NYR/TOR 12/23 Review: Rangers Head To The X-Mas Break With a Lump of Coal in Their Stockings; Can’t Figure Out the Leafs For the Second Time This Season, Power Play Remains Atrocious, AV, Shattenkirk Calls Out Lundqvist, Fire Arniel ASAP, Hank Antics, My X-Mas Thank You & More

It’s nice the Rangers offer a designated driver program at the games, because after a game like this, you certainly need one!

What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. In the game before the Christmas break, the Rangers dropped a tough one, 3-2, to the Toronto Maple Leafs. For the Rangers, as a result of the loss, they took a step back in the standings and blew an opportunity to go to the break with good feelings.

As stated endlessly on these blogs, I am currently working seven days a week and have a 4:30AM alarm every morning. That includes this weekend and that includes Christmas day itself. While it would be nice to have off, it is what it is.

In fact, this gave me an idea for a future blog, which I hope you will find entertaining. If I can get the time, before the X-Mas break is over, I plan on doing a satirical blog, where Henrik Lundqvist is reviewing my day at work! I don’t see this ever happening in real life though, because I can’t see the Swedish diva paying $150+ to watch me work! However, it should be a funny blog, providing you have a sense of humor.

I attended tonight’s 3-2 depressant/loss at the Garden. As noted in previous blogs, when I attend games, while I do see things not on the broadcast, I also miss other things that are on the broadcast. Replays being one of them. Nothing beats an NHL game live, but I’m aware that unless you have great seats or sitting in the bridges with a monitor in front of you, you do miss some things.

I am currently typing this blog up on my cell phone, as I try to create extra time for sleep for myself. I know this blog won’t be as long as usual, but in advance, I promise something before the game against Washington on Wednesday.

Check the archives for my stories on the STEINER SCAM BAGS at M$G. Tonight was a decent pull, as I got a Brady Skjei Winter Classic puck and a Lias “I could be the next Lundmark + Brendl” Andersson puck.

Before getting into tonight’s game, here are my most recent blogs, in case you missed them:

NYR/NJD 12/21 Review: Devils Get a Shootout Win in a Game That Gave Off Playoff Vibes, Ex-Rangers Light Up Lundqvist, Shattenkirk Temporarily Benched, Special Teams Going in Opposite Directions, Metro Division & More From The Most Exciting Game of the Regular Season


NYR/ANA 12/19 Review: Rangers Have a Fun Time Duck Hunting; Can Take Second Place at MSG Newark on Thursday, Fourth Line, Defense & Lundqvist Dominate The Not-So-Mighty Ducks, The Vegas Hypothetical, Messier #1, Islanders Announce They Will Roll Around in Horseshit at Belmont & Many More NYR and NYI Thoughts


NYR/BOS 12/16 Review: Rangers Outlast the Bruins in a Sloppy Overtime Thriller; Get Two Big Points, Zucc’s Latest Walkoff Goal, Lundqvist Blows Another Two Goal Lead, Grabner’s Harlem Globetrotter Heroics, Road to the Winter Classic, Annoying Micheletti, Larry Brooks, The Stanley Cup vs Corporate Greed & Much More From a Beantown Beatdown


NYR/LA 12/15 Review: A “Cold Day In Hell” Win For the Rangers! Rick Nash Scores GWG, Defense Plays Well, Powerplay Connects, NYR Plays a Full 60 Minutes, CSA Hockey, Mike Francesa Thoughts & Much More


NYR/OTT 12/13 Review: Rangers Lose To One Of The Worst Teams In The League; Go 0-2 During “Garden of Dreams” Week, NYR Continues To Miss Zibanejad, Rick “Zack Morris” Nash, Lundqvist Plays The Blame Game & More From a Pathetic and Inexcusable Loss at the Empty Canadian Tire Fire Arena


Again, I’m doing this on a cell phone & racing against a clock, but I believe tonight was Auston Matthews’ first ever goal at M$G.

For as fun and as exciting as the game on Thursday was, against the Devils, tonight’s game felt like a chore to watch. While there were some flashes of entertainment, for the most part, this game got to the finish line with all the enthusiasm of Rosie O’Donnell running at the NY Marathon. Simply stated, this game was just the equivalent of a Pinto trying to compete in NASCAR race.

Not every hockey game, or Ranger game specifically, is going to be a memorable one. Tonight wasn’t. It was boring at points. In fact, tonight was the longest game of the regular season, as it went just a little over three hours. There were many stoppages. There was an all around sloppiness from both teams. While I thought both goalies played above average tonight, I wouldn’t consider this a goalie clinic either. It was just a slow game, with the intensity of a contained fart during Midnight Mass.

After tonight’s game, Henrik Lundqvist leads the league with the most goals allowed within the first two minutes of a period.

In previous blogs, I’ve talked about Lundqvist and how is he prone to early goals. While I wouldn’t pin this loss solely on him, for the guy who said, “Give me two goals and I got this”, tonight’s early second period goal was a back-breaker. If you want to fast-forward to the end of the game, it was all the difference between a regulation loss and a point.

However, as much as I would like to dump on the crybaby goalie, it wasn’t all on him tonight. The Rangers PP continues to be atrocious and squanders opportunity after opportunity. The dreadful Scott Arniel coached PP, even blew a 5 vs 3 chance tonight. To put an exclamation on their woeful PP, the Rangers even managed to take a penalty, in the offensive zone, during their own 5 vs 3 PP. I’ve talked about this a lot on this blog – how Scott Arniel has a job with this team is beyond me.

Keep in mind – this team has employed three different defensive coaches in the last three seasons, but Arniel, despite a terrible PP percentage, remains.

While advocating and promoting the firing of someone may come off boorish, the fact is, coaches are paid and employed based on results. Arniel has produced paltry results for years. The Rangers PP is is not a PP that can steal a game for you in a playoff series. Simply and quite frankly, Arniel needs to go.

I know many fans are on the FIRE AV train and while I have never hopped aboard, (Although I would’ve understood if the Rangers fired him after their bad start this season) I just think Gorton needs to swing his dick here and make a statement by canning the anemic Scott Arniel. When you lose games like tonight, where a PPG would’ve made all the difference in a game, it’s time to finally address the situation.

In a scrum/post whistle, Marc Staal is as threatening as a stoned-out 7-11 security guard. Wasn’t Brendan Smith signed to give the Rangers some grit? If so, I’ve rarely seen it this season.

Due to being at the game and my work situation/early alarm clock, this will be shorter than usual. Let’s get right into it, but first, the official box score from ESPN.com:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail TOR NYR
17:14
William Nylander (7)
Assists: Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly
1 0
Time Team Penalty Detail
3:00
Zach Hyman: 2 Minutes for Slashing Marc Staal
3:00
Marc Staal: 2 Minutes for Slashing Zach Hyman
10:01
Ron Hainsey: 2 Minutes for Delaying the game Mats Zuccarello
10:21
Roman Polak: 2 Minutes for Boarding Mats Zuccarello
12:01
David Desharnais: 2 Minutes for Slashing Connor Brown
13:31
Morgan Rielly: 2 Minutes for High-sticking Michael Grabner
18:56
Ryan McDonagh: 2 Minutes for Delaying the game Dominic Moore

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail TOR NYR
0:50
Ron Hainsey (3) (Power Play)
Assists: Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner
2 0
2:37
Jimmy Vesey (8)
Unassisted
2 1
11:22
Auston Matthews (14)
Assists: William Nylander, Zach Hyman
3 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
3:54
Rick Nash: 2 Minutes for Roughing Roman Polak
3:54
Roman Polak: 2 Minutes for Roughing Rick Nash
12:43
Kevin Shattenkirk: 2 Minutes for Roughing Leo Komarov
13:20
Michael Grabner: 2 Minutes for Kneeing Auston Matthews

