NYR/PIT 4/1 Review: BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS Experience Travel-Weary Loss to Putrid Penguins; Rangers Remain as First-Overall Anyway, “The Matt Rempe Conspiracy Theory;” Big Man Sent to the Press Box Again – And The Media Blackout Too, Panarin Continues JAGR WATCH, Questionable Officiating; Questions for Laviolette Too, Frank Boucher Trophy Voting Open, The Legacy of Ching Johnson, Trying to Derail The Negative Trouba Train, Please Retire Sam & Joe; M$GN & More

Not many fans want to hear excuses following a Rangers’ loss, and as it was the case on Monday, April 1st at M$G, when the Blueshirts dropped a 5-2 (two empty netters) decision to the Penguins – but here they are anyway! One, no team goes 82-0. Two, following a west coast jaunt, where the team played (and won) in two different time zones, the Rangers only had one day of rest once returned – and that was during Easter Sunday. In my opinion, the Penguins just caught the Rangers at the right time – but with that said – I do have questions, but not criticism, for the Blueshirts’ eventual Hall of Fame bound coach, Peter Laviolette.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Blah. Bring on the Devils!

(NOTE: In case you missed it, I posted Ty Dilello’s piece on Ching Johnson prior to tonight’s game here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/ching/ )

I’m sorry if I sound so dismissive about the Rangers’ 5-2 loss to the yellow-and-black attack from Monday night – but really, and in an attempt to alleviate the fears from the gloom & doom crowd too, the following reminder:

The Rangers, who seemingly and rarely ever lose since the NHL All-Star break, retained their “BEST IN THE WORLD” league status following the sixty-minutes of “blah” that we endured on 4/1. As a result, “Lavy’s Lot” had created distance between themselves and all of the other teams who are currently chasing them – so while you’re never happy with a loss – at least the Rangers could “afford” such a loss – or at least when it comes to their bid in order to have a home-ice advantage throughout the entire playoffs – a huge edge that winning the Presidents’ Trophy provides. Photo Credit: ESPN

And yep – first-place overall or not – all that matters for this group is whatever they do in the playoffs, which of course, is a segue-way to my season-long daily disclaimer – and a 25-word rally cry that goes like this:


It was a rare “off-night” for Panarin on Monday, as he “only” picked up one-point, a secondary assist, on what was pretty much an A-Rod goal for Kaapo Kakko. For the Breadman, it was his 108th point of the season and he’ll need fifteen more points in order to match Jaromir Jagr’s single-season franchise record of 123 points. It should also be noted how the Penguins were always alert whenever #10 jumped over the boards – and as all of their shot blocks against “The Breadman” would suggest. Photo Credit: NYR

While tonight’s M$GN broadcast most certainly bothered and pestered me more than what the Rangers did on the ice; at the same time – come the final horn – and I had a lot of questions for the head coach.

And tweets don’t lie either, because if you were following my Tweeter account (https://twitter.com/nycthemic ), then you already know that I was saying all of what I’m about to share next – and thoughts that were both tweeted out prior and during tonight’s tilt:

I had no clue why Matt Rempe was scratched tonight.

Although, and as you’ll soon see below – I do have a “conspiracy theory” explanation for you – and one that I shared on Elon Musk’s app two-hours prior to puck drop too.

— As noted on this site on Saturday night, while I’m on the TROO TROO TRAIN, I’m also not on the other Trouba Train that’s presently running rampant throughout the streets of Rangerstown, USA – you know – the BREAK UP MILLER AND TROUBA PAIRING TRAIN!

That said, and while I understand that Trouba is coming off an injury and how Laviolette wants his players to play through their own individual tough stretches (and that’s a luxury afforded to everyone associated with this club – and solely due to the team’s placement in the standings); when you see that your captain and his partner don’t have it early – then why wait a bit to shake things up – and then when you finally do shake things up – then why go right back to what wasn’t working – and as Lavy did tonight.

For whatever reason, Lavy waited until the Miller and Trouba pairing were responsible for two goals allowed before matching Fox and Lindgren against the Penguins’ top line.

After #23 and #55 blanked Crosby & Co., Lavy then went right back to #8 and #79 – who then surrendered another goal to this line – albeit, not one of their own doing – as instead, a Cuylle turnover “increased” this pairing’s plus/minus rating to minus-three a piece.

— One of my usual bones of contention with Laviolette – why does Mika Zibanejad remain on the team’s first power-play unit – and why hasn’t he been replaced yet with Alexis Lafreniere?

The Rangers’ power-play went 0-3 tonight – but granted – this 0% “success” rate does need an explanation – as the black-and-white 0-3 stat doesn’t tell the story.

The first Rangers’ man-advantage lasted all of 41-seconds, while on their second, Zibanejad did score a goal – but the goal was immediately waved off for a ticky-tacky Chris Kreider goaltender interference call.

The third time wasn’t a charm for the Blueshirts’ man-up units – and it was actually their worst power-play of the three earned.

And even with Mika’s nullified goal – I rather see Lafreniere get a crack at it with his linemates – and instead of watching Zibanejad’s routine 876567567575678 wide shots to nowhere.

— Why wasn’t Artemi Panarin double-shifted when trailing?

While perhaps the answer to this question is the easiest one to imagine – because the head coach didn’t want to burn out “The Breadman;” but during his post-game interview, and when specifically asked about this, Laviolette said that he did indeed double-shift his best player.

Unless Sam Rosen’s senility is contagious (and holy shit – was Rosen at his worst tonight – and that really says something) – then I don’t understand what the bench boss was saying here – as not once was Panarin ever double-shifted with the two players that he usually gets a spin with – the BFF, Mika & Kreider.

From my count, Panarin was only double-shifted once (with Kakko and Wennberg) – and what happened during this bonus time?

A Kakko A-Rod goal, which at the time, improved the score to 3-1, bad guys – and with under 10:00 remaining.

It should also be stated that while Panarin finished with 23:02’s worth of ice time, his center, NONNA TROCHECK’s BAMBINO, played a forward-high 23:10.

Of course, Trocheck’s TOI is a little bit higher because he also plays on the penalty kill; but with that said, Panarin also played nearly three-minutes straight during the two Rangers’ empty-net attack situations.

When you’re at the helm of the best team in the league – then it’s hard to find fault in the head coach – which is why I’m reminding you that I only have QUESTIONS – and not CRITICISM – for Lavy. Photo Credit: NYR

Off puck drop when talking about the events of this match – I’m going to keep the GAME REVIEW short (or at least short for me!) – because there’s really no reason to hammer home everything that I said above – and with what I’m about to say next too.

But if you want the full play-by-play, then check out my Tweeter feed (one more time: https://twitter.com/nycthemic ).

While I do think that the desperate Penguins wanted to win this game more than the Rangers ever did tonight – or at the very least – played that way; I also go back to what I said at the top of this – I do believe that the travel-weary Blueshirts were caught at the right time.

And before you try to can and toss aside such an excuse, and as someone who has done a lot of flying too – it’s just tough to do your job at your very best 100% of the time after a long flight.

It’s even tougher to do so when you have a physical job – and a job where your competition is gunning for your head too.

This game seemed destined to go down as a loss just eighteen-seconds into it, as following a Trouba turnover – bang – there was Bryan Rust for a rebound goal.

Already down 1-0 before fans could even plop their asses into their seats – the Rangers didn’t seem to have much of a response under their tired legs for the remainder of the first period.

A Crosby <DING> temporarily prevented more damage incurred, but come the the 10:39 mark, he’d strike for real (a deflection goal), which in turn, gave the visitor’s a 2-0 lead – and a lead that remained as both teams took to the ice for the final frame of the game.

Prior to Cuylle’s turnover at the near half-way mark of the third period, which then allowed Emil Bemstrom to go on and beat CZAR IGOR on his breakaway chance (and if there’s one chink in CZAR IGOR’s armor – then it’s how often he gets beat on breakaways – and especially when in comparison to the Rangers’ lack of success in this department); the Penguins, and to their credit, did a tremendous job of blocking pucks and clogging passing lanes.

While officially, the Penguins were credited with “only” blocking seventeen shots – it felt like seventeen-hundred.

And need I remind you again on this site – the NHL has had to go back several times this season when rectifying the errors of their official statisticians – and where blocked shots was one of the biggest areas addressed.

The other category that got a majority of time on behalf of the league?


Speaking of hits?

While much is being made ado (and justifiably so) about Trouba’s defense since his return – for the team’s biggest and best hitter not named Matt Rempe – the captain, a stud in this department, only picked up one hit.

To me, that just tells me that he’s still working off the rust – and especially against this Penguin team that Trouba loves to beat-up on.

Truth be told, this game had a lot of 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs vibes to me – as once again, the Rangers’ had no answers for Crosby’s line, while the big buck Blueshirts couldn’t score any goals themselves.

Adding to such deja vu feelings?

The fact that it was another back-up goalie, this time Alex Needledick, government name Alex Nedeljkovic, that had a shutout to his name until the waning stages of the contest.

And heck – the Penguins even had a third-goalie, of the emergency back-up variety, Alex Fernandes, dressed too – as tonight’s listed starter, Tristan Jarry, couldn’t go due to a stomach illness.

But unlike 2022 – the Rangers won’t see the Penguins in the first-round again – or so I believe.

(I think Washington somehow survives this wretched race for the second wild-card berth of the Eastern Conference – but yeah – anything could happen – including a potential Rangers vs. Islanders first-round meeting.)

While it was Pittsburgh’s night; the Rangers, and as they have been doing all season, NEVER GAVE UP.

