What’s up everyone and welcome to another weekly edition here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. This will be my final blog entry before I travel to northwest Canada; Alberta specifically, as I go see our boys play the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. As someone who has spent a lot of time on the road traveling, I’m looking forward to checking out these cities. Canada is always a great place to visit and while you got the hoity-toity snobbish French in Montreal, just like you have douches in America,(Donald Trump anyone?)
Canadians are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
If anyone has any good places to recommend while I’m there, feel free to drop me a line on the email at BULLSMC@aol.com or you can always DM me on twitter @NYCTHEMIC. Is it me, or does it seem everyone connects through social media these days, and not emails? I must have 150 DM’s a day, while only 20 or so emails.
The best part about the Edmonton game? Cam Talbot vs Henrik Lundqvist! You know I had to mention that. Apart from that battle of the stars, the Oilers will be honoring Glen Sather for all his success while part of the blue and orange. I have a few questions for the old bastard myself, especially with some of the deals he made towards the end of his Rangers run, such as Talbot to Edmonton (Florida was willing to give up Jimmy Hayes), giving Henrik so much money, trading Hagelin for Etem, giving up 2 draft picks in the MSL/Cally swap, giving up Duclair in the Yandle deal & letting Stralman walk in favor of signing Dan Boyle.
That’s just the recent moves. How about Wade Redden? Trading Leetch? Trading Graves? The Chris Drury, Scott Gomez & Bobby Holik deals? Fighting with Jaromir Jagr, one of the greatest hockey players of all time, who is still playing 12 years later!
Oh right, Edmonton is celebrating him, not the Rangers! I’m sure Oiler fans have a different opinion of him than me!
After making my first & last visit to the Rexall (Building is being torn down after this season), me & my cohorts will visit the Saddledome. It always looks like a lively building on TV. We were able to get good seats for both games, so keep checking back for the weekly blog or on twitter, and I’ll post pics & all that good shit.
As I’ve mentioned a million times on these blogs, and I feel I gotta say some stuff again, since we are getting new readers, I used to do these blogs after every game. However, due to my real life job, time is a valuable commodity which I don’t have much of. So I try to pump these out when I can.
When I last left you, which you can read by clicking here, the Rangers were reeling, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Filthadelphia Flyers. Since then, the Rangers have played four more games, going 2-1-1. Before my quick thoughts on each game, we must talk about the legend that is Tanner Glass.
With the worthless Emerson Etem feeling ill after the Carolina game, the Rangers needed to bring up someone for their biggest game of the season, thus far, in the
Brooklyn Hipsters NY Islanders. To quote Coach AV, “are they still called the Islanders?”
From my blog on 11/29, before Etem was ill:
“Hate to say it, but I would rather have Tanner Glass than Etem as the guy who’s usually a healthy scratch. I think Glass gives you more punch than the minimal production we’ve seen out of Etem thus far.”
Listen, I know Ranger fans HATE Tanner Glass. I’m not his biggest fan either, but the fact is he’s light years better for this team than Etem. Can we all just talk openly? Can the coaches say this? Can someone find Jeff Gorton for an interview so he can say this? Can the players say this? Fuck it, I’ll say it again:
“EMERSON ETEM WAS TRADED TO THE NY RANGERS AS A SALARY CAP MOVE. CARL HAGELIN WAS TOO EXPENSIVE FOR THE NY RANGERS BECAUSE THEY PAY A GOALIE 13% OF TEAM PAYROLL, THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE IN THE LEAGUE.”
With the way the Rangers are made up and what’s down the pike, providing Gorton doesn’t trade every young guy and draft pick in the system like his predecessor, Etem will not have a long NY Ranger career. I’m not saying Tanner Glass will either. However, at this point in time, unless you’re going to promote Pavel Buvenomich from Russia or take a chance on Semin (The jokes are endless, I know, his name, despite being misspelled, is another word for ejaculation, ha ha ha) Tanner Glass is a better fit for the NY Rangers.
