NYR/NJD R1G3 4/22 Review: Devils Force a Game 5; Survive in OT, Rangers’ 0-5 Power Outage Dooms Them; Special Teams (And Officials) Swing Games, Not a Loss To Be Concerned About, “Schmid Happens” (Har-Har-Har), Timo “The Crier” Meier, ESPN & Media = Horrible, “TURK TALKS” & More

During a Game Three that felt like “THE RANGERS’ WAY” (trademark still pending); the Blueshirts were downed by the Devils, in overtime, by a final score of 2-1. The Rangers were the far superior team on Saturday night, but to their credit – it were their opponents who “found-a-way.” While the officials did the home team no favors – and did negatively impact this game (as is often the case) – the Rangers’ power-play went 0-5. That’s the beginning, middle and end of the story – and where no excuses can be made.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Well I did predict the Rangers to win this series in seven games!

In other words – just like the other seven first-round playoff series’ of this year’s postseason – this one won’t be a sweep either.

Save the brooms for the next-round – and there will be a next round for these 2023 New York Rangers!

On a rainy and thunderous night outside of M$G, where even ABC (ESPN’s parent company), who broadcasted this game, routinely cut-in to provide local weather updates; perhaps the weather caused a Rangers’ power-play outage too.

And really, outside of another act of incompetence from these NHL officials, bozos dressed in black-and-white and who have been swinging games left-and-right during these 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs – that’s what this Rangers’ Game 3 loss solely boils down to – finishing 0-5 on the power-play.

While we’ll talk about the Timo Meier NO CALL during the GAME REVIEW, which then led to a Devils’ PPG, their only strike during regulation; the bottom line is that the Rangers received three consecutive power-plays following that grievance – and where they did nothing with their trio of chances.

In other words – no excuses and no whining about the officials – the Rangers had many opportunities to win this game, including during even-strength play – but could never find that go-ahead/second/game-winning goal – one that eventually eluded them – and then led to this defeat.

However, and as someone who not only has been very high on this new regime from day one, but has also written from a glass half-full perspective ever since Chris Drury’s promotion to general manager – I’m really not too upset or fazed about this loss.

But don’t get it twisted – obviously – I’m very frustrated with the loss, a chance to go up 3-0 in the series – but even so – both my faith and outlook remains unchanged.

Similar to the last time when the Devils beat the Rangers, during their fourth-and-final match of the regular season – it took the residents of Newark to play at their all-out best – while the home team weren’t at theirs – and even then – the Devils only won by one-goal – and where overtime was required.

In a way, I think this loss was a major “WAKE UP CALL” for the tenants of 33rd & 7th – and perhaps not the worst thing in the world neither.

Maybe it’s because Gallant’s Gang dominated the first two games of this series, by identical scores of 5-1; but whatever the case – the Rangers somewhat reverted to their old ways tonight – where fancy hockey returned – including the abundance of never-ending passes.

However, as the game progressed, and to their credit – the Rangers did buckle down defensively – and really – didn’t allow much.

The only major takeaway from tonight was the 0-5 power-play – and really, and maybe I’m too positive when I say this – do you really think that the power-play will continue this 0-fer streak?

Had the Rangers struck just once on their five man-advantages – then they would’ve won tonight.

However, that’s “coulda, woulda, shoulda” stuff – and what’s done is done.

But with the loss, the Rangers will now have less than 48-hours to get their heads right and realize the position that they are in.

And for a team that’s largely rebounded whenever faced with adversity all season – who is to say that they don’t rebound again?

While of course, there’s no such thing as a “HOUSE MONEY” game during the playoffs; if there was ever a time for the Rangers to receive a reminder of what the mission is all about; then on Saturday night, at the time up 2-0 in the series, where both of their wins took place on the road – there was no time better than the present.

After all, now up 2-1 in the series, the Rangers can take a stranglehold on Monday night, at M$G, during Game 4.

Chris Kreider, the hottest Blueshirt of these playoffs, scored “THE LONE RANGER” goal tonight. While Mika Zibanejad hasn’t been bad or anything like that; what’s also true is that he’s now eight-straight games without a goal. That has to change, as the team’s best goal-scorer of the regular season (39) needs to light lamps – especially against a rookie goalie. Photo Credit: NYR

I usually use the phrase “THE RANGERS’ WAY” (again – trademark pending), whenever describing something negative.

And while I do admit that I truly believed that the Rangers would win this game – and then close out on Monday night at M$G – Blueshirts’ history, and as is usually the case – reared in its ugly head.