A Kakko one-timer, as set-up by Adam Fox, broke up Needledick’s shutout.

Now trailing 3-1, the Rangers found a bad time to take a too many men on the ice penalty – and as they did with 6:02 left to ticked.

While the Rangers’ penalty kill did their job – the Blueshirts’ attack also lost two-minutes.

Down to 3:07 remaining, and still trailing by two; Zibanejad fired a bomb at Needledick, and on the rebound, there was Jack Roslovic when potting home the rebound.

3-2, bad guys.

At the very least, this Roslovic rebound gave the Rangers, who weren’t at their best tonight, a chance to steal one point.

What we’ve seen many times before this season successfully play out – pulling CZAR IGOR with 2:30 or more remaining in a one-goal game – didn’t work on this night.

Not even ten-seconds after employing their empty-net attack, the Rangers watched Rust seal the deal, 4-2, bad guys, and with 2:11 remaining.

But these Rangers, and just ask the Islanders, have scored a pair of 6 x 5 goals in the last seconds of a game before during this magical 2023-24 season.

It didn’t happen on this date of April 1st, 2024 – and with CZAR IGOR back on the bench, Crosby, because of course who else, hit the over with his 5-2, bad guys, goal – and tonight’s final too.

The only thing worse than the loss?

Listening to those two jackals in the booth, Bozo Rosen and Buffoon Micheletti, constantly fellating #87 all night.

This non-stop praise was even worse than Rosen blowing three goal calls tonight – which I believe for him is a season “high” – and a season “low” for him too.

As noted about 967896676967896 times on this site – there’s not one Ranger fan who wants to listen to the two hometown announcers suck the other team dry for sixty-minutes.

And only Sam and Joe, of the other 31 announcing duos in the league, does this.

Again, it’s time for these two to retire – or at the very least – feature the Dave Maloney and Kenny Albert radio broadcast on one of M$GN’s 9785675675678567856785 channels.

More on these two, and the game too, below!

But for now, let’s run through all of usual pregame news and notes – and open the voting for the Frank Boucher Trophy as well!

The Frank Boucher Trophy, in one of its previous incarnations. Photo Credit: The former Rangers’ Fan Club

As we get closer to the end of the season, it’s time to open the voting for this year’s Frank Boucher Trophy winner (essentially – the most popular Ranger).

For a full explanation on this trophy/award, and for the list of previous winners, then check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/fbt23/
Feel free to place your vote by responding in the comment section below.
Top candidates this year (in my opinion) are Panarin, Shestyorkin, Fox, Kreider, Trocheck and Lafreniere.
Darkhorse candidates this year (again, in my opinion) are Quick, Rempe, Lindgren & Vesey.

Results, which also includes social media, emailing and in-person voting, will be announced next week.

I think it’s safe to assume that Artemi Panarin will be named as the Rangers’ 2023-24 MVP next week – but who wins the other team-specific awards is up for debate. Photo Credit: NYR

Speaking of the upcoming award week in Rangerstown, USA, here’s who I have to win the other awards:

Steve McDonald Extra Effort: Trocheck
MVP: Panarin (duh)
John Halligan Good Guy (Media favorite): Trouba
Mr. Ranger (Rod Gilbert) (community service): Trouba
Players’ Player: Lindgren

And when wrapping-up on this subject, I’ll go with Jonathan Quick as the team’s Bill Masterton’s candidate.

Despite talking for nearly ten-minutes on Monday morning – not one member of the Blueshirts’ beat asked the head coach about Matt Rempe.

Following their arrival from Arizona to New York on early Sunday Easter morning – the team had the holiday off – and a well-deserved off-day if I say so myself!

Come Monday, April Fool’s Day (and in hindsight – perhaps tonight’s game was a prank on us fans!), the Rangers were right back to practice, in anticipation of their evening match with the jokers from Pittsburgh.

As far as the “RISE AND SHINE” morning skate went, the “biggest” news of the day was that Erik Gustafsson, assumed to have received a concussion following Sam Reinhart’s illegal, yet never penalized, nor suspended either, elbow to the back of his head, was back on the ice.

The Swede was in a non-contact jersey – but at least his appearance at practice was a sign of progression.

The other “big” news concerned Matt Rempe himself – as after only playing in one game following his four-game suspension for inflicting a concussion upon an opponent – he was set to be scratched for his third consecutive game.

(And as noted up top – the following is what I posted on Tweeter prior to tonight’s puck drop too.)

In a way, it kind of feels like (and I’m not saying this is the case – I’m just saying what it feels like) that both the NHL and the Rangers want to “cool-down” Rempe some.

After all, following Rempe’s first ten-games played, it led not only to a slew of nicknames in an attempt to brand the big-and-bruising Blueshirt, monikers such as “REMPESTEIN,” “The Rempire State Building, “REMPEMANIA,” et. al – but where #73 was all that anyone could talk about too.

