NYR/BOS 9/27 Review: Show Vesey the Money; Harvard Alum Passes Another Test, Rough Night for Trocheck, Lafreniere Injury, Back-Up Goalies Outperform Job Seeking Skaters, Sykora Dismissed & More

The Rangers dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. It was a rough night out for some of the Blueshirts, but there were a few positives too, including Jimmy Vesey, a native of Massachusetts himself, who without question, is going to be offered a contract by Chris Drury. Who knows? By the time you read these words – Drury may have signed Vesey during the Rangers’ return trip to New York.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. I said it last night, I’m saying it again tonight, and I’ll say it four more times between now and October 11th – “it’s only the preseason, wins and losses don’t matter, these games do matter for the players who are looking to earn roster spots and blah-blah-blah.”

On Tuesday night, in Boston, the Rangers blew two separate one-goal leads to the Bruins, in Boston’s 3-2 overtime victory over New York.

Not to be outdone, the officials blew three separate calls themselves, including a double-minor penalty that the Rangers should have received after Ryan Lindgren was high-sticked right below his right eye.

Despite Lindgren bleeding (as usual) – somehow, the blind mice on ice missed the red liquid all over the defenseman’s face. Immediately following this no-call – Boston scored a goal.

Had this call been made – and had everything played out as it did – the Rangers would’ve won this game.

Of course, if this was a regular season game, then I would be ranting and raving about the inadequate NHL officials right now, as if I were friend of the blog, Howie S. However, it’s only the preseason. There is no use in crying over spilled milk blood.

That said, it is concerning that the officials could look at a player with blood streaming down his face and not recognize that a stick infraction was committed. Did they believe that Lindgren “bladed” his forehead, as if he were a 1980s Ric Flair?

My message to the zebras? Be better or be gone!

Praise the hockey gods that Ryan Lindgren isn’t a hemophiliac! Photo Credit: Getty Images

As opposed to Monday night, when Gerard Gallant and company dressed a stronger line-up than what we saw on Tuesday night; there were less positive takeaways from this exhibition game.

Furthermore, outside of Jimmy Vesey – the players/skaters who are looking to earn roster spots didn’t do that much to stand out.

For example (when you compare the performances from these two games), we can reach these conclusions (where for the last time – yes it’s only the preseason – you don’t have to remind me!):

— Brennan Othmann played far superior than Will Cuylle, with the latter virtually a ghost in Beantown.

— Jimmy Vesey has outplayed all of the regulars that he’s trying to nab a roster spot from, including Dryden Hunt, Ryan Carpenter, Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, Gustav Rydahl, Julien Gauthier, Johnny Brodzinski and others.

— Zac Jones was much more noticeable and effective than Matthew Robertson and Hunter Skinner.

And maybe you have to consider the competition too, as the Bruins, despite dressing a weaker line-up than the Islanders did on Monday, played with much more passion and skill than the Islanders did on Monday. This was extremely evident when it came to hitting, loose puck battles and action at the boards.

If there was anything concerning (you already know the preseason disclaimer/qualifying statement), it was that new center, Vincent Trocheck (and aside from one play), was just off all game.

I don’t know if Trocheck was rusty or not, but he did hurt the team tonight. In fact, two of his turnovers led to Bruin goals, significant goals at that. One turnover led to a Bruins’ short-handed goal, the other turnover led to the game winning goal.

Alexis Lafreniere, who scored a go-ahead goal in the game, also received an injury. However, the Rangers are saying he’s a-okay. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Another thing to keep track of following this exhibition affair? The health status of Alexis Lafreniere, who injured his foot in the game during the third period, after catching friendly-fire via a puck off of the blade of Hunter Skinner.

Once absorbing the puck on his right foot; Lafreniere was then shown on the bench writhing in agony, while telling Rangers’ trainer, Jim Ramsey, how his foot was bothering him. He never returned to the game.

