NYR/FLA 5/22 Review: Reigning & Defending ECF Champs Take Game 1 Over BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS; Cats Get Every Great Bounce Imaginable – And Some Puck Luck Too, Chytil Posts Goose Eggs All-Around in Return; Messier & M$G Miss Matt Rempe, GAG LINE 2.0 Shut-Out; Rangers Blanked Too, Don’t Blame Igor & Laffy – And Don’t Blame The Refs Either, Drury Finally Speaks, Sam Rosen Overcomes A Scary Situation, The Excuses & Comparisons Need to Stop & More

If one picture can sum up the Rangers’ 3-0 Game 1 loss from Wednesday night at Madison $quare Garden, then it’s this screen grab, as at the 16:12 mark (3:48 remaining) of the third period, and with the Blueshirts trailing the Cats by one goal, Alexis Lafreniere misplayed a puck – and then put it right into CZAR IGOR’s net. But to exclusively blame these two for the Rangers’ defeat is a fool’s errand – and I’ll soon explain why below. Simply put for now? “Lavy’s Lot” didn’t have it tonight. “Maurice’s Merry Men” did.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. We remain at eight down, eight to go, but with one strike of four on the board, following the Rangers’ 3-0 Game 1 loss.

Off puck drop, and just to set the mood here – I’m not going to be ranting and raving – nor will be I racing to the ledges and bridges either.

Sometimes, and whether it’s in the regular season or in a high-stakes playoff game – you just don’t have it.

And as you may have already assessed – the Rangers didn’t have it on Wednesday night.

And really, I don’t think that their opponents, the Florida Panthers, really had much of it either – albeit – but they did have it a little bit more than our beloved Blueshirts in Game 1.

In what was a 1-0 Florida lead prior to an Alexis Lafreniere miscue with 3:48 remaining in regulation time – the Rangers had already previously missed on three breakaway opportunities – while also hitting iron twice.

In what broke down to essentially five excellent scoring chances for the Rangers, and Sergei Bobrovsky, backstop of the Cats (and his posts too), survived all five of them.

I guess that cats have five lives instead of nine!

I wouldn’t really question the Rangers’ effort in Game 1, and as many are currently doing right now, because in my eyes, what the Panthers did tonight just reaffirmed something that I have always said on this site – “the other team is paid to play hockey too” – and in this case – the Panthers, the reigning-and-defending Eastern Conference champions, and to quote Larry David as well, are “pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.”

The Rangers just didn’t have their “A-game” tonight – and in my opinion, an opinion that was later echoed by the likes of Blueshirts’ alum such as Mark Messier, Sean Avery, Ron Duguay and Dave Maloney (among many others too) – nor did the Blueshirts have their “A line-up” either.

But to blame the decision of “Filip Chytil IN, Matt Rempe OUT,” is a poor excuse when trying to describe this loss.

Ditto some of the remarks that were made by the players following the match, and especially the excuse made by Chris Kreider, when he blamed the playing surface for being poor.

After all, the Panthers, while not having a player on their roster that is as highly skilled as Artemi Panarin – a “Breadman” who benefits by playing on the best ice possible – they also played on the same rink that sits at 33rd and 7th.

The best way to accurately describe Game 1?

The GAG LINE 2.0 didn’t score, neither did the Rangers’ power-play, and when he needed to be, Bobrovsky, a two-time Vezina Trophy winner, and a finalist this year for the hardware too, was better than the one-time Vezina Trophy winner, CZAR IGOR.

In other words, and while I wasn’t a fan of scratching Rempe (you may have heard – and this opinion/sentiment will be echoed a few more times throughout this tome) – to blame missing fourth-liners and questionable bottom-sixers doesn’t explain the FAT CATS, the big buck Blueshirts, for not getting on the board.

And from the “Isn’t It Amazing Suzyn” Files?

Prior to tonight, and the last time the Rangers were shutout this season, the only time they were shutout during this 2023-24 campaign, was in a December loss to the Capitals.

The time before that?

A 2022-23 season loss to these same D.C. men – and when Laviolette was behind their bench.

Go figure.

Furthermore, to bitch and moan about a line that’s carried this team all season, and a GAG LINE 2.0 that collectively went a combined -8 on the night (Panarin -3, Lafreniere -3, Trocheck -2), then I think that’s ridiculous too.

After all, without this trio, the GAG LINE 2.0 – and the Rangers aren’t even here to begin with.

These three have been killing it all season, and despite what happened in Game 1 – I’m fairly certain that they’ll skin some Cats again – and as soon as in Friday night’s Game 2. Photo Credit: NYR

While of course, I presently write to you from a disappointed state – but at the same time –  I’m also not upset – nor up-in-arms either.

But if anything bothers me, then it’s the fans that want every player traded from the team after one playoff loss.

I mean, I even had some people writing to me on social media telling me how much “CHRIS KREIDER SUCKS” – a disgusting notion – and where these same gremlins were absolutely quiet about CK20 during the last game that the Rangers played prior to tonight’s tilt.

Obviously, we’d all like the Rangers to go 16-0 and sweep every series along the way – but at the same time – and be honest – did you really expect the Blueshirts to bust out the broom and sweep these Cats to the litter box?

Going into this series, I predicted Rangers in six – and I could also see this series going seven games.

Either way – and even had the Blueshirts proved victorious in Game 1 – then I don’t envision a short series regardless of the first game’s outcome.

While of course, and as I speak out both sides of my mouth here – you’d rather see the Rangers go up 2-0 – where in this hypothetical, then if they had to lose, then you’d like to see them drop one “on the road” – and where “on the road” is in quotes for two reasons:

One, home ice advantage isn’t as big as it used to be, especially when two, Sunrise, FL will be stuffed to the rafters with Ranger fans during every game played in that locale.

I guess what I’m getting at is this:

Yes, tonight sucked, but take a deep breath – this series isn’t even close to being over yet – and especially when you consider the fact that the Blueshirts have had a penchant for both the dramatics and comeback all-season.

And nothing ever worth having comes easy either – another example of “The Rangers’ Way!”

CZAR IGOR, one of the more “colorful” goalies of the league, and much like his predecessor, Henrik Lundqvist, also has a mean-streak/temper – and a deep burning desire to win too. We saw both of these traits tonight – even in spite of the loss. Photo Credit: Colin Stephenson

In a game where both teams entered it as being perceived as evenly-matched, it were the Panthers that set the tone early and often.

After a fast-and-furious first five-minutes, a stretch of time that the visitors largely dominated – and the game slowed down some – and where the Cats’ game-plan of stunting the Rangers’ offense was successfully clawed.

Put it this way: A Matt Tkachuk sneaky wrist shot past Adam Fox, where the Rangers’ rearguard accidentally screened CZAR IGOR in the process, was the game’s lone goal for the first forty-minutes, and as scored at the 16:26 mark of the first period.

Furthermore, this goal was the end result of an indecisive Artemi Panarin, who for whatever reason, didn’t take a shot on goal against his good buddy and fellow Russian, Bobrovsky. Instead of shooting, Carter Verhaeghe got the puck and the Cats were off to the races for the 1-0, bad guys goal.

What transpired prior, during and afterwards, saw the Rangers total five shots on goal in the first period.

The second stanza?

While finishing with seven shots on goal due to a late power-play earned after Sam Bennett’s hold of Fox with just 1:26 remaining in the frame, the Rangers went nearly sixteen consecutive minutes without testing Bobrovsky once.

Even Sieve Vagistat could’ve had a shutout during these sixteen-minutes that were in the middle of this period’s book-end.

But come the third period, and still trailing by one – and it’s not like the Panthers were world-beaters either.

They just got every break imaginable – and when Bobrovsky was required to wake-up – then wake-up he did – including when waking-up after the sounds of puck-meeting-rubber blared into his ears.

Now past the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark, and with the Rangers looking to get aggressive before getting desperate (pulling CZAR IGOR), we then saw #31 do what he always does – he left his net to play the puck, where in turn, he was looking to connect on his 98679865676756778657865658th successful homerun pass of his career.

Verhaeghe, perhaps having CZAR IGOR scouted, was right there – but to his credit, the 2022 Vezina Trophy did get back to his net in time.

With just 3:48 remaining, and following two failed Ranger power-plays to boot – and Verhaeghe looked to dish the puck to his side for a potential two-vs-one goal.

The one in this equation?

Alexis Lafreniere – who got to the puck before Verhaeghe’s pass to his fellow Panther did.

This led to a Lafreniere goal scored – for the other team – and a 2-0 hole that was insurmountable to overcome on this night.

But to solely blame CZAR IGOR and Lafreniere for this loss, and as many others are doing, is simply ludicrous.

After all, you can’t win if you can’t score – and you can’t knock the players wearing the digits of one and three on their backs for being aggressive when trying to find a late equalizer either.

And when CZAR IGOR was finally pulled with three-minutes-and-change remaining?

The Blueshirts couldn’t score on their 6 x 5 extra-man attack either – their third failure when having an extra skater on the ice.

Sam Bennett put the game away with 1:19 remaining, as a light pass from Tkachuk led to the easy, no-doubt-about-it, 3-0, empty netter, bad guys goal – and your 3-0, bad guys, final score too.

To me?

If anyone deserves to be fuming, screaming and in a state of all-out rage, then I guess it’s the fans who were asked to pay boffo bucks to watch this dreck.

For some of these people, they traded in their mortgage payments in lieu of tickets – and then got this in return.

And if this is the one game that these fans saw all year – then yeah – I understand their ire – and their boos too.

But if you watched this game for “free” on cable television or on the ESPN+ streaming service, then I think that you can be more level-headed – and as I am right now.

But if there’s one last thing that I don’t want to hear right now, and just like the excuses and frustration, then it’s all of the 1994 comparisons – and really – any other team or year comparisons either.

As talked about in my series preview blog (linked below) – it’s SOLELY about these 2023-24 New York Rangers – and the story they write – and a story that I hope they finish too – by having a June parade in NYC!

At this time, let’s get into all of the pregame news & notes, followed by our quickest GAME REVIEW segment of the season!

While I like to have my fun with Sam Rosen on this site, perhaps too much fun – it does come from a good place, a state of parody – and no one wishes any ill will against one of the nicest human beings that you can ever encounter either.

On Tuesday night, and when attending his grandson’s baseball game in Rockland County, Sam Rosen had a medical event that required a hospitalization.

Details are both sketchy and unconfirmed as of this writing, but the word on the street is that Rosen felt dizzy and soon collapsed, and as a result, was rushed to a local emergency room.

While the rumors about Rosen’s condition flew left-and-right prior to Wednesday’s Game 1 puck drop, Don La Greca, on the awful “Michael Kay Show,” confirmed such rumors as fact:

As La Greca stated, and as many others who knew about this story too also said, Rosen cleared all tests and procedures, and as a result, was released from the hospital.

However, he’s unable to travel (and work) right now – and as a result – La Greca, one of Dave Maloney’s usual partners on 98.7 ESPN FM radio, is filling in.

Furthermore, Kenny Albert, another one of Maloney’s regular partners, is currently unavailable, as he’s working the Dallas/Edmonton WCF series for TNT.

At this time, I’d like to wish my best to Sam Rosen – and where I’m also hoping for a speedy recovery.

Despite all of my stupid jokes on this site, often mocking his senility – I’ll miss him whenever he retires – and perhaps after this – that option may become a reality – as nothing is worth risking his health.

Not even the Rangers.

Good luck Sam.

If I’ve said it once, then I’ve said it a 967869867986798679867986987698 times – I would’ve started Matt Rempe tonight – and I’m sure that ESPN, who has the TV rights to the 2024 ECF – wished that Laviolette played him in Game 1 too. After all, he’s a ratings draw – tops in the league today. Photo Credit: TNT

Before getting into all of the pregame talk/interviews, where after tonight, this white noise became much whiter than ever, I wanted to share this clip with you that I found on Tweeter – an AI generated clip that I wish was reality – rather than being made-up by a clever Twit:

There was a whole lot of talking during the past two days in Rangerstown, USA, where everyone involved with the club echoed the same message – work hard and get results.

In case you missed it, I previously previewed this series and talked about all of the off-day news up to Monday morning, links which you can find here:

As noted and explained before on this site, I guess Chytil’s health isn’t a top priority anymore. Photo Credit: NYR

On Monday morning, the team’s first full practice since the events of their second-round semi-final series win over the Hurricanes – and the Rangers were right back at it in Tarrytown, NY.

The biggest news from the practice, and from the Jeykll and Hyde department, was that Filip Chytil was healthy on this day – and for however long there afterwards is anyone’s guess – as no other Ranger has missed more games between various ailments and concussions than the Czech center who can’t win a faceoff.

Since Chytil was the league’s worst center at the dots last season (and throughout most of his career), that meant, and as it was in Game 3 against Carolina, that he was made a left-winger – and at the expense of both Matt Rempe (scratched) and Will Cuylle (demoted to fourth-line).

While I’m not that high on Chytil to begin with, nor do I think that both Rempe and Cuylle should suffer for his return (I’d scratch Wennberg, and as explained before – but again – since Chytil can’t win a faceoff then that means that Wennberg stays); but I still wonder why Laviolette feels any sort of loyalty towards a rusty and untested Chytil.

After all, it’s not like Chytil and Lavy have been through the wars together.

In fact, and if you include the one playoff game that Chytil had played, then the Czech has only played in ten career games for Laviolette.

And while I’ll spare you another REMPE RANT here, as I’ve written all of this before, but when I see former Ranger alumni who were previously part of deep playoff runs, including Brian Boyle and Sean Avery – and oh yeah – that Mark Messier guy too – all say that Rempe needs to play – then it strengthens my opinions on why #73 – and not #72- should be in Lavy’s Line-Up.

One last redundancy reminder?

I’m not criticizing Laviolette at all. I’m just opining!

But I also do think that this roster change/line-up move falls into the “I’m the smartest guy in the room” department.

Following an otherwise “no news is good news” practice, Laviolette then conducted his Monday edition of “LAVY’S LOUNGE.”

Here it is for you below:

For the first time in two-years, when he was sitting alongside Gerard Gallant prior to the 2022 Eastern Conference Final, and Chris Drury showed his face for the first time! While I’m exaggerating here, as I think this is fourth “public” interview that the Rangers’ general manager has given in two-years – you get the point. And look at that “oh, no, that hot oil pizza is rumbling” reaction on Drury’s face too! Photo/Joke Credit: NYR & Mike S.

On Tuesday, and prior to Rangers’ practice, both Laviolette and Drury sat down for a league-mandated Eastern Conference Final media interview.

Here it is:

And on Wednesday, following a “business as usual” morning skate, Laviolette spoke one last time prior to Game 1’s puck drop:

As far as all of these interviews go – everything that you’d expect to be said was said.

As Lavy has done all season, he praised as many players as possible (individually) while also speaking to how well the team has played all season.

When it comes to Drury, he did the same, while also pumping up the tires of his head coach too:

“It’s Lavy’s lineup, but it’s good to have options,” said the GM when talking about the return of Chytil and all of the options that his head coach has to work with.

“Their love for each other, I really do think they come to work every day, they love being here, they love being Rangers. There’s a lot of belief in that room and they all work for each other. It’s exciting,” added Drury when speaking about his team as a whole.

“He’s a very detail-oriented coach,” said Drury with Laviolette sitting next to him. “I come back to those of us who get to see him every day at practice. He’s got a plan every day and he executes it. As we’ve seen as the year’s gone on, he’s able to adjust if needed.”

Obviously, some took Drury’s remarks here, while in praise of his current coach, as a knock against his former coach, “The Turk,” too.

The 2024 Eastern Conference Final will tell the story.

As far as his line-up decisions go, Laviolette said, “You have to make tough decisions as players become available. You base it on how your team is playing, how individuals are playing, what you might need in a series. There’s a whole lot that goes into it.”

But finally, and after what felt like three-hours of pregame talking (including the players), all of the white noise was behind everyone and it was now time for actions to speak louder than words.

We’ll need more actions moving forward as a result of the actions displayed in Game 1.

Here was Laviolette’s line-up for the eleventh playoff game of the postseason – and the 93rd-overall game of 2023-24:

FIRST LINE: Panarin/Trocheck/Lafreniere

SECOND LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Roslovic

THIRD LINE: Chytil/Wennberg/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Cuylle/Goodrow/Vesey

FIRST PAIR: Lindgren/Fox

SECOND PAIR: Miller/Trouba

THIRD PAIR: Gustafsson/Schneider


BACK-UP: Quick

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


The following graphics and information come from ESPN.com:





23 0 23 1.000 19 4 0 0 0 60:00 0


26 2 25 .962 22 3 0 0 0 57:46 0

No joke: I really believe that both the Rangers and Filip Chytil are playing with fire with his return right now – and where this prone state may become permanent. Hockey-opinion wise? I don’t see how his insertion into the line-up betters the Rangers if it means that Rempe is scratched and Cuylle is demoted. Photo Credit: Getty Images


Following another amazing rendition of the National Anthem as belted out by Blueshirt baritone John Brancy, M$G was absolutely abuzz, as they were at a fever-pitch at puck-drop.