Let’s count the ways:

— The Devils started a rookie goalie, Akira Schmid, a netminder who made his first-ever playoff start during this Game 3. Schmid then stopped 35 shots, where among these 35 saves were six short-handed denials.

— The Rangers, once again, had every advantage going into this game – and where Lindy Ruff and his team sounded completely defeated in-between Games 2 & 3. In turn, the Blueshirts let the Devils hang around all game – and then win it – as once again – the killer instinct wasn’t there.

— Artemi Panarin, who had been on a heater as of late, missed the net on a breakaway during the first period, and then, during the final frame, on the Rangers’ fifth-and-final power-play of the game – missed the net again while wide-open.

— For a team that has had more success on the road than at home – the Rangers couldn’t send their patrons, who paid exorbitant prices for this game, home happy.

— Mika Zibanejad, the team’s best center, can’t score a goal – a problem that’s carried over from the 2022 Playoffs. While he’s still a defensive stud, and he did pick up the primary assist on Kreider’s goal tonight – the Rangers need DJ MIKA to spin some goals too.

The Devils were able to shutdown Adam Fox tonight, and in turn, the 2023 Norris Trophy candidate, who had been racking up the points during the first two-games of this series, finished scoreless tonight. Photo Credit: Padma R.

I really don’t want to wallow in the alleged “misery” of tonight, because after all – and as will be repeated about 96786869766 times during the GAME REVIEW too – I thought the Rangers played well enough to win.

Just one power-play goal – then it’s a different story.

At this time, let’s get into all of the pregame news & notes, followed by tonight’s GAME REVIEW.

“THE TURK” remains a calming influence over this team – at least in my opinion.

Following Thursday night’s victory, Game 2; on Friday, the Rangers held an optional practice at their training facility in Tarrytown, NY.

Once the practice concluded, Rangers’ head coach, Gerard Gallant, fulfilled his daily media requirement.

Here was Friday’s “TURK TALK”:

While Gallant did speak for over seven-minutes; as I’ve been saying all along – there’s really not much for him to say.

The Rangers are rolling, there are no line-up changes, the team is healthy and the only thing that matters is what takes place on the ice.

Everything else, especially with an abundance of new & eager reporters around, to go along with the many terrible ones that we’ve been accustomed to this season – well it is all just white noise.

I mean, when questions such as “DO YOU WANT TO WIN?,” “DO YOU THINK YOU CAN WIN?,” and “WOULD IT BE GOOD IF YOU GO UP 3-0?” are some of the questions – then really – these “TURK TALKS” aren’t quite necessary.

On Friday morning, the Rangers held a pregame skate. Following it, the players talked to the media – where it was more of the same – NOTHING OF NOTE – but truth be told – there was one quote that I did like.

I thought that Patrick Kane made the most poignant remark, when he talked about tonight’s game: “It’s tough to come back from 3-0, but 2-1, then all of a sudden it’s a series.”

Kane, with his three Stanley Cup rings, Hall of Fame resume and more postseason games (and success) than anyone else involved in this series, would know best.

In other words – following the result of Game 3 – we now have a series on our hands.

Had the Rangers won tonight? The series then would’ve concluded on Monday.

I will say, when Kane first made these remarks, and as noted earlier – I really thought that the Rangers would win on Saturday night.

After all, despite my status as a Rangers’ historian, meaning that I’m keenly aware of the previous 97-years of franchise history – I truly believed that this 2023 team was different than many of the squads that have preceded them.

Had the Rangers won tonight, then that opinion could’ve became a reality.

Instead, we’re back to “THE RANGERS’ WAY;” where you now have to hope that the Blueshirts can finish this series in five-games.

As we’ve seen so many times before, including last season and a lot during the Henrik Lundqvist era too – you can’t keep throwing away games – thus burning yourself out – while also increasing the risk of injury.

The Rangers need to be on the right-end of a short series for once, where in that event (or maybe the word “miracle” is better suited!) – then they can be the rested, recharged and refreshed team – rather than their opponents!

Another six or seven-game series?

Then it becomes harder to accomplish your ultimate goal – winning the fifth Stanley Cup of franchise history – one that fans have been waiting to see now for nearly thirty-years.

Here was the Rangers’ line-up from Saturday night, their third game of this 2023 postseason:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Mika/Kane

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Tarasenko

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Motte

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Mikkola/Schneider



DAY-TO-DAY: Nobody! Praise the Hockey Gods!

