WOW! They’re back! On the rails to 500 road trip hockey. Admit it. We knew this trip would be rough. Rougher than the cost of a day pass at Disneyland. In San Jose we learned the meaning of two final minutes of futility. And those were the easy Cali games.
Playing LA in LA was the one we marked on our road trip danger maps with a big ugly X. The mood in the gamethread was initially tentative. Playing the 2nd best team in the west who were looking for some easy pickings on the Nucks stat-tragical PP, if not the piddly PK.
Still...the Canucks managed to keep the tie alive for almost 30 seconds. Less 7. Then on the first LA shot, the first shot Nilsson has seen (or on this case not quite seen) since October 26th, bounces off him into the net. 23 seconds in and it’s 1-nothing. NM gamethread is choked. And so are the Canucks. Just not quite enough...because a few minutes later Kopitar scores. It’s 2-zip. The shots are 7-0 for LA near mid-period.
The Neverland passengers are looking down the tracks and all they can see is this...
The twisted shreds of Nucks fan hopes litter the gamethread - tears pour out of the wet coast sky in sympathy. Some of which try to flood my house. Actually, most of them, but I have a sump pump that was, fortunately, very thirsty.
To change the tempo and slow the LA shot clock, Double D went Double D and took on Andreoff. And won. His teammates hearts and minