NYR/STL 4/6 Review: Road-Weary Rangers Steal a Point; Tarasenko’s Homecoming a Major Success; Class Act Blues, Special Teams Swing Games; Blueshirts Bat 3-3, Trouba A-Okay; Laughs at Joke Schedule, Standings, Fox Fined, “TURK TALKS” & More

I know that the phrase “scheduled loss” should never creep into the vocabulary of a hockey player – but in a way, that’s what I felt prior to the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime loss in St. Louis on Thursday night. Coming off their final test of the season on Wednesday against the Bolts; the Rangers, and as expected, came out flat tonight – but were able to score two goals during the third period to push the game into overtime. However, the final result and the point in the standings is not the top topic among Rangerstown, USA. Instead, the fact that the Rangers came away from this game healthy is the lede.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Seventy-nine games down, three to go, and then it all becomes real again.

The Rangers, no less than 24-hours removed from their huge victory against the Lightning on Wednesday night; the Blueshirts immediately returned to the ice in St. Louis, Missouri on Thursday – and where they ultimately dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Blues.

Tonight’s contest, and just like the next three games that still remain on the schedule (Columbus, Buffalo and Toronto); for the Rangers, it was all about staying healthy and gearing up for the playoffs – and that’s what the lede story will continue to be until the playoffs commence.

I don’t know if there is something in the water in Rangerstown, USA or not – but for whatever reason – I saw the usual “GLOOM and DOOM” nonsense following this loss – where in a way, Artemi Panarin was rightfully scapegoated – but I wouldn’t pin this loss entirely on him either.

That said, and with the Blueshirts pretty much having the third-seed clinched, and where they will await to see whoever emerges victorious in the Metropolitan Division – to moan and groan about Thursday’s loss is foolish.

What I found most humorous from the disgruntled was the fact that the Tampa Bay Lightning were steamrolled by the Islanders on Thursday night, 6-1 – and a fact that was ignored by these folk.

While I’m not happy about a win for the tenants of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome arena; the Bolts’ loss, combined with the Rangers’ loss, was just proof that both teams of the 2022 Eastern Conference Final were completely shot following Wednesday’s war.

And for both the Lightning and the Rangers – their games tonight were also more ammo for people like me – fans who always preach “THE EYE TEST > ANALYTICS.”

Put it this way: There’s not one Sieve Vagistat chart, graph, hieroglyphic or ANALytic that accurately accounts for what we saw tonight.

All of this analytical and expected stats crap never factors in the human element. Instead, this junk just treats teams and players as if they were robots – robots who all play under equal playing conditions every night.

The Rangers, unlike a robot, were flat-out gassed and tired tonight – and who wouldn’t be?

Even Jacob Trouba, who did make his return tonight (which prevented a lot of worrying and concern in the process); following the game, said that he couldn’t remember one time in his career where he played at home on one night – and then flew to the other conference for a game the next night.

While I’m sure there will be some “LOOK AT ME, I FOUND IT!” jackals, who will find a case where Trouba has played under these conditions before – the fact that the captain couldn’t come up with one example off the top of his head tells you all that you need to know.

(And his comments really left a mark – as rarely do you hear players talk about the schedule as a reason for a loss. But he was being truthful and accurate.)

Furthermore, for the people who may find evidence of Trouba playing a back-to-back set like this one that we just saw – should such evidence arise – then I doubt that Trouba and his team played such an exhausting and physical game during the first half of that particular back-to-back either.

Some of the questions asked to Trouba, who won the “Mr. Ranger” award on Wednesday night, during his post-game interview, were flat-out ludicrous and ridiculous – and where I would also suggest that some press passes be revoked. Then again, the majority of today’s hockey media is made-up of a younger generation – one that rarely does their homework, nor has the mental capabilities to grasp simple concepts either. Photo Credit: NYR

Aside from leaving St. Louis healthy; the other top story following this game was Vladimir Tarasenko, who made his return to Missouri following his trade to the Rangers.

Having spent eleven seasons with the Blues, and as one of their leaders from their 2019 Stanley Cup team – Tarasenko was met with an overwhelmingly warm response – and where he received a lengthy standing ovation too.

While I’ll get into Tarasenko’s remarks during the GAME REVIEW; you could see how overcome with emotion he was throughout tonight’s game – where prior to it – he made a substantial donation to a local St. Louis children’s hospital – an act of generosity that didn’t go unappreciated from the Blues’ faithful.

