Less than 24 hours later here we are again. Without a win. The NHL schedulers have a tough job to do. Year after season after year, they need to devise devious explanations to the pretzel logic used to justify screwing up Vancouver's road schedule so effectively.
Not here to make excuses for the Canucks. That was Dan's job, but he's still banned by Vox Media from the simple action of logging in to NM and making a simple happy post about a simply exhausted team. And their fans.
The outcome of the game was settled in the first period. I watched it happen and thought, why can't our guys just go to the airport now? Why, NHL, why?
Do you really want to read about the game that displayed the full prowess of the Canucks power play?
Me neither. But still...some milestones were reached tonight.
The Caps were on a 3 game win streak. The Canucks have become the poster child of streak breaking. Something had to give. Of course, it was the cheap recycled Nucks narrative poster paper.
The highlight of the first period was a power play goal. Whoah. Don't spit out your soother. It wasn't our power play goal. It was Ovi's. Everyone in the building knew it was coming. Even Markstrom knew. Even I did. But, Ovi has a very sneaky, tough to predict release - and only Ovi knew the exact millisecond when his cannon would fire a puck right through Marky.
Ovechkin gets his 200th power play goal. 200 power play goals. TWO HUNDRED. ONE player. At the current rate, the cumulative total of the collective Nucks special teams will reach that milestone by the middle of 2095-2096 season. If we start counting from last season.
And that was the lone milestone of the period. Oh and the Canucks got a power play too. But, just the one, so that's barely enough time for the Caps to relax and watch the stationary players and their predictable expert passing.
Marky kept the Canucks in the game through the second. Tough schedule or not, these are young, professional athletes who can go to bed at 3AM and get up refreshed a few shorts hours later. Even Daniel said fatigue wasn't an issue. What he did say was the power play wasn't good enough.
If I had a toonie for every time Dank/Hank have said that in a post game interview in the past couple seasons... a 12 week vacation on a yacht in the Côte d'Azur would be affordable. And more likely than the Canucks getting a win on the road because of power play dominance.
Do you remember the time in the not too distant past when the Canucks on the power play meant certain pain for the penalised team? Um...Uh...it's foggy...like a dream. Ah...the dream years.
The Canucks luck gave them SIX minutes on the power play in the period. SIX minutes the Caps were unpressured, unbothered and able to unwind and get ready for the third.
The big push back come back. No, that was last night's game. Tonight's comeback was hampered by, yup, another stupid power play. How many
great shots did the 5 power plays generate tonight? Go ahead. Take your time. You can even go look it up on the internet. I'll wait here and count them all. On one finger.
Oh and the Caps scored an insurance marker with some nifty against the grain play. I'm only calling it nifty because it's the season of good cheer and Marky was blameless. And he wasn't to blame for the EN goal either.
If what Willie said post game is true, this team is more screwed than even the most astute dental plague warriors of NM have claimed. Willie said, and I so wish I was making this up, he said losing Larsen "changed the look on the backend a little bit".
Larsen is the secret to Nucks power play success? Really? Well...not totally. Willie also said, "but uh..for whatever reason we just didn't create a lot tonight on it" - Ok then - not going to choke on the 'a lot' understatement change up. Professional NHL coach, with an assistant coach dedicated to power play performance are unable to figure out the whatevers. Whatever.
We have right here, in the old or freshly disgruntled NM pool of commenters, more insights than the Nucks well paid hockey pros. I'm not saying we could figure out most of the 'whatevers' for the team in a single thread. Could take as many as two.
The Canucks power play went 0 for 5 in the game. In fancy stats lingo that's 0% - without even a lonely decimal point for effect. How can the team and coaches just roll out the cliche 'not good enough' game after game without smirking just a bit?
Anyhow it was a shitty end to another disappointing road trip. At least that's over with and the boys can come home, regroup and do the right thing - win more games than lose.
What? When? Great. Just informed by the league's schadenfreude schedule department that we have to endure one more game on this trip. Oh sweet Carolina. On Tuesday. Probably another afternoon game. Great. Really looking forward to it. At least Carolina is a lowly bottom feeder team with less points than...what? They have 2 more points than us and their home record is very good. Perfect.
Is is just me or is that familiar sinking feeling running down the standings list? We're 3 points ahead of the worst team in the league. There's two other teams that have a worse record than us. That puts us right in the
coveted deja vu spot - 3rd worst in the league. I refuse to use the T word before the TDL, so it's just a slump. A big wide deep slump.
Join with us on Tuesday or before and help the Nucks figure out their abysmal power play. It's obvious the team can't be expected to do it on their own. It's time for every NM armchair coach to jump up and scream: "We can fix this! Just sign the contract, JB!"