You can see the stint in Hartford woke Glass up a bit. Shit, maybe the Rangers should send Kreider there too for a few games! Glass re-joined the team on Wednesday night and was one of the best players on the ice. He was hitting people. He was skating well (as well as you can in the worst arena in the league.) He was finding his teammates. He was protecting his teammates. For someone of Glass’s level, he played above and beyond.
It didn’t stop there. While the Rangers came out flat and sloppy the next night against the Avalanche, Glass showed up. He wants those minutes. He wants to contribute. Smart Ranger fans, who aren’t Glass haters, would’ve exploded if he scored in either one of those games.
We all know Glass isn’t going to score. However, with McIlrath on the ice too, it makes the Rangers tougher. You will second guess hitting our boys. After the Stepan injury, the Rangers need some guys out there that can fuck up people up too. It wouldn’t hurt to be like the Bruins from 2009-2013. Barring any major deal, I believe Glass should remain with the team. Maybe the Rangers can donate Emerson Etem to the Garden of Dreams or something.
With Glass getting his props from your truly, let’s quickly hit the four games since I last left you:
Monday November 30th
Rangers 4 – Hurricanes 3
After playing sloppy and lifeless, the Rangers needed two points. Enter one of the Ranger’s doormats, the Carolina Hurricanes. For the Rangers, the game started off great. Zuccarello buried one past Cam Ward, a minute into the game. Luckily, Cam Ward had a horrible game, or this game could’ve went south real fast. Oscar Lindberg scored a power play goal late into the first to make the game 2-0 entering the second. Jordan Staal would respond early into the second with a goal of his own, before Kreider made it 3-1. Brassard, who’s been hot lately, added another goal, pushing the lead to 3. Victor Rask would close the period with a goal of his own, as Ranger fans had much to be excited about, leading 4-2 at the end of the second.
Chris Terry added another goal for the Hurricanes, with 12 minutes to go, as Ranger fans sweated out the rest of the third. Lundqvist, who has been the rock for this team, the majority of the time, was able to buckle down, facing a heavy workload, stopping 33 shots on 36 attempts. On the flip side, Ward only made 18 saves on 22 shots. For a team that was slumping, the Hurricanes and Cam Ward were a welcoming visit, but the team did not look great.
I know it’s tough to say the team didn’t look great when you get four goals, but defensively, the Rangers were flat-footed, looked lost and continued to overpass. 22 shots was enough to beat Carolina, but we all know that won’t be good enough in the playoffs. I’ve said it a million times on this blog, the only thing that matters for this team is how they perform in the playoffs.
Wednesday December 2nd
Islanders 2 – Rangers 1 (Shootout)
Despite the loss in the extra-circular activity, this was the best the Rangers have looked in a while. This was a complete game and the most physical game the Rangers have played all season. With Glass rejoining the team, the Rangers brought the punch. This game featured the most hits and the most hits taken by the team all season.
This game was as close as a playoff game you’ll ever see. The building was 75% Ranger fans. However, I got a few gripes.
I know the NHL likes to push these rivalry games on Wednesday nights. However, there is no reason to drop the puck at 8:30PM on a weekday night. People have work the next day. The kids have school. Air the fucking game at 7PM like usual, and throw on a west coast game right after. Maybe I’m biased here, because I have to be up at 4AM for work, but I would’ve liked to have gone to this game. However, I can’t justify getting home at 12:30 am, especially when I’ve been up since 4AM and have to wake up at 4AM.
This late start time didn’t affect the game at all for the fans or players. The fans, mostly NY Ranger fans, were loud all game. The stupid “POTVIN SUCKS” chants were in full effect. And really, let the Potvin thing go. It makes us look so childish, especially when the guy won 4 straight Cups. I would rather hear the whistles followed by “We Want The Cup!