PRESS BOX: Ben Harpur, Jake Leschyshyn, Louis Domingue, Libor Hajek and Jonny Brodzinski.


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





36 1 35 .972 29 6 0 0 0 71:36 0


28 2 26 .929 23 1 2 0 0 71:06 2

The once alleged-and-assumed romance, between ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Filip Chytil, is no more. In fact, Kaplan didn’t even interview one Ranger tonight – much less look at her favorite Czech. They’ll always have Paris. Photo Credit: ESPN

Once again, ESPN was absolutely horrible tonight – and if there was ever a doubt who was better of the two national broadcasters – TNT or the world-wide leader – then that debate was settled tonight – TNT – and by a landslide.

Holy shit – was this ESPN broadcast absolutely horrid – in every way imaginable – and if there was ever such a thing as a “RAZZIE” (“Oscars” for the worst movies) for sports broadcasting – then ESPN’s crew would give M$GN’s Sieve Vagistat a run for his money.

Since tickets to this game started at nearly $500 (and as you’ll see below – the secondary market also featured a $12,000 ducat); I took this game in from my couch at my humble abode – thus being forced to watch this exclusive broadcast.

And just to prove to you that I’m not making up the $12,000 cost of a ticket – take a look at my tweet prior to puck drop – where yes – I used a joke that I first made ten-years ago:

I’ve done this rant long-form before, so I won’t bother you with it again – but yeah – this is all supply & demand.

If fans are going to pay these prices, then M$G will charge them – and the secondary market will charge even more.

There will never be a time where 100% of the fan base, akin to a 1980s Nancy Reagan, “JUST SAYS NO” – as Ranger fans, a passionate and hardcore bunch, will continue to be used as personal ATM’s by James Dolan – an owner who is looking to recoup over $2B in losses in regards to his current Las Vegas M$G $phere project.

Long story short – the only way I’ll break the bank this season is if when the Rangers go to the Stanley Cup Final!

And in a new wrinkle, one that first appeared last season and has returned for this 2023 run – M$G is now charging over $400 for “standing room only tickets,” where should you be so unlucky to take the Rangers up on this offer – then your view will be obstructed – but you’ll be able to beat the bathroom lines!

So I guess there’s that!

For me? I rather the no wait time for the “terlet” – and the free beer too!

Perhaps contrary to popular belief – tonight wasn’t the first night where P.K. Slewban wore his Ric Flair inspired robe – but it was the first time he wore it during an ESPN broadcast. Photo Credit: NJ Devils

At 7:30PM, a half-hour prior to the alleged puck drop of 8PM – I tuned into ESPN/ABC for their pregame show.

Once there, I was greeted by Vanna White and Pat Sajak – as a “Wheel of Fortune” repeat took precedence.

Since I knew that the M$GN was providing pregame coverage, I then flipped my remote there; but even with Lundqvist in-studio – I couldn’t stomach Vagistat – and I really tried.

Lundqvist (who had a late night the day prior, due to his TNT commitment), opened up the M$GN pregame show by talking about his past experiences, what he thought about the current team and so on & so forth; but each and every time, there was that seven-foot hyena, the worst Rangers’ goalie of this century, and a former Islander to boot, the smug Sieve Vagistat, to cut-off “THE KING OF COMMENTARY” after every sentence.

(Of note: Lundqvist has a new podcast – and much like anything else – he’s amazing at it. I’ve listened to all three episodes, which featured Eli Manning, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Richter as guests – and yep, you guessed it – I enjoyed the conversation between #30 and #35 the most.

And oh – did you ever think that I’d be a subject of “THE KING” – especially after all of my opinions about his final contract with the Rangers? The weight of the world is now off of my shoulders – I can appreciate him much more today than I did during his final years! And admittedly – I feel much better for it!)

Once Vagistat started going on about “82.3% chance of this happening,” and “I did this during my career;” that was it for me – as instead of being forced to suffer with that moron – I decided to tune in for the thrilling conclusion of the bonus round of “Wheel of Fortune.”

Too bad Mrs. White & Mr. Sajak weren’t around from the hours of 8PM-11:30PM.

In other words – tonight’s ESPN broadcast was an all-out assault, disgrace and attack on anyone with an IQ over 2.

The only good thing about it? They aired John Brancy singing the national anthem. That was it. (Then again, Dave Jackson, their rules analyst, was pretty good.)

I’ll bring up some of what bothered me during the GAME REVIEW, but for your consideration, the following:

— The pregame show was about 43-seconds long. Why even get the rights to these games if you’re just going to air reruns of game shows?

— They must’ve mentioned the 1994 Stanley Cup win about 1,994 times – 1,994 reminders that the Rangers haven’t won a Stanley Cup in 29-years. Trust me, I love Mark Messier too – but right now, I’m zeroed-in on the Blueshirts of today.

— Emily Kaplan, who doesn’t bother me (although I know that opinion is not shared by the majority); had one of her worst games. I don’t know if she wanted to “dumb it down” or what – but she was asking the most simplistic questions imaginable, such as “does blocking a shot hurt?”

— Noted Rangers’ hater, Ray Ferraro, who still isn’t over being traded away by former g.m., Neil Smith, in March of 1996 (I heard there is a four-volume set of books that covers every trade of Rangers’ history – including this one in-depth – check the PLUGS segment for more!) – was a “KID-FOR-SCHMID” tonight – as he sounded like a ten-year-old in his never-ending hero worship of the Devils’ goaltender.

— Sean McDonough, who looked like an ISIS hostage, while reading out ransom demands, was back in his broom closet again. While I don’t think that he calls a bad game or anything like that; he also sounds devoid of any personality – and is no Kenny Albert either – the lead voice of TNT (and who should be the lead voice of M$GN too).

— In what really means the most – the production was terrible – where I think that a local high school A/V’s department could’ve done a better job. No joke, and all game – we missed plays, we had too many crazy camera angles, penalty calls were missed for commercials, etc.

— Of course, the worst part about this broadcast was once again ESPN’s resident idiot (BLOG/SITE CALLBACK), P.K. Slewban.

I don’t know what it is with the most notorious slew-footer of recent NHL history; but he acts like he was some sort of Devils’ legend – as if he were Marty Brodeur, Kenny Daneyko, Patrik Elias, Scott Stevens, etc.

If Slewban was going on-and-on about his days in Montreal and Nashville – then at least I could understand that.

However, for #76 – the worst years of his career took place in New Jersey – years so bad (HOW BAD WERE THEY?) – that he was forced to retire at a relatively young age (33-years-old).

Following this wretched broadcast, I’m now under the assumption that Slewban wants to be like another heel of Rangers’ history, Mike Milbury – or ESPN’s version of TNT’s Paul Bissonnette – a vocal Blueshirts’ hater.

While I have no problem with an “agitator” or a “heel” on a broadcast (it’s entertaining), and whether it’s anti-Ranger or anti-another team; Slewban always sounds forced and unpleasant – unlike both Milbury and Biz.

And then there was that whole interaction with Mark Messier from a few weeks ago – which only makes me groan even more whenever I see that Slewban is there – a groan that reached its peak – following Slewban’s role-play tonight of wrestling legend, Ric Flair.

It’s time for Slewban to have his “last match” too – and go to the podcast world!

I’ve already spent too much time on this, so let’s move on, with two quick thoughts prior to tonight’s GAME REVIEW.

While the birdbrain, Mollie Walker, didn’t GIVE A SHIT about this play; I did – and apparently – the NHL has taken notice too! Photo Credit: SportsNet

As I continue to air my gripes about the hockey media (funny how these thoughts get more time on this site following losses – Hmmm!); if you’re not already aware about the legendary idiocy of NY Post reporter, Mollie Walker, a scribe who takes no pride in her craft, nor bothers to learn its history neither – then I advise you to check out the archives of this site.

The quick recap?

Following an Oilers’ comeback win against the Rangers from earlier this season, I brought up how Leon Draisaitl, after scoring the game-winning goal, clowned Jacob Trouba, by throwing the captain’s stick during #29’s post-goal celebration.

At the time – I thought this was a bad look – and a classless act from the German.

Ms. Walker’s unsolicited response to me?


What happened next?

Trouba fought three times in the next two games, the helmet game happened, and you know the rest.

In short – this non-sportsmanlike act created a monster – and Trouba & company never looked back.

I bring this up, because on Friday night, during the Oilers’ Game 3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings – Draisaitl got cute again.

For the full 411, check out SportsNet’s report, one that you can find here: https://www.sportsnet.ca/nhl/article/forget-the-refs-oilers-lack-of-five-on-five-score-is-why-they-trail-kings-2-1/

Following his PPG, Draisaitl continued his scumbag ways – and this time – the officials had enough – and boxed him for two-minutes.

What happened next?

The Kings tied the game, via a power-play goal – and then won in overtime.

Without this penalty?

Maybe the Oilers would be up 2-1 in their series, rather than their present standing, down 1-2.

But hey, NOBODY GIVES A SHIT – am I right?

Last but not least, since I like to share with you my predictions whenever I’m right; let’s do the same when I’m 100% (or maybe 80%) wrong.

In other words, these were my pregame predictions prior to puck drop on Saturday night:


But I did get the part about Lundqvist being in the building correct – so I went 1-5 on my pregame predictions – which needless to say – is much better than going 0-5 on the power-play!



The stats may suggest that Schmid had a better game than CZAR IGOR; but really, outside of a handful of saves from both goalies – I never thought this game was about goaltending. Instead – I thought that both offensive inefficiencies and defensive proficiencies were the story. Photo Credit: NYR


Prior to getting into the meat and potatoes of this GAME REVIEW; I want to share a fact that was first brought to my attention by reader Alan D.:

Following tonight’s game, the Rangers are now 26-straight games without giving up four or more goals – a pretty big feat all things considered – and especially when you look at the scores from the early games of this first-round of 2023 Stanley Cup Playoff action.

While this strong streak continued tonight; needless to say – you need to score more than one goal to win games too!

What’s that word again?


M$G was absolutely rocking, as not only did John Brancy rile up a crowd that didn’t really need such riling; but Ranger fans could feel it in their bones – they would not be denied of a Game 3 victory.

Enter the power-play – and as we’ll get into five more times soon enough.

The first twenty-minutes of Game 3 wound up becoming the first scoreless period of this series – which was then followed by a scoreless final frame.

Zibanejad, who had some poor showings at the dots during Games 1 & 2, fared much better tonight.

He won the first draw of this game and then finished 18 of 28 (64.3%). However, and once again – and perhaps surprisingly too – it was Chytil, 10 of 13 (76.9%), who finished with the game’s high in this department.

At just the 22-second mark, Trouba hit Timo Meier (much more on this wuss soon to come), which took him out of a play. While that was happening, Miller couldn’t catch up as Jesper Bratt streaked towards CZAR IGOR. In a response, Patrick Kane hooked #63 in Devils’ white.

In other words – the Rangers’ PK was immediately tasked to work.

While CZAR IGOR made two saves during these two-minutes, he wasn’t really challenged that much either.

The fourth-liners did their thing (again), while Trouba came up with two big hits, and his partner, Miller, laid out another dirty Devil.

At the end of the PK, and with a puck in CZAR IGOR’s glove; Fox, Lindgren and Trocheck weren’t having any of the road team’s theatrics, which then led to our first scrum of the game.

Of note: Following a physical Game Two, which produced many scrums and even more penalties – we didn’t have much of that tonight. While this game was physical, there wasn’t anything over-the-top either. This was quality playoff hockey – with one exception – Timo “The Crier” Meier.

Once returned to even-strength, the Rangers had their chances, but more due to a lack of an execution, rather than anything that Schmid did – the home team couldn’t find the back of the net.

With 17:05 to go, Mikkola almost had Chytil set-up for a backdoor goal. A minute after that, Tarasenko drew three Devil defenders and found Trouba wide-open – but the captain’s shot went wide.

As Lindgren made moves at the five-minute mark of play – it felt like the roof would blow off of M$G had the Rangers scored.

Two seconds later? McLeod boarded Lindgren in a response – another foolish and undisciplined Devils’ penalty of this series.

Of the five power-play failures, this was the “best” of the lot.

The Rangers finished with three shots on goal during this, moved the puck well, created chances – but just couldn’t find twine.

And yep, at the time, this felt like a case of “no power-play bats 1.000” – but we didn’t know that would be a trend that would continue throughout.

Down to 11:15 remaining, Fox & Lindgren snuffed out a Devils’ 3 x 2 odd-man rush.

In our first example of “fanciness;” a minute later, Trocheck was all alone in the slot, and rather than shooting – forced a pass to Fox – a turnover.

Again – this was understandable, considering what had transpired during the previous two games – and even with that said – it’s not like the fancy hockey/over-passing was the reason for this loss either.

At the ten-minute mark, CZAR IGOR, who didn’t have much work this period, made his first-best save, when he stopped Damon Severson.

Come eight-minutes remaining, Tarasenko, who remains a beast, and once again, played well defensively all game; forced a turnover.

In a play that had you holding your head after it; with 7:15 remaining, Panarin had an all-day breakaway against the rookie goalie in net – and then completely missed said net.

ESPN then told us that Panarin, following his latest miss, was 1-11 on breakaways this season.

So that’s not good.

And had this puck went in – then we’re talking about a Rangers’ victory – and perhaps a potential sweep.

Out of a TV timeout, Kaplan interviewed Ruff, where the Devils’ bench boss didn’t exactly give his starting goalie of this season, Vitek Vanecek, a vote of confidence.

Ruff told the roving reporter that Schmid was better against deflections and tips.

It’s funny, while I know that Schmid had a good game tonight; at the same time, I don’t think that Vanecek was ever an issue for the Devils either.

But yep, you know that Schmid will start on Monday night, during Game 4.

Following a Tarasenko backdoor pass to Trocheck that just missed with 5:10 remaining; less than a minute later, and now back in the Rangers’ end – NONNA’S BAMBINO took down Bratt – and wanted a fight afterwards – but the Devils, who were kind of p-words tonight (Meier was the biggest) – didn’t oblige.

Speaking of Meier, and following an exchange of saves from the goalies; down to 3:31 remaining, the Swiss blocked a Trouba-to-Miller one-timer, where following it, #96 fell to the ice like a sack of potatoes.

This was just temporary pain, following a shot block, but of course, he took his sweet time to get back to the bench.

While the Rangers did fare better at the circles tonight, we did see some of what we saw during Game 2 – as following home team o-zone losses – the road team just iced the puck in a response.

Down to 2:55 remaining, Lafreniere turned over the puck, but his captain, Mr. Trouba, bailed him out, and as he did when he laid a monstrous hit on Bratt.

Under ninety seconds remaining, CZAR IGOR came up with a pair of saves, and where Meier tried to get cute afterwards. (Keep this in mind for later.) Lindgren, in a response, got right into Meier’s face – but of course – the wuss skated away.

In what was largely a well-played period from both sides, we remained nil-nil after twenty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Chris Kreider picked up his first even-strength goal of the playoffs, to go along with the four power-play goals that he scored during Games 1 & 2. Just imagine if his BFF, Zibanejad, can get going too? Photo Credit: NYR


Following Slewban doing his Ric Flair impression, we returned to hockey at M$G.

Zibanejad won the first draw of this period, but the Devils then quickly took possession of the puck. Lindgren failed to clear the rubber, but at just the one-minute mark, Panarin did.

Speaking of Panarin – while he did miss the net twice tonight – and was visibly frustrated following his second miss – once again, I thought he looked great whenever playing defense. He’s really backed up his words thus far.

With 16:50 remaining, Goodrow barreled over Meier – a clean hit.

However, and with the fourth line attacking – the refs blew the whistle – as this little p-word, #96 of the Devils, writhed around in agony, and as if he were hit by a Mack Truck. (But not the TROO TROO TRAIN – a much more significant blow!)

Meier never missed a shift – and this act of cowardice negated a Rangers’ attack.

This pussycat move didn’t deter the Rangers either.

Just 29-seconds later, CHRISTOPHER JAMES KREIDER:

1-0, GOOD GUYS, as Kreider took a pass from Zibanejad and just completely ripped it past Schmid.

This was a hell of a goal – but sadly – the only Rangers’ goal too.

This also led to more Devil frustration, because less than a minute later, Graves cross-checked Trocheck as he was screening Schmid.

This gave the Rangers their second power-play of the game – and where it should be mentioned – each power-play was worse than the one that had preceded it – mainly due to the Devils’ PKers, but also because of a lack of an execution.

The Rangers’ first PP unit didn’t have much success, nor could ever really set-up.

Neither did the second unit, and these two-minutes didn’t produce a SOG.

Out of a TV timeout, Kaplan interviewed Gallant, and where the head coach said that he just wanted more SOG during the power-play – something that never came to be.

With 12:38 to go, Meier, who I lost all respect for after tonight, upended Goodrow. In a response, Goodrow retaliated, and it was he who was boxed for two-minutes, following his trip of the Devil.

This was a hairy penalty kill – but one where the Rangers survived – and got some luck too – as Hamilton hit the part of the iron where the post and crossbar intersect. The Rangers wouldn’t see such luck by the end of the night.

At the halfway mark of the period/game, the Devils had only one shot on goal during the second period.

That would soon change too.

With 9:53 remaining, a call that swung the game:

As you can see, Meier barrelled over CZAR IGOR and tried to injure him. CZAR IGOR responded by fighting off this piece of shit.

The response? A roughing call on BIG BAD CZAR IGOR, as if he were a modern-day Dan Cloutier.

The only good thing about this broadcast was ESPN’s rules analyst, Dave Jackson, who said that the refs/officials had completely messed this up – and that it should’ve been the Rangers on the power-play.

(Of note – while this was going on, and ESPN’s cameras missed this – Panarin & Bahl were each assessed two-minute roughing minors, for their bout in the Devils’ end of the ice.)

Had the officials done their job right – then who knows – maybe the Rangers win this game 1-0.

But of course, that also assumes that the Blueshirts would’ve thwarted off a Devils’ 6 x 5 empty net attack too.

And again, to be clear and as mentioned above – the Rangers received three more power-plays after this nonsense (this was the last Devils’ power-play) – so you can’t look at this one bad call and then blame the officiating for the loss.

But yeah – this horrendous call didn’t help either.

Just thirty seconds into the Devils’ power-play – Jack Hughes scored. Of course.


The best league in the world, but some of the worst officials – and this isn’t just from a Rangers’ perspective – this is going on all over the place. Just ask the Oilers, the Islanders, the Lightning, the Leafs, the Jets, etc.

With 7:46 remaining, and let me be fair – to the credit of the officials – a make-up call – and a call that Devil supporters weren’t happy about either (and rightfully so).

At this time, Bratt went to the box for “interfering” with Lafreniere.

Kreider missed a tip-try, while Zibanejad was denied twice, and that was that – the Rangers’ power-play was now 0-3.

To give the Rangers another make-up call; with 2:49 to go, noted crybaby, Meier, was boxed, an o-zone penalty, when he was assessed with interference on the much larger Trouba.

Once again, the Rangers didn’t do much on this fourth power-play chance – much less put a shot on goal.

We remained at 1-1 through two periods.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Yes, this picture is an overreaction to one bad game – and I do believe the Rangers will find their missing power-play on Monday night!


Once again, the Rangers would have their chances during this period, both at even-strength and on the power-play – but no results.

Both teams really tightened-up defensively – and not many scoring chances were allowed.

In fact, this was a very conservative period – and where the two goalies didn’t have to do much.

Let’s bullet-point this final frame, one devoid of much offensive activity:

— With 16:00 to go, Zibanejad was a half-step shy of a breakaway – as we still await his first goal of the series.

— Panarin continued to force turnovers – rather than bake them – and as we saw a lot of during the regular season.

— Down to 13:50 remaining, McDonough said the obvious – you could feel the nervous energy in M$G – as a once boisterous crowd wasn’t making that much noise – as they were biting their fingernails instead.

— Following long-distance saves on both Panarin and Mikkola, and with 10:50 to go – this was also obvious – the Rangers just couldn’t get to the Devils’ net – and as they did during the two road games.

— CZAR IGOR stopped Hamilton with 8:10 to go – his 20th save of the game.

— With 6:00 remaining, Graves committed another o-zone penalty, this time for high-sticking Kane.

— With a 1-1 score, and where you thought the law of averages would factor-in – this fifth power-play was like the previous four – no goal – and where with 54-seconds remaining on it – Panarin missed the net again. (This is when you saw the frustration all over the face of “THE BREADMAN.”)

— The Rangers also didn’t register one shot on goal either.

— As you knew that overtime was soon to become a reality, as neither team was giving up an inch of ice; the obvious – whoever made the next bad turnover or took a penalty – would lose this game.

As the final horn of regulation went off (where it should be mentioned that CZAR IGOR hasn’t given up one even-strength goal through the first three games of regulation time) – the inevitable – overtime.

Here’s what I said prior to the bonus period:

While my game winning goal prediction featured Tarasenko; I wouldn’t have minded Kane, who did finish with a Rangers’ game-high of four shots on goal, picked up the final dagger. It wasn’t meant to be. Photo Credit: Getty Images


Again – the Rangers had their chances – but it just wasn’t their night.

Tarasenko was stopped twice. Schneider was stopped and was afforded a big rebound, but nobody could cash in.

Then, at just the three-minute mark, ESPN mentioned that the Devils had gone nearly eight-minutes without a shot attempt.

As if the ghost of Sam Rosen was in the building; right after that remark from Ferraro – CZAR IGOR came up with a pair of saves on both Meier and Bratt.

After that, Mika almost found Kreider for the game-winner, on an identical play that we saw during the second period – but Graves, at the last second imaginable, broke it up.

The Rangers had sent eight shots on goal at Schmid during this overtime, where several could’ve been game-winners. In other words, Schmid, who didn’t really have to do too much tonight – was at his best when it mattered.

No joke, the Rangers were the more dominant team – but that means nothing if you can’t score.

With just 8:24 remaining – Hamilton did score.

2-1, bad guys.

2-1, bad guys, your final.

2-1, Rangers, in the series.

I’m so glad that I didn’t pay the insane amount of money required to attend this game – as the “RANGERS’ WAY” proved true again – a major letdown at M$G.

Of note: The road team has won every single game of the series. What a silver lining!

Here’s Gallant, following the loss:

I thought that Gallant, who is always cool, calm and collected, win-or-lose, perfectly summed-up the game, especially when he said the following:

“They did a job adjusting to our PP tonight. I thought our first one real good, had real good looks and after that we had a couple one and out, one and out. It wasn’t as clean, our execution wasn’t as good tonight as it was the other two nights and that was the biggest difference.”

“We tried to get a little cute, I think. Again, I thought we played well, if those would have been put in the back of the net I wouldn’t be saying what I’m saying now, but they make their plays, we’ve got some talent, but sometimes a little more direct and making hard on that younger goaltender. But he made some key saves, both goaltenders were excellent tonight.”

“Meier fell on the goalie and Shesty gave him a couple of shots with the blocker. Hopefully they don’t fall on the goalie too often, I didn’t like it, but that is part of it.”

If you’re new here, then I’d suggest you check out my previous blogs and predictions.

(And if you don’t have the time, and at the risk of sounding like a disgusting braggart – I do have a pretty good batting average – and have been proven correct, more times than not.)

Regular readers are already aware of what I’m about to say next.

I know this sounds obnoxious – but the proof is in the archives – 99.9% of the time, I feel in-tune with Gallant – and pretty much think and view the game in the same way that he does.

This is my way of saying that I’m not too concerned about this loss either.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – we all wanted the sweep – but to put everything into perspective:

As noted at the top of this manifesto – not one one team will sweep their first-round series this year.

A large reason why? This hard salary-cap era, where parity is now priority.


Just look at the Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Boston Bruins, fresh off of their historic 2022-23 campaign.

While they are up 2-1 in their series (which means that the B’s have lost a game); their two wins haven’t come easy either.

The playoffs are a grind.

No one goes 16-0 – just like how no team goes 82-0 during the regular season.

And really, outside of site reader and BSU contributor, Kim S. – did anyone predict a sweep?

Up 2-1, with a pivotal Game 4 to be played at home – the Rangers still remain with the advantage.

But for the readers/fans who don’t see things as positive as I do (and I get it – the history of this franchise will jade anyone) – yeah – lose Game 4 – then I’ll be concerned.

However, I just don’t see the Rangers losing Game 4.

Game 3 was their slap-of-the-wrist, a reminder, that you can’t take any game for granted.

And that’s what I thought this game largely was – although I’m not critiquing any Ranger for their effort, nor hustle.

I just thought that the Rangers were “comfortable” more than anything else – and now it’s up to them to make the Devils uncomfortable on Monday night – by putting them in a 3-1 hole.

Yes, this loss blows – but there is plenty of hockey to be played.

See ya Monday night.

PLUGS TIME! (Buy a book and support my playoff ticket and beer funds! After all, I don’t run ads on this site!)

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYR/NJD 4/20 R1G2 Review: Rangers Dominate the Down-and-Out Dirty Devils; Somehow Top Their G1 Performance, Another Team-Effort; Not One Weak Link (Besides Wes McCauley), Special Teams Swing Games (Especially Nasty Ones), Blueshirts Superior in Every Facet; Continue to Make History, M$GN, The “S-Word,” “TURK TALKS” & More

NYR/NJD 4/18 R1G1 Review: Road Warrior Rangers Punch Glass-Jaw Devils in the Mouth; Dominate & Negate Jersey’s Home Ice Advantage, Team-Wide Victory; Super Special Teams, Good Game for the Americans; Fox & Kreider Make History, CZAR IGOR, M$GN, “TURK TALKS” & More

2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview; First-Round Predictions, In-Depth Look at Rangers vs Devils; Gallant v. Ruff, Heads of Blueshirts’ Alumni Already Rolling in the Metro; Pens, Caps, CBJ & Flyers Make Changes & More

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

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my recently released four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”

If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on Amazon.com

For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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