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

The face you make when the Rangers score three third period PPG’s.

What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. The Rangers have just defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, at M$G, in a final of 5-3. For the Rangers, this was their fourth win in a row.

After beating a terrible rookie goalie in their victory over Vegas on Tuesday, the Rangers followed that win up with a sweep of the Sunshine State. Tonight, the Rangers beat a very good Columbus team and unlike the other three victories in this win streak, the Rangers found a new way to win tonight.

In fact, if you haven’t read my blogs on those games or my latest blog on the Sean Avery book, you can check them out here:

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


NYR/VGK 10/31 Review: Rangers Sweat Out a Win Against An Expansion Team on The Second Night of a Back-to-Back; Defeat a Fourth String Goalie Making His First Ever Start, AV Looks To Live Another Day, Special Teams Show Up, $28 Tix, Latest NYR Rumors & More From A Win You Can’t Get Too Excited About


Kevin Shattenkirk has been a beast on the powerplay during this win streak. Photo Credit: NHL.com/Getty Images

For a team that looked dead and buried just a week ago and with rumors started by Larry Brooks, of the NY Post, of the potential firing of Alain Vigneault, the Rangers have gone undefeated in that time. Granted, it’s a long season, and the team has been streaky, but for now, the Rangers are finally playing the way GM Jeff Gorton thought they would, when he put together this team in the off-season.

Now, while it’s fun to jump up and down a bit, and if you want to, go ahead, but for the Rangers, it’s still the first week of November. 66 games still remain on the schedule. However, for a team that was going the wrong way for nearly 75% of their games played, the Rangers have turned it around a bit. While a week ago, everyone was already chiming in their ideas on what to do in the off-season, now you have fans talking playoffs. Again, it’s a long way to April.

For right now, as a Ranger fan, you have to be happy with what you’ve recently seen, even if it’s been in bits and pieces. Less than a week ago, the Rangers were twenty minutes away from all hell breaking loose, with a potential loss to the Vegas Golden Knights & to their rookie goalie. Instead, the Rangers rallied back and won that game. The Rangers then won back-to-back overtime games, scoring very early in both overtime periods. Tonight, the Rangers, looking like they were going to be stopped by another hot goalie, were able to break through in the third period, and scored an unheard of three straight PPG’s.

If anything, the different ways the Rangers have found to win these past four games, will increase expectations. These wins show fans that the Rangers have the potential to be a playoff team, with the win over Tampa and tonight’s win, looking especially impressive. However, this team has always been consistently inconsistent, which is where the frustrations lie when this team is struggling. I mean, when you look at how the team won these last four games, a loss to a Colorado, getting blown out by Toronto & losing a string of games, just shouldn’t happen.

Every team hits low points during a season, and the key to being a playoff team is how you respond to your slumps. For the Rangers, it’s just time to keep the momentum going and to continue to make up for the losses at the beginning of the season.

I can’t get enough of Tortorella. I’m a Torts guy and while I knew his time was up here, I still respect & miss him. That said (there’s one), I love Tort memes.

During this Rangers win streak, this has been a busy time for me. As you know from my previous blogs, I have a 4:30am alarm clock for work every morning. Additionally, these last two weekends, I went to go watch the team on the road in Montreal and in Florida. I’m still catching up with things at home and I’m hard-pressed for time. Depending if Cam Talbot starts tomorrow or not, I plan on going to the Oiler vs Islander game on Tuesday night. I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

With time being a factor here, let’s get right into it. As usual, here’s the official box score from ESPN.com:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail CBJ NYR
No scoring this period 0 0
Time Team Penalty Detail
6:58
Josh Anderson: 2 Minutes for Hooking Rick Nash

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail CBJ NYR
0:38
Artemi Panarin (2)
Assists: Seth Jones, Zach Werenski
1 0
4:24
Josh Anderson (6)
Assist: Ryan Murray
2 0
12:41
Michael Grabner (6)
Assists: Nick Holden, J.T. Miller
2 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
7:41
Michael Grabner: 2 Minutes for Tripping Markus Nutivaara
15:04
Oliver Bjorkstrand: 2 Minutes for Interference of Henrik Lundqvist

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail CBJ NYR
5:10
Kevin Shattenkirk (5) (Power Play)
Assists: Mats Zuccarello, Mika Zibanejad
2 2
8:01
Oliver Bjorkstrand (5)
Assists: Brandon Dubinsky, Boone Jenner
3 2
9:40
Chris Kreider (5) (Power Play)
Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich
3 3
11:27
Pavel Buchnevich (6) (Power Play)
Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Shattenkirk
3 4
19:11
Michael Grabner (7) (Empty Net)
Assists: Ryan McDonagh, Jesper Fast
3 5
Time Team Penalty Detail
4:13
Artemi Panarin: 2 Minutes for High-sticking Ryan McDonagh
9:37
Zac Dalpe: 2 Minutes for Elbowing Steven Kampfer
11:15
David Savard: 2 Minutes for Tripping Michael Grabner

Goaltending Summary

Columbus Blue Jackets Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
S. Bobrovsky 25 4 21 .840 59:13 0

New York Rangers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
H. Lundqvist 25 3 22 .880 59:40 0

DJ Mika Zibanejad had a lot to dance about tonight, as he was the first star of the game with three assists. Photo Credit: Mika Zibanejad

It’s funny, while Mika Zibanejad would log three assists on each of the Rangers powerplay goals in the third period, you didn’t realize he had three assists until the game was over and you settled down a bit. It was just that kind of game.

This game did feature some recent Ranger trends, the most alarming being that, yet again, they didn’t play a full 60 minute game. I saw some fans say after this game, that they felt this was the best win of the season. I can’t agree with that, because despite the comeback and the remarkable PP production, the Rangers really played a full 60 and beat the best team in hockey, in their own building, when they beat the Bolts on Thursday night.

The story for most of this game, was Columbus Bluejacket goalie, the two time Vezina winner, Sergei Bobrovsky, denying the Rangers all game, with a bountiful of lights-out saves. By the end of it, the Rangers PP became the story.

This game also felt predictable at points, because after the first period, where the Rangers were the better team, even out-shooting CBJ 10-4, Henrik Lundqvist gave up two quick goals to start the second period. That immediately sparked the moaning and groaning, because up to this point in the game, the Rangers were playing well. However, as has been the case all season, the opposing goalie was better than the highest paid goalie in the league.

In a turn of fortunes, despite taking the game over and playing above the Rangers, Columbus would self-implode in the third period. They took three straight mind-numbing and undisciplined penalties and unbelievably, the Rangers made Columbus pay every time. A monstrous effort from Sergei Bobrovsky was wasted and it was Henrik Lundqvist, benefiting yet again, from the team in front of him. Just imagine these Rangers of the last 2-3 seasons with a Lundqvist in his prime. Oh man, what could’ve been.

At least Rick Nash is a good guy. Photo Credit: NYR/MSG Networks.

Before the game, the Rangers honored Rick Nash and celebrated his 1000th game played. I thought this was ridiculous and akin to a kid getting a “participation trophy.” Listen, I’m not here to trash Nash, but it’s not like all 1000 games came as a Ranger. While the Rangers were fellating Rick Nash, an empty spot in the rafters of MSG, where Frank Boucher’s number 7 should hang, remained.

It’s nice the Rangers do these tributes and all this happy horseshit, but in the same vain, how do you ignore true NYR legends, like Frank Boucher, like Bill Cook, like Ron Greschner, etc?

I felt like I was Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” watching this. “You mean, you get honored for going to work 1000 times? Ehhhhhhh, not that impressive!”

Congratulations to Rick Nash on his ability to keep going to work, but I just thought this ceremony was silly.

In other news, before the game, AV announced that his forwards were going to be the same from Saturday, as Boo Nieves is still ill. In his place, Paul Carey logged 6 minutes.

More interesting was the fact that Brendan Smith was scratched for the third game in a row. $17.4M for four years folks! Even if you agree that AV should bench Smith, then you have to admit that Gorton made a huge mistake handing out this contract. The Rangers? Handing out bad contracts? Why that’s unheard of!

Bring Back The Glassiah!

I saved the biggest pre-game news for last. Before this game, the Calgary Flames waived Tanner Glass. Ironically, the reporters asked AV before the game, if the Rangers had any interest. AV responded negative to the idea. This cracked me up for several reasons:

  • These reporters ask about fourth line/press box staple Tanner Glass, but wouldn’t ask AV about the rumors of him being fired last week.
  • These reporters ask about a player that is not on the team, but won’t ask about Lundqvist and if his contract is ridiculous.
  • AV blows off the idea of a NYR/Glass reunion, despite Glass playing well for the team the last two years. Glass also had a solid playoffs, considering his role on the team.

I guess AV and NYR feel that Steve Kampfer has replaced Glass.

To me, while I think Glass would want NHL minutes, I wouldn’t mind Glass back. He’s a great teammate and a smart player. He might be able to help the kids out in Hartford. He’s not a bad insurance policy to have during a long season. However, as I said, I don’t think Glass wants to be stuck in desolate Hartford again anyway. Part of me hopes he latches on with Arizona. I am already following Arizona for Raanta and Stepan anyway, so what’s one more!

After seeing Sergei Bobrovsky (and Henrik Lundswiss too), I wouldn’t mind the Rangers getting their Russian in net ASAP!

With John Davidson in the house, just like the Rangers in the first period, I thought NYR & MSG Networks blew a great opportunity. JD was there to represent CBJ in the Rick Nash “I know how to get to work on time” celebration. How do you not reunite him with Sam Rosen for a few minutes on the broadcast?

Oh and if I ever win any sort of Garden of Dreams thing, my wish would be for John Davidson to throw Joe Micheletti off the fucking bridge at M$G!

Seriously though, I was disappointed the Rangers didn’t get JD on the broadcast. Then again, this is the same team that had concession stands closed again, screwed their season ticket holders over again (NYR released $55 tickets in sections where season ticket holders are paying $100+) and gave Rick Nash an all-expenses paid golf trip, which will presumably be used at the end of April/early May.

Not to make light of any recent tragic events, but whenever I hear of these mass shootings going on in the world, Jamie Nash’s face comes to mind.

The first period drove me nuts for many reasons. Here’s my laundry list:

  • The non-stop love affair with Henrik Lundqvist. Sergei Bobrovsky was heads and shoulders better than Lundqvist and had a heavier plate. Sam & Joe ignore Bob. Instead, they rave about Lundqvist gloving a puck that was going wide. Even worse, that was Steve Valiquette’s first period highlight!
  • Seriously, at the rate Micheletti is going, it won’t be long until NYR & MSG honor Joe for his “1000th Swedish Blowjob.” And I’m only talking about the 1000 blowjobs from this season!
  • Talking about Rick Nash like he’s fucking Mark Messier. Nash is a good player, but come on, the guy has never lived up to his contract. Sure, he had concussion issues and most likely has CTE, but to rant and rave like he was the savior of the Rangers, it’s silly.
  • The tight and close shots of the game, while ignoring all the empty seats in the crowd. SAD!
  • Showing the rafters of MSG and talking about all the great work the Rangers do with their past. Are you fucking kidding me? RETIRE FRANK BOUCHER’S #7!

On the ice, like the first period in Tampa, this was another blue collar period for the Rangers. Both teams worked hard, with Sergei Bobrovsky adding to his highlight reel. While there were no shots for the last 7 minutes of the period, both teams were grinding. I have no problem with hard work hockey.

At the end of one period, 0-0.

“Lundqvist gets paid how much?” Photo Credit: NHL.com/Getty Images.

The second period felt like the beginning of the end and just one of those games where no matter what the Rangers did offensively, it would all be for naught.

Artemi Panarin, who has been somewhat a bust thus far for CBJ, scored his second goal of the season (His first was scored a month ago against Lundswiss) by beating Hank 38 seconds into the period. Lundswiss fan boys may be quick to blame anyone else but Hank, but when you see/saw what Bob was doing on the other end, sometimes your goalie, the highest paid one in the league at that, has to make the big save. 1-0 bad guys.

Less than four minutes later, Josh Anderson beat Lundswiss on a meaningless pedestrian shot. 2-0 bad guys.

From that point on, it looked all downhill. Making matters worse, Grabner was boxed for tripping Markus Nutivaara.  (Not going to lie, had to Google the proper spelling of his last name.) However, the Rangers stopped CBJ on CBJ’s PP. When the announcers mentioned how CBJ’s PP was the worst in the league, I was just waiting for CBJ to break through. In a miracle bigger than the three NYR PPG’s tonight, the Rangers prevented CBJ from scoring after the announcer jinx.

In a goal that might get overshadowed because of the third period, the Rangers finally got on the board at the 12 minute mark, when JT Miller made an amazing “Top Ten Play of the Week” pass to Michael Grabner. JT Miller, while sliding, made a one handed pass. The puck went through two CBJ defenders and found Grabner all alone on Bobrovsky’s doorstep. Grabner pooched it in and just like that, the CBJ lead was cut in half.

The goal was truly amazing and this was a goal that made you love hockey. More impressive was the fact that Bobrovsky was stoning everything before and after, whether it be two on ones, breakaways, one timers and an open Zuccarello. It took this magical pass to get the Rangers on the board. 2-1 bad guys.

Oh, and here’s John Tortorella on that one:

In a period where the “LET’S GO RANGER” chants were louder in Sunrise just two days prior (Credit for this one goes to @SantAngeloSteve ) at the end of 40 minutes, CBJ 2, Rangers 1.

In 2017, these two are better than Sam & Joe. Perhaps the biggest mistake since JD left for greener pastures, was hiring Micheletti, while relegating Maloney to a lesser role. Photo Credit: MSG Networks.

During the second intermission, Dave Maloney bucked everything Steve Valiquette said and went against the MSG Networks narrative. He actually said the other goalie was better than Lundqvist and had a heavier work load. It was a true statement, but refreshing to hear, as no one else, with the exception of Ron Duguay, is as blunt and honest as Maloney.

In what is also relevant, Steve Valiquette, a goalie & Hank’s ex-teammate, always defends him, no matter what. Maloney, a defenseman, has no problem blaming the goalie. Hmmmmmm. Mystery solved!

The third period is where the Rangers made their move. In fact, as I write these words, Tortorella just had his press conference. Here’s Torts on the third:

At the four minute mark of the third, Panarin high sticked McDonagh. Kevin Shattenkirk made CBJ pay, with an absolute bomb from the point. 2-2 game. By the way, have I mentioned how much I’m all in on Shattenkirk and happy that he’s here?

As written about before, this jersey was my first purchase of this season. I love everything about how Shattenkirk came to NY and how he says all the right things. The fact that he’s the highest scoring D-man in the NHL, it just makes it that much sweeter! Photo Credit: MSG Networks.

With the Garden somewhat awake, and in a 2-2 game, Lundqvist pulled a Lundswiss and gave the game back to CBJ. As usual, he lost his stick (When will CCM make gorilla glue for his stick?) and he flopped like an idiot. Oliver Bjorkstrand made Lundswiss pay and just like that, the good vibes from the Shatty goal went away, as CBJ regained the lead. 3-2 bad guys, with twelve minutes to play.

Less than two minutes later, Steve Kampfer, who has turned into the Rangers biggest goon and agitator, as he makes the most of his playing time, baited Zac Dalpe into a penalty. While I can’t say I was following these two all game, I did see Kampfer pummel Dalpe with a check. Dalpe, frustrated, skated over to Kampfer and elbowed him. Pure undisciplined play from Dalpe. I don’t know if this was boiling all game or what, but Dalpe lost control and put the Rangers on the powerplay.

Just seconds into the powerplay, Chris Kreider took a perfect pass and easily beat Bobrovsky. The game was tied again, this time 3-3. 10 minutes remained in the game.

David Savard, in his own offensive zone, took a dumb penalty, as he tripped Michael Grabner at the 11:15 mark. Just like the powerplay goal scored previously, the Rangers scored another powerplay, quick into the powerplay, as this time, it was Pavel Buchnevich scoring. The goal occurred 12 seconds into the PP.

I’ll tell you what, you really gotta enjoy the Rangers scoring quick into not only their overtime periods, but on their PP’s as well. 4-3 good guys and that’s all it would take, as the commie got the eventual game winning goal. I can’t wait for commie CZAR IGOR to get here too! I don’t care if the team is all Russian, as long as this team wins a Cup!

At 4-3, the Rangers tightened up a bit, but Columbus would make their push. In a move that I found questionable, with under two minutes left, Columbus got the puck deep in the Rangers defensive zone, yet Torts didn’t pull Bobrovsky. I said that was weird at the time, so this isn’t  20/20 hindsight thing.

Columbus would call a timeout and with about 80 seconds or so left, would win a faceoff in the Rangers defensive zone, and went on their 6 on 5 attack. This Rangers team, prone to giving up the extra skater goal, was able to clamp down and once again, it was Michael Grabner getting an empty netter to seal the deal. 5-3 good guys and the Rangers take the two points over a Metro team.

Let’s get one more look at Torts, before I go home here:

All in all, this was a good win for the Rangers. It’s also a win that will make some people forget about how Lundqvist gave up another two bad goals and was the weakest goalie on the ice again. Aside from the Tampa game, during this win streak, it’s been the Rangers offense waking up, coming back and carrying the team to victories. Just don’t tell Micheletti that!

In a “Isn’t that amazing Suzyn” moment (Credit: John Sterling), take a look at the updated standings:

Metropolitan Division
GP
W
L
OTL
Pts
GF
GA
Diff
L10
Strk
Devils
13
9
3
1
19
49
42
7
6-3-1
L2
Blue Jackets
15
9
5
1
19
51
43
8
5-4-1
L2
Penguins
16
8
6
2
18
42
58
-16
5-4-1
L2
Islanders
14
8
5
1
17
54
46
8
7-3-0
W1
Capitals
15
8
6
1
17
46
48
-2
5-5-0
W3
Flyers
15
7
6
2
16
47
43
4
4-4-2
L1
Rangers
16
7
7
2
16
52
55
-3
6-2-2
W4
Hurricanes
12
4
5
3
11
32
37
-5
3-5-2
L4

With the win, the Rangers are currently the hottest team in the Metropolitan division. They are also in second to last place. That said, they are also two points from third place and three points from first place. (They’ve also played more games than their Metro rivals.)

It really goes to show you how tough this Metropolitan division will be and you can never take your foot off the gas. One win streak can propel you to the top of the standings, while one slide could have you in the cellar.

It’s been a rough season for the Oilers thus far. Photo Credit: Edmonton Oilers

That about does it for tonight. As stated above, if Cam Talbot gets the nod tomorrow, I’m gonna check out the horrible Barclays to see KING TALBOT take on the Islanders. The Oilers are in town, as they do the tri-state area loop. I am definitely going Saturday for the NYR/EDM game (You know I’ll have my Rangers 33 jersey on that day) and plan on going to whatever game Talbot starts this week, whether it be against the Islanders or Devils.

Either way, an Oiler win is good for me because it’s two points taken from a Ranger/Metro rival.

As far as the Rangers, they return on Wednesday night, for a horrible 8PM start, against an Original 6 opponent, in the Boston Bruins. I’m supposed to go to this game, but I dread coming home past midnight. The Bruins have been better than expected, but are still a beatable team.  I just hate the NBC crew and these 8PM game starts really make a difference when you got to be up at 4:30 am.

If I don’t go Wednesday night, I’ll do a blog on the Boston game. If I go, I’ll probably skip the blog and return Saturday night/Sunday morning after TALBOT VS LUNDQVIST.

Either way, great win tonight and as always, thanks for reading.

“LET’S GO RANGERS”

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on twitter

Comments

  1. Good Stuff

    They were down by 2 too a good team and earlier in the season this game would have unhinged quickly but they persevered and found a way.

    They are going to be streaky and will they have their usual December swoon as I call it every year.

    My gut feeling this year is they will be sniffing around the 8th seed all year.

    Love your blog so keep it up!!!!

    1. Hey Bill, I pretty much agree with you. They will teeter in and out of third place and the 2nd wild card spot. The feeling about the team is obviously better now, but I just don’t see this team having the goods to win the Cup. Thanks for reading.

  2. Enjoy your posts. It is like being with a die hard ranger at the game. I wish you would focus more on the team than Hank. Yes, he is now league average most nights. Yes, the two first goals were bad. Your point has more than been made.

    1. Fair criticism, but with site traffic up, that suggests new readers, who many not understand my previous position on some issues. I’ll take your comment under advisement.

  3. Sean,

    Ranger blogs and posts can be as devisive as our current political arena. I have recently been reading your blog and seem to be aligned with virtually all your points of view. I have been a Ranger die hard since 1970. I have very much appreciated Lundqvist for all these years, but he can no longer stand on his head. We would of had better results if Vegas’ backup Malcolm Subban or their 2nd back up Oscar Dansk were playing for us before they were injured. I live in SW Florida and am 2 1/2 hrs from both Tampa and Sunrise. I was at both games this w/e as well. The Tampa game was truly a great game from the play, results and crowd energy. Even there, with all the Tampa Season ticket holders, the Ranger chants outdid the Tampa chants. We were a tad lucky to get out of Sunrise with the win in spite of Lundqvist. Although the crowd was split between Ranger and Panther Jerseys, the Ranger fans were far more vocal. About 20 minutes after the game during the Panther post game show, there were about 50 people behind the commentators. About 45 were Ranger fans with constant “Lets go Ranger” chants along with the all too familiar Potvin love chants (I will never forgive him for breaking Hedberg’s arm in 1979).

    It is great to see 3rd period comebacks. I can not ever recall 3 3rd period power play goals all of which were essential to win the Columbus game.

    I will be going to Vegas for the 1-7-18 game and Ratelle’s night 2-25-18 at the Garden. Go GAG line. I can not imagine both Gilbert and Hadfield will not be there. Hopefully some of his other teamates will be there as well.

    Thank you for your blog.

    1. Hey Allen-
      Thanks for reading and for taking time out to share your experiences.

      I’ll be at both of those games too! The Vegas game should be interesting. Luckily NYR doesn’t have much time in Vegas before the game, as I feel some road teams have struggled in Vegas because of the atmosphere. Pretty funny how NYR has their break after that game!

      Gilbert will 100% be there, as he still works with the team. I’d imagine they’d get Hadfield there & try to get anyone else who is in the rafters.

      The saddest thing about the Ratelle night is that his generation of fans will most likely not be in the building. He’ll get a polite applause and respect, but it won’t be anything like the 90’s Rangers. Ratelle is overdue and it’s even sadder that Frank Boucher is ignored.

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