NYR/MTL 3/4 Review: Lundswiss Exposed Against Another Top Team Again, Rangers Look Softer than the M$G Toilet Paper, Canadiens Dominate & Man-Handle NYR, Lundswiss Now 1-9 Against CBJ/PITT/MTL (But It’s Not His Fault!), Talbot Making History in Edmonton, & Much More From A Depressing & Concerning Loss from M$G

After a game like tonight, reality hits and you realize that the playoffs may end like this….again.

What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. It’s extremely late as I type this out and I may have indulged in one or twenty beers before attempting this blog. Spell & grammar check be damned, let’s get into it.

I attended the 4-1 drubbing of the New York Rangers, courtesy of the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, at M$G. Going into this game, I was excited about this potential first round preview. After processing the game and walking through my door to write this blog, reality finally set in – the Rangers could be a first round exit, AGAIN, this year.

Just two days ago, I was thinking and giving you scenarios about how the Rangers could easily contend for the Prince of Wales Trophy. However, to do that, in my perfect world, the Rangers must beat Montreal in the first round. As a result of tonight’s 4-1 loss, the Rangers are now 0-3 against Montreal this season. Furthermore, Henrik Lundswiss has looked like COMPLETE SHIT, against top teams.

Let’s go to the stats. Then again, most of you will ignore the stats and blame the defense! Listen Hank fan boys, there is not one team in the NHL that has a perfect defense! That’s why Hank is paid the most in the league to bail them out. The truth of the matter, is that games like the one in Boston, are considered “vintage” & not normal games from Hank in 2017. It’s a cause for concern.

Unless Washington shits the bed completely, the Rangers have a 99% chance of playing either Pittsburgh, Columbus or Montreal in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Let’s take a look at the highest paid goalie in the league against these teams:

Penguins vs Rangers

  • April 21, 2016. Pittsburgh 5 – Rangers 0. Lundqvist 14 saves on 18 shots. Lundqvist pulled from game.
  • April 23, 2016. Pittsburgh 6 – Rangers 3. Lundqvist 17 saves on 23 shots. Lundqvist pulled from game.
  • November 21, 2016. Rangers 5 – Pittsburgh 2. Raanta starts & wins.
  • November 23, 2016. Pittsburgh 6 – Rangers 1. Lundqvist 13 saves on 17 shots. Lundqvist pulled from game.
  • December 20, 2016. Pittsburgh 7- Rangers 2. Raanta 40 saves on 47 shots. Lundqvist does not play.
  • Rangers will play Pittsburgh on 3/31 & 4/9, the last game at the season. Both games are at home.

Blue Jackets vs Rangers

  • November 18, 2016. Columbus 4 – Rangers 2. Lundqvist 20 saves on 23 shots. Bobrovsky plays & wins.
  • January 7, 2017. Rangers 5 – Columbus 4. Lundqvist 33 saves on 37 shots. Back-up McElhinney plays and gives up 3 horrible goals in the third period. He is waived from Columbus the next day.
  • January 31, 2017. Columbus 6 – Rangers 4. Lundqvist 13 saves on 16 shots. Lundqvist pulled from game. Back-up Korpisalo plays. Rangers score 4 goals in the third period, with the score already 6-0.
  • February 13, 2017. Rangers 3 – Columbus 2. Raanta starts & wins in his first start back from injury. Bobrovsky plays and loses to Raanta.
  • February 26th, 2017. Columbus 5 – Rangers 2. Lundqvist 21 saves on 26 shots. Bobrovsky plays and wins.

Canadiens vs Rangers

  • January 14th, 2017. Canadiens 5 – Rangers 4. Lundqvist 17 saves on 22 shots. Price plays and wins. Of note, Raanta started this game and had a shut out after one period. Raanta got hurt in this game and Hank played the next 40 minutes, which featured at one point, Hank giving up three goals in less than two minutes. King!
  • February 21, 2017. Canadiens 3 – Rangers 2 (Shootout). Lundqvist 28 saves on 30 shots. Price plays and wins. Of note, Price out-dueled Lundqvist in the shootout.
  • March 4th, 2017. Canadiens 4 – Rangers 1. Lundqvist 31 saves on 35 shots. Price plays and wins.

In other words, in his last 10 games against CBJ, MTL & Pitt, Lundqvist is 1-9. He was also pulled 4 times. He gave up 41 goals in these ten games. How regal for the league’s highest paid goalie!

$8.5 million dollars for Lundqvist. The highest paid goalie in the league? It’s not even sad anymore, all you can do is:

Image result for joker laughing

What more can I say after all the blogs I’ve done these last 3 seasons? LUNDQVIST IS OVERPAID AND OVERRATED!

The Hank fan boys will ignore the stats and whine about the defense. Do you know who has a worse defense than the Rangers? Do you know who has a worse offense than the Rangers? Do you know who has a worse penalty kill than the Rangers? Why, that would be the Edmonton Oilers! Do you know who the goalie is there? CAM FUCKING TALBOT, the guy who I told you two years ago should’ve been retained as the Rangers starting goalie. Just check this blogs archives, which are located on the right hand of the site.

Cam Talbot has 33 wins (more than Hank, obviously) and is 7 wins away from setting the record for most wins as a goalie in Oilers history. Granted, the stat is a little fugazi, because Grant Fuhr didn’t have the benefit of playing in the no-tie era, but I also remember many assholes telling me that Cam Talbot wasn’t a starting goalie in this league. If you guys read about the Oilers (Which many of you don’t and would just ignore anyway), TALBOT, not McDavid, is getting the credit for the Oilers success this season. He’s been durable, has logged the most minutes out of any goalie in the league and has kept Edmonton in every game he’s played this season. You can’t say the same about Lundswiss.

When you’re paid $8.5M, demanded your coach be fired and wanted the team built around you, you can’t keep blaming the team in front of you after every loss, especially when you want all the credit after every win. One of these days, Hank has to sack up and realize he put himself in this position. His numbers don’t match the elite goalies of this league anymore. If you’re a Ranger fan and can’t admit that Murray, Holtby, Price & Bobrovsky are playing at a different level than Lundqvist, you’re just giving yourself a delusional service.

The biggest problem is that no one in their right mind would trade for Hank’s contract now. Think about it. What playoff team would trade for Lundqvist and that contract? What bad team would want that contract? If you want to go on and on about Staal, Girardi and Nash, you can’t ignore Lundqvist, the fourth member of the Mount Rushmore of NYR Horrible Contracts! You also can’t ignore that Hank’s back-ups are posting better stats than him for way less money. When Staal, Girardi & Nash are out of the line-up, despite popular opinion, the Rangers miss them. When Hank isn’t playing, the Rangers hum right along and most of the time, actually play better.

Yes, Lundqvist is capable of still stealing the game here and there. He’s just not capable of being the guy who can do it every game anymore. He’s paid to be the best in the league every night. The bottom line is he can’t outperform the better goalies in the league anymore.

That said, he wasn’t the only culprit tonight. I only give him shit because I’m sick of the crybaby diva bullshit after every loss, where he blames everyone on the team. I’ve said it a million times: when he retires, you will hear his ex-teammates trash him in books, interviews and memoirs. The guy is just an asshole and not a team player. Being an asshole isn’t a bad thing when you win & dominate. After all, one of the biggest assholes in NBA history was Wilt Chamberlain. That said, he won the MVP four times & won 2 Championships. Hank won a Vezina once and is still paid like he’s a Vezina goalie. The only problem is the goalies that are still Vezina level, outclass Hank in every head-to-head match-up they’ve had in the last year!

In conclusion on this, if Hank wants to really have a gripe about his defense and complain about everyone besides his own play, go play with the Desert Dogs in Arizona! Then your bitching will be justified!

I’ve been preaching this all season, but the Rangers need Tanner Glass!

I wrote this article in the preseason:

The Saga of Tanner Glass: Why AV’s Favorite Son Should Be On The 2016-2017 New York Rangers, Shooing Away the Glass Haters, Why I Think Gerbe Hangs Around & More

 

There are so many things to get into about tonight’s loss. It’s not just all on Lundqvist, but he didn’t help matters.

The Rangers were softer than the toilet paper in the men’s room at M$G tonight. I can make this comparison because the warm tap beer at M$G ran through me after the second intermission. All these renovations at M$G and the beer selection at M$G is the shits. Seriously, every other arena in the league has a better selection. Even the M$G Garden Pub is closed these days. Thankfully, you can get cotton candy at every section! What a joke! It’s almost a bigger joke than the Rangers PP!

Throughout the 60 minute Canadien assault, the Canadiens just pummeled the Rangers. The Rangers were out-hit, 35 hits to 22, officially, but it felt much worse. The Rangers were pinned to the boards. The quality of hits the Canadiens laid were more bone-crunching than the pansy hits the Rangers landed. The Rangers were even beat at the dot, as the Canadiens won 35 faceoffs. The Rangers eked out 21 wins.

During the recent trade deadline, we saw Montreal make moves to get bigger up front. The Rangers and Canadiens, who have been evenly matched through out the last several seasons (Barring Price’s injury from last season), play a similar style. They are finesse teams that rely on great skating and puck movement. Tonight, with the new roster changes, the Canadiens just rag dolled the Rangers. This was something I don’t think many expected. In fact, when the biggest hit of the night from a Blueshirt comes from Marc Staal, you know the Rangers are in trouble.

Granted, the Rangers are the walking wounded. Grabner, Klein, Girardi and Fast are still missing. You’re not going to get much hitting from Grabner or Fast, but you do miss Girardi & Klein’s toughness. I know the cool thing for Ranger fans to do is to hate on Girardi & Klein, but I’m still a fan, especially of Dan Girardi. If you’re going to give Hank a pass for every bad game, you gotta afford the same luxury to Girardi, who’s eaten more rubber for this team than a brothel of cheap hookers.

You know it’s bad when the homeless junkies outside M$G/Penn Station want change more than the Rangers wanted to play tonight. The Rangers looked lifeless and at times, afraid. They were scared to shoot. They were scared to get to the dirty areas. For a Saturday night game, where ticket prices are the highest, especially against an Original 6 team with a great traveling fan base, Ranger fans deserved better.

Oh and credit to the Hab fans. There were a bunch in my section who overpaid to sit in those seats. Those Hab fans travel well and couldn’t have any more class. Even in my trips to Montreal, the Hab fans have always treated my friends and I well. They are just good people. Perhaps that’s why AV lays down for them every time the Rangers play the Habs!

To stress how bad this game was, check out Dancin’ Larry’s thoughts on the game. Mind you, I will always defend Larry on this blog. I think he’s a great guy and the most positive fan in Rangerstown. If you don’t like his dancing, who gives a shit, how does it affect your life? The guy spends his hard earned money and supports the team just as much as anyone. He unites fans with his get-together’s as well. He’s also a nice guy to talk to and for the younger fans who look up to people they see on TV, he always takes pictures with these kids. With the cost of a game at M$G, he also certainly puts his money where his mouth is!

That said, I’ve never seen Larry utter a bad word about this team. I’ve seen him disappointed, but you rarely see him angry. I think this video sums up a lot of what we are all feeling right now:


 I’ve been talking about how some recent games are games you can’t go nuts about. However, if you want to go nuts tonight, I’m all for it. The fact is, while the team is not 100%, the effort tonight was lacking. Lundqvist looked absolutely lost on two of the goals. The team the Rangers got spanked by is a potential first round opponent and realistically, the opponent many of us want to see. The Rangers are now 0-3 against Montreal.

