NYR/NJD 4/3 Review: BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS Continue Winning Ways in Most Explosive Victory Yet (And During an Appropriately Named “TNT” Broadcast!), Peter Laviolette & Co. Respect “The Code” and “OLD TIME HOCKEY;” Travis Green Pays Homage to Paul Newman’s “Slap Shot,” The Legend of REMPEMANIA Grows; “Maulin’ Miller” & “Two-Piece Trouba,” Panarin’s JAGR WATCH Inches Closer-and-Closer, A Game To King Kong Your Chest About, Lafreniere Has Risen; Kakko Turning The Corner, M.I.A. Zibanejad, No “Devils’ Deja Vu;” Akira Schmid Who & More

While not mathematically a “Tale of Two Halves;” what the entire league saw on prime-time national television on Wednesday night was a tale of two tilts – or to be specific – I should say viewers witnessed a hockey game – and six tilts in total! The Rangers, who honored hockey tradition, while also embracing the unwritten code for this match with the playoff-dead Devils – dressed Matt Rempe – and then had his line start the game – and with the full knowledge that their Battle of the Hudson rival would respond by not only inserting NHL goon Kurtis MacDermid into their line-up – but that his gloves would soon be quickly dropped too. However, what Rangers’ bench boss Peter Laviolette didn’t know, and what the down-and-out interim head coach in smelly Newark, NJ knew, Travis Green – was that the Devils were going to bait the Blueshirts into four other fights – and simultaneously when both Rempe and MacDermid were set to take center stage. At just the two-second mark, we had a ten-men brawl, where following such events, four-players from either side, eight in-total, were ejected. Down to ten forwards and four defensemen, and during the “hockey portion” of the contest, the Rangers opened with a two-goal lead by the end of the first frame, only to find themselves trailing, 3-2, come the start of the third period. A Kaapo Kakko goal tied it and a Chris Kreider power-play goal won it for your BEST IN THE WORLD, and may I add the word BUSY too, BLUESHIRTS! And yes – this is our longest caption of the season to boot – which just tells you how much that went on during the Rangers’ 4-3 defeat of the Devils – where as a result – the Blueshirts swept these heathens in the regular season too (4-0 – and yes – there’s something about those two numbers together)!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Akira Schmid who?

And how fitting too – the Rangers, as a result of their 4-3 win on 4/3 – have essentially eliminated their tormentor from last season, these dirty Devil water dogs, from 2024 playoff contention.

What a shame!

Off puck drop, while I enjoyed most of what I saw on Wednesday night (and really – I enjoyed everything aside from the second stanza) and as I presently write this sentence – I’m dreading writing about this game tonight.

How so?

For these superficial reasons only:

1) I had to work on Wednesday night, and while I sandwiched-in this game in-between my well-timed (and deserved!) work-breaks – it’s now 1AM as I start writing tonight! But I guess who can sleep after this 4-3 win, am I right?

2) Outside of pushing my books on you (check the PLUGS segment for all of them) – I’m not getting paid by anyone to write these words. This is all a labor of love. In other words, I’m a fan – and on this night – the Rangers gave their fans one hell of a ride – and just like a good roller-coaster – with many highs and lows too!

3) My often-mentioned dinosaur computer is freezing every two-seconds on me, where as a result, I am now writing this sentence on my cell phone – and the remainder of this blog too! So if you find any typos, grammatical errors or formatting mistakes – then give a Blueshirts’ brother a break!

4) As the person who writes the lengthiest hockey blogs, Rangers or otherwise, on the internet today – there’s no way to short-change this game – and who would want that anyway?

5) I’m out of ice (it’s all in my drink – a Manhattan – how fitting!), which means that once I surpass my ten-thousandth word tonight – then I won’t have any ice to cool off my two fat and swollen thumbs!

But alas, and like Matt Rempe – I must make this two-finger sacrifice and press on.

But unlike Rempe at his line of work on Wednesday night – sadly – I can’t get away with only working two-seconds!

With my “Devilsesque” crying out of the way, let’s blow through our usual segments first, hit some of the game, present all of the pregame news & notes, and of course, then close with tonight’s media-heavy GAME REVIEW.

And maybe I should pour another drink before continuing too – as that may soothe my thumbs – and now my foot too – as I just kicked my dinosaur computer with as much force as an overhand right from REMPESTEIN!

THE BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS, looking to win the franchise’s first Presidents’ Trophy title since 2015, gained ground on all of the teams that are chasing them following their heroic victory on Wednesday night. However, and in an update, the Stars molly-whopped the Oilers, 5-0, during TNT’s second game of their double-header. As a result, the team from Dallas now has 105 points. The respective #1 heavyweights of their conferences each have six-games remaining, which means that the Blueshirts still control their destiny in their quest to secure home ice throughout the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs. Photo Credit: ESPN

For as great as win #51 was on Wednesday night (and for more on the historical significance of this victory, then check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/33024/ ); at the end of the day – this victory doesn’t change a thing – or at least when it comes to my season-long daily disclaimer, you know, these infamous 25-words that I’ve been routinely running for the past seven-months:


That now said – damn pal – what a win we just witnessed!

For me, I can’t live in the world of recency bias following every game, which is my way of saying that I don’t think that this 4-3 defeat of the Devils was “the best win of the season” – and as many are currently claiming – but hey, if that’s how you feel, then who am I to tell you otherwise?

However, and what’s most telling, is the fact that there are a lot of candidates for such a distinction – and that’s a hell of a good problem to have – and heck – it’s the best problem to have during an 82-game regular season!

As previously said in this space, and at least fifty times this season too – the Rangers have embraced and personified two mantras this season – “NEVER GIVE UP” and “NEXT MAN UP.”

While tonight wasn’t the best win of the season in my opinion (and when you blow a two-goal lead – then how can it be?); for a team that’s showcased their rebounding, resiliency and “never-say-die” characteristics all-season – these sixty-minutes may have been their finest display yet when overcoming every obstacle thrown at them.

Heck, I’ll say it – for a team that’s shown their big and brass knackers all-season – on Wednesday night, April the 3rd, and on national television no less – the Blueshirts were at their biggest and brassiest.

For a cherry on top – the Devils felt the brunt of the Blueshirts’ badass attitude too!

An artist rendering of the Rangers’ 4-3 win! Photo Credit: South Park

As noted up top – we saw two different games on Wednesday – and a whole lot of mind- and head-games too.

And if any game ever personified the age-old expression of “I went to the fights, and a hockey game broke out!” – then it was this tilt between these two warring sides of the Hudson River.

The first two-seconds of this match was as if the game from March 19th, 2012 between these two teams (opening puck-drop, six-man brawl) and the game from May 5th, 2021 against the Capitals (six fights following the events from the “Tom Wilson Game”) had procreated.

(And for the full details on both of these games – then buy my books – it’s all there!)

As everyone in the hockey world, and whether they had a rooting interest or not, were salivating at the mouth in anticipation of Rempe v. MacDermid (that is, except for those sissy chart boys who want fighting outlawed from the game – and where these Mary’s have no clue that fighting in hockey goes back to day one of the sport – and that’s over two centuries ago!); such wet dreams were realized at the two-second mark.


Every other player on this frozen surface, now doubled-up as a boxing ring, sans the goalies (and I would have loved to see CZAR IGOR going all Dan Cloutier on Kaapo Kahoken, who would be playing the role of Tommy Salo in this fantasy of mine), also threw all of their equipment on the ice – and with the way that all of the gear, gloves and sticks were strewn all over the place – then if you didn’t know any better – then you would have thought that you were looking at a “Spirit of Halloween” store on November 1st.

With “WRESTLEMANIA” approaching this weekend, and where in some irony, Jackie Redmond, who works for both TNT and the WWE, was handling the sideline/bench reporter position tonight (and as usual – she was fantastic – especially when reacting and working on the fly) – our TRIBAL CHIEF BLUESHIRTS “finished their story” against the Devils.

But of course, the Devils are just one chapter – and the only way for the Rangers to “finish their story” is by winning the Stanley Cup in 2024.

That said, first things first – and what we saw on Wednesday!

We first knew that Rempe v. MacDermid would happen the second when Laviolette had the big man back in his line-up during Tuesday’s practice.

And that’s what eventually took place.

“When it comes crashing down and it hurts inside; Ya’ gotta take a stand, it don’t help to hide; Well, you hurt my friends and you hurt my pride, I gotta be a man, I can’t let it slide; I am a real American, I mean Canadian! Fight for the rights of every man! I am a real American, I mean Canadian! Fight for what’s right, fight for your life!” – The Immortal Hulk Rempe! Photo Credit: TNT

As Tuesday became Wednesday morning and as Wednesday morning became Wednesday night – then both teams could’ve sold prize fight tickets prior to puck drop – and as their promoter, TNT, did throughout their entire pregame show – and really – who can blame them for doing so?