On a night where Tarasenko was beaming ear-to-ear and showered with praise – he scored the first Rangers’ goal and then assisted on the late equalizer. He was also the only Ranger to be named as a star of the game (third).

If I learned anything tonight, then it was the fact that while I knew that Tarasenko had clashes with Blues’ management, and where he first put in his trade request two-years ago – the fans in St. Louis still love him – and will never forget his contributions.

While I wouldn’t go as far to say that Tarasenko was treated like Eddie Giacomin in November of 1975; at the same time – Blues’ fans cheered when he scored tonight – just like how Ranger fans once cheered when Giacomin, then with Detroit, and in his first game back at M$G, beat the Rangers.

And really, I can’t say this enough before moving on – tonight’s game was all about staying healthy and Tarasenko’s homecoming.

Everything else was just white noise and part of the grind.

As opposed to Wednesday night’s game, a pure barn-burner; tonight’s match was a complete 180 – and that was fine and expected. Photo Credit: NYR

If you haven’t figured it out already, then let me give you a spoiler – this blog and GAME REVIEW won’t be as lengthy, nor as joyous, as last night’s manifesto!

(But it’s probably the longest and most-detailed recap out there!)

At this time, let’s breeze through the pregame news & notes and then get into the GAME REVIEW.

Going into this game between the Blues & the Blueshirts – I honestly didn’t expect much – and for all of the reasons as discussed last night. Simply put, the Rangers aced their final test of the regular season against the Bolts and they left it all on the ice. As previously mentioned, while I didn’t think that the phrase “scheduled loss” was 100% accurate; that was the pregame vibe that I had.  Original Photo Credit: NYR

As you already know, with a game that didn’t end until 11PM last night, followed by a flight to middle America with a time-zone difference attached – the Rangers didn’t practice on Thursday morning.

The only news away from the ice prior to this game was that both Adam Fox and Alex Killorn received $5,000 fines from the farce known as the Department of NHL Player Safety, for their “slashing” penalties from last night’s game.

The D.O.P.S. couldn’t even get this right, as each player speared their opponent – and didn’t “slash” them.

So much for Fox’s Lady Byng chances – but the Norris Trophy bid remains real!

Come 6PM EST Thursday evening, two hours prior to puck drop, head coach Gerard Gallant held his daily pregame “TURK TALK.”

While the bench boss only spoke for a minute, good news was to be had – Jacob Trouba, following leaving Wednesday night’s game against the Bolts, was back.

For what it’s worth, we can only assume that Trouba is 100%, or close enough to it – only because Gallant has previously said that he wouldn’t play anyone that wasn’t – and I don’t think I have to rehash Lindgren’s past six weeks for you either!

Obviously, the most recent example of this philosophy is Patrick Kane, who is presumed to be resting his injured hip – and who missed tonight’s game – the second consecutive contest that he’s now missed.

Furthermore in regards to the captain; with six other available defensemen ready to go – there was no reason to force Trouba into the line-up if he wasn’t 100%.

Heading into the game, and knowing that every other defenseman on the roster was healthy; I also wondered if Trouba was just dressing in case of emergency.

We’d find out at 8PM EST – and based on the 18:33 TOI that Trouba logged tonight – I’d reckon to say that he’s a-okay!

Here is what “THE TURK” had to say for himself:

During his “TURK TALK,” Gallant also said that he’d be running the same line-up from Wednesday night, sans the goalie.

Here was the Rangers’ line-up from Thursday night in Missouri:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Mika/Vesey

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Tarasenko

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Goodrow/Motte

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Mikkola/Schneider




DAY-TO-DAY: Patrick Kane

PRESS BOX: Some people still crying about the Pavel Buchnevich for Sammy Blais trade.


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





24 2 22 .917 22 0 0 0 0 61:16 0


22 3 19 .864 18 1 0 0 0 60:59 0

Even Henrik Lundqvist, who was in the TNT studio on Wednesday night, needed a night off after last night’s fireworks. Since “THE KING OF COMMENTARY” wasn’t around on Thursday night, and with Dave Maloney mourning the loss of his 88-year-old mother, Regina – some Ranger fans were forced to endure the horrible Sieve Vagistat solo-act during tonight’s pregame show.

