NYR/EDM 11/3 Review: Best in the West vs The Beast in the East, Lundqvist vs Talbot I, Gretzky’s 8 Stanley Cups, Emerson Etem Worth 1 Cent More than Harry Howell, Rangers Offense Remains On Fire, McDavid in Person & More

I wonder if Talbot is telling Hank that he did his job better and for $8 million less?

Note: “F” words were used in the creation of this blog.

Welcome everyone to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Based on my social media and email activity, I’m figuring this is a long awaited blog for some.

It’s funny, to some Ranger fans, like the producer on WFAN that believes wrestling is real (I believe my buddy @RNFunhouse refers to the mark as “Monz”), I’m a 1980’s wrestling heel. Just call me Hot Rod. At least that’s what Monz’s wife calls me! Hey now!

Roddy Piper joke aside, the amount of pure hate, death threats and glee I got from people after this game, was amazing. I could see the acne glowing from your mother’s basements! Put it this way, in the last two years, I have befriended many Oiler fans. They were more happier for me that the Rangers won than the Ranger fans were for me!

As I said before this game, I was hoping for a 1-0 shutout victory for the Rangers. One of my Cam Talbot detractors, a one Mr. Brian Miller, who I got to see during and after the game, agreed with me – a 1-0 OT game would’ve been epic. I was really rooting for a game like a Rangers vs Islanders game that I saw a few years ago (I think in Hank’s Vezina/NHL 2012 lockout year), where the Rangers won in the Coliseum, 1-0 after a Girardi OT goal. As you can tell by now, I’m a big goalie guy, and that game was the best 0-0 regulation game I’ve ever seen. Both Hank and Naby were phenomenal. It was ping, ping, ping, non-stop action from the goalies.

Instead, the Rangers defeated the Oilers on Thursday night, with the final score being 5-3. As a result, the Rangers remained in first place in the Metro, with the Caps & Pens chasing them by a point. The Rangers have a game in hand on both teams. The Rangers remain 3 points back of the NHL leading Montreal Canadiens, who have 19 points to the Rangers 16 points.

For the Oilers, they remain in first place in the Pacific division, but are now tied with the Blackhawks for first place in the Western Conference with 15 points. The Oilers have also now lost three straight games. (A 2-0 loss to Ottawa (Second goal being an EN), an OT loss to Toronto and the 5-3 loss tonight.) For the Rangers, they continue to put 5+ goals up for the third game in a row. The Rangers offense is like something out of a Roald Dahl book – pure ecstatic fantasy.

Contrary to some opinion, I was glad the Rangers won tonight, albeit, I would’ve preferred a lower score!  The Rangers offense is the hottest thing in the NHL so I’m not going to be the one to fan the flames on that! However, remember when Lundqvist said, “Give me two goals and I got this?” Perhaps a more accurate quote should read, “Give me 5 goals and I’ll make you sweat this out.”

To all the Talbot haters or just the people looking for a reaction from me, did you even watch the game? Talbot made 26 saves on 30 shots, as opposed to Hank’s 21 saves on 24 shots. The Rangers out-shot the Oilers 2:1 in the third period. Talbot gave up two cross ice goals, where if it was the other way around, Ranger fans would be calling for the heads of Girardi and Staal!

Was this Talbot’s best game? Of course not. Was it Hank’s? Hell no. What is fact is that Talbot was paid $4.5 million less in this game and I still believe that Cam Talbot is a better value and goalie in 2016 than an out-of-his-prime King No Cup. Also, as someone who sat behind the net, it was nice to see Talbot not slash an innocent member of the crew, as Lundqvist does with female crew members.

Remember Kreider kisses? Member berries do!

I’m not going to lie. Watching this game, I now know what it’s like to be a parent of two opposing athletes. I felt what the parents of the Williams sisters has gone through. I understand what the parents of the Hayes and Staal brothers go through. I felt like I was rooting for my two kids here – Cam Talbot and the New York Rangers.

As I’ve always said and reiterated on twitter before the game – I always root for the front of the jersey, not the back. I was rooting for the Rangers to win. Yes, I wanted a low scoring game, an instant goalie classic, but the Rangers offense was too powerful and Lundqvist is too out of his prime for that to happen.

And for everyone with the nasty tweets at me, you do realize these two teams play next weekend? Karma can be a bitch!

The calm before the storm

For me personally, this is what sports is all about. I was so fucking invested and torn about this game, Adele could’ve wrote a song about it. I was rooting for everyone to have a good game, but hoping that Talbot and Hank could’ve kept this game at 0-0!

Many people who decided to tweet me death threats or advising that I stick my penis in my asshole (That’s what “Go Fuck Yourself” means, right?) for wanting Talbot to do well, are hilarious. I wonder how they would’ve reacted to Giacomin returning to the Garden as a Red Wing. It was funny when I tweeted out earlier in the day that Talbot coming back to MSG is like Montana returning to San Fran. The amount of anger was intense. I guess a sense of humor is lost on these people!

As a fan, this personally, had a Game 7 feel. I stress, for ME PERSONALLY.  This was my Cubs vs Indians in the tenth inning. My favorite team that I grew up with, against my new found second favorite team. I mean really, how can any Ranger fan hate the Oilers? If it wasn’t for the Oilers, NYR doesn’t win the Cup in 1994! Even fans in Edmonton refer to the 1994 Rangers as, “The Oilers Sixth Cup.” Most of you reply back to me on twitter “NO ONE CARES ABOUT FRANK BOUCHER” but go on and on about Messier. You do know where Messier came from, right? You do know who he recruited and brought along with him right? Say what you want, but perhaps the Rangers don’t win a Cup in my lifetime if it wasn’t for the Oilers and cheap ass Peter Pocklington.

While on Pocklington – his 30 for 30 on the Gretzky trade is on Netflix. A must-watch. Gretzky even says on the documentary that he thinks he would’ve won 8 cups if Pocklington wasn’t a cheapass cocksucker. (My adjectives, not his.)

On an aside, he’s probably right. He won 4 Cups before the trade. They probably win the year after, the year the Flames did it. Oilers won their 5th in 1990. That could’ve been their 6th. LA went to the Cup in 1993, which doesn’t happen without Gretzky. The Rangers won in 1994, which doesn’t happen without Messier and the ex-Oilers. The only real obstacle from 1989-1993 were the Penguins. Perhaps the Oilers dynasty fades out during the Wings/Avalanche feud that dominated hockey from 1996-2002ish. It’s really not out of the realm to think that Gretzky not only could’ve won 8 Cups, but could’ve won 10. Alas, money rules everything in sports, and this is just a big what if. Just like what if Talbot remained the starting goalie in the playoffs after the 2014-2015 season?

Wayne Gretzky, dressed as Steve Buscemi in “Boardwalk Empire” was in the building. Photo credit: The Number 1 Hulkamaniac, Sunil Sirju

I knew I had Gretzky on my mind for a reason! The Great One was in the house tonight. 99 is currently working for the Oilers again, in a management/diplomat position.

While on Gretzky, make sure to check out the book review I did on his new book on this very site! And to the person that I was sitting next to during this game, yes I was extremely jealous that you met him in between periods and got your ticket signed! Unfortunately for me, I have this thing called a “drinking problem” and getting a 25 oz Bud Heavy seemed more pertinent at the time. In retrospect, I made the wrong decision!

Let me digress again, as that is my specialty on this blog. After all, this is my blog and I’ll blog if I want to! What the fuck is up with the tap beer in MSG? I’ve been to three games this year (I usually go to more by this time, but now prefer going to games on the road and experiencing new arenas/walks of life) and the tap beer has been horrible all season. PURE SKUNK SHIT!  I’ve drank around the world too. Stella, Miller Lite, Molson Canadian – it’s all been flat and stale. I can’t even drink it. You can feel the staleness and dirty tap lines with every sip. I hate drinking heroin beer (Refer to my Ranger/Calgary blog for that reference), but I was left with no alternative. MSG should be ashamed with this piss poor beer performance. Someone get Jon Taffer in there to fix this fucking bullshit.

Jimmy Vesey saw Rick Nash & Michael Grabner get their 6th goals tonight

Let’s get to the game, shall we?