Despite this terrible ass kicking, I still think the Rangers, a healthy Rangers, can beat this Montreal team. However, you may have to explore letting Tanner Glass making his debut in the 2016-2017 season. I love how Ron Duguay always pushes this point, but it’s ignored by everyone else. The Rangers had no muscle and hardly any hustle tonight. Tanner Glass would bring a physical edge that is so sorely lacking from this team. If you look at the teams that have beaten the Rangers in the playoffs, during the AV era, they have been beaten by teams that are more physical than NYR. Look no further than that 2014 series with the Kings.

After this smackdown, Hank, as usual blamed everyone under the sun but him. It was the normal blah-blah-blah, where “WE, WE, WE, WE, WE” need to play better. He also blamed his defense for not talking to him during the game. Why talk to this egomaniac when he’s going to blame their talking for distracting him anyway? I’m surprised Hank didn’t blame the lights that were in his eyes  or maybe say there was a draft in the building. However, Alain Vigneault actually ripped into the team. You can watch their videos at BlueShirtsUnited.com. I would try to link them here, but NHL.com freezes my computer and that site is impossible to use.

Of note, here is what AV said after this ass-kicking:

“Right now we’ve got quite a few guys that are fighting it, a couple guys’ games are not very good.”

“But that’s still not a reason to execute at the level we did tonight, and it’s still not a reason to lose the number of 1-on-1 battles that we lost tonight.”

“So it has to be a reality check here.”

“As much as I’d like to give Montreal credit — and I do, I think they played a solid game — we had no execution, we couldn’t make a pass.”

“I have to tell you, I really think these guys can make a 10-foot pass without me having to tell them. At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of beating a couple guys 1-on-1 and winning a couple puck battles.”

Let’s get to the box score of this debacle. As always, full credit to ESPN.com:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail MTL NYR
12:51
Shea Weber (15)
Assists: Max Pacioretty, Steve Ott
1 0
Time Team Penalty Detail
No penalties this period

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail MTL NYR
8:48
Artturi Lehkonen (12)
Assists: Phillip Danault, Max Pacioretty
2 0
18:37
Andrew Shaw (10)
Assists: Alex Galchenyuk, Andrei Markov
3 0
Time Team Penalty Detail
No penalties this period

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail MTL NYR
1:44
Chris Kreider (24)
Assists: Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello
3 1
6:58
Jordie Benn (3)
Assists: Nathan Beaulieu, Alex Galchenyuk
4 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
16:45
Brendan Gallagher: 2 Minutes for Goalkeeper Interference
16:45
Marc Staal: 2 Minutes for Roughing
17:43
Brady Skjei: 2 Minutes for Hooking

Goaltending Summary

Montreal Canadiens Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
C. Price 27 1 26 .963 60:00 0

New York Rangers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
H. Lundqvist 35 4 31 .886 60:00 0

 

I still have that Montreal goal song in my head from my trip in January. Carey Price prevented the “HEY, HEY, HEY” many times in M$G tonight. Pic credit: NY Daily News.

Another game against another top goalie, and another game where in a battle of Vezina winners, Hank once again came up short.

In what is becoming a scary trend, the Rangers were out-shot once again. It wasn’t until the end of the first period that the Rangers got a few shots off to bring the game 11-6 in the shot department.

The first goal of the game and the only goal of the first period, happened at the 13 minute mark. Steve Ott, the newest Canadien, won a face off. As I said above, the Rangers got destroyed in the faceoff and hit categories tonight. Ott sent the puck to Shea Weber, Weber blasted one and the puck deflected off Clendening and went in. Tough goal to give up here and a goal that could’ve been prevented.

The Rangers for most of the first period would skate around and just change lines. They couldn’t muster much offense and the limited opportunities they did get, Carey Price was there to stop them.

In the second period, the Canadiens added more pressure when Artturi Lehkonen beat Hank to the stick side. This play was created off a turnover and the Canadiens used picture perfect passing and Hank fell out of his shorts trying to make a save. 2-0 Habs.

The third goal for the Canadiens was a complete embarrassment for Lundqvist. With 90 seconds left in the second period, Andrew Shaw took a shot at Hank. Hank thought he had the puck. Instead he gave up a nice rebound. Shaw then took his own rebound and wrapped around and easily deposited it in the net, all the while Hank was sitting there like a statue, thinking he made a save. Hank would blame his defense for this goal, for “not talking to me out there.” Maybe the NHL can get FOX to bring back the glow puck, so Hank can pucks a foot in front of him?

That third goal was a killer. If you’re down 2-0, a comeback is obviously much easier than being down 3-0. The Rangers are the best third period team in the NHL, so even at 2-0, a comeback win isn’t out of question. That third goal kinda took life out of M$G and I even saw people leaving the game.

In a funny moment, in between the second and third periods, they had some young adult try to win a car and other prizes. He had three shots, one at a wide open net, then two chances at net that was partially blocked. All three of his shots went wide. I couldn’t tell if that was Rick Nash taking the shots or not! Seriously, for such a big guy, Nash refuses to use his size to crash the net like he once did. When Rick Nash is firing on all cylinders, it’s usually because he’s active in front of the goalie.

Kreider would give Ranger fans hope, when he scored on his own rebound, with less than two minutes played in the third period. 3-1 bad guys. However, it would be the lone Ranger goal of the game.

Jordie Benn would beat Hank with ease, five minutes after the CK goal, pushing the lead back to 3. That would be the last goal of the game, giving the Canadiens a 4-1 win and a 3-0 season sweep of their Original 6 rivals.

If there was one word to describe this game as a Ranger fan, it would be “FUGLY!”

At least you can’t blame my PP tonight!

Worth mentioning was that the Rangers PP was flawless tonight. In other words, they didn’t have one tonight! In a game where everything was ignored for ten minutes, then everything was called, in Boston, the refs let a lot slide tonight. I saw a Ranger get slashed and a Ranger get tripped. No calls. Not that it would matter anyway, as a Rangers PP is akin to a two minute run-off.

Going into this game, someone asked me if I would’ve started Raanta tonight. After all, we all know how much I hate Hank’s contract. I told that person that you gotta start Hank tonight, because he’s the one that will play in the playoffs. However, at 1-9 against top competition, you really have to ask yourself is that what’s best for the team? I’m not denying the team looked like shit tonight, but Lundqvist didn’t help matters with his two soft goals.

Put it this way, at 2-0, going into a third period, the Rangers have a chance. Hank gave up an unforgivable goal with 90 seconds left in the second and now it’s 3-0. You just take the wind out of the sails.

It is worth stressing that the Rangers weren’t healthy, but the top stars for team are. Outside of Zuccarello and maybe Kreider & McDonagh, the team looked dead out there. Do you question the leadership? Who is lighting a fire under the asses of these guys? All AV does is chew gum and make faces.

It was funny, Mark Messier was in the house. Despite being a fan of AV and thinking he worked out well for the team, I still wish Messier got the job. I know NYR didn’t want to take a chance on him, because if it didn’t work out, they’d have to fire a legend, but who on this team is going to stand up and be that guy? It seems that the captain & alternate captain of the Rangers are just too soft spoken, and that style doesn’t help in games like these. Rick Nash, what a joke!

Also – will Derek Stepan ever score a goal? I believe this marks the 17th straight game without a Stepan goal. For a guy getting paid first line money, he’s not producing. I like Stepan and appreciate his service, but he needs to find twine.

Steiner mystery puck grab of the night

On to some light-hearted stuff before continuing on!

I’ve talked about the Steiner mystery puck grabs at M$G. As someone who isn’t afraid of making a wager every now and then, I participate on these $40 gambles from home game to home game. After all, I’ve spent money on worse!

After pulling Eddie Giacomin, Michael Grabner, Dan Girardi and EMERSON FUCKING ETEM, I pulled a Jesper Fast tonight. I met two readers of this blog and they pulled a Lindberg & Grabner. I am happy they got something half-way decent. For the record, that EMERSON FUCKING ETEM puck isn’t even worth using to straighten out a wobbly leg on a table!

I met a few fans of the blog tonight and it was cool to talk to everyone. However, it is hard for me to carry a conversation when I gotta piss and only have 5 minutes and 767896789678967896789 person deep line to do it! Seriously, M$G can’t hold a candle to The Rock, where there is a bathroom and every beer imaginable to purchase at every section. I mean, the main bar in the 100 section is shut down. What the fuck? You need beer, especially watching a shit show like this!

It’s not a good day for the Ranger,s when I have taken more shots of Basil Hayden’s than the Rangers have shots on goal, in the second period!

I don’t know what much more I can say about tonight’s loss. It was quite frankly embarrassing. The team failed in every department on home ice. There are no refunds at M$G, but every fan sure deserved one tonight.

Bright side? Take a look at the standings:

Metropolitan Division
GP
W
L
OTL
P
GF
GA
Diff
L10
STRK
Capitals
64
44
13
7
95
210
135
75
7-2-1
W3
Blue Jackets
63
40
17
6
86
202
149
53
6-3-1
L1
Penguins
63
39
16
8
86
219
177
42
5-3-2
W1
Rangers
65
41
22
2
84
210
173
37
5-4-1
L1
Islanders
63
30
22
11
71
186
188
-2
6-3-1
L1

The Islanders, the second Wild Card team, remain 13 points behind the Rangers. Pittsburgh and Columbus are slowly making distance between themselves and the first place Rangers.

Trust me – if you can’t beat Montreal, you’re not beating any of the MeTRIO teams.

As furious, angry, gassy and irritated as I was tonight – I still think the Rangers can beat this Montreal team in a 7 game series. This team has it, but they need to find it. Whether you let Tanner Glass get a few games and light a fire under guys. Whether you let Raanta play and piss off Hank. Whether you start bag skating guys or benching guys. Whatever. The Rangers have the talent to make the ECF, I truly believe that. They just need to be consistent.

All we heard this off-season is that the window isn’t closed. If the Rangers keep having efforts like this, they will remain outside looking in, as a Chicago, Pittsburgh, Columbus or Washington celebrate a Cup. It’s time to stop making fans say “What If?” and making them say “THE CUP IS OURS.”

I really tried to limit my emotions when writing this blog, because while this loss hurts more than any recent loss, everything gets erased come the playoffs. Let’s just hope the Rangers aren’t erased in the first round.

The Rangers next four games are on the road.

The Rangers now embark on a four game road trip. Do you know what? Every game is winnable. The Rangers play the Florida teams on a back-to-back, with Tampa on Monday & the Panthers on Tuesday. I’d give Raanta the Monday start since Hank sucks vs Tampa. Both Florida teams are struggling for either a third division spot or a Wild Card berth.

On Thursday, the Rangers travel north of Florida to play the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes are a crappy team this year, but have given the Rangers fits at times. Still, a game the Rangers should win. Gotta beat the bad teams.

The Rangers then head to Detroit on Sunday night for their last ever game at The Joe. I’m happy to say, and to quote Mike Francesa, “I will be in duh building!” I still think it was a shit move for the NHL to change the start time of the game. This isn’t the NFL where you flex games.

These four games feature teams the Rangers can get their mojo back with. That said, if Hank is still having his doors blown off against the CBJ’s, PITT’s and MTL’s of the world, does it matter?

See ya Monday.

As always,

LET’S GO RANGERS

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the tweeter machine

Comments

  1. Very well done ……what pisses me off is how the rangers play at home ……where is the this is our building mentality ? Bunch of wussbags!

  2. I loved your article here. I feel the same way…been a fan since 1965. Had season blue seats on the end till 1975. I live and die with this team every season. We either have to be tougher or get tougher. That scene with Miller at the end was disgusting to watch. It will get worse if we don’t stand up. As always, lets go Rangers!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *