NYR/CAR R2G5 5/26 Review: No Quit in New York, But All $H!T in Carolina; Blueshirts’ Backs Now Against The Wall, Most Listless Performance of the Playoffs Yet, Panarin Injury Update; No Baked SOG, Canes Out-Everything NYR, Turk, Kakko, SHG’s, BELIEVE & More

In a word, the Rangers were DOMINATED by the Hurricanes on Thursday night in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a result of their 3-1 Game Five loss (and a loss that felt like 12-0 too) – the Rangers now find themselves in another “win or go home” situation.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Ugh.

Game Five was like watching a loved one gasp for their last breath of air while on their death bed.

While admittedly, that is an extremely exaggerated reference for effect; what’s not exaggerated is this – the Rangers MUST WIN their next two games.

If they don’t – it’s lights out in the Big Apple.

On Thursday night, Game Five of this series, which took place in Raleigh, North Carolina; the Rangers found a bad time to play one of their worst games of the season – where their opponents just absolutely dominated every facet of the game.

For the first time in this series – the Rangers just looked out of it. All of the good will and feelings following Game Four have now been erased.

While the final score may read as 3-1, and in favor of the Hurricanes; in reality – this game felt like a double-digit decimation of the Blueshirts.

The Canes just “out-everything’d” in Game Five.

Whether it were shots on goal, faceoffs, special teams, hustle, pride, desire, zone time, puck possession, goaltending, and/or anything else that you want to conjure up here – you name it, the Canes did it – and they did it in a spectacular fashion – fashion that would blow away whatever suit Henrik Lundqvist is currently wearing these days.

Heck, the Rangers looked even worse than one of Sieve Vagistat’s cheap suits.

Outside of Alexis Lafreniere, the most consistent Ranger of these 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs; the Rangers looked like a Jack Kevorkian patient on Thursday night.

The Canes pulled the plug on the Rangers’ dreams of taking their first lead of these 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blueshirts looked lifeless. They looked defeated. They seemed completely resigned to accepting this loss.

If you’re looking for a silver lining here (ha!), the Rangers were credited with 31 hits as opposed to the Canes’ total of 30 body blows; but as is always the case – the eye test, and not analytics and/or the box score, tells the full story.

In short – the Rangers were chasing the Canes all game, which in turn, artificially boosted this statistic.

No joke, if you want to go back and re-watch this game (I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy) – here’s how Game Five played out, or at least while five vs five:

Lose a faceoff, watch Igor make a save or two, make ten passes where none of them lead to getting the puck out of the zone, watch the Rangers skate around like chickens with their heads cut off, and rinse-wash-repeat.

And if you’re a regular reader of this site, then you know this already – no one is more optimistic than me.

However, I’m also a realist and have to say what this game was – a sixty-minute annihilation of the Rangers.

Even Nancy Kerrigan, while blindsided by Tonya Harding, fared better on ice than the Rangers did tonight.

Yes, Mika Zibanejad scored a goal tonight, but he has to be better than Jordan Staal. That hasn’t necessarily been the case – especially on faceoffs. Artemi Panarin, 96 points in the regular season, once again didn’t log a SOG during a playoff game.

Again, if you’re new here, the preceding words may seem off-putting to you; but if you’re a regular reader, then you know this – I take no joy, solace or glee in being negative.

In fact, I hate having to write this blog tonight.

After all, I didn’t start this site to share misery.

Instead, I started it to share good vibes – which admittedly, is tough to do when this franchise only has four Stanley Cup victories to their name in their nearly one hundred years worth of existence.

(However, I at least understand why the the Rangers only have four paltry championships during the past 95 seasons. Heck, I even wrote a book about it. You can see the PLUGS segment of tonight’s manifesto on how to buy that book if you haven’t done so already.)

This little preamble is my way of once again stating the obvious – Artemi Panarin, in a word, has SUCKED during these playoffs – his Game Seven overtime goal (a fluky goal at that) be damned.

However, and as suggested in this space previously, this much is also true – he’s not at 100%.

According to my SAUCES in the hockey world, my suspicions and thoughts were confirmed to me on Thursday night, when someone within the hockey media that I converse with regularly gave me a Panarin injury update.

(And no – it isn’t Stan Fischler, someone who I write for outside of this site.)

This person (and who has never led me astray in the past), confirmed what I previously opined on this site.

Panarin, who was hurt/injured during the final week of the regular season; “The Breadman” didn’t have enough time between the end of the regular season (where he was a healthy scratch) and the start of the postseason to heal.

Wanting to play and help the team; Panarin refused to take any games off. He is currently playing with a shoulder injury.

I was also told that some people thought that Panarin may be suffering through back and wrist injuries too – but according to the word on the street – it’s the shoulder injury that’s the most severe.

Once the Rangers’ season concludes (and let’s hope that it isn’t anytime soon and that the Rangers win their next two elimination games); then we’ll most likely have all of the injury information confirmed – where it won’t just be about Panarin – but everyone else who is currently playing through injuries, such as Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, etc.

While you have to admire that Panarin is gutting it out right now; at the same time – he’s not helping the team at all. It’s sad to say – he’s been more of a detriment than a positive factor.

And it’s not just his never-ending turnovers, shoddy defense, and maddening cross-ice passes either.

Just watch him whenever there is puck battle. Heck, just watch him whenever contact is incoming. He’s shying away from all of this.

Some fans have also observed to me, that following Ranger victories, when the team does all of their fist-pounding and hugging; Chris Kreider and Jacob Trouba, the two leaders, are very light when celebrating with him.

I know that sounds like something straight out of “Conspiracy Theory 101,” but if you go back and watch all of this – you’ll see all of this go down – including after Panarin’s series winning goal against Pittsburgh.

Bottom line – the Breadman is hurting. He’s also hurting the Rangers, where his “decoy” status hasn’t lifted others.

I was really hoping that this picture, a bad photoshop that I made prior to Game Five, would be tonight’s header photo. There’s always Saturday night!

Everything regarding Panarin aside, including his zero shots on goal tonight – this loss wasn’t all on him.

Far from it.

CZAR IGOR, who you know that I’m a DAY ONE fan of, wasn’t at his best tonight.

While you can’t blame him for his three goals allowed; we’ve also seen better.

In addition – even if he was at his best – unless he was going to lead the offense up ice – the Rangers weren’t going to win this game.

And in an interesting note; according to ESPN, CZAR IGOR has given up the most five-hole goals during these playoffs (6).

Of course, a lot of that has to do with the Rangers allowing a ton of SOG during these playoffs, especially during the first round, where many breakaways and odd-man rushes were to be had – just like we saw during Game Five.

Again I state – “UGH!”

Chris Kreider, the defacto team captain, and just like Panarin, didn’t register a shot on goal tonight. Both Vatrano and Kakko were also held without a shot on goal – not good.

Ryan Strome led the team in shots on goal, with four of the team’s seventeen shots on goal.

He could’ve had five, but a goal scored during the second period, which would’ve put the Rangers up 2-1 at the time, was negated after a video review for offside – an offside that had nothing to do with the goal allowed.

Seriously, if Wayne Gretzky played during this era – he’d probably have numbers akin to Panarin.

And when it comes to the NHL’s video replay review, where I believe the Rangers are now 0-6786867896896789 in this department – this one was legit. Strome/Copp were offside, but it wasn’t by much.

That said – the video replay review had nothing to do with this loss.

Ready for one of my go-to and frequently repeated lines? Here you go: “while it’s good for Alexis Lafreniere when he’s the best Ranger on the ice, that’s not good for the Rangers themselves.” This is my way of saying that the top guys didn’t do much of anything. Photo Credit: NYR

For the second time during this series, the opening goal of this game took place during a Rangers’ power-play.

Unfortunately, and for the second consecutive game in Raleigh – it were the Canes kicking off the scoring with a short-handed goal.

Just like not scoring during a five-minute major power-play or during a 5 x 3 power-play – when you give up a shortie – more times than not – you’re losing the game.

And that’s what happened.

The Canes, gifted another goal during this series, were now up 1-0 at the 12:57 mark of the first frame.

Mika Zibanejad would temporarily make Ranger fans think that they had a chance of winning; when on the Rangers’ second power-play of the game, #93 finally won a face off, and then six seconds later – tied the game.

That was pretty much it for the Rangers.

The Canes’ would receive a power-play during the second period, and after ESPN did all of their reverse jinx and mush nonsense; there was Teuvo Teravainen to put his team ahead at the half-way mark of the game.

That was all that was needed, because despite only a one-goal lead – the Canes were firmly in control all game.

The Rangers couldn’t do anything.

Whatever they did during Game Four (where yes – the last line change also helped them) was out the window.

Antti Raanta may as well have left his net for an early dinner, as there were multiple long stretches of time where the Rangers didn’t even come within ten feet of him – much less put a shot on goal.

Conversely, the Canes just peppered Igor as if he were a deli sandwich.

And while Igor did his best (and at least scoreboard wise, kept the Rangers alive too); he did receive a ton of luck throughout this game, including three clangs of the iron, a few just-misses on deflections/re-directs, and shots that went an inch or two wide and/or high.

An Andrei Svechnikov goal would seal the deal with about seven or so minutes left in regulation.

The Canes, now up 3-1 – sealed the deal.

And the Rangers, once pulling CZAR IGOR with 2:15 to go, and just like their first power-play of the game – didn’t even get a SOG.


Yes, give Carolina, a strong team themselves, all the credit in the world here – but at the same time, the Rangers very easily could’ve won the first two games of this series.

Simply stated – this was their worst performance in Raleigh yet; where after this game – I fear that we’ll be thinking about that Kakko miss during Game One all summer.

That said, the Rangers are 3-0 in elimination games during these playoffs and have pulled comeback-after-comeback out of their five-holes all season.

They’ll now need to do it two more times. If not – that damn Kakko miss.

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

I know I’ve ran this picture several times this week, but keep in mind – I have the maturity level of a twelve year old.

On Wednesday, the day after the Rangers’ Game Four victory, the team was off and did not practice. Maybe they should have.

However, prior to the Blueshirts’ flight to Raleigh; head coach Gerard Gallant, and as he’s contracted to do during every day of the playoffs, spoke to the media.

Here’s was the Wednesday edition of “TURK TALK”:

Gallant chatted to the media for nearly eight minutes, where really – not much came out of it.

The biggest news of note was that Gallant, at the end of his presser, said that Barclay Goodrow is now skating on his own.

Goodrow, who has been on the IR ever since the end of Game One against Pittsburgh, where #21 played nearly four periods on what’s suspected to be a broken ankle (his exact injury hasn’t been confirmed yet, but he has been spotted with a walking boot during the past two weeks); isn’t practicing with the team just yet – but the fact that he’s skating on his own is encouraging.

While we don’t know when Goodrow will be able to return; should the Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Final, then the story will write itself – Goodrow’s quest for a “Patrick Maroon-Trick” vs Tampa’s drive to become a dynasty team.

(I should also state here that some people may consider Tampa a dynasty team already, just because it’s harder to win the Stanley Cup today than it was to win it during previous eras, and for all of the obvious reasons – more teams today, the salary cap, etc.)

As far as anything else, it was the same old stuff, and in a good way – “one game at a time,” Gallant’s happy about his team, CZAR IGOR is the man, defense has been great, can’t worry about what the other team is doing/have to take care of our own business, and etc.

A day later, Thursday, Game Day, Gallant spoke to the media one more time:

Thursday’s “Turk Talk” was pretty much the same as Wednesday’s. Everyone knows the task at hand and what the stakes are.

If there was anything to note, Gallant teased that he’d be using the same line-up from Game Four.

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

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Vatrano

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Strome/Copp

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Motte

FOURTH LINE: Kakko/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.


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





17 1 16 .941 16 0 0 0 0 60:00 0


34 3 31 .912 26 0 5 0 0 57:46 0

I have no clue what the analytical losers are saying right now (you know, the same people who tell you that faceoffs don’t matter – Maury Povich has determined that’s a lie) about the limited HIGH DANGER chances/shots that Raanta faced; but from the eye-test side of things, and aside from Mika’s PPG too – I think #32 only had to make one tough save tonight. Not good. Photo Credit: Carolina Hurricanes

At 6:25PM, I tuned into the M$G Networks, where for some reason, that (alleged) coked-up meth addict who hosts that M$GN Gambling Show was doing yoga.

Seriously – this guy was telling people to do yoga in order to feed their degenerative gambling.

Maybe next week, he’ll host a Zumba class while shrieking about over-unders.

Come 6:30PM, and for whatever reason – M$GN decided to go with two Lundqvist back-ups rather than with Lundqvist himself.

Marty Biron was back tonight, where is it me, or does his eyes resemble the peepers of some sort of Marvel supervillain?

How about this prophetic tweet of mine at the time:

Sadly, this joke would become a fact come 9:45PM EST.

Following Sieve Vagistat rambling on about nothing of significance; Dave Maloney got his face-time, where he brought up the Kakko miss from Game One, and how the Rangers played well enough to win both games in Raleigh.

He, like the two back-up goalies, felt that the Rangers had all the momentum going into Game Five.

For what it’s worth – so did I. All of us would eventually look like fools for feeling this way.

The rest of the M$GN pregame show felt like a repeat, where I’m not knocking them, I’m just saying what it is.

For the remainder of the show, Drury’s deadline acquisitions were praised, Fox and Lindgren received love, and then Vagistat dug deep and came up with this hard hitting analysis – “if you can get Raanta to break, you can win this game.” What an earth-shattering development.

Come 7PM, I flipped to ESPN, where Chris Chelios was back, in steed of Ryan Callahan.

Both Kevin Weekes and Chelios picked the Canes to win this game, where they repeated, and as ESPN would then repeat about 8967786867869 more times throughout this broadcast – the Hurricanes are undefeated on home ice during these playoffs.

For us Ranger fans, we’ll have to hope that another trend continues on Saturday night – the Canes haven’t won a road game during these playoffs either.

And if that should happen – we’ll then need the Rangers to break all trends during Game Seven.

Ugh, GAME REVIEW time, where it’s my goal to limit the pain.

However, I just give every game equal attention and consideration. Hang with me.

Mika had an up-and-down game tonight. Somehow, he was credited with 13 faceoff wins and only 10 faceoff losses. Outside of his power-play goal; it felt like during his faceoff wins, the Canes would get the puck right back and any chance of the Rangers pressing the offense would go up in smoke. Photo Credit: NYR


Right before puck drop, I said the following on the Tweeter machine:

And that’s what happened.

Once getting possession of the puck for the first time; Mika tried a blind drop pass to Kreider and while behind Raanta’s net. This was the first of many turnovers for the Rangers on this night.

As ESPN kept trying to will Carolina into a goal; Fox had one deflection try miss the net, and then a rare shot on goal was soon stopped by Raanta.

Following a good shift out of the Lafreniere/Chytil/Motte line, where once again – Lafreniere stood out the most to me amongst all Rangers; Fast tried a wrap-around try on CZAR IGOR.

Of note, if there’s any “tightening up” that #31 needs (and I’m not criticizing him at all, I’m just stating) – it’s really the same stuff that any goalie can use work on – backhanders and top shelf shots.

