NYR/CAR R2G6 5/16 Review: Chris Causes Chaos in Crying Canes’ Finale! Kreider’s Third Period Natty Hatty Returns Blueshirts to the ECF; Lavy’s Lot Continues Historic Campaign With Their Best Comeback Yet, Another Sixty-Minute Flair For the Dramatic Roller-Coaster, Drury’s Dagger Into Don Waddell; Teacher Beats the Pupil Too, DAVE MALONEY RULES, Line-Up Debates, CZAR IGOR, Stress-Free Weekend; Enjoy It, Teddy Roosevelt & More

As one of the greatest presidents in United States history, Teddy Roosevelt, once said, “Nothing worth having comes easy.” Such a quote personifies these New York Rangers of today – and where to make a connection (and this is admittedly one hell of a stretch too) – Roosevelt was actually close friends with the founder of the Blueshirts, another T.R. himself, Tex Rickard. (For more on Rickard and Roosevelt, then check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tex/ .) Here’s the kicker: The NHL granted Rickard the Rangers’ franchise on 5/16/1926. Ninety-eight years later to the date – and the Blueshirts, where nothing ever came easy to them in this series, vanquished the Carolina Hurricanes in their second-round six-game set, via their 5-3 Game 6 victory on Thursday night. Down 3-1 entering the third period, and during their third consecutive chance to eliminate the Canes too – it was the longest-tenured Ranger of them all, Chris Kreider, who is not only short of having his #20 jersey hanging from the rafters of M$G one day all but guaranteed – but who also pretty much entered “Top-Ten Ranger of All-Time” territory too, following his natural hat-trick scored in the final frame during a time-span of 8:58. It was ugly at times, if not flat-out depressing, but the Rangers never gave up – and truthfully – received a boat-load of puck luck too! But hey – every Stanley Cup winner gets puck luck along the way – and to echo a familiar rallying (not to be confused with Raleigh!) call – “WHY NOT THE RANGERS?” And this one too: “WE WANT THE CUP!”

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. No one goes 16-0 in the playoffs.

No team goes 16-1 either.

But how does 16-2 sound?

Following the events of Game 6, we’re now half-way there, as it’s eight down, eight to go, for the 8-2 in the postseason, and now Eastern Conference Final bound, 2023-24 New York Rangers!

And unlike my Game 5 review blog (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/51324/ ) – what you’re reading right now is all real – and not fan-fiction from a deranged fanatic!

This photo is also authentic and not made-up either!

Off puck-drop tonight, a few disclaimers, and where for regular readers, some of these warnings may sound redundant – but bear with me!

Yes, I’m typing this up on my dinosaur computer that rarely ever decides to work with me! Yes, I worked an overtime shift at the real j-o-b tonight (and where I scheduled all of my breaks around this game, aka the usual), and yes, I’m a bit tired too.

However, who can sleep after what we witnessed in “RALEIGHWOOD” on Thursday night – and where such a town is now burning to the ground – and where all that’s left are the little white hairs on Rod Brind’Amour’s head!

And as you’d expect, due to all of the excitement, and where I feel like my brain is moving much faster than both my fingers and my brain (and my computer too!) – I may be all over the place tonight as I try to share everything with you!

I may also repeat myself a few times – a positive side-effect of ecstasy! (The feeling, not the drug!)

But just know that everything written to you tonight comes from a good place – and as we now take a look at the magic relief that was the Rangers’ Game 6, 5-3, series-clincher!

While it was much uglier when compared to the previous three wins from Games 1, 2 and 3; Game 6, or at least the third period from it, was reminiscent of those victories, as once again, it were the BIG BUCK BLUESHIRTS, THE FAT CATS, THE TOP-SIX, or whatever other label that fancies you best, that did all of the heavy lifting in the 5-3, “SEE YA CAROLINA,” ouster. Photo Credit: NYR

As the black and mean clouds hovered over the heads of every resident of Rangerstown, USA prior to the events of Game 6 – come the third period of this pivotal match – and these clouds only got blacker and meaner.

And while the Blueshirts would never admit to this, there were rumors prior to this game that the flu-bug had been going around the locker room – and such a team-wide ailment which only compounded matters. (More on this below.)

Whether it was the flu, another sort of illness, or perhaps that the Canes, and as the Rangers said following Game 5, “just wanted it more” – either way – Game 6 felt a whole like Game 5.

Or at least the first two periods felt this way!

Granted, while the Rangers exhibited more effort in this game than how they displayed some 72-hours ago – the end result seemed to be identical – another 4-1 loss in the future of “Lavy’s Lot.”

In a first period where the Blueshirts only recorded two or three shots (the official NHL statisticians went back-and-forth on this all game), the home team, the Canes, who were having their way in the Rangers’ end, finally scored with just 1:22 remaining in the frame, following a Martin Necas roof-job posted past CZAR IGOR.

Come the end of the second stanza, and the Canes had doubled their one-goal lead to a two-goal advantage, as Seth Jarvis (4:38) and Sebastion Aho (9:23) sandwiched goals in-between a Panarin-to-Trocheck tip/deflection goal (5:29).

Trailing 3-1 to open the final frame, and where if the Rangers weren’t battling health issues, then it just looked like that they didn’t have it on this night – then you had to consider the idea of pulling CZAR IGOR in favor of Jonathan Quick – and not because of anything that the goalie was doing – but with a Game 7 looming – then perhaps giving #31 some extra rest before a potential “do-or-die” Saturday night dance at M$G would have been most ideal.

But by the end of the game – such a dance, a Game 7, was canceled.

Now replacing that game is a first-round Eastern Conference Final opener, which will be announced at a later date.

Ditto the Rangers’ opponent, as presently, the Panthers lead the Bruins, 3-2, in the other Eastern semi-final, and with a sixth game to be played this Friday night.

Prior to the final twenty-minutes of this contest, and it was the home team, and not the visitor, that received every ounce of “puck luck” imaginable – while also getting some great bounces to boot.

Then the third period happened – and where the Rangers flipped the tables – as it was now our beloved Blueshirts getting all of the puck luck – and many fortunate bounces too!

Prior to Kreider entering rarefied air while also etching new personal records in franchise history too; the Canes let out two loud <DINGS>, a pair of pucks a millimeter shy of finding net, in the first five-minutes.

And when we didn’t have these meetings of rubber and iron – and then CZAR IGOR was making save-after-save too, a perfect sweet sixteen showing during the final twenty-minutes in all.

Between these clangs and saves, the Canes were never able to put the Rangers away – and as a result – this period will haunt them all summer-long – if not beyond.

And a loss like this may also bring upon many new changes in N.C. too (including a new coach as well) – but that’s a problem for fans of the Canes – and not for us.

Chris Kreider, who told the team during the second intermission that he’d score one (but he was modest – as he didn’t say that he’d score three!), did just that at the 6:43 mark, as goaltender Frederik Andersen misplayed a shot from CK20’s BFF, Mika Zibanejad, which then allowed the franchise’s all-time leading playoff scorer to bring the Rangers within one, following his miraculous tuck of the puck.

3-2, bad guys.

The BFF connection wasn’t done yet.

At the 10:58 mark, Zibanejad drew a power-play, as he was crosschecked/boarded by Jordan Staal.

With a chance to both tie the game and erase the previous two-goal deficit – and that’s EXACTLY what happened.

Just 56-seconds into the Rangers’ power-play, and Kreider did what he always does, what’s made him famous, as he tipped/deflected a puck (shot by Panarin) past Andersen for the equalizer.


Tie game.

At the time, and you’re lying to yourself if you disagree, you kinda felt, and especially after Game 5, that this was still “THE SAME OLD RANGERS.”

In other words, despite the Blueshirts being on the right side of the pendulum swing – you also thought that the swing would go right back in favor of the Canes.

We’ve seen it before.

After all, and despite blowing their two-goal lead – the red-and-black Brind’Amour attack wasn’t giving up – and as CZAR IGOR’s workload from this period, his heaviest of the game, would suggest.

Such feelings soon subsided as Kreider completed his (natural) hat trick at the 15:41 mark, following a pretty-as-a-picture play/assist from double-nickel, Ryan Lindgren.


And with 4:19 left to be ticked – the only thing left to do was close.

But of course, slamming that door and then walking into an ECF entrance-way wasn’t easy – which reminds us once again of that Roosevelt quote.

With under 3:00 remaining and Andersen took his spot on the bench.

Immediately into Carolina’s 6 x 5 empty net attack and there was CZAR IGOR again, this time robbing Andrei Svechnikov from potentially sending this game into overtime.

As the clock began to melt – it also felt like it was frozen too – as the final 2:30 of this game felt like an eternity for both the Rangers and their fans.

After about what felt like a dozen or so icings (in reality, 4), Barclay Goodrow ended the Canes’ season following his empty-netter scored with just 49-seconds remaining – and another reminder of why not only is the former two-time Cup champ so crucial for these Blueshirts – but why empty net goals are so important too.

5-3, GOOD GUYS – and what felt like the impossible for the Rangers too – a four-goal third period comeback – and where with the win – the Blueshirts, who have only lost three games in a row once during this 2023-24 campaign – kept such a stat intact.

Better than that?

Worthless Saturday night Game 7 tickets!

Enjoy the Preakness!

A lot of what I said in my series preview blog (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/5124/ ) played out during these past six-games, where the biggest key ultimately unlocked the door to the Eastern Conference Final – the Rangers’ advantage in net – as CZAR IGOR was a shade better than Andersen – a Canes’ goalie who admittedly played well – but not well enough! Photo Credit: NHL.com

I know that I’m jumping around all over the place – but I already gave you all of my disclaimers above!

Before continuing, I want to stress how huge this series win was – and where I’m sure that you’re well enough aware by now too!

Had the Rangers been “reverse swept,” then as Blueshirt fans, we’d never hear the end of it.

Losing this series in seven-games after being up 3-0 would’ve created a painful and hateful summer too – and where this core – and not the head coach – would have received the brunt of it.

Chris Drury, GM of the Blueshirts, would have also fell under the microscope too – especially after not doing what his counterpart in Carolina, Don Waddell, did at this years’ trade deadline, when he went all-in for Jake Guentzel, while also acquiring former Cup champ, Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Both Guentzel and Kuznetsov, while not much of a factor in Game 6 as they were previously, had their fingerprints all over this series – and where Drury’s two deadline acquisitions, Alex Wennberg and Jack Roslovic, were perhaps the Blueshirts’ weakest links.

With the Rangers’ win, Waddell, and his head coach, Rod Brind’Amour, fail again (six-years running) – and where there will be a ton of changes to their roster this summer too – and solely due to all of the impending unrestricted free agents on this “all in/win now/ya lost” club.

And you can drum up the Brind’Amour to Toronto rumors too – if not Brind’Amour to New Jersey as well.

Since the Rangers won, then you can’t criticize Drury’s deadline – or at the very least – his decision not to go for Guentzel.

This win also prevented many eggs from falling on Laviolette’s face, as in his first-ever playoff meeting coaching against his former disciple and student, a peer of his today, Brind’Amour – it was the master teaching one more lesson to his most prized and most popular pupil.

This series victory for a “WIN NOW” Rangers’ squad, a message that was first stressed during Laviolette’s introductory press conference, continued the story – and wouldn’t you know it – these 2023-24 Presidents’ Trophy winners became the first team during the past nine-years to advance to the Conference Final round.

The last team to do it?

The 2014-15 Rangers – but of course – it’s the 1994 team that’s drawing more comparisons today. (You may have heard!)

And while the core, the name-brand Rangers, and the special teams too, all showed up – no one was bigger for the Rangers in this second-round than CZAR IGOR – and where like other perennial playoff failures before Carolina, such as the Maple Leafs and the Oilers – goaltending was a critical factor between moving on and playing golf.

One last, but not least, thing to mention here?

During the past three-years and twice over, the Rangers have eliminated the Hurricanes from the playoffs.

During this same time frame, and the Canes have eliminated the Islanders from the post-season two times.

In other words, the Blueshirts continue to do what the Belmont Bozos could never do – knock off the Hurricanes!

I think that I’ve only said the following 9867986967896767977 times on this site during the past four-years – but I’d love to see Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney full-time on the M$GN. Photo Credit: M$GN

Before heading into the pregame news and notes; at this time, I’d like to share more love for “Mr. Tullamore, Tullamore, Tullamore Dew” himself, former Rangers’ captain and current M$G radio analyst, Dave Maloney.

As noted earlier this series (Game 3), Maloney received a lot of flak from a smug asshole/Mike Francesa impersonator, Michael Kay, for sounding like a fan boy when calling Ranger wins.


I cherish these “fan boy” moments – because as stated many times before – Maloney is one of the true last “homers” left – and as a Ranger fan – I love that he’s as invested as we are!

And as also noted on this site in the past?

Sam Rosen does his best work whenever partnered with Maloney – while away from Joe Micheletti too.

Here’s exhibit #9867868686986976 of this case:

Listening to Maloney squeal, as if he has some sort of a sexual fetish of being kicked in the cock-and-balls, was pure bliss!

(No joke – Maloney sounds like Peter Brady whenever the Rangers score a big goal – and I love every second of it!)

There’s no faking or feigning such excitement – and the same goes for Rosen too – who was at his best tonight – and who also reminded us that he still has his fastball – that is – as long as Micheletti is elsewhere.

(Holy dashes and Morse Code Batman!)

And really, such gleeful cheers and verbal elation were warranted.

After all, how would you answer this question that I originally posed on Tweeter:

As you can see from the responses in that thread full of many reactions – and not one of them was positive – especially for an older fan base that’s seen all of the playoff heartbreak before.

Another tweet of mine, but one prior to puck drop?

This one:

Hey, I was only ten away, as it was #20, and not #10, that scored the natural hat trick!

I’ll claim my victory as a result – and just like the Rangers did tonight!

And if you can’t tell, then I’m still freakin’ giddy!

Up next, our pregame news and notes – and then a GAME REVIEW for the ages!

Blueshirts’ bench boss, Peter Laviolette, did his best to calm a turbulent environment during the Rangers’ two off-days.

On Tuesday, May 14th, the Rangers, following their disgusting Game 5 loss (https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/51324/ ), had the day off – and where afterwards, everyone and their mother brought up previous years of Blueshirts’ history – where after a bad playoff loss – the team, and after two-days idle rather than one, had traditionally rebounded from it.

You can add another one for the books after tonight!

While the team was off, Laviolette conducted a media call, and where he pretty much said what you’d expect him to say – Carolina is good, he expects a better effort from his guys in Game 6, what we saw in Game 5 isn’t a true representation of what his team is and blah-blah-blah.

While you can’t knock the head coach for doing his job – all of this came off like white noise.

After all, actions speak louder than words – and thankfully – Kreider’s actions spoke loudest in Game 6!

A day later, on Wednesday, May 15th, the team reconvened for practice at their training facility in Tarrytown, NY – and where all bodies on the roster were there, that is, except for Chris Kreider, who was ruled out for “maintenance reasons.”


There were a few developments that occurred during this pre-flight to Raleigh, N.C. practice, and where at one point, I was going to write about it last night.

However, due to this dinosaur computer refusing to work, and the fact that I believe that everyone else believes in “actions speak louder than words” – I just shelved the idea.

Plus, I was too busy making friends during another one of my double-shifts at work:

I was originally going to use this photo when attempting a blog last night – but since I don’t even have the time to hook-up/set-up a new computer even if I had one in front of me – alas – here we are! (But I will accept donations for a new P.C. should you make an offer!)

The biggest news to note from the practice was the fact that Laviolette decided to return the Jacob Trouba/K’Andre Miller pairing, where as a result, Braden Schneider was returned to the third-pair with Erik Gustafsson.

At the time, you couldn’t say with full confidence that these changes were set in stone – as after all – Laviolette had previously said that he’d experiment with things in practice – and how he wouldn’t reveal his line-ups until puck drop too.

And that’s what he said/reiterated prior to a flight that should’ve never seen the light of day – but of course – the less said about Game 5, the better:

More on Laviolette on the other side of the glass.

As far as anything else that hasn’t been covered yet, on Tuesday (and talk about bad timing – although such recognition was well-deserved), Jacob Trouba was announced as this year’s winner of the Mark Messier Leadership award:

Congrats to the Cappy! Photo Credit: NYR

Here’s what the Rangers had to say about the honor, courtesy of https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/jacob-trouba-wins-2023-24-mark-messier-leadership-award :

New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba was named the 2023-24 recipient of the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, which is presented “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.” Trouba is the first Rangers player to earn the annual Mark Messier Leadership Award since it was first presented on a season-by-season basis in the spring of 2007.        

Since joining the organization ahead of the 2019-20 season, the 30-year-old defenseman has helped lead the Blueshirts to success on the ice and has taken pride in representing the club in the community. This past summer, he participated in the Rangers Youth Hockey Camp, signing autographs for and spending time with kids taking part in the camp. Now in his second year as team captain after being named to the position on Aug. 9, 2022, Trouba frequently hosts meet and greets following home games with kids from the Garden of Dreams Foundation, spending time with kids and occasionally taking them on a tour of the locker room.

Throughout the 2023-24 season, Trouba and his wife Kelly have raised over $160,000 for the Garden of Dreams Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation, predominately through the sale of Jacob’s art. He began selling prints of his art online to support the two charities in the fall, amassing $100,000 in donations before Christmas and donated an original one of his pieces to be auctioned off at the Rangers annual Casino Night fundraiser, where it raised $25,000 and was the most successful item in the auction.

On the ice, Trouba recorded three goals and 19 assists for 22 points in 69 regular season games. The Rochester, Michigan, native led all Rangers skaters in blocked shots (183) and ranked second in hits (191).

For a franchise that has otherwise been snubbed for consideration in all year-end awards this season (Laviolette/Adams, Panarin/Hart, etc), then it was nice to see “THE GREAT EIGHT” get his due here – and where yes – perhaps his status as a Rangers’ captain influenced the greatest Blueshirts’ captain of them all too!

Again, congratulations to Mr. T.

Matt Rempe, and his fellow jolly green giant pictured here too, Adam Edstrom, didn’t play in Game 6. While the only thing that matters is a win; at the same time, I’d rather see these two play than seeing Kakko and Wennberg in Lavy’s Line-Up. Photo Credit: Hartford Wolfpack

Come Thursday morning, game day, and the Rangers held an optional practice – and where all of the black aces and recovering players (Chytil and Wheeler) participated in.

As noted earlier, this rumor, originated from Hartford, spread like the plague prior to puck drop:

Photo Credit: Garden of Ill Repute Facebook group – and a damn good one if I say so myself! Hi Nick A.!

When I first heard this news, I did some digging around, and then found out that there was some validity to such a claim – but of course – I wasn’t able to confirm this story either.

Not only do I not have direct access to the Rangers, but even if I did – then they wouldn’t say a word about it either.

I bring up this rumor for two reasons.

One, following this match, there are now many fans referring to Game 6 as “The Kreider Flu” game – an honorable homage to Michael Jordan (1998).

Two, you have to wonder if Chytil was the “patient zero” should this rumor become fact.

If not, then you have to wonder if he’s still suffering from concussion symptoms.

After all, if he was healthy, then you’d have to think that Lavy would have re-inserted him back into his line-up.

But whether it’s the flu, concussion symptoms, or perhaps a disease picked up from “The Oregon Trail” – either way – Chytil continues his career-long reputation as being unreliable.

And for what it’s worth – it’s not like the Rangers need him either – and as is evident by both their regular season and playoff success.

Come 6:30PM, pregame warm-ups, and Lavy’s Line-up had revealed itself – and where all of his changes made the day prior proved true here – including the reuniting of the Miller/Trouba pair – and the return of Jonny Brodzinski too.

And had the Rangers lost tonight – then OO-FAH – as the head coach would have been taking his lumps all over the place.

Not only did Trouba have some questionable moments in Game 6, but the Rangers bottom-six were devoid of energy for most of the game too.

Someone whose energy levels are always revved up to the max?

Yep, you know it, Mr. Rempe.

Again, the only thing that matters is the win – but I also don’t want to shy away from what I’ve said previously – and both on this site and on social media.

After all, it’s only fair.

But for the life of me, I still don’t understand why Wennberg is in the starting line-up.

Ditto Kakko.

Both of these third-liners combined for ZERO SHOTS ON GOAL – and again – were never a threat.

For that matter, Will Cuylle, who I do like, was also hampered by his ineffective linemates, as he finished with zero shots on goal too.

While with the win, all of this will be swept under the rug a bit; had the Rangers lost, then you’d hear more about it elsewhere, rather than just here.

In a way, I can understand why there is a “Kult of Kakko” – as fans just want to see this second-overall bust finally reach his potential as he wraps up his fifth season.

But after 340 games played (300 regular season, 40 playoffs), then when does the majority realize that this version of Kakko is just who he is – a guy who does a lot of cardio and can never take over a game?

And while fans (and management) will always be drawn dearer to homegrown players – then this doesn’t explain the fascination with Wennberg.

For forty-minutes and the Rangers looked cooked – and where perhaps some youthful energy would have been contagious in the likes of Rempe & Edstrom.

I know that all of the Rempe stuff is redundant – but again – no one provides more impact, nor maximizes their minutes either, in the fashion that he does.

And I don’t recall Rempe being on for any goals allowed this series – and unlike Wennberg and Kakko – and where the latter was directly responsible for the first goal allowed on Thursday night.

While I’ll talk more in-depth about Lavy’s Line-Up whenever I write my ECF preview blog – but spoiler – and whether it be Marchand’s Bruins or Tkachuk’s Panthers – I want Rempe in my line-up – and I’d prefer Wennberg watching.

But of course, there’s really no more need to be negative tonight, so let’s move on!

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the tenth playoff game of the postseason – and the 92nd-overall game of 2023-24:

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Cuylle/Wennberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Vesey/Goodrow/Brodzinski

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider


BACK-UP: Quick

Unavailable: Chytil

“Black Aces”: Domingue, Edstrom, Jones, Rempe, Ruhwedel and Wheeler


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





23 4 19 .826 19 0 0 0 0 57:17 0


36 3 33 .917 31 1 1 0 0 60:00 0



As Alfred E. Neuman once pondered, “What, me worry?” Photo Credit: NYR


Right from puck drop (a Zibanejad loss) and this game felt like a continuation of Game 5, as the Canes pretty much pinned the Rangers into their own zone for twenty-minutes.

That said, while the SOG disparity favored Carolina, 10-3 – the Blueshirts did have 25 shot attempts – but most of them were from long-and-far away – and never had a chance of reaching Andersen either.

Like many, I thought that breaking up Miller/Schneider was a mistake – and again – had the Blueshirts lost tonight – then many words about this decision would have been shared throughout Rangerstown, USA – and as it were during the first forty-minutes.

Trouba’s first shift led to an icing at the 1:25 mark. Then, and once Schneider came on, he recorded the first SOG for the team – and one that Andersen looked shaky on.

Right from this point – and you could see that Andersen had the heebie-jeebies – but the Rangers rarely, if ever, challenged him afterwards in this period.

This frustrating third line created a few gray hairs for CZAR IGOR, and as they did just three-minutes in, as following an o-zone shift where both Kakko and Wennberg refused to shoot the puck, a turnover led to a CZAR IGOR breakaway save made on Necas – and a Necas who had one hell of a series.

Following the save-and-freeze, CZAR IGOR then stopped Tony DeAngelo, a non-factor in this series, from DOWNTOWN JULIE BROWN.

As Carolina seemingly had an odd-man rush on every other shift, CZAR IGOR then stopped the GM’s nephew, as Uncle Chris’ brother’s kid tried to go glove high on #31.

Come 13:00 remaining and Wennberg, who will never be in the NRA, as he refuses to shoot, coughed up another puck – where as a result – CZAR IGOR came up with another odd-man rush save.

It was also during this play where Trouba fell down, which allowed Carolina to get to the paint – and had a pass connected (Noesen) – then there would be a lot more people screaming about the captain.

Not to be outdone, Trouba’s now former partner, the other vehicle to the “TROO TROO TRAIN,” “THE GUS BUS,” Erik Gustafsson, fell down – which of course – led to ANOTHER Carolina 2 x 1 odd-man rush.

This time, and with 12:10 remaining, Fox, who had just hopped over the boards, broke up this most fortunate Carolina opportunity.

No joke – at the time, I was just hoping for the Rangers to take a penalty.

After all, they score more short-handed than when at even-strength!

And yep – it felt inevitable that Carolina would score the first goal – and as I predicted here:

As we approached the half-way mark of the period – and this is when the GAG LINE 2.0 first made their impact.

While they couldn’t put a SOG here, they did force Brent Burns to ice the puck.

The Rangers, down to 6:10 remaining, only had two shots on goal – but could’ve doubled that total, as a Panarin-to-Trocheck pass just missed, while Kreider went wide on a mini-breakaway (tough angle shot though).

Come 3:00 remaining, and the GAG LINE 2.0, Miller and Trouba spent a minute in the Canes’ zone – but alas, and due to both shots sent wide and shots being blocked – not one save was required from Andersen – that is – until the end of the shift – following a Lafreniere-to-Panarin try. (Originally, this was recorded as a shot block, but following replay, this held up as the third-and-final Rangers’ SOG of the period.)

And with 1:22 remaining, this is when Martinook and Necas hooked up for the game’s first goal – and where Kakko left Necas wide-open as Martinook made the pass from Gretzky’s Office (behind the net).

This was a clear shot – but a bang-bang play too – and really – a well-deserved goal for Carolina, as they were the aggressors and pace-setters of this period.

1-0, bad guys, 1-0 bad guys, after twenty-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

I don’t lie, which is my way of telling you that I thought that Laviolette should have entertained the idea of pulling Igor (for rest for a potential Game 7 – and as noted above) for Quick. Thankfully, the coach is a smarter man than me! Photo Credit: NYR


Again, more of the same from Game 5.

The Canes began this period with a long shift in the Rangers’ zone – but thank the hockey gods for CZAR IGOR.

This attack was only stunted following DeAngelo coming this-close from blasting a 2-0 goal from the left of CZAR IGOR.

At the 2:04 mark, the Rangers received a chance to tie the game, as Martinook had high-sticked the Feckless Finn – the only thing of note that #24 did all game.

But as it was during the past nine-tries in this series – and the Rangers’ power-play was brutal – and soon ended just 43-seconds later, as Kreider had cross-checked Seth Jarvis.

Following the foreplay, and now on their own abbreviated power-play, the man who drew it, Jarvis, scored the 2-0, bad guys, goal at the 4:38 mark.

And had the third period never happened – then yeah – you would’ve heard a lot more about Kreider taking a penalty while his team was on a power-play themselves!

But yep, you know it – WINNERS write history!

And thankfully – the Rangers immediately responded.

At the the 5:29 mark, just under a minute later, and Trocheck returned the game to a one-goal margin:

2-1, bad guys.

This play was the end result of shaky goaltending, and where this Rangers’ SOG, their fifth, proved as such.

Panarin, after being stopped from deep penalty-box side, got the rebound and fired another puck back at Andersen. As the puck was nearing the goaltender – blammo – there was Trocheck for the tip – and his sixth goal of these 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs!

It was also another goal for the GAG LINE 2.0 this series – the best line of these playoffs – but after tonight – Kreider’s line may have a bone to pick – and we’re all happy for it!

With 11:14 to go, and this is when Panarin almost had an assist on a Schneider equalizer – as this is when Andersen made his best save of the game too.

And as we approached the half-way mark of the game/period – this is when Aho scored a gimmie breakaway goal against CZAR IGOR.

3-1, bad guys – and where with what you were seeing at the time – not only were you thinking about hooking CZAR IGOR for “Quick Rest” – but making your Game 7 viewing arrangements too.

While Andersen’s save on Schneider was aces – it also pared in comparison to the one that Martinook made on a Lindgren backhanded five-hole try:

When you have a fourth-line guy like Martinook preventing a goal like this – then you just felt that the hockey gods were siding with the Canes.

This was just another break of good fortune for the home side – and more bad puck luck for the visitors too.

But as noted – and as you already know – such luck would reverse itself come the third period.

As some fans were questioning the top-six, with 4:45 remaining, and Kreider, while wide-open and with the puck and on an odd-man rush too, forced a puck to Zibanejad for a turnover.

Again – this play is now forgotten.

One more time:


And so do the people who score natural hat tricks – especially an elite few who do so during third periods!

Come 3:30 remaining and Chatfield stopped Panarin last-second on a breakaway.

And if he hadn’t, then I’m not so sure if it would’ve mattered.

After all, and for all of his strengths and heroics this season, Panarin is 0-13 on breakaways during this 2023-24 campaign.

In hindsight, perhaps the Rangers’ luck changed with 3:15 remaining here, rather than in just the third period alone, as Drury hit the iron – the first of three Carolina <DINGS> in a time-span of under eight-minutes.

What could’ve been 4-1, bad guys, remained 3-1, bad guys, after forty-minutes.

Up next?

Twenty minutes that you’ll never forget – but before getting there – here’s what I said at the time:

No joke – Kreider, who with a Stanley Cup win, will cement this status, is perhaps already a Top Ten All-Time Ranger. After all, who has had better track records and success, lengthy and consistent ones at that, outside of Frank Boucher, Bill Cook, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, Henrik Lundqvist, Rod Gilbert, Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell? Photo Credit: Aaron Davis (RIP)


If there was ever a Rangers’ period to watch on loop, then it was this one – and when speaking of the word period – the Blueshirts’ bloodied up Carolina’s season – and once-and-for-all!

You ever see that movie “Angels in the Outfield?”

If so, then that explains what we saw to open this frame – as if it were like the angels from hockey’s heaven had intervened.

At the 1:53 mark, and in a rare flub, CZAR IGOR almost scored on himself after bumbling a puck.

(Thank you Hockey Angel, Dave Kerr!)

At the 2:22 mark, and this is when Martinook hit the crossbar so hard that you thought he broke it.

(Thank you Hockey Angel, Rod Gilbert!)

As Laviolette started double-shifting both Zibanejad (fourth line) and Panarin (Mika’s line), Guentzel now let out a ring, following his shot off of the iron with 15:00 to go.

(Thank you Hockey Angel, Edgar Laprade!)

Whether it was hockey divine intervention or what – after surviving all of this – the Chris Kreider show – and as it began with 13:17 remaining – as Andersen absolutely muffed this play up:

3-2, bad guys.

(Thank you Hockey Angel, Bun Cook!)

The hockey angels weren’t done just yet, as with 11:10 remaining, and on a clear-as-day breakaway – Aho missed the net.

(Thank you Hockey Angel, Lynn Patrick!)

With 10:01 remaining, and still trailing by one, the referees pressed the “SCREW THE RANGERS” button, as Skjei should have been charged with a delay of game penalty for putting the puck over the glass.

To defend the zebras here, who to their credit, weren’t a factor tonight – this all happened so fast – and since you can’t review these plays – you really can’t get on the refs for lousing this up – but they did get this wrong.

But after a long conference, where perhaps they realized that they owed the Rangers a call after seeing a replay during a stoppage – that’s exactly what happened – as Staal was boxed for cross checking/boarding Zibanejad soon thereafter.

After the game, Brind’Amour had the gall to say that Zibanejad took a dive here.

How comical, considering that diving is Carolina’s second sport.

And really – this sounded like sour grapes – and pure hypocrisy too, as Brind’Amour complained about a penalty being called late.

Nary a word about the penalty called against Lindgren during the final minutes of Game 4 – which led to Carolina’s game-winning PPG.

To set the stage, with 9:02 remaining, and the Rangers’ power-play, ineffective for most of this series, soon scored their biggest goal yet.

(Thank you Hockey Angel, Bill Chadwick – as whether or not this was a make-up call – the Rangers were owed a power-play after the no-call on Skjei’s miscue.)

Down to 8:06 again and Kreider, who promised his teammates that he’d score in this period, did so again:


And the best was yet to come.

Kreider was absolutely hell-bent on picking up the hat trick, as prior to doing so, he was denied twice.

But much like his team, and John Cena too, he “never gave up!”

With 4:19 remaining, here’s the natural hat trick game-winner – and a goal that much like Helen of Troy – launched a 1,000 Carolina tears too:


And hell, Ranger fans were crying too – but tears of joy!

As a result of the biggest goal of the season thus far, the following:

And remember in my series preview blog, when I said that Carolina would rue the day for releasing these shirts after beating a no-name scrub team in the first-round:

Poetic justice was served in Game 6! Photo Credit: @Canes

Right after Kreider’s hat-trick, TNT, who once again were amazing tonight, found this kid in the crowd:

Sorry but not sorry, to this little Raleigh tyke – but “dem’s the breaks!”

And hell, and just like this kid – we’ve all been here before.

Shit, my face was similar to his once – last year – and also in 2022, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2012 and so on and so forth!

We all go through this!

But thankfully it was this little kid sobbing – and not some soon-to-be 42-year-old man-child sitting at his work computer at around 10PM, 5/16!

But since nothing ever comes easy, and with your clenched-up asshole now firmly wedged between the back of your teeth – come 2:48 remaining and this is when Andersen went bye-bye.

The Rangers just iced the puck for the remainder of regulation – that is – until GOODY GOT IT, and where “it” in this sentence means empty net goal – and as the alternate captain scored!


5-3, GOOD GUYS, your final.

4-2, GOOD GUYS, series win.

Eastern Conference Final bound, GOOD GUYS!


As you read these words, I’m writing them about six-hours following this game’s conclusion – and where I’m still shaking with joy.

Hell, even writing this (and when watching this game too) – I feel like Bobby Heenan calling the Ric Flair 1992 WWF Royal Rumble!

(Only a select few will get this reference – but trust me – if you know it – then you know what I mean!)

Here’s Laviolette following the win over his pupil Rod Brind’Amour:

Here are two of the heroes from this series, Vincent Trocheck and Chris Kreider:

Again, I don’t lie to you: Until Goodrow scored his empty netter, then I was still making plans to watch Game 7 at my favorite local watering hole with my merry crew! Thankfully, the next time we convene at the pub will be for an Eastern Conference Final game! LGR!

Kudos to the Rangers and Laviolette – who continued to piss on once again the “SAME OLD RANGERS” moniker!

As you’d suspect, the Rangers are off on Friday – and where they will be watching Game 6 of Florida/Boston – and rooting for a black-and-gold win too.

It’s tough to figure out when Game 1 of the ECF will begin – and especially with the Knicks, the other tenant of M$G, enjoying a deep playoff run of their own.

At earliest, and this assumes that Florida closes on Friday night, then I’d suspect that Game 1 will start on Monday.

Of course, and with the two Western Conference rounds each needing a sixth game – then the NHL may wait until all business is settled before scheduling the penultimate round.

Either way – who cares?

The Rangers are moving on – and that’s all that matters!

As far as yours truly – I must admit – I’m looking forward to a no hockey weekend – and some rest-and-relaxation prior to the ECF.

After all, the “easy” work, winning the first half of sixteen games, is complete.

It’s what lies ahead that will keep all of us awake at night!

As is the norm these days – I have to be up for another double-shift at the real j-o-b on Friday.

But the lack of sleep for this win (and write-up) was well worth it!

I’ll return next whenever the Rangers’ ECF opponent reveals themselves.

But for now, it’s 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/

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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2 thoughts on “NYR/CAR R2G6 5/16 Review: Chris Causes Chaos in Crying Canes’ Finale! Kreider’s Third Period Natty Hatty Returns Blueshirts to the ECF; Lavy’s Lot Continues Historic Campaign With Their Best Comeback Yet, Another Sixty-Minute Flair For the Dramatic Roller-Coaster, Drury’s Dagger Into Don Waddell; Teacher Beats the Pupil Too, DAVE MALONEY RULES, Line-Up Debates, CZAR IGOR, Stress-Free Weekend; Enjoy It, Teddy Roosevelt & More

  1. An unbelievable third period who would have thought this after the first two periods, but wow, what a win. I so look forward to the next round, who would you rather play Boston or Florida and why, just wondering your take. Again, we move on, why not us.

    1. Just posted my series preview blog – but I would’ve rather Boston – a less path of resistance.

      But while Florida will be tough – it will be all Ranger home games – and as you can attest last series based on where you live.


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