total) during the latter two periods.

The Rangers?

They doubled-up the Blues, 12-6, in the second period and then continued their all-out barrage in the final frame, where the home team out-shot the visitors to a tune of 16-6.

What shouldn’t be omitted?

The Rangers also hit iron five times tonight – including twice on one shot – but more on Rempe’s double doink disallowed goal during the GAME REVIEW segment!

While the Rangers had their chances to increase their lead in the second period, and where only <DINGS> prevented such an occurrence (and I guess an occasional save or two from Binnington too) – come the third period – and the victor of this game was never in doubt.

On what could’ve been a set play, or perhaps on the right side of some puck luck too, during another Rangers’ power-play, another Panarin shot from way back bounced off of the backboards and then landed right on the back blade of Kreider.


His 32nd goal of the season – now three shy of a career total of 300 – and at the 6:23 mark.

For Panarin, it was his 52nd assist of the season, and as he continues the best campaign of his career.

For Adam Fox, this was his 41st assist of the season and where very quickly, the 2021 Norris Trophy winner is working his way up the Rangers’ defenseman all-time record books, where only names such as Brian Leetch, Brad Park, Harry Howell, Ron Greschner and James Patrick are above him.


As the Rangers continued to roll, and as the Garden relished throughout their game-long celebration, Kaapo Kakko, the subject of trade rumors all week, scored his eighth goal of the season, a power-play tally – and another “A-Rod” goal to boot!

And similar to most of Kakko’s goals scored this season, which more times than not, only take place whenever the Rangers are up or down big, this was a gimmie goal too.

(And maybe moving forward, someone should tell him up that the Rangers are up 3-0 to begin the game! Holy Frasier Crane psychology Batman!)

Better than that?

One of the new veterans in town, Alex Wennberg, set up this goal for the Finn, thus receiving his first point as a Blueshirt.

Away from the scoring, special teams and the goalies – and aside from Zibanedud too – this was a complete team effort – and where you can find a multitude of platitudes whenever talking about any player on the ice.

For example, Will Cuylle, who didn’t get a point tonight – well it wasn’t for a lack of effort. In fact, the complete opposite.

Officially, Cuylle was credited with five shots on goal – but it felt like a hundred.

The new defensive pair, Schneider and Miller, looked absolutely stellar when playing together full-time for the first time this season.

Even the perceived “weak link” on this team, and where you know the expression, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” too, Zac Jones, wasn’t half-bad either.

Heck, since three of the four Ranger goals took place on the power-play, the only even-strength goal scored, the breakaway that Vesey cashed in, led the third pair, Jones and Gustafsson, as becoming the only d-men with a +1 next to their names in the box score.

As mentioned, while Wennberg did register an assist tonight, the other new guy, Jack Roslovic, also played well – including hitting the iron.

But alas, and like every other right-winger that has played with the BFF line this season – he wasn’t able to “unlock” Mika either – but that’s not on him to begin with.

That’s only a problem that the Swedish-Iranian can solve.

And of course there was REMPESTEIN – who today – can walk into any famous restaurant in NYC and immediately be seated – and then enjoy a comped meal too!

Seriously speaking?

The only “negative” thing that I can say about Rempe pertains to finances – my own!

What do I mean by that?


As was 100% evident tonight – Rempe is a huge box office draw – and more-and-more – he’s looking like the real deal – and where the idea of returning him to Hartford is complete lunacy.

I’m not even exaggerating when I say this either – you can see the improvement in each game played, how well he’s being coached up, how he learns from his mistakes – and where his long strides is a marvel to be witnessed – that is – unless you’re playing against him.

No joke, you could smell the poo poo in the Blues’ pants whenever Rempe was racing for a puck – and especially whenever ferociously hounding pucks on the forecheck.

Should REMPEMANIA continue to run wild into the playoffs – and as I expect – then I also expect the cost for Blueshirt ducats, already the most expensive in the league, to hit an average face value of over $1,500 – and in the first-round.

And should the Rangers do the unthinkable, and reach the Stanley Cup Final?

Then unless you’re one of the FAT CATS on this roster – then even these players such as Rempe, Brodzinski, Roslovic, Schneider, etc, couldn’t afford a ticket!

But hey – that’s why we have big screen televisions, comfy couches and cold beer, right?

Another Rempe thought, and of many?

How did the other thirty teams (the Kraken weren’t around in 2020) pass over this monster amongst men – and six times over at that?

For the Rangers?

The sixth time was a charm!

Laviolette seemed happy with the moves that his general manager made.

Despite practicing on both Thursday and Friday, come Saturday morning, game day, the Rangers had one final pregame skate – and where yes – Jack Roslovic, the “big prize” that Drury acquired a day earlier, was in-attendance.

Here’s what the head coach had to say during his Saturday morning edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE”:

While Laviolette continued to stress that he would play around with his line-up a bit as he tries to find the perfect formula for the playoffs, while also reiterating the big shoes that both Miller and Schneider would have to fill in light of the Trouba injury; to me, the best interviews prior to puck drop were the ones that the two newest players in-town had with the beat:

I thought that both Ruhwedel and Roslovic, “The R&R Boys,” came off very well in their first interviews as Rangers.

But of course, that should be the case – as both players are veterans and leaving bad teams for a real shot with a contender.

Ruhwedel, a few years older than Roslovic, spoke like the savvy veteran that he is, while also admitting how leaving Pittsburgh was a whirlwind for him.

And unlike Roslovic and Wednesday’s addition, Alex Wennberg, Ruhwedel said that he didn’t really know anyone in the Rangers’ locker room – but that he was also looking forward to creating new friendships.

Similar to Wennberg, already friendly with Zibanejad, Panarin and Gustafsson, Roslovic also had some “Blueshirt Buddies” too, including Fox and Lindgren, having previously meeting with them when playing for the U.S. national program.

And of course, Roslovic is also familiar with the ex-Jets too, who ironically are both injured right now, captain Jacob Trouba, and his former captain in the ‘Peg, Blake Wheeler.

In another connection, both Ruhwedel and Roslovic stressed that they can successfully play at two positions on the ice, as the former Penguin said he has no problems playing on the left or right side of the defense, while the former Jet-turned-Jacket said he’s comfortable at either center or right-wing.

While I don’t think that this trade deadline produced the fruit that many Ranger fans wanted to sink their teeth into; at the very least, it’s always a positive thing whenever new players seem ecstatic to throw on the famous blue sweater.

After all, they weren’t traded to Elmont or Newark!

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the sixty-third game of this 2023-24 season – and the first new line-up post deadline:

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Wenneberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Rempe

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Schneider

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Jones


BACK-UP: Quick

Healthy Scratches: Brodzinski and Ruhwedel

Injured but not on the IR yet: Trouba


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





39 4 35 .897 24 9 2 0 0 60:00 0


26 0 26 1.000 21 1 4 0 0 60:00 0

It’s not just me saying it anymore – many fans are now saying this too: Brian Boyle is a breath of fresh air whenever he replaces the useless self-promoter, Sieve Vagistat, on M$GN broadcasts. Between his real NHL experience, his insights and his personality – he’s been a natural in his new gig – even if at times, you get the vibe that he enjoyed his stay in Tampa Bay more.

When I first saw Brian Boyle, and not the seven-foot stooge-splooge, Sieve Vagistat, at the top of the M$G “CHASE BRIDGES” at the start of tonight’s broadcast – I thought it was a good omen of what was to come.

Better than that?

After yours truly wrote an ODE TO DAVE MALONEY two weeks back – M$GN is now featuring the best radio analyst in the business more-and-more.

Not having Vagistat around is music to anyone’s ears – and when Boyle & Maloney (and Lundqvist too – but who rarely works Saturday nights) are there – then it’s a whole different world – and a much better one too.

No matter how you feel about Vagistat, and you don’t have to agree with my opinions on him, then this much is true:

You never hear anything analytical related when he’s not around – as instead – you get pure hockey, real hockey, talk.

Rather than being polluted with junk such as “Clear-Sighted Assholes, “Expected Stats,” “East-West,” “I did this Johnny, I did that Johnny,” “Please acknowledge me Hank,” and “The Gerbil in my Royal Road” – aka the usual crap that spews out of Vagistat’s mouth; instead, Boyle and Maloney talked about hockey rather than made-up charts & graphs – and they didn’t shy away from any story either.

To begin, Maloney and Boyle talked about the moves, and the non-trades too, that Drury made.

Both men said it was a big positive for the team that no players went out and how the three additions will quickly find their way in New York due to the team’s strong chemistry.

On Wennberg, Maloney, who played with two of the three most famous (and impactful) Swedes in Rangers’ history (he captained Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg – and obviously – Henrik Lundqvist is the one that he didn’t play with), called Wennberg a “smart Swede” – and where after one game at least – Maloney was proven correct in his assessment of the new #91 of the Blueshirts.

As the broadcast continued, it was confirmed that Roslovic, now wearing #96 (more on this in a bit), would play on the BFF line.

It was also confirmed that Ruhwedel, wearing a number that should have been retired decades ago (#5, for Bill Cook), would be sitting this one out.

For what it’s worth, I believe we’ll see him dance with the Devils come Monday night.

When still talking about the new Blueshirts – and the alumni too – Maloney expressed his bewilderment over his former teammate, the goalie of the 1979 Stanley Cup Finalists, John Davidson, for trading Roslovic for practically next to nothing.

That’s a remark that you would never hear Sam Rosen say – and that’s not a knock on Rosen – that’s just to say that he’s always been loyal to one of his best friends.

Since Vagistat didn’t do much during his NHL career aside from carrying Lundqvist’s bags around, this showcased what Boyle brings to the table – as he was able to talk about Ruhwedel from a personal view, having played with him before (Pittsburgh).

Boyle just gushed about his former teammate, where #22 said that Ruhwedel is zero maintenance, drama-free, adds to the culture, brings plenty of depth and is just an all-around great pro.

And really, and as noted above – that was also my first impression after watching the Ruhwedel interview.

As the broadcast continued, I made the following note on the Tweeter machine:

And yep – that’s exactly what happened!

Following the new mother, Michelle Gingras, demanding that every man, woman and child bet on every game in the league (and where I am to assume that she doesn’t impart such motherly advice on her own toddler); Boyle & John Giannone called out Zibanejad, again, for his lack of production.

Of note, and I don’t listen to it because I can’t sit through an hour of the clueless Mollie Walker cackling like a diseased hyena, but I’ve been told by many readers and Tweeter followers that Boyle is also strong in his other gig, as the co-host of the New York Post Rangers’ themed “Up in the Blue Seats” podcast.

While he didn’t say this on M$GN airwaves, I’ve been told by these same people that not only does Boyle regularly call out Zibanejad on the podcast – but he also brings up how he’s overpaid too.

Tonight, he just said that Mika needs to go to the net – and that’s exactly what did not happen!

One of the best custom jerseys of all-time. Photo Credit: Sorry, I’m forgetting your name!

At 7:30PM, our affable announce duo, Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti, appeared on our screens.

Call it the “Maloney Effect,” call it whatever you want, but ever since Maloney filled-in for Micheletti a few games back, Rosen has actually been lucid!

All jokes aside, I thought Sam and Joe did a great job tonight – and where they avoided doing their usual routine of fellating the other opponent, making excuses for them, how old everyone is, who their second-grade teachers were, et al.

Sam and Joe just prioritized the Rangers – and for me – that’s all that I desire.

While this isn’t the fault of Sam and Joe, but like the Blueshirt beat reporters who are supposed to have this information – these two didn’t know what was plaguing Trouba either.


I think it’s just a culmination of injuries, and since the Rangers are going to the playoffs, you may as well shut him down and rest him now, rather than risking worsening whatever he’s going through.

I also feel strong in this theory because there isn’t any video or clip from Monday’s loss to Florida to suggest that a specific incident injured Trouba.

But yeah – I would have put him on LTIR – “The Vegas Way” – and as fully explained last night.

As far as anything else, I thought it was shameless that M$GN didn’t share John Brancy’s national anthem with us – and like other topics previously talked about – more on this below.

Also shameless?

The Rangers gave Sammy Blais a “THANK YOU/WELCOME BACK” video tribute tonight.

And I don’t think that I have to write my 98567856565678567565th word about the Rangers attempting to erase Jim Ramsay from their history again either – and as the Blueshirts recently did when they ignored their former 29-year employee a few weeks back.


It may have taken a season to get there, but arguably, not only has Trocheck matched the chemistry that Panarin once had with one of his good friends and former center, Ryan Strome – these two may have exceeded that bond too. Photo Credit: Getty Images


Since it’s getting late as I hammer my keyboard here (I watched the UFC 299 PPV after this game), I’m just going to hit all of the big stuff – but even so – I guarantee this will be the longest and most detailed recap of this game around!

In other words, if you want the full play-by-play, then check out my Tweeter feed here: https://twitter.com/NYCTheMiC

Following Zibanedud losing the first faceoff the game, K’Andre Miller first made his presence felt as he forced a turnover in front of CZAR IGOR, cleared the puck and then set-up his center for a one-timer that was blocked.

After the blocked shot, Miller’s new partner, Braden Schneider, made his presence felt too, and as he did just 50-seconds in when he absolutely crushed Pavel Buchnevich with a TROO TROO TRAIN hit.

I don’t know if this started it, or as Rosen half-joked, if Buchnevich was pissed about not being traded to the Rangers or what – but whatever it was – “Captain Happy” was a crazed madman tonight.

After years of being stoic in New York, tonight, and now as a Blue – #89 just looked like a rabid dog that needed to be put down out there.

Somehow, Buchnevich was only credited with two hits tonight (and the NHL statisticians have been poor when tracking these stats this season – so bad – that the league has already gone back and rectified some of their errors) – but easily – he had about a half-dozen of them.

And when he wasn’t hitting Blueshirts, then he was angrily screaming at their bench, while also getting snippy at the faceoff circles.

At just the 1:25 mark, and during the GAG LINE 2.0’s first shift, Trocheck hit the post – and where only the REMPE and IGOR chants were louder than all of the many <DINGS> that we heard tonight.

35-seconds later and Gustafsson drew the Rangers’ first power-play as Bolduc had slashed him.

As I was just shaking my head over the fact that Laviolette will juggle his lines, pairings and roster, while refusing to make one change to his first power-play unit; Buchnevich, drinkin’-and-drivin’ towards his comrade’s net, CZAR IGOR, almost scored a short-handed goal.

Again – why not allow Lafreniere to play with his linemates on the first power-play unit instead of the ineffective and useless Zibanejad?

And I’m being serious – I rather see Rempe on PP1 than Mika too – and as noted before – because you can just park him in front of the goalie and look for deflections, screens and rebounds.

The Rangers only put one shot on goal here, as a Panarin-to-Fox deflection was miraculously saved by Binnington – and the same goalie who sparked the Rangers’ turnaround last season following his third period implosion – which as a result – then kicked off an eight-game winning streak.

I know that I sound like a teenage girl speaking about a pop star – but I can’t help but to gush about Rempe.

Once returned to even-strength, Rempe stuck with a play in the Rangers’ end and in turn, Kevin Hayes slashed the freakish-in-stature brute.

Now on their second power-play, and where it shouldn’t be lost that a third-pair rearguard and fourth line forward drew both of them, Zibanedud did nothing while Lafreniere watched his two linemates score the game’s first goal:


No offense to Mr. Lazarus, as I do like his stuff – but I totally disagree with his description of this goal.

This was a skilled deflection goal and this is how most teams score in the NHL these days too.

But I do know what Lazzy means – as this wasn’t one of those Harlem Globetrotter strikes.

The Blues nearly got on the board with 12:15 to go, as Buchnevich, in Gretzky’s office, found Robert Thomas wide open to the right of CZAR IGOR. As you already know by the final score, #31 made the huge save.

As the game progressed, Roslovic, on a two-vs-one odd-man rush, went wide. So he’s officially a Ranger now!

When speaking about Roslovic’s time with the Jets, Rosen gave his sincere well wishes to Roslovic’s former captain, Blake Wheeler. I thought this was really nice – as it’s easy to forget that Wheeler is no longer here.

Around the half-way mark of the period, and where it was already evident that Laviolette was going to give his fourth line every chance to succeed; Rempe’s gargantuan strides almost created another goal.

On this play, Rempe dwarfed Binnington, and with the goalie screened, Goodrow was somehow denied.

Following the stop, Rempe got right into Binnington’s face, perhaps knowing his history and trying to draw a penalty, which led to our first scrum of the game.

While Parayko didn’t really seem interested in fighting Rempe, he didn’t back down when the beast incarnate laughed right in his face.

I should be clear – I don’t even think that Rempe is trying to “troll” opponents when he laughs at them.

I just think that he loves this game so much – and as is obvious with all of his infectious smiling whenever sitting on the Rangers’ bench.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that no one in this world currently enjoys their place of employment more than #73 of the New York Rempe’s Rangers.

Following Kakko losing a board battle with 9:00 remaining, thirty-seconds later and Lafreniere came close to having a breakaway, but lost his stick when jumping a passing lane. No matter, as #13 recovered and helped end the Blues’ attack.

As we were told for the fourth time that “ZAC JONES WORKS HARD JOE,” there was that big behemoth again, Rempe, leading another forecheck with 6:45 remaining.

In an actual useful between-the-benches report from Giannone out of a TV timeout, Johnny G. told us that Roslovic is very observant and continued to ask the two longest-tenured Rangers, Kreider and Zibanejad, questions pertaining to the game.

And nearly a minute later, Roslovic nearly scored on a one-timer – but not before CZAR IGOR made a robbery save on Brandon Saad first.

As I continue to sound like a parent talking about their child’s first day at school, here’s one of my tweets at this point in the contest:

As noted, Rempe logged a career-high 11:08 tonight.

But I guess that I should give you everything about this stat, as it was very easy to keep the fourth line out there when up by three, and later four, goals.

Then again, the fourth line was just amazing tonight – so even if this was a one-goal game – then I think they still would’ve been out there – unless the Rangers were trailing by one and needed to employ their 6 x 5 attack.

Hopefully, we won’t have to answer that question anytime soon – as I thoroughly enjoyed not having to sweat out the final minutes of a Rangers’ game!

Under a minute remaining and we had our first true SAMMY WHAMMY, as Rosen said, “OH JOE, MANY OF THE TOP STARS ON THE BLUES HAVE SCORING DROUGHTS JOE!”

I was fuming when I first heard this, but such feelings were quickly subsided with 22.8 seconds remaining, following this:


Rempe’s defense allowed Goodrow to retrieve the puck and find Vesey for the first Rangers’ breakaway goal since the Millard Fillmore administration!

And it’s a goal like this, and don’t we know it, that completely demoralizes an opponent.

2-0, GOOD GUYS, through twenty-minutes – and where you had to just love what you were witnessing.

Here’s what I said at the time:

We all wanted that Rempe goal tonight! Photo Credit: M$GN


Following our usual opening question of “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?” (“A hardworking cue-ball hair cut for the guy in the #93 jersey Sam!”); Rosen then gave us the weather report.

I’m not making this up – as no one loves telling us that it’s raining like Mr. Rosen does!

We were also given tonight’s #NYR #CadillacTrivia question tonight – who was the first Ranger to ever wear #96?

The answer?

Emerson “UGH” Etem!

And if you don’t know my Etem story, then check out my “Tricks of the Trade” book – or check the archives of this site!

It’s still reader Andrew S. favorite story of all-time!

Similar to recent second periods, the Blueshirts quickly surrendered two quick shots on goal – and where CZAR IGOR had to make a pair of robbery saves in a response – and as he did on Buchnevich at just the 35-second mark.

Now feeling it, this is when CZAR IGOR started making his patented homerun passes, where in total, he bombed five pucks deep tonight.

He must really want another assist on his ledger!

Following a save on Kyrou with 16:15 remaining, you could see the Blues trembling and quaking whenever the leviathan Rempe took to the ice.

Come 14:40 remaining and the GAG LINE 2.0 almost picked up a tic-tac-toe goal, but Binnington, not bad tonight (three power-play goals and a breakaway goal allowed), made the stop.

A minute later, and CZAR IGOR, as mentioned, in the zone, came way out of his net, about ten-feet shy of the blue line, when racing to a puck, and winning that race, which in turn, prevented a Blues’ odd-man rush.

And with 12:21 remaining – we came a pubic hair shy of getting what we wanted – a Rempe goal:

When it looked like Rempe scored, you would have thought that the ball had dropped in Times Square on 1/1.

And for this writer, I was hoping for both Roslovic and Rempe to score tonight, just so I could use my (trademark pending) “JACK AND THE BEANSTALK” headline! (Har-har-har!)

Upon replay, and while not exactly 100% evident, it looked like Rempe’s shot, which hit both posts, “only” went 99% over the goal line.

While I do think that the refs/Toronto got this right, what I hated about this was that the referees/league decided to review this – rather than allowing/forcing the Blues to decide to use their challenge.

For what it’s worth, Rempe didn’t celebrate like he scored either – which kind of tells you that you know it wasn’t a goal too.

But this shouldn’t be lost:

Goal or no goal – this was Rempe’s finest hour – as this scoring play was only set-up after he forced a turnover in the d-zone.

And yeah – let’s hope we DON’T see such a reversal in the playoffs – especially when you consider that the call on the ice was a goal – and that it only took five-seconds for the league to overturn something that most definitely needed more time and consideration:

As a result of the officials butting in, this led John Brancy into orchestrating the (in)famous “ASSHOLE” chants:

A world famous opera singer, who gets paid by the team, and he’s leading an “ASSHOLE” chant.

RESPECT – and as Brancy & 18,006 fans continued to grow the legacy of Rempe!

Of note?

Rosen, who usually tells us what the crowd is saying, refused to mention what was so loud that even people in Japan heard it too.

Following another Zibanedud turnover with 9:10 remaining, down to 7:09 to go, The Gus Bus took the first Rangers’ penalty after high-sticking Schenn.

No matter.

A minute later and Faulk negated the Blues’ power-play when he hooked bottom-sixer Wennberg – as the new #91 made his first positive impact as a Blueshirt.

No one scored during the foreplay and with one-second remaining on the Rangers’ abbreviated 1:07 power-play – Zibanedud went wide in front of a net that Binnington had vacated.

All Rempe and Lafreniere could do was watch.

It gets worse for Mika, who these days, probably can’t even urinate without dribbling all over himself.

Only one of CZAR IGOR’s homerun passes were intercepted tonight – the one he made to Stinka with 2:00 remaining.

35-seconds later, and now on a two-vs-one odd-man rush with Fox?

Stinka Zibanedud fell down as the backdoor pass was coming to him.

Man, I wish we could get Mika Zibanejad back – as these days – he looks like one of the basketball players from “Space Jam” who had all of his talents zapped away from him by the “Monstars.”

2-0 through forty-minutes – and another successful chapter written in the BOOK OF REMPE.

Here’s what I said at the time:

And some of you wanted CZAR IGOR traded! Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you!


To sum up this final frame in three words, “CLOSE OUT CITY!”

But of course, an early hiccup first, as SUPER SHESTY robbed Buchnevich (again) at the 17-second mark and then came up with another robbery on a Thomas deflection some eight-seconds later.

But after that?

All Rangers.

Panarin, despite his two assists (AND I AM NOT KNOCKING HIM – I’M JUST SAYING WHAT TONIGHT WAS), had an off-night when shooting the puck, as when Binnington wasn’t stopping him, then he wasn’t getting all of his shot, and as that’s what took place here at the 2:00 mark.

But he was creating offense – and that’s more than I can say about Zibanedud who flubbed a Rangers’ 3 x 2 attack with 16:30 remaining.


Can the Rangers LTIR Stinka Zibanedud until Mika Zibanejad is 100% and ready to play?

And why so harsh on Mika?

Because nobody else calls him out – and where the demons from last year’s playoffs haven’t been exorcised from my soul either.

And as noted about 7896768786896868966 times this season – if the Rangers weren’t in first-place right now, and if so many Blueshirts weren’t playing well either – then no show Mika would be the top topic in town.

Yep – you know it – right after this latest Mika failure, there was Rempe, again, forechecking and shooting pucks at Binnington – including going down on one knee like the sharpshooter that he is!

However, Binnington prevented what Lazzy would’ve described as a pretty goal!

Down to 14:59 remaining and Faulk hooked Lafreniere – where I’m surprised a penalty shot wasn’t called.

Worse than that?

After drawing a penalty, Lafreniere had to watch Stinka Zibanedud skate around and do nothing effective.

But, and with 13:37 to go, this is when Panarin and Kreider hooked up for the team’s second power-play goal.

3-0, GOOD GUYS – and really, if it wasn’t already, then GAME OVER!

With 11:07 remaining, and in his rare miscue of the night, Jones was boxed for tripping Jake “Won’t You Be My” Neighbours.

This was unnecessary when up by three goals – and with your goalie having a shutout going.

But as was the case during the first Blues’ power-play, they took a penalty of their own, and as they did when the boisterous Buchnevich tripped Kreider.

Once the foreplay was over and with another abbreviated power-play, this is when Kakko scored the easiest goal of his life – but hey – they all count – even if this was another A-Rod goal during a blowout.

4-0, GOOD GUYS, and with 8:37 left to be ticked.

And while I would’ve traded Kakko and admittedly, and as you may have guessed, I’m not his biggest fan either – at least he did show up and score in a blowout.

That’s more than I can say about Zibanedud.

Kakko was also noticeable again once this game became a blowout, as with 2:37 remaining, he drew Parayko for holding.

With the game’s result already long decided, I tweeted out the following:

As Lavy used his bottom six and third-pair d-men, Roslovic, one of the few not to fit this description, smashed the post.

As Lavy called for a change – there was Rempe – and as a result – M$G was louder than the January of 1984 night when Hulk Hogan dropped the big leg on The Iron Sheik to win the WWF Heavyweight championship.

I’m not exaggerating – the Garden just screamed the surname of the colossus for this entire 37-second shift.

And do you know what I truly love about this?


As noted, this was his best all-around game yet, where his forechecking, screening and just intimidating presence rattled the Blues all-night.

And yeah – I wanted that Rempe power-play goal more than anyone here too – not only to prove my point that he should be on PP1 over Mika – but in order not to think about the $300 I missed out on by not betting a 4-0 final!

What a perfect night at Matt Square Garden – I mean Madi$on $quare Garden – and let this sink in as we get to the end here:

When was the last time you heard M$G chanting a name of a Ranger that wasn’t a goalie?

And when was the last time a Ranger skater out-shadowed a goaltender’s shutout?

And that’s me saying this – the biggest DAY ONE CZAR IGOR fan on this blue-and-green marble!

Here’s Laviolette, who had nothing but love for his players:

Up next: A chance to completely dash any hope of the playoffs for the Devils on Monday, and then the extremely anticipated heavyweight tilt on Tuesday night in Raleigh.

Ugh – I wish that I had off of work this week!

In other words, I’ll be listening on the radio live, will re-watch the games when I return home, and then post GAME REVIEW blogs of each match at some ungodly hour, most likely at 6AM.

Hockey fan problems!

See ya Monday night and enjoy the rest of your weekend – where with a day off on Sunday – why not catch up on your reading, which brings us to…

PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my Rangers’ induced therapy bills. After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)

My fourth title and tenth book is now available!

“The Top 100 Villains of New York Rangers History,” is now available for sale!

For complete information, please visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/rangerkillers/

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

My second plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”

As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:


For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:

Order “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Book Today

My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.

My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”

The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!

“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.

All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

“Dollar Tree” Chris Drury Uses His Summer Playbook at the Deadline; Tells His Cowardly State Media That He Embraces The First-Place Core Without Adding Much More, All Trades Can Only Be Judged After the Playoffs; Carolina & Florida Load Up, Trouba Injured For a While But Kim Jong Drury Doesn’t Learn From McCrimmon, Kakko Insanity; “Untouchable Kids,” Breaking Down The Newest Blueshirts; Deals with Two Rivals, DeAngelo’s Fall From Grace Continues; Waived For a Drug User, No Ranger Reunions & Plenty More

Wacky Wednesday Produces Several Wild Trades; The Loophole Golden Knights Big Winners (Be Jealous – But Don’t Hate!), Rangers Dip Their Toes in the Water with Wennberg; But Will The Blueshirts Make a Big Splash? Who The Former Swedish Krakhead Knows, Two Members of the Alum & A Pen New Drury Trade Targets, Bad News for Brodzinski, The East Runs Through Sunrise & More

NYR/FLA 3/4 Review: 62 Games Down; The Final 20 Featuring a Different Roster Ahead, Latest Trade Talk, Potential “Turning Point Loss,” Chris Drury’s Biggest Trade Deadline Yet – But Does It Matter with Missing Mika? Kakko Fails Top-Six Audition (Again) – But Is It 100% On The Finn? If The GAG Line 2.0 Don’t Score Then Don’t Expect Anyone Else To; “Beating The Blueshirts Blueprint,” “S.O.S.,” Pride Night, M$G Radio & 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

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 thoughts on “NYR/STL 3/9 Review: The New Look New York Rempes Dominate Buchnevich’s Blues; “Matt Square Garden,” CZAR IGOR Posts Second Nyet-Nyet of the Season, Perfect Game Aside from Stinka Zibanedud; Blueshirt Fans Await the Hopeful Return of Mika Zibanejad, Fourth Line Heroics, Super Special Teams, “R&R Boys,” GAG LINE 2.0 Strikes Again, Lavy, Excellent M$GN Broadcast; Give Us More Boyle & Maloney & More

  1. Sean – Thanks for the great report on Boyle replacing Valiquette, Igor’s shutout, Rempe’s dominance, and Kakko’s goal. It was a fun game.

  2. Sean –
    Only 1 game – I really liked the Schneider and Miller pairing. I thought that was the most assertive defensively and offensively that Schneider has looked all season and Miller played at a consistent high level without the lapses that we have seen too frequently.
    Although Roslovic is not a game changer, he looked like a real add.
    Kakko – at best – is an ok 3rd liner. That’s all.
    And Mika – WTF is going on? (And WTF does not mean “wow that’s fantastic”) – maybe invasion of the body snatchers.

    1. Totally agree, 4/79 have looked good, and surprisingly, ditto about 6/56.

      Well Mika got one last night – is it the start of something or the start of a new drought ahead?

  3. Just because Drury didn’t trade Kakko doesn’t necessarily mean he believes in him. No matter what we fans think Kakko is an asset and Drury wasn’t being offered fair value for him. Obviously other GMs think there’s value there or they wouldn’t ask for him. He’s 23, NHL ready, comes with a reasonable cap hit and at his age still has an upside. And his poor numbers make him easy to resign. Vatrano/Henrique for Kakko/#1? Even if you think Kakko for a year and change of Vatrano is a good deal, did you want to trade your #1 for a Henrique rental? When you can have Wennberg for a 4th? Drury can maximize the return on those assets at the draft or during the season. I’m impressed and really starting to become a Drury fan.

    1. Kakko may be one of those guys who play better away from NYC.

      I just want a Cup and would do as many win now deals as possible.

      No problem with Wennberg and Roslovic, but holding onto Kakko made no sense to me since he does nothing but pout, especially when Vatrano and Henrique were there for you.

      How many years of this core’s prime do you want to burn?

      1. I wanted Vatrano (or Duclair) and Henrique but not at those prices. Thought another team would give their #1 for Vatrano but I guess not. Verbeek may have overplayed his hand but who knows? I think Wennberg’s all around game is a great add.

        1. You know me – I’m WIN NOW – would’ve given up both Kakko and the first for Henrique & Vatrano – but I think you’re right – Verbeek overplayed his hand.

          You in the area on Saturday? You know where my dad, Tommy and I will be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *