NYR/EDM 11/11 Review: Rangers Keep Rolling & Make It a Six-Pack of Wins, #FIREAV People Missing, NYR Power Play Continues To Sizzle, Talbot > Lundqvist, Veteran’s Day Parade, Rant on One Muslim, One Idea The NHL Should Do To Gain Ground on the NFL, Blarney Rock, Smith/Gorton/AV & More From The “Playoff Bound” New York Rangers

On Veteran’s Day, the Rangers did not disappoint the heroes in M$G, as they defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2.

NOTE: This is a long blog, that I probably could’ve broken up in two parts. However, I’ve never really been concerned about pumping up site traffic, hence this manifesto here! With the Rangers having three full days off, you got plenty of time to read this in sections! LET’S GO RANGERS!

What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. This blog is a little belated, but hey, at least I got something up. After all, how could I skip doing a blog, especially withTalbot back at M$G?

Seriously, I couldn’t even catch up with the nearly 600 mentions (Number kind of inflated because of a group tweet) on twitter after this game. I wonder if I would’ve got as many mentions if the Oilers had won?

It truly is amazing, just because the Rangers won, how the people in their mother basements, scurried to the phones & computers that their parents pay for, to tell me that “TALBOT IS A LOOSER, LUNDQUISS IS THE KING AND THE BESTEST TO EVER GOALY!” Sorry folks, Lundqvist hasn’t been better than Talbot in some time, and it was the RANGERS that beat the Oilers, not Lundqvist besting Talbot. When you really break it down, the difference in this game was the powerplay, as the Rangers went 2-3 on their PP and the Oilers went 1-2 on theirs. That one extra Ranger PP was all the difference, in the Rangers 4-2 victory today.

Whether it be a week ago, a month ago, a year ago or even a decade ago, if you were to tell me that the Rangers power play would be the reason that the team was winning games, I would’ve thought you were off your medication and sicker than Louis CK in a room full of blonde interns. Who could’ve thought, that the Rangers powerplay, once their biggest Achilles heel, is now their source of strength? With today’s win over the Oilers, this was just another game where the Rangers PP propelled the team to victory.

NYC hosted the annual “Veteran’s Day Parade” down 5th Ave on Saturday.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for yours truly. Two weekends ago, I was in Montreal. A week ago I was in Florida. Since returning from Florida, I’m now working 7 days a week. In my line of work, you don’t turn down overtime when it’s given to you. It’s just been crazy, as I try to catch up at things at home and do these massive blogs as well! That is why this blog is being put out on a Sunday morning, rather than on a Saturday evening, after a 1PM game.

I had to work on Saturday, and luckily, found someone to cover the final two hours of my shift, so I could attend this game. After all, I bought tickets for this game before the season even started. I wasn’t going to miss the TALBOT CUP! As mentioned in my Wednesday blog, I attended the Islander/Oiler game & got to sit on the glass for cheap. Seeing McDavid up close was amazing and seeing KING TALBOT take down the Islanders was even better.

Due to overtime, I couldn’t make Thursday’s Oilers/Devils game at the Rock. It sucks, because I saw tickets on Stubhub, three rows from center ice, going for $75. However, just like on Tuesday night, the Oilers, behind King Talbot, did the Rangers a favor, and beat another heated division rival.

With the Rangers win on Wednesday, coupled in with the Oilers recent wins, these two teams, who both started off cold, were playing their best hockey of the young season, when they squared off on Saturday afternoon. Fortunately for the Rangers, as the Oilers finished their tri-state area trip with the Rangers, the Oilers beat both the Islanders & the Devils, thus taking two points away from each. With the Rangers win here, the Oilers road trip couldn’t have gone any better for the Rangers!

Despite Arctic temperatures, the military & veterans were out there marching today.

As I saw the hours fly by at work, it was eventually time for me to make my eight avenue walk from the FDR Drive to the World’s Most Expensive Arena. It was brick ass cold out. While to a Canadian, (Especially one from Edmonton, where it’s been snowing already for some time) this may have felt like shorts and knitted sock weather. However, for me, I was bundled up like an Eskimo after skinny dipping.

Around 11:45 AM, I power walked my way from the FDR Drive, past 1st Avenue, past 2nd Avenue, past 3rd Avenue, past Lexington, past Park, past Madison and eventually arriving at 5th Avenue. (The reason I listed all the avenues, which are about a 4-5 minute walk a piece, which also accounts for all the human traffic littered on the street, is for my Edmonton Oiler fan readers, who many not be familiar with NYC.)

As I got by Madison and approached 5th Avenue, I noticed a throng of people. Then I noticed that 5th Avenue was shut down completely, due to the Veteran’s Day Parade. The whole Avenue was barricaded off and no one was allowed through. Eventually, cops told the pedestrians that the barricade would be open in 20 minutes. In other words, we had to stand in the cold & wait for 20 minutes, as we tried to get to 8th Avenue.

I gotta say, outside of one disgusting Muslim piece of shit, (Guy was wearing a turban and reeked of BO) everyone was pretty cool about waiting in the cold & watching the parade.

(I guess I should add here, I really don’t care if you’re Muslim and offended, because your Koran preaches nothing but hate and refers to “Death to Infidels” repeatedly. In fact, if you’ve ever read the Koran, the book is so horrifying, that it would even terrify Stephen King! And for the record, I’m an atheist & don’t need a book of mythology to decipher right from wrong. Personally, I really think organized religion is the root of all evil & war, but that’s a blog for another time! That said, I don’t care/judge what people believe in, but it’s just not for me. I also believe in saying “Merry X-Mas” over “Happy Holidays” too, so I’m all over the place! What works for you, is what works for you and what works for me, works for me.)

The reason I brought up this filthy Muslim, is because there were about 100+ people waiting to cross the street. Yes, it was freezing cold, but outside of the person whose religion believes in stoning homosexuals and degrading women, EVERYONE else took the opportunity to enjoy the parade.

Whites, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Males, Females, the Young, the Old, the Horny, Trump Supporters, Hillary Supporters, Jock Supporters, Ranger Fans, Talbot Fans and any other term you could use to classify a human, they all watched and made the most of standing in the cold.

Different branches of the military were giving out stickers to parade watchers. Here’s a US Air Force sticker. And yes, I bite my nails. I get nervous watching Ranger games!

While I could see people grumbling & irked, if they were forced to stand in the freezing cold to watch freaks in costumes (the Halloween Parade), people in freaky clothing (The Gay Pride Parade), people getting their freak on (the Puerto Rican Day Parade) or people getting freaky with turkey basters (The Thanksgiving Day Parade), you just don’t grumble when our Veterans are marching down the street. That partially explains my abrasiveness to this one Muslim, who was whining the whole time. I hope someone takes a shit on his Mecca Rug!

And because we live in a political correct world, a world I refuse to be part of, I will oblige a bit with my next sentence. My interaction with this one Muslim doesn’t represent every Muslim. However, I still think that Muslim/Islam, whatever you want to call it, preaches violence & hate. The religion of peace shit, is just that – shit!

I guess I better stop talking about Muslims before I get FATWA’d like Larry David!

All in all, I wasn’t expecting to attend the Veteran’s Day Parade. While I only watched it for 20 minutes, I’m glad I did. In the back of our heads, I’m sure all of you, just like me, respect and support our troops. That said, it’s nice to get a reminder of what our veterans have been through, when you physically see them.

This is just another reason why I love NY, despite the shithole Mayor Deblasio has turned it into. (I won’t get into my thoughts on Deblasio, since I’m sure I offended enough people with my Muslim opinions.)

On a cold and arctic day in NYC, 100+ NYers, of all different races & creeds, all of whom were all in a rush, stopped what they were doing and enjoyed paying respect to our veterans. For those 20 or so minutes, not one of those people shivered, as everyone took it all in.

In closing, I gotta say, I’m never happy if my commute is stalled by even a second. I would rather kick a homeless junkie out of my way, than walk around the junkie and miss a train. Today, I’m glad I was held up. Thank you to our veterans and to all our troops, who give us our freedom and in a way, allow me to write these crazy blogs.

Oh – and if you can find one other Ranger or hockey blog like this one, that just spent 1500 words on this, please let me know. You will never find another hockey blog like this on the internet, that I can guarantee!

While I am a sucker of buying too much merchandise I probably don’t need, I always try to buy the stuff where proceeds go to the military or to the fight against cancer.

For all my gripes about the Rangers, and there are many, from the disrespect to the families of Frank Boucher & the Cooks, to the terrible owner, to the disgusting ticket prices, to the contracts & everything else in-between, when it comes to honoring veterans, the FDNY or the NYPD, the Rangers really do a pretty good job in their ceremonies. In turn, Ranger fans are always great in paying their respects during these ceremonies. To be honest, I thought the building on Saturday was at its loudest, during the various salutes and moments of respects for our veterans.

And not to go off on another tangent, but from just random people I talk to, in real life, on social media, at work, at the bar and in other walks of life, I have gotten a lot of the same talk when it comes to the NHL, from people who also watch the NFL.

Like many of you, I watch the NFL and the NHL. However, just like many of you, my interest in the NFL has decreased tremendously, because of all these criminals kneeling during the anthem. I don’t care if you want to protest, just do it on your own time. Those are just my feelings and it seems like it’s also the feelings of many other sports fans.

I’m seeing more and more sport fans gravitate to the NHL and seeing their fandom of the NHL increase. While some NHL fans I talked to just followed one team, I’m seeing more and more people starting to follow the whole league & watching games that don’t feature just their favorite team, akin to how people watch Thursday/Sunday/Monday Night Football.

There is even a Ranger bar in NYC, “The Blarney Rock Pub”, on 33rd Street, one block from M$G, that won’t air NFL games any more. In fact, the owner, Tom Dwyer, made a statement, at the risk of hurting his business, saying he flat-out refuses to air NFL games, especially tomorrow, during Veteran’s Day Weekend. I’m with Tom and while I realize some people will disagree, it’s Tom’s bar and he can do what he wants.

The real story here, and Tom’s bar isn’t the only bar, is that bars are refusing to show NFL games. At the risk of profit, bar owners are even turned off by the NFL. If Gary Bettman had any brains, he should be a capitalist and try to monetize his league here. The MLB does a great job of honoring veterans too, but I feel the NHL does a tremendous job with promoting/respecting/honoring troops, fire departments and police departments, and they do a great job of it in two different countries.

If I’m Bettman, I wouldn’t act smug and kick the NFL about this. I would just try to do even more to respect the military. People with common sense want to show their appreciation for our heroes and are completely disgusted with millionaire criminals. (Even that asshole Ray Lewis, who beat a double-murder rap, flew to the UK, just so he could kneel during the National Anthem.)

As stated, I always try to buy the merchandise where “proceeds” go to the military or to the fight against cancer. That said (I gotta be up to 3 or 4 “that said’s” by now) I would like to see a day where 100% of all PROFITS and not just partial proceeds, go to the Wounded Warrior Project or a Cancer Foundation. The NHL could even work a day in with their TV partner, the NBC networks, and make a whole day of it. How about a triple or quadruple header of hockey on a Sunday? (12PM, 3PM, 7PM and 10PM games.)

Want to really double down, create good will, do some good and promote the league? Promote this day as the biggest regular season day of the season. During these four games, work in a telethon, sell special merchandise, have auctions, and do the whole kit and kaboodle. The NHL should then donate 100% of all that money, from that one day, to charities that work with the troops and in the fight against cancer.

For one day, the NHL could raise a ton of money. In turn, they would create new fans. Even if they only created one new life-long fan in this charity drive, they would create a new customer for life. Doing this idea would also flip some people away from the NFL. This idea, while for a noble cause, would also hopefully give you the best ratings of the season. With all the eyeballs on the screen, the NHL should then use this time to promote their stars and teams to new & casual viewers alike.

Granted, this idea takes vision and having a TV partner that has the balls to air games on their regular network, rather than on their cable network, tucked away in the nether regions of your cable package. It’s an idea I’d like to see come to life, as it would create a lot of good in this world and in turn, help the NHL’s growth.

If you’re new here, yes, I’m known to go on my tangents! I promise Rangers/Oilers talk, coming up. However, let me suck down one more beer before getting there!

I can only imagine what someone, who has found this site for the first time, must be thinking as they read all this. For my regular readers, I hope you’re enjoying my tangents upon tangents! Just think – I’m doing this 15+ beers deep!

Let’s talk hockey, but as usual, in case you missed them, here are my last few blogs:

NYR/BOS 11/8 Review: Rangers Beatdown the Beat-Up Bruins; Increase Win Streak To 5, No Sophomore Slump Here, Special Teams Continue To Shine, Milbury & The NBC Crew, Did You Hear About a Trade 42 Years Ago & Much More


NYR/CBJ 11/6 Review: Pigs Fly & Hell Freezes Over, as The Rangers Power Play Powers NYR With Three Third Period PPG’s, Fire AV Talk Simmers Down, Battle of the Vezina Winners, Stay Away From John Tortorella, Tanner Glass, Rick Nash Night & More From The Biggest Comeback Win of the Season


Sean Avery’s “Ice Capades: A Memoir of Fast Living and Tough Hockey” Book Review


NYR/FLA 11/4 Review: All-American Kevin Shattenkirk Bails Out Lundqvist From a Potential Embarrassing Loss, Rangers Complete The Sunshine Sweep & “Kevin Spacey” The Cats, The Empty BB&T Center, New Memorabilia, CZAR IGOR & More, Live From Sunrise, Florida


NYR/TBL 11/2 Review: The Rangers Come Together For a Complete 60 Minutes; Win Their Best Game of the Season, An “Any Given Sunday” Victory, My Tampa Bay/Amalie Arena Experience, Tons Of Pictures From TB & More


The Rangers got two points in this game and Jimmy Vesey lost two teeth in the process! Photo Credit: Jimmy Vesey

After honoring our veterans and having two national anthems sung, it was finally time to play hockey. Talbot, who has now logged more games & seasons as an Oiler, than as a Ranger, took on Henrik Lundqvist. Every time I see these two on the same ice, it always reminds me of what could’ve been – the Stanley Cup in 2015. Not going to rehash all that now, just go back and read my blogs from that time. However, in short, Tampa just owned Lundswiss that year, the Rangers should’ve rode the hot hand in Talbot (Akin to what the Penguins did with Murray over Fleury) & the Rangers should’ve dealt Lundqvist, and not Talbot, in the Summer of 2015.

Oh, and unlike a recent ESPN.com article that blatantly plagiarized me, I said all this stuff at the time, and not with 20/20 hindsight. ICWT!

Speaking of ESPN.com, let’s go to their official box score and then I’ll recap this game:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail EDM NYR
12:19
Rick Nash (5)
Assists: Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello
0 1
16:26
Jesse Puljujarvi (1)
Assists: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Darnell Nurse
1 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
3:43
Mika Zibanejad: 2 Minutes for Interference
16:52
Ryan Strome: 2 Minutes for Hooking

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail EDM NYR
10:06
Connor McDavid (7) (Power Play)
Assists: Milan Lucic, Oscar Klefbom
2 1
15:10
Pavel Buchnevich (8) (Power Play)
Assists: Kevin Shattenkirk, Mats Zuccarello
2 2
18:53
Rick Nash (6) (Power Play)
Assists: Brady Skjei, Ryan McDonagh
2 3
Time Team Penalty Detail
9:13
Steven Kampfer: 2 Minutes for Hooking
13:48
Brad Malone: 2 Minutes for Delaying the game
17:19
Patrick Maroon: 2 Minutes for Elbowing

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail EDM NYR
19:58
Michael Grabner (8)
Assist: Jesper Fast
2 4
Time Team Penalty Detail
No penalties this period

Goaltending Summary

Edmonton Oilers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
C. Talbot 33 3 30 .909 59:04 0

New York Rangers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
H. Lundqvist 29 2 27 .931 60:00 0

I pulled a Brendan Smith puck in the $40 Steiner Scam Bag. Again, I’m a sucker for merchandise I don’t need. I still haven’t seen anyone pull a Messier, a Leetch, a Richter or a Graves yet. I’ve seen plenty of EMERSON FUCKING ETEM pulls though!

In a very unlike AV move, coach Alain Vigneault tinkered with his line-up during a win streak. Paul Carey was out, and Boo Nieves, who was battling an illness, was back in. Nieves, like Carey during this now 6-game win streak, played less than 8 minutes anyway.

The major, if you want to call it major, point of controversy during this win streak, is Brendan Smith. As previously discussed on this site, Brendan Smith has found himself riding the pine all season. He’s been scratched in more games than not. In fact, when I saw I pulled a Brendan Smith puck in the Steiner Scam Bag, I felt like putting a scratch over the Rangers logo, to make the puck truly authentic.

In a debate I talked about already, I think three blogs ago, as this Brendan Smith scratching continues, someone will have to take the blame. While it’s too early to point fingers and jump down anyone’s throat yet, as the season moves along, either AV will look like a genius, which in turn, makes Jeff Gorton look like a fucking idiot for giving Smith $17.4 million for four years or AV will be burnt and Gorton will have to question why his coach isn’t playing a defenseman that is being paid like a Top 4 NHL D-man.

Of course – no one in the media is questioning anyone, since everyone in the hockey media is scared of their own shadow and in fear of losing their job in a dying field.

One theory about Smith, that has been floated around, but which I can’t confirm, nor saw any credentialed reporter report, is that Smith got fat and soft during the off-season. He got engaged and got paid. In turn, he didn’t work as hard during the off-season, like he usually does. Again, this is just a THEORY and not a confirmed news report. This theory does hold weight, but if it was fact, I would hope Coach AV or GM Jeff Gorton, would’ve publicly shamed Smith about this. In the very least, the shaming would, in theory, motivate Smith to work his ass off and prove everyone wrong. Instead, we’re left like a fart in the wind, wondering what just happened and the situation stinks.

While the replica Veteran’s Day jerseys looked nice, these authentic jerseys looked bad-ass. I wouldn’t mind these jerseys as the new third jersey. I would tinker it a bit though, and use the liberty head as the logo on the front.

When the Rangers beat the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, I thought the Rangers looked more aggressive than I’ve seen them be all season. I thought the Rangers lost some of that in this game, as they didn’t pepper Talbot with shots, nor did they keep Talbot on his toes. In fact, before Nash’s two goals, there was one play where, on a breakaway, he refused to shoot, until the Oilers defensemen caught up to him. It might’ve cost him a NASH-trick.

There’s always narratives from writers and fans alike. You know my spiel. I’m not a fan of Lundqvist’s diva behavior nor his contract. I also want a Stanley Cup and realize this team has moved on from nearly every legend they’ve ever had. In the same way they had to move on from Giacomin, I feel that it’s time to move on from Hank too. In this salary cap era, you can’t make your goalie the highest paid player on the team. You just won’t win a Cup that way.

I’ve never hid that narrative, and you know what you get from me.

In that same line of thinking, you also have people with the narrative that includes all of the following:

  • Lundqvist can do no wrong.
  • Every goal is on the defense, with Staal or Holden the likely culprit.
  • Every loss is because of Alain Vigneault.
  • Every win is because of Lundqvist
  • The defense doesn’t do anything when the Rangers win, it was all Lundqvist.
  • The scoring was because of the Rangers, and not because of defensive lapses on the other team.
  • Lundqvist is better than the Rangers powerplay.
  • No win should ever be credited to AV.

It was just over a week ago, where a large portion of the fanbase wanted AV fired. However, you don’t hear those same fans or Larry Brooks, of the NY Post, talk about AV’s current impact on the team. If he lost the team, as was the complaint, did he regain the team now? I don’t want to go too long on this, as I think you get my point, but I hope AV gets some credit for this win streak. It should work both ways.

While I don’t agree with all of AV’s decisions, you can’t argue with his regular season success with the Rangers. I can’t sit and bury the guy, like others do, when the team wasn’t coming out to play, during the losing stretch to start the season. These guys are paid a ton of money. They shouldn’t need a coach to tell them to do their fucking job. It’s one thing to get beaten by a better and more skilled team, it’s another to skate around like you’re a herd in the “The Walking Dead.”

During this win streak, the Rangers have played hard and have put together nearly 18 “blue-collar” periods, where they grind, grind and grind. While it doesn’t always produce goals, they are keeping goals off the board. It’s why I find the “LUNDQVIST IS BACK” shit so silly, because the Rangers are playing so well in front of him. Sure, there have been a few good saves along the way, but it’s not like Lundqvist is making super-human saves either. He’s making saves that you see around the league on any given night, but just for a lot more money. I’ve always tried to keep that in perspective.

I thought for the third Saturday in a row, by attending the Rangers game, I would escape Joe Micheletti. Instead, he haunts me.

I know this blog is going longer than intended already, so I’ll save my normal spiel that you can find in other blogs about the ticket situation, but there were a ton of empty seats at MSG. Many season ticket holders took to Facebook and Twitter to say they are done after this season. Great job tier pricing!

For all the bullshit NYR puts their fans through, at least they have the decency to honor local members of our troops.

After a ton of slow first periods to start the season, the Rangers have been strong out the gate during this win streak. However, the Oilers would take more shots in the first period, edging the Rangers 12-9.

As was the case for most of the game, I thought both goaltenders looked good, with of course, Cam Talbot playing better. Why do  I say that? Here’s a quick hit list:

  • Tougher quality of shots faced
  • Two goals allowed came off the Rangers PP
  • The 5 on 5 goal came from a perfect cross ice feed from Kevin Hayes to Rick Nash
  • He didn’t lose his stick repeatedly
  • He didn’t flop like a fish out of water
  • Rangers defense was better than the Oilers defense
  • Jesse Puljujarvi’s goal was a goal Hank could’ve stopped, as he’s saved those type of goals before. The McDavid goal though? No shot.

Talbot (30 saves on 33 shots) and Lundqvist (27 saves on 29 shots), all in all, both played well.

Saturday day game and the concession stands were closed at M$G. SAD!

The first half of the first period was a feeling out process, with plenty of whistles for minor infractions, such as icing and offside. The Oilers would get an early PP, after Zibanejad was boxed for interference. The Oilers, who got some shots on the PP, didn’t really seem to have their PP going as well as they could’ve.

Rick Nash, as previously mentioned, would get a good breakaway in this game, but for some reason slowed down. However, later on in the first period, Nash took a perfect pass from Hayes, on a two on one odd-man rush, to beat the defenseless Cam Talbot, to make the score 1-0, Blueshirts.

However, as usual, Lundqvist quickly coughed up the lead, when Jesse Puljujarvi beat Lundqvist in front. 1-1 game after one period.

I’m not a guy who plays with T-squares and pocket calculators, but can someone find me the stats on goalies with the most blown leads, most amount of goals let up in the first two minutes of a period, most amount of goals allowed in the last two minutes of a period and the least amount of shots faced before giving up a goal? I have suspicion an overpaid Swede tops all those lists.

Trust me, I’m a huge Saved by the Bell fan, but when Mr. Belding is the biggest celebrity in the house, you got a problem. Do you really think the Knicks are doing back-flips for Screech? Speaking of Belding, if he was a bigger celebrity, I’m sure you’d have some accusers come out, as he’s always taken questionable pictures with young females.

While I know the Rangers didn’t take my idea that I suggested last year, the Rangers are now selling pregame practice used pucks for $30. Montreal does this, and even gives you a protective case. While I’m sure this was a one time thing for Veteran’s day, the Rangers should do this all the time. I’m surprised they don’t, as it’s easy money.

I really felt this game was kinda even. For the most part, both teams just kept on fighting. What fans sometimes lose sight of, is that no NHL defense is 100% perfect. The offensive players get paid to play well too. I thought this was a good hockey game in general, although not as good as the win I saw on Tuesday, when the Oilers beat the Islanders, or last Thursday, when the Rangers beat the Bolts. (Again, I’m a fan of the low scoring goalie battle games.)

The second period decided the fate of the game, and it was because of special teams. Each team would go 100% on their powerplay. However, the Rangers had one extra powerplay, and in the end, that would be the difference.

Before all the powerplay goal scoring, there was a scary moment on ice, when Zack Kassian accidentally caught Jimmy Vesey with his skate. As you saw from the picture above, Vesey got some teeth knocked out and took a gnarly rip to the lip. Because this is hockey, Vesey was back on the ice in the third period, with a cage on. I’m assuming Vesey will be ok and won’t miss any time. I just hope the Rangers have a good dental plan. If you look at Al Trautwig, I don’t know if that’s the case.

After a Steven Kampfer penalty, Connor McDavid quickly beat Henrik Lundqvist on the powerplay, to make the score 2-1, with half of the clock still remaining in the game. Nothing Hank could do about that one.

Just rehashing here – I went to the Oilers/Islanders game on Thursday and got tickets on the glass for pennies on the dollar. Seeing McDavid up close was amazing. I had pretty decent seats today too, and sometimes you get lost just tracking McDavid.

If the Rangers are going to give up goals, you don’t mind if it’s McDavid scoring them. When Jesse Puljujarvi is the goal scorer, you get a little salty.

Corny newspaper quip time – “Despite freezing temperatures, the powerplay has heated up the Garden.” Aren’t I so clever?

At the 13:48 mark of the second, Brad Malone, (No relation to Sam Malone) would get busted for a delay of game. After a feeble attempt from the second PP unit, the first PP unit came on and wasted no time. Shattenkirk threaded the needle to Pavel Buchnevich, and the commie easily beat Talbot to make the score 2-2.

Of note – the commie now has 8 goals! Let’s get CZAR IGOR here and let the Russians bring us the Cup! Come on Donald Trump, talk to Putin, deport Lundswiss and Let’s Make the Rangers Russian Again!

Towards the end of the period, the Big Rig, Patrick Maroon, would be caught for a big elbow. The Rangers would go on the PP yet again, and it was Rick Nash collecting a PP goal. This was his first multi-goal game of the season and the Rick Nash that the Rangers envisioned they would get on a regular basis when they gave him that huge contract 5 years ago. 3-2 Blueshirts and that PPG was the game winner.

On the Nash game winner, from my seats, it looked like the Rangers were offside. There was some time spent before dropping the puck. I’m assuming the Oilers were checking the replay, but I guess the Rangers were onside by a hair. I don’t know if this was mentioned on the TV broadcast or not, this was just what I saw.

At the end of two periods, Rangers 3, Oilers 2.

I know some people don’t like him, but I like Dancin Larry. I never got the hatred for someone who spends his hard earned money on their team. Ranger fans have always been funny this way, as even “The Chief” took shit from Ranger fans back in the day.

The third period was more hard work and blue collar hockey from both teams. It was also a clean period of hockey, as there were no penalties. With the way this game was going, that worked out for the Rangers.

With 1:30 left in the third period, Cam Talbot was pulled, as the Oilers went on their 6 on 5 attack. In an area the Rangers were struggling in, the Rangers have now converted these empty net situations into goals, with Michael Grabner being the biggest benefactor of them all. Grabner, who has 8 goals, has to half of them via the empty net.

(I’m doing this blog off memory and I don’t have time to look it up, so feel free to email in, but Grabner has to have 4 EN goals already. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the league leader in ENG.)

With two ticks on the clock, Grabner padded his goal scoring stats, and the Rangers went on to win the game 4-2. While the Oilers record suggests bottom of the barrel hockey, this is a good team that has been turning it around, just like the Rangers and this was a good win, over a good hockey team, for the New York Rangers.

More impressively, despite the McDavid PPG, the Rangers did a great job of shutting down the impressive McDavid/Draisaitl 1-2 punch. They had their opportunities, but the Rangers were able to snuff them out.

The Rangers were aggressively trying to push Season Tickets today. Even in the 100’s rotunda, while waiting to take a piss, I was approached by two different people to gauge interest. A lot of people are giving up their seats in an age where it’s better to watch from home. It also doesn’t help that people are fed up with paying top dollar for tickets that are $55 on the day of the game.

When the Rangers won this game, they were in a fugazi first place. It was fugazi because they played more games than anyone else and the division leader, the Devils, had yet to play. With all Metro games completed for Saturday, here’s a look at the standings:

Metropolitan Division
GP
W
L
OTL
Pts
GF
GA
Diff
L10
Strk
Devils
16
10
4
2
22
54
49
5
5-3-2
W1
Blue Jackets
18
10
7
1
21
55
50
5
5-4-1
W1
Penguins
19
9
7
3
21
50
68
-18
4-4-2
L2
Islanders
17
9
6
2
20
60
55
5
6-3-1
W1
Rangers
18
9
7
2
20
60
59
1
8-2-0
W6
Capitals
17
9
7
1
19
51
52
-1
6-4-0
W1
Flyers
17
8
7
2
18
50
45
5
4-4-2
L1
Hurricanes
15
6
5
4
16
41
43
-2
3-4-3
L1

We are almost at the quarter pole of the season, and the Rangers are in the mix. That’s not something we would’ve thought two weeks ago.

Deep down, as much as I’d like to see this team win the Cup, I still don’t think they have the roster to do it, come the playoffs. I know things change, with injuries and the trade deadline, but in a 7 game series, I don’t see how this team is better than the Penguins.

What makes the NHL better than the other leagues, is that the NHL playoffs is like no other animal. We see Cinderella playoff runs all the time. Even the Rangers had their chance to dance in 2014. Anything can happen.

I know some people will say “it’s too early to look at the standings”, but really, why not? It’s amazing how fast the Metro standings will fluctuate over time. Strong competition is good for the league, which is something the NBA is severely lacking. I guess that’s the one positive of the salary cap, although I disagree with the cap ceiling being so low, especially for a league that brags about how much money they make. Seems like FAKE NEWS to me.

However, I don’t care who you are, all this shit is impossible to predict. We all have our thoughts, theories and opinions, but no one is able to 100% predict accurately what the playoff seeding will be and how many games it will take to win each series.  The unpredictability is what makes this league thrive.

Up next

After three straight home games, the Rangers travel to Chicago for a terrible 8PM start against the Blackhawks. Last year’s Blackhawks/Rangers game was my favorite game of last season, as I attended and saw Raanta post a 1-0 OT shutout. After the African-American Hawks (gotta be PC), the Rangers head to Columbus.

The schedule has been crazy all season, for various reasons. One of those reasons is that it’s weird how the Rangers, by next Friday, will have played the Blue Jackets three times, while they haven’t even sniffed other Metro teams, like Carolina, Philly or Washington.

With these next three days off, it will give the other teams time to catch up in the games played department as well.

As far as who starts in Chicago, with the time off, in addition to being the hot hand, Lundqvist should get the start in prime time. If Hank continues to be serviceable, I really don’t see Pavelec getting his next start until 11/26, against Vancouver, when the schedule gets tighter. We’ll see.

Thanks for reading this monstrously long blog. See you Wednesday night, if I get the time.

As always…

“LET’S GO RANGERS!”

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on tweeter

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