(And such talk took place in not only the U.S. – but in Canada too.)

At one point, Rempe’s jersey cracked the top-ten selling list for two-weeks on Fanatics/Shop.NHL.com – and throughout their bevy of sales (usually 25% off) – the Rangers’ #73 jersey was excluded from all discounting – while “name-brand” Rangers, such as Panarin, Fox, Kreider, etc, all had their jerseys discounted.

And since returning from his suspension (as all of the never-ending Rempe talk continued throughout his suspension – and as both ESPN & TNT, the league’s two national partners, championed/promoted too) – you’re not hearing that much about him anymore.

It’s like someone from up above has issued a REMPE GAG ORDER/NDA.

Put it this way: Laviolette spoke for nearly ten-minutes to the largely ignorant beat reporters following practice on Monday morning – and not once was Rempe’s name ever brought up.

Instead, the beat tried to push their own negative narratives, including talk about potentially breaking up the Trouba/Miller pairing.

While granted, the top four of rearguards is more important than a fourth liner – just go back and watch all of the “LAVY LOUNGES” ever since Rempe’s Stadium Series’ debut and up to his suspension – and where all of these “fireside chats” were predominately about #73.

Is there a “conspiracy theory” to rein in Rempe?

Probably not – but to give such an idea some support anyway – I don’t think that it’s a coincidence either, that just last week, at the league’s general manager meetings, that the two LIARS (that’s what they are), commissioner Gary Bettman, and his deputy, Bill Daly, outright (and publicly) denied the existence of CTE.

While I don’t blame the two head-honchos of the league for the myriad of concussions sustained under their watch (hockey is a physical sport, there are risks that come with it, and the players know what they are signing up for too – and as complaining about injuries would be like a proctologist complaining about having to deal with assholes all day – it’s part of the job!) – to say that the science isn’t there when talking about CTE is just callous – and one of the biggest lies ever told by this league – and an NHL that often can’t get out of their own way to boot.

Long-story short?

Heading into Monday night’s game – Rempe, where if you didn’t know any better, then you would’ve thought that he was Wayne Gretzky in his prime, with all of the media attention that he had previously garnered – was not only made a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game – but even asking Laviolette about this decision (remember – the head coach said that he wanted to “regularly rotate in all of the bottom-sixers” on March 9th – and then repeated that thought several times since) – was considered a media “no-no” – and as if Rempe was Jim Ramsay himself.

And to be clear – I’m not blaming or criticizing Lavy’s decision to scratch Rempe either.

After all, who can find fault in a coach that has his team first-overall?

I’m just surprised about what feels like a media gag-order on Rempe.

And as mentioned before – I’m really interested to see if Rempe’s on the bench or in the press box this Wednesday – when the Rangers rematch with the Devils – and on TNT to boot.

That all purged, here was Monday’s pregame edition of LAVY’S LOUNGE:

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

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Brodzinski/Wennberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Cuylle/Goodrow/Brodzinski

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Jones/Schneider


BACK-UP: Jonathan Quick

Healthy Scratches: Rempe, Ruhwedel and Scanlin

Injured: Gustafsson


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





30 2 28 .933 22 6 0 0 0 60:00 0


18 3 15 .833 13 2 0 0 0 58:37 0

Sadly, Sieve Vagistat was back on the broadcast tonight – and where twice – I noticed “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, rolling his eyes as the worst goalie in franchise history yammered on about his made-up arts & crafts, charts & graphs. Photo Credit: Steve S.

In the biggest April Fool’s prank of them all – M$GN opened tonight’s broadcast by featuring Henrik Lundqvist – and then had “THE KING OF COMMENTARY” get cut off by the seven-foot pile of shit, Sieve Vagistat.


Crazier than that?

During the intermission segments (and maybe Lundqvist was doing his M$G ambassador role duties at the time – but either way – it wasn’t explained), we had solo Vagistat performances – which only added to tonight’s frustration.

Also frustrating?

Despite “The Maven,” Stan Fischler, in the building, and a friend who was celebrating the 63rd anniversary of his 29th birthday – M$GN and the Rangers ignored him.

I guess the Hockey Hall of Fame told them to follow their lead?


And uncalled for too.

To begin, Lundqvist said that the Penguins have “under-performed” all-season.

And following tonight?

This told us that Lundqvist hasn’t been vaccinated from the ROSEN CURSES just yet!

Lundqvist then told us that CZAR IGOR has been fantastic during the past several months.

While true, he was out-played by another back-up tonight – a common occurrence during the dog days of winter (December and January).

And while I’m not faulting my favorite goalie and yours right now – the facts are the facts – and while he didn’t get much help in front of him either – Needledick was better – and as the goaltending stats listed above would suggest.

When talking about Quick’s 392nd win and Kreider’s 300th goal, Lundqvist started to share personal stories about the two players, and where no less than five-seconds later, that miserable cretin, Vagistat, had to horn in and share some stats from his horrible ANALytical company – and one that M$GN must not care about whenever this tool isn’t around either – as you never see this junk featured whenever “The Ramrod’s” favorite customer isn’t on-air.

Seriously, and like Sam and Joe – it’s time to give Vagistat the boot.

And unlike Sam and Joe – there’s nothing redeeming about Vagistat either.

This broadcast, and much like their studio, needs a facelift – where in addition – I think it’s safe to say that a real NHLer (and as opposed to Vagistat), Brian Boyle, has successfully aced his M$GN audition.

When talking about Fox, Lundqvist gave a one-word answer – and then repeated this word several times over – “STUD!”

I think Sam and Joe took offense to this comment, because once these two boneheads came on, they then spent the next sixty minutes performing the wettest blowjob imaginable on Crosby.

Even Michael Del Zotto, well known for his porn-star stalking abilities, was jealous of the oral skills that Sam and Joe exhibited tonight.

On Lafreniere, Lundqvist talked about him at a human level and brought up the word that he always uses whenever describing #13 this season – “confidence.”

Once again, that loser, Vagistat, cut off Lundqvist again – and then ruined the whole segment by talking about his bullshit ANALytics.

Following John Giannone demanding every man, woman and child to bet their life savings on every game being played in the league tonight, we then concluded this pregame show at the bar where nobody ever drinks at.

It was during this final segment where Vagistat did his normal act, you know, when he compares his legendary career of 46 games played to Lundqvist’s Hall of Fame career.

These two, nice guys, great people and my usual blah-blah-blah spiel, grow more infuriating with each broadcast. And how many times do we have to say the following: Rosen is ruining his Hall of Fame legacy on a day-by-day (or night-by-night) basis. Not only does he talk about the other team all broadcast, and not only does he tell you who isn’t related to who too – he’s regularly befuddled on scoring plays – and where I saw many fans echo what I’ve previously said on this site – you have to double-check your own vision – as what Sam says isn’t what’s happening on the ice. Once an institution, Rosen now sounds like he belongs in a mental institution. Photo Credit: M$GN

Rosen, after telling us that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Burgess Meredith, who once played The Penguin in “Batman” (1966) weren’t related (and okay – I’m just messing around here – as Rosen didn’t really say this – but since he gets everything wrong and makes things up anyway – then why can’t I do the same?), then spent his next five minutes of facetime by trading handjobs with Micheletti when singing the praises of Sidney Crosby.

We get it.

And we all know that Crosby is one of the best to ever play the game. We don’t need this reminder – much less 897567567776685685685685 of them.

Crosby is also one of the biggest “Ranger Killers” of all-time too (and don’t you know – there’s a book out there about this very subject – and one that you can find here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/villains/) – and on a Blueshirts’ broadcast – NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR SAM AND JOE GO ON-AND-ON-AND-ON-AND-ON-AND-YOU-GET-MY-POINT about how they’d like to lock themselves in Crosby’s hotel room either.

Once Sam and Joe came up for air, we then had a quick presentation for Jonathan Quick, as the Rangers presented him a platinum stick in honor of his 392nd win.

In a response, Sam and Joe wondered what kind of stick the Penguins would give to Crosby one day.

GAME REVIEW time – where as noted above – there’s no reason to get into every piece of minutiae tonight.

I wouldn’t have minded Sam and Joe’s love affair for Crosby had this picture become a reality at this year’s trade deadline! No joke, while blowing Crosby, I also thought that Sam and Joe were going to come to blows when trying to prove to each other who loves #87 more! And yes – when I’m ragging on the broadcast this much – it tells you two things – one, I’m trying to make you laugh, and two, the Rangers lost.


The anti Trouba & Miller pairing crowd, gaining new supporters by the minute, received more fuel to their cause just eighteen-seconds into this contest, as a Trouba turnover to Reilly “RELATIONS TO BRENDAN” Smith set up a shot for Crosby.

Following CZAR IGOR’s initial save on the man who seemingly moves mountains for Sam and Joe – blammo – while the Rangers were rusty tonight, Bryan Rust wasn’t – and as a result, all Miller could do was watch as Crosby’s linemate banged home the rebound.

And for all of the vitriol that I see out there for this pairing (many would rather see Miller/Schneider and Trouba/Jones) – tonight’s game doesn’t leave me with much of a defense for them – but as stated earlier – I’m not on this bandwagon yet!

That said, I won’t argue against fans who have such opinions – as what they say has a lot of validity to it.

Even so – I still believe in Miller & Trouba – and come the playoffs – I think you want a healthy Trouba out there for these physical and car-crash battles.