It is nice to see the Islanders left the worst arena in all of sports, in the Nassau Coliseum and move into the worst arena for hockey, in the Barclay Center. No wonder 10,000 tickets are available on Stubhub every Islander home game. The Islanders have massacred the fan experience for the 7 fans that continue to go to every game. What’s with the big fucking Honda SUV in the front row? That’s about $60,000 in ticket sales for the Rangers at MSG right there! The Islanders are a fucking joke. Sorry Islander fans, this is not just a Rangers fan saying that, any one in hockey will you that. The Islanders were better off moving to Quebec, Seattle, Toronto, Vegas, Kansas City or where ever, than subjecting their fans to a building where 75% of the tickets are “obstructed view”. Get fucking lost!
As far as the game itself, it was one of the most exciting games of the season. I think we had only 1 commercial break in the first 12 minutes. The game was back and forth. Big save after big save. It’s really amazing that the Rangers have one of the best goalies in the league in Lundqvist, and are also able to make the opposing team have the second best goalie in the league on any given night. Halak was impressive with 33 saves, plus the saves in the shootout versus Hank’s 36 saves.
The Islanders got their lone goal in regulation, on a 5 vs 3 PP. Yandle got busted with a hooking call, followed by Dan Girardi brain-farting and sailing a puck over the glass. Seconds later, John Tavares, and give him credit, he always shows up to play, COUGH RICK NASH COUGH, easily beat Lundqvist, mid-way into the second period.
The Rangers came to play in Brooklyn, and were able to get a goal of their own, this time with Stalberg getting credit, during a play that saw the Rangers move the puck well and get into the right position.
The Rangers & Islanders would play a scoreless third. The Rangers got a lucky break in the OT, when the Islanders were busted with too many men on the bench. However, the Rangers PP, which is either really really good or downright dreadful, with no in-between, decided to shit the bed, despite being up 4 on 3.
In the shootout, Okposo undressed Lundqvist. Both netminders would then deny any other attempt, with Halak getting a break when Boyle had Halak beat, but couldn’t move the puck into the net.
While it was a heartbreaking loss, considering who it was to and how well the team played, the Rangers turned the corner and played one of their better games of the season. Sometimes you run into hot goaltending, but aside from the ‘Canes game, it seems to happen way too often.
Thursday December 3rd
Avalanche 2 – Rangers 1
Again, if you follow me on the twitter, I live tweet the majority of these games. It’s easier to type out a tweet than do one of these massive blogs. Before this game I tweeted how I thought the Rangers would lose this game and come out flat. It was impossible to have that type of energy two nights in a row, especially against a non-conference opponent. In football, you call it a “trap game”. This was the game the Rangers would’ve won on any other night, but after going balls-to-the-wall and having those balls drained 24 hours ago, it was going to be tough to get up for this game.
I really don’t understand the NHL schedule makers. I remember last year, during one stretch, the Rangers played 6 games in 9 nights, but then had four games in 15 days. How do you book a late start rivalry TV game, when you know it’s going to be intense, then schedule that team to play a game the next night? But of course – we are worried about player safety, right NHL?
This game played out exactly how I thought it would. The Rangers were lifeless and played their most boring game of the season. I feel bad for anyone who paid their money for that ticket. The Garden of Dreams should’ve given a refund to anyone who paid for this game. I hope no one went to MSG for the first time and saw this.
I know the plan is to keep Hank away from any back-to-back’s this year. However, after that game against the Islanders, I thought he may have been revved up and asked to play this one. Whether that happened or not, I don’t know, but the Rangers stayed the course and started Raanta, who got no help and finished with 16 saves on 18 shots. Both goals were due to shoddy defense and leaving Raanta hung out to dry. On the flip side, Varlamov stopped a bunch of soft shots, padding his saves to 24 on 25 shots.
This game was slower than a Walking Dead walker. You knew that whoever would score first would win. Chris Wagner, scoring his third goal of the season got the scoring started 13 minutes into the second. Matt Duchene, one of the best players in the league, got his 14th goal 4 minutes later.
The Rangers would eventually get a goal from Lindberg, at the 19:10 mark, with Raanta pulled. Truly a meaningless goal, although a goal is a goal, and could help Lindberg’s cause come Calder time.
There’s really not much else to say about this game. The team was flat, but you know why they were flat. When the Rangers are in the playoffs in April, no one will even remember this game ever happened, as the one bright spot in the whole game was Tanner Glass beating up Cody McLeod like he was owed money. I know I’ve been singing the praises of good old TG, but when the Glassman is the best thing about the game for the Rangers, it wasn’t a very good night.
Sunday December 6th
Rangers 4 – Senators 1
The Rangers got back to their winning ways on Sunday night. In a day where I personally was aggravated and furious with Tom Coughlin and the Giants, the Rangers made me go to bed sleeping easier. The Rangers played another complete 60 minutes and there was a lot of good to take out of the game. Tanner Glass continued to show the brass and “THE BRASS” why he should make the trip to western Canada. However, Rangers Captain, Ryan McDonagh, continues to have the best offensive year of his career, connecting on his near-lethal slap shot for a goal and tallying two assists. When you’re getting 3 points from your defenseman, you’re playing well.
While Lundqvist didn’t have much work, making 23 saves, a number way above his average, as he only faced 24 shots, Anderson and not the Hamburgular, made 27 saves on 30 shots. Both goalies played well, but the Rangers offense was clicking. That top line continues to dominate whenever they want.
You could spend your time talking about how great McDonagh and Lundqvist were, but with two goals, one off a powerplay and one with a killer slapshot, Brassard grabbed all the headlines. For the Rangers, this was a big win going into their western Canada road-trip. The negative fan can say the Senators were coming off a long stretch and the Rangers had two days off, but you can’t argue that the team looked great against a team that made the playoffs last season.
Keith Yandle has played well the last four games. I know I’ve said it a bunch of times, that the Rangers expect him to be the best offensive defensemen they’ve had since Brian Leetch, and while that’s not true yet, he’s playing remarkably well. Hopefully he can play well in the playoffs. The Rangers lost a pick and Duclair for him, in hopes for a cup.
With Stepan and Klein hurt, the Rangers are playing well. The fan in me of course wants to say “the Rangers are winning the Cup, finally” but I don’t know if they are deep enough to take it all. This is a team that will make moves at the deadline.
It’s amazing what happens when the Rangers shoot the puck, rather than looking for the perfect pass. Still, can the Rangers shoot at the net, rather than shooting 457745744 MPH at the backboard? Has that worked once this year? I would think the odds are better at getting a goal when you shoot at the net than shooting 20 feet wide of it. I know that you can try to pass off the backboard, but you’re either going to score, get a deflection or force the goalie to make a save.
It’s going to be interesting to see what the Rangers do about their Western Canada trip. Does Glass go? Etem? Or do you go for a 7th defenseman, maybe in Brady Skjei?
In case your memory is bad, the Rangers swept their Western Canada trip last season.
Up next for the Rangers are the Vancouver Canucks, as AV faces his old team and who could ever forget 1994? After that, the Rangers have back-to-back games with the Oilers & Flames on Friday & Saturday night! Can’t wait to be in the building! Time permitting, I’ll try to get a blog done from Alberta. Maybe make this bitch international!
Want to give a shoutout to my girlfriend’s cat Fatman Scoops. He’s a big Rangers fan too. The little guy has a bone infection and needs to have his digits on his right paw amputated. He’s been around me four years now and has the personality of a loyal dog. His surgery is tomorrow and I hope he continues to stare at me when I’m screaming at the tv, during Rangers games for years to come.
Wow, only 3300 words this week. Sorry for the brevity of this blog, but I gotta pack! LET’S GO RANGERS!
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter