NYR/CAR R2G1 5/18 Review: Rangers’ “Young Guns” Come To Play; “Fat Cats” MIA, Blueshirts Give Away a Gift-Wrapped Win; Raanta Wins Battle of Finns, Heartbreaking Defeat; Must Get Split, Blais, Gallant, ESPN/M$GN & More

The Rangers were just 2:23 away from escaping Raleigh, North Carolina with a 1-0 victory, a win that would have put them up 1-0 in their best-of-seven second-round series with the Hurricanes. However, a poorly played third period came back to bite the Rangers. This time, it was the opposition, and not the Blueshirts, who pulled off the thrilling comeback.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. This one hurts.

Truthfully speaking – the end of tonight’s game felt like getting a prostate exam administered by Edward Scissorhands.

Yes, I know – everyone and their mother, including the Ranger beat reporters, all have Carolina winning this series. In fact, I’ll get into this during the NEWS segment of tonight’s manifesto.

That said, after forty minutes of play, the Rangers were the much better team of the two top squads of the Metropolitan Division. Unfortunately, a terrible third period would ultimately do them in.

There’s no way to sugarcoat this loss. There is no silver lining.

Simply stated – the Rangers blew it. They had this game the entire way.

In addition, the Rangers will have to win one game in Carolina in order to win this series, and they were right there from wiping out the Hurricanes’ home ice advantage tonight.

They didn’t – and now all you can hope for is that you’re not looking back at this game in disgust when this series concludes.


You can do a lot of finger-pointing and play the “blame game” after this loss.

As highlighted in tonight’s header photo – Kaapo Kakko could’ve put the Rangers up 2-0 late into the third period. However, he missed a vacated net, a net that seemed as high and as wide as a soccer net.

However, to solely blame him would be foolish.

After all, it was Kakko’s line, the third line, that was head-and-shoulders better than the top six, a Rangers’ top six that once again didn’t do much of anything during a playoff loss.

Mika Zibanejad, after finishing with a season-high faceoff winning percentage of 72% during Game Seven against Pittsburgh; the Rangers’ top center, as he is more times than not, was absolutely abysmal at the dot tonight.

It got so bad, that even the ESPN broadcasters were openly mocking Mika on-air. And they weren’t wrong.

Zibanejad won only six of seventeen faceoffs on Wednesday night, for a paltry success rate of 35.3%.

As you can see, after nearly winning three out of every four faceoffs during Game Seven – he barely won one of every three faceoffs during Game One in Carolina. Not good.

Artemi Panarin, who admittedly, did work his way into Rangers’ history with his Game Seven overtime game winning goal; “The Breadman” was just as stale in this game as he was during the regulation time of Game Seven with Pittsburgh.

Between the turnovers, his shoddy defense, the never-ending puck watching, and not being able to drive play; this much is certain – there’s no way that he’s at 100%.

He’s probably still battling through whatever injury he received during the last week of the season. And if he’s not – there’s no explanation for his regulation time no-shows.

And then there was Jacob Trouba, who hasn’t yet had a monstrous game during these playoffs, and who had never-ending issues with getting pucks out of the Rangers’ defensive zone tonight. In turn, he finished with a plus/minus rating of a -2 – the game’s low, as he was on the ice for both Carolina goals.

Yes, I’m writing this blog from a state of disappointment, where “disappointment” is the key word – and not the word “anger.”

After all, this team has comeback from repeated adversities all season, so to write them off after one game would be idiotic.

That stated, I go back to what I said at the start of this intro – “this one hurts.”


The third line scored the only Rangers’ goal of the game and had a chance to score two more.

If there’s anything else worth repeating here, it’s the obvious, and something I’ve been saying for a while – “it’s great for the young players whenever they are the best skaters on the ice, but that’s not good for the Rangers as a team.”

Once again, Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller stood out as the best Rangers’ quartet of skaters on the ice. That’s great for them. That’s not good for Mika, Panarin, Trouba, Strome, Copp, Kreider and Vatrano – a top six and an $8M defenseman that the Canes seemingly shut down with ease.

It’s also not great when the Rangers’ veteran grind/check line, the fourth line, consisting of Tyler Motte, Kevin Rooney and Ryan Reaves, have as many, if not more, scoring chances than the top six combined either.

Whatever it is, the top six, “THE FAT CATS,” can’t stay consistent during these playoffs. I just hope they have some more Game Five, Six and Seven heroics in them. If not, ugh.

And when they received an early power-play into this game? Just 27 seconds into it, Ryan Strome took his obligatory penalty of the game, a bad penalty which took place in the Carolina d-zone.

Right now, we should be talking about CZAR IGOR’s first shutout of the season, where ESPN also did their best to jinx it – a successful effort out of the two bozos known as Sean McDonough and Ray Ferraro.

Really, and I know that every fan base, no matter the sport, always feels this way – it felt like they were trying to will Carolina into this game throughout the duration of regulation.

No joke – I think a clean up in aisle one was needed for the ESPN broadcasters after Sebastion Aho’s tying goal – a goal that Trouba just watched.


While Antti Raanta does have some starting experience; once again, the Rangers couldn’t take advantage of a back-up goalie in net. Photo Credit: Carolina Hurricanes

The best player of this game, and easily the contest’s first star, was former Ranger goalie Antti Raanta.

While the Rangers didn’t even bother challenging the Finn during the final twenty minutes of regulation; #32 carried the Canes during the first forty minutes.

During the first period, the Rangers, then up 1-0, had a chance to go up 2-0, but Filip Chytil didn’t lift a puck, which then allowed Raanta to make a successful and desperation left toe save on the Czech. It was the best save of the game.

Then, during one of the rare chances that the Rangers would receive in the third period, Kakko missed his open net.

After Aho’s late equalizer, the Canes made short work of the Rangers in overtime, after what else – a deflection goal.

After known sharp-shooter (ugh, I’m trying not to laugh), Ian Cole, fired a harmless shot from deep, Trouba didn’t bother to block it, the rubber took a bounce off of Lindgren and that was that – Game Over.

What looked like was going to be a 1-0 shutout Rangers’ win (or maybe a 2-0 shutout after an empty net situation, a situation that never took place), and with just 2:23 to go, was soon shot to shit.

The Rangers gave this one away.


If there’s anything that scares me, it’s this – this is the worst that Carolina has looked during these playoffs. This was the Rangers’ chance to cement a split situation, and better than that – a chance to win both Games One and Two on the road.

After tonight’s game – I’m not so sure if Carolina will be this bad again.

There are no bones about it – the Rangers should be up 1-0 in this series right now. They choked.

However, for “glass half-full” fans like me, there’s this – the Rangers have been in this situation before and they’ve overcome it before too.

Yes, I know that Game Two isn’t mathematically a “MUST WIN” situation; but the Rangers will have to win one of these games on the road. They need the split.

And as I’ll get into during the GAME REVIEW – I don’t think that the crowd in Carolina, which prior to tonight, was the loudest crowd in the league – will be as quiet as it was tonight on a Friday night.

One more time – “ugh.”

At this time, let’s get into all of the pregame news and interviews, and then into the main event – the GAME REVIEW.


While I wouldn’t consider the return of Sammy Blais as the biggest news of the day; his return can only help the Rangers. Photo Credit: NYR

The Rangers, who took Monday off, practiced in New York on Tuesday. Following the practice, the team boarded their flight to Raleigh, North Carolina.

A day later, on Wednesday, during the team’s morning practice, there was a new face on the ice – #91 himself, Sammy Blais.

As everyone remembers; way back when on November 14th, 2021, we had the “PK Slewban” incident – when the long-time NHL defenseman slew-footed Blais.

At the time, and even as recent as just two weeks ago – many of the Rangers’ beat reporters stated that there was no way that Sammy Blais would be returning this season. As usual, the beat reporters were wrong, where at this juncture – they are better off sticking to transcribing interviews and posting pictures of their dinner.

Obviously, Blais, a restricted free agent at the end of this season, wants to get back into the line-up as soon as possible.

Not only did that coward wearing #76 in Devils’ red rob Blais of his season; but Slewban maimed Blais during his contract year too.

That said, and as noted many times before – legacies are made during the playoffs.

Should Blais be able to return, and should the Rangers continue to ride this playoff wave into June; it can only help Blais’ negotiating powers come contract time. Of course, that’s a topic for another time, and I’m getting ahead of myself here.

When it comes to the only other injured player on the club, Barclay Goodrow, his status remains unchanged. He is not skating yet; but Gallant, as he did with Blais on Wednesday, isn’t ruling him out for the duration of this second-round series with Carolina either.

Here was the Wednesday morning edition of “TURK TALK”:


As noted, Gallant said that both Blais and Goodrow could make their returns during this series – but it wasn’t going to happen during these first two games in Carolina.

Gallant also added that Blais has been skating on his own for some time now, which means that his conditioning shouldn’t be an issue for him right now.

That said, of course, playing an NHL game (where there is contact – you may have heard – and even more so during a playoff game), is much different than skating around and running on a treadmill.

As far as anything else, the head coach said his usual stuff – “one game at a time,” “we have to work hard,” and etc.

If there is one thing that I want to bring up, it’s the fact that every member of the Rangers’ beat have predicted the Hurricanes to win this series. I wonder how Gallant and his players feel about that?

If it were me behind the bench (perish the thought!), I would print out every single one of these predictions from these people that you see every day, and then post them on the bulletin-board, in an attempt to rile up and motivate the troops.


Antti Raanta, the former Ranger back-up goaltender, is currently the starter for the Carolina Hurricanes.

In pregame news from the Carolina end of things, starting goaltender Frederik Andersen remains out with his injury. He’s already missed a month’s worth of games, and once he is eventually cleared, he’ll be like Tristan Jarry during Game Seven, which means he’ll be playing an intense game while rusty.

Currently, Antti Raanta remains the man between the pipes for the Canes, where some are wondering if he should continue to play well, do you pull him while he’s on a hot streak? Of course, that’s a problem for Canes’ bench boss Rod Brind’Amour, and not for me!


Here’s what “The Turk” ultimately went with for this “Kevin Weekes” tribute game:

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Vatrano

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Strome/Copp

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Motte/Rooney/Reaves

Defensively, we had this:

FIRST D-PAIR: Miller/Trouba

SECOND D-PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

THIRD D-PAIR: Braun/Schneider

And in net, CZAR IGOR.


BOX SCORE time.

The following information and graphics come from the new world-wide leader in NHL coverage, ESPN.com:

SCORING:

PENALTIES:

TEAM STATS:

GOALIES:

CAR
SA
GA
SV
SV%
ESSV
PPSV
SHSV
SOSA
SOS
TOI
PIM
28 1 27 .964 27 0 0 0 0 63:12 0

 

NYR
SA
GA
SV
SV%
ESSV
PPSV
SHSV
SOSA
SOS
TOI
PIM
26 2 24 .923 24 0 0 0 0 63:12 0

There was a lot of talk on both the M$GN and ESPN pregame shows about the former and now ex-Rangers in Carolina, where as you would assume – DeAngelo received the bulk of the headlines. However, neither broadcast used this silly photoshop!

The M$GN, as it has done before during this 2021-22 season, continues to run pregame and post-game shows during all nationally televised Ranger broadcasts.

With Henrik Lundqvist temporarily in Sweden (he returns on Sunday, for Game Three at M$G), another one his back-ups, Marty Biron, was featured in-studio on Wednesday night.

I have no way of confirming this, but I think Marty Biron was brought in because he has a contract with M$GN, as he currently works on Buffalo Sabre broadcasts. That said, I don’t know what M$GN’s fascination is with Lundqvist back-ups as broadcasters. Who’s next? Brandon Halverson?

I’d rather see M$G fixture Nick Fotiu (a very smart hockey mind), Brandon Dubinsky get a crack at it, or M$GN bringing back Ron Duguay, rather than seeing Vagistat and Biron. Hell, use Joe Micheletti if you have to – just give us anybody that can bring a skater’s perspective to these broadcasts. Two Ranger back-up goalies is two too many.

(That said, Biron didn’t hold back at all (refreshing), even going as far in ripping Panarin a new asshole for his lazy defense.)

Of course, the M$GN “Dream Team” for next season, or at least in my opinion? Ryan Callahan (who did the ESPN broadcast with Steve Levy and Kevin Weekes tonight) and Henrik Lundqvist.