But yeah – both men picked up a -1 here – and so did the trio known as THE GAG LINE 2.0 – whose plus/minus numbers took a beating tonight – and the worst beating received thus far this season.

(Panarin -3, Trocheck & Lafreniere -4 – and where these numbers aren’t a direct correlation to how they played tonight – aside from a rare night where this line didn’t score a goal. Shit happens – but for these three – it doesn’t happen often.)

After Rosen talked about the history of number eight in Pittsburgh (I’m not making this up), this senile old man then went on a five-minute diatribe about Jack St. Ivaney – and where like you – I never heard of this Penguin before either – nor did I desire any information about him at all!

(For those wondering, this was his seventh game of the season – and should he remain – then he’ll qualify as a rookie next season. But by the way that Sam and Joe were talking, then you would have thought this d-man was the second coming of Bobby Orr.)

Officially, Panarin finished tonight’s tilt with five shots on goal – but he had about ten other shot attempts blocked- and we saw two Pen cock-blocks on #10 just four-minutes in.

Also noticeable early?

CZAR IGOR wasn’t crisp tonight – or at least his “offensive skills” were not.

Known for his insane passing and puck-handling – CZAR IGOR turned over the puck all night – as the Penguins had his patented homerun passes scouted – and they were there for nearly all of his pucks wrapped around the boards too.

But as we’d later see – CZAR IGOR still had his defensive abilities – as he nearly knocked the bejesus out of Sam and Joe’s favorite player.

(Or in other words – CZAR IGOR totaled Trouba’s total of one hit tonight!)

Down to 14:05 remaining, and another Rosen miscue of many.

On this play, Crosby hit the post so hard that even the Martians heard this earth-shattering <DING>.

Despite the goal light never going off, any Penguin celebrating, the sound and of course – the puck laying in front of CZAR IGOR too – Sam Rosen decided to shriek out “OH JOE, A GOAL FOR THE MAN WE BOTH WANT TO HAVE ANAL WITH TONIGHT JOE! A GOAL FOR SIDNEY CROSBY JOE!”

Okay – Rosen only said the the part about Crosby scoring – and not the other stuff – but either way, the point remains the same:

Either turn up your hearing aid (and get better glasses too) – or just retire.

He’s making a mockery of his legacy – and now – fans don’t know what the hell is going on as Sam can rarely differentiate a save or a goal these days (much less the players themselves) – and even when the puck hits the iron so hard that it vibrates throughout your entire body.

Following another Trouba turnover with 11:56 remaining, Miller blocked a Rust shot from the slot.

This then led into another ODE FOR CROSBY – and where really – enough was enough.

The one rare regular season where the Rangers are light-years better than both the Penguins, and their regular tormentor too, Crosby himself – and all these two dickbags could do was talk about #87.

And on cue, with 9:21 remaining – and Crosby, following a deflection, scored.

2-0, bad guys.

I am starting to despise Sam Rosen.

Laviolette challenged this goal for offside – and really – this was a dumb challenge in my eyes.

Then again, I hate all of these c-hair offside challenges – as that’s not the spirit of the rule – but it is allowed/legal.

And since the Penguins weren’t offside, the Rangers were now on the penalty kill after this 2-0 kayo.

Fortunately, just 41-seconds into the Pens’ power-play, and “Not My Norris Trophy Winner,” Erik Karlsson, was bagged for playing a stick that Trouba had dropped on the ice.

Not for nothing – but I do think this type of penalty is moronic – and should be eliminated from the league too.

For a league that alleges to promote player safety – players can’t move a stick, broken or otherwise, away from their feet?

But the rule is a rule – and following a 1:19 foreplay, and followed by a 41-second Ranger power-play too – the score remained the same.

Once returned to full-strength, and following the two goals that Miller/Trouba were on for against the Crosby line – it was noticeable that Laviolette then started matching Lindgren/Fox against Sam and Joe’s favorite trio.

But while this remained the case for the rest of the period; come the second stanza and throughout – Trouba and Miller were right back out there against Crosby, his linemates and/or the officials.

In what was the Rangers’ best scoring chance of the period, Lindgren found Panarin with a three-line pass, but a Pen was able to get back in order to break-up a clean-cut “Breadman Breakaway.”

2-0, bad guys, through twenty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

We had some of this tonight – but really – the officials aren’t why the Rangers lost this game – but they didn’t help either.


Following our customary question of “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?” – and where I was expecting Micheletti to reply with “AI GENERATED CROSBY PORN SAM!” – these middle twenty-minutes began – but not before an on-brand KIA CARD PLAYER OF THE GAME segment – where yep, you guessed it – Sam and Joe drooled when giving Crosby the honors.

Just 2:02 in and the Rangers drew a quick power-play, as Monkey Malkin had slashed Fox.

In what was the best Blueshirts’ power-play of the game, Trocheck slammed a post, and on the rebound, the puck went to Mika – and shocker – he scored!

Or so we thought.

For the second consecutive game, a Rangers’ goal was waved off for goaltender interference.

The less said about the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, the better.

At just the 54-second mark of this power-play – and following a quick review – Mika’s goal was wiped off of the board – as Kreider, while trying to leave the paint, got a minuscule piece of Needledick’s skate on his departure.

While I wouldn’t say that the Rangers got robbed here (as I thought the goal erased from Saturday night for the alleged interference that Roslovic committed was a bigger miscarriage of injustice than this play) – this goal – like the one taken away from Kreider against the Coyotes – was a ticky-tacky reversal.

Kreider, and even if he got a tiny piece of Needledick’s skate, didn’t impact the play – as Mika was going to score either way.

But since it’s the spirit of the rule – once again – the Penguins won out here – and for the second time.

Following the review, the Wes McCauley led Refguins killed the remainder of this Rangers’ power-play – which in turn – led Sam and Joe into telling us more about Jack St. Ivaney.

Very informative.

Kreider would get two chances to make good once returned to full-strength – but failed on both at around the eight-minute mark.

On his first try, he and Roslovic had a two-vs-one odd-man rush – and despite having all-day to snipe the puck home – Kreider forced a pass to his fellow winger, and Roslovic, not expecting it, whiffed on the one-timed feed.

On his second try, Kreider went wide from the slot when streaking at Needledick.

Cuylle, perhaps learning from this veteran experience, then had a breakaway with 11:32 remaining, but rather than shooting – he waited and hesitated – and then found a trailing Miller for a lesser effective scoring chance – and another save for Needledick too.

This then led into Sam and Joe wondering how good Crosby could be if he played on only one skate.

And no – I’m not making this up either.

At the half-way mark of the game, the SOG tally was Rangers 16, Penguins 8 – which just tells you that the visitors capitalized on the Blueshirts’ misgivings.

Such a misgiving?

Lars Eller had his stick broken with 9:00 remaining. As Eller left his d-zone for a new stick, in turn, the Rangers had a 5 x 4 attack.

Granted, while Eller’s stick took up the center of the ice (and this is why I hated that Karlsson penalty), thus limiting chances – the Rangers never put a SOG during this happy accident.

With 8:11 remaining, Crosby tried to get cute with CZAR IGOR. In a response, CZAR IGOR leveled the crybaby with a hit – and Sam and Joe were irate with the Russian’s reckless attack on their hero!

This then to our first IGOR, IGOR, IGOR chant of the season that wasn’t the result of a save too!

Sam and Joe?

They spent the next five-minutes talking about the state of Flyers’ goaltending.

And NO – I am not making this up.

Speaking of the Flyers, one more time – if I was the Rangers’ team psychiatrist, then I’d tell Zibanejad to treat all teams, including their rivals in Pittsburgh, as if they were wearing that infamous “P” on the front of their jerseys too.

With 6:43 remaining, Schneider was sent to the box for one of the softest interference penalties that you’ll ever see.

Rust, after beating Miller, missed CZAR IGOR’s net – and despite being one-foot out at the time from it.

Following the successful Rangers’ PK, these two idiots in the booth then broke down every permutation where the Penguins could reach the playoffs.

Again, this is a Rangers’ broadcast – and the BLUESHIRTS ARE THE BEST IN THE WORLD TOO.

Such facts weren’t important to Sam and Joe.

Down to 2:14 remaining, and Rakell, Rakell, The Musical blatantly boarded Wennberg.

No call whatsoever – and this was the worst display of officiating from tonight’s game.

And again – so much for player safety too.

In what must’ve been a make-up call, come 2:01 remaining, the worst Norris Trophy winner of all-time was boxed for hooking Panarin.

This was the worst Rangers’ power-play of the game too.

2-0, bad guys, through forty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

While better ever since the acquisition of Wennberg on his line; there’s also no one better during a blowout than Kakko either – who scored his tenth A-Rod goal of the season tonight in the 5-2 loss. Photo Credit: NYR


No less than thirty-seconds into this final frame and Crosby almost gave his fan club in the booth another goal – but after forcing a turnover on Miller – #87 narrowly missed the net.

It was also noticeable at the time that Crosby was being double shifted with a two-goal lead – while Panarin was not during a two-goal deficit.

The Rangers only put one SOG during the first five-minutes – and where the GARDEN FAITHFUL, who must be reading my words – all started chanting, “WE WANT REMPE!”

Sam and Joe, and much like the beat reporters, ignored these chants.

Keep in mind, Rosen, like an eager dog wagging his tail, will always tell you whenever a “LET’S GO RANGERS” chant “comes up from the crowd.”

A “We Want Rempe” chant ignored?

Let my conspiracy theory grow!

Also ignored?

