NYR/NJD 4/13 Review: CZAR IGOR Records First Ever NHL Shut-Out; Rangers Eke By AHL Devils, Krazy For Kravtsov > Cuckoo For Kakko; “The Zodiac Killer” Kravstov Impresses Again, Mika Actually Scores a GWG, NYR’s Lack of Moves at NHL Deadline; What Lies Ahead, Fabulous Micheletti, Tony DeAngelo Speaks Out, NYR Ink Zac Jones & The Team’s Depth of Defensemen, Breadman Bakes History, Blackwell, Smith, Standings Update & More

In a game they pretty much had to win, the Rangers did just that on Tuesday night, shutting out the Devils by a final score of 3-0. While this win didn’t come easy for the Rangers, two points is two points and that’s all that matters at this juncture.

“Very important. I mean, if you are going to have success at any point in time, your goalie needs to be good. Unfortunately, it was a period that we needed to find a way to get through it, and we did, and I really liked the way we went about our third period. I thought we did a lot of good things in the third and kind of turned the switch a little bit.” – Rangers head coach David Quinn, on 4/13/21, moments after the Rangers 3-0 win over the Devils. As you can tell, DQ was very ecstatic about the way his starting goaltender CZAR IGOR Shestyorkin played tonight.

“Obviously, early on Kreids had the fight and it got us an opportunity to move him [Kravtsov] around a little bit, even Laffy up there, and then I kind of liked what I saw with Bread and Stromer. I thought Blackie was playing well, so I put Blackie back there for the third and I think maybe we have better balance when Blackie stays on that line and when Kravy plays with Howden and Rooney.” – DQ, again on 4/13/21, when talking about bouncing Kravtsov around the line-up in-game again, and for the second consecutive game in a row. Of note, I’m surprised cancel culture hasn’t gone after Quinn for using the nickname of “Blackie”, for Colin Blackwell! Imagine if Tony DeAngelo used that nickname? I can only imagine the lies that would’ve been tossed around had that happened!

I finally got to witness the first ever NHL shutout out of CZAR IGOR tonight, all while wearing this prestigious garment!

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

In his 36th game as an NHL goaltender, on April 13th, 2021, CZAR IGOR Shestyorkin picked up his first NHL shut-out of his blossoming career. While this fact is trivial, CZAR IGOR now has shut-outs at the AHL, KHL and NHL levels. For the Rangers and their fans, everyone hopes that this will be the first shut-out of many, for the current starting goaltender of the New York Rangers.

In addition, with this Shestyorkin shut-out, I believe the Rangers are now the only team in the NHL, to have three different goaltenders recording a shut-out this season. Prior to tonight, both Georgiev (2) and Kinkaid posted shut-outs this season on behalf of the Blueshirts.

If you’re a long-time reader of these blogs, I don’t have to sell my fandom of CZAR IGOR to you. If you’re new here, I’ve been pumping the tires of CZAR IGOR on this site for over four years. No fan wanted CZAR IGOR on this team as earlier and as much as I did. In fact, I’ve been posting the following over four-years old picture on this site for some time now:

Hello Travis! Enjoy your Tesla!

Maybe my hype of CZAR IGOR has been too much. At the very least, it does come off as “fan-boyish”. I can admit to that. That said, I don’t watch these games with 776789678967896 Igor jerseys all over my walls or talk about “Shesty Saturday’s” or “Shesty Sunday’s”. (Admittedly, I do have one signed CZAR IGOR jersey in my office where I write these blogs. I attained that signature myself, with my buddy “Dancin’ Larry”, after Igor’s NYR debut.)

When it comes to the unrealistic expectations that I have bestowed upon CZAR IGOR, I have previously written that I think CZAR IGOR will one day join Davey Kerr as the only Ranger, in all of Rangers franchise history, to win both the Vezina Trophy and the Stanley Cup. Obviously, that’s a whale of a thing to say, considering that in 95+ years of Rangers history, only one goalie has accomplished this feat. That said, I truly do believe we’ll see this one day. Am I dreaming? Perhaps, but I’m not selling you a crock of shit here – I feel this will happen during the course of CZAR IGOR’s Rangers career. I’m not saying this for “shock value”.

For the detractors of CZAR IGOR, and there are some of them out there and for whatever reason; when it comes to this shut-out, you can easily say – “well look at the competition.” I don’t deny that fact at all. The Devils are awful and outside of a handful of players, they are currently dressing a roster made-up of primarily AHL level players. As an end result of all the deals the Devils made prior to the NHL trade deadline, the Devils, and not the Rangers, are now the youngest team in the NHL – a fact which made Rosen and Micheletti giddy about tonight.

Furthermore while on this point, and as a day-one fan of CZAR IGOR and the Rangers; I am indeed joyous, or dare I say, feeling “FABULOUS”, after this win. That said, this win wasn’t pretty. I’ll soon get into everything about this game tonight in the game recap/review portion of the blog, but to be held to only 19 shots on goal (20 if you count the Buchnevich empty net shot/goal) against this Devils team? That’s just not good enough.

Yes, it’s a terrible Devils team, but this was a great night out in Hockeytown, USA, aka the sunny skies of Newark, NJ, for CZAR IGOR. Without question, he carried his team to victory. For those who worry about “stolen wins”, this was absolutely a stolen win for CZAR IGOR tonight. Again, I get who the competition was, but you can only play the team you’re playing against.

For as happy as I am about CZAR IGOR, I’m equally concerned about this Rangers offense. For a team that often talks the talk, but rarely walks the walk, the Rangers were pretty much bogged down all game, sans a few plays here and there. I’d venture to say that for about 55 minutes of this game, the Rangers offense was the equivalent of trying to run backwards in a mile long strip of quicksand. While there were a few bright spots (Vitali Kravtsov once again, was FABULOUS) for the most part, despite Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin scoring goals tonight, the Rangers had a lot of trouble of making plays against this young and talent-deficient Devils team.

There’s a lot of news and notes to get into tonight, including Jeff Gorton talking about the team and the NHL Trade Deadline. Elsewhere, I have updates on Tony DeAngelo and the latest Rangers signing, in defenseman Zac Jones. I’ll do the news first and then get into everything about this game and the aftermath of it. However, first up, and as usual here – the PLUGS segment.

