NYR/CAR R2G7 5/30 Review: We’re Going to the Eastern Conference Final! Rangers Surge & Storm in Raleigh; Snap Negative Trends Too, CZAR IGOR Continues New Legacy; Kreider Extends His, Kakko Off of The Hook; Panarin Too, Troo-Troo & Motorin’ Mika, The Value of Goodrow, Gallant, Bring on the Bolts & More

CZAR IGOR, and is usually the case; #31 once again carried the Rangers during another big game, where this time – he did his heaviest of lifting during the Blueshirts’ “DO OR DIE” Game Seven 6-2 victory in Raleigh. The ’22 Vezina recipient (and perhaps the ’22 Hart winner too), made his first 17 of his overall 37 saves during a frenetic first period. Shestyorkin, who was also supported with two Ranger power-play goals during these first twenty minutes of action, and just like the team as a whole – never looked back. Up next? A “revenge” series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where Gallant’s Gang will look to avenge the franchise’s debacle from 2015. And did I mention that CZAR IGOR is now 2-0 in Game Seven’s? OH BABY!

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. “WE WANT THE CUP!”

I might sound like a broken record right now, but what the hell – it’s been working!

This is my way of saying something that I’ve said many times before – I’m overly excited and don’t even know where to begin tonight!

One more time – “WE WANT THE CUP!”

As I try to settle down (fat chance), I guess I’ll start off with this – tonight’s blog will stick strictly to the Rangers’ Game Seven 6-2 SMACKDOWN of the Carolina Hurricanes.

I’ll return tomorrow night (or later tonight, depending on when you read this), with a New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning Eastern Conference Final preview.

Okay, really, one last time before continuing – “WE WANT THE CUP!”

We’ll do everything regarding Rangers vs Bolts tomorrow, where yep – the two best goaltenders of the league will now go head-to-head. Photo Credit: NYR

At the present moment, while the Rangers can’t necessarily go over-the-top with their Game Seven victory celebration tonight (Game One of the ECF begins on Wednesday night, where Tuesday will be a practice/video review session for the team) – thankfully, I can!

And what a win it was.

No joke, for the first time during this series, and really, during this entire 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff run in general – as a Ranger fan, you were actually able to relax a bit.

Who would’ve thought that would be the case during a Game Seven?

While the nerves, severe stomach gas, heart palpitations, finger-nail chewing, chain-smoking and rabbit-foot clutching were all there prior to puck drop of Game Seven; come the third period – the Rangers had the Canes cooked.

A Hurricane? I’ve farted louder than the noise that the Canes made tonight!

The Rangers, behind another phenomenal performance out of CZAR IGOR; head coach Gerard Gallant saw his team score two power-play goals during the first period, as a result of tallies from both Adam Fox and Chris Kreider.

Of equal importance, not only did the Rangers’ not allow a short-handed goal in Raleigh, and as they’ve done twice before during this series – they also killed off two penalties during this same first period.

For fans of the Carolina Hurricanes, who will gripe about this loss (and I get it) – the Rangers received two breaks during Game Seven.

The young sensation in Raleigh, Seth Jarvis, was knocked out of this game during the first period – following another TROO TROO train hit – a hit that was clean – and as they always are.

Goaltender Antti Raanta, who played remarkable during this series, would later leave the game during the second period, after a non-contact injury.

Ryan Strome (and similar to Filip Chytil during Game Six), would miss a good try during the latter stages of the second period. However, immediately thereafter, he redeemed himself and put the Rangers up 3-0 after blowing a puck past Canes’ third-stringer, Pyotr Kotchetkov.

Call it confident, call it cocky, call it whatever you want – but come the start of the third period, the Hurricanes, now down 3-0 and with a rookie in net – there was just no chance in hell they were going to come back under these circumstances – not with CZAR IGOR on the other end of the ice.

Sure, the Canes got lucky with two goals scored during the final frame, goals which were the end result of some laziness and taking the foot off of the gas too; but needless to say – this game was never in doubt.

Up 4-0 after Kreider’s second goal of the game; Trouba then gifted the Hurricanes a power-play – one that they converted on.

Now at 4-1, as a result of Trocheck’s power-play goal; just forty seconds later, Filip Chytil, one of the heroes of Game Six, soon regained the four-goal lead for the Rangers.

As the scoreboard read 5-1, GOOD GUYS; Max Domi then squeaked one by with just under four minutes remaining.

Less than a minute later, and with the Canes’ net now empty, Andrew Copp, the best acquisition of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline – #18 put the Rangers up by four goals again as a result of his empty netter.

6-2, GOOD GUYS – and in front of a Carolina crowd that was so quiet that you could even hear these Cane supporters kissing their cousins.

Of course, the morgue-like vibes in Carolina would soon be overcome with overwhelmingly loud “LET’S GO RANGERS,” “IGOR,” and “WE WANT THE CUP” chants, as there were many Blueshirt backers in Raleigh tonight – Ranger supporters who had their voices heard, while the fans in the red jerseys made their way to the exits in shame.

The New York Rangers, who have comeback from all and any adversity this season – did it again.

What a season.

And if you’re one of these morbid/”Debbie Doubting” assholes currently crying about the Rangers losing a first round pick tonight – get lost.

(If you don’t know this already, as part of the Andrew Copp trade with Winnipeg, the two teams agreed to a condition where if the Rangers were to reach the ECF, then the Rangers’ 22 second-round pick turns into a first-round pick. And that’s where we are at, where only an idiot would be upset about this!)

I never stopped believing, and this magical season will continue!

If you will temporarily indulge me, and allow me to serve my own ego, while also proving to you that the EYE TEST, and not ANALytics, reign supreme; at this time, let me once again share stuff that I have previously said on Twitter, stuff that goes all the way back to July of 2021, and opinions that I have also shared with you long-form on this site:

(And yes – holy run-on sentence Batman! Sue me – I’m ecstatic!)

I bring all of this up again, because all season, not only did the ANALytical community shun these opinions – but so did some of you guys.

At least you guys and gals are happy to be wrong – while the ANALytical community are still grasping for straws. Pathetic!

Also looking for excuses? The NYR beat reporters – who across the board – all picked the Canes to win a short series over the Rangers just two weeks ago.

I guess NATURAL STAT TRICK couldn’t help out these pissants with their predictions – reporters who spend more time posting pictures of what they ate for dinner than actually watching these games!

(And yes, Larry Brooks is one of the exceptions here!)

A Barry Horowitz, pat-on-the-back, self-serving “I-told-you-so” job out of yours truly right now? Yes. However, what else would you expect?

I’m loving every single moment of this victory lap, where yes, this too – outside of a beer run, this is the only running I’ve done this Spring! (Besides running my mouth fingers!)

One last gloat, I promise! I was the only one saying in 2017 that CZAR IGOR would be the man for the Rangers! Vindication! Henrik who? I kid, I kid! (Hi Travis!)

Going into this game, here’s what I said on the Tweeter machine on Monday afternoon:

And that’s what happened – sans the 4-0 final score. But hey, I did have the four-goal margin correct!

That said, and despite my silly and daily predictions of a 4-0 Rangers’ shutout victory – I never thought that the Rangers would absolutely destroy the Hurricanes tonight.

Deep down, I felt this would be a close one-goal type of affair.

Instead, the Rangers saved their best for last. They pretty much had this game won by the time the third period began.

Hell, and with the way that CZAR IGOR was dialed in tonight – you can also argue that this game was over after the first twenty minutes!

I know I’ve played some of my “GREATEST HITS” already; but yeah, I have to get the following bullet-points out of my system one more time before continuing:

— I don’t see how CZAR IGOR loses four out of seven games.

— Gallant continues to push all the right buttons, despite the morons from the ANALytical community stating that he can’t coach and isn’t a game manager.

— What a complete 180 from last season, the most drama-filled season in all of Rangers’ history.

And now after this Game Seven victory, I have a few more thoughts:

— Kakko is now off of the hook. Had the Rangers lost this series, we’d all be talking about that miss from Game One all summer. All of that stuff is now dead.

