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Nucks WIN! (Again) down Buffalo 4-2 on 2nd night of B2B

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Double D. Pest or Scoring Ace? Or both?

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Buffalo Sabres
Derek Scorvat
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night games are the best remedy for Thursday night losses. Especially if the Friday night game results in a WIN!

While winning recaps are my staple and the numbers don’t support that, tonight’s 7th win (pretty much) in as many games, is extra special to me. Not because I won’t need to bend the narrative to suit my twisted desires. Nor to pump up the Westy Destiny Cup Pom Poms even if they were getting a little flat last night. No, not for those lofty aspirations and selfish whims.

It’s because of the amazing place the Canucks find themselves this deep in the season with almost sort of 10% of the games played. This special place is at the top. The tipsy-top of the Pacific division.

Start the Parade!

The top of the outside of the Wild Card spots! The Canucks are ahead of known (and unknown) winning teams like Winterpeg, Anaheim and Edmonton. If the Nucks were a single player - a very special point-a-game player - they’d be on track to rack up over 80 points in the season! That’s enough points to put them at the top. Of the Wild Card outsiders. And some say we’re too optimistic at NM. Now you know that’s not true. We’re so pragmatically realistic that we’ve bent reality like a rubber pretzel into a Cup shaped taco. Or something. It’s all diagrammed out in the Westy Destiny playbook. Look it up when you have the chance.

Back to the game. And what a game it was. The best game ever. This season.

1st Period

It’s the second road game in as many nights (or late afternoons in other more civilised time zones). It was barely 24 hours after the Nucks completely demolished the PK in Bahston. The Nucks’ PK. When Kent invokes Muppets images for graphic illustration you know it was a night to forget. I can’t even remember the score. But it was pretty good. On the wrong uninteresting side of the scorecard.

Because the Canucks are a young team with a young coach in the young part of the season, they are able to learn from past mistakes. They learned it was better not to let themselves get out to an early lead. And they didn’t. Instead they used the tried and true weak D strategy to gain the (inverted) momentum in the first minute of play.

With the weak D decoy strategy effectively deployed, the Canucks could migrate to the radical zone of the pond: Offence. They marched and skated down the ice with the puck on their sticks (most of the time) and unleashed a barrage of shots (more in a single period than in a single game last night).

Despite the Shot Faeries Improbability Generator, the Canucks put one by Johnson. And not just your usual shooter either. It was a scrappy goal by our own snakebit 4th liner, Granlund. With an assist to our new sharp scrappy shooter, Double D.

At this near half way pint in the period, the Canucks had out shot Buffalo 17-3! I don’t like math, and in many games this season it has not been my friend, but this shot count is so lopsided in the Nucks’ favour that it seems like over 5 times more shots were fired at the Sabres’ net. It was a shooting gallery. It wasn’t fair.

And if the Canucks like anything this year, they like to be fair. Or more than fair. Or more than fairly weak when protecting their goalie from a weak goal from a weak end-to-end rush.

To be fair, it was a stronger weak end-to-end than last night and that Eichel kid has some pretty good hands for a low high draft pick.

That’s how the 1st ended. The Canucks were the dominant team on the ice and the shot clock and down 2-1. Marky was serving a .600% bounce back souffle that put Westy off his hockey appetite so much that he left the NM game thread to chase beer chasers and small children around a small central American paradise. Thanks, Westy. We can take it from here.

2nd Period

And take it we did. While some a few just me were calling for Greener pastures for Marky and Hutton, the real success strategy for the Canucks rolled into play in the first minute. The power play. The Nucks keep away power play that pushed the Canucks deeper into the period without giving up a goal. Possession is 90% of the law. Of game survival.

Having survived those suspenseful 2 minutes, the Canucks Counter-Counter Scorecard Espionage squad were deployed with devastating effect.

Our new Mr. Everything but the Star Status, Double D, scored a shortie off a great off-the-pads shot by Sutter on a Buffalo powerplay not seen in Bahston.

If this was last season’s pre-bionic implant Dorsett, or the one before that one, that shot in to the empty cage would be flying over the netting. In NY city. Happily, surprisingly, or c) all of the above, the hands-of-stone story has morphed into hands-of-gold by alchemist magic. A magic transformation that we will investigate with the thoroughness that NM investigative reporting is famous for bragging about without actually doing much more than bragging.

2nd period. Game tied. On the road. Do we dare we ask for more? Like playing Virt with the twins and having him set up the winning goal? Sure. Why not?

And that’s what happened. I’m not making it up. This time. The score remained 3-2 at the end of the 2nd. 3-2 for the good guys. As in taking a lead into the 3rd. It’s a recipe for Nucks success. Every game this season. In my mind.

Of course, the Sabres were rattling for a review - using the fake offside gambit. They failed, the goal stood - on its head and wiggled its nose. Buffalo were duly punished rewarded with a Canucks power play where nothing untoward occurred.

3rd Period

How do you keep a lead in the 3rd? Extending it is one option. The Nucks’ way is to keep it on the down low. Low down Low Event hockey. How low can you go? Wait 12 minutes into the 3rd period to take your first shot while letting the Buffalo roam into 7 over-grazed shots. Which is fair. Fairly unfair to us tho. We want to see a Nucks player get 3 points in a single game. We need it now. And soon we will. But first - a few words from our over-stimulated nervy parts.

Playing the high anxiety low event hockey requires nerves of tungsten carbide for Canucks fans. Fortunately, a mere seven scary minutes later Bo made the Sabre goalie stop and hold the puck. We fans were able stop and catch a breath. And barely a minute later Stecher put a puck on net. It’s a hockey event extravaganza!

The time ticked by in seconds that felt like elongated NY minutes. Not for Marky tho. Probably felt longer as the Sabres were pushing hard for the tie. We like ties. Silk. Road. Silk Road ties, we’ll take ‘em. But, not the Canucks’ leading scoring ace. Doubly Double D’d.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

We win again. On the road. Thanks to our gritty First Star of the game: Derek Dorsett. Cunning Benning was planning this outburst all along. We critics of arm chair GMing have to take the humble pie in the face tonight. No worries. It’s really tasty.

2 goals and an assist in this game. 3 points for Derek in a SINGLE game! At this pace, that Syd Kid might want to take up competitive curling or crochet.

Double D: Team Goal Leader

A fluke? Or the fulfilment of a hard working shot shooting summer summit? You decide. Or let Pierre.

Your Vancouver Canucks’ 1st Star: Derek Never-Say-Never Dorsett spills the Secrets!

In case you missed it, it was a great road game by the Canucks. They could have collapsed like a soggy cardboard decoy defenceman after the Booin bruising, but they didn’t. They played hard. The final shot count: Nucks 41, Sabs 22. (Ha-ha!) Nucks Powerplay? Oh for four. But no wrong-way shorts, so that’s a step up. The Sabres crack PP was 0 for 3 and allowed their 6th SH against this season (Ha-ha!) The Nucks toyed with the Sabres in the first (and our heart rates) and burst out in the 2nd like we knew they could. In our dreams. And the Green dreams too.

The Westy Destiny Cup path is open again to delusional optimistic traffic for at least another 48 hours. Please don’t push and shove other inmates fans while boarding the neverland express.

Have a great weekend, NM! Possibly even a low groan event Sunday afternoon. Remember to dare to dream. Double D did and now he’s a top 20 NHL scoring monster!