Most of the goals that Igor has given up during these playoffs (and as reminded to us by ESPN all game) are of the backhand and five-hole variety. (ESPN didn’t say anything about the top cheese goals.)

I only bring this up, because I’m surprised that Carolina kept trying these wrap-around attempts – because it’s been the backhanders and top shelf shots that’s been working for them. That’s all.

With 15:36 to go, Neiderreiter took down Mika and crosschecked him while prone (belly down) on the ice. No call.

As Jacob Trouba continued to get booed (just not at DeAngelo levels while at M$G); Staal shot a puck through #8’s legs. Igor made the tough save with 14:32 to go.

As Mika continued to lose faceoff-after-faceoff, Igor kept making save-after-save; including another on Staal following the captain of the Canes’ previous try. This save took place two seconds after Igor’s first stop on Staal.

After another Rangers’ faceoff loss (yawn); the Canes then had a two vs one odd-man rush, which they blew. The Rangers received a break here, as Carolina pulled a Kakko here.

With 12:52 to go, K’Andre Miller, while wide open and with no one in front of him; refused to shoot. Instead, the end result was a turnover.

The Canes then quickly marched up the ice, which led to Igor sprawling. Rather than #31 making the save here, it was the inverse of his jersey number, #13, Alexis Lafreniere, making the save instead.

On this play, Lafreniere slid while trying to stop a Trocheck wrap-around. The net went off the moorings. This meant that the Rangers had now received their second break of the game, and if it weren’t for these gifts – they could’ve been down 2-0 by the time the eight minute mark of this game hit.

And yep – after saying during the last two blogs posted on this site that Vinny Trocheck was due – that’s what would later on happen.

In a common occurrence throughout the duration of this game, this much was evident – the Rangers just couldn’t get the puck out of the zone.

While it would take nanoseconds for the Canes to get pucks out; watching the Rangers trying to clear pucks was like watching Dom Deluise do jumping jacks in quick sand.

Kaapo Kakko, and his status on the fourth line, was a theme/narrative provided by both ESPN and Ranger fans on this night.

After ESPN mentioned that Kakko has no points during this series (have you heard about his miss during Game One though yet?); Ranger fans, on social media, were going after Gallant.

They sure had nothing to say after Game Four though!

And while I get that some people have some sort of sick hero worship for the young Finn – he rarely scores, and when he does, it has been against bad teams (Arizona and Philadelphia).

Yes, the Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko line has been good more times than not; but it’s Lafreniere & Chytil who stand out more than Kakko. It’s why Gallant has promoted them and not #24.

And yep PART ONE: maybe this is looking into it too much – but I thought it was telling when Gallant was still talking about the Kakko miss prior to Game Three.

And yep PART TWO: it’s not just Gallant either. EVERYONE is talking about that miss (including the M$GN crew), a miss that now has the potential of costing the Rangers the series.

And yep PART THREE: Kakko’s miss, while both horrifying and inexcusable, isn’t the sole reason why the Rangers lost that game. It didn’t help, but to scapegoat Kakko for that loss isn’t fair either.

Down to nine minutes remaining, Slavin blocked a Lafreniere try. On the other end, Igor stopped Necas.

With 8:55 to go, there was Lafreniere, once again, mixing it up during a scrum, following Svechnikov boarding Tyler Motte.

Up next? The turning point of the game.

The Rangers’ power-play was brutal here.

Not only did they not register a SOG (tough to shoot pucks when you lose every faceoff and have to chase, chase, chase) – but worse than that – they gave up a short-handed goal too.


As the crowd continued to heckle Trouba, this jeering would soon pay off.

With the Rangers’ power-play units refusing to shoot; Trouba coughed up the puck at the blue line. Trocheck took a pass from Jordan Staal, and boom – 1-0 bad guys and with 7:03 remaining.

Not much Igor could do here, as Staal’s pass was perfect – a feed that took a hop over Miller, a #79 who tried to block the pass by going to his belly.

Five minutes to go, the Rangers only had three shots on goal. Tough to win games like that.

Now down to 3:10, fourth liner Kakko turned the puck over while in the slot.

Ten seconds later, Game One hero Ian Cole took a stupid penalty, as he cross-checked Carolina’s new arch-nemesis, Jacob Trouba, while in the Rangers’ d-zone.

Six seconds into the power-play, Mika would make ’em pay:

1-1, where at the time, you thought perhaps the tide would turn. Not so fast.

After one more turnover out of Panarin for good measure, the first period concluded.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Jacob Trouba and Ryan Reaves, who usually lead the team in hits; finished with one each tonight. Strome and Motte brought the most thunder, with four hits per man.


After more Ranger faceoff foolishness; CZAR IGOR stopped Aho at the 55 second mark, and then had to survive some hairiness following some pretty piss-porous Rangers’ defense.

Panarin, who I think everyone is on these days, especially regarding his defense; did make two good defensive plays in this game.

As Carolina stayed on the attack for a while, a deft poke check from the Breadman ended this particular storm surge.

For whatever reason, and despite it never working; the Rangers kept making stretch passes that never went anywhere, including one from Lindgren with 16:15 to go.

With 15:03 to go, Strome had three chances to score. On his third, he would, as a puck took a great bounce to his blade and #16 then did a mini spinorama from the right circle and soon found Raanta’s five-hole for the goal.

Of course, this is when Brind’Amour used his challenge, and for the 8638848338th time during these playoffs – a goal scoring play went in favor to the opposition.

For what it’s worth, Strome touched the puck before Copp got out of the zone; but even so, this is another example of the rule erasing good goals off of the board.

In other words, this review wasn’t the intention of video replay when it was first instituted.

Strome’s offside, while entering the zone one second before Copp left it, had nothing to do with this goal – but yep – the rule is the rule.

You can’t bitch about this, but you can say “what if?”

On the next Rangers’ possession, Raanta had to wake up from his nap and then stopped a Lafreniere-to-Chytil one-timer.

On the other end, CZAR IGOR made a swooping BESSIE (glove) save on “OH JOE, JOE PESCI JOE!”

Speaking of Joe/Brett Pesci/Pesce; RIP to his former cast mate, Ray Liotta.

Too bad the Rangers played as if they were at a funeral tonight too.

As Carolina continued to control every facet of the game; with 12:00 to go, Trocheck deked out Miller, but Copp was right there to break up this Canes’ scoring chance.

With 10:35 to go, Vatrano hooked Svechnikov at the right circle in the Rangers d-zone.

I saw some Ranger fans consider this penalty as soft (when don’t they?), but I thought this was a legit and warranted call.

As ESPN went on-and-on about Carolina’s power-play failures; I told my buddy, TEN O’CLOCK TOMMY, that the Canes would score.

After all, if the Rangers couldn’t get the puck out of the zone during five vs five play (and even while on their own power-play too!) – then why would they do so, now down a man?

Twenty-two seconds later, and after another d-zone draw loss; Teuvo Teravainen scored.

2-1, bad guys. The game winning goal too.

If you’re keeping track, this was also Tony DeAngelo’s first point of the series – a secondary assist – although this goal was all Double T.

As the Rangers continued their Terry Schiavo act; now under nine minutes to go, Strome took a shot. During his follow-through, he caught Seth Jarvis, the young sensation in Carolina, right in the face during Jarvis’ shot block.

Jarvis went to the locker room for repairs, as he was bloodied up after this.

Now under six minutes to go; the SOG were 21-9, Carolina. It should’ve been 22-9, but somehow, despite having a 3 vs 0 odd-man rush; the Canes flubbed it.

Another break for the Rangers, where at the time, and despite everything – was still a one-goal/one-shot game.

Another Rangers’ break came with 3:22 remaining, and following another Panarin turnover.

On this particular turnover, for some reason, three Rangers played with their ball bags behind Igor’s net, which then allowed Aho to go to the slot while untouched. Aho then rang one off of the left post, with a clang so loud that it woke up the dead.

Again – another break.

For whatever reason, and I guess to just add to the misery; with 5.7 seconds remaining, and with no one around him, Fox iced the puck.

This play didn’t come back to bite the Rangers’ in the five-hole, but it did feel like an admission of submission that the Rangers were both jumpy, and on their heels, while in their own zone all game.

2-1 after forty minutes.

Here’s what I said at the time:

Please let this sink in – Gallant is a ’22 Jack Adams finalist. This is my way of saying that I HATE, HATE, and did I say HATE, whenever Ranger fans attack him after a loss. He’s not on the ice. He’s not losing faceoffs. He’s not refusing to shoot the puck. And really, I don’t care what lines that you wanted to see – collectively, as a group, the Rangers were just out-played all game. Photo Credit: NYR


There’s no reason to prolong the pain here, outside of saying that this is the worst that the Rangers have looked in this series, while conversely – this was the best that Carolina has looked all series.

Gallant shook up his lines a bit, promoting Chytil to the top line and Lafreniere to the second line.

It didn’t matter.

To fast-forward through this slop; by the ten minute mark, the Canes were out-shooting the Rangers 31-14. Not good.

The Rangers would also kill a Miller high-sticking penalty during this period, in what I thought was a fugazi call.

(Miller tried to “jump-ball” a high puck and caught Aho, who was also going for the puck, in the mouth. It was a legit penalty, but there was no intention behind it.)

With 6:59 remaining, Fox turned over the puck at center ice. Svechnikov then scored five-hole on his breakaway.

3-1 bad guys.

The rest of the period, much like the entire game, saw the Rangers try to get the puck – they never could.

Carolina was relentless and in all three zones, especially on their forecheck which then forced the Rangers to waste valuable time whenever trying to get the puck out of the zone.

Gallant wanted to pull CZAR IGOR earlier than when he did – but since the Rangers couldn’t touch the puck, he’d have to wait until the 17:45 mark.

It didn’t matter.

Even with the extra skater on the ice, the Rangers didn’t put one shot on goal during the final 2:15.

3-1 bad guys, your final from Raleigh.


Here’s Gallant after this garbage, a Rangers’ head coach that wasn’t smiling as much as he was during the previous 48 hours:

Of note, and in case you don’t know this already – I write my blogs – then check everything else, as I don’t want to be influenced by anyone else.

In other words – I want to stay as true to my opinions as possible.

As I write these words now, and as we wrap-up, I just finished watching Gallant’s post-game presser.

He pretty much said everything you’ve now read up to this point – his team was dominated, the video replay reversal was legit, the Rangers didn’t play well/Carolina did and etc.

Gallant even repeated the phrase seen in tonight’s blog header photo – “Backs Against the Wall.”

And yep – it’s amazing how I’m usually in-sync with “The Turk.”

And like Gallant said too – the Rangers have been in this position before.

“One Game at a Time.”

Game Six will be the biggest yet.

Worry about winning that – and then we can talk about the two most iconic words in sports – “Game Seven.”


On Wednesday afternoon, Ron Duguay, with special co-host Dave Maloney, returned with a new episode of “Up in the Blue Seats,” where the two alumni of the 1979 Stanley Cup Finalist Rangers talked about Game Four.