And when it comes to the very rarely used ESPN panel? Of the Lundqvist back-ups that we saw tonight, it was Kevin Weekes, and not Sieve Vagistat or Marty Biron, that was the best.


Dave Maloney was back from his illness tonight, where the whole ticket nonsense in Carolina was brought up. (Carolina isn’t the first team to limit face-value ticket sales to only local residents and they won’t be the last.)

Maloney, on location (he called the game on the radio), brought up how there were a ton of Ranger fans tailgating prior to the game.

And I guess I should say this here – Ranger fans took over Raleigh. The loudest crowd in the league was anything but that tonight.

No joke, I thought that the crowd in Carolina, who were raucous during the first round, would copy-cat Pittsburgh and get all over Igor, in an attempt to throw off the Vezina and Hart finalist. There was none of that tonight. And really, until the third period, there was no crowd noise whatsoever to speak of.

After a long segment on the former Rangers in Carolina (did you know that Tony DeAngelo currently plays for the Hurricanes?); Biron paid a high compliment towards Ryan Lindgren, when he said, “Adam Fox looks lost without Lindgren.”

This wasn’t a shot at the 2021 Norris winner. Instead, this was high praise for #55, when talking about what Lindgren brings to the Rangers.

And this much is true – even if Ryan Lindgren was one-legged; he would’ve done more than what Jacob Trouba did during Game One.

Once 7PM hit, I flipped back to ESPN, where known Ranger hater Ray Ferraro and the clueless Sean McDonough had the call. And if you want to know why I’m so down on this duo – just listen to them.

(One of my biggest pet peeves as a fan? Listening to announcers mention the word “shutout” in hockey, just like how I hate when baseball announcers bring up “perfect games” or “no hitters” when a pitcher has one going on during the latter innings of a game. Both Ferraro and McDonough did their best in mushing Igor’s shutout. They got what they wanted. Assholes.)

Ugh.

GAME REVIEW time, where I really just want to get through this as fast as possible.


When Filip Chytil is the best Rangers’ center of a game, that means there is a problem. Photo Credit: NYR

FIRST PERIOD:

Head coach Gerard Gallant opted to start this game with his fourth line. In turn, they’d start each of the regulation periods, only for the first line to take over at the start of the overtime.

Just 1:26 into the game, the Rangers received one of their many gifts tonight, when Nino Niederreiter high-sticked Adam Fox behind CZAR IGOR’s net.

This dumb penalty, which took place while Carolina was attacking, would be negated just 27 seconds later, when Strome took an offensive zone penalty himself, when he tripped Jaccob Slavin.

Worth noting? These were the only two penalties of the game.

Overall, I thought that the officiating from tonight’s game was okay.

While there were a few missed calls, including an obvious slash/hook on Kakko during the meaty portion of the third period; there was nothing truly egregious tonight. The officials let them play.

In other words – there were no shenanigans, like there were during the series with Pittsburgh.

The two teams would go scoreless both during this foreplay and during the limited Carolina power-play.

Once returned to full-strength with 16:06 to go; Motte and Rooney had a mini odd-man rush chance, but a pass didn’t connect cleanly and Raanta was able to cover up.

On the next Rangers’ shift, Panarin tried to hook up with Copp with a pass through traffic, but no damage here.

With 13:52 to go, Raanta stopped a nice shot out of Vatrano, as the former Ranger continued to keep the Blueshirts off of the board.

A minute later, the ESPN broadcasters started raving about Tony DeAngelo. As they’d later do to CZAR IGOR – they jinxed him.

As McDonough, Ferraro and sideline reporter Emily Kaplan were all raving about TDA, this happened:


1-0, GOOD GUYS!

On this play, a play that was all Alexis Lafreniere, #13 forced DeAngelo into a turnover. With Filip Chytil streaking alongside him, the 2020 first overall pick made a perfect pass to #72 and the Rangers’ third line center buried the puck past Raanta.

This was a FABULOUS goal. Unfortunately, it was also the only Rangers’ goal of the game.

After Tyler Motte was crosschecked from behind at center ice (no call), Trouba turned over the puck. However, Lafreniere would eventually recover the rubber and brought it into the Carolina zone, where he then tried to set up Rooney with 9:59 remaining.