(On an aside, I’m looking forward to seeing the TV rating that this game garnered – and where I suspect it will be the highest non-playoff rating since TNT first got the rights to the NHL package.)

I love this shit man – as what we saw backed up everything that I’ve ever said on this site – while also pissing on every single one of these soy boy analytical cretins, including the seven-foot pile of shit, Sieve Vagistat!

And how ironic, that once again, it was “THE KING OF COMMENTARY,” Henrik Lundqvist, in TNT’s Georgia studio tonight (and you know that he wished that this was an M$GN broadcast – but only because in that event, then he could’ve been in the building and experience all of this live) – and who like me – was licking his lips and rubbing his hands when anticipating and previewing this battle of pugilists!

Laviolette, a traditionalist, knew that Rempe had to answer the bell for his previous actions (or infractions) – and actions that we’ve talked about many times before.

(And if you don’t know the build to this fight card, then check the archives of this site – but since you guys & gals are all hardcores – then I’m sure that all of you are all well too aware of what led-up to this scrap!)

It would’ve been very easy for the head coach to make Rempe a healthy scratch on Wednesday night.

After all, and as I was screaming about on Monday night – Laviolette had made a healthy scratch out of #73 during the Rangers’ previous three tilts.

In other words, Lavy could’ve very easily made it four straight for the colossus in Rangers’ blue.

And with these losers from Newark having nothing to play for – Lavy could have went down this route – and as the Rangers had nothing to really gain either (aside from their race to the Presidents’ Trophy).

But as a student of OLD TIME HOCKEY – Lavy obliged time-old traditions – and traditions that have stood tall throughout the passage of time.

Doing the right thing, Lavy not only returned Rempe to his line-up (and I do want to make this clear for the 987678678687567th time – Rempe is not just a fighter, even if that’s the reputation he’s “earned” by both casuals and media outlets looking to pop a rating and/or generate clicks – as instead, he’s one hell of a net-front presence and forechecker too – and these two traits are his real values to the team – the fighting is just a bonus), but he also made it known that he was going to start his fourth line too.

Without saying it verbatim, Lavy’s actions, actions that paid tribute to both the hockey gods and to hockey tradition, told us that he wanted to get Rempe v. MacDermid out of the way – and then play some hockey.

Travis Green, Lindy Ruff’s replacement in nasty Newark, had other ideas – and perhaps ideas that popped into his bulbous head and chinless face after re-watching “Slap Shot.”

While who knows if what soon played out was Green’s original intentions or not (and he’ll never admit it – at least not today – but maybe one day when he hits the podcast circuit after his firing), then what happened next benefited the Devils – and where sadly, and once again – the officials forgot that fans pay and watch these games to see the players – and not the bozos in stripes.

I know it sounds like an oxymoron to complain about “player safety” when championing fighting, but riddle me this Batman:

In what world is asking players, who usually log ten-to-fifteen minutes of ice time, to play nearly thirty-minutes plus, a good thing for “player safety?”

K’Andre The Giant, in the first fight of his NHL career, had no problems smashing away at the face of John Marino! Atta boy! Photo Credit: TNT

Following puck drop, and a conversation that was akin to an arranged marriage – Rempe and MacDermid did what they had to do for their respective teams – and as a result – the gloves were dropped.

While a staged fight, but one most certainly enjoyable nonetheless, these two behemoths took their time as they squared each other up.

In a way, this was like a WWE main event – as these two, rather than quickly jumping at each other – they let the moment build, while also allowing the crowd to grow to a fever and deafening pitch.

And thank god that Sam Rosen wasn’t there either – as not only would have he messed this thing all up – but while these two were trading blows – he then would’ve been telling you about all of the people in the world that they aren’t related to as well!

While Rempe and MacDermid were setting the stage for this pre-staged, but necessary, fight; the four other skaters in red-and-black wasted no time in their attack.

The Blueshirts made mincemeat of these four cheap-shot artists.

As the Rangers on the ice were watching Rempe, the Devils tried to pull off their own version of Pearl Harbor.

These sneaky Newark pieces of trash weren’t as successful as the Japanese were on 12/7/1941 – and by the end of it – they ate more BLUESHIRT BOMBS than Nagasaki and Hiroshima!

Before Rempe and MacDermid could make their first exchange, in other areas of the ice you had Jacob Trouba disposing himself of Chris Tierney, Barclay Goodrow soiling his hands with the face of Kevin Bahl, and K’Andre Miller proving all doubters wrong, as the big man released his inner-rage when destroying the tough-guy image of John Marino.

But the first blow?

Curtis Lazar going after Jimmy Vesey – and a mission that failed for the Devil.

These four preliminary fights were pretty much started-and-over with by the time that Rempe and MacDermid had really got into the thick of things during their main event match-up.

And as if you were watching a “Rocky” movie – these two did not disappoint in their bout for the heavyweight title – as they fought for what felt like an eternity.

But unlike a Hollywood movie – there was no clear-cut winner at the end of it – that is, except for the fans.

The fans were also losers too, because due to a rule that doesn’t favor player safety – every fight that followed the initial bout between Vesey and Lazar led to every participant being ejected from the match – and again – with 59:58 remaining.

Rather than having a clown-car penalty box full with five-fighters aside, instead, only Vesey & Lazar were boxed, while this octet of Octagon combatants were sent to their respective locker rooms.

And when you look at the talent exchange – the Devils came out the better of the two – as the Rangers lost one-half of their starting pair of defense.

Laviolette was steamed about Green going the Paul Newman route – and more on this below in the GAME REVIEW.

The Rangers?

Now faced with a new piece of adversity – while they would bend – they would never break.

It may have taken three-and-a-half years, and had Hartford been an option in Lafreniere’s rookie year, than he may have been better off served there to begin his professional career too, but either way – he’s finding a PERFECT TIME to play the best hockey of his life – and as he’s doing now. I just beg of the hockey gods that this continues throughout the playoffs – and just as I do for the rest of his GAG LINE 2.0 linemates! Photo Credit: NYR

Following one more fight (Will Cuylle v. Dawson Mercer) and a few more penalties too; at the 9:22 mark, the GAG LINE 2.0 (and because you knew it wouldn’t be Missing Mika either – aka the usual) did it again.

On this play, Lafreniere made a pass that even my beer-bellied blogger ass could have scored on!

Once feeding a player much better than I ever was (you may have suspected as such!), “The Breadman,” government name Artemi Panarin, #10, roofed a puck behind Devils’ netminder, Kaapo Kahoken.


For an encore, and following another Rangers’ power-play that went nowhere thanks to the overpaid center; Lafreniere picked up another point – and this time by scoring a goal – and as he did on his pushback/rebound strike at the 18:03 mark.

1:57 later?

The Rangers took their 2-0, GOOD GUYS, lead to the locker room – and in front of a very receptive crowd may I add too!

But, and since nothing is ever easy, and perhaps because this team has a flair for the dramatics too (and as all of their comeback wins would suggest); the Devils pumped in three goals in a time-span of 9:13, courtesy of Ondrej Palat, Brendan Smith (a former Ranger must score after all) and Nico Hischier.

Worse than that?

Following Smith’s equalizer at the 9:53 mark, Laviolette took his timeout.

This timeout didn’t settle down his team, as instead, Captain Nico scored just 91-seconds later.

Now trailing 3-2 to begin the final frame – a story that we’ve seen a lot of this season from LAVY’S LOT – the heroic comeback.

On this night, Kaapo Kakko, not looking that feckless anymore, and where he’s scoring more “Derek Jeter Goals” than “A-Rod Goals” in recent weeks, knotted the game at three-all at the 5:32 mark – the end result of a picture-perfect snipe – and that’s me saying that – someone who isn’t exactly one of his biggest fans!

The Rangers, brutal on the power-play all-game, had a chance to redeem themselves when Smith hooked Jack The Ripper with 6:12 remaining.

Now three-seconds past the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark, Chris Kreider, who had a rough night prior to this, saved his best for last – as he expertly and deftly used a backhand deflection to beat Kahoken.


Better than that?

Panarin, with a goal (45) and an assist on this game-winner (65), now has a total of 110-points.

While he probably won’t catch Jagr’s record of 54 goals – Panarin could become the fifth Ranger to hit the fifty-goal plateau.

And for a guy that seemingly averages a multi-point game in every match contested, Panarin is now a dirty dozen of points back from Jagr’s single-season record of 123-points – and with six-games left to be played.