To listen to the show, click the play button 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:


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:

NYR/CAR R2G4 5/24 Review: Rangers Tie Series Behind Team-Wide Effort; We’re Going Six! Trouba Train (and Treehouse) Propels Rangers to Victory; Reaves Makes DeAngelo a Non-Factor, Extremely Special Teams, CZAR IGOR Continues Domination; Genius Gallant Does It Again, Eye Test > Analytics, Kaplan/ESPN/M$GN & More

NYR/CAR R2G3 5/22 Review: CZAR IGOR Saves Rangers’ Season; Out-Duels Raanta, Blueshirts Avoid Another Case of “Déjà Poo,” Kreider’s Goal Hangs on as Game Winner; Apple Sauce Seals It, DeAngelo Mania; Fear “THE TURK,” Light Crowd, We Have a Series & More

NYR/CAR R2G2 5/20 Review: Déjà Poo! Faceoffs, Special Teams & Nothing From Top Six Doom Blueshirts; One Goal in Six Periods Won’t Cut It Either, Motte Best Skater, Brendan “Bobby Orr” Smith, Gallant, Keeping the Faith & More

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

Come Saturday, I hope we’re not doing the “WHAT IF?” game, in regards to Kakko’s miss, Panarin’s injury, Goodrow’s ankle, etc. Instead – I hope we’re talking about a Memorial Day Game Seven.

Up next: Game Six, Saturday night, back at Madison Square Garden.

Since the Edmonton Oilers pulled off the upset, and knocked off the Flames on Thursday night; we now know when Game Six will start.

The game will commence at 8PM.

With an extra hour of “booze time;” let’s hope that M$G is rocking and believes.

Don’t count these guys out.

Aint’ Dead Yet!

As always here, thanks for reading and…


Sean McCaffrey


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4 thoughts on “NYR/CAR R2G5 5/26 Review: No Quit in New York, But All $H!T in Carolina; Blueshirts’ Backs Now Against The Wall, Most Listless Performance of the Playoffs Yet, Panarin Injury Update; No Baked SOG, Canes Out-Everything NYR, Turk, Kakko, SHG’s, BELIEVE & More

  1. To be totally honest, going in I felt that most of the games in this series would go the way last’s night game went. The Canes have been handling us pretty well not only this year but for quite a while now.
    Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a better team than us; we just don’t match up well against them. That’s how it is in the NHL. Everyone has teams they match up well and unfavorably against. Without a doubt Carolina was a bad matchup for us. So the fact that the Rangers have been competitive in 4 out of the 5 games is pretty encouraging. So anyone who is writing the Rangers off at this point is either overreacting or not really paying attention. Do I like my chances if I’m the Canes? Absolutely. But not only is Game 6 winnable, I’d make the Rangers favorites Saturday night. I certainly wouldn’t bet against them. Would you? Win Game 6 and we go to Raleigh with at least a puncher’s chance. To list all the good/bad things that can happen in a game 7 would take awhile. Anything can happen! Call me crazy but before the season started if you told me the Rangers could be right where they are now, I’d be like “Where do I sign?”

    1. NYR should be favored to win Saturday night, but Game 7 in Raleigh will be tough because CAR has the ability to take advantage of favorable matchups. Goodrow has been a key player for the entire season. His absence took away NYR confidence in the ability to promptly respond whenever something bad happens, since Goodrow is the perfect guy to always make something good happen on the very next shift. Panarin’s injuries are hurting the team even more. He’s a giveaway machine, and the Hurricanes are taking full advantage of his diminished capabilities. Shesterkin and Kreider look worn out. They’re probably nursing injuries too. Except for Schneider, who keeps playing with the energy of the 20-year old he is, the whole team is tired. They have had a very successful season to be proud of. Win Saturday and Monday and keep going. If that doesn’t happen, NYR future is still very bright.

      1. Losing Goodrow was a major blow. He won’t play during Game Six. Maybe there’s a chance he plays in Game 7, albeit minimal.

        There is no excuse to be tired – Carolina is in the same boat and older.

        This is a successful season no matter what, but this has been a winnable series too from Game one.

    2. I guess I felt the opposite. Just a shame Panarin is hurt and the top guys haven’t been consistent.

      Very easily, this could’ve been a NYR sweep. Until Game Five, NYR were the better team.

      Heck, I said they’d be good this year, so you should’ve signed up back in September lol.



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