First, as always, the official box score from ESPN.com:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail EDM NYR
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1) (Power Play)
Assists: Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle
1 0
Kevin Hayes (4)
Assists: Michael Grabner, Brady Skjei
1 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
Adam Larsson: 2 Minutes for High-sticking
Jesper Fast: 4 Minute Double Minor for High sticking
Nick Holden: 2 Minutes for Delaying Game – Puck over Glass

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail EDM NYR
Patrick Maroon (3)
Assist: Jesse Puljujarvi
2 1
Michael Grabner (6)
Assists: J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes
2 2
Time Team Penalty Detail
Leon Draisaitl: 2 Minutes for Hooking

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail EDM NYR
Adam Larsson (1)
Assists: Andrej Sekera, Mark Letestu
3 2
Jesper Fast (1)
Assists: Brandon Pirri, Brady Skjei
3 3
Rick Nash (6)
Assists: Nick Holden, Derek Stepan
3 4
J.T. Miller (4)
Assists: Nick Holden, Kevin Hayes
3 5
Time Team Penalty Detail
Kevin Hayes: 2 Minutes for Hooking
Tyler Pitlick: 2 Minutes for Interference

Goaltending Summary

Edmonton Oilers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
C. Talbot 30 4 26 .867 59:50 0

New York Rangers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
H. Lundqvist 24 3 21 .875 60:00 0


During pregame warm-ups, everyone scored against Hank. Needless to say, he was better in the game.

While everyone will see my name as the author of this blog and immediately talk Talbot vs Lundqvist, the true story of this game was the Rangers offense.

I attended this game with another diehard Ranger fan and Talbot supporter, my buddy Sunil and his pal Andrew. Andrew is a blueshirt diehard and made sure to make us hear it for every Rangers goal. Can’t say I blame him. I love that energy. Like Sunil, I didn’t want to get crazy after every Rangers goal, because that meant Talbot was doing bad. The 1-0 Rangers OT win was a pipe-dream for me!

After twenty minutes it was 1-1. After another twenty minutes, it was 2-2. I was really shocked. With the way the Rangers have been playing, I was expecting an offensive outburst in the second period. However, the Rangers were saving the best for last.

At one point in the first period, the Oilers out-shot the Rangers 10-4, before the Rangers crept back to tie the shots at 10 by the time the horn went off. From there, the Rangers out-shot the Oilers 21-14.

I thought the first two goals that both goalies let up were good goals. I thought the third goal that each goalie let up could’ve been stopped. The fourth goal that Nash got on Talbot was a defensive breakdown, and again, a goal Ranger fans would’ve wanted to kill Girardi for.

With less than 10 to go, it was anyone’s game

With 50 minutes down and less than 10 minutes to go, the Rangers sensed the urgency at hand. So did Connor McDavid.

I’ve only seen McDavid play live once. It was during the Oilers/NYI game before the Superbowl. I got a better look at him tonight. Not that my opinion means shit, but man is McDavid something else live. While I’ve seen many greats live, such as Gretzky, Messier, Mario, Federov, Sakic, Jagr, Ovi, Crosby, etc, watching McDavid under my 34 year old eyes was amazing. I watched a lot of greats live as a kid. I’ve seen many greats in their prime as an adult. McDavid is the real deal.

Just because you don’t score goals in a game, it doesn’t take anything away from your talent. Time and time again, McDavid was an American Horror Story spirit possessed with the puck. His stick handling, his mitts, his speed, his ability to feign defenders and his ability to get to the net was off the charts. He didn’t get a goal tonight (he did have an assist on the RNH PP) and while I hate to say it, it was because his team was either watching him or too slow to react to his “thinking-in-advance” chess like moves.

Personally, I got the NHL package and use it to watch every Oilers game for Talbot. The package also comes in handy to watch every other game in the league too. McDavid is a hell of a bonus when watching these Oiler games for 33. I’ve been able to see every game McDavid has played. It’s a shame that the NBC network, who has the NHL contract, will rather give you non-rivalry games on Wednesday night or a million Blackhawk games. I mean even this past Tuesday, NBCSN aired Islanders/Bolts (Even Islander fans don’t want to watch that game and by the unsold $3 tickets, it showed) instead of Leafs/Oilers.

Who would you rather see? The Islanders and their crappy arena with a fucking SUV taking up 500 seats or the battle of the last two number 1 draft picks, in McDavid (Oilers) & Matthews (Leafs). Oh and for the record, the Bolts blew out the Isles 6-1, while Toronto won a 3-2 OT game. HORRIBLE PROGRAMMING DECISION. Then again, this is the same network that gives you McGuire and Milbury regularly, so I shouldn’t be shocked.

While on the Oilers, Jordan Eberle is having an off-year. I will never understand the Taylor Hall trade, but suffice to say, the Oil is better with Hall than they are with Eberle. Eberle did not look strong tonight.

This is the Rangers during warm-up, not Lundqvist during his last two playoff series!

I talked about this in the last blog here on this site. The Rangers have spent the most money in the league on goaltending and defense. However, it’s their offense that’s winning games. The Rangers offense bailed out the overpaid King No Cup once again, providing 5 goals and tying up the game on 3 different occasions. For all the Rangers wins this season, they are doing it in spite of their overpaid defense and goaltending. Offense has become the new defense for the Rangers. After all, if the other team can’t get the puck because the Rangers are dominating, the Rangers don’t have to play D!

RNH started the scoring for the Oil on a PP goal. Kevin Hayes came back and buried a goal on a perfect shot after a perfect pass from Grabner. If you had Grabner as a leading candidate for Rangers MVP, go buy your scratch off ticket now while you’re still hot.

With the score 1-1 and in the second period, Maroon easily beat King No Cup. However, Grabner aka Mr. Hart Trophy, tied the game  up after a pass from Hayes. Tie game heading to the third.

Adam Larsson, the former Devil and player traded for Taylor Hall, got the fifth goal of the game, giving the Oilers a 3-2 edge. Jesper Fast was able to deflect a Pirri shot past Talbot to tie the game up. I’ve ranted and raved about Pirri many times on this site. The steal of the off-season thus far.

Rick Nash would get the GWG, after a defensive breakdown by the Oil. It was tough for Talbot, as he made a flurry of saves right before this. The best JT in NY (People will take this seriously) got an empty netter, after another Oilers defensive breakdown, pushing the score to 5-3, which was the final.

Until the Oilers defense fell apart in the latter stages of the game, I thought we were seeing an even hockey game between the two best teams in the league. While AV might want to massage his overpaid goalie’s ego (Only AV would call Hank “the difference” in a 5-0 win) the truth of the matter is that the Rangers offense is just dominant.

I tweeted before the game that the Rangers should have the edge here because of their offense. While Hank has rested a couple of games, Talbot has played every game this season. I didn’t think that would make too much of a difference. I just find it amazing that while his wife was having twins, Talbot had a 3-0 week, with a shutout and was the number 1 star of the week.  He hasn’t missed a game and has started every game. I thought and hoped Talbot would start tonight, but I was surprised he started against Toronto on Tuesday. He may be due for a rest soon.

The Rangers offense was ready for one of the hottest goalies in the league Photo Credit: Andrew Scott

It has come to the point for the Rangers where you just gotta ask yourself – “is this offense for real?” They are just dominating and putting up 5+ goals left and right, like they are the Lightning against Lundqvist. As I always say, four cups in 90 years will jade you, and it is early. However, how can you not be happy? This team has been fucking amazing.

I’m anticipating the games against the Habs & against the Pens. Hank, who was 0-9 against Halak, won the home opener against him, pushing his record to 1-9 against Halak. Lundqvist has mightily struggled with Tampa Bay, but AV called for Antti Raanta, and got the W. The Rangers had tough games against the Capitals, but were able to knock them off too.

All I can say about this team, as I always do, is that it’s only about the playoffs. However, if you want to be like my friend Andrew Scott, and drink a cup of tequila to celebrate – go ahead, you earned it.

While many of my detractors are focusing on the Talbot issue of the game, focus on the part that you beat the best team, the best goalie and the best skater in the West. Let’s see the Rangers do it again in Edmonton on Saturday.

Now, let me finish this blog off with a funny story.

I paid $30 for a puck worth $2

I’m a collector. Not a crazy one, but a collector none the less. I got a bunch of sports memorabilia in my house/man cave, much to my girlfriend’s chagrin. Unfortunately for her, we’ve lived together for 5 years and my habit isn’t dying.

So those con-artists at Steiner Sports were doing a $30 mystery puck gimmick tonight. For $30, you could get a puck signed by a variety of Rangers. The biggest names I believe were the top 3 goalies in NYR history – 1, 30 and 35. (I would do a Talbot joke here, but I’m sure you get it.) I even think I saw Graves on the list too.

As a gambler and someone who had $30 (aka the price of two beers in MSG) in their pocket, I figured I’d take a stab. I told my friends, if I get Emerson Etem, I’m gonna flip the fuck out. Of course, I pick out my mystery puck box and get EMERSON FUCKING ETEM. Even the Steiner Sports people were laughing at me. I don’t blame them. However, for a business, I know I’ll never support them again. Being laughed at for drawing an Etem puck for $30 is like having an Asian blackjack dealer tell you “AHHHHH SO SOWWY” as they pull a 6 card 21.

Steiner Sports got an asshole to pay $30 for an Etem autographed puck. I just know I will never buy from them again, because as I was talking to people on twitter and at the game, many people got an Etem puck. Seems that Steiner sports flooded the inventory with them. The best grab I saw was a Dubinsky puck. I didn’t hear of one person that got a Nash, Graves, Giacomin, Richter or Hank puck. Steiner Sports was taking out their trash on Ranger fans and many drunk fans with $30 were happy to oblige. Lesson learned.

What makes this story funny is that I participate in the NHL auctions. That’s how I got my Cam Talbot autographed stick. Most of the NHL auctions are for good causes, like fighting cancer or helping the military, so I don’t mind overpaying for stuff there. What did I win tonight? Take a look:

I really need to charge my phone


Needless to say, I will take my business elsewhere from Steiner/Schyster sports! At least buy me a beer before you fuck me!

What makes this even funnier is that my friend Andrew, before participating in this grab puck said, “I’d be happy with just a Brandon Dubinsky puck.” Of course that’s what he got! You can’t make this shit up!

Can’t wait for tonight!

I normally would analyze a game of this magnitude more than I did tonight, but time is an issue here and I’m already nearing 4000 words!

I will say, a game like this is why I love sports. This had a game 7 feel for probably only me, but hey, if I can create that drama for myself, I certainly got my monies worth. This was a roller coaster game for me and I enjoyed every second and every beer of it!

Plus, if I’m going to spend money and get myself into a frenzy over something, it’s better it be over sports than something stupid like drugs, gambling (Although I lost a gamble on an Etem puck) or donating to Hillary’s campaign!

As far as the next blog update, I’m not sure. I’m heading to Hartford tomorrow to see Skapski, McIlrath and Tanner “FUCKING” Glass. After that game I’m heading to Boston to see NYR play the Bruins. These blogs are my therapeutic ways to vent after games. I don’t get paid to do this. It’s just one fan expressing opinions about their hobby. Depending on my computer access, alcohol intake and willingness to pump something out, I may be back late tomorrow night or maybe I’ll wait until I return home Sunday.

I was going to go to the Winnipeg Jets game Sunday night, but I may kibosh that and take it easy since I won’t get home until late afternoon Sunday. I might just go Tuesday against the Canucks. After all, Vancouver blows and that’s an easy win. Plus, it will get the taste of this ugly Presidential election out of my mouth!

I also want to say thank you to the people who messaged me about my recent bout with pneumonia and bronchitis. I still got a faint cough, but I feel like I’m over it. I’ll tell you what, as I told my friends, I wasn’t going to miss this game. I would rather be stretchered out to NYU Langone than miss this game!

As I put the finishing touches on this blog, I have to admit. I feel a sense of giddiness. I can’t remember a Rangers team in my adult life that has been so great offensively. Just imagine if Vesey is the real deal and Buchnevich comes into his own. It’s just an exciting time and I fucking hope it leads to a Cup. Just imagine, Lundqvist wins a Cup! I’ll never have to talk about that topic again!

What also has me excited is how well Talbot & the Oilers have been playing and how bad the Islanders are. Everything is coming up Sean!

I’m off to Hartford!


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the tweet tweet

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