In other words, Panarin is going to need at least one three-pointer or more to match and/or surpass #68.

And if he doesn’t?

Then this is still the best year in Panarin’s career – and one that will easily exceed Jagr’s 2005-06 banner Rangers’ season with four wins in June.

And that my friends, wraps up the longest introduction ever – and that says a lot!

At this time, let’s get into all of the pregame news & notes – and yeah – we got a lot to cover here too!

Laviolette spoke for over ten minutes on Tuesday and then spoke nearly the same amount of time on Wednesday morning. Someone get this man a lozenge!

Following Monday’s blah loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/4124/ ); a lot of what I said there, and my questions asked too, were answered during Tuesday’s morning practice – and most notably – the return of REMPESTEIN.

(But after reading the intro to tonight’s blog – you already knew this!)

Before getting into the events from Tarrytown, NY; over in the big chair at 33rd and 7th, general manger Chris Drury made a trio of moves, including one roster transaction and two draft pick signings.

As noted on Monday, defenseman Erik Gustafsson was nearing his return. By Tuesday, he was announced as a full-go, which in turn, meant that Brandon Scanlin was returned to the Wolf Pack:

While Scanlin was packing his bags and making his return to Hartford, the club also announced the signings of two of their previous draft picks, Victor Mancini and Kalle Vaisanen.

Here’s what the Rangers officially said about Mancini: https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-agree-to-terms-with-victor-mancini

And here’s what the club officially had to say about Vaisanen: https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-agree-to-terms-with-kalle-vaisanen

Similar to Scanlin, good luck moving forward to both Mancini and Vaisanen.

Here’s what Lavy had to say following Tuesday’s practice – and since this is all dated now – I’m not going to recap it and I’ll just ask that you watch it for yourself:

REMPEMANIA > Linsanity! Photo Credit: Getty Images

Come Wednesday morning, the team held a sponsored “RISE AND SHINE” morning skate, where the biggest thing to note was the return of Matt Rempe to “Lavy’s Line-Up.”

As far as anything else newsworthy; Zac Jones, Chad Ruhwedel and Jonny Brodzinski hung around late, as these three were the projected scratches for this Wednesday night meeting with the Devils – and as it would be the case come game-time.

Here were Lavy’s final remarks prior to puck drop tonight:

In three other pregame “stories,” the following:

As you can see, one of my friends spotted the captain, Mark Messier, on a Metro-North NYC-bound train on Wednesday.

While yeah – this isn’t really a “story” – I just found it funny that here you have the greatest living Ranger today (although I can understand why some would champion for Brian Leetch) taking public transportation like any one of us.

Put it this way: I don’t think that you’d ever see Derek Jeter or Eli Manning doing the same.

Hell, even Henrik Lundqvist was spotted on the subway once!

HOCKEY PLAYERS – and where these days – there are tougher battles to be had underground than on the ice. Thanks Kathy “Let’s Go Brandon” Hochul!

And while public transportation is the fastest way to the city, this also goes to show you how hockey players can virtually walk around unnoticed in NYC – and as my friend also suggested – as nobody on this train ever bothered “The Messiah” for an autograph or selfie.

Another story?

This statement from the powers-to-be at M$G:

“We are pleased to offer our loyal Knicks and Rangers renewing season ticket members no price increase for their 2024-25 season tickets.”

Not mentioned at the end of this statement?

These words:

“Instead, we will be asking our season ticket subscribers for their first born children, their mother’s kidneys and to be named as power of attorney of their respective estates.”

Last but not least, and in update from what I wrote on Monday night, the Rangers announced that they will be naming this year’s Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner this Sunday night, prior to the match against Montreal.

As previously stated, Vincent Trocheck, center of the GAG LINE 2.0, is my pick.

And no – I don’t expect that Jim Ramsay will be a part of this ceremony either!

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the seventy-sixth game of this 2023-24 season – and where as noted – come the two-second mark, then the second-pair and two-thirds of the fourth line were done for the night:

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Wennberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Rempe

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider


BACK-UP: Jonathan Quick

Healthy Scratches: Brodzinski, Jones and Ruhwedel


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:


PENALTIES (Buckle up!):



41 4 37 .902 29 7 1 0 0 58:15 0


20 3 17 .850 14 2 1 0 0 60:00 0

I know that I say this all the time, but what’s once more? It’s amazing how TNT features Lundqvist better, significantly better at that, than his home network of M$GN does. Photo Credit: TNT

Since what I mentioned at the top of this (my slow computer, I was at work and couldn’t really take detailed notes, the time, etc) is a factor right now, and since I have already hit all of the highlights too, I’m going to do a different style of GAME REVIEW tonight.

While I’ll have some of the play-by-play for you below, I’m going to really focus on the human element tonight.

As far as tonight’s TNT pregame show went – it was once again excellent.

However, I was working at the time, so I just had it on in the background on my phone.

But needless to say, and as mentioned earlier – Lundqvist was fantastic – and as a TRUE EYE TEST guy like myself – THE KING OF COMMENTARY was also looking forward to the staged theatrics – and was even fist-pumping like I was when it was going down!

At this time, and before getting into the GAME REVIEW, two pregame tweets.

Here’s one from @Blueliner_13:

And after tonight, the win total improved by one.

Here were my pregame predictions:

Not for nothing, I did pretty good here, including the following:

— Rempe did fight (duh) – and where I do think that his feud with the Devils was lessened (but not over with), after tonight. After all, both Brendan Smith and Kurtis MacDermid praised Rempe following the game – and we all know what MacDermid said during the last go-around.

— The creepy little bastard, where I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that he’s not allowed near a school playground either, Darren Pang, brought up no less than three times tonight about the last time he covered a Ranger game – and how STOP THE PRESSES – Panarin once drank a sip of his Gatorade. Riveting shit from this hairless twit!

— And while on TNT? Once again, the in-studio panel was phenomenal. Ditto Jackie Redmond. Pang was a pest while Brendan Burke (and I can say this as a fellow fat guy, akin to a certain ethnic group always using slurs when talking about each other – but it’s a no-no if someone outside this group does the same) looks more bloated than ever. I can only imagine the damage this Islander-homer did at the M$G buffet tonight.

— To be specific about Redmond, she had to adjust a lot tonight – and she made all of these adjustments well. Following the fights, she was hanging out in the bougias seats during an interview with Mike Rupp – and someone who is no stranger to a Ranger/Devil line brawl.

— And of course, I loved how Redmond and TNT featured Stan Fischler, and then celebrated “The Maven” on his recent 63rd anniversary of his 29th birthday. Sadly, M$GN, the idiot Sam Rosen, the moron Micheletti and their producers, all ignored Fischler on Monday night – one day after his birthday – and while he was in-attendance. (For what it’s worth, the radio broadcasting team on that night, Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney, didn’t do the same – as they praised Fischler on their broadcast.)

— To be nice to Burke, and even that shit-heel Pang too – both of them championed the Hockey Hall of Fame to finally right their biggest wrong – and by finally inducting Fischler into their hallowed halls. Obviously, this is a topic dear to my heart, and one that I’ve written about many times before – but in short – if Fischler was Canadian, and not a Jewish-American, then he would’ve been in decades ago.

— Zibanejad didn’t score. This was one of the easiest predictions that I’ve ever made.

— While you know that I’m not on the anti Trouba & Miller pair train, a train that gains more passengers seemingly by the day – they did finish with a zero in the plus/minus column! Baby steps!

— I don’t know where else to insert this, so I’ll say it here – how about Laviolette & Miller? While the head coach wasn’t expecting a ten-man brawl – he could have prepared for it – and then had Lindgren, and not Miller, out there with Trouba. Miller, when asked to answer the bell – rung the bell of a dirty Devil instead! Don’t believe me? Then just ask John “Where Am I?” Marino!

— Panarin scored two, and not four, points. But I did predict a multi-point game – so I’ll take it!

I’m already at word 8,000 as we now hit the GAME REVIEW segment! Let’s roll!

While both men have Islander affiliation, I grew up in an era where Green was part of that trashbag franchise – and one of my favorite Islander eras of all – the John Spano era! Laviolette would later become their coach – and since the Isles swallowed more secretions than a Saturday night Sieve Vagistat – his teams didn’t bother me as much! What the hell am I trying to say here? Easy – I was hoping that Laviolette would jump the Devils’ bench and make short work of this two-time loser, former Isle and head of the Devils today, Travis Green! Photo Credit: TNT


So, and as you may be aware of, we had a little bit of a brouhaha to begin this match.

We already recapped all of it, so at this time, all of the video clips:

Following a lengthy amount of time to dole out the ejections and penalties (and again – I hated the ejections – and I thought Marino knew what he was doing when he went after Vesey before MacDermid and Rempe could do their thing), the two teams decided to play hockey -but not for long.

As this physical and bone-crushing match continued, just 52-seconds later, and Jack The Ripper was boxed for boarding Bratt – now missing four of his “pack.”

While the Devils did nothing on their power-play – I don’t think many noticed either – as all we saw during these two-minutes were fight highlights.

And since the Devils’ power-play is just as bad as Zibanejad on the power-play – this was fortunate timing for all!

Following the kill, Cuylle continued the parade to the penalty box after his dirty boarding penalty on Smith. Mercer immediately dropped the gloves, which led to a seventeen-minute timeout for him (two for instigating, five for fighting, ten for the instigating misconduct).

Here’s the fight:

With 11:50 remaining, and with M$G out of their minds – Gustafsson was wide-open – but refused to shoot. That said, his pass to Roslovic led to Jack the Ripper hitting the post for a <DING> that maybe Rosen would have heard if he was there.

A few seconds later?

The other Uncle Artie in New York (Panarin, not Lange – where if you notice, Artie Lange is one of my comedy heroes – and heck – I’ve seen him perform at least a dozen times too!):

1-0, GOOD GUYS, and now five-shy from fifty for #10!

That dumbass Green decided to challenge this goal, a shot-in-the-dark challenge at that, for offside – but in a rarity – the officials upheld this ARTIE PARTY one-timer!

As a result, the Rangers received a power-play – and how many times do I have to say it – PUT LAFRENIERE ON THE FIRST POWER-PLAY UNIT AND BENCH THAT SWEDISH-IRANIAN LONG-HAIRED HIPPIE, MIKA ZIBANEJAD!

Not for nothing – how successful are the Rangers?

They are six-games away from winning the Presidents’ Trophy – while getting nothing offensively from their overpaid and alleged first line center.

And yep – I cringe and shart when thinking about what #93 will do – or should I say – won’t do – come the playoffs.

Heck, even Lavy, following the game, said how if the Rangers needed a defenseman in a pinch after the Trouba & Miller ejections, then he would’ve turned to Zibanejad.

And here’s a thought (but one that will never happen) – imagine if Miller and Mika had their roles reversed on this team?

For one game, and should the Rangers have the Presidents’ Trophy clinched, then why not give fans a treat of seeing Mika/Trouba as a pair and Miller centering Kreider and Roslovic.

But to see such events – then load up your NHL 2024 video game!

Following the Devils’ successful PK, we got a shot of Green at their bench – and where this tweet had yours truly and his co-workers crying with laughter:

At the 15:56 mark, the Rangers received another power-play following a Tomas Nosek (and NoCup) cross-check committed against Schneider.

After Mika was done turning over the puck (twice), the second unit came on – and right after the power-play had expired – perhaps the man challenging Bo Jackson as the greatest two-sport athlete of all-time, the softball playin’ and hockey player, Alexis Lafreniere, made it 2-0, GOOD GUYS:

Just to think – any of the other 31-teams could have made Lafreniere an offer-sheet this past summer – and especially with the Rangers up against the salary-cap ceiling.

How many of these teams are regretting this decision not to do so today?

With one-minute remaining, it was Trocheck’s turn for a two-minute timeout, as he hooked Palat.

During the final seconds of this first frame, Vesey extended the Rangers’ seven of their last ten-million breakaway drought – but at least this latest failure was of the short-handed variety.

2-0, GOOD GUYS, and where the Blueshirts’ blood was pumping.

It would soon drain – or at least during the next twenty-minutes.

Where would the Rangers be without these three? I shudder to think. Photo Credit: NYR


Let’s blow through this as fast as possible with these bullet-points:

— The Rangers slowed down and/or were gassed.

— The Blueshirts, who out-shot the Devils 41-20 overall, also out-shot these losers 15-4 in the first period. They’d later out-shoot them 15-8 in the final frame. But in this period, the Devils closed the gap a little bit, as they were out-shot by “only” three, 11-8.

— In other words, CZAR IGOR only made five saves during the middle twenty-minutes – and where of the three goals allowed – all of them were the end result of poor defense and one-timers. Still…. but at least we don’t have to explore this path tonight as a result of the win!

— Palat scored at the 2:11 mark after a one-timer – and praise the hockey gods that Senile Sam wasn’t there tonight – as both Hughes’ brothers assisted on this 2-1, good guys, goal.

— Noted marksman, Brendan Smith, tied the game. Has. Larry. Seen. Mika?

— After Lavy’s timeout, Hischier scored after a Kreider turnover.

— 3-2, bad guys – and where you were just wondering where the Rangers from the first period had gone.

— Praise the hockey gods one more time – as they returned for a flawless third.

3-2, bad guys, through forty-minutes – but the Rangers have not only been through all of this before – but they’ve also overcame all of it too.

I’m not willing to say that I was wrong about Kakko yet – but I am willing to admit that he’s been better ever since he was rumored to have been placed on the trade block. How can the Finn make a believer out of me? The obvious answer – have a strong playoffs – and one that he’ll need, considering that he’ll be a free agent this summer.


As mentioned about 7966755656785 times already – I was watching this game at work during my precisely-timed breaks.

While I do have one fellow Ranger fan at my place of employment – on this job site – I’m not with a bunch of Blueshirt maniacs as I previously was – and a big shout-out to my former boss, and my great friend to this very day, EDDIE “WHISTLES” S.!

I miss the good old days too. And you know that’s the case for sure!

Hope to see ya at Pearsalls one of these days to boot!

As the stories from this game hit social media – I had three co-workers join me and my other pal at work for the third period.

That’s how big REMPEMANIA is – as people who don’t really care about hockey took an interest in this game – or at least three men that I personally know.

Long-story short?

With five men huddled around a small laptop computer – we were having a gay old time when watching this third period – and when I say “gay old time” – I mean the “Flintstones” type – and not one of the Vagistat Variety!

In other words, and as I alluded to at the top of this – I was loving every minute of this final frame – as a fan – as we were all hooting-and-hollering – and as we collectively did at the 5:32 mark:

One of my co-worker’s reactions to this goal at the time to our merry five-some?

“And Sean, this big bad author and blogger, calls Kakko “‘The Feckless Finn!'”

One – I gained a new reader, of the millions, and millions, who read my thoughts!

Two – Yeah, and like Vagistat, I had to take this on the chin!

What. A. Goal.

And to paraphrase Larry Brooks:

I. Saw. Kakko!

Keep it up.

Now tied at 3-3, it was time for the last Ranger to ever wear #20 for this franchise to make his presence felt:


For Brooks, and since he plagiarizes a lot of my work (and he does the same thing with “The Blueshirt Underground Show” too); the following:


4-3, GOOD GUYS, your final – and where once again – despite everything stacked against them – the Rangers not only won – but helped CZAR IGOR on an off-night against a divisional opponent.

It’s way too late for me to do math right now, but based on my own brain calculations, then I believe that the Rangers are now 9-1 in their cash-grab gimmick third jerseys. This night marked the last game where the team will wear these threads during the regular season – but after a game like this – and as someone who is superstitious too – then wouldn’t you wear them for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Photo Credit: NYR

Here are the explosive post-game interviews, where Lavy’s quote/joke of telling Adam Fox that he’ll have to play thirty-minutes after the Trouba/Miller ejections trumps all:

Unlike other “know-it-all” fans, writers, and whoever else – I have no problem admitting it – my words can’t give this game justice.

What am I getting at?

You need to witness this game, or at least highlights, and as you can do by clicking the play button below:

Sadly, and this is a rule across all of the club’s official social media channels – nary a word about the fights.

To quote Chris Berman, “C’MON MAN!”

Tomorrow (Thursday) is a travel day for the Rangers, as they head out to Detroit for the final road-game of the season which takes place this Friday night (4/5) – and yes – this is a shot at Tuesday’s (4/9) game at IBS – aka Rangers’ Nassau.

And should anyone have a spare ticket or two for the 4/13 Rangers v. Islanders game at M$G – then let me know – as I’m off that day – and I’d like to my dear old dad to that match.

I’ll pay face value!

But prior to all of these games – I need sleep – and perhaps replacement thumbs too!

Bearing something major breaking on 4/4, then back at it on Friday night after Rangers/Wings – and where it would be nice if the Blueshirts could keep Patrick Kane off of the board too!

Final remarks?

What a time to be alive!

It’s also bed time for me, which for you, means…

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

My fourth title and tenth book is now available!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now on sale!

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

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

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

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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