What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and all that other happy horseshit!
On Friday night, in front of a full crowd, at “The World’s Most Expensive & Overpriced Arena”, the Rangers defeated another Original 6 team, when they beat the Detroit Redwings, 2-1, in overtime. For the Rangers, it was their third win in a row. With the win, the Rangers are now two points away from the third seed in the ultra-hot Metropolitan division.
Like most seasons, you have these peaks and valleys, with the Rangers right now currently riding the Henrik Lundqvist wave. For the first nine seasons of Henrik Lundqvist’s career, the Rangers relied on Lundqvist to carry them through games. However, in the past three plus seasons, that hasn’t always been the case. The proof is in the pudding, with former Ranger back-up goalies, Cam Talbot & Antti Raanta, now playing elsewhere, as starting goalies in this league.
While Talbot is having a bad season, after a dominating season last year, and with Raanta battling injuries in his first year as a starter, for the Rangers, for the first time since Marty Biron was wearing a ball cap on the bench, the Rangers really need Henrik Lundqvist to play like someone, who is paid the most money in the world, to play his position, in the NHL. (Holy run-on sentence Batman!)
As mentioned previous times on this site, I just can’t fathom Ondrej Pavelec carrying the load like Talbot or Raanta once did. It seems like Coach AV agrees, as Pavelec hasn’t seen much work this season, despite the Rangers being two games past the quarter mark of the season. Then again, the Rangers have had a very friendly schedule, which makes it easier to roll out Lundqvist every night.
Even after tonight’s win, and with 12 straight games started, I would still start Lundqvist on Sunday. There’s just no reason to slow down a hot goalie, especially when you don’t have a playoff spot.
After a slow and horrid start to the season, Lundqvist has awoken as the Lundqvist of old, and has had a fabulous November. If you’re looking for any true criticism, right now, from me, on Lundqvist, it’s just that I hope he plays like this when the games truly matter in the Spring. Of course, that’s assuming that this Rangers team somehow finds themselves in the playoffs.
If you’ve been reading me or have the sense of sight, I don’t need to explain to you that this team is consistently inconsistent. Even with this exciting OT victory tonight, there were still many holes in the Rangers game. The PP, which was once hot this season, has now reverted to being an area of being a regular weakness. The team continues to do the fancy extra pass stuff, rather than taking clear shots. The team also struggles to clear the pucks at opportune moments.
Listen, I’ve said this before – the other team is paid to play hockey too. You’ll never get 100% perfection from any team in the NHL on a regular basis. The rules and the way the referees abide by these rules, favor the offensive side of the game, which makes these low scoring wins for the Rangers even more impressive. For Lundqvist, November 2017 may have been his best stretch of games since the 2014 Cup run.
As someone who would still trade Lundqvist tomorrow, (You know my spiel, you can’t win a Cup when you have a Top 5 paid goalie, money is being spent erroneously, I don’t see Lundqvist being consistent against top quality teams in the playoffs, etc) I do find it ironic, that the games I’ve been to this season, he’s had his best efforts!
Maybe Lundqvist is trying to impress me, akin to the way Joe Micheletti tries to impress Lundqvist, when Joe shows Hank his custom made Henrik Lundqvist hair doll? Who knows? However, what is known, is that except for the Vegas Golden Knights & Florida Panthers victories, Lundqvist has been the star, during this recent Rangers resurgence.
I attended tonight’s Rangers victory, which means this will be a different blog from usual. While nothing beats going to an NHL game live, you do miss stuff that you would normally see on TV. For example, I didn’t even recognize Boo Nieves was hurt, until I read it online during the game.
In this HDTV era, you really don’t miss much on TV, whereas being live, you do. This also means I missed the MSG broadcast tonight (I heard Colton Orr was “interesting”, for lack of a better word) and I also missed all the hooker hotel commercials. While this blog is always for shits and kicks, in addition as being an outlet for me to vent, admittedly so; being at a game live, you just miss some things. However, while the other major sports can be a snoozefest at times, nothing beats the live NHL experience. It’s just a shame that the NHL doesn’t advertise that fact.
In case you missed them, here are my most recent blogs:
NYR/CAR 11/22 Review: Rangers Score The First Touchdown of Week 12, Pump & Dump The Canes Like a Prostitute at the “Pines Motor Lodge”, Lundqvist Rolling, Why Hayes Has Been the Best NYR Forward, McDonagh Injury, The Unbearable Joe Micheletti Hits New Lows, Soft Schedule, The Godfather & Much More From a Dominating Road Win
NYR/CBJ 11/17 Review: Sergei Bobrovsky Edges Henrik Lundqvist in a Goalie Duel Among Former Vezina Winners, “Just One Of Those Games”, Ranger Alumni Making a Positive Impact, CTE, Line-Up Tinkering, Smith Gets Time, Tough Mini Road Trip, Time to Issue an ABP on Chris Kreider, Torts & More
NYR/CHI 11/15 Review: King Crawford Shows Lundqvist The Difference Between a Cup Winning Goalie & A Faux “King”, Rangers PP Comes Back Down to Earth, The African-American Hawks Out-Grind NYR, Win-Streak Snapped, Don’t Panic & More From the Windy City
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
Since I was at the game, this won’t be the normal blog I usually do, because as stated, I miss some stuff live. I don’t know if you guys do it too, but at a game, I tend to track players at times and lose focus of what else is going on. For example, I was watching Kevin Hayes during his shifts. I was watching Smith during his felonious shifts. I was watching Kreider, as he wiggled his way in front of Detroit goalie, Jimmy Howard, throughout the game. I was watching Lundqvist after he flailed his stick for the umpteenth time this season. On the other end, I was also tracking Redwing Dylan Larkin. I wonder who has more speed – Larkin or McDavid?
It’s been a long few days for me, so let’s get right into it. As usual, here’s the ESPN.com box score:
1st Period Summary
|No scoring this period||0||0|
||Brendan Smith: 2 Minutes for Tripping|
||Brendan Smith: 2 Minutes for Interference|
2nd Period Summary
|No scoring this period||0||0|
||Darren Helm: 2 Minutes for Hooking|
3rd Period Summary
||Tomas Tatar (7) (Power Play)
Assists: Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg
||Chris Kreider (8)
Assists: Pavel Buchnevich, Brady Skjei
||Michael Grabner: 2 Minutes for Tripping|
||Jesper Fast: 2 Minutes for Boarding|
||Dylan Larkin: 2 Minutes for Goalkeeper Interference|
||Mats Zuccarello (4)
Assists: Brady Skjei, J.T. Miller
|No penalties this period|
As much as it pains me to say it, not because he played well, but because I have to do another blog focusing on mainly him, the story of this game was Henrik Lundqvist. He was the best player on the ice for the entire game, with Detroit goalie, Jimmy Howard, a close second.
Let me just get my beef out of the way, then I will continue. I have no problems with Lundqvist dominating. Despite popular opinion, I’m rooting for it. That said (there’s one), I just can’t stand the overreaction to a great game. Can we please say Lundqvist played well, and leave it at that? For some, of course not. However, let’s just keep these thoughts in mind:
- This game was played on 11/24 and not in the Springtime.
- Detroit is not a playoff team.
- In fact, this is the same Detroit that gave up 5 goals to the struggling Oilers, just two nights ago. Even more, the Rangers also put up 5+ goals two nights ago.
- Doing these “KING OMG” rants, while ignoring the fact he still doesn’t possess a Cup, is silly.
- The hole the Rangers are currently climbing out of is partly due to Lundqvist’s poor start to the season.
- Having some members of the NYR media calling for the Vezina for Lundqvist, while calling the Islanders “The November Cup” champs, just last season, is hypocritical & hysterical.
Listen – Lundqvist played well and is the story of this game. In the past, I would’ve said, “You don’t know how Raanta or Talbot would’ve done” in the same game. However, this season, I know – Pavelec doesn’t have a game like this for the Rangers. Lundqvist played great tonight, and this was arguably his best game of the season. (I still think the Tampa win was just a c-hair more impressive, just for the fact that the game was on the road and it was against a great team.)
It just tickles me, that after a game like this, some of the media & fans have Lundqvist winning the Vezina and the Rangers winning the Cup. To quote Mike Francesa, “CAN YOU CAWM DOWN?”
Make no bones about it, Lundqvist was great tonight. However, it’s 11/24. Can we chill with all the awards and written fellatios for now? When I see Joe Micheletti, Sean Hartnett and Rick Carpinello having raging hard-ons tonight, it makes me think that they are compensating for something else.
In the same vain that you would blow off a 6-1 loss, you can’t overrate this game either. That said (there’s that phrase again), Lundqvist was on top of his game tonight and was the main factor in the Rangers victory. However, until I see Lundqvist raise the Cup, in a Rangers jersey, my thoughts, theories and concerns are still there.
As mentioned in previous blogs, I love the goalie duels and this game was just that. This was a battle among premier epeeists. (The root word “epee”, is featured in crosswords about 3-5 times a week. It’s a good word for your vocabulary. If you’re not aware of the definition of the word, the word “epeeist” means “a fencer”. As you may have heard, fencers have duels. You see, you learn something new here every day!)
And yes, I’m aware that this is the only blog in the world that would waste 100 words on the word “epee.” Just don’t get the word confused with “E-Pee”, which means emailing your urine to someone. However, if you’re into “E-Pee”, Joe Micheletti is always looking for new pee-pals! Bonus points if you’re Swedish and know how to use a comb.
After a great rendition of the National Anthem, from the returning John Amirante, (if I’m right, this was his first game of the season) the Rangers came out hot to start the first period. However, after a great initial attack, the Rangers tapered off a bit and it would be Detroit, for the majority of the period.
The highlights of the first period, for the Rangers, were four huge saves from Henrik Lundqvist, as he stoned Larkin and Nyquist on breakaways. He also fought through traffic and screens, to make two huge saves on a Detroit PP. See, when I see Lundqvist making these <Donald Trump voice> “YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE” saves, it’s why I can’t take Micheletti seriously when he blames Martians, Aurora Borealis, Pogs, Kim Jong Un, Elian Gonzales, Shifting Tectonic Plates, the BET Awards, or whatever else he can think of, whenever Lundqvist gives up a goal.
Speaking of Micheletti – I am so glad I was at this game live and missed the broadcast. With Lundqvist playing out of his mind, I can only imagine how unbearable Micheletti was. In fact, I did get some samples tweeted at me, but to spare you the pain, I won’t plug Micheletti’s terrible commentary tonight!
Brendan Smith would take two penalties in the first period, but the Rangers strong PK was able to keep the score at 0-0. While the Rangers PK has been solid for most of the season, these penalties were largely killed by Lundqvist himself, since the Rangers looked tired and were caught flat-footed. In other words, they had a tough time clearing the puck. And really, it’s not like Detroit’s PP is lights out either. The obvious joke to make here, is that the Rangers were stuffed like the Turkeys they ate yesterday. However, since this is the BCBS blog, I’ll say that the Rangers PK looked stuffed like Elizabeth Berkley in “Showgirls.”
After sustaining offensive pressure early in the period, for 16+ minutes or so, the Rangers offense struggled to get anything going. Meanwhile, Lundqvist was able to deny several near-scoring chances for the Wings. The Rangers were lucky to get out of the first period scoreless, and the score was 0-0 after twenty.
The second period was a better period for the Rangers and we saw some “fire-wagon” or “
Chinese Asian-American fire-drill” hockey. There was a stretch of time, in the middle of the period, where both teams went back and forth, but Howard and Lundqvist weren’t having it. The Rangers did get their legs back, and would out-shoot the Wings, 16-10 in this period.
Take a look at this picture I took towards the end of the period:
I really enjoyed the second period, since I like watching the goalies and defensive battles. While both defenses were broken at times, the goalies weren’t.
Tangent time – you know I go to many road games. I’ve done my spiel before about fighting at games. In short, these millionaire athletes don’t care about you, nor go to your job to fight over who’s better on the McDonald’s fryer, you or your co-worker. There’s no reasonable excuse to brawl over sports at a game or really anywhere else. Sports are entertainment at the end of the day.
What I also hate seeing, are drunk fans, harassing a visiting fan. It’s one thing to do good natured ribbing or ball-breaking. It’s another thing to throw popcorns or peanuts at someone, then curse them out. Before you accuse me of going soft and tell me all the stories about the Ranger/Islander games years ago, or the Rangers/Flyers before that, just keep in mind, it’s 2017 and a different world today.
When I see a family from Detroit, visiting NY on their holiday/vacation, they just don’t deserved to be heckled and cursed out. It’s bad enough living in Detroit in the first place. And while I’m aware of the Canadian teams in this league, the majority of us are Americans & enjoy the game. There’s no reason to HATE someone over a sports team. It’s as stupid as a high school rivalry.
Tangent during a tangent time – the best are these high school rivalries and the hatred that comes out of them. A year later, when you’re away at college, the most common way people bond, is via the proximity of their home towns!
In short – grow up and don’t be that drunk asshole. After all, the drunk assholes ruin and sully the good name of professional alcoholics like myself. Want to know how professional I am? I’m doing this blog after 20 beers!
Of note, despite the goalie battle in this scoreless second period, the Rangers would get a PP. However, they couldn’t do anything with it.
After two periods, the score remained 0-0. The final frame was going to be a test of who cracked first – Lundqvist or Howard.
Early into the third period, Michael Grabner would be tossed in the sin bin for tripping. With just two seconds remaining in the Detroit PP, after some extreme pressure, Tomas Tarter put some Tartar Sauce (Corny joke, I know) on a puck and beat Lundqvist. 1-0 bad guys.
The Rangers would strike back, as with 10 minutes remaining in the game, Kreider would get the puck and just beat Jimmy Howard, with a backhand shot, to even up the score at one each.
Each team, trying to get momentum, would amp it up a bit. After a liberal Obama-like boarding penalty on Jesper Fast, the Rangers would kill the penalty faster than Harvey Weinstein could kill a female’s sex drive. The Detroit PP was negated, when Detroit took a penalty of their own, when Dylan Larkin skated right into Henrik Lundqvist. The fact that Larkin was able to hop-scotch to the penalty box, without a mark or bruise to be seen, says a lot. I’ll tell you this, if Tanner Glass or Dylan McIlrath were still on this team, Larkin would have matching teeth with Jimmy Vesey.
Speaking of teeth, can someone confirm that M$G doesn’t offer a dental plan to their employees? For fuck’s sake Al Trautwig, Halloween is over!
The Rangers, perhaps the luckier of the two teams, were able to get at least a point, as the teams were knotted at one a piece, after 60 minutes.
In the 3 vs 3 five minute overtime, the Rangers, as they have been doing all November, were able to put the game away early in the extra period. While Lundqvist was the workhorse of this game, Zuccarello would grab some headlines after this:
Zuccarello, from Skjei, wins it in OT for the NYR pic.twitter.com/yEMX98msEd
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) November 25, 2017
2-1 Rangers, courtesy of a Zucc goal, 37 seconds into the OT. We can joke about it now, since the Rangers won, but despite a picture perfect pass, that left Zucc all alone in front of Howard, I really think he was looking to pass. In fact, I think he was trying to pass to Howard, but Howard had his Scott Darling glove on!
For the Rangers, that’s three in a row and with three winnable games left on this homestand, the Rangers will hopefully jump up in the standings.
Speaking of the standings, here’s the latest, courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com:
|Columbus Blue Jackets||22||14||7||1||29||.659||63||53||0.60||0.14||.614||12|
|New Jersey Devils||21||12||5||4||28||.667||69||66||0.12||-0.02||.571||10|
|New York Islanders||21||12||7||2||26||.619||77||69||0.51||0.13||.571||11|
|New York Rangers||22||11||9||2||24||.545||72||68||0.24||0.06||.523||11|
As you can see and probably already knew, the Rangers are still in a tight race, among some very good teams. One streak, in either direction, will be for a big jump or a big slide.
*thinks about throwing stick*
Fan: “oh shit”
*HURLS THE FUCKING STICK* pic.twitter.com/KScPlUOu3u
— King Fucking Henrik (@FuckingHenrik30) November 25, 2017
As many of you joked on twitter, it made sense for Lundqvist to throw his stick into the crowd after this game. After all, it looks like he’s doing that anyway, since he loses his stick 976384838438 times a game!
Ok, it’s almost 2:00am & the eyes are getting heavy. Just a few quick things before going home here:
- The Rangers revealed their Winter Classic jerseys today and you can buy this jersey, that the Rangers will only wear once this season, for a convenient $240! What a ripoff.
- Speaking of the jersey, while I didn’t like the pictures of the jersey, when I first saw it online, when I saw fans wearing this Winter Classic jersey at the bar & during the game, it actually looks nice up close. That said, it’s not worth $240. I also love how NHL.com, Fanatics.com and the Rangers themselves, were all running Black Friday sales, but excluded all Winter Classic merch. If you’re gonna be a conniving shrewd son of a bitch, why not wait until Saturday, before releasing these items?
- And shame on the NHL. At least the Rangers admit they are greedy and tell you that the Winter Classic stuff isn’t part of their Black Friday sale. NHL.com lets you know once you’re about to pay, and not before you add the items in your cart. Someone call the BBB! This isn’t the first time the NHL has been greedy & has false advertised. Remember when they sold thousands of 2014 SCF NYR jerseys for $80 a pop (Which is still a high profit based on their cost) and wouldn’t sell them for the price they listed them for?
- While I do think the jerseys look nice in person, I still wanted the Liberty Head. A boy can dream.
- The Rangers ran the same line-up as they did on Wednesday.
- I didn’t mention Ryan McDonagh, nor how he missed this game tonight. He’s still out with an abdominal strain. I still feel it’s a concussion thing.
- Colton Orr, who has been doing some charity work for NYR and has appeared on the MSG Hockey Show, is now part of the MSG broadcast. I have seen questionable reviews about his performance, but since I didn’t see it myself, I can’t comment. That said (last one), I did find this funny:
— Fixxser (@Fixxser) November 25, 2017
Not for nothing, but Vally & Trautwig have become TV’s funniest (and sometimes saddest) 1-2 punch, since Danny & Spence on “The King of Queens!”
Oh, and do you think Sam Rosen was excited about the win? We always speak about “vintage” Lundqvist on social media and on this blog, but how about vintage Sam Rosen!?! Check it out:
This is the only other clip I have of the full throat ordeal hahahahha! pic.twitter.com/o6HfMNwzEY
— Fixxser (@Fixxser) November 25, 2017
Up next for the Rangers, the surprisingly decent Vancouver Canucks, on Sunday afternoon. After that, it’s the “Hockey Fights Cancer” game against the Panthers on Tuesday, followed by the lowly Hurricanes on Friday. Again, three winnable games for NYR.
All in all, this was a great hockey game to attend and I’m loving these low scoring intense games. Even better, the Rangers are winning the majority of them. While my opinions on Lundqvist remain unchanged, it’s nice to see him playing well and hopefully this is the guy that shows up, once the weather gets warmer and MLB’s Spring Training is over.
See ya Sunday, it’s sleep time for me!
As always… “LET’S GO RANGERS!”
@NYCTHEMIC on the tweet tweet