The DeLorean Blog: Reviewing & Recapping Game 5 of the 1979 Semifinals Between the New York Rangers & New York Islanders As If The Internet Existed In 1979. Hedberg The Hero! The Hockey Sock Rock Delivers! JD Goes Nuts! POTVIN SUCKS! Duguay Dashes, ONE MORE WIN FROM THE SCF, MSG Networks vs YES & Much More In This Comprehensive Game Review! Plus: Thoughts on Current NHL Contract Extensions & Signings

The Rangers of the late 1970’s-early 1980’s were perhaps the biggest fan favorites in New York Rangers history. That is, until 1994 came along! Photo Credit: No clue, I’ve seen this picture in a thousand places!

NOTE: When I started this, I didn’t plan on going 8000+ words, but the blogs on this site are usually long anyway. I hope you can read this whole thing, as this was the most fun I had doing one of these things. I know some younger fans can’t appreciate the history of the team and live in the now, but I had a blast watching this game & writing about it. If you really think about it, the 1978-1979 Rangers had so much in common with the 2013-2014 Rangers. While both seasons ultimately fell short of the biggest prize of them all, both teams overachieved & created life-lasting memories. LGR!

What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. This blog will be a different one, a first of its kind here on this site. Today, prepare to strap on your seatbelt and sit shotgun, as I turn the key of my 1985 DeLorean and travel to May 5th, 1979. The location: the Nassau Coliseum, which is hosting Game 5 of the NHL semifinals between the Rangers and the Islanders. The winner of this series will challenge for the Stanley Cup, and will play either Boston or Montreal. With only four teams remaining in the playoffs, both semifinals are tied at two games a piece. No one ever said winning the Cup was easy!

However, before diving into the past, a few plugs if you will. Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

New York Rangers Free Agency Day One Recap: Kevin Shattenkirk Does The Unthinkable & Puts His Heart Above Money; Signs a Team-Friendly Deal To The Delight of Rangerstown, Get Me That 22 Adidas Rangers Jersey Now, The Tears of Larry Brooks, Rangers Sign The Weakest Goalie on the Market, What’s Next & More


“Terry Sawchuk- The Troubles and Triumphs of the World’s Greatest Goalie” In-Depth Book Review. Plus: Is Terry Sawchuk Still The Greatest Goalie of All Time?


If you are a dumbass that doesn’t appreciate history, and I mince no words here – you’re a dumbass if you have no thirst for knowledge that needs quenching, you can scroll all the way to the bottom for my thoughts on the latest moves in the NHL.

That all out of the way, try to relax, cue the time machine/flashback music in your head, and try to bring yourself to May 5th, 1979. Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” was second in the charts, as “Peaches & Herb” had the number one song in America at the time. You may be familiar:

Hockey broadcasts have sure come a long way when compared to nearly 40 years ago.

I guess before talking the game, I must do the cliche thing here, and tell you what else was going on in America, just to give you a frame of reference.

From ThePeopleHistory.com:

How Much things cost in 1979
Yearly Inflation Rate USA11.2%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 838
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 15.25%
Average Cost of new house $58,100.00
Average Income per year $17,500.00
Average Monthly Rent $280.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 86 cents 

105th Kentucky Derby: Ron Franklin on Spectacular Bid wins in 2:02.4.

 

Voyager 1 passes Jupiter.

More Examples
Sony Walkman $200.00
Chess Challenger Computer Chess Game $199.49
Pachinko Pinball Machine $199.49
Jox Trainers $14.99
Girls Denim Overalls $24.00
Atari Video Computer System $199.00
JVC VHS Video Recorder System $54.99
Mens Blazer, Vest and Slacks $39.99
King Size Bean Bag Chair $19.99
Toyota Corola $3,698.00

However, more importantly, the Rangers and Islanders, one of the newest, yet heated rivalries in the NHL, would play their first ever Best of 7 playoff series. (I was going to omit the following fact with that carefully worded sentence, but to be fair, the Islanders beat the Rangers in the 1975 playoffs, in the first round, 2-1.)

While the Ranger & Islander rivalry has had its ebbs & flows over the years, there is no doubt about it – a rivalry is at its best when both teams are playing well. When you think of all the NY teams & in-state rivalries, the Rangers & Islanders are arguably at the top of the list, because, along with the Devils, the teams play in the same division. Games do matter.

In comparison, the Jets & Giants play each other every four years and the Yankees & Mets have watered down their rivalry with the inter-league snowflake schedule. However, the Knicks & Nets play in the same division in the NBA, just as the Rangers & Islanders do in the NHL. However, during this near 45 year rivalry, the Rangers & Islanders have both been good at the same time, during various time periods. Very rarely have the Knicks & Nets both been good at the same time. Hockey is also a more physical sport than the flopping divas of the NBA, so there is a little more bad blood in the hockey rivalry, between the two New York teams.

And for Buffalo Sabres fans & for the idiotic NHL for even trying to sell a Rangers/Sabres rivalry at Citifield this winter – sorry to break the news, but not one Ranger fan considers the Sabres a rival. EVER. I can name 10 other teams that are considered a bigger rival, such as the Bruins, the Canadiens, the Flyers, the Penguins, the Devils and the Islanders. Even more recently I would add the Capitals, Lightning & BlueJackets to this list, with an honorable mention to the LA Kings. The Sabres? When will non-NYC & the residents of their suburbs, realize that not one “true” (This is gonna get me in trouble) New Yorker gives a fuck about Buffalo?  20-19, 1/28/91 – never forget!

As I’ve talked about in the past, the late 1970’s Rangers have always piqued my interest. In another cheap plug, you should really check out my “THIN ICE” book review, as that’s a perfect companion piece for what you’re about to read. You can check out that blog here:

“Thin Ice: A Season in Hell with the New York Rangers” by Larry “Ratso” Sloman In-Depth Book Review: Perhaps The Greatest & Rawest Book Ever on the NYR, A Memoir Of Sex, Drinking and Rock & Roll with The Rangers Is Now a Fascinating Period Piece 35 Years Later, Ranger Heroes Such as Duguay, Greschner, Beck, JD, Maloney & Others Bare Their Lives and Much More


There’s Duguay, Davidson and Maloney here. Sorry for the bad quality of pictures that I’m about to post. This footage was very grainy & it’s tough screen grabbing action shots.

Sorry, I gotta go on another tangent here.

I’ve talked about this before on these blogs. When you compare the YES Network vs the MSG Network, it’s night and day. While both are corporately owned and there are a fair amount of shill hirings, the YES Network is far superior to the MSG Network. It’s why YES draws higher ratings in non-baseball months than MSG does during non hockey/basketball months.

YES does a great job of presenting Yankee history, through their Yankee Classics. Sure, the Yankees win every one of those games, but as I’ll mention later on this blog, I don’t want to sit through a game from 30, 40, 50 years ago, to see my team lose! The Yankees also do these “Yankeeography” specials, where they spend an hour or two on a Yankee legend. In fact, the Yankeeographies were so great that the YES Network made a bundle selling DVDs of them. How do I know this? I’m one of the people that bought the complete box set!

The Rangers have always been the red-headed stepchild under the regime of James Dolan. His silly band comes first. The Knicks come second. Somewhere between Billy Joel concerts and the Liberty of the WNBA lies the New York Rangers. He just doesn’t have an interest or care.

When James Dolan inherited M$G and all their properties, the Rangers were like the pack of gum that you impulsively buy at the check-out counter. You don’t really need the gum, but you’re there, it’s cheap, so why not? When you’re a silver spoon trust fund cunt, what’s the difference if you own a hockey team or not?  It’s that extreme I don’t give a fuck laisse-faire attitude that has led the Rangers to produce 0 Stanley Cup victories during his tenure.

Then again, Dolan used to be more grabby with the Knicks than his former Knicks Team President Isiah Thomas in an orgy with Bill Cosby & 100 drugged up illegal hookers. Either way, when you google (I like how google is now a verb) “James Dolan” the definition pops up as “worst team owner in professional sports today” next to a photo of a braying jackass.

Where was I going with all this before I went on my Dolan tangent? Oh yea – MSG Networks is dropping the ball big time. Again, this might come from Dolan himself. He might be happy with minuscule ratings during the off-season. He may not give a fuck if MSG shows a 24 hour loop of MY SHINEY HINEY infomercials. However, if I owned this property, I’d at least try to pop a rating and have people coming back to my station during the off-season.

The Yankees have probably made millions off their first run original “Yankeeography” programming.

When it comes to the Rangers, besides the usual regurgitation of 1994, there is not one iota of old film ever aired on MSG Networks. Today, courtesy of blog reader, Michael Jurkowski, I’m able to bring you this type of blog. Mr. Jurkowski has a huge collection of classic Ranger games, that he transferred from VHS to DVD. However, the quality isn’t the greatest. First off, the game was broadcast in 1979, not really a banner year for HD TV, you know? Secondly, the game was taped on a VHS. You lose some quality there. I gotta say, I laughed when I saw the old gray/black and static noise at the beginning and end of this DVD. Brought me back to the days of watching old WWF tapes! Lastly, the game was transferred from VHS to DVD, so again, you lose some quality.

That all said, I happily took this game in. Despite grainy footage, where it was extremely tough to make out the faces of the players and even to see jersey numbers, I enjoyed what I watched. Here’s MSG, sitting on a gold mine of footage. It wouldn’t take long to convert the old game tape into an acceptable quality for today’s generation. The WWE Network has upgraded old footage for their pay channel. You see classic movies getting a facelift all the time. It’s what the Yankees have done with their stuff on YES as well.

Whether it’s lazy or not giving a shit, the MSG Network is really doing the Ranger fan a disservice. How cool would it be, especially during these long and hot summer days, to rock the air conditioner, crack a few beers and take in an old Ranger game? What else is on TV during the summer anyway? It’s a lost opportunity for MSG. There are hundreds of Ranger games, that occurred pre-1994, that could get this treatment. It’s a shame that Ranger fans have to watch grainy footage to learn about their favorite team.

1979 state of the art player graphics without stats!

I want to present this blog as if this game just happened tonight and I was doing one of my normal post-game recaps in this new twitter generation that we live in. I’ll try to make this funny, if I can. If this bombs, it bombs. If it works and you guys like it, I’m sitting on a stack of classic games that I’m going to watch anyway. So, away we go….

Look what I got in the Steiner Sports Ripoff Mystery Card Grab Bag during Game 4! A card of tonight’s game winning goal scorer, Anders Hedberg! (PS: Yes I know this card was from the 1979-1980 season. Either go with this or blow me, I don’t care which!)

What’s up and I welcome everyone to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. The Rangers have just defeated the NY Islanders, 4-3, to take a one game lead, 3-2, in their best of 7 semifinal series. 5 MORE WINS TO THE CUP! I don’t want to get too excited yet, but the Rangers are one win away from making their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since the 1971-1972 season.

As a reminder, I’m 35 years old as I write these words to you, which means my birthday for those of you not quick with math, is April 13th, 1944. While I was too young to remember the Stanley Cup loss in 1950, I can remember the loss to the Bruins just 7 years ago. My father tells me he can remember the Ranger Stanley Cup winning teams of 1928, 1933 and 1940. Just like him, I hope to see three Stanley Cup wins in my life time too!

I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but I can see the Rangers winning four straight Cups any year now. After all, the Rangers haven’t won a Cup since 1940, it’s not like it’s going to be 54 years or something stupid like that for another one. THE TIME IS NOW!

I gotta say, I over heard this new writer, Larry Brooks, telling the Chief at the bar after Game 4, that the NHL is thinking about getting advertising for the boards for next season. Are you kidding me? What’s next? Ads on jerseys? WHITE BOARD LIVES MATTER! Nothing beats getting close to the rink and seeing the abuse these boards have taken with countless rubber marks all over the place. You’re going to replace this with jewelry and electronic store ads?

Advertising and sports seem like they go together, but you can’t screw with the purity and integrity of the game with advertisements littered all over the boards & arena. What’s next, Coca-Cola and Budweiser suites? Maybe we should all eat sushi and sip wine during the game too! Get the fuck out!

In case you missed my last blog, the Islanders beat the Rangers in Game 4, in OT, with a final of 3-2, to tie the series at 2. I would plug that blog here, but who wants to re-read or re-live a loss?

Going into this game, I was really nervous. I originally was going to go and tailgate in the parking lot, but tickets started at $35 a pop. I guess a Saturday night game and Islander fans unwilling to sell their tickets made this a more expensive ticket than usual. I give credit to the Islander fans, you rarely see their building empty. The Islanders and Nassau Coliseum seem to be a great match for each other.

Since I was priced out, a few of my friends and I went to the local pub to watch the game. We enjoyed a few Ballantines or twenty, as the Rangers played one of the biggest games of our adulthood.

With Boston & NYR both in the semifinals, it’s tough to tell who won the Espo & Vadnais for Ratelle & Park trade. Here’s Phil & Ron Greschner crashing Billy Smith.

Before getting into the meat and potatoes of this blog, let me give you the Hockey-Reference box score. I would give you the NY Post’s box score, but I could only find the morning edition, which didn’t include the late night game box score on their pages:

Scoring Summary

 

 

Penalty Summary

 

1st Period
13:45 NYI Billy Harris: Slashing — 2 min
13:45 NYR Dave Maloney: High sticking — 2 min
16:22 NYI Bob Bourne: Tripping — 2 min
2nd Period
12:08 NYR Pierre Plante: Hooking — 2 min
16:21 NYR Mario Marois: Slashing — 2 min
19:38 NYI Bob Nystrom: Roughing — 2 min

 

New York Rangers

 

Scoring Goals
Rk Player G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% SHFT TOI
1 Lucien DeBlois 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 33.3
2 Ron Duguay 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
3 Phil Esposito 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
4 Ron Greschner 1 2 3 3 0 1 0 0 0 3 33.3
5 Anders Hedberg 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 3 33.3
6 Pat Hickey 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
7 Eddie Johnstone 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Dave Maloney 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
9 Don Maloney 1 1 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 100.0
10 Mario Marois 0 0 0 -1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
11 Mike McEwen 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.0
12 Don Murdoch 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.0
13 Pierre Plante 0 0 0 -1 2 0 0 0 0 0
14 Bobby Sheehan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
15 Walt Tkaczuk 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.0
16 Carol Vadnais 0 1 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
17 Steve Vickers 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
TOTAL 4 8 12 6 30 13.3

 

Goalies

 

Goalie Stats
Rk Player DEC GA SA SV SV% SO PIM TOI
1 John Davidson W 3 28 25 .893 0 0 60:00

 

New York Islanders

 

Scoring Goals
Rk Player G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% SHFT TOI
1 Mike Bossy 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
2 Bob Bourne 0 1 1 -1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
3 Clark Gillies 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.0
4 Billy Harris 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
5 Gerry Hart 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 Lorne Henning 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 100.0
7 Garry Howatt 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Mike Kaszycki 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 50.0
9 Dave Lewis 0 0 0 -3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
10 Bob Lorimer 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
11 Wayne Merrick 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
12 Bob Nystrom 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 5 20.0
13 Stefan Persson 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0
14 Denis Potvin 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.0
15 Pat Price 0 0 0 -2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
16 John Tonelli 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
17 Bryan Trottier 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0
TOTAL 3 5 8 6 28 10.7

 

Goalies

 

Goalie Stats
Rk Player DEC GA SA SV SV% SO PIM TOI
1 Billy Smith L 4 30 26 .867 0 0 59:19

How do you like this video I took with my new JVC camcorder? I tried playing the video over my rotary phone for my friend to hear when I got home, but he couldn’t hear it well. Too bad you can’t send a video to someone over the phone, like “The Jetsons”.

Unlike Major League Baseball or the National Football League, the NHL didn’t have much of a pregame show for this game. Imagine if there was a studio full of ex-players and experts talking about the game? Granted, I’m up-to-date with what’s going on, but I’ve never played in the NHL. Shit, I tripped and fell on my rail runners at Central Park last winter. Granted, Crown Royal may have played part in that, but still!

I’m just saying, it would be cool to hear a Bill Cook or Eddie Giacomin give me their thoughts before, during and after the game. It would add to the TV viewing experience.

In case you missed my preview blog of this series, I gotta say it one more time – “POTVIN SUCKS!” I hope Ranger fans won’t ever forget his dirty check on Ulf Nilsson back on 2/25 of this season. Potvin looks like a guy who beats women too.

I gotta say, while the Islanders did win the Patrick Division & were the Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions with 116 points, I wonder how much they blew their load in the regular season? The Rangers, who finished in 5th place with 91 points, have been the aggressor for most of this series. I wonder how much of it is because the Rangers are playing a rival they can’t stand too?

And lastly, before getting into the game broadcast itself, I would be remiss if I didn’t go on another tangent. You know me and my tangents! While I wasn’t even a thought in my father’s eye in 1940, when the NHL broadcasted their first ever game on TV, I understand that TV has only been in American homes for 30 years or so. There has to be a better way to broadcast these games, because you miss so much stuff on television. It’s cool to have a movie-box in your house and all, but I rather be at the game because it’s so hard to make out the players and see plays develop on TV. It just seems that hockey is made for the live experience, while the other sports are better on TV. I wonder if my grandkids, in the year 2017, will have the same opinion?

Listen, I like John Davidson & appreciate what he’s done, but I think the guy in the 30 jersey is a tad overpaid. At least he isn’t a soft Swedish player.

The broadcast opened up with our esteemed broadcasters, “The Big Whistle” Bill Chadwick and James Gordon. Two Hall of Famers in my eyes. As they talked about the game, we saw the first men hit the ice – our referee & two linesmen. Unlike other sports, I’m glad the NHL puts the names on the back of the referee’s shirts. At least I know who personally sucks at any given moment. Our referee blew a call in this game and my friends & I let him have it!

As the players hit the ice, I thought about the idea of advertising on the boards again. Imagine having a never-ending stream of ads thrown at your face? I wouldn’t buy those products out of spite! I prefer the boards white – unlike the underpants of a Swedish goalie during a breakaway!

I don’t know if any of you know this guy Larry “Ratso” Sloman, but he’s been hanging around the team a lot. I saw him at Charley O’s hamming it up with Duguay and Greschner during the season. He was kinda bombed one night and was telling me that the team doesn’t respect Captain Dave Maloney. I was looking to see if there were any chemistry or issues on ice between the Rangers & Maloney and I didn’t see any. What does Ratso know anyway?

In the first period, I thought Mike McEwen was very aggressive and helped set a tone for the Rangers. He should be a force for the Rangers for years to come. However, to me, Ron Duguay remains my favorite Ranger. I heard Norway is starting to produce some good hockey players. If I was from Norway, I would try to model my game after Duguay – fast, gritty, gets to the puck and never afraid to get hit. I love watching players like Duguay. Duguay also benefits in this color TV era because he stands out with his hair.

I thought the announcers did a great job with this broadcast. Again, I hope we don’t have to hear the commentators talking about pizza one day or talking to some random Pierre during the game. Keep it to hockey only, especially during the playoffs.

As I’ve said – I always prefer hockey live than on TV. I need a stop watch to watch these games on TV, because the television broadcast doesn’t show me a running clock during the game. I never know how much time has gone or how much time is left until the end of a penalty or period. Why can’t the NHL have a running clock for the TV viewer instead of worrying about advertising?

When the Islanders tied the game, we switched to PBR’s to change our luck!

Just like any Ranger/Islander game, the intensity was off the charts. I could feel it off the glowing TV. Both teams brought the physicality and hits. The Islanders, who won game 4, played better to start the game. I was very nervous with Ranger goalie John Davidson, who was battling knee issues. He wasn’t moving that well at all and played most shots from a standing position.

While I was in the bar, I heard some young jackoff talking about “advanced stats” and how he makes charts after games. What a cock-sucker. (2017 Sean here: if you’re offended by the word cock-sucker, then you might as well get out of this time machine, because 1979 isn’t the snowflake paradise you’re used to! People in 1979 even say the word “fag”! THE NERVE!)

I always enjoy watching MURDER DON MURDOCH play. He isn’t scared of shit. Some pencil neck geek said he does cocaine after games. I don’t know if that’s true. I would believe he does cocaine before games, because he was flying around all over the ice. Like McEwen, I can see Murdoch having a bright career with the Rangers.

Phil Esposito, who must love playing for New York, the greatest city in the world, dominated the dot over Bryan Trottier. People say Trottier has a great hockey mind. I’ll tell you what, great hockey mind or not, I never want the Rangers associated with him!

How great is Ron Greschner? His helmet looks 3 times too small for his huge dome. He was another beast out there and really wore the Rangers jersey with pride tonight. If he keeps this up, his number 4 will be hanging in the MSG rafters. Speaking of which – Frank Boucher died 18 months ago. When will the Rangers retire his number 7? It’s got to be any day now, right?

To paraphrase my friend’s two year old son Steve Valiquette, “When Ron Duguay has the puck, good things happen!”

The Rangers got the first goal of the game, at the 15:29 mark of the first period. During a four vs four, as a result of off-setting penalties between Dave Maloney & Billy Harris, Carol Vadnais found Duguay. Duguay had a good look, but hit the post. Islanders netminder, and probably a flash in the pan anyway, Billy Smith was beat but was saved by the post. However, Don Maloney took the easy rebound and beat Smith. 1-0 RANGERS!

For the Rangers, while I wouldn’t call it a fluke goal, it was a goal that made you breathe a bit. The Islanders dominated most of the first period, but here were the Rangers leading on the scoreboard. To quote NY real estate mogul Donald Trump, this was “YUGE”. I don’t know if the Rangers “rope-a-doped” the Islanders or not, but while the Islanders looked better for most of the period, the Islanders faded & looked flat-footed by the end of the period. It would be a similar theme in the third period.

Islander Bob Bourne would take a tripping call at the 16:22 mark of the first. I was hoping the Rangers could jump ahead and grab a 2-0 lead, but you know the story of the Rangers powerplay. Let me share that picture with you again:

The Rangers PP was dreadful once again tonight. Maybe it will be fixed by the year 2000.

During another anemic Rangers powerplay, Lorne Henning would get credited with a short handed goal. It’s amazing that Lorimer & Harris got assists on this too, because the puck clearly went off the leg of Vadnais. They really need a video replay review to get these score sheet calls correct.

I can’t imagine in say, the year 2017, a puck going off a defenseman and going past a Ranger goalie, that’s the highest paid in the league, during a playoff game.

Tough break for JD here, as he made an initial stop, again, during a Rangers PP, only for Henning to get this fluke shit goal.

Chadwick and Gordon went into hometown announcer mode here, saying that Vadnais had a great season and this play wasn’t imperative of his season.  While I think Esposito will lead us to many Cups, I don’t know if Vadnais was worth as much as Brad Park.

At the end of one period, Rangers 1, Islanders 1.

The Big Whistle conducts another one of his legendary interviews during intermission.

I’m so glad we live in a world where people dress impeccably for sporting events. I was at a Yankee game in April and some guy was wearing a Yankees hat & a number 15 on the back of a Yankee shirt that featured the Yankees logo on the front of the shirt. While I’m a big fan of Thurman Munson, and he should always have a locker at Yankee Stadium for the rest of his life, can you imagine wearing a hat & a t-shirt at a baseball game? At least at hockey games, people dress with respect. Imagine wearing a jersey like one of the players? What are you, 4 years old?

Chadwick interviewed third string goalie Doug Soetaert during the first intermission. While this interview felt like a half hour, but in reality only went 8 minutes, it was better than seeing highlights of this game or seeing what was going on in the Boston vs Montreal game. There is nothing like seeing in-between period interviews in the stands with Chadwick. It’s nice that the away fans don’t heckle on live tv.

For a third string goalie, Soetaert had a lot to say. Soetaert said he was pissed about watching the game in street clothes and that he wants to play. Soetaert said good things about JD, but felt the Rangers coddled him during his return at the end of the season. When Chadwick says Fred “The Drunk Fog” Shero bombed in the standings to get JD ready for the playoffs, Soetaert  concurred and said the Rangers sacrificed second place for JD, at the expense of the team. Imagine building a team around one overpaid goalie? The Rangers? Never!

It’s just great that we live in a world where players talk openly and candidly. I don’t think that will ever change. However, I was shocked to hear Soetaert  talk about the Rangers strategy and game plan on national TV.

Seriously, the last five minutes of this interview went like this:

Chadwick- “blah blah blah blah, statement.”

Soetaert, “that’s true and here is our gameplan and our blueprints.”

Oh, just an FYI, if you’re going to Game 6, your ticket must say S3 on them or they are fake. I can’t believe people are selling fake tickets. I’m sure that won’t be a problem in the future and when the NHL has the technology to combat scalpers.

While I’m just a fan who enjoys drinking during these games, I don’t know if our coach should be. Then again, these games are stressful.

As the second period got on its way, I gotta say, I’m glad these goalies are wearing cages now. I can’t believe that it was only 10 years ago and these guys were cage-less. I wonder if these cages will ever evolve. It would be cool to see a team logo on the goalie cage.

Don Murdoch, never shy to bring the mayhem, got a nice feature during the second period. He’s been a brute for NYR all season.

Did I mention how tough it was to watch this game without a running clock on the screen?

Unlike Billy Smith, who seemed to use his whole body to make saves, JD relied on the stick save a lot. I wonder if Stan Fischler will a report on his injuries by Game 6? Remember when Fischler’s wife duped Terry Sawchuk on his death bed?

Duguay was shaken up this period, but he’s not soft like a Swedish player or a baseball player like a Reggie Jackson. He came right back in this game and was flying around like a ping pong ball at a frat party.

As more time expired, you didn’t see too many post-whistle antics in a playoff game. I thought with only 3 officials on the ice, you would see players push the envelope a bit. That would happen in the third period, when the game was at its chippiest.

Big Walt Tkaczuk had a chance to make this game 2-1, when he was open point blank, but Billy Smith, despite the 4-3 final score, was phenomenal all game and stopped him. After Walt’s attempt, Dave Maloney rushed back and made a huge stop on Trottier’s open opportunity.

Again – credit to Don Murdoch. He played a lot of big minutes in this game. Not bad for someone who is rumored to be a drug addict and a boozebag.

I gotta say, in a 1-1 game, I was very nervous with JD in net. He looked as wooden as George Washington’s teeth and as stiff as Frankenstein. He had to playing through a lot of pain.

Was it me or did anyone else laugh when Chadwick, after a long Vadnais shift, said “Vadnais wants to get off.” I’m sure Potvin’s wife would’ve helped him!

Not exactly a Bobby Orr moment here.

The drop pass, created by the Rangers “Bread Line” of Bill Cook, Bun Cook and Frank Boucher, was sure employed a lot in this game. Many Ranger rushes into the Islanders zone started with the drop pass in this game.

Rangers take a 2-1 lead!

The Rangers got another rare looking goal, when Billy Smith was challenged mid-way during the second period. Smith jumped in the air to stop a puck and there was Hedberg to easily beat Smith. For some reason, the Hockey-Reference box score gave DeBlois credit for the goal. 2-1 good guys!

I didn’t realize this until the announcers brought it up, but the Rangers are wearing different color helmets. Gordon says he owes Chadwick a beer for bringing this up. I would buy him a beer too, but how can I tell the difference on TV? Everything is so grainy!

While this wasn’t JD’s best game, he must’ve had some good karma because the post was there for him big in this second period.

JD had no problem coming out of net in this game, as he did it during two key plays during the second and third period. JD had to come way out of net to stop Trottier, despite Mario Marois slashing him. Somehow, Trottier got the shot off, but luckily for NYR, no goal.

Where it looked unnatural, maybe because of JD’s injuries, for JD to come out of net, Billy Smith made it look like an effortless task.

The Rangers really brought the pain in the second period. How about that hair of Ron Duguay? He has the same hair as that Howard Stern guy, who in turn, has the same hair as some woman that has been rumored to be sleeping with Bill Cosby, in last week’s NY Post’s Page 6.

With less than a minute left in the second, Bobby Nystrom took a cheap shot at Dave Maloney, akin to the cheap shot Denis Potvin probably gives his wife. Nystrom looked like a complete cocksucking cunt here. Maloney didn’t even retaliate. It should’ve been five minutes for Nystrom. Chadwick thought 5 for Nystrom and 2 for Maloney for being involved. Instead, it’s only a two minute minor for Nystrom for dropping the gloves. The Islanders got away from a potential major penalty to close the period.

Give Chadwick credit – we all laughed when he said, “a fan has criticism for Nystrom”, as the cowardly Nystrom entered the sin bin.

After two, Rangers 2 – Islanders 1. How about these visual ads during the break:

 

Between this, a “Neil Diamond’s” jewelry spot and a commercial for Wall Coverings featuring “Classic Prints”, I had enough. How about ads for something I like, like Marlboro?

Also not for nothing – but to these hacks trying to sell me their wares, perhaps I would be more interested if it didn’t look like they did their commercial in one take. Plus, there were way too many jewelry commercials. These ads might mean more if you had an NL MVP hawking your shit, rather than an old jewish man.

The second intermission was an odd one, as it focused on the referees. Who would’ve known that it would’ve foreshadowed what was to come? That said, what other sport would use a break in-between action to talk referees for 20 minutes?

Chadwick interviewed Fank Udvari during the break. He was a referee from 1952-53 until 1965-66. A Yugoslavian, Udvari relocated to Ontario and was such a great referee, that he was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1973. Trust me, while I was 29, I still don’t remember this either! Must be the Molson’s from my last Toronto trip. That said, I do know he was the referee that sparked the Richard Riot in Montreal.

Udvari, the current supervisor of all NHL referees, would’ve been a better interview after this game, especially after a phantom goal and a goal scored that didn’t count.

Udvari says this is the best spectator game to watch in the world. I agree and don’t ever see that changing. That said, changes need to be made with the TV broadcast.

Udvari and Chadwick say Maurice “The Rocket” Richard is the greatest player to ever play the game. Richard had longeavity over Bobby Orr, but so did Gordie Howe. I still think Howe & Orr had better careers than Richard. It’s all up for debate I suppose. Who knows, this Wayne Gretzky kid from the Oilers of the WHA is supposed to be really good too.  Maybe he becomes the best ever one day.

On goalies, Udavri calls Terry Sawchuk and Johnny Bower the greatest goalies he’s ever seen. Chadwick shows his age and goes with Turk Broda. I wonder if any of these goalies will be alive in 2017 to see my grandkids? (2017 Sean here: you should know which goalie is still alive.)

Montreal, which would win their game 5 as well as the Rangers, had their score of their game announced here too. It would be cool if we could see highlights of this game, rather than Chadwick reading off a box score.

JD looks like he could go for a beer or 10

With the game now in the third period, the Rangers, with the 2-1 lead, started the period off on the PP. As usual, the Rangers PP came up empty.

I talked about it before, JD came out of the net, perilously close to giving up another goal, while trying to stop Clark Gillies on a man advantage.

It was also in this period that the refs went into “WE DON’T GIVE A FUCK” mode. The beneficairies? The Rangers, who seemed to commit more infractions than their NY counterparts, yet weren’t called for anything. I mean, Potvin was blatantly tripped in front of the refs, to the chagrin of hockey fans, as the refs ignored it.

While the Rangers seemed to be the aggressors early, and they were, the best play on the ice was Billy Smith who made big stop after big stop, even with 4 huge PP saves to start the period. Without Smith, the Islanders may have been blown away to Montauk.

The game was delayed a bit when a glass panel came loose. Gordon imparted some wisdom when he said, “Don’t sit next to that with your mouth open.” Sounds like good advice in general. When should you sit around with your mouth open anyway? Unless you’re a cock-sucker, I don’t see why you would have your gaping mouth open.

If there was ever a highlight reel game in a loss, Billy Smith’s performance tonight was just that. That said, he’ll never win a Cup with the Islanders!

John Tonelli almost made a name for himself in Islanders lure, as he skated through 3 Rangers, got JD off-guard and just missed from a bad angle. Hell of a play, that thankfully went the way of the Blueshirts.

I gotta say, Tonelli came so close that I almost shit my Sasson jeans.

With the game 2-1, the biggest bullshit play of the night happened. I give you this:

Mike Kasyzcki gets credited for a goal, despite the puck hitting the POST!!!!! The fucking referee allows it! This NHL really needs a video replay system. It’s 1979 and we have moving pictures & the ability to rewind. I’m sure if there was a video replay of close calls, there would never be a controversial call again.

I never like to see the man wearing the 30 jersey in net lose his composure, but at least JD had every right to be mad here. The puck NEVER went in. It’s not like the man in the blue 30 jersey blew a two goal lead or lost a game in double overtime or anything. The puck simply never went in and the Islanders tie the game at 2 because of human error.

I just don’t get if the audience at home is shown multiple replays of the puck never going in, how NHL President John Ziegler could allow this goal? This is more fixed than a Jake Lamotta fight!

However, in a karmic seismic shift, Denis Potvin looked like he had a good chance to give the Islanders the lead. JD looked lost, but for some reason the refs blew the whistle as Potvin potted the puck into the net and Maloney quickly pulled it out. Man, these refs, after a great first two periods, screwed up two scoring plays in this period in a matter of minutes. Again, I’m sure a video replay system would end all controversies in hockey.

Despite the Islanders not getting credit for a goal, due to an early referee whistle, the Islanders looked very confident and had the momentum. Even Don Murdoch looked a little shaky out there, as he had an opportunity to feed a streaking Phil Esposito, who would’ve been one-on-one with Billy Smith. Instead, Murdoch rushed a shot from a bad angle and Smith took care of it with ease.

I know I said it before and I’ll say it again, but this Billy Smith kid isn’t bad. While the Islanders lost, Smith was a star. With the game still tied in the third, Smith stopped Big Walt from a foot away, as Walt was literally on Smith’s doorstep.

However, at the halfway mark of the period, and again, I can’t tell you the exact time because there is no running clock on television, this happened:

 

I know the footage is grainy, but did you see that hot chick, the cover girl from the new “Harper’s Bazaar” issue, celebrating in the third row? I think her name is Carol Alt. I think she was excited as I was when Greschner made it 3-2!

What a battle of will here by Greschner. He gets bumped and turned but sticks with the play and beats an on-top-of-his-game Billy Smith. 3-2 good guys!

Before my round of Crown Royal shots could even get to me from the bar maid, Bobby Nystrom, looking like a little rat fink cock sucker, tied the game at 3. Great hockey play from Nystrom here though, gotta give him credit. It looked like Bob Bourne was trying to cross-ice pass the puck to an awaiting Islander off to the other side of JD. JD saw the pass coming. However, Bobby Nystrom intercepted JD’s pass and was left all alone in front of JD. With JD anticipating the puck to the side of him, Nystrom had nothing but twine to shoot at. 3-3 with under 10 minutes to go. Would we be going to overtime again?

With the game 3-3, it started getting really chippy out there and the Rangers were the benefit of some no calls. Playoff hockey!

While it was tough to see the coaches on TV, in the limited shots the cameras gave us, Al Arbour was more animated than Fred Shero.

Anders Hedberg would be the hero of the game, as he would score the game winning goal. Check it out:

 

With Hedberg giving the Rangers the 4-3 lead, with under 5 minutes to go, the Rangers did a great job of keeping the puck in the Islanders zone. It looked like the Isles wanted to pull Billy Smith for the extra attacker, but the Rangers pressure meant that Smith couldn’t get off until 40 seconds remained in the game. I’m approximating the 40 seconds, because once again, there’s no clock on the TV.

With 7 seconds left, and a faceoff in the Rangers defensive zone, one of the teams took a timeout. Who took the timeout wasn’t important to share, as Chadwick and Gordon didn’t let us viewers know. Maybe they were just excited. Chadwick sure was, as he was calling this one of the best series he’s ever seen and recalls a Rangers vs Americans series being just as good.

Ron Duguay would win the final face off of the game to seal the win for the Rangers. I wonder if when they built the Nassau Coliseum, they expected this place to be rocking with Ranger fans every time the Rangers came in? I’m sure by the year 2017, the Coliseum will only be full of Islander fans, as they build their budding fan base.

Keep an eye on Don Murdoch, he’s going to be a Hall of Famer one day.

With the win, the Rangers now lead the series 3-2 and have a chance to close out the series, and advance to the Stanley Cup, on Tuesday May 8th. I don’t want to jinx it, but I can feel it in the air tonight. Hey, that’s not bad, someone should come up with a song called “In the Air Tonight.” It would be a perfect warm-up song before big games. Hey, it would beat the Bee-Gees or Cher!

One final thought on this game – “LET’S GO RANGERS!”


Here’s our ride back to July 6th, 2017. Happy 60th birthday Ron Duguay!

Now that we’re back in 2017, where terms like “gender identity”, “fake news” and “political correctness” exist, I wish I could take that Delorean back to 1979!

I hope you enjoyed the above blog. If you did, I got a slew of old games I can give this “blog treatment” to. If you thought it was a waste of your time, and I know it probably takes a long time for some of you to read all this, let me know too!

These are the list of games I got.

I was going to do a blog like this with a 1994 playoff game, but for many of you, like me, we lived it and I feel that 1994 has been done to death already. I thought it would be cool to highlight a different group of Rangers. If enough people liked this blog, I’ll probably do the 1974 or 1983 game next. Again, I’m just killing time in the summer and trying to give you something unique, that you can only find on this site!

If this idea is a success, the last game I will review would be the Sabres game. I don’t need to sit and watch the Rangers lose. I get that enough in my current life!

Of note, I never know who is reading this. One day, it turned out that relative of Frank Boucher found this site. In that same vain, I’ll put this out there – if anyone has the 1940 Rangers vs Toronto Cup Finals games on DVD, like Charlie Sheen & sex, I’ll pay for it. I’ve seen clips, but never an unedited full length game from that series.

7500 words down, you got room for a few more?

If you’re the Oilers & Canadiens, you hope to have McDavid & Price at the top of their game for the next 9 years. Photo Credit: NHL.com

Quick Takes:

  • Rangers signed David Desharnais on the cheap, at one year, $1M. Who knows if he even makes it through the season?  Stepan still hasn’t been replaced yet.
  • Rangers also re-signed Jesper Fast to a team friendly 3 year deal, earning $1.85M a season. It’s a win-win for both Fast & NYR. Fast may get more on the FA market when he hits UFA status, but I thought this deal was fair.
  • Mika Zibanejad is going to arbitration. Going to be interesting how that winds up. If you factor what Mika’s value is to the current Ranger team, it goes up, just because the team doesn’t have a true number one or number two center signed. I’m sure Zibanejad’s agent is aware.
  • Everyone is asking me about my thoughts on the Carey Price 8 year/$84 million ($10.5M a season) contract. Keep in mind, that this contract doesn’t go into effect until 2018-2019. Price, who will turn 30 before this season, in a year from now, will surpass Henrik Lundqvist as the highest paid goalie in the NHL. Just like Lundqvist, I don’t see him ever winning a Cup with this contract, unless the salary cap gets some serious tinkering during the next CBA and/or lockout. It’s amazing how people don’t learn from history. Those who don’t are always doomed to repeat it. Enjoy the money Price. Sure, like Lundqvist, he has had a great career. However, teams aren’t winning Cups when the goalie, especially older ones, are the highest paid player on the team.
  • Connor McDavid is also making headlines, as he signed an 8 year/$100 million ($12.5M a season) extension, that also goes into effect in 2018-2019. According to reports, the Oilers wanted to offer him $13.5M, but Connor asked for & took less to help the team. As if McJesus wasn’t beloved already, this just endured him to the Oiler fanbase that much more. And we’re sitting here jerking off about Shattenkirk taking less!
  • Sure $12.5M makes Connor one of the 5 highest paid players in the league, but at 20 years old and an MVP already under his belt, this is a no-brainer. I really think that Pittsburgh is our latest hockey dynasty. Just think about it, it’s hard to win back-to-back championships in the hard cap era of the NHL. That said, I think Edmonton will be the team to knock Pittsburgh down a peg. With Draisaitl apparently being offered a long term deal, Captain Connor locked in and Vezina candidate Cam Talbot manning the pipes, the Oilers are going to be good for a long time.
  • 38 year old Patrick Marleau ditched the Sharks, for a 3 year/$18.75M contract, with the Maple Leafs, earning him $6.25 million a year. For the record, Marleau had 46 points last year, just like the still unsigned 45 year old Jaromir Jagr. To me, this was a horrible deal for Toronto and Marleau spit in the face of Shark fans.
  • Speaking of Jagr – WAKE THE FUCK UP JEFF GORTON. SIGN THIS MAN! IT’S LOW RISK, HIGH REWARD! ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT MATT PUEMPEL IS WORTH MORE TO THE RANGERS THAN JAROMIR FUCKING JAGR?

Come on, don’t you want to see how the Traveling Jagrs handle a situation where Jagr returns to the Rangers? Do they get a new Traveling Jagr in an Adidas jersey? Does the group remain the same? I mean, what do you do? These are pertinent hot stove questions!

At 8000 words, it’s time to wrap this up! As far as looking ahead, I’m currently in the middle of new books written by Ben Sasse & Milo Yiannopolous. After that, I’m going back to hockey books, and will have Tie Domi book review up sometime in the next two weeks.

As far as this blog, this was a big one, so I deserve some time off! That said, if the Rangers make any more big moves, like Jagr with an 18 year old model, I’ll pop-in for a quickie.

As always,

LET’S GO RANGERS

SIGN JAGR!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on twitter

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