On the next possession, Schneider scarily centered a puck in front of CZAR IGOR, where Motte, not injured after the crosscheck, was forced to ice the puck in a response.

After Igor made his second save of the game with under nine minutes to go; Ryan Strome had a chance to put the Rangers up 2-0.

Despite being all alone and one-on-one with Raanta; #16 was denied when #32 snapped the pads before the puck could go through the five-hole. At the time, this was the best save of the game.

With 7:30 to go, Panarin, who someone should’ve put an APB out on tonight; tried to shoot at Raanta, but Ranger killer Sebastion Aho blocked the shot.

Now down to five minutes, it was reported that Ryan Lindgren had entered the tunnel and was going to the locker room. He’d miss the rest of the first period, but he’d return come the second period. All in all, he would play for the remainder of the game.

Lindgren is obviously hurting big time, which is why he’s not participating at practices anymore. The guy just wants to play and help his team win, and despite not being at 100% – he’s arguably the team’s best defenseman right now, where only K’Andre Miller can currently challenge for that distinction.

With 5:16 to go, Raanta made his best save yet, when Kakko found Chytil wide-open, only for Raanta to make his left toe save.

If Chytil lifts the puck an inch during this play, it’s 2-0.

That said, despite the third line failing on two major scoring chances tonight – I can’t get on them. I can talk about these missed chances, but to bury the third line would be moronic – they’re the only ones that created scoring chances tonight.

Following a Raanta save on Kreider with 4:20 to go; Mika Zibanejad lost every faceoff imaginable, where after each loss, CZAR IGOR was forced to come up with a save.

After a Lafreniere turnover, Seth Jarvis, a standout in Carolina, went wide on a shot attempt.

With a minute to go, there was Ryan Reaves (not a top six player), with two great chances at Raanta, only for #32 to come up with the pair of denials.

1-0, GOOD GUYS, after twenty minutes.

Here were my first period thoughts at the time:


K’Andre Miller, once compared to a “PRAYING MANTIS” by former head coach David Quinn; looked like a cheetah and a bull during the second period.

SECOND PERIOD:

ESPN’s Steve Levy must be reading these blogs or maybe he just thinks like me; as during the intermission, he brought up the “KIDS’ LINE” moniker that the unknowledgeable NYR beat reporters have dubbed the third line as, where he stated that the nickname was unoriginal. He also brought up how many lines in NHL history have had that nickname before.

In other words – come up with something original and new!

With Lindgren back on the bench and able to play; Rooney won the first draw of the middle stanza and his line then spent thirty seconds on the attack.

Three minutes in, Raanta stopped a Lafreniere backhander.

Of note, despite #13 getting close to Raanta, we still hadn’t had our first scrum/post-whistle physicality yet.

In fact, outside of some light nonsense at the end of regulation – we didn’t have one scrum tonight. Perhaps both teams were beat up a bit after their physical and nasty first-round series’.

Following a big save out of CZAR IGOR on a try from Lorentz; Zibanejad then missed Raanta’s net on the other end.

With 14:15 to go, #31 kicked a Jesper Fast try to the far boards, which the Rangers’ then cleared.

Two minutes later, Panarin turned over the puck again, but Copp got it back.

As Raanta continued to stop everything, as if he was a 2006 Cam Ward; the Canes then had a loooooooong attack in the Rangers’ d-zone, where Trouba couldn’t get a puck out of the zone to save his life. In turn, he was on the ice for 3:12 during this time, as he couldn’t get a change due to the Rangers’ repeated icings and Carolina’s forecheck.

With Trouba still a mess, with 8:35 to go, K’Andre Miller made his presence felt:


Miller, known more for his stick work than for his hitting; #79 chased Seth Jarvis, caught up to him, and then laid the boom. This hit not only led to a turnover, but better than that – prevented a Canes’ scoring chance, chances where at the time – were extremely limited.

In addition, this was Miller’s lone hit of the game, but hey – he made it count.

(Trouba led all Rangers in hits with six, but many of them were the end result of chasing Carolina around all game.)

With 7:50 to go, Kakko was tripped, but this no call was debatable and nothing to scream foul about.

After Strome and Motte almost hooked up; with 5:37 remaining, Lafreniere hit the crossbar. What could’ve been, what could’ve been.

As the third line continued to motor, Carolina was forced to ice the puck several times.

With 3:22 left in the period, Miller knocked DeAngelo on his ass. TDA was irate and wanted a call. At the time, I was hoping that he’d get pissed and take a stupid penalty – but that never happened.

(This also made up for the Kakko no call, or at the very least – showed consistency out of the officials.)

A minute later, Skjei blocked a Mika try while Motte’s follow-up was then denied.

With 50 seconds remaining, Panarin made another turnover, a turnover where DeAngelo intercepted the puck.

At the end of the period, Trouba, to his credit, broke up a Canes’ 3-2 odd-man rush.

We remained at 1-0, GOOD GUYS, after forty minutes.

This is what I said at the time, while heading into the final frame:


We’re back to this again, as the Rangers’ top two play-makers could never find the go-ahead goal.

THIRD PERIOD:

Carolina had fourteen shots on goal when this period began.

However, knowing these Rangers, I knew what would happen next, as I said this right before puck drop of the third:


And wouldn’t you know it, the first five minutes of this period was all Carolina.

By the time the five minute mark hit, CZAR IGOR had already amassed seven saves in the period. Conversely, the Rangers wouldn’t get a SOG for nearly fifteen minutes.

In a word, they “turtled.”

Yes, I knew that Carolina was due for a “storm surge,” but even so – the Rangers just shit the bed here.

I know these games can be taxing, but they just got away from what they were doing during the first forty minutes – where again, it were the “FAT CATS,” and not the young guns, who were the biggest offenders.

With 13:10 to go, and after a Mika shot from the slot that went wide; the shot attempts in this period were 15-1, and in favor of the home team. Not good.

With 10:55 remaining, and with the Rangers just trying to hang on, they iced the puck. They also didn’t have a SOG during this period of time either.

As we got under ten minutes to go, and with 8:30 left on the clock; Kakko streaked towards his fellow countryman, where the Canes slashed and hooked #24 as he was going to Raanta. No call, where if there was any bad no call in this game, it was this one. Both the Rangers and Gallant gave the officials an earful afterwards.

Now down to 7:10 remaining, the Rangers had their crossbar moment (Lafreniere) matched, when Niederreiter, all alone on a breakaway, had CZAR IGOR beat – but he smashed the crossbar. Crisis averted – at least temporarily.

Then, with 6:40 to go, Kakko missed a wide-open vacated net, on a play where you’d have to think that even Stevie Wonder would’ve scored on.

Despite everything that had occurred at this point – it should’ve been 2-0 Rangers here.

Kakko messed up (and I’m sure he knows it too), but again – this is one play. Where were the FAT CATS during this game?

But yep, this is the play that you won’t be able to get out of your head because of the loss.

Now under five minutes to go; Kakko had another chance to score and tried to redeem himself, but this time Raanta, now in position, made the save.

As assholes were clenching around Rangerstown, USA; with 2:40 to go, Aho hit the post. This was the last break that the Rangers would receive.

With just 2:23 on the clock, and on the first rebound that CZAR IGOR afforded during this contest; Aho, untouched and just watched by both Panarin and Trouba, followed up on his rebound and scored. 1-1.

While Carolina was celebrating; the Rangers’ balloon was popped.

Carolina, not at their best, were able to tie this game. That hurts.

Right after the goal, the Canes continued to attack Igor, but #31 fought them off.

Down to 23.9 seconds remaining, the Canes iced the puck. As the ESPN announcers wondered if Zibanejad would ever win a faceoff; #93 lost an o-zone draw, thus ending any chance of a Disney finish.

1-1 after regulation.

Here’s what I said at the time:


Trouba talks a big game but he hasn’t had a big game for the Rangers’ during this playoff run yet. He’s most certainly due to have one. Photo Credit: Getty Images

OVERTIME:

Everyone knows the deal – either these playoff overtimes are decided very quickly or they go on to extra bonus periods.

In this game, it was the former.

After former Ranger Brady Skjei denied Zibanejad on his wrap-around attempt, and then blocked an Adam Fox shot too; Raanta then denied Trouba.

That would be it for the Ranger offense.

Just 3:12 into the overtime, Ian Cole flung a harmless puck towards the net, Trouba watched it, Lindgren deflected it and 2-1, bad guys, your final. It are these fluky deflection goals that always hurt the Rangers – just like Malkin’s triple overtime winner.

I bring up Malkin’s triple overtime Game One winner for one reason only – after that brutal loss, the Rangers came back to win Game Two. Let’s hope for more of the same on Friday night.

And let’s face it – it’s Carolina that has all the pressure on them to win, especially as both the favorite and home team of this series.

A loss for them would’ve been catastrophic tonight, especially since it’s them, and not the Rangers, who are further ahead with their blueprints for a Stanley Cup victory. (I talked about all of this during my series preview blog.)

Now, the pressure is on the Rangers.

While “house money” isn’t the right phrase (but you can understand why that phrase is used); at the same time, losing this series wouldn’t be the end of the world.

What I’m getting at here, is that win-or-lose, because of their first-round win – this season is a success.

That said, the Rangers are only four wins away from the Conference Final. That’s the mindset they should have. You have to live in the moment.

As Gallant said after Game One in Pittsburgh – “MOVE ON!” Of course, that’s much easier said than done.

And for what it’s worth, Gallant wasn’t as defiant during Wednesday night’s post-game interview as he was after the Game One loss to Pittsburgh.

Here’s “The Turk” following the game:


This one stings, and it will sting even more should the Rangers lose Game Two.

However, if the Rangers can recover – everything will be all good.

Going into Carolina, all that you could want is a split. That opportunity still remains.

PLUGS TIME.


On Tuesday afternoon, our chums over at “2 Guys, 1 Cup” returned with a new episode, where they looked at the events of round one and previewed round two.

To listen to the show, click the link below:


The hardcover version of my 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:

https://www.amazon.com/Rangers-Rafters-Madison-Square-Garden-ebook/dp/B09CM5N2WD

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


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

Complete New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes Series Preview; Canes Following NHL Blueprint for Success; NYR Looking To Tear It Up, DeAngelo #1 “Jerk,” But Don’t Forget About the Lafreniere Angle; NYR/CAR History, NHL Round Two Predictions, Gallant, HC’s & More


NYR/PIT R1G7 5/15 Review: The Comeback Kids Do It Again! Rangers Eliminate Penguins in a Game 7 OT Thriller; Defeat The Officials Too, Panarin Saves Best for Last, CZAR IGOR Sets Another Franchise Record; #31 Era is NOW, Gallant, No Quit in NY; No Pitt in NY Either, Full Game Review, Early Look at NYR v Canes & More


NYR/PIT R1G6 5/13 Review: Comeback Rangers Find-a-Way Again! Fat Cats (Sans Panarin) Force Game 7 at M$G; Keep on Singing Igor’s Name Pittsburgh, Missing Mika Found at 8PM; Captain Kreider Leads Rally, Special Teams Extra Special, Crosby v Trouba, Lindgren Fuels Blueshirts, Head Coaches & More


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These two alternate captains need to stop the bleeding during Game Two. Photo Credit: NYR

Up next: Game Two, Friday night on ESPN. Note the 8PM puck drop.

As always here, thanks for reading and…

LET’S GO RANGERS!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

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1 thought on “NYR/CAR R2G1 5/18 Review: Rangers’ “Young Guns” Come To Play; “Fat Cats” MIA, Blueshirts Give Away a Gift-Wrapped Win; Raanta Wins Battle of Finns, Heartbreaking Defeat; Must Get Split, Blais, Gallant, ESPN/M$GN & More

  1. Good writeup Sean. Like you, these kind of losses are tough to recap. I took a bit longer due to the chaotic Oilers/Flames Game 1. It definitely cheered me up. I laughed at the insanity. And wound up including it in my post with the playoff update.

    We both highlighted the key moments. The only thing I’d say is Trouba had one good game. Game Five last round. Impacted that series. He must be much better.

    We’ll find out a lot tonight about this team. I expect the Storm Surge to come early. They have to be ready for it.

    The top guns must step up. Let’s get a split and make it a long series.

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