Any M$GN recount of Bemstrom’s breakaway goal after Cuylle’s turnover – and as scored at the 9:51 mark.

Here’s something for you:

No matter what, and no matter who it is either, then there are always M$GN clips of goal scoring plays on social media – and whether it is the Rangers or their opponents scoring.

NEVER, and I mean NEVER, have you ever seen any of these goal clips taken down for copyright infringement.

That is, until tonight.

Rosen was completely lost during this.

As Bemstrom beat CZAR IGOR dead to rights, the confused old man proudly screamed, “SAVE FOR SHESTYORKIN!”

He belted these words as the goal light was going off, the Penguins were celebrating and as CZAR IGOR slammed his stick.

And for a man who hardly gets goal calls correct (ditto saves) – this was the worst of the lot.

Even Micheletti, who always comes to his partner’s defense, sounded meek when doing so here.

It’s time for the Rosen family to have that tough talk with their patriarch.

Now 3-0 bad guys – the Rangers weren’t going down without a fight.

Under a minute later, Kakko, off a Fox one-timed feed, sent a puck into the Pens’ net – and with the rubber in Needledick’s glove.

At least the officials, following replay, got this video review correct.

3-1, bad guys.

This is also when Panarin picked up his lone point of the game, and as a result – he’s going to need at least one game with three or more points in order to match Jagr’s 123.

But it’s doable – for him.

Following a successful kill and this is when Roslovic scored his rebound goal.

3-2, bad guys, and with 3:07 remaining.

The Penguins would then score their two empty-netters.

5-2, bad guys – and where the empty net goals was a good thing for over bettors.

5-2, bad guys, your final too.

Here’s Laviolette after the loss:

In another omission, which goes hand-in-hand with the Rempe and Rosen omissions – Laviolette referenced Trouba’s post-game interview – and one that wasn’t uploaded/shared by either the M$GN or on the team’s official YouTube page.

Apparently, Trouba told the beat reporters that he has to be better and that he hurt the team tonight. At the same time, he also said his issues were easily rectifiable.

That’s commendable – but of course – actions speak louder than words too.

But I do believe that Trouba will improve – and where for the last time tonight – that’s why I’m not joining the pitchfork crew against the captain!

Up next, the heavily anticipated Rangers/Devils rematch – and where you know that Rempe won’t be ignored by TNT.

I’m also back to work on Wednesday night – so the recap of this game will be posted much later than usual.

I’m also back to work on Tuesday night too, which for me, means bedtime, and which for you means…

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

My fourth title and tenth book is now available!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYR/ARI 3/30 Review: MILESTONE MANIA FOR BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS! “Lavy’s Lot” Leave Eight Eggs in Arizona’s Easter Basket at Mullet $quare Garden, Broadway Hats Galore: Laf’s First Hat Trick, Quick’s 392nd Win, Kreider’s 300th Goal, Fox’s 300th Point, Lindgren’s Three-Pointer, Goodrow’s GWG & Panarin Continues His JAGR WATCH Too, Chase For Franchise History, “Where. Is. Mika?” – And the March That Never Happened; Fuel for the Anti-Trouba/Miller Crowd Too, Senile Sam Outright Loses It; Boyle Kills It on M$GN (And May Find Himself in Hot Water Too!) & More

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

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

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

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

2 thoughts on “NYR/PIT 4/1 Review: BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS Experience Travel-Weary Loss to Putrid Penguins; Rangers Remain as First-Overall Anyway, “The Matt Rempe Conspiracy Theory;” Big Man Sent to the Press Box Again – And The Media Blackout Too, Panarin Continues JAGR WATCH, Questionable Officiating; Questions for Laviolette Too, Frank Boucher Trophy Voting Open, The Legacy of Ching Johnson, Trying to Derail The Negative Trouba Train, Please Retire Sam & Joe; M$GN & More

  1. It’s not just Rosen and Micheletti who are at fault for the maddening non-Ranger content on the TV broadcasts. Someone on the production team is giving them notes before the game on the visiting team (who’s hot, who’s not, who’s hurt, who’s related or not to someone else with the same last name, etc.), and Sam and Joe are dutifully memorizing the notes and repeating them again and again during the game broadcast. If the pre-game notes had a lot more NYR info and a lot less opponent info, we wouldn’t have to hear so much non-NYR baloney from Sam and Joe. Even so, the two old dogs are probably too set in their ways to learn any new tricks. The best solution would be to retire Rosen and Micheletti and replace them with Kenny Albert and Brian Boyle (assuming BBB can fit into the broadcast booth).

    1. I rather Kenny and Dave, but Boyle is younger, so maybe that’s the answer since most TV wants young faces.

      Sam and Joe just recite the opposing team’s media guide – but it’s not just that, you know “Sam, I talked to this GM, and I talked to this HC and blah blah blah.”

      Do they ever talk to Drury or Lavy?

Leave a Reply

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