Come 7:30:00PM EST, I tuned into the M$GN, where sadly – Sieve Vagistat was there by his lonesome.

Since there was no way that I was going to sit through his egotistical bullshit; come 7:30:01 PM- I turned on the Islanders/Lightning game – which was only slightly better than listening to Vagistat drone on and share his propaganda.

At 8:00PM, I returned to M$GN, where Sam “OH JOE, DEVON LEVI JOE!” Rosen and Joe Micheletti had the call.

To Rosen’s credit, he actually talked about a Ranger and sang the praises of Tarasenko. He also mentioned what this game meant to VT91.

It was also brought up that this was Niko Mikkola’s return home too – but obviously – this didn’t get as much play as Tarasenko’s homecoming.

But of course, we also heard all about Pavel Buchenvich and Sammy Blais, two players once traded for one another – and two members of the Rangers’ alumni that will be golfing by the end of next week.

GAME REVIEW time – where admittedly – I’m going to breeze through this.

After all, there wasn’t much to talk about until the third period.

Tyler Motte, following his best game as a Ranger on Wednesday night, and where he was awarded “The Broadway Hat” afterwards – the fourth liner finished tonight’s tilt with four shots on goal. Only Tarasenko challenged Blues’ goalie, Jordan Binnington, with more SOG (6). Photo Credit: NYR


This first period, and really, this entire game in general, played out exactly as I envisioned and predicted – and where my pregame prognostications weren’t exactly a stroke of genius either.

Suffice to say, anyone without their head buried in a chart knew what to expect.

For the sake of posterity, here were my pregame tweets:

And that’s what happened – Tarasenko and Halak were the best Rangers tonight – while both the Blueshirts & Bolts just had no energy – although the Rangers did find a second-wind – twice at that – via their power-play.

Let’s just bullet-point this first frame, because not much went down – which also tells you how bad the Blues truly are – as the Rangers looked like they were skating through quicksand and just wanted to get the hell out of there.

One final note/generality as you proceed: Do not take anything that you’re about to read below as any sort of criticism.

I knew what this game was. The team knew what this game was. The head coach knew what this game was. And everyone else associated with the Rangers – press, fans, whoever – should all be aware of what this game was – one more stop before the playoffs.

While Mika Zibanejad did pick up his 48th assist of the season tonight; he still remains with 39 goals. He has three more games to notch goal #40. Photo Credit: NYR

— Gallant, and as he always does, started players who had history with the Rangers’ opponent, as the second line (Tarasenko) and the third pair (Mikkola) began the game.

— Again, while you can’t examine or make any conclusions following this game; Gallant rolled out his lines in this order: 2-3-1-4.

— Sam Rosen, who wasn’t as horrendous as he usually is, began the broadcast by telling us that “MAKO MAKKALA” was a former Blue. He’d later say that Tyler Motte “blacked a shot,” as the letters “AK” seem to give the HOF announcer some issues. (I can only imagine him saying “AK-47!”)

— There wasn’t that much action early, that is, until Trouba took the “Lone Ranger” penalty of the game, following tripping – yep, you guessed it – Sammy Blais, which took place at the 3:12 mark.

— The Rangers’ PK was phenomenal here, where both Miller and Schneider stood out, and where the team didn’t allow one SOG.

— Speaking of SOG; the Rangers wouldn’t record their first SOG until there was 10:20 remaining – an easy save for Binnington following Tarasenko’s first of six tries.

— Halak didn’t really have to do too much either, sans stopping Saad on a mini-breakaway.

— At the ten-minute mark, we saw the best play of the period, as Miller, facing a Blues’ two-vs-one odd-man rush, made a sliding block to prevent a goal for the home team.

— Following a TV timeout with 8:35 remaining, the Blues, who previously ran a video tribute for Mikkola earlier in the game, then honored Tarasenko:

— Micheletti told us that the video began right at the commercial break, and once returned – Blues’ fans were on their feet for nearly three-minutes.

— Both the Blues, and their fans, were complete class acts. You could see how much this meant to Tarasenko – and I’ll have more on this in just a bit.

— In a game where not much was going on, Sam & Joe struggled to find things to talk about, where it was mentioned that Kane was skating on his own on Thursday morning. Whatever is ailing Kane wasn’t said, but it was mentioned that had this been a playoff game – then he would’ve been playing – and as we all knew.

— To display how tired they were; with 6:29 remaining, the Rangers’ fourth line (Vesey included), had a 3 x 2 odd-man rush – and where they didn’t press the issue – nor registered a SOG.

— Now under three minutes remaining, the SOG statistic was 5-3, in favor of the home team.

— However, the Rangers would double their SOG total in the final minute, as Binnington stopped Kakko (on a similar move that he made last night, when he scored the Rangers’ second goal of the game), Lindgren and Schneider.

— Halak also made three more saves himself, where his initial save on Neighbours, followed by his rebound save on Brown, with just nine seconds remaining, were the biggest.

— Following a period that you’d never introduce a new fan to hockey to; we remained scoreless after twenty minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

It’s really going to suck if Tarasenko, and as expected, just amounts to being a Rangers’ “rental.” He’s fit like a glove with his new team – and it’s easy to see why Blues’ fans love him so much. Photo Credit: NYR


Following a first period where Miller’s defensive play was the best Rangers’ highlight, and where the ovation for Tarasenko was the game’s biggest highlight; the man of the hour spoke to M$GN’s John Giannone during the intermission.

On the reception he received from St. Louis fans, Tarasenko said, “It means a lot to me. They supported us [his family]. It was a very emotional moment for me. I expected a good reaction. They [STL fans] have always been good to me.”

It was also revealed that Tarasenko made a sizeable donation to a local St. Louis children’s hospital (the exact amount wasn’t reported – but it was big from all accounts). When asked about it, VT91 replied, “I talked about community before. I visited the [children’s] hospitals before. We [he and his wife] have kids now and we know how important it is. We want them healthy. I wanted to give back. It’s the least I can do. I appreciate them.”

I was told by a Blues’ fan tonight that there was a sick kid (cancer) that Tarasenko and the team supported, who later unfortunately passed away. Tarasenko also brought this up and talked about how much that kid meant to him – and how he will never forget this child’s memory.

While who knows if Tarasenko ever plays for the Blues again (it doesn’t seem likely); I thought it spoke volumes in regards to his character. He’ll never forget where he came from, and as a young Russian kid breaking into the NHL in Missouri – you can see how much it meant to him that he was accepted by Blues’ fans.

And of course – it doesn’t hurt that Tarasenko was a major contributor during the only Blues’ Stanley Cup victory of their franchise history either!

From a Rangers’ perspective?

Just look at guys like Glenn Anderson and Stephane Matteau! Anderson lasted here for a cup of coffee and Matteau lasted a little bit longer than that – but because of 1994 – they still continue to collect paychecks due to that Stanley Cup victory today!

And who can blame them?

This middle frame was more-or-less the same as the one that had preceded it – sans the Blues scoring a goal.

That said, after finishing the first period with six SOG – the Rangers doubled that total this period – twelve SOG in all for my fellow math majors out there!

Sam & Joe opened the period by paying their respects to Dave Maloney’s mother and wished their colleague, their friend, the best. This all came off as truly genuine to me – and never sounded forced at all – as opposed to whenever Sam is reading off gambling ads.

Following Binnington stopping Tarasenko at the 36-second mark; it was brought up by Micheletti that the Blues had a player named Calle Rosen on their roster, where Sam immediately belted out, “NO RELATION JOE!”

With Sam’s memory slipping these days – who knows – maybe he did have an “OH BABY” moment in a seedy St. Louis hotel room. I KID, I KID!

As Binnington stopped Kreider; right after the save, Halak made one of his own when he stoned Walker with 17:50 to go. Forty seconds after that, Crybaby Binnington stopped Goodrow too – but you could see the Rangers picking up their game a bit.

Now down to 16:13 remaining, Sammy Blais practically went 1 vs 5 against his former club – where you were just waiting for that “Oh no, the curse of the former Ranger” moment. Thankfully, Harpur checked him and Motte then retrieved the puck and got it out of the Blueshirts’ zone.

In what would be a trend all game; the return of “ATURNOVER PANARIN” – where on this night, and as opposed to many games from this 2022-23 campaign – I’ll give him a pass.

With 15:25 to go, and after Trocheck forced a turnover in the neutral zone; Panarin dipsy-doodled around a bit and then coughed up the puck. This was a harbinger of what was later to come.

If there was any other Ranger besides Tarasenko that had wind under his sails, then it was Alexis Lafreniere, who consistently generated offense throughout this period – but could never get Binnington to break.

Of note, and don’t look into this at all, as I’m only mentioning it because it’s a fact – but for the first time in weeks – no one from the Rangers’ third line picked up a point tonight.

If anything, this just tells you how valuable they are.

Down to 13:30 remaining, Tarasenko was denied again, this time on a one-handed tuck try with Leddy draped on him.

Come 12:45 remaining, Halak had a crisis averted, as he left his net to play a puck – and then had trouble getting back due to all of the traffic. Thankfully, his skaters were able to get the puck out.

Unfortunately, with 12:00 remaining – Alexey Toropchenko scored the first goal of the game.

This goal was the end result of a BRUTAL, and I mean BRUTAL, turnover from Panarin.

While in the Blues’ zone, Panarin had Tarasenko wide-open – twice at that – but never passed. Instead, he skated all around and Toropchenko forced the turnover, raced up ice – and then torpedoed a puck past Halak.

1-0, bad guys.

I will say, while Panarin’s turnover was horrendous (and again – I’m giving him a pass tonight) – I thought that Halak could’ve stopped this shot – but to be fair – this was an all-out rip – and the other team is paid to score goals too.

Rosen, who loves hexing his alleged favorite team, then told us that Halak has never beaten the Blues before.

Nothing is stronger than Rosen’s cursing powers.


Down to 8:40 remaining – Trocheck almost scored – but on a rebound – the puck took a bad hop before he could slam home a rebound. That wouldn’t be the case towards the latter stages of this tired affair.

With the third line back on the ice, Lafreniere continued to motor, but again, either Binnington stopped him or stopped Chyil and Kakko following passes from the 2020 first-overall pick.

As Sam Rosen pleaded with us to “REP THE RANGERS” and buy a $68 Rangers’ Playoff T-Shirt (I’m not making this up – the Rangers are really charging $68 for a 2023 Playoffs shirt, as I guess owner James Dolan needs to find a way to make up the $2B he’s lost with his already over-budgeted M$G $phere project in Vegas); Micheletti brought up the lack of hitting and physicality in this game – but he did say this all tongue-in-cheek.

As we approached five-minutes remaining – again – Lafreniere – but again – Binnington.

Since it’s the M$GN way; following a TV timeout, the home network returned with a ready-made graphic package featuring Jordan Kyrou – you know – instead of promoting a Ranger.


Not to be outdone by the production crew; Sam & Joe then waxed poetically about the state of the Blues’ salary cap – as if any Ranger fan gave a shit.

Following another o-zone Panarin turnover with four-minutes remaining; there was Kyrou all alone with Halak – but he missed the net. Whew.

As we hit ninety-seconds remaining; Halak came up with a monster save on Walker, and with a chance to smash home a rebound into a vacated net – Pitlick missed. He wouldn’t miss on his next chance.

We remained at 1-0, bad guys, after two periods.

Here’s what I said at the time:

There’s no force stronger on this Earth than Sam Rosen’s ability to jinx the Rangers. NADA!


At the time, Vincent Trocheck was a perfect 9-0 at the circle. (He killed it at the dot tonight, as he finished 15-2 – a game-high 88.2% winning percentage.)

To begin this final frame, Rosen said that Trocheck was 9-0 at the dot.

Of course, and without hesitation, as in just a nanosecond later – Trocheck lost the first faceoff of this period – and then immediately lost the second faceoff of this period too.

You can’t make it up!

Following the only losses that Trocheck suffered at the dot tonight; we then saw a similar play that we saw at the end of the second period.

Buchnevich dished the puck to Vrana – a save for Halak – but on the rebound afforded and with the Rangers’ goalie leaving his net wide-open – Kapanen missed the empty net.

And just like how Pitlick missed on his first try – Kapanen wouldn’t miss on his second chance either.

This failure greatly benefited the Rangers, as at just the 57-second mark, and with the puck back into the St. Louis end – Buchnevich tripped Chytil, which in turn, gave the visitors their first power-play of the game.

My anti-Rosen powered tweet at the time? The following:

No less than a minute later?

A prophecy fulfilled:

1-1, as Tarasenko, who was like a shark sniffing blood for a goal all game – finally connected.

While I don’t think you can look too deep into this – I do go back to what I first said two weeks ago, when Gallant first shuffled the power-play units around – I would put Tarasenko on the first unit.

I don’t know if Kane should be the one swapped out to the second unit (at times, Panarin can be so maddening that you’d want him with that unit – but that’s not happening) – but whether it’s because Tarasenko has been here longer, or if it’s just because Kane isn’t in his usual position during Ranger power-plays (and as he’s admitted – it’s an adjustment) – but it just feels like the Rangers’ power-play has more success whenever VT91 is with the rest of the top dogs.

And I’m not just saying this because the power-play went a perfect 2-2 tonight – with Tarasenko scoring this goal and then assisting on the other. I just feel that his confidence and comfort level are always on display.

Maybe it’s just me – you be your own judge!

So despite everything – being tired, gassed, having no legs, etc – the game was tied with 18:05 remaining.

And again, this also tells me how bad the Blues are – who were well-rested and had no excuse.

As we hit the five-minute mark of the period – there was VT91 again – this time defensively, as he broke up a St. Louis attack.

To fast-forward a bit; following Tarasenko’s equalizer – the Blues did rev up their game – and largely dominated. They also got away with a trip with 10:30 remaining, as a Blue defender tripped Zibanejad in the neutral zone.

So what could’ve been a Rangers’ power-play never took place. What did take place was the Blues regaining the lead with only 9:47 left to play.

Of the three goals that Halak allowed tonight, I’d only question the first one – and even then – that was the end result of a bad turnover.

On this goal, the Blues were attacking and both Walker & Pitlick were left alone in Halak’s crease. Pitlick got there first, and just as Lindgren was about to get there – Pitlick punched in a no-brainer.

2-1, bad guys.

To the officials’ credit – they reviewed this goal for goaltender interference – which felt like a 50/50 thing.

Put it this way – had the Rangers scored in this fashion – then I would’ve wanted this goal to stand – as the light contact had nothing to do with the goal afforded.

But it remains true – you never know what is, nor what isn’t, goaltender interference anymore. It’s all so random and arbitrary.

The Rangers had a few five-vs-five chances to tie the game again – but could never find a way.

The game boiled down to the final Rangers’ power-play.

With 2:20 remaining, Faulk slashed a streaking Zibanejad.

Following the stoppage, Gallant took his timeout – and pulled Halak too.

Of note: this seems to be Gallant’s go-to strategy – as rarely, if ever, does he wait until his team wins the o-zone faceoff before pulling his goalie. A bit risky, but “THE TURK” has had a lot of success with this – and as he’d soon have again.

Just seventeen seconds into the power-play – BOOM – NONNA TROCHECK’S BAMBINO tied it:

Talk about resolve and resiliency.

Again, despite everything, here were the Rangers, via a power-play that has had issues at times, scoring the second equalizer of the game!


And how good has Trocheck been lately – and in every facet imaginable? It took some time (and that transition period was expected), but he most certainly has found his sweet spot and role with the club.

Now tied and under two-minutes left in regulation; Miller and Chytil had chances but the Blues’ defense broke them up.

With twenty seconds remaining and following one last home-team attack; Fox took the puck, sat behind Halak and let the clock run out.

No matter what – the road-weary Rangers, who only needed to get out of this game healthy, had stolen a point.

And they did it without CZAR IGOR too – where who knows – had he started (not that I’m suggesting that he should have) – then who knows?

2-2 after sixty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Nothing against K’Andre Miller, who did play well tonight – but I just don’t think that 3 x 3 overtime is his strong suit. Photo Credit: NYR


The Rangers barely touched the puck during the bonus period.

Following two huge saves from Halak; Miller misplayed a puck, and at just the 1:16 mark, Kapanen, who missed an open net earlier in the game – beat Halak on the Blues’ odd-man rush.

3-2, bad guys.

3-2, bad guys, final.

Again – no criticisms tonight – but off the top of my head – this is the fourth overtime loss that I can remember where Miller was involved during the opponent’s game-winning goal.

Thankfully, there is no 3 x 3 overtime come the playoffs.

All in all, I was more than elated with the Rangers’ ability to push this game into overtime, especially since I was expecting a regulation loss anyway.

Here’s my favorite coach and yours, “THE TURK,” following the game – and a head coach who pretty much echoed my thoughts from tonight:

Here’s a healthy Trouba, talking about the joke of the Rangers’ schedule, and where some birdbrain beat reporter tried to suggest that this was an important game tonight:

Lastly, and if you watch any of these videos, make sure it’s this one; here’s Tarasenko, and his thank you to Blues’ fans:

While it’s highly unlikely that the Rangers will finish any higher than third-place in the ultra-competitive and best division in hockey, the Metropolitan Division; where the Blueshirts will travel to begin the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs currently remains unknown. Photo Credit: ESPN

As already mentioned – for the Rangers, it’s all about staying healthy.

While no one associated with the team wants to use the word “meaningless,” and you can understand why; essentially, that’s what these three final games against CBJ, BUF and TOR are.

For Carolina and New Jersey, where one of these two teams will have home ice against the Rangers during the first-round of the playoffs; their final games of this 2022-23 campaign are the complete opposite – as a lot is on the line.

What makes things even more interesting is the battle for the two wild cards, as the Panthers, the Islanders and the Penguins all fight it out – and where one of these three teams will be hitting the links next week.

In other words, while the wild card teams just want to get in – and while “cherry-picking” isn’t exactly a thing either (or at least that’s what the players and coaches will tell you – as they don’t want to give opponents any bulletin-board material); it’s not like the Devils and the Hurricanes can “pick-their-poison” either.

You have to assume that both NJD and CAR want to win the division, where once doing so, and from their perspective – they’d have home ice for the rest of the way – that is – unless Boston is one of the two teams left standing come the 2023 Eastern Conference Final.

The Canes, with one game in-hand, and with one more point than the Devils too, will finish the season against the Sabres, Senators, Red Wings and Panthers.

While the Sabres are technically still alive – their plug will be pulled soon enough.

It’s that final game against the Panthers that will draw the most eyes – especially due to the wild card race.

For the disgusting Devils, they finish the season with the Bruins, Sabres and Capitals.

Obviously, it’s the game against the Bruins where the team from Newark won’t be favored in.

Let’s hope that both the Devils and Canes stress themselves out as they fight for first-place; while the Rangers can continue to coast a bit now.

The Rangers will play their final road game of the season on Saturday night – against crappy Columbus – and with John Davidson’s club currently as the worst team in hockey.

While the Rangers don’t have to win that game – I’d be shocked if they lose to a team that’s in tank mode for Connor Bedard.

See ya Saturday night!

Keep The Faith and of course, LGR!


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/TBL 4/5 Review: BIG BAD BEN and Blueshirts Double-Up & Demolish Bolts; Most Action-Packed Game Yet, Ultimate Team-Wide Effort, APPLE SAUCE Galore, Trouba Named “Mr. Ranger,” Leaves Game w/Injury; Kane Out Too, An ECF Rematch We All Want, “TURK TALKS,” Boucher Trophy, TNT/Lundqvist & More

NYR/WSH 4/2 Review: The Rangers Wire-to-Wire The Caps; Back on Winning Track, Third Line Carries Team; Fat Cats Pad Lead, Gallant Makes Franchise History (Again); Message Somewhat Received, Five Games Left, TNT & More

NYR/BUF 3/31 Review: Rangers Shamed by Sabres, Gallant Calls Out Team Over “Joke” Performance; Begs His Fat Cats to “SHOW UP,” An Inexcusable Loss with No Positives; Top Six MIA, Blueshirts Dreadful Ways Matched by Miserable M$GN; Fire Vally, HBD Stan Fischler & More From an Ugly Night

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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2 thoughts on “NYR/STL 4/6 Review: Road-Weary Rangers Steal a Point; Tarasenko’s Homecoming a Major Success; Class Act Blues, Special Teams Swing Games; Blueshirts Bat 3-3, Trouba A-Okay; Laughs at Joke Schedule, Standings, Fox Fined, “TURK TALKS” & More

  1. Early morning rant – I needed to get my irritation up for an early morning workout. So I listened to a part of Wince’s podcast interview with Shayna Goldman. QUESTION: Has she ever seen an actual hockey game?!? What a blizzard of total nonsense.
    On a different note, since I started following the Rangers during Eddie Giacomin’s rookie year, the first players you see will always stand out – for me, Jean Ratelle and Brad Park. (Nah, not Orland Kurtenbach or Reggie Flemming)

    1. That was your first mistake – listening to Wince.

      No clue what Shayna said, nor do I care!

      Do you remember fans throwing crap at Giacomin during his rookie year?

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