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail TOR NYR
11:25
J.T. Miller (7)
Assists: Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich
3 2
Time Team Penalty Detail
8:33
Nick Holden: 2 Minutes for Tripping Nazem Kadri
18:36
2 Minute Bench Penalty for Too Many Men on the Ice Ron Hainsey (Served by Jimmy Vesey)

Goaltending Summary

Toronto Maple Leafs Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
F. Andersen 32 2 30 .938 60:00 0

New York Rangers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
H. Lundqvist 37 3 34 .919 58:50 0
While this was the game before Christmas, I felt like this game was a mix between Halloween and Groundhog’s Day. As I got to my seat, Joe Micheletti was doing his normal verbal fellatio about his Swedish dreamboat. What a cruel and recurring nightmare!

If you want the quick and dirty, here’s why the Rangers lost tonight:

  • Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen was slightly better than Henrik Lundqvist.
  • The Rangers PP is as useful as a baggy condom on a nun.
  • The Rangers were sloppy and gave Toronto six powerplays.
  • The Rangers refused to shoot at opportune moments.
  • The Rangers seemed to be fa-la-la-laing out there all game
  • And lastly, as much as it may pain some to read this, Toronto is just the better team.
Side-bar: do any of you throw your $30 hats on the ice after a hat trick? Then again, do any of you expect a Ranger to score a hat trick this season?

If you haven’t heard by now, Jesper Fast is out 2-3 weeks, as a result of straining a quad in the OT loss against the Devils. As a result, the Rangers rolled out the following:

First Line: KZB

Second Line: Nash/Zucc/DD

Third Line: Grabby (Team leader in goals on the third line)/Hayes/Vesey

Fourth Line: Carey/Miller/Boo Nieves, who Sam Rosen insists on pronouncing as “BOON IVEZ”

The defensive pairings remained the same, with 27/55, 76/22 and 18/42. Lundqvist remained in net, which makes you wonder what will he have left in the tank, if this team does make the playoffs.

Check out the last bullet point. Photo Credit: SNY.com

Kevin Shattenkirk did an interview with Boomer Esiason on Friday morning. In the interview, Shattenkirk said Lundqvist yells at the guys on the ice, all the time.

Listen – people know where I stand on Lundqvist. If you aren’t aware, check the archives, as I don’t have the time, energy or space to get into it tonight.

However, because of my vocal stance about Lundqvist, I get emails and direct messages all the time. They usually start off with “My “insert significant other/family member here” knows “insert random NHLer here” and he said that Lundqvist “insert something that makes Lundqvist sound like an egomaniac cock-sucker here.”

When I first started getting these testimonies, I just blew it off as something that either people wanted me to print and then say “HAHAHA, I made that up” or as people exaggerating. However, when you get 20+ of these messages, all with the same tone & end-story, it’s hard to ignore the trend.

However, I’m just a Rangers fan, who at the end of the day, always thought, that post 2014, the Rangers were better off moving on from Lundqvist. I root for the front of the jersey, not the back.

That said, I’m not a reporter. I’m not Woodward and Bernstein, looking to blow the cover on the “is Lundqvist a dickhead?” story. That said, if I was, you can bet Joe Micheletti is DEEP THROAT. HEY-YO!

I don’t have the time to investigate every story sent my way. I read them, and will respond back to you and 9/10 times, I believe you. However, I can’t print these stories here, because one, this is just a silly fan blog and two, I’m not opening myself up for slander/libel. Everything I say on this blog are my opinions. I can’t start reporting shit, especially if I can’t 100% confirm any of it. So for the people sending me in stories, I hope you understand why I can’t print them.

That all said – who is Lundqvist to cry all day and scream at his teammates? Should Ryan McDonagh, the team captain, scream at Lundqvist whenever he gives up a soft goal? Then again, it would be wise for McDonagh to be quiet when it comes to the Swedish Don. After all, the last person to open their mouth at Lundqvist, wound up being buried in the desert, like a mob hit in “Casino”. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, google Derek Stepan!

All in all – I’m not surprised to hear Lundqvist acts like a salty egomaniac cunt on the ice. While I understand that it means he cares, to a degree, it’s not his place and it just creates friction and not unity. Put it this way, how would you feel if your co-worker, who made a lot more money than you, just berated you for your whole shift? Think about it.

My doctor told me I need to go on a diet. When I told him I’m on a light diet, consisting of Parliament Light and Miller Lite, he didn’t find it amusing.

I swear, I’m my own worst enemy when trying to get these blogs done in a timely manner, but there are two quick stories I want to hit. Real quick:

  • I saw a family of Leaf fans, a father, mother and two kids, get denied at the gate for buying fake tickets from the savages on the streets. People, people, people, how many times must I tell you – never buy from these assholes. Even if it’s a few bucks more, ALWAYS buy your tickets on Stubhub or Ticketmaster. Both offer 100% seat/buyers protection. The dickheads on the street just print out the same ticket 87696976769876 times and sell the same printout. That’s if they aren’t selling their fake Ticketmaster scans. I don’t know how the night ended for that Canadian family, but in the spirit of Christmas and these people being trusting Canadians, I hope they got in for no extra money.
  • As always, kudos to the Garden, for standing and singing along during two national anthems. I get the “LET’S GO RANGERS” chant during the National Anthem, but I’m not a fan of it. That’s just me. Anyway, fuck the NFL!
Even when Micheletti isn’t next to me at a game, to drive me nuts about Lundqvist, Lundqivst does it on his own. He had several hissy fits tonight. Seriously, if you’re a parent, teaching your kid to play goalie, I wouldn’t want to use Lundqvist as a role model. Then again, athletes shouldn’t be role models, but I’ve never seen someone who’s won so little, act like such a big bitch.

In a game that started off with two “POTVIN SUCKS” (Grow up already) chants, the Rangers had the best chance to get on the board first. Of course, they squandered the opportunity.

Hyman and Staal would get boxed, three minutes into the period, for slashing. I was surprised to see that AV kept Grabner on the bench, during the four vs four.

In a game that featured many stoppages, the turning point, even so early into the game, was at the half way mark of the first period. The Rangers would go on a 1:50 5 vs 3 PP. They didn’t do ANYTHING. Good teams score in these situations. The Rangers barely managed to get a shot and it looked like Toronto was the aggressor on the PK. SAD!

On the second penalty, Roman Polak boarded Zucc. If the league is serious about concussions, they would’ve given Polak 5 minutes. At the most extreme, the refs could’ve tossed Polak out of the game. With what we know about concussions, cheap hits to the back like this, which sends a player head first into the boards, should be an automatic game misconduct. You can call me soft on this issue, but I don’t want to see guys, who I’m currently paying to see, be vegetables in their later years.

Just as mind-boggling, is when David Desharnais was caught slashing, while on attack, during the 5 vs 3. This would eventually lead to a Toronto penalty and killed a Rangers scoring chance.

Most of this period, despite all the penalties, was very much a north and south game.

Towards the end of the period, after stopping young stud Auston Matthews, Lundqvist was beat by Willy Nylander, at the 17 minute mark. Crushing goal here, because of all the blown NYR scoring opportunities.

Here’s the goal:

 


1-0 bad guys and that would be the score after a sloppy and uneventful first period from the Rangers.

I may make my silent protest and wear this during Lundqvist starts! If you’re not familiar with CZAR IGOR, follow his stuff on YouTube. The Rangers might have their next star goalie for 10+ years with this kid.

The second period started off ugly, as Toronto was on the PP. 50 seconds into the period, Toronto did this, off the stick off Hainsey:

 

2-0 bad guys.

Immediately, Lundqvist started crying. Yes, the Rangers were on the PK, but this was another long distance shot, dialed up by an NYR opponent, that beat the highest paid goalie in the league. I don’t see CZAR IGOR giving up these goals in Russia.

Even better – listen to an announcer that isn’t Micheletti. It’s refreshing to hear a commentator blame Lundqvist for once, rather than blaming Son of Sam, UFO’s, Studio 54, Israel, The Shitty Rooms at Hotel Pennsylvania, The Amish, The Titanic, Tupac Shakur, Honus Wagner Rookie Cards, Steve Valiquette’s Ribbing of Al Trautwig, Ron Duguay’s flashy clothing or Uma Thurman’s child custody case, for a goal allowed by Lundqvist.

I’ve been out of it for some time, but really, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you live only in the NYR bubble and don’t see outside opinions/reaction.

Crushing goal allowed here. However, instead of getting mad, the Rangers seemed to just go with the flow.

Instead of comedy shows at the Garden, the Rangers could sell out the place with their laugh-out-loud bad powerplay.

The Rangers got an early Xmas present, just two minutes later, when Vesey took advantage of a Lundqvistesque play by Andersen:


2-1 bad guys. Give JV credit for sticking with the play and finishing.

However, after some flopping, crying and stick slamming, Auston Matthews would beat Lundqvist, giving Toronto the the 3-1 lead. Here’s the Swedish baby:

 

If you’re a Rangers fan, you know the story. Once King Cuntcakes starts slamming his stick and crying, it’s all over. He’s rattled, his head is out of the game and he’s just looking for someone to blame. It’s why he always uses the word “WE” after a loss, and the word “I” after a win.

And Hank fans – save your breath. 99% of you don’t watch the other teams in the league. No other goalie acts like such a cunt like Lundqvist. The other team is paid to play hockey too. Goals happen. You just gotta stick with it. No NHL defense is perfect. Lundqvist demanded the most amount of money in the world to play goalie and bluntly, he just gives you slightly above average production.

Mark my words, this will be another season, despite whatever fancy stat Valiquette comes up with, where Lundqvist will not even be in the Vezina running. His poor character, which has been on display, prominently of late, is just revolting & sickening. For a guy who preaches how he wants to be a role model, this is not how role models act. A better role model is KING MATT MURRAY, who unlike Lundqvist, has won a Cup. Twice.

The Rangers, now down 3-1, couldn’t do much to close the period and found themselves down by two to start the third.

The Empire State Building was in the Xmas spirit, but the referees weren’t.

The blue ball Blueshirts gave us hope in the third, but a sleep-at-the-wheel Kevin Hayes, made the most terrible of accidents. In the end, it cost the Rangers a chance at two points.

At the 11:00 mark, we had some sweetness. Check out these hops and barley from MILLER TIME:

3-2 bad guys.

A minute later, Michael Grabner deftly beat Andersen. However, Toronto head coach, Mike Babcock, challenged the play. On the replay, we got this:

“Dude, where’s my skate?”

Regular readers – you know my take on the offside replay review already. I get it, but I hate it. My go to argument has always been this – how many goals would Gretzky have if these rules were in effect?

While Grabner scored a goal, without Hayes even being involved in the play, the goal was waved off because as you can tell from above, Hayes was blatantly offside. There’s no arguing here. He’s offside and it’s the rule.

Now, whether you want to change or amend the rule, that’s a different story, but really, what’s your argument? Stay onside! Hayes fucked up, bottom line.

Instead of a 3-3 game, we were back to 3-2 and the Rangers, instead of using this terrible circumstance as momentum, turned into a penis in cold water, and just shriveled up.

To make sure they had no shot at tying the game up, the Rangers were banged for too-many-men on the ice at the 18:36 mark, negating any shot of the Rangers going on 6 vs 5 attack. Then again, it’s not like the Rangers have scored a goal this season with the extra skater.

The Rangers would pull Lundqvist, but the attempt was futile. 3-2 bad guys, as the Rangers now have to wait four days to try to break up this losing streak.

X-MAS BREAK STANDINGS TIME:

METROPOLITAN DIVISION W L OT PTS ROW GF GA HOME ROAD L10 STREAK
New Jersey 21 9 5 47 18 113 103 11-5-2 10-4-3 6-3-1 W4
Washington 22 13 2 46 20 114 107 14-5-0 8-8-2 7-2-1 L2
Columbus 22 13 2 46 18 105 99 14-6-0 8-7-2 5-4-1 W1
N.Y. Rangers 19 13 4 42 18 117 104 14-6-3 5-7-1 5-3-2 L2
N.Y. Islanders 19 13 4 42 17 130 127 11-3-3 8-10-1 3-5-2 W1
Carolina 16 12 7 39 13 99 109 8-4-3 8-8-4 5-3-2 W2
Pittsburgh 18 16 3 39 17 104 118 11-6-1 7-10-2 4-6-0 L1
Philadelphia 15 13 8 38 15 99 103 8-7-4 7-6-4 7-2-1 L2

 

I will just reiterate what I said in my last blog here. If you told me at the beginning of the season, that the Rangers would be a playoff team at Christmas time, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Yes, this loss sucks, but no one goes 82-0. And I don’t have to tell you this – if you’re a Rangers fan, this team never makes it easy and really doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to winning a Cup. However, despite everything, while we all have different opinions on the team and what they should do to get us that parade, we all love and root for this team.

Tough loss, but there’s plenty of season left.

Before closing, I just want to say thank you to all for reading. This blog is doing more traffic than ever and I’m meeting a lot of different and cool people through this blog.

If you’re not aware and new here, I was in the wrestling business for 10 years. In that time, I was a jack of all trades, making the bulk of my money by promoting shows. During that time, I also wrote about the art of spandex/male rope operas. As I got older and my real life job was too important to keep going on with the second job, I decided to write about the Rangers, as a way to fill my writing void.

I don’t expect to make any money on this, nor am looking to. This is just a creative outlet to express my opinions about my favorite pastime/hobby. When I look back, while I had a great time in the wrestling business, these silly Ranger blogs have been more fun than running what was then known as the TMZ of wrestling.

It’s funny, I still run into people from my wrestling life from time-to-time, as I did today. (Hi Bobby/Brian!) I’ve gotten offers to return to the wrestling business and have gotten paying offers to write about wrestling. However, I’ve turned all those offers down, as I’d rather do these venting blogs for free, than take a paying gig to write about something else.

Don’t let the sometimes negative tone of these blogs dissuade you. I love this team and have many fond memories over my life with the Rangers. While I do regret at times, taking time off from the team (the lockout & Leetch/Graves stuff made me sick), these last four years, doing this blog, has been fun.

As we hit Christmas this Monday (Enjoy it all, I’ll be working at the real job, and while it’s an easy day, I still gotta go in) I just want to thank everyone for taking time out of their day to read these manifestos. I know this is nothing like anything else out there and I try to make this as something I’d want to read. Anyone can give you the same old tripe, copy & paste stats or rewrite what Larry Brooks says (Hi Sean Hartnett) but here, I try to give you an original and perhaps at times, against the grain, fan point of view.

I’m going to try to do a silly blog before the post-Xmas break game against Washington.  Even more exciting, after booking my trip in August, I’m less than two weeks away from going to Las Vegas! Viva Los Rangers!

Again, one more time, thank you to all that continue to read. I enjoy all our banter and nitpicking. After all, what else are we going to do? Watch the Knicks?

Merry Xmas. Fuck your happy holidays!

Let’s Go Rangers!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the tweet tweet machine

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1 thought on “NYR/TOR 12/23 Review: Rangers Head To The X-Mas Break With a Lump of Coal in Their Stockings; Can’t Figure Out the Leafs For the Second Time This Season, Power Play Remains Atrocious, AV, Shattenkirk Calls Out Lundqvist, Fire Arniel ASAP, Hank Antics, My X-Mas Thank You & More

  1. It’s games like this that reminds us that we are not that good. Plain and simple. Something needs to change, whether it is the coach and/or players, but the status quo is not working. Soon it will be spring training, and then most will start caring about the Yankees or Mets more than the Rangers.

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