For what it’s worth, after the game, the Rangers said that Lafreniere was fine. They don’t expect this pain to lead to anything serious.

And while the Rangers, nor Lafreniere, said this, this much is obvious – it’s the preseason.

There is no point of risking further injury during a meaningless game. It’s better to travel down the road of caution rather than taking any unnecessary risks with the first-overall pick of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft – and with any other player for that matter.

I’ll have a mini game review for you below, with complete thoughts about all of the players and their performances; but before getting there, the top news item of Tuesday – where really, I’m exaggerating big-time with the phrase of “top news item.”

Prior to the Rangers’ second game of the preseason, the club had announced that they have cut Adam Sykora from the main roster. As talked about for a while now – this move was always expected. Sykora, at only eighteen years old, has plenty of time to one day earn a spot on the varsity roster. Photo Credit: NYR

In news that shouldn’t have shocked anyone (unless you wanted to see Adam Sykora receive one more game of preseason action), the Rangers announced that they have returned the Slovakian back to his home team.

Here is what the Rangers are saying, courtesy of https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-assign-adam-sykora-to-hk-nitra/c-335838926?icmp=int_web_nyr_news_rightrail:

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has returned forward Adam Sykora to HK Nitra of the Slovak Extraliga. Sykora, New York’s first pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, skated in last night’s preseason win over the Islanders, recording two shots.

The Rangers have 61 players remaining in Training Camp. The roster breakdown is listed below:

Forwards (36): Sammy Blais, Easton Brodzinski, Jonny Brodzinski, Ryan Carpenter, Filip Chytil, Will Cuylle, Cristiano DiGiacinto, Adam Edstrom, Turner Elson, Tanner Fritz, Julien Gauthier, Tim Gettinger, Barclay Goodrow, Karl Henriksson, Dryden Hunt, Zach Jordan, Kaapo Kakko, Patrick Khodorenko, Ryder Korczak, Vitali Kravtsov, Chris Kreider, Alexis Lafrenière, Ryan Lohin, Brennan Othmann, Lauri Pajuniemi, Artemi Panarin, Ryan Reaves, Matt Rempe, Austin Rueschhoff, Gustav Rydahl, C.J. Smith, Bobby Trivigno, Vincent Trocheck, Jimmy Vesey, Alex Whelan, Mika Zibanejad

Defensemen (18): Matt Bartkowski, Ty Emberson, Adam Fox, Zach Giuttari, Libor Hajek, Louka Henault, Blake Hillman, Zac Jones, Ryan Lindgren, Luke Martin, K’Andre Miller, Matthew Robertson, Brandon Scanlin, Braden Schneider, Hunter Skinner, Jarred Tinordi, Jacob Trouba, Andy Welinski

Goaltenders (7): Talyn Boyko, Louis Domingue, Parker Gahagen, Dylan Garand, Jaroslav Halak, Olof Lindbom, Igor Shesterkin

Perhaps by the time you read these words, the Rangers will have already announced more roster cuts. At the very least, I’d expect more cuts prior to Thursday night’s game against the Devils.

The players that Gallant dressed on Tuesday night. Photo Credit: NYR

Since ESPN.com, just like the “go-getters” of the Rangers’ beat (and MSGN themselves), couldn’t be bothered to travel to Boston – I don’t have the ESPN box score segment for you tonight. However, I don’t think anyone will mind!

However, if you do want to view a full version of the box score, here’s the one that NHL.com posted on their site: https://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/nyr-vs-bos/2022/09/27/2022010024/recap/stats#game=2022010024,game_state=final,lock_state=final,game_tab=stats

When it comes to the MSGN tonight – Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti called the game from the studio.

I heavily praised the MSGN last night, who did go the extra mile for a home preseason game on Monday night. However, on Tuesday night, this was a bare-bones effort for this road contest. The broadcast was also plagued with audio/visual issues, where at points, I thought the producer must’ve been suffering from an aneurysm.

Another thing that was glaringly apparent and brutally truthful too? After listening to Kenny Albert on Monday, it’s tough listening to Sam Rosen.

If we didn’t have Kenny on Monday; while Rosen will always commit his follies – it just wouldn’t have been as drastically noticeable.

Rosen, much like the officials on this night, was in mid-season form. I lost count of how many calls he blew, and it’s not even the fast action that he’s missing anymore. It’s obvious stuff. A puck is slammed into the boards. “SAVE BY HALAK!” A puck hits the post, “SAVE FOR SWAYMAN!” Need I say more?

I understand that Rosen loves this game and everyone loves him, but unless you’re just laughing along and saying, “that’s my Sammy;” it’s a shame that a younger generation of fans will only know this version of the Hall of Famer.

When it comes to the FABULOUS Joe Micheletti, I thought he continued his recent string of strong performances.

As noted during the last two seasons, he hasn’t held back as much as he used to – despite the MSG/James Dolan edict.

While I thought that Micheletti’s fawning praise of Vitali Kravtsov was a bit over-the-top, if not invented – Micheletti had no problems slamming Julien Gauthier tonight.

As far as anything else MSGN related, John Giannone introduced us to a bunch of video packages. I’ll mention them in the game review, but once again, I thought MSGN did a stellar job with these videos.

Let’s get into this mini game review.

Don’t forget to preorder my new four-volume book set, “Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” today. You can preorder your copies here: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/


Somehow, Vincent Trocheck, who centered a line of Jimmy Vesey and Alexis Lafreniere as his flanks, was credited with a faceoff winning percentage of 63%.

While I wasn’t tracking faceoffs all game (or at least writing each one down), I do know that he went 0-3 on the first faceoff of each period. He also lost a bunch of faceoffs early on during the first period. In other words, he got better at the dot as the game continued.

In a game where Bruins’ goalie, Jeremy Swayman, went the whole way; Gallant split his goalies tonight.

Jaroslav Halak, the now former “Ranger Killer” himself, started the game. The Halakness Monster was pretty much flawless, as he made 14 saves on 15 shots faced in his 32:46 worth of game time. The one goal allowed wasn’t on him, as this goal was the end result of the officials missing the previously described high-sticking infraction committed on Lindgren.

The Spicy Pork Roll man, Louie Domingue, formerly of Pittsburgh, made 19 saves on 21 shots faced.

Similar to Halak, I wouldn’t blame any of the goals he allowed on him either, as both goals allowed were the end result of brutal Vincent Trocheck turnovers, turnovers that led to odd-man rushes for the B’s.

Just twenty-six seconds into the game, Halak made his first save, while the two alternate captains on this night, Adam Fox and Vincent Trocheck, watched.

While you know how I feel about the #5 Rangers’ jersey (it should be in the rafters of MSG, in honor of Bill Cook); I still find it off-putting whenever I see “The Tin Man,” Jarred Tinordi, wearing it. In other words – he’s no Dan Girardi.

And while on the topic of jersey numbers; #50 on this night, Will Cuylle, didn’t do that much to stand out from another Rangers’ rookie once thought to have promise with that jersey number, and ironically, the player that he was indirectly traded for, Lias “Crybaby” Andersson.

As stated earlier, and as everybody knows, the Rangers are extremely deep at the winger positions, especially at left-wing, where both Othmann and Cuylle play.

If you’re judging these players strictly on performances, while leaving all of the contract stuff out of it (who can and who can’t play in Hartford) – then it’s Othmann whose winning this competition – and in a landslide.

Early into the game, Jimmy Vesey, who may as well start apartment hunting in NYC, made two strong defensive plays. Once the man formerly promised free drinks for life left the ice, Halak then came up with a pair of back-to-back saves.

Julien Gauthier, who for the life of me, I don’t know why he was re-signed by Chris Drury during the off-season; hasn’t changed a bit.

Following Halak’s multiple denials, Gauthier went on his first of five different rushes to Swayman’s net, only to not put a shot on goal on each occasion. If only Bill Chadwick was still alive to talk about Gene Carr 2.0.

If there’s anything nice to say about Gauthier, it’s that he did bring a physical presence to this game. However, the Rangers have their tough guy quota already filled. They need players who can score and Gauthier just isn’t one of these guys. And you know it’s bad when even Micheletti is calling out Gauthier on-air.

The Rangers struck first in this game, as at the 7:03 mark of the period, the 2021 Norris Trophy winner did his thing:

1-0, GOOD GUYS – a solid team effort.

As Alexis Lafreniere had a Bruin tangled up, Vesey got the puck to Trocheck. Trocheck, with two Bruins draping him, found Fox. Once with the puck, Fox glided to the red dot at the left circle and fired away. Boom, just like that.

Three quick things:

— It was nice to see Fox shoot the puck, as sometimes, he’s more apt to pass than shoot.

— This was Vesey’s first assist of the game. He was also the only Ranger to pick up two points tonight.

— This was the highlight of Trocheck’s night.

Following another Halak save, Gauthier received the puck again and then tried to pull off some sort of video game move. Trevor Zegras, the French-Canadian is not! This led to a turnover and no shot on goal. Gallant must’ve loved that. Gauthier had the worst shooting percentage on the team last season, and instead of putting the puck on net – he’s playing Harlem Globetrotters on ice.

Vesey, who had excellent chemistry with his linemates last night, continued to gel with his new teammates. He tried a give-and-go play with Lafreniere, and while the two didn’t score on this attempt – they did later on in the game.

Johnny Brodzinski, similar to Gauthier, as he’s somewhat offensively snake-bitten too; had several scoring chances denied. However, and unlike Gauthier – at least he puts the puck on net.

And yep, right after Swayman stopped JOHNNY HOCKEY, Gauthier had another chance, where this time, he left rubber marks on the boards behind the goalie.

At the 16:34 mark of the period, Fox drew Oskar Steen for tripping. As would be the case all game, the Rangers’ power-play, while being able to dish the puck around a bit, wasn’t successful. In total, they finished 0-4 and allowed a short-handed goal. Not good.

After twenty minutes of play, 1-0, GOOD GUYS, where Fox, Vesey and Halak stood out the most.

Full disclosure – I’m rooting for Kravtsov. I really am. However, I still think that Drury should’ve rid himself of this diva. Two games in, and I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the mercurial Russian deserves to be in the Rangers’ top six – as many believe should happen. And let’s face it – if it weren’t for salary-cap issues – Kravtsov wouldn’t be here right now.


If there was anything evident following the first period, and really, this game in general, it’s this:

Jimmy Vesey may have the easiest path in earning a contract as a player on a PTO in franchise history. None of the bottom six regulars and/or fringe players (Kravtsov too) have out-played him yet.

And while I’d have to do more research to confirm this belief – I can’t think of any other player on a PTO deal that has bolstered their case in the fashion that Vesey has done thus far, following his first two games played.

Prior to our “SECOND PERIOD, WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR HERE JOE?” comment, MSGN ran a nice little video package in favor of Trocheck, as all of the Rangers brought up how tough it’s been to play against him.

Once the period began, Sam and Joe hyped up Othmann. After all, it wasn’t like they could have hyped up Cuylle!

On Vesey’s first shift, he tried another give-and-go play, this time with Trocheck. No dice.

At the 5:02 mark of the period, this is when Jack Studnicka high-sticked Lindgren right below the eye, while behind Halak’s net.

Despite Lindgren bleeding, the officials ignored it. As a result, A.J. Greer was gifted a goal, as he scored from a foot away from Halak, while all alone and centered in front of the Rangers’ netminder.


Just a tad over two minutes following Greer’s gift, the Rangers regained the lead:

2-1, GOOD GUYS! Vesey does it again!

On this play, Vesey fought off two Bruins’ defenders and muscled a puck on net. In turn, one of the best cliches in hockey proved true – “good things happen when you put the puck on net.”

While Swayman was able to stop Vesey’s initial try, the puck still remained loose. As Swayman was begging for a whistle, despite not having the puck frozen; Lafreniere showed off his offensive-awareness and then put the puck through the wickets.

This was an all-around great play.

And to think, Vesey, once thought to be an offensively-gifted player, and now known for his abilities as a fourth-line checker/penalty killer; #26 is now leading the team in scoring during this preseason. Isn’t that amazing Suzyn?

The officials, whose hair must’ve reeked of fresh bunghole, as their heads were up their asses all night; missed another Bruins penalty. This time, Brandon Carlo elbowed Bobby Trivigno in the mush. No call. In somewhat of a response, Matthew Robertson took a penalty, when he held Luke Toporowski. Had the initial penalty on Carlo been called, then Robertson’s foul would have never occurred.

The Rangers ultimately killed off this Bruins’ power-play, as the Blueshirts’ penalty kill has been perfect all preseason.

With 7:14 to go, and following a whistle, Gallant switched his goalies.

I said this before on this site and I’ll say it again, CZAR IGOR and THE HALAKNESS MONSTER should have an Eddie Giacomin/Terry Sawchuk dynamic this season, reminiscent to the Rangers’ 1969-70 season.

While these four goalies (and their careers) are all different; what’s similar is that the two starters wanted to play in every game. The two back-ups, now in the twilight years of their career, are just happy to play sparingly.

In other words, just as Sawchuk once was to Giacomin – don’t expect Halak to be unhappy about his lack of playing time – a complete 180 from last season, when Alexandar Georgiev wanted the starters’ gig (and as he should’ve desired – you can’t blame him for that).

With under five minutes remaining, and after two saves made by Domingue; the Rangers received another power-play, this time when Samuel Asselin hooked Rydahl.

This was the best Rangers’ power-play of the game, at least from a zone time perspective. It was also during this man-advantage when Vitali Kravtsov missed a wide-open net; albeit from a tough angle. That said – Jimmy Vesey, just 24 hours prior, scored from an even tougher angle – and with a goalie in net to boot.

As the period wound down, and following the Bruins’ kill; Carlo tripped Brodzinski. No call. Not to be outdone, Greer then speared Cuylle. The officials didn’t initially call this penalty, but following Tinordi’s scrum with Greer, the officials wised-up and then bagged Greer for the spear.

2-1, GOOD GUYS, after forty minutes.

“Enter preseason disclaimer here.” Trocheck was responsible for two Bruin goals. Photo Credit: NYR


Following a nice MSGN video package on CZAR IGOR; the third period began – where Trocheck then lost another faceoff.

The Rangers, who began the final frame on the power-play, didn’t do anything with it.

Once the Bruins finished their kill, Domingue then made a nice save on Mike Reilly. Immediately afterwards, the Bruins then had a 4 x 1 odd-man rush, where the puck hit the bottom of the left post. The iron was called upon again right after this too, as on the next Rangers’ possession, Johnny Hockey blasted a puck off of the crossbar.

It’s a shame that Brodzinski didn’t score here. If he had, this goal would’ve put Kravtsov into the scorer’s column, as #74 perfectly set-up #76 for this chance. This was Kravtsov’s best play of the preseason, as he made a defensive play in the Rangers’ zone and then set-up his linemate too.

Had this been a scoring play, it would’ve been the second-best goal of the preseason – a rung below Othmann’s assist to Miller from Monday night.

At the 6:14 mark, Gauthier, who as mentioned earlier, played a physical game tonight, drew Reilly for a slashing call.

The Rangers’ power-play, already 0-3 at this point and looking to extend their lead – wound up giving up a goal to Boston instead.

As the Rangers were setting themselves up in the Bruins’ zone; Trocheck made one of those wild-and-crazy cross ice passes to nowhere – an easy turnover. The Bruins then went on a 2 x 1 odd-man rush, and boom, 2-2, as Oskar Steen beat Domingue on a shot that he didn’t really have a chance on.

Now tied with 13:20 remaining, the Rangers, still on their power-play, would never score again.

As a generalization, the bulk of this third period was “sloppy poppy” hockey for the Rangers. Missed passes, turnovers, allowing numerous odd-man rushes and you know the rest.

To fast-forward a bit, at around the FOXWOODS FINAL FIVE mark, this is when Skinner’s shot hit Lafreniere.

2-2 after sixty minutes.

I know what Gallant said about his lines when entering the preseason, but I’m not sure if these suggested lines will become final. Whatever Gallant does, I remain true – “IN TURK WE TRUST!”


Trocheck, Vesey and Fox started the bonus period. They held possession of the puck and soon received a 2 x 1 odd-man rush, between Trocheck and Fox.

Rather than shooting, and looking for a puck-on-pads play – Trocheck forced a pass to Fox instead. Turnover. The Bruins then had an odd-man rush themselves, and boom, just 1:12 into the overtime, A.J. Greer, who channeled his inner Brad Marchand on this night, beat Domingue.

3-2, bad guys, in overtime, your final.


The Rangers are saying that Lafreniere is okay, and really, that’s all that matters after this game. I think I pretty much hit everything else in the review.

The Rangers will play their final two games of this week on Thursday and Friday night, in a home-and-home back-to-back set with the Devils. No line-up information has been announced yet, but we’ll get a better idea on Wednesday, following Rangers’ practice.

If anything, I’d expect Artemi Panarin to make his preseason debut on Thursday, especially since that game is at MSG.

Two down, four to go!


Immediately after tonight’s game, our pals over at “2 Guys, 1 Cup” returned with a new episode. You can listen to it here:


Speaking of podcasts, on Wednesday night, our other pals, over at “The Blueshirt Underground Show,” will return with a new episode at 8PM.

To watch the show live, click the play button at 8PM on 9/28:

The hardcover version of my first 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

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.”

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

NYR/NYI 9/26 Review: Rangers Open Preseason Without Missing a Beat; Young Guns Ace First Exam, Tough (and Good) Problems for Drury & Gallant, MSGN Just as Good as NYR, Vesey & Othmann Shine, Team Win & More

I Know What You Did Last Summer: Recapping The Rangers’ Off-Season, Early Training Camp Thoughts; Leave CZAR IGOR Alone (Sykora Too), NYR Beat Lets Kravtsov Off the Hook, “Tricks of the Trade” Preorder Info, MSGN, Preseason Starts Tonight & More

A Complete Preview of the 2022-23 NHL Season: Detailed Profiles on all 32 NHL Teams, Division Rankings, Stanley Cup Predictions, What to Watch, Retirements, NYR Update; Gallant Announces Lines & More

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

Update: Volume IV is now in the “test copy” phase! My 10/11 target release date is looking pretty good!

I’ll most likely be back on Thursday night, barring anything major breaking on Wednesday.

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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2 thoughts on “NYR/BOS 9/27 Review: Show Vesey the Money; Harvard Alum Passes Another Test, Rough Night for Trocheck, Lafreniere Injury, Back-Up Goalies Outperform Job Seeking Skaters, Sykora Dismissed & More

  1. Assuming Othmann outperforms Kravstov for the rest of the preseason. Why would they want to keep Kravstov (crybaby) when he is not showing anything and Othmann is standing out and showing he wants a chance to play.

    1. I’ll answer this more in-depth tonight, but the short of it – Kravtsov has to clear waivers to go to the AHL. They don’t want to lose him, nor stir up bad feelings – I know, silly.

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