Then the puck dropped – and that was pretty much that – and where this graphic should also be noted too:

I’m not blaming the refs at all for this loss – but when you have an official with a 10-0-1 record whenever calling a Panthers’ game – then don’t you think that you should find somebody else? Photo Credit: @ScoutingtheRefs

The first two-minutes or so of this period were dominated by the visitors – as they employed an all-out attack that CZAR IGOR thankfully survived.

Once escaping this perilous situation, and Zibanejad came close to scoring on a rebound – but no cigar – no smoking in M$G.

In what was the first of many fortunate puck-luck plays for the Cats, and Trocheck, with 15:32 to go, had a breakaway – and on his shot – the puck hit Bobrovsky’s mask – so hard that the goalie’s mask went flying off of his head.

And to be clear – this wasn’t Bob pulling a “Holtby” either – Trocheck just rifled the puck that hard.

But an inch higher, lower, righter or lefter?

It’s a 1-0 Rangers’ lead.

It was at this point when Florida first tried to slow the game, and stall successfully they did.

With 9:34 remaining, and with the Rangers pinned into their own end again, and “The Gus Bus” made one of the worst turnovers that you’ll ever see, as his attempted clearing pass was intercepted, which not only led to an elongated Panthers’ attack – but a Florida 2 x 0 opportunity too.

While Florida thankfully didn’t score here – Trouba did hook Barkov.

The Blueshirts’ PK, their biggest strength of this postseason, did it again, thus going 1-1 at this juncture – and really – where would this team be without their penalty kill – and one that’s stifling every top power-play of these playoffs?

As we neared 6:00 remaining, the refs let the players do their thing, as a Trouba cheap-shot on Cousins went uncalled, while a questionable (interference) hit by Tkachuk on Trocheck also went unnoticed – and I was fine with that.

Just keep it consistent.

As we got never-ending face-time with Emily Kaplan, who dyed her hair brown for this big night (I wonder if she was trying to impress her former beau, the returning Chytil – and yes – this is a joke – and on-going joke on this site that even the ESPN bench reporter laughs at and is familiar with – so no reason to “snitch” on me here!); Tkachuk, with 3:34 remaining, scored – and a goal that no one knew at the time would become the eventual game-winner.

1-0, bad guys – and where I don’t think that CZAR IGOR ever saw it – as he didn’t even move as the puck ripped into his twine.

While CZAR IGOR may have been screened by Fox, you also have to tip your cap to Tkachuk – a former Flame who absolutely dominated last year’s ECF – and as this shot was sneakier than a silent, but deadly, fart bomb too.

Come 2:05 remaining and we almost had an equalizer, but Braden Schneider, while on a breakaway, hit the post so hard that even Sam Rosen, holed up at home, heard it.

Again, and as noted above – Florida got all of the puck luck in the world tonight – and yes – you need puck luck to win Stanley Cups too – and furthermore – the Rangers got a whole lot of puck luck in their last period played prior to this one – the third period of Game 6.

(In other words – it works both ways.)

The Panthers, who wanted their Fancy Feast for an entire sixty-minutes, almost got another goal with just thirty-one seconds remaining – but the Rangers’ #31 said “Nyet, Nyet.”

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

Here’s what I said at the time:

Laviolette wasn’t doing much smiling in this one – and where in my estimation – he kind of acted desperate for the first time this post-season – as despite a one-goal deficit – he was hitting the line blender like a methed-up madman. Photo Credit: NYR


In a word, and to be gentle, this period “sucked.”

That said, despite the Rangers’ futile attempts – and the Panthers never increased their lead either.

There’s something to be said about that – and as I’m saying now – as even with the Rangers at their worst – and the Cats couldn’t run away with the game.

As noted earlier, the Rangers got two shots on goal within the opening 1:40 – a Will Cuylle breakaway that was denied by Bob – and 2 x 1 odd-man rush pass from Lafreniere to Trocheck that was also shutdown.

After that?

A 16-minute SOG drought.

And while SOG quantity isn’t make-or-break – you could see the Panthers getting cozy out there – like a cat on your pillow.

With 12:17 remaining, Jack Roslovic took a stupid o-zone penalty, when in frustration, he high-sticked OEL. I saw some people calling out the officials for making this call – but when Roslovic blatantly high-sticks OEL in the head in front of the black-and-white – then what do you expect the zebras to do?

At least we know what the Rangers’ PK did – as they once again stifled Florida’s power-play.

But the bad luck also continued for the Rangers, as both Kreider and Trocheck, when looking clear-as-day at Bob, broke their twigs when shooting the puck.

When it rains it pours.

Once the PK was complete and this is when Lavy first hit the line blender for what must’ve been a total of 98678677986798679867869 changes on this Wednesday night.

This time it was Chytil, with the BFF, Roslovic with the third line and <GULP>, the Feckless Finn, Kaapo Kakko, with the fourth-liners.

Gee, I wonder who could’ve predicted that Kakko and Chytil would do nothing productive in this game?

“BUT, BUT, BUT, THEIR CORSI STATS!” – you know, such garbage and jargon as relentlessly uttered by the analytical jackasses who for whatever reason, can’t figure out that players, emotion and hockey games aren’t played on their computers – but on a sheet of ice instead.


0 goals, 0 assists, 0 SOG in his 9:17 TOI.

And I never heard one fan chant “CHY-TIL” tonight – and as M$G always does whenever “REM-PE!” is in the line-up.


Another scoreless/pointless showing – aka – the usual.


No shit – he never scores or takes risks!

I know that you’re sick of it – but come on – MATT REMPE everyone!

Nobody, and I mean nobody, maximizes their minutes in the way that he does – and if you’re still stuck on the “he’s a goon” nonsense – then you’re an idiot – and as Messier (and me too!) has explained on every ESPN broadcast.

With 4:40 remaining, CZAR IGOR, where with a lesser goalie, then this game would’ve been 4-0, and in favor of Florida, denied a Barkov backhander.

Lafreniere, nearing two-minutes remaining, was denied on a stuff-try – thus ending the Rangers’ sixteen-minute SOG drought.

Even Bobrovsky had to wipe the crust out of his eyes.

Come 86-seconds remaining, and Fox, after a rebound try, was held by Bennett.

The Rangers’ power-play, and conversely from their penalty kill these days, is pretty much all or nothing.

In other words, it’s either a barrage of goals or come away empty-handed.

Tonight, and unfortunately, it was the latter.

1-0, bad guys, after 40-minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

As Messier said in his autobiography, “No One Wins Alone” (reviewed here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/nowa/) – and the Rangers aren’t going to win without Matt Rempe either! While of course I’m exaggerating for effect right now, but regardless, I do think that #73 should be in Lavy’s Line-Up for Game 2 – even if it’s just to breathe life into M$G. Photo Credit: Mark Messier

Here’s Messier during the second intermission:

It’s amazing how 99% of my opinions on this site align with both Messier and Henrik Lundqvist – and not with Sieve Vagistat and the analytical millennials.


And for that, I thank you!



Following the Ranger’s failed power-play, and as the Panthers easily killed the thirty-seconds left remaining on it, and this is when Laviolette’s fingers got sore after pressing the line blender so much.

There was so much that went down, but here’s a quick synopsis of it:

— Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko were reunited – but mainly because #13 was double-shifted following a Rangers’ power-play.

— As the period progressed into its latter stages, and Chytil was stapled to the bench while Kakko mainly played with the fourth-liners.

— Panarin was double-shifted.

— Roslovic and Chytil didn’t do much, where you have to not only wonder about Rempe for Game 2 – but perhaps the return of Blake Wheeler as RW1 too.

Come 16:26 remaining and CZAR IGOR robbed Verhaeghe.

It was also at this time, and I didn’t know this prior, as all I knew was that they were friends and trained together in the off-season due to their previous playing days in Columbus, where ESPN reported that “The Breadman” was the Godfather of Bobrovsky’s two-year-old son.

Panarin couldn’t put a puck past Bobrovsky tonight – and unlike the Corleones’ – couldn’t put a horse’s head in Bobrovsky’s net either.

It was also around this time where Ray Ferraro brought up how eerily silent that M$G was – and where one more time – no one was chanting “CHY-TIL” on this night either.

Gee, have I made it clear enough that I want to see Rempe start in Game 2?

Another thing around this time, a TV time-out?

Henrik Lundqvist was shown in-attendance – and where wouldn’t you know it – while pulling double-duty on the M$GN tonight – he wasn’t sitting with Sieve Vagistat either – you know – the worst goalie in franchise history who says that he’s best friends with “THE KING OF COMMENTARY!”


With 11:15 remaining, a glimmer of hope:

As noted before – I have no clue what evidence overturns a goal anymore – as for a play like this one, the only luck that the Rangers received tonight – half of the time we see them upheld, and in the other half of the time, and as the Blueshirts were on the right end of here, are overturned.

So instead of 2-0, bad guys, and because Lomberg had entered the crease before Lindgren had the right to push him out of it, this OEL score was waved “bye-bye.”

This goal reversal temporarily rejuvenated M$G – but it wasn’t for long either – nor did the Rangers gain any sort of momentum from this official’s gift either.

(My eyes, and as someone trying to be unbiased while also wearing Blueshirt glasses? I would’ve allowed this goal – and just because I’ve seen the Rangers get screwed on similar plays before – plays that I have previously advocated for. In other words – I don’t want to be a hypocrite!)

In what just made you sink your head and say “EFF IT;” with 9:32 remaining and Lafreniere was boxed for hooking the slow-footed Dmitry Kulikov.

Of course, you only had these feelings and words because right before this, as in nano-seconds – and Trocheck was tripped by a pussy cat – and where had that penalty been accurately called – then there would have been no need for Lafreniere to reciprocate – while breaking up an odd-man rush too.

The Rangers’ PK did their jobs again – but also let out a huge sigh of relief too – as just one-second after the kill – and Lundell hit the post – and where the puck took a pop-fly bounce towards the rafters – rather than a lateral bounce into CZAR IGOR’s net.

Come 6:49 remaining – a “PUT UP OR SHUT UP” Rangers’ power-play – as the Panthers were nailed for Vagistat’s favorite penalty – too many men.

The next two-minutes?

The Panthers made the Rangers “shut up” – and then shut them out too.

Following the kill and CZAR IGOR battled – and didn’t get penalized for this rabbit-shot too:

The Rangers, who could never get it going tonight, then saw the CZAR IGOR/Lafreniere mishap:

2-0, bad guys – and again – I can’t blame Igor and Lafreniere for ditching the conservative approach.

This kind of stuff works 99/100 times.

It was on this night where the 1% hit – kind of ironic – as only 1% of the population residing in Rangerstown, USA these days can afford to go to every playoff contest!

Bennett scored his empty netter after two saves made from his goalie on both Mika and Panarin.

3-0, bad guys.

3-0, bad guys, your final.

1-0, bad guys, the series.

But let me try to talk you off of the ledges and bridges one more time:

You need to win four games – not one.

Tonight was a setback – not the end result.

And while perhaps I’m being too nice tonight – I just believe in this team – and I can’t have an alternate mindset.

I want this to happen for them.

And I need this to happen for me!

Here’s Laviolette after the loss:

As noted earlier, here’s Kreider too – and while I won’t bash him for his comments, especially since I’m a huge fan of his and I don’t forget about Game 6 either – but I still don’t like him making excuses, and as he did here, as he blamed bad ice:

Desperate times call for desperate measures! While I’m 11-1 at the bar this season, my dear-old dad is 11-0! In other words, I’m dragging my dad out of his house for Friday night’s Game 2 – and where yes – I am off from work! Praise the hockey gods!

We move on and live to play another game – and hopefully only four more games in this series at that!

Again, while it really boils down to the Rangers’ power-play, CZAR IGOR and the GAG LINE 2.0 – play Rempe on Friday.

And maybe, play Wheeler (instead of Roslovic) too.

Keep The Faith!

And I must keep my 5:30AM bed-time too, 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/FLA 5/22 Review: Reigning & Defending ECF Champs Take Game 1 Over BEST IN THE WORLD BLUESHIRTS; Cats Get Every Great Bounce Imaginable – And Some Puck Luck Too, Chytil Posts Goose Eggs All-Around in Return; Messier & M$G Miss Matt Rempe, GAG LINE 2.0 Shut-Out; Rangers Blanked Too, Don’t Blame Igor & Laffy – And Don’t Blame The Refs Either, Drury Finally Speaks, Sam Rosen Overcomes A Scary Situation, The Excuses & Comparisons Need to Stop & More

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