— Ditto the stuff on Artemi Panarin, “The Breadman” who was more moldy than fresh during this series. He now gets a chance to turn it all around during the biggest games that he’ll ever play.

— The Rangers’ power-play, who blew it during Game Two, and just like Panarin and Kakko – are also off of the hook. In fact, the man-advantage units, along with CZAR IGOR, are why they won the two elimination games of this series.

— And the most meaningless thought of them all – Alexandar Georgiev will be a New York Ranger for just a little bit longer!

One more final thought before getting into everything else? This one:

— Can the Rangers take a series lead for the first time during these ’22 Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Then again, I guess it doesn’t matter – as the Rangers are now 2-0 during Game Seven’s and seem to enjoy thriving whenever their backs are against the wall!


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

Gerard Gallant has changed the culture of the New York Rangers during this 2021-22 season. Photo Credit: NYR

On Sunday, following their 5-2 Game Six victory over the Hurricanes – the Rangers boarded their flight to Raleigh.

Once the plane touched down in North Carolina, head coach Gerard Gallant then conducted his daily “TURK TALK.”

Here was Sunday’s edition:

As has been the case, Gallant didn’t really say much of interest.

The head coach praised most of his roster, including Alexis Lafreniere, Barclay Goodrow and CZAR IGOR.

When it came to Game Seven; “The Turk” felt that this game was somewhat destined, based on how this series was going after the first four games.

And as you’d expect – Gallant wanted to snap the streak of the home team winning every game of this series. That’s what happened!

As far as anything else, Gallant laughed when he was asked about a potential Sammy Blais return for Game Seven. Gallant said that wouldn’t be the case and that Goodrow was further ahead than Blais was.

(On Blais, and I’ll get more into this tomorrow – even if he’s able to return, there’s no way you can mess with this line-up right now.)

A day later, Memorial Day Monday, “The Turk” spoke to the media one last time prior to Game Seven:

There wasn’t much new during this edition of “TURK TALK,” outside of the fact that Gallant said that he’d be using the same line-up from Game Six during Game Seven. Duh.

In addition, Gallant said his approach, and his team’s approach, to Game Seven wouldn’t change. They knew what they had to do and they weren’t going to do anything different for this game.

After all – what they have been doing has been working all season – as it once again did tonight!

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

FIRST LINE: Kreider/Zibanejad/Vatrano

SECOND LINE: Panarin/Strome/Copp

THIRD LINE: Lafreniere/Chytil/Kakko

FOURTH LINE: Motte/Goodrow/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:





12 3 9 .750 9 0 0 0 0 24:04 0
18 2 16 .889 14 1 1 0 0 35:37 0


39 2 37 .949 32 0 5 0 0 60:00 0

You don’t have to tell me – I know my photoshops are god-awful! However, the sentiment remains the same – Ryan Lindgren is the Rangers’ “ULTIMATE WARRIOR!”

As regular readers of this site know by now, I have two TV’s in my man cave.

Come 7:30PM, I tuned into both the M$GN pregame show and ESPN.

Vally’s hot takes were almost as brutal as whatever tanning salon bed that Chris Chelios is currently sleeping in.

I’m not here to bash anyone’s appearance, but the skin of Chelios is akin to a 3AM McDonald’s apple pie sitting underneath the hot lights all day.

To open up the M$GN broadcast, John Giannone brought up that Henrik Lundqvist has a ton of Game Seven experience, where #30 quickly said that for these ’22 Rangers, it was all about remaining confident. Lundqvist then said that you had to stay positive, while also remembering what brought you to the dance.

Sieve Vagistat, the goalie of the most epic and legendary 46 games ever played; then basically said “yeah.”

Once again – Vagistat remains useless on these broadcasts. Pair up Hank with Messier or Cally! Pair him up with both!

Dave Maloney, during his segment, brought up that one streak would be broken tonight – the Hurricanes’ 7-0 record at home or the Rangers’ 4-0 record during elimination games.

Suffice to say, I’m happy to report that the Rangers are now 5-0 during elimination games after tonight’s victory!

The M$GN, who routinely showed us shots of Ranger fans in Carolina (and you most certainly heard it during the latter stages of this game), continued on with Maloney, where the former captain then said that Carolina wasn’t in a state of panic – even if the bulk of the pressure was on them.

As stated during my series preview blog – while of course, the Rangers weren’t looking to bow out – it was Carolina, and not New York, that was further along in their Stanley Cup “blueprint” for success. Too bad for them!

And yep Part I: I know I’m all over the place tonight during my state of euphoria; but after tonight’s Rangers’ win, I’m also thinking of this – what do you think David Quinn, Jeff Gorton and John Davidson are thinking right now?

And yep Part II: I supported James Dolan when he fired the former brain-trust, where I was more happy about Chris Drury taking over, rather than any of these men losing their jobs. (Blogs don’t lie.)

And yep Part III: I still think that the Columbus Blue Jackets’ organization are a bunch of cucks for taking JD back.

While I’m a big fan of JD – I thought (and still think) that they looked extremely weak and pathetic when JD deserted them for the Rangers, only to take him back when Dolan said enough of this.

Don’t get it twisted – I’m not trying to bury the former triumvirate of Rangers’ hockey. In fact, I thought DQ was unjustly fired. (I thought he deserved another year, only because a lot of the drama from last season wasn’t on him, nor was the pandemic his fault either. At the same time, and needless to say – he’s not Gerard Gallant!) Photo Credit: NYR

After Vagistat tried to compare his career to Lundqvist’s for the 7896786786787896th time this season; the man with his jersey hanging in the rafters brought up how CZAR IGOR always “PLAYS BIG,” where #30 mentioned that Benoit Allaire was a huge reason why.

As ESPN continued their never-ending Tony DeAngelo coverage (of note – CZAR IGOR finished this series with two points – which is the same number of points that #77, the power-play QB of the Canes, finished with); Vagistat said that he thought that Raanta looked tired during Game Six.

While I’m not trying to mock/make light of Raanta’s injury (more on this to come); #32 in Carolina will now have all summer to sleep.

Lundqvist then said that Game Seven’s are usually more defensively oriented, and thought that the Rangers would need screen and deflection goals to win this game. That’s not exactly what played out; but for the most part, and at least historically – he was right.

Lundqvist then talked about the Rangers’ power-play, and how they needed to score. He got that one right!

Also correct on this night? Mark Messier, 11-0 in his Stanley Cup Playoff predictions, who predicted that the Rangers would win this series. (He said this at the start of this series and he said it once again tonight.)

Vagistat, in his closing remarks, said that whoever scored the first goal of this game would have the advantage.

Of course, that statement applies to any game, as the worst back-up goalie of the Lundqvist Era continues to bring nothing of use to these broadcasts.

Home ice advantage in Raleigh? I think not! Photo Credit: @BR_OpenIce

Come 7PM, I stayed put with ESPN, a network that is more concerned with promoting their gambling sponsors than whatever game they are airing.

Mark Messier’s final words of wisdom? These: “just execute.”

And the Rangers, like a hangman at the gallows, did just that – they executed Rod Brind’Amour’s team right out of the playoffs.


(And thanks for Fox and Lafreniere too Carolina!)

Pull up a seat, get out your favorite beverage and enjoy yourself – it’s GAME REVIEW time!

The TROO TROO Train, along with his teamates and BFF’s, they all came up big during Game Seven.


Both fourth lines opened up this game, where it were the Canes who took the opening faceoff of the game – a trend that continued throughout this contest.

As mentioned earlier – CZAR IGOR and the Rangers’ power-play were the two biggest factors in tonight’s win.

Also as big? The Rangers’ blocked shots stat, where the Blueshirts blocked 25 shots as opposed to the 8 shots that Carolina blocked.

I bring up the blocked shots here, because the Rangers’ weakness at the circle was once again exposed tonight, where they were doubled-up at the dot, and to a tune of 2:1 (48-24).

However, and as you have probably figured out – the Rangers made-up for their never-ending faceoff losses because of their shot blocking ability.

That said, obviously, you’d like to see them win more faceoffs – as you don’t want to see this team become as beat-up as a John Tortorella team. (I’ll now leave 2012 in the past!)

Tonight’s worst offender at the dot wasn’t usual culprit Mika Zibanejad – the Rangers’ first line center who actually finished tonight’s game with a winning percentage of 62.5% (10-6 record).

Instead, it was Barclay Goodrow (not at 100% health), who finished with only three wins in his twenty attempts, for a depressingly low percentage of 15%. However, he did block three shots tonight, in addition to being huge on the penalty kill.

Obviously, after having a strong game at the faceoff circles during Game Six (50%); #21 will have to be better than that come Wednesday night, when he sees his former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Goodrow, like Motte and Lindgren before him during Round One – the two-time Cup champion has been huge since his return. He’ll now see his former buddies and teammates in just less than 48 hours. Photo Credit: TB Lightning

After the Canes’ opening faceoff win; DeAngelo, who heard a spatter of boos tonight from the Ranger fans in-attendance; TDA then carried a puck offside. However, and within the first fifty seconds of the game; CZAR IGOR had made two back-to-back saves, where he stopped both “OH JOE, JOE PESCI JOE” and Brady Skjeit.

As NYR fans trolled TDA, fans of the hometown team responded with mocking “IG-OR” chants. Those wouldn’t last long.

The Canes’ first mistake of this game would soon do them in.

At just the 1:42 mark, Braden Schneider ripped a shot at Raanta, and while Andrew Copp was looking for the rebound – Sebastion Asshole (nickname credit: Roc of “2 Guys, 1 Cup”) hooked #18 in white.

The Rangers’ power-play didn’t really look great here; but it’s not how you start – it’s how you finish!

With just two seconds remaining on the Rangers’ man-advantage, this happened:


Not only an early power-play goal for the Rangers – but no SHORT HANDED GOAL ALLOWED EITHER!

Also of note – huge roars from the crowd following this goal, which told you that Ranger fans would be heard from all game.

The Canes, the much better team of this period even if the scoreboard didn’t reflect it; the home team went right back to work after Fox’s PPG tally.

Jacob Trouba, for all of his big mack truck hits, is also very penalty prone.

At the 4:18 mark, Trouba erased the momentum after Fox’s goal, when he high-sticked Kotkaniemi.

Like any team with Stanley Cup hopes; the Rangers got their breaks during this kill, where every bounce/puck luck play went their way.

CZAR IGOR, while screened, made a blocker save on DeAngelo. Seth Jarvis hit post, which was the eighth time that the Canes had hit iron during this series – and also their last.

Lindgren then put a puck over the glass, but rather than 1:04 of a Canes’ 5 x 3 power-play – the officials ruled that the puck had been deflected.

Then, just as the Rangers’ penalty kill were about to go 1-1 on the night; Svechnikov whiffed on an open net.

All in all, Igor made three saves during this – but the Canes also hit iron and pulled a Kakko.

Those are the breaks!

The one-man hit squad was at it again during Game Seven.

With 12:14 to go, we had another turning point of the game, when Trouba destroyed Seth Jarvis with a hard, yet legal, hit.

I know, I know, I know – non-Ranger fans must be irate about Trouba, as he’s been knocking guys out of games left-and-right. However, what is he supposed to do? Sit back?

None of these hits are dirty. All of these hits are clean.

Simply put – Trouba is just a big guy imposing his will on opponents trying to generate offense against the Rangers.

And I get it – it’s unfortunate that guys are getting knocked out of games after these hits. What can you do? You take a risk when you play this game. It’s a job hazard.

Even more unfortunate for Carolina? During this hit, Jarvis had his head up.

Unlike other Trouba victims, this wasn’t a case of Jarvis skating with his head down. Trouba just man-handled him with this big-time body blow.

At this point, Jarvis went to the locker room and would never return.

While that was tough for Carolina; what this also meant was that Brind’Amour’s team was now down a forward for the rest of the game.

Worse than that? They’d soon lose their goalie too; albeit because of a non-contact injury.

Since Jarvis was laid out on the ice; the Canes tried to change, where they had one-too-many-men on the ice, as the officials allowed play to continue with Jarvis down.

The end result, another Rangers’ power-play, and better than that – another Rangers’ power-play goal too:


This goal, scored just fourteen seconds into this man-advantage, saw Mika Zibanejad, who was motoring and noticeable on every shift tonight, rip a puck towards Raanta. And as we’ve seen a lot of all season – there was Chris Kreider right there for the deflection goal!

Of course, and as has been the case a lot during these playoffs – CZAR IGOR would be tasked again to protect a Rangers’ lead.

Following the faceoff after CK52’s goal; Igor immediately came up with a monster save. Miller then broke up a Canes’ tap-in try. Goodrow would get a puck out of a zone. Schneider then forced a turnover. All of this took place within 45 seconds worth of time and at the nine minute mark.

Come 10:56 remaining, and perhaps in a “make-up” call; Ryan Reaves was boxed for finishing a check on DeAngelo. This was a soft call. I despised this call, as it felt like the officials were telling these guys not to finish their checks.

The next two minutes remained as the CZAR IGOR show, where he made four saves in all, including a “BESSIE” (glove) save on Necas. The Rangers would eventually survive and almost got a SHG during this, as Motte just went wide as the penalty kill expired.

With 7:10 to go, Raanta made his best save yet, when he made a huge save on a Mika-to-Panarin one-timer.

Tony DeAngelo (-3 tonight), was then stopped by CZAR IGOR with 5:50 to go.

24 seconds later, Igor stopped Staal too, which then put #31 up to 13 saves at this point of the period.

Come 3:29 remaining, the Rangers came close of getting their field goal, where the second line had two chances – but Raanta and the Canes got out of it.

Following a save on Necas, Fox bodied Double T. which also prevented a scoring chance.

Then, during another wild moment where Carolina couldn’t get one break or a bounce and with 90 ticks to go; Igor made another save from his paint, lost his stick, fell on his back, and somehow and someway – was able to get the puck under him, which earned him a whistle after his freeze.

I can’t stress this enough – the Rangers’ special teams and CZAR IGOR were the only reasons why they had the lead. Otherwise, the Canes’ dominated them five vs five. However, and as you all know – only the goals for matter.

2-0, GOOD GUYS, after CZAR IGOR’s Dominique Wilkins inspired “Human Highlight Reel” show.

Here’s what I said at the time:

This was a good “HOT TAKE,” an opinion shared over three years ago on this site!


Following the confirmation of Jarvis being done for the game; the Rangers won the opening faceoff of the period and then strung together three successful attacks.

After Raanta proved true; on the other end, and with 17:45 to go – CZAR IGOR stopped Neiderreiter’s mini breakaway chance, a one-vs-one opportunity that also featured Lindgren trailing.

Come 16:27 remaining, Filip Chytil, who is currently backhanding pucks as if he were John McEnroe; backhanded another, where this time, Raanta got some luck as the puck found the center of his mask. Had it not, this would’ve been another top-shelf backhanded goal for #72.

Eight seconds later, and now in the Rangers’ d-zone; Svechnikov tripped Goodrow.

The Rangers, now on their third power-play of the game, didn’t do much with it.

In fact, it felt like they already sitting on their lead and not trying to force the issue – a common occurrence.

This wound up being an easy kill for the Canes, where the Blueshirts didn’t even register a shot on goal.

With 12:58 to go, we had what could’ve been another turning point of the game.

Frank Vatrano was nailed for hooking Fast; but while the Canes were still on their attack; Neiderreiter boarded Lindgren. No call.

Gallant was absolutely furious and irate after this, as Lindgren, while limping and needing assistance, was forced to go to the locker room.

Not only were the Rangers now down to five d-men, but Gallant’s Gang couldn’t get a call here either.

As you were shitting your pants and worrying about Lindgren (and I guess worrying about Patrik Nemeth for the ECF too); the Canes were back on the power-play – where not only did CZAR IGOR once again do his job – but so did Mika, Copp, Motte and Goodrow – with the returning #21 coming up with two blocks during these two crucial minutes.

Following the teams trading chances; with just seven minutes to go – Ryan Lindgren returned – something that didn’t look like a possibility after watching Jim Ramsey helping him to the locker room.

How many more times can we say the word “WARRIOR” whenever describing #55? It’s the perfect adjective and assessment of him.

Come 4:23 remaining, and after more back-and-forth hockey; the final nail was put into the coffin of the Canes’ 2021-22 season.

The Canes, who were rarely pinned into their own zone while at full-strength tonight; got caught.

Jacob Trouba blasted a puck at Raanta – a save.

However, with both Mika and Kreider sniffing blood and looking for the rebound; Raanta was forced to do the gymnast act, where the end result was a non-contact injury.

I’m not a doctor, so I won’t speculate on what Raanta’s injury is/was – but usually more times than not, these non-contact injuries are worse than contact injuries.

Raanta was seen gripping at his right leg, where his injury could be anything – hamstring, ACL, MCL, or whatever else you want to come up with. For me, I have no clue what it was, nor can I offer up a guess here.

What I do know for a fact, is that this injury ended Raanta’s night.

With Raanta now “Finnished” (pardon the pun – and to be fair – I have used this joke before with Kakko); Kochetkov took over between the pipes.

In what felt like a carbon copy replica play of Game Six, and with Ryan Strome starring in the role as Filip Chytil; Strome missed an easy chance to score. Seconds later, he’d redeem himself on the next Rangers’ possession while on the same shift:

3-0, GOOD GUYS, and with 3:41 to go.

I do believe in superstitions, bad ju ju, knocking on wood and all of that shit – but even with all of that on my mind (and I said this at the time too) – this was when the game was over.

Up next were a meaningless 23:41 worth of game time.

Why was that? Easy – CZAR IGOR wasn’t going to blow a three-goal lead. Neither was his team.

Here’s what I said at the end of the middle stanza:

Give CZAR IGOR all of the trophies!


On the Canes’ bench, you could see a look of dejection written all over Brind’Amour’s face.

There was no way that CZAR IGOR was going to blow this, and there was no way that Carolina could keep the Rangers off of the board either – not with a third stringer in net.

Another reason for the dejection?

Just thirty seconds into the final frame; CZAR IGOR made his best save of the game, a complete robbery at that, when he stopped Jordan Martinook from a foot off of the blue paint.

Lights out.

It only got better for the Rangers, while only getting worse for Carolina.

At just the 3:59 mark, Chris Kreider tucked the Canes into their beds:

4-0, GOOD GUYS, as a result of Kreider’s forehand-to-backhand move.

This goal was Kreider’s eighth of the playoffs, and his 32nd postseason goal of his career.

Only Rod Gilbert (34) has more postseason goals for the Rangers.

Similar to the legacy that CZAR IGOR is creating, where in just fourteen games, he’s setting & breaking both Ranger and NHL records all over the place; so is the longest-tenured Ranger.

Yes, this stuff is yours truly getting ahead of himself here – but Kreider, who still has many years remaining on his NMC contract – will one day have his #20 raised into the rafters of M$G.

Who would’ve thought that just one year ago?

Chris Kreider, the lone holdover from the Rangers’ 2015 Eastern Conference Finalist team; “CK52” will now get a chance to avenge that loss starting this Wednesday night. Photo Credit: Aaron Davis (RIP)

The Rangers’, now in cruise control, saw Trouba take a delay of game penalty with 13:05 remaining.

The Canes then spent their entire power-play attack in the Rangers’ d-zone, where the Blueshirts could never touch the puck.

After Aho missed an open net; at the time, it looked like DeAngelo had scored, but I guess Trocheck got a piece of it after looking at the box score. (DeAngelo got the assist instead.)

4-1, GOOD GUYS, an “A-Rod Goal” with 11:49 to go.

While I only care about the Rangers’ winning – yep, this Trouba penalty cost me my 4-0 shutout bet!

Just forty seconds later, Filip Chytil, who created a turnover in the Canes’ d-zone, then scored himself.

5-1, GOOD GUYS, and any hopes that Carolina thought that they had created had now been dashed.

The final ten minutes of this game, at least for Ranger fans – were pure bliss and celebration.

Flights to Tampa were checked out. Complaining about Game One ticket prices was also a big topic.

And for yours truly, I got a head start on the ECF and did this:

I put my Tampa Bay Lightning Ryan McDonagh jersey in the freezer, in an attempt to “freeze” him. And yes, I know I have to clean my freezer, but I’m getting a new one soon! And why do I have a McDonagh TB jersey? Find out tomorrow if you don’t know already!

With 3:47 to go, Max Domi scored, during a play where it looked like the Rangers had their heads in the clouds, as perhaps they couldn’t believe it too – they were going to the Eastern Conference Final.

Brind’Amour, looking for anything, then pulled his goalie with 3:10 to go. Eighteen seconds later, Copp finished them with his empty netter.




Not bad for a head coach and general manager who don’t know what they’re doing, am I right ANALytical fans?

And every member of the NYR beat should have their press badges revoked for picking against them and doubting these Rangers!

Sadly, I’m sure these derelicts will be picking Tampa to win the ECF!

For me, and while I’ll get into all of this tomorrow, here’s my ECF pick – NYR in Six!

What a night.

What a time to be alive! Photo Credit: Empire State Building

I’m already at 10,000 words and I feel like I could say much more.

There’s so much to still get into, which I’ll save for tomorrow.

However, this was one of the most dominant Game Seven victories in all of sports.

The team that everyone doubted? Well they’ve done it again.

And even if Rangers, all tired and beat-up, while their ECF opponent, the TB Lightning have been idle for the last nine nights, lose Game One at home? Are you really going to count them out during Game Two?

This season has been special. It could become even extra special in two weeks’ time.


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 R2G6 5/28 Review: GAME SEVEN! Filip Chytil, CZAR IGOR & The Returning Barclay Goodrow Power Rangers to Victory! Time to Snap Home Ice Trends, Panarin Finally Scores*; Mika Too, Canes Rattling/Rangers Battling, Genius Gallant, DeAngelo, Ride the 180, G7 Preview & More

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

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

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

Similar to Kreider in New York; Ryan McDonagh remains as the lone holdover not only from the 2015 Eastern Conference Final Rangers, but of the “Tampa Bay Rangers” too.

Up next: Game One of the ECF, Wednesday night at M$G with a puck drop of 8PM.

Here’s a quick look at the upcoming schedule:

New York Rangers (M2) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (A3)

Wednesday, June 1: Lightning at Rangers, 8 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS

Friday, June 3: Lightning at Rangers, 8 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS

Sunday, June 5: Rangers at Lightning, 3 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS

Tuesday, June 7: Rangers at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS

*Thursday, June 9: Lightning at Rangers, 8 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS

*Saturday, June 11: Rangers at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS

*Tuesday, June 14: Lightning at Rangers, 8 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS


Sean McCaffrey


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2 thoughts on “NYR/CAR R2G7 5/30 Review: We’re Going to the Eastern Conference Final! Rangers Surge & Storm in Raleigh; Snap Negative Trends Too, CZAR IGOR Continues New Legacy; Kreider Extends His, Kakko Off of The Hook; Panarin Too, Troo-Troo & Motorin’ Mika, The Value of Goodrow, Gallant, Bring on the Bolts & More

  1. Congrats on the win. I’m seeing all the communist “hockey” fans on twitter gleeful at Tony’s loss to the Rangers. Of course, almost all of his former teammates like and respect him – hockey players are good guys mostly, unlike the “they/them” Tony haters on twitter.

    I had a feeling the home team couldn’t win every game forever. I actually thought the Canes would take Game 6 – but the Rangers were the better team and deserved to win this series in the end. Good luck against Tampa, you will need it!

    1. As you can tell, I don’t hate TDA. I wanted him to play like crap during the past two weeks, but it’s all done with for me, until he plays NYR again lol.

      It’s weird, I never felt like the Rangers would lose. Maybe delusional, but that’s how much faith I have in them.

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