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

NYR/NYI 4/11 Review: The Blueballed Blueshirts Do It Again; Find Another New Way To Lose, NYR Kids Do The Heavy Lifting; Fat Cats Use Their Litter Box For Sifting, Kreider Demoted; Kravtsov Promoted, Georgiev vs Igor, Faceoff & Special Team Issues, DQ’s Never-Ending Line Changes, Lundqvist Rules Out 2021 Return, The “Playoff Push”, Trade Deadline & More From The Mausoleum

NYR/NYI 4/9 Review: “The Dragon Slayer” Alexandar Georgiev Beheads NYI Again; Rangers Down Islanders, Great Night For The Young Guns; Mika Having No Fun, The Bizarre and Disgusting MSGN Broadcast Featuring a Traitorous NYR Fan, Blackwell Keeps Hammering; DQ’s Decisions Paying Off, Razor Ramon, Porto Potties, Looking Ahead & More

NYR/PIT 4/8 Review: NYR Get Jabbed; Playoff Hopes Get Stabbed, “Shots on Arms” Top Talk of Rangerstown, Miserable Mika Returns, Henrik Lundqvist Speaks Out; Exploring a Possible NYR Return (And Why It Would Work), Ron Duguay’s “Up in the Blue Seats” Podcast Recap, Steven McDonald Voting, Lundkvist vs Trouba, Georgiev’s Contract, Jersey Fouls, Gambling & More From an “At Least Fox Extended His Streak” Game

NYR/PIT 4/6 Review: Rangers Pummel Pooish Penguins in Arguably NYR’s Best Complete Team Win of the Season Yet; Every Top 9 Forward Scores & Multi-Point Games Galore! “FIRE DQ” Crew Forced To Eat Crow For One Night, Fox Looking To Behead Hedman For the Norris, Panarin’s Four-Pointer, Reunited Kid Line’s Best Game Ever, Special Teams Shine, Problems That Need Fixin’, MSGN Further Dives into the Gambling World, “Only One Game”, Another 40+ Saves for Igor & More

Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton. Photo Credit: NYR

The 2021 NHL Trade Deadline is now a thing of the past, where the Rangers, and as expected, stayed put. While the top four teams of the division, in the Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins all made significant moves prior to the deadline, the Rangers decided to stay the course with the roster they currently have. I see no fault in that.

Whether or not the Rangers make the playoffs this season, it was expected that if the Rangers were to make roster changes, these changes would come during the off-season and not at this year’s trade deadline. And yes, one of those roster changes could be a potential trade for Jack Eichel, a trade rumor that’s seemingly been around for a year now. With Buffalo going backwards and tearing it all down again, who knows, maybe this season could be the last straw on the camel’s back for Jack Eichel. In addition, with returns on players like Taylor Hall, Eric Staal, Curtis Lazar and others not really being that great; maybe the price for Eichel won’t be as bad as many expected it would be, especially if Eichel demands a trade.

Around 3:30PM on Monday, thirty minutes after the trade deadline had expired, Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton had a lengthy zoom call with the media. You can watch Jeff Gorton’s press conference by clicking the play button below:

If you don’t have the time to watch this 10+ minute video, Gorton addressed a few topics. Here’s the quick and dirty:

— Jeff Gorton didn’t want to risk the future of this team for a rental player, in an attempt to make a playoff run this season.

— Gorton said if you talked to him right after the Rangers lost their most recent game with the Buffalo Sabres; he would’ve had a much different attitude than he had during this particular zoom call. Gorton pretty much said he was calmer on Monday afternoon than he was after that loss. Gorton praised the young kids on the roster during this as well.

— Gorton likes where the team is heading, and even if the playoffs don’t happen this season, he still thinks the future is bright. In a way, you could also take some of Gorton’s comments as a vote of confidence for his head coach in David Quinn.

— Gorton ruled out an NHL debut of Nils Lundkvist for this season, but pretty much expects to sign Lundkvist to a contract over the summer.

— With rumors about the Rangers agreeing to terms with Zac Jones, Gorton wouldn’t comment on Jones, but said he’d comment on the signing once the signing was official. (More on this below.)

— Gorton specifically had high praise for Alexis Lafreniere, Adam Fox and Morgan Barron.

— Gorton also talked about the latest regarding Tony DeAngelo, which I’ll have covered for you after this segment on Gorton.

Colin Blackwell will finish the 2021 season with the Rangers. Photo Credit: MSGN

If I have any “hot takes” or reactions about the non-moves Gorton made on Monday, it is that I’m happy to see Blackwell, Smith and Gauthier remain with the team. While no one knows if these three will be here for the 2021-2022 season, had Gorton dealt Blackwell and/or Smith for draft picks on Monday, that would’ve been Gorton’s way of taking away pieces for this playoff push, even for as slight of a chance the 2021 playoffs may be for the Rangers.

As previously opined on this site, I hope the Rangers keep Smith around for next season. While I have no way of knowing what Smith’s mind-set is, because after all, he’s at an age where he can get one more decent contract and could try to Cup chase, I wouldn’t mind him back next season.

When it comes to the best interest of the Rangers, having a utility man like Brendan Smith around on the cheap would be a good thing. From what we see and from what we hear, Smith is very well liked and has been a great veteran presence for the team. However, does a one-year/$1M deal make sense for Smith? Anything more than that, for a guy who would most likely be a healthy scratch during most nights next season, wouldn’t be smart salary cap management.

When it comes to NYR defensemen for next season, the top four are pretty much set, barring a miracle and Jacob Trouba waiving his NMC and some team looking to add a hideous contract to their books. Those top four would be Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller.

As far as who the team’s third pair would be for next season, it’s a roll-of-the-dice. Right now, it’s Smith and Libor Hajek. However, with Zac Jones now signed and Nils Lundkvist assumed to be coming in, two players who will get an opportunity; where does that leave guys like Yegor Rykov, Matthew Robertson, Tarmo Reunanen and others, including Smith and Hajek?

By not dealing Smith now, and allowing Smith to finish out his contract with the Rangers; it tells me that there is a chance of Smith being brought back, where I’d then envision his playing time being diminished. If Smith got a deal like Jack Johnson got from the Rangers last off-season, it would be a great thing for the Rangers, but not the best thing for Smith. After all, no athlete worth his weight wants to sit in the press box, which as stated, would most likely be Smith’s role on most nights.

All of this is a good problem to have.

When it comes to Colin Blackwell, his situation is going to be tricky. For as good as Blackwell has been, the question you have to ask yourself, or really, the question that Jeff Gorton has to ask himself, is this – “is this a ‘fluke or a flash-in-the-pan’ season for Blackwell, or can he replicate this production next season?” There’s just no way for anyone to answer this with any sort of confidence.

Similar to Smith, another thing to consider is what’s Blackwell’s worth to the league right now? For a bottom of the barrel team, like say Buffalo, Blackwell would be a good addition to their roster and maybe they’d overpay for him. At the very least, Blackwell deserves a raise and he should get it. How much do the Rangers want to pay for Blackwell? And of course, how much time do you want to give to Blackwell, when you have a slew of forwards who have already created a logjam?

This is another tough decision for Gorton, and another good problem to have, where whatever Gorton does with Blackwell, it will most likely be met with a 50-50 response. Both arguments, meaning to keep or to move on from Blackwell, both have merit.

Lastly here, regarding another player the Rangers need to assess, would be Julien Gauthier, who has been the odd-man out as of late. While Gauthier has shown potential, at the same time, he hasn’t produced like Blackwell either. Gauthier may be considered expendable during the off-season, because as just mentioned, the Rangers do have a logjam of wingers and at the end of the day, you can’t play everyone.

There are two more players to talk about here, and those two players are Tony DeAngelo and Zac Jones.

I’m not going to rehash all of my past points and opinions concerning Tony DeAngelo, so check out the archives of this site for everything I’ve previously said about DeAngelo.

As mentioned above, on Monday, Jeff Gorton was also asked about the current status of Tony DeAngelo. Here’s what Gorton said about DeAngelo, and word-for-word:

“I’ve had some conversations with some teams about Tony, but nothing really ever materialized and nothing lately. That will be a summer issue we will deal with.”

After making these comments, reporter Darren Dreger tweeted out the following:

The easiest thing to get out of the way here is this – of course the Rangers were willing to terminate Tony DeAngelo’s contract! With DeAngelo being an outcast, the Rangers would’ve liked nothing better than to move on from him. However, the Rangers have held onto hopes of some team helping them out, and taking DeAngelo’s contract off of their hands. Why the Rangers thought this would happen, I do not know.

As discussed when the Rangers first decided to move on from DeAngelo and as discussed as recently in my Jeff Gorton blog; no matter what you think about DeAngelo the person, the player or his opinions, the bottom line is that this was one of the worst cases of asset management that you’ll ever see.

Take Tony DeAngelo’s name out of the equation here, as I know the fan base is split on their opinions of him. For this example, I’m going to say “Player X” instead of DeAngelo.

If you’re running any team, and in any sport that features a hard salary cap, and as talked about to death on these blogs; players are like stocks, and not only do you need to know when to buy and sell, you also need to know how to assess your players/stocks.

For a GM to do a public press conference, where not only does he bury Player X, but also definitively states that Player X will never play for your team again, what do you really think you’re going to get back for Player X? Not only did you damage the product you’re trying to sell, you’re also telling your potential trading partners that Player X is extremely messed up, where as a result, you run your potential suitors all off. This is like a good looking person having many interested romantic partners, only to reveal that they have a laundry list of STD’s. Everyone runs away.

As I stated from day one here, if Jeff Gorton wants to get rid of Player X, or any other player, the best way to do that is to prop that player up. The way Gorton handled this situation, where he put himself in a hole by making ultimatums that he didn’t have to make, he pretty much burned Dolan’s money here – and he burned Dolan’s money with this contract several times over. He basically took Player X’s stock and value and turned it the equivalent of Jared Fogel doing commercials for a joint Bernie Madoff and Enron venture.

It’s amazing how fast this all spiraled. Photo Credit: WYT

To be clear, and as previously talked about on this site, I don’t think we have the full story on the DeAngelo situation. I’m not going to rehash everything, but I just want the new readers of this site to know that I think we’ll eventually get more details about this situation once the season is over and when DeAngelo is elsewhere.

If Gorton (and I really think this is more of Gorton backing up his coach than anything else) wanted DeAngelo gone, there was just a better way of handling this.

For example, and I am just spit-balling here; once Gorton and DQ came to the point that they thought DeAngelo was a detriment to the team and for whatever reason, they should’ve pulled DeAngelo aside and had a man-to-man conversation. While this may be unethical, this is also a dirty business too. If I were Gorton and/or DQ, I’d tell DeAngelo that he was done and that I was looking to move on. I’d then tell DeAngelo, in an effort not to embarrass him and to keep his trade value high, that we’re going to say DeAngelo has an “upper-body injury” or something like that. After all, the NHL allows teams to be vague about the health of their players, so why not use this to your advantage?

From there, I’d then negotiate around the league. While I don’t know what the Rangers could’ve got back for DeAngelo had they not buried him, you’d have to think they’d at least get a second round pick, if not more back in a return. By just nuking his name and reputation, not only did the Rangers hurt DeAngelo personally, they also “Plaxico’d” themselves as well.

Outside of buy-outs, I can’t think of a situation of worse player management in Rangers history, than what was exhibited by Jeff Gorton here.

After Gorton’s comments and Dreger’s report, Tony DeAngelo posted the following on Instagram:

Photo Credit @TonyDeAngelo7 on IG

While this isn’t 100% official yet, but it may as well be, come the summer, Jeff Gorton will buy-out Tony DeAngelo, where from there, Tony DeAngelo will gauge the league’s interest on him. I’ll talk more about what I think DeAngelo’s future is once that buy-out becomes official, but I do see DeAngelo remaining in the league, rather than going to Russia or somewhere else in Europe.

While it sucks for DeAngelo, meaning that he will have to rebuild his reputation/do damage control, where most likely, he’ll settle for a one-year deal for a million bucks or less, (and also lost a season of his career here) I do think he’ll get another chance. It’s my belief that talent outweighs any perceived “issue” or “dilemma”, and some team will take a chance on him. (As talked about with Brendan Smith, I see DeAngelo getting a Jack Johnson type of contract.) If DeAngelo can succeed and keep his temper in check, then maybe he can get back to the near $5M level where the Rangers once had him at. In any event, what happens next for DeAngelo will determine the fate and outcome of his career.

To wrap-up on the soon-to-be-bought out DeAngelo, it never made sense for DeAngelo to agree to a termination of his contract. For starters, who knows if he’ll ever make this type of money again in his life?

The following information comes from @PUCKPEDIA:

If DeAngelo agreed to terminate his Rangers contract, he would lose $1M this year + $5.3M next year ($6.3M total). If he’s bought out, he’ll lose $3.53M (2/3 of next year’s $5.3M Salary). Waiting for the buyout saves him $2.76M overall.

For a player that never made more than a million bucks prior to this season, it would be insane for DeAngelo to walk away from the money he’s making this year, plus the $2.76M, especially with his future uncertain and with the Rangers pretty much burying him on the way out.

For a young player like DeAngelo, it has to be painful to have a season of your career taken away from you, but at the end of the day, this is a business and DeAngelo made the right business decision. If you were in his position, would you turn down the money? I don’t think many would say yes here.

The next time we’ll be talking about DeAngelo on this site will be when the buy-out becomes official.

In more positive news, and while on the topic of American defensemen, the Rangers have officially signed Zac Jones.

Zac Jones. Photo Credit: NYR

While it was reported on Monday, on Tuesday it became official – the Rangers have signed their third rounder of the 2019 NHL Draft, in defenseman Zac Jones. This one surprised me.

During a blog I wrote on 2/18/21, I recapped an episode of Ron Duguay’s “Up in the Blue Seats” podcast. You can read that recap/blog here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/21821/

On that episode of “Up in the Blue Seats”, Duguay’s new co-host, in Mollie Walker, was able to get Zac Jones on the show. This was the first time a Rangers prospect had ever given an interview to the show. The connection to Jones here is that Walker graduated from UMass, which is the college that Jones now once played for.

Here’s what I wrote on 2/18, when talking about what Jones said:

Jones says he’s not ready to play pro hockey yet and will be returning to UMass for his junior year. Jones said he’s aware that he needs to grow more and wouldn’t have a problem if he had to spend all four years at UMass before signing with the Rangers. Jones at least sounds confident about his career path and what he wants.

Not even two months later, not only is Jones passing on his junior year and graduating from college; Jones is now a New York Ranger. In fact, he was at the Rangers pregame skate on Tuesday morning.

Here’s what the Rangers said about the signing, courtesy of: https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-agree-to-terms-with-defenseman-zac-jones/c-323602896

The New York Rangers announced today that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Zac Jones on an entry-level contract.

Jones, 20, skated in 29 collegiate games with UMass this season, registering nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points, along with a plus-17 rating and eight penalty minutes. He helped UMass win the National Championship in 2020-21.Jones was named to the NCAA (East) Second All-American Team this season, as well as the Hockey East Second All-Star Team and the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team, and he also helped UMass win the Hockey East Championship during the season. He ranked second among NCAA defensemen in goals, ranked third among NCAA defensemen in points, tied for third among NCAA defensemen in shots on goal (84), and tied for eighth among NCAA defensemen in assists this season. Among NCAA defensemen who were either a freshman or sophomore in 2020-21, Jones ranked first in points and shots on goal, ranked second in goals, and tied for third in assists. He ranked second on UMass in shots on goal, ranked third in assists, tied for third in points, and tied for fourth in goals in 2020-21.

The 5-11, 185-pounder skated in 61 career collegiate games over two seasons with UMass (2019-20 and 2020-21), registering 12 goals and 35 assists for 47 points, along with a plus-29 rating and 32 penalty minutes. Over his two seasons in the NCAA, Jones ranked third among defensemen in points, ranked fourth among defensemen in assists, and tied for seventh among defensemen in goals. In addition, among NCAA defensemen who were in their U21 season or younger over the last two seasons, he ranked first in points and assists, and tied for third in goals. Jones was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team as a freshman in 2019-20, as he led NCAA freshman in assists (20) and shots on goal (89), ranked second among NCAA freshmen in points per game (0.72), and ranked third among NCAA freshmen in points (23) during the season.

Prior to beginning his collegiate career, Jones played one season with the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League (USHL); he was named the USHL Rookie of the Year in 2018-19, and he led all defensemen in the league in assists during the season. Internationally, the Richmond, Virginia native represented the United States at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and recorded two points (one goal, one assist) in five games in the tournament. Jones also helped the United States win a gold medal at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.

Jones was selected by the Rangers in the third round, 68th overall, of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 10: Zac Jones #24 of the Massachusetts Minutemen skates with the National Championship Trophy after defeating the St. Cloud State Huskies 5-0 during the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship held at PPG Paints Arena on April 10, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

While I’m not blaming or admonishing for Jones changing his decision, it’s just amazing how confident he sounded two months ago and how he is now pulling a 180 here. Of course, winning a national championship and being offered a contract from the Rangers changes things.

Based on reports, Jones signed a three year deal worth $832,500 a season, and with a signing bonus of $92,500 per season as well. Who needs to graduate from college now?

With Jones already with the team, there’s a chance he will get to play for the Rangers this season. Of course, there will be an adjustment period, despite there only being 14 games left in the season. Jones, as a college player, isn’t coming up from Hartford and will have to learn the Rangers systems on-the-fly. He’s going to need a few practices under his belt, or so one would think.

As far as if and when Jones plays, I think you’ll see him in the likely event when the Rangers are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. For team that keeps using the phrase “playoff push”, it makes no sense to put Jones in the line-up right now.

Obviously, I wish Jones all the best here. I’m interested to see how he does, especially since he didn’t assess himself as an NHL player two months ago.

Lastly on this, and to her credit, she doesn’t hide it; expect Mollie Walker of the NYP to have a ton of coverage on Jones, due to their mutual UMass affiliation.

CZAR IGOR got the nod in net tonight – wise decision. Photo Credit: NYR

As far as any other Rangers news, there wasn’t much of anything, outside of David Quinn telling the media on Tuesday morning that he would be using the same line-up as he has been recently using. In other words, this is a tough time to be Julien Gauthier right now.

With a final score of 3-0, my over-under pick was like a Devil shooting at Igor tonight – shut out! My over-under record now drops to six games under .500, a season low, at 17-23-2. It looks like for the first time in four years, when I first started doing these over-under bits, that I’ll finish this season with a losing record. As mentioned on past blogs and as you probably know, these inconsistent Rangers are just impossible to predict game-by-game. That said, of course, the only thing that matters here is that the Rangers won!


The following information and graphics come from the new world-wide leader in NHL coverage, in ESPN.com.




19 2 17 .895 17 0 0 0 0 58:05 0


27 0 27 1.000 23 0 4 0 0 60:00 0


There isn’t a straight male in America that uses the word “FABULOUS” as much as Joe Micheletti does on a regular basis. In fact, I’m also of the belief that if you attended every gay wedding in the city of San Francisco and over a period of ten years; that you will still hear Micheletti using the word “FABULOUS” more than you’d hear that word at all of these ceremonies and receptions combined.

I know I’ve gone in-depth on this topic in the past, and even as recent as several blogs ago, so I won’t go into my “Greatest Hits on Joe Micheletti” or in repeat mode here. That said, I can’t ignore this – Joe Micheletti must’ve said the word “FABULOUS” 780678969696796976676 times tonight. There was even one point in the game, where after a play from Panarin, Micheletti, and I’m not making this up, shrieked out “FABULOUS, FABULOUS, FABULOUS”, just like that and three times in succession.

And to be clear and to reiterate here, I don’t care about anyone’s sexual preferences, what anyone does, and yadda yadda yadda. I’m not insinuating or alleging anything either here. What I am doing, is trying to get a laugh out of you!

All I’m really saying here, is that the word “FABULOUS” is one of those old Hollywood words, that you’d hear at some ritzy California cocktail party or during some TV show featuring RuPaul.

And to go further here, while the word “FABULOUS” does have some connotations, the bottom line is that “FABULOUS” isn’t a signature catch phrase or trademark out of Micheletti – it’s just a word he uses in every sentence. What I mean by that, is that it doesn’t have to be the word “FABULOUS.” Whether it’s “FABULOUS”, marvelous, amazing, great, or whatever, Micheletti just uses this one word too often. This isn’t Micheletti using the word in the same fashion as Rosen using his calling card of “And it’s a power-play goal!” This is just Micheletti beating a horse, or should I say unicorn, to death.

As I’ve said previously, what am I getting at here? I’d like to see someone get Micheletti a thesaurus for his birthday!

And oh yeah – CZAR IGOR was FABULOUS tonight, which you may have figured out by now already!

That Joe Micheletti is a FABULOUS and a devilish imp! Photo Credit: Jim S. of BSU/MSGN

While I’ll quote Micheletti during the game recap/review portion of tonight’s manifesto, I had to crack up when I saw this picture tonight. Talk about a perfect backdrop!

After talking about the sizes of player’s “trunks” and “firehoses” on the last two broadcasts, Vally kept the schlong talk inside of his pants tonight. Instead of talking about girth, Vally, not even three seconds into the broadcast, once again talked about his legendary 46 NHL game career. Later on during the broadcast, Vally gave some pointers to both Artemi Panarin and Igor Shestyorkin, as if either of these two would ever listen to a word this guy says. (Of course, Panarin and Shestyorkin don’t speak English fluently, and with Vally always around, I don’t blame these guys for not trying to become proficient in English!)

In what’s also a new trend for Vally, rather than analyzing the two teams individually himself, his statement of, “you can’t warm up the other goalie” is now a regular throwaway line out of him on these broadcasts. This is generic junk that you can say prior to every game, just like my generic junk of – “you need to come out hot and with a good start.” Both lines/statements applies to any game being played in the NHL.

After two shameless plugs for his fake news stats company, Vally then babbled on about High Danger Chances, where despite his psychoanalysis on High Danger Chances, the Rangers have actually won more games this season while giving up more HDC than when they lead the other team in HDC. Isn’t that amazing Suzyn?

While I doubt Vally still reads this site/blogs anymore, he said two things that I’ve been saying here recently. The first thing he said isn’t something I originally came up with, (I believe I heard Ron Duguay say this first and many years ago, which is probably where Vally got this from too) as Vally, while talking about the fat cats, (Kreider specifically) said, “the only way you can punish a millionaire hockey player is by taking their ice time away.” Whatever the case, Vally was right here.

The second thing Vally said, (and as I’ve said during the last three game reviews on this site) during the new M$GN gambling segment on these broadcasts, Vally responded to Giannone with: “I am not picking a Devil (an opposing player) to score tonight. If I have to pick one, I’m going with (and I forget who Vally named here, as it wasn’t important to me.)” While Vally didn’t out-right proclaim a shut-out for CZAR IGOR tonight, for all intents and purposes, he was close enough. Of course, I’m still waiting for Vally to say prior to these games, “I EXPECT A SHUT OUT TONIGHT, JOHNNY BOY!”

Lastly while on this MSGN pregame show segment, and to do the Barry Horowitz “pat on the back” thing here – I predicted CZAR IGOR to record a shut-out tonight. However, I have to give you this disclaimer – I’ve been predicting a CZAR IGOR shutout prior to the last ten CZAR IGOR starts. I was bound to be proven correct eventually! How about those fake news stats!?!?!

Let’s get to the game now.

If Kravtsov continues to play like this, you’ll see a ton of #74 jerseys inside of M$G next season. Photo Credit: NYR

After Sam Rosen desperately asked Micheletti for his “TACO BELL TAKE”, the line of Panarin/Strome/Blackwell opened the game, where Strome defeated the returning Nico Hischier at the dot. However, despite this rare night, where Strome actually finished with a winning face-off percentage (5 wins in 7 face-offs taken), it would be the Devils getting the first shot on goal in this game.

Igor would pass his first test here, but it wasn’t easy, as he was forced to make a save on Jesper Bratt, as the result of a Devils two-on-one odd-man rush. As you know by now, nothing would get past Igor tonight, but this save here, and with hindsight, would foreshadow the rest of the game. In fact, the Devils would get a bunch of HIGH DANGER CHANCES throughout this game, but despite the Devils having the GOOD LOOKS, it would be CZAR IGOR saying NYET NYET.

After this save, and not even in a minute into the game, Sam and Joe took a meaty dump on Chris Kreider, mentioning Kreider’s scoring woes of late, and saying that Kreider hasn’t had a five-vs-five goal during the last 15 games. With this game included, I believe Kreider has now been held without a goal in eight consecutive games. You all know the story by now – when Kreider is hot, he’s hot, but when he’s cold, he’s ice cold. Kreider is just streakier than a ten-year old pair of underwear.

1:27 into the game, and perhaps frustrated with his play, being demoted to the fourth line last game or maybe he just heard the fat mouths of Sam and Joe from across the river; Chris Kreider dropped the gloves for the first time this season:

While Kreider lost this fight with Damon Severson, at least it looked like he gave a damn. However, Kreider would finish up this game with no points and only one shot on goal. Not good.

The biggest thing to look for at this time in this game, was who was going to replace Kreider on the first line, during the next five minutes while Kreider was in the box for his fighting major. It would up being Alexis Lafreniere. During this time, and throughout the game, DQ would flip-flop Blackwell and Kravtsov from the second and fourth lines. Kravtsov would also play on the third line during these five minutes as well. I know how many of you guys are in the “FIRE DQ” crew, but give DQ some credit – he seems to have a knack of when to deploy Kravtsov in the top six and when to use Kravtsov to help bolster the fourth line too. The same can be said about Blackwell as well.

In what was good to see, even if they didn’t score, was Strome and Lindgren shooting. For a team that has issues with putting pucks on net, this was encouraging, even if the Rangers would later find trouble in shooting the puck. (The Rangers had a period high of eight shots on goal in this period, and would finish with 19 shots on Blackwood overall.) Right after these two shots, Pavel Buchnevich airmailed a puck high and wide.

After Buchnevich’s gaffe, Kakko put a great shot on net, only for Blackwood to make the save. Sam said the puck went wide, either out of habit or because he can’t see so well. Bless Sam’s heart.

In another play out of Kravtsov this season that has now turned me into a cheerleader of his, (I will forgo the skirt though) Kravtsov ate a huge hit. Right after, Kravtsov bounced up, delivered a hit himself and regained the puck. This kid is much better than advertised. I’m seeing a lot of the “Cuckoo For Kakko” people turning into “Krazy for Kravtsov”.

In fact, I’ll even add this – like many, I was critical of the way Kravtsov handled his transition to America. He thought he should’ve been in the NHL right away. Instead, after a crappy stint in Hartford, Kravtsov went right back to Russia, where he was then demoted to the “Siberia” league that is the VHL. (KHL’s version of the AHL.) I know six games is a short sample size, but in all six of Kravtsov’s NHL games, he’s looked – FABULOUS! He’s shooting the puck, he’s winning puck battles, he’s hitting guys, he’s playing physical, he has a nose for the puck and he’s doing every other imaginable thing correctly and impressively. I can now see why Kravtsov thought he deserved to be in the NHL and why he threw a tantrum, when he wasn’t placed with the varsity club last season. Of course, while Kravtsov is most likely better now than he was at the start of the 2019-2020 season; at the very least, you can understand his self-confidence.

In some early of the period craziness, Igor would be forced to make another robbery save on Bratt. Immediately after, PK Subban put two shots in Igor’s direction. Of note, I’m surprised the Devils couldn’t find a taker for Subban at the deadline. In real-time, while I was thinking “why is Subban still with the Devils?”, Panarin went on a breakaway, where he pulled a Mika and was stopped while shooting backhanded.

As I was thinking about Missing Mika, 7:02 into the period, this happened:

A rare breakaway goal for Mika Zibanejad this season! 1-0, GOOD GUYS!

On this goal, Fox gets the puck up ice, Kravtsov tips the puck up to Mika, and boom, Mika finished. Good for Mika, as he needed a goal like this.

For some reason, on the official scorer’s sheet/box score, they have Fox and Buchnevich with the assists. I don’t want to turn this into the JFK assassination here, but I have freeze-framed this goal and have watched it back a few times. Every single time, Kravtsov gets the puck up to Mika. Why Buchnevich gets the assist over Kravtsov here, I do not know. I would expect this to be changed tomorrow, but really, this seemed blatantly obvious that Kravtsov made the play at center ice here.

In any event, while it would be nice to see Kravtsov get credit, the bottom line is that the Rangers took the lead in a game they had to win.

Unfortunately, we wouldn’t see another goal scored in this game until about 40 minutes of game-time later. Despite the Rangers possessing a ton of fat cats and up-and-coming talent, the Devils hung in there, clamped down and kept this contest as a one-shot/one-goal game for the majority of regulation.

After a few more saves out of Igor, which meant a few more times where Micheletti shrieked out the word “FABULOUS”, Igor would then stop McLeod, as the end result of a mini 3 vs 2 rush out of the Devils. Kravstov continued his strong “Zodiac Killer” style of play; as Kravtsov was shooting everything and leaving bodies all over the place.

With 40.2 seconds left in the period, Brendan Smith was boxed for interference, after checking Jack Hughes in the back and while in front of CZAR IGOR. The Devils would get a power-play here. Of note, for the second time in three games, the Rangers didn’t get one power-play tonight, which truly is a rarity. (NYR lead the league in penalties drawn per game.)

The Rangers would kill these 40 seconds of Devils power-play time, and after one period, we remained 1-0, in favor of the good guys.

There wasn’t much hugging out of Kreider and Mika tonight, unlike previous games. In fact, the two were having a loud conversation with each other by the time this second period had ended. Photo Credit: NYR

This second period was like watching paint dry.

After our usual comment of “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?” <more goals dipshit>, the Rangers would easily kill the remainder of the Devils power-play off, where the Rangers got some help from the Devils themselves, with all of their errant passes.

Sam and Joe started babbling about Valiquette’s stats, the ages of the players and what they weigh, which just added to the boredom.

During a big play, CZAR IGOR stopped Miles Wood on a breakaway. Sam once again said the shot went wide. Maybe he should hold up from saying that until he sees a replay of these breakaways.

In example #786786789678 of my immaturity and junior high sense of humor, I was cackling like a goofball when Rosen said, “SEND IN THE WOOD!”, when talking about the Devils and Miles Wood. Also of note, after making all of those Blackwell/Blackwood errors from a few games back, Sam didn’t take no chances in that department tonight. Anytime Blackwood made a save, Sam sounded out Blackwood’s name, in the same way you’d teach a first grader how to read and write. Sam would pause in-between syllables and say “BLACK < short pause> WOOD”.

At the 5:42 mark of the period, Brendan Smith and McLeod dropped the gloves. This wasn’t a fight, as this was a Greco-Roman wrestling match, where McLeod earned two points and five minutes for his takedown of Smith. No loss of man-power here.

11 minutes into the period, each team had only two shots on goal.

As we neared five minutes remaining in the period, the Devils had a long shift in the Rangers d-zone against the Strome line. After a few rebounds, Igor finally made a clean save and was able to get his skaters a change.

With the period winding down, Igor made another save on Wood, this time after another Devils odd-man rush. Lindgren would finish this period with two shots on goal, boosting the Rangers total of SOG in this period to four. Not good.

After forty minutes, and after this uninspiring period of hockey, the Rangers maintained their 1-0 razor-thin lead.

In what was a story at the time, even if this was just two guys talking rather than arguing, Mika and Kreider were caught on camera getting loud with each other near the Rangers tunnel. Both looked frustrated, but I wouldn’t look into this as anything deeper than two frustrated players wanting the same goal. In other words, this wasn’t Georgiev vs DeAngelo!

The greatest free agent in Rangers history made history once again tonight. Photo Credit: Aaron Davis

In another one-goal game for the Rangers and another third period where your ass cheeks were left hanging off of your couch (FABULOUS), Mika would lose the opening draw of this period. Then, on the Strome line’s first shift of the period, Murray laid a clean hip check on Strome, which left Strome floored on the ice. Strome would eventually get up under his own power, but it was scary there for a second. That said, Strome wouldn’t miss a shift. HOCKEY PLAYER.

In a period that resembled the one previous, both teams were playing physical but not getting much offense off, that is, until the 7:50 mark of the period, when this happened:

2-0, GOOD GUYS, as the result of Panarin scoring after a perfect pass from Filip Chytil. This goal was historic and notable for several reasons:

— Fox got the assist here. He now leads the league for most assists out of all NHL defensemen.

— This was Chytil’s third game in a row with a point.

— With this goal, Panarin set a franchise record for most points in the first 100 games played with the Rangers. Prior to tonight, and with 99 games previously played with the Rangers, Panarin shared the record with Mark Messier, with 137 points. With this being Panarin’s 100th game as a Ranger, he now has the record with 138 points. Just imagine if Panarin didn’t lose all those games because of that KGB BS – he’d be a Hart Trophy candidate again.

Of course, this goal was also important, as it gave the Rangers some breathing room, as this was the insurance goal.

As Sam was wondering about the Buffalo Sabres, Victor Hedman and what kind of bedtime story he’d like to have read to him after this game, Trouba rang a shot off of the iron. In what seems like a common occurrence this season, Sam and Joe named Trouba as their defenseman of the game, despite Fox significantly outplaying the $56M man.

With under ten minutes to go, you had two thoughts in your head – would Igor get the shut-out and would Igor score an ENG?

After the Devils screwed up a three vs one opportunity, Igor would stop Ty Smith. As we approached the FOXWOODS mark of the game, K’Andre Miller absolutely floored McLeod, where I think McLeod had to return to the ice from the third row after the hit.

With under four minutes to go, and after Micheletti gave us the word FABULOUS three more times, the Devils would make a mad dash to Igor’s net, where Igor lost his stick during all of this. Thankfully, the Rangers got the puck out of the zone and the shut-out was preserved.

After a Rangers icing, and with 2:09 to go, Devils head coach Lindy Ruff called a time-out and pulled Blackwood. With 1:19 remaining in the game, Lindgren was busted for high-sticking Bratt. The Rangers never make anything easy, so for the final 79 seconds of the game, the Devils had a 6 vs 4 attack, but it also meant that the Rangers could ice the puck at will.

Igor would have to make two more saves while on the PK here, but with 28 seconds remaining, and after a turnover forced at center ice, Buchnevich sealed the deal with an empty netter. 3-0 GOOD GUYS. For Igor, he was now 28 seconds away from his first NHL no-no. In addition, this Buchnevich goal was the franchise’s 20,000th goal. I know some people went goo-goo ga-ga after that, but if you can tell me who scored the team’s 1000th, 5000th, or 10,00th goal, I’d be impressed. It’s just one of those future trivia questions, rather than anything of significance to me.

With 10.5 seconds to go, Igor had to make one more save, his 27th. After one more face-off, the time ran out and that was that – two points in the standings for the Rangers and the first NHL shut-out for CZAR IGOR!

The current Mass Mutual, My Shiney Hiney, 5-Hour Energy, Fabulous East Division Standings. Photo Credit: Google

I don’t want to sound down and disparaging after a win, especially a win like this, where the new franchise goaltender received his first shut-out victory. I also know that this is a league of “Any Given Sunday’s”, where anyone can beat anyone on any given night, so at the end of the day, I’m happy with the win. All I’ll say here, is that the Rangers have to play better, unless Igor is going to pick up three more shut-outs against this Devils team. (This is my way of saying RIDE IGOR!)

When it comes to the standings and the “playoff push”, the Rangers now own their destiny when it comes to fifth place. Just keep winning. If the Rangers do their job, they don’t have to worry about the Flyers.

When it comes to that fourth and final playoff spot in this division, the Rangers kept pace with the Bruins tonight, as the Bruins came back and handled business against the Sabres on Tuesday night. I don’t want to keep saying this every blog, but all those lost points to the Sabres, and all of those one-goal losses, will most likely be part of the reasons why the Rangers don’t make the playoffs this season. (Other reasons: first half Missing Mika, the Panarin situation, bad power-play, the DeAngelo drama, etc.)

For the Rangers, the Bruins still have two games in hand on them, but up next for the Bruins are the Islanders, an Islanders team that has had the Bruins number in recent games. The Rangers just need to handle their own end. If they can turn this into a four game winning streak, I’m sure the Islanders, for as much as their fans won’t want to see it, will help the Rangers out. Again, the Rangers must keep their own house in order first.

I think all Ranger fans want to see this team alive and make the playoffs. At the very least, you’d love to see a scenario, where the final two games of the season have playoff implications. Of course, the Rangers play the Bruins in the last two games of the season. Even if the Rangers win-out (impossible, I know), they will still need Boston to lose at least two more games along this final 25% stretch of the season. And really, can you believe this season is now 75% complete? Me neither.

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

After a technical snafu which cut their show short on Monday night, “The Blueshirt Underground Show” returns Wednesday night at 7PM. Check your local YouTube listings for complete show information or follow @BSUShowJim on Twitter for more.

Back at it again on Thursday night, for game two of this four-game series. Of note, the Rangers approach to these four games is “one game at a time”, rather than looking at this as a four-game set. That’s the correct approach, even though as fans, we are calling this a four-game series.

Stay FABULOUS my friends.

Until then, and as always here, thanks for reading and…


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on Tweeter

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

16 thoughts on “NYR/NJD 4/13 Review: CZAR IGOR Records First Ever NHL Shut-Out; Rangers Eke By AHL Devils, Krazy For Kravtsov > Cuckoo For Kakko; “The Zodiac Killer” Kravstov Impresses Again, Mika Actually Scores a GWG, NYR’s Lack of Moves at NHL Deadline; What Lies Ahead, Fabulous Micheletti, Tony DeAngelo Speaks Out, NYR Ink Zac Jones & The Team’s Depth of Defensemen, Breadman Bakes History, Blackwell, Smith, Standings Update & More

  1. Kind of an annoying choppy game but at least we got the result we wanted!

    Both the Rangers and the Devils could not put together two smooth passes in a row without the puck pinballing all over the ice.

    I thought the Rangers were kind of sucky for most of the game but not sucky enough to lose it apparently although they did give turning the game into a loss the old college try as they usually do.

    Kravtsov once again impressed.

    Heh, poor Sam, he thought Igor was playing for both teams at one point in the game.

    I think Sam could regain some of his form if Joe would only shut up and let him call the game.

    It should be when the puck drops Sam calls the game and Joe shuts up and then when the whistle blows Joe can talk

    I get tired of all the plays they miss because of the incessant yammering while the puck is in play

    I think Kravtsov made a great play coming back and stripping the puck from one of the Devils at center ice but I am not sure it was him and Sam and Joe just let it go by without comment.

    Too bad Buffalo could not pull it off against the Bastard Bruins but at least the Filthy Flyers lost and the Rangers gained some ground in the standings.

    1. Yea not the best game ever played, but two points is two points and that’s all that matters.

      They were lucky Igor was on his A-game or this could’ve been disastrous.

      Sam really struggles calling games off of the TV, every puck is shot wide.

      It was Kravtsov, and later, Micheletti called it out.

      Gotta root for the Isles this week – yuck.

  2. Fabulous blog. It was a good games especially Igor. Quinn made a good point in his post season saying that even if you are playing the Sabres or Devils, they are a good team and a team you have to earn to win, its not an automatic win. I’m glad he changed some of the lines, I think that definitely made a difference, not sure if Trouba talking to the team instead of Quinn made a difference. I think the way they have handled Tony D. is wrong. Of course, we do not know the whole story, and I don’t blame Tony D. for holding out, but for Gorton to make remarks about Tony D. is not right and has not helped his reputation at least for this season, not right, not fabulous.

    1. Fabulous comment Barbara.

      Right about DQ, there is no “gimmie” game in this league, especially not with Ruff behind that Devils bench and wanting to play spoiler.

      I think this is the first time the Rangers, under this regime, ever got “personal” with a player. There was not one positive thing that came out of that press conference, outside of JD telling everyone that Adam Herman’s report was full of lies and BS.

  3. I quite enjoy this in depth blog on all things Rangers. The articles always give us readers a chance to look at things honestly. It has reminded me frequently of what the Rangers got in the Trouba trade, an $8M a year contract til the end of the 2025-26 season. When all these young Rangers prospects burn through the ELC’s and start demanding bigger $$$$ in a couple of years the grief will be very real. Even the most casual Jets fans in Winnipeg know who won this deal.

    1. Thanks Dave, I try to present something here that nobody else does.

      The cap crunch will begin after the 2021-2022 season, when you this Trouba deal in effect and need to re-sign Fox, Kaako, Lindgren and Igor. The Rangers need an amnesty clause or hope that the cap will be raised.

      1. Checked on Cap Friendly and this year’s Rangers squad has 11 players on ELC. The future might arrive too quickly. Trouba is already 9.8% of the team cap this year. The Trouba effect is already here.

  4. All of you are absolutely right about the Trouba contract. It’s bad. It’s about a million and a half to two million dollar overpayment and will likely have a negative impact on the salary cap for years to come. But it’s ironic and also pretty funny that these comments come the day after Trouba had probably his best game as a Ranger. In fact he was really good in the games on Long Island too. When the game was on the line against the Devils, which was pretty much the whole game it was Trouba who cleared the space in front of Igor, allowed him to see the puck all night. Battled Cody McCleod every time he tried to screen our goaltender and was constantly breaking up attempt after attempt from the Devils’ offense. Gun to my head? I’d have to say Igor doesn’t get his first shutout without the play of Trouba last night. Maybe even would have been another one of those one goal disappointing losses. If you don’t agree with me that’s fine. Everyone sees the game differently. It doesn’t matter but I just have one question – Is this guy’s contract so toxic that we have to demonize him even when he plays well? Is everything always gonna be based on the 8 million? I’ve only been reading for a little over a year so I can’t say but I wonder if this is what went on with Lundqvist. I understand the contract is bad. Gorton deserves most of the blame for that. But Trouba is here. He wears a blue sweater. I’m rooting for him and hoping he’ll get better as the team gets better. I read every blog here and frankly, I find all this Trouba bashing, warranted or not, redundant and depressing Trouba brings an element that the team lacks. Did we overpay for it? Absolutely. But if we become serious contenders in the next year or two we’ll probably need a defenseman like him. Trouba has 5 years after this. Unless we win a cup it’s gonna be a looooong 5 years on this site. Come and get me, everybody!

    1. I talked about some of your points in tonight’s recap. I’m glad Trouba is playing well right now, but you also have to consider the competition. Do it against the top four teams in the division and not only in these routs of the Flyers and the Devils.

      I don’t think you’re wrong though about Tuesday, as in a one goal game, I had the same feeling about a loss, until Panarin scored.

      In an era where the cap is now flat, cap hits are more important than ever, so I see this as a common talking point, not just here, but everywhere.

      Lundqvist situation was worse, because he was way overpaid, not part of a new era/rebuild, not producing and taking time from goalies who needed to play. With Trouba, there’s not a RHD that should be playing over him right now.

      Similar to Kreider, if NYR win a Cup with Trouba, it’s all worth it. Until then, both contracts will be questioned. (I was a fan of the Kreider contract although I admit he is streaky and playing like doo-doo right now.)

  5. Sean, I wouldn’t read every one of your blogs if I thought that you didn’t know what you were doing. I wouldn’t waste my time. I basically watch every minute of every game and I think that you always give an honest, witty, entertaining and fair recap. I don’t always agree 100% but like I said, everyone sees the game differently because everything happens so fast. But frankly I was shocked when your recap didn’t mention the play of Trouba, in fact there was just one negative comment about the cap hit. I’m not necessarily a Trouba fan; just a NYR fan. All I expect is fairness. IMO Trouba had a monster game. I don’t necessarily buy what Sam and Joe tell me; for better or worse I trust my eyes. I would say anyone who watched that game would conclude that Trouba at least played a solid game.
    In response to the level of competition angle, I think he was outstanding in the two games on the Island. You could argue that this is the Trouba we expected from jump and that would be fair. I have my theories on that but that’s for another day. There’s bad contracts all over the league. Taylor Hall, Jeff Skinner, Lucic, we can go on and on. In fairness to Gorton, this contract buys 7 years of Trouba’s prime. Ages 25 to 32 – probably the best years of a hockey player’s career. Trouba becomes a UFA at age 32 which probably at that age won’t set him up for a big payday. In effect, this is his big (UFA like)
    contract. I’m sure Gorton felt inclined to give that big contract to an established 25 year old rather than a 30 year old UFA like McDonagh. I haven’t read today’s blog yet. I wanted to reply to this first as you said you addressed some of my points there. Keep rockin Sean! LGR

    1. Yea, no one will always agree on everything and if that did happen, the world would be boring.

      In a 1-0 game against a shitty team, I didn’t think Trouba was the story. He also had a few brutal turnovers in there, that Igor covered up.

      It’s tough to trust anything Sam says these days because he doesn’t know what’s going on half the time to begin with. Every shot is wide and he can’t even see pucks go into the net.

      I think I said this before to you and I know I’ve said it on the site, but Fox just makes Trouba look even worse, and in every aspect imaginable, including the cap.

      Oh yeah, there are bad contracts all over, with that Skinner one being the worst. At least the Hall deal is a one and done type. And you’re right, this is Trouba’s golden contract as he’ll never make this money again after this deal.

      I always try to take everyone’s feedback into consideration as it’s always my goal to be fair, so I gave your boy a rub, but really, he did deserve it, as I really thought this was Trouba’s best game yet.

Leave a Reply

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