NYR/NJD R1G6 4/29 Review: NOT DEAD YET! Super Shestyorkin & Batman Kreider Dominate in Gotham; Force a Game 7, Missing Mika Sighting; Moldier Bread, “The Great Gallantsby” Does It Again; Line-Up & PP Changes Work Out, Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Depth Scoring Ends Schmid’s Night, Nerves, ESPN & More

During their “win-or-go-home” Game 6 on Saturday night at M$G – the Rangers chose the former. Despite a poorly played first period, one that didn’t exactly go as intended, nor created much hope neither; a Chris Kreider power-play goal, scored with just 25-seconds remaining, tied the game, 1-1, prior to the first intermission. Now lifted by the heroics from the longest-tenured Ranger – the Blueshirts then pumped in four unanswered goals against Devils’ netminder, Akira Schmid. Only a Devils’ “who cares?” 6 x 4 power-play goal, scored with just 4:48 remaining in regulation, would eventually be charged against CZAR IGOR’s ledger – as it was both CK20, and the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner, that led the Rangers into their 5-2 decimation of the dirty Devils. One more game, a Game 7, remains between these two teams – and where after tonight – it’s Gallant’s Gang that has all of the momentum heading into Monday night’s puck drop of 8:15 PM.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. It’s never easy being a fan of the Rangers – and perhaps that’s the way they want it to be for us!

“We have to win one game. We let our fan-base down. It’s up to us to show up. The cliches I talk about, we need to do them, not talk about them.” – Chris Kreider, immediately following the Rangers’ 4-0 Game 5 loss.

While Kreider’s scathing commentary, following his team choking away a 2-0 series lead, wasn’t exactly like the famous “MESSIAH” guarantee from 1994; but in any event – CHRISTOPHER JAMES KREIDER, who one day, will have his #20 raised to the rafters of Madison Square Garden (and no one knows more about this topic than me – after all – I heard there is a book out there on this very subject – check out the PLUGS segment for more), backed up his words on Saturday night – and he backed them up BIG-TIME!

As the Blueshirts were facing elimination, and with the team in a world of hurt at the time; Kreider scored his sixth goal of these playoffs late into the first period (five on the power-play) – which at the time, prevented the Rangers from heading into the locker room, after twenty minutes played, at a 1-0 deficit.

As an encore, Kreider then picked up two assists on the next two goals that the Rangers would score – and where wouldn’t you know it – it was Kreider’s perfect assist, from the area known as “Gretzky’s Office,” that finally ended the ten-game goal drought of his BFF, Mika Zibanejad.

Now up 3-1 as the two teams entered the final frame – the Rangers never looked back.

Perhaps two unsung heroes of this team, both fourth-liner, Barclay Goodrow, and third-pair defenseman, Braden Schneider, would pad the Rangers’ goals total to five.

For Goodrow, the two-time Stanley Cup champion, his goal, the Rangers’ fourth, eliminated all doubt about tonight’s victor. Schneider’s strike cemented the fact – and perhaps – also created some questions for Devils’ bench boss, Lindy Ruff, on who should take his net, come Monday night’s Game 7.

But at the risk of sounding like a “DEBBIE DOWNER” tonight (it’s always my goal in my writings to give you the full story – and from both sides) – I think the post-game quote from the Rangers’ team captain, Jacob Trouba, said it all:

“This one won’t mean much if we can’t win the last one.”

In other words – while tonight was a MUST-WIN game – and where the Rangers did just that – WIN – Saturday night’s Game 6 victory will be completely forgotten about should the Blueshirts not handle business at “The Crack Rock” in Newark, NJ on Monday night.

Should the Rangers not prevail – then all fingers will be pointed at Artemi Panarin, the $11.6M cap-hit forward, the highest-paid winger of the league – and who once again went without both a goal and a point tonight.

And while I’ll save all of my in-game commentary for the GAME REVIEW segment; as a spoiler, do you now how bad it is for Panarin right now? (HOW BAD IS IT?) It’s so bad, that despite having two GOOD LOOKS at an empty net during the end of tonight’s game – he missed the net on both of these occasions.

That said, and as someone who pushes my glass half-full optimism on you like how the M$GN pushes gambling; by the law-of-averages – you have to think that Panarin is due for a big game – and what a better time than during a Game 7 – where need I remind you – it was “THE BREADMAN” who scored the overtime game winning goal against the Penguins at this time last year.

However, before looking ahead and talking about Monday night – let’s bask a bit in this Rangers’ victory.

After all – following these last three games, Games 3-5 – I think we all needed a game like Game 6 – and should revel in it a bit too!

And come Monday night – all of the nerves, anxiety, upset stomachs and knee-knocking will return!

You know my disclaimer whenever I disagree with the “Three Stars of the Game,” but for new readers, here it goes: “While the three stars of the game is meaningless; I thought the media was dead-wrong in their assessment of them tonight.” In other words – the media must’ve been high on both fentanyl and crystal meth – because there is no way in the world that CZAR IGOR should’ve been omitted. HANDS-DOWN, he was either the best or second-best player of the game, with only Kreider making a case otherwise. Photo Credit: ESPN

While the Rangers/M$G continue to use “Baba O’Riley,” the 1971 hit from “The Who;” if any song should’ve been played prior to tonight’s game – then it was Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.”

The nervous energy, the overwhelming feeling of anxiety, and perhaps a few diapers worn too; all of that was displayed on the faces of the Garden patrons tonight.

And following Game 5, where I previously told you that a lot of the post-game reaction from fans was “I’m out – I can’t do this anymore;” these feelings were also illustrated on the secondary market too.

Put it this way: Throughout this series, I’ve been telling you all about the high-cost of these playoff tickets; where prior to both Games 3 & 4 – the get-in price at M$G was nearly $450.

Tonight, and following the Rangers blowing their 2-0 series lead?

Tickets could be had for as “low” as $225 – almost 50% less than the cost when compared to what it was – which was just less than a week ago!

That’s why I thought that heading into this game, you’d see a large Devils’ contingent at M$G – as I thought that the supporters of the red-and-black would gobble up these tickets.

However, that wasn’t exactly the case, if at all – as opportunistic Ranger fans took advantage of this “discount;” and while there were a lot of bad vibes throughout the first period – Blueshirt backers soon had their voices heard – and heard loudly – come the second period.

And who heard the vocal Garden crowd the most?

The usual suspect – CZAR IGOR – who after being trolled by these miserable Devil fans during Game 5 – heard his name PROPERLY belted out all-game, as “I-GOR! I-GOR! I-GOR!” was routinely chanted – especially during a nerve-wracking third period – and where it felt like he had racked up fifty saves during the first five-minutes!

While you already know that I’m not a fan of the Rangers’ beat reporters (sans Larry Brooks) – this is why I feel like these miscreants have no clue in regards to what they are watching – especially when naming the three stars of the game – because it can’t be debated – CZAR IGOR wasn’t just a star – he was a freakin’ SUPERSTAR!

Another example of this?

Two of the worst birdbrains on the beat, Mollie “I don’t give a shit” Walker, and Wince Mercogliano, both complaining during games whenever analytical sites, like MoneyPuck.com or NaturalStatTrick.com, go down.

That’s what you’re worried about?

Try watching the game – and not someone else’s spreadsheet data!


Without a shadow of a doubt – Game 6 was the best offensive performance from Mika Zibanejad – but even so – I don’t think he’s at his best – at least not yet. Artemi Panarin remains as an all-out mess, where it was CK20 and CZAR IGOR that gave him another chance to redeem himself – Monday night’s Game 7.

At this time, let’s get into all of the pregame news & notes – where admittedly – I don’t have much.

After that, GAME REVIEW time.

Let’s roll!

If you’re one of these despicable “FLAT EARTH TURKERS,” a maligned motley crew that always blames the head coach following any loss; then with that same logic, passion & mindset – you should be praising him after tonight’s win! Win-or-lose, the motto doesn’t change on this site – “IN TURK WE TRUST!”

As mentioned during my Game 5 review (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/42723/ ) – I had no interest in what took place on Friday, the Rangers’ off-day, as they prepared for Game 6.

As said then, and as I’m saying once again tonight – “Talk is cheap” and “Actions speak louder than words.”

And as we’d later see tonight – Kreider backed up his talk – and his actions later deafened his words too!

However, for the sake of posterity and to give you the 411 – Gallant changed his lines (check out the LINE-UP segment) – where the biggest change was that Artemi Panarin was “demoted” to the third line, while both Tarasenko (first line) and Lafreniere (second line) were “promoted.”

(Of note: While the practice lines is what we saw during Game 6 – it was the Panarin line that received more ice-time than the new third line – and where in addition – Panarin’s line started tonight’s game too.)

Following what could’ve potentially been the last practice of the season; Gallant spoke to the media.

Here was Friday’s “TURK TALK”:

Again – the time for talking had already passed.

However, if there was anything interesting, then it was when Gallant teased that he’d be changing around his power-play units.

(As we’d see tonight, these changes were a Tarasenko and Kane flip-flop – and I’ll have more on this for you during the GAME REVIEW – and with Kakko on the second PP unit – which meant Lafreniere on the bench.)

If you recall, on Wednesday night on this site (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/42623/ ), then you’ll remember that I talked about the strange policy where NHL practices are open to the media – and where as a result – opposing teams can watch and find out what their opponents are doing.

In other words, you’ll never see an “NHL SPY-GATE” controversy.

During his “TURK TALK,” Gallant said that he didn’t want to let anyone know what his power-play units would be working on, nor what they would be either.

(At the time, it was suspected that Taransenko would be promoted to PP1, and that either Kane or Panarin would be flip-flopped.)

We’d find out during Game 6.

A day later, Saturday, GAME DAY – there was a light optional morning skate of no relevance.

Come 5:30PM, Gallant spoke to the media one more time:

You know what I’m going to say – do your talking on the ice – and that’s kind of the message that I received from “THE TURK” too.

And the Rangers sure did their talking on the ice on Saturday!

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

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Mika/Tarasenko

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Chytil/Kakko

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Trocheck/Kane

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:





29 5 24 .828 19 5 0 0 0 52:28 0
0 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0 0 2:18 0


36 2 34 .944 27 5 2 0 0 59:55 0

The once fruitful romance between ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Filip Chytil has been dead for some time now – and where like most of the ESPN broadcast team, sans Mark Messier – it felt like Kapan had a Devils’ bias tonight – but to be fair – every fan, no matter who they root for, thinks that every announcer is against them! That said – this is true too – marble mouth Ray Ferarro still remains bitter! Photo Credit: ESPN

At around 7:30PM, my neighbor, my friend, and my fellow Rangers’ road-tripper, the frequently mentioned “TEN O’CLOCK TOMMY,” entered my humble abode – and with a bottle of JAMESON BLACK BARREL whisky in-tow.

I only bring this up for one reason – if you see any typos and/or grammatical errors tonight, and should this blog feel like it’s all over the place too – then that’s why!

In other words – that once full bottle is now in the recycling bin – along with a few beer cans and a plastic bottle of Pepto Bismol too!

But despite all of the liquids consumed – I shall march on!

Despite tonight’s game being a huge elimination game, and where this series has provided the highest television ratings amongst all of the eight playoff series; ESPN/ABC opted to air a repeat episode of “Wheel of Fortune,” rather than giving us a pregame show. Then again, I guess it’s much easier to look at Vanna White, who is still a stunner at the age of 66-years-old, than the bozos (sans Messier) that routinely plague these ESPN/ABC broadcasts! Photo Credit: Wheel of Fortune

Prior to tonight’s puck drop of 8:15PM, these were my pregame predictions and thoughts:

As you can see – I fared much better tonight with my pregame predictions than I did on Thursday night, but admittedly, and at the same time – I had no clue what to expect during Game 6 either.

Long story short – no final score would’ve surprised me. Ditto tonight’s victor.

Of note: Fox had two assists tonight, his third multi-point game of the series, and in turn – the Rangers are now 3-0 whenever he makes the box score.

Prior to puck drop, ESPN gave us a “Wheel of Fortune” repeat, so to keep my streak of recapping these pregame shows going, here’s how it went:

Marketa, in the blue position, and Laura, in the red position, were interviewed by Pat Sajak. Vanna White wore red-and-black Devil colors – what a wench of a trollop!!!!

“Spongebob Squarepants” was the answer to the Cadillac Trivia Puzzle.

And that concludes this failed act of “comedy!”

Following a thrilling conclusion, the “Wheel of Fortune” bonus round; ESPN presented a twenty-second pregame show – where yep – you guessed it – right away, the “world-wide leader,” and without a second to spare, showed us the Mark Messier back-page from 1994.

How elementary and obvious.

Messier, and ESPN’s resident idiot, P.K. Slewban, then said nothing of value during their ten-seconds of face-time.

To ESPN’s credit, they did show us the most famous baritone of this year, John Brancy, singing the national anthem – and where John Amirante’s successor put some new-found flair on the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Of note: I think Ranger fans are just as in-love with Brancy as they are with the team – as very quickly – Brancy has become a new and permanent fixture of M$G playoff games – the right decision.

Finally, enough dilly-dallying.


Who knows how this game would’ve played out if it weren’t for Chris Kreider and CZAR IGOR? Photo Credit: Getty Images


As previously mentioned – the first 19:25 of this game wasn’t exactly the Rangers’ best – and where at the time – it felt like you were watching the final nail being hammered into the coffin of their 2022-23 campaign.

But for a team full of cliches, here’s another – “Ain’t Dead Yet!”

The new line of Panarin/Chytil/Kakko started the game, and where the Czech, who has been pretty good at the dots during this series, lost the first faceoff of the game. (He finished this game four-of-eight, good for 50%.)

Just 1:13 in, and with the new first line on the ice – we almost experienced a Game 5 deja-vu – but CZAR IGOR came up with a huge save on Ondrej Palat.

Right after that, Dawson Mercer and John Marino failed to score on a Devils’ two-vs-one odd-man rush – and to make things hairier – Timo “The Crier” Meier then missed a wide-open net.

At just the 2:15 mark, the Devils had six shot attempts – and the Rangers had none.

With 16:30 remaining, Kakko found himself in a 1 x 4 situation – one that the Devils relieved him of, as they quickly retrieved the puck while in their o-zone.

Thirty-seconds after that, Panarin had the puck, and while alone with Schmid – you heard 18,006 fans scream “SHOOT!”

Somehow, the highest-paid winger of the league then hit a Devil with his shot attempt.

No less than twenty-seconds after that – Mika, while blazing into the zone and all alone – missed the net on his shot.


With 14:50 to go, and with a start that favored the road-team; the Rangers got a temporary reprieve, as Nathan Bastian was boxed for interfering with Goodrow. While Bastian did interfere with #21 – he also collided with #31 too – but yet again – no interference penalty was called – following another Devil collision with CZAR IGOR.

Of note – this was also another dumb o-zone penalty taken by Ruff’s misfits.

Gallant, as mentioned earlier, featured a new PP1 unit – but the end result was the same.

Three shots on goal – but none that went into Schmid’s net.

As a result, the Rangers were now 0-fer their last fourteen while on the power-play.

With 10:30 remaining, Chytil, while trying to dump the puck at the blue line, and as he did – hit Schmid – but the rubber was traveling at about 2 miles-per-hour.

I bring this up because this was the first Rangers’ 5 x 5 SOG.

Come the halfway mark of the period, Kakko had his shot blocked by Jonas Siegenthaler. After that, Panarin turned over the puck following his attempt of trying to center the disc to Chytil.

Now down to 9:00 remaining, and where we hadn’t had a whistle/stoppage since the Bastian penalty; Trouba was stopped by Schmid.

We finally had our first stoppage in over seven-minutes, with 8:11 remaining, as Curtis Lazar scored.

1-0, bad guys.

This goal was the end result of Miller being unable to clear Bastian from the net, who was screening CZAR IGOR at the time – and following the initial save made on Bahl – Lazar had all-day to slam home the rebound.

At the time – the “M” in M$G may as well have stood for the word “morgue” – as that’s what the World’s Most Expensive Arena sounded like.

To make matters no better for television viewers; this is when Emily Kaplan decided to get down on her hands & knees and bow down to the greatness of Akira Schmid, as if she was Wayne & Garth (“We’re Not Worthy!”) – something that would continue all broadcast – and from all ESPN employees, sans Messier.

When you’re missing Joe Micheletti – then you know you that you have a problem!

I can’t wait to hear “JUMPIN’ JOE” and “SLAMMIN’ SAMMY” on Monday. They were missed!

(However, the absence of Sieve Vagistat was welcomed! No joke – I watched the M$GN post-game show tonight, just to hear/watch the post-game interviews – and no less than four times, did Vagistat mention that he watched the game with Henrik Lundqvist. Does he want a cookie?)

Following a Mika o-zone faceoff loss, with 6:20 remaining, Meier, the Devils’ version of Panarin, as neither player, despite their hefty salaries, can buy a goal these days; missed a net during a Devils’ 3 x 2 odd-man rush.

As I was watching this unfold, and to show you that I had my doubts at the time too (I don’t lie or revise history here!), this is what I said at the time:

And even despite what Mika would go on to do – I still think that point is valid.

But yes – a Game 7 victory will change that opinion – but we’ll talk more about that at the end of this manifesto!

Ray Ferraro, the former Blueshirt who is still furious about being traded by then Rangers’ g.m. Neil Smith; continued his streak of idiocy, as he remarked, “THE FLORIDA PANTHERS ARE PLAYING WITH HOUSE MONEY ON SUNDAY NIGHT.”

Of course, at the time, no one gave a flying shit about the Game 7 between Florida and Boston – especially not Ranger fans when down 1-0.

And I doubt that Devil fans, now up 1-0, cared either.

And this is true too – do you think that any Panther, especially Matt Tkachuk, is thinking about “house money?”

They want to freakin’ win!


With 5:00 remaining, the Rangers looked baffled – and only had two even-strength SOG to their ledger.

Come 4:17 remaining, Lindgren recorded the team’s third even-strength SOG – and the first time where Schmid was ever really challenged – as double-nickel shot from three-feet away – a shot that felt like an aberration at the time!

Out of a TV timeout, Ruff seemed very confident during his interview with Kaplan. You couldn’t blame him. The Rangers looked lifeless.

Down to under three-minutes remaining, the Rangers’ fourth line, which had their worst game of this series tonight – and despite Goodrow’s goal from the third period; were trapped in their own zone for over a minute – but survived – thanks to CZAR IGOR.

Following a CZAR IGOR save on McLeod, and Trocheck refusing to shoot with nearly a minute left in regulation – finally – the turnaround.

With 53.1 seconds left in the first period, Patrick Kane was tripped by Mercer during #88’s clear-cut breakaway.

For whatever reason, the Devils (and ESPN) were incredulous about the call.

Maybe I’m a homer (and let’s face it – I am) – but I thought that this should’ve been a penalty shot – and I don’t see how this infraction was up for debate.

Just 29-seconds into the Rangers’ power-play, their second of the game, it was the Ranger whose middle name is known to all, CHRISTOPHER JAMES KREIDER:


On this goal, Zibanejad, from his office in the circle, blasted the puck at Schmid – and who else but “CJK” to get a piece of it – and get it past Schmid too.

This was a demoralizing goal allowed by the Devils – as they had dominated the Rangers in every which way prior to the Rangers snapping their power-play drought – and tying the game in the process.

Of Note: This was Kreider’s 16th goal scored during an elimination game – which ties him with Mark Messier for most in franchise history.

I simply don’t understand how “KREIDER HATERS” exist – and if you don’t know it – trust me – there are a lot of them out there.

While this series has been an asshole-tightening battle; Kreider continues to put himself into the Rangers’ record books.

And this goal was also the catalyst for the comeback we’d soon see.

But wait K-Mart shoppers, there’s more!

With about three-seconds remaining, Palat tripped Trouba – another o-zone Devils’ penalty.

This meant that the Rangers would begin the middle frame on the power-play – and a chance to take the lead for the first time in what feels like forever!

1-1 after twenty minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Two things. One, and as said all-season – this Rangers’ team is one of the most likable teams in some time – which is why it hurts so much whenever they struggle. Two, and to quote a generation that’s now 20+ years younger than me – “CHRIS KREIDER HAS THAT DOG IN HIM!” Photo Credit: NYR


After having to watch Messier suffer through that morose moron, P.K. Slewban; the second period began.

This Rangers’ power-play wasn’t as good as the one that preceded it – as they barely were able to set-up – much less force Schmid into any state of panic.

(Of note: It was also shown to us that new Jets’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, was in-attendance. This means that the only green-and-white footballer of New York, with a Superbowl ring on his hand, is a Rangers’ fan – as previously, the worst sports franchise of NY, one that has missed the playoffs during the past twelve consecutive seasons, have supported the lowly Islanders.)

The Devils’ PK made short work of this Rangers’ power-play, and with 17:36 remaining, Schmid recorded his first even-strength save of the period, and as he did, when he denied K’Andre Miller.

Schmid then registered his second save of this variety, but with some scare, as a Kane shot bounced off of his glove – and then took a fortunate Devils’ bounce.

With 16:40 remaining, the Rangers received their FOURTH power-play of the game, as this idiot Palat took another O-ZONE PENALTY – this time, for slashing Miller.

Of note: This was the final Rangers’ power-play of the game – and where admittedly – it was somewhat ridiculous that the Rangers had four power-plays at this time, while the Devils had none. And I guess to give some credit to the ESPN crew here – they all said it – you knew that some make-up calls, Ranger penalties, would soon be called. (And that’s what happened.)

The Rangers’ power-play, now 5/23 in the series, finished 5/24 here – and never registered a SOG.

In fact, it was CZAR IGOR who had to make two amazing and jaw-dropping saves during these two-minutes, and as he did on both Mercer and Haula, during a Devils’ two-vs-one short-handed odd-man rush.

(Holy dashes Batman!)

The most offensive (in a negative fashion) play during this Rangers’ power-play, is when with 45-seconds remaining – Panarin whiffed on a one-timer.

I said this earlier this season, I said it a few nights ago, and I’m saying it again – TARASENKO SHOULD BE ON THE FIRST POWER-PLAY UNIT – and as he was tonight. However, he should be on this first man-advantage unit in steed of Panarin – and not Kane.

Panarin is an all-out shit-show – and until he can regain his game – it serves the Rangers no purpose to have him out there and botching every scoring chance known to man.

Following the worst Rangers’ power-play of the game; with 14:00 to go, CZAR IGOR stopped Meier, who was one foot away from him – and dead-center.

Winners write history.

Should the Rangers win this series, then Meier (zero points) will become the scapegoat.

Should the Devils win the series, then Panarin (zero goals despite 24 power-plays) will receive all of the negative headlines.

Down to 13:00 remaining, the Rangers’ fourth line were trapped in their own zone again, and where Ferraro remarked, “this line looks bad and is getting caved-in all game.”

Much to my dismay, he was correct.

Following CZAR IGOR stopping Hughes again (where #31 made NINE SAVES on #86 tonight – let that sink in – WOW!); with 10:55 to go, “ATURNOVER PANARIN” – as #10 couldn’t successfully make a pass to Kakko – despite #24 being only five-feet away.

As we hit the halfway mark of this period/game – the Rangers only had one shot on goal during this period.

Kaplan then interviewed Gallant, where he said he was happy with the 1-4 power-play.

To be fair, this wasn’t the time for a deep-breakdown of the anemic power-play – but this is true – had the Rangers lost tonight – then the lack of success on the power-play would have been the top talking point – sans Panarin.

Then, with 9:50 remaining – we had a Mika Zibanejad sighting:

2-1, GOOD GUYS – and where this goal doesn’t happen without “CJK20!”

As mentioned earlier, Kreider found his BFF – and even DJ MIKA couldn’t scratch up this chance.

This goal had to feel like a weight lifted off of his shoulders too – and hopefully – will become the start of something big.

With 9:02 remaining; Schmid looked flustered, as with the Rangers attacking, he snow-angeled and was able to prevent Trocheck from scoring the insurance goal.

For whatever reason (cough, MAKE UP CALL, cough); only Trocheck was boxed following the scrum that ensued in front of Schmid.

As we’ve seen throughout these playoffs – and during the regular season for that matter too – this should’ve been off-setting penalties – but since the Rangers were up 4-0 in calls – it was the time for the Devils to get a power-play.

Enter CZAR IGOR (again), as #31 made two huge stops and that was it for the Devils’ power-play.

Down to 5:30 remaining, the Devils had an odd-man rush, and as if Panarin was skating for them – loused this up and turned over the puck – crisis averted.

As each team traded chances, it would be one chance too many afforded by the Devils, as with just 1:35 remaining – Kreider picked up his third point of the game:

3-1, GOOD GUYS, as Tarasenko wasted no time in burying the puck past Schmid, following Kreider’s one-timed feed!

Yep, and as stated on this site many times before – win-or-lose on Monday – I’d bring Tarasenko back next season – and in a heart-beat.

But of course, with just a minute remaining – “THE RANGERS’ WAY” – as CZAR IGOR had to come up with two more saves – and where this is true too – you can’t have this fiasco in the #10 jersey out there during the waning seconds of a period – as once again – Panarin looked clueless out there.

However, the Russian goalie bailed out the overpaid Russian, and in turn, the Rangers remained up by two goals through forty minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

While it’s great for Schneider, who played well all season, to score a big goal tonight; it’s not great for the Rangers that Panarin has no goals during this series. Had Panarin been able to score through Games 3-5 – then this series would’ve already been over.


For a team that has had trouble finishing off opponents this season – the Rangers never relented.

And while the Rangers would win this final frame, 2-1; the champagne wasn’t popped until Schneider scored with just 7:32 remaining in regulation.

At just the 1:08 mark, Mika was boxed for tripping Hughes – a legit penalty.

This penalty kill felt like an eternity – and where CZAR IGOR continued his dominance.

Once this seemingly never-ending Devils’ power-play concluded; with 16:10 remaining, Kane whiffed following a Trocheck one-timed pass – but to be fair – the puck was off-edge. In turn, the buttholes in Rangerstown, USA would remain clenched!

Following another turnover from Panarin, who also seems scared to skate the puck into the zone these days; CZAR IGOR robbed Meier with fourteen minutes and change remaining.

Right after that, and with 14:10 to go – another Rangers’ odd-man rush – and ANOTHER freshly baked turnover from Panarin, as he couldn’t handle a perfect pass from Trocheck.

Down to 13:22 remaining, CZAR IGOR flashed the glove – twice – and both times on Severson, to keep the Rangers’ insurance goal in-tact.

Then, with 12:37 remaining – a sigh of relief from M$G, a sound so loud that it could’ve woken up the dead:

4-1, GOOD GUYS, as following a Vesey shot that Schmid afforded a rebound on; Goodrow deftly and expertly bunted the puck into the net.

And even with the “dreaded three-goal lead;” with the way that CZAR IGOR was playing – you knew it – “GAME OVER!”

Right after this, M$G started chanting that something “SUCKS,” but I couldn’t make out who they were accusing of sucking. Maybe Panarin?

The Rangers, despite being up by three – never sat back. Instead, they continued their all-out aggressive assault.

Come 7:35 remaining, ESPN’s Sean McDonough, who seemingly makes a living by hanging out in an ISIS sponsored hostage broom closet, remarked, “Braden Schneider hasn’t scored since January.”

Of course – who cares? A third-pair defenseman is there for DEFENSE – not OFFENSE – and a fact that these ignorant Norris Trophy voters usually ignore. (FOX > KARLSSON!)

Three seconds later, and as if Sam Rosen was diddling around with his voodoo doll, the following:

5-1, GOOD GUYS, following a Schneider rip from the point!!!!

This ended Schmid’s night – as Vitek Vanecek took over the net – and where in his 2:18 of playing time (he was routinely pulled for an extra attacker) – didn’t have to face one shot – not that it mattered.

And had the Devils accepted their fate – and NOT pulled their goalie – then who knows?

Perhaps the Rangers would’ve then went on to win all three of their games from this series by 5-1 final scores.

With Game 7 now officially locked-in; with 5:31 remaining, we saw some CAPTAIN-ON-CAPTAIN violence – and where Trouba was boxed afterwards, for “roughing” Nico Hischier.

Maybe if CZAR IGOR had a shutout going, then you’d care about this penalty; but even then – this was a great penalty to take. This sent a message.

Trouba absolutely OWNED Hischier here, where following #8 wrecking the world of #13, the Devils’ captain meekly whimpered like a little bitch and asked, “What’s your problem?”

Perhaps Hischier has a short memory – and forgets how he previously bowled over CZAR IGOR during this series.

Now with a power-play, Ruff pulled Vanecek, and with 4:48 to go, Mercer scored.

5-2, good guys – and again – if CZAR IGOR had a shutout going, then, and only then, would you care about this goal.

And even then – this is a team game – and Trouba making Hischier his personal property was bigger than a potential shutout anyway.

While it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things; the Devils had their net empty for nearly the next four-minutes – and where the Rangers could never find the touchdown goal.

I thought this would be a good time for Panarin to get the monkey off of his back – but he couldn’t score on the empty net – twice.

But again – this is a team game – not an individual one – and at the end of the day, and as the final horn went off…


A Game 7 now awaits.

Here’s my favorite coach and yours, “THE TURK,” following the huge win:

Again – if you’re one of these idiots that criticize Gallant after every loss, and just throw out the phrase, “HE DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO ADJUST,” as if you were in an echo chamber (and without even realizing what those words mean); then with that same energy and passion – you should be praising him right now.

Gallant, always cool, calm and collected, and whose passive outlook (that worked out for him) following the dreadful Game 5 loss, said the following:

“We played real good. The big guys stepped up. Igor was outstanding again.”

“We talked about getting hungry and getting to the blue paint. We did that tonight.”

“Mika has been great all series. He’s played great defensive hockey. We got more from our guys tonight

“When you make your line changes you hope for the best. It worked out for us tonight.”

“Nothing changed our mindset tonight.”

“I just want the goals. I don’t care if it chased Schmid out or not.”

Of note: Not one acclaimed member of the beat asked him about Panarin’s struggles.

Also of note? Zibanejad, for the first time this series, finally talked to the media too (funny how that came to be!):

A few closing thoughts before going home here:

— The Hurricanes won their series over the Islanders in six-games – and as a result – will host either the Rangers or the Devils in the second-round.

— As said at the start of these playoffs – it’s my gut-feeling that whoever prevails on Monday night – then it will be that team who will go to the ECF.

— The Panthers and Bruins will play their Game 7 on Sunday night – and where everyone (both Eastern and Western Conference teams alike), and outside of Beantown, will be rooting for the Cats to claw the Bears.

— The Leafs, for the first time since 2004 (when Brian Leetch was on their blue line), have made it out of the first-round, and as a result – now await the winner of Bruins/Panthers.

— While this is looking WAY TOO FAR AHEAD (“ONE GAME AT A TIME” you dummy!); should the Rangers complete their mission on Monday, and ward off Satan’s favorite team – and should they also knock off the Hurricanes – then either way – and assuming that another Original Six team wins the Atlantic bracket (BOS or TOR) – then the Blueshirts will begin the ECF on the road.

— While we have seen that home-ice doesn’t matter during these playoffs, as teams on the road have been winning games left-and-right, and at a huge clip at that; should we see NYR/TOR – then the Leafs would host that potential ECF – as a result of their Game 82 victory over the Rangers.

— Again, and I know I’m too excited right now – should the Panthers somehow beat Boston, and then upset Toronto too – then the Rangers will have the home ice advantage against Florida – and as you’d suspect – “THE FLA LIVE ARENA” in Sunrise will then be full of Blueshirt backers too.

— But of course – the Rangers have to finish this series – by winning a Game 7, in Newark, NJ, before even thinking about the future.

As of this writing, it’s unknown who will tend the Devils’ net on Monday night.

Not only did ESPN suggest it, but so did Henrik Lundqvist, on the M$GN post-game show – that Vanecek, and not Schmid, could start this MUST-WIN GAME.

In my eyes, I think Schmid goes again, as I believe that the Devils will ride their hot-hand.

After all, it’s not like he was really that bad tonight – as the Rangers scored following some horrendous lapses from the Devils’ defense.

However, maybe Ruff goes with a veteran with his season on the line – but gun to my head – I think we’ll see CZAR IGOR vs MID SCHMID for the fifth-and-final time of these playoffs.

Last but not least – I know that the positive energy is abundant in Rangerstown, USA – and where some people are doing the “I TOLD YOU SO” act.

While I did predict the Rangers to win this series in seven-games; even if they should fulfill my “prophecy,” I still think the Blueshirts blew it by choking away a 2-0 series lead.

But what’s done is done.

All you can do now is hope that this team wins on Monday night – and continues their journey.

If not, then as Trouba said, tonight’s win would have been for naught – and where those feelings after Game 5 will become even more intensified.

And for Artemi Panarin – if not on Monday night, then it will be never.

The Rangers will practice on Sunday prior to their biggest game of the season.

See ya Monday night – where I hope to be talking about a Rangers/Hurricanes second-round series.


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 R1G5 4/27 Review: Rangers Hit New Low; Lose One of Their Worst Playoff Games of Franchise History, Toasted Bread & Missing Mika, CZAR IGOR Snaps; Gallant Remains Calm, 48-Hours of 1994 Talk, Not Dead Yet (But On Life-Support), Same Old Cliches, M$GN & More From an Utter Disaster

Rangers Prepare For a Pivotal Do-Or-Die Game 5 with the Devils; Gallant Calls Out Zibanejad & Panarin, Hypocritical NHL Policies; Open Practices/Closed Door Injury Info, Boomer Besmirches Blueshirts’ Bench Boss, “TURK TALKS” & More

NYR/NJD R1G4 4/24 Review: Devils Even Series; Force Game 6, Gallant Tears Apart Team Leaders Following Loss; “FAT CAT WASTELAND,” Baba No More, Road Warrior Rangers’ Biggest Test Yet; A Brutal 72-Hour Waiting Period, CZAR IGOR vs KING HENRIK, M$GN & 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

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

2 thoughts on “NYR/NJD R1G6 4/29 Review: NOT DEAD YET! Super Shestyorkin & Batman Kreider Dominate in Gotham; Force a Game 7, Missing Mika Sighting; Moldier Bread, “The Great Gallantsby” Does It Again; Line-Up & PP Changes Work Out, Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Depth Scoring Ends Schmid’s Night, Nerves, ESPN & More

  1. Great and fair blog. I do believe with all my heart and soul the Rangers will prevail. What is up with Panarin so hope he finds himself tonight. The Rangers just have to play their game, don’t worry about chasing Hughes but I think if their is a game that made a difference or hopefully not would be Game 3, in overtime. So Let’s Go Rangers, why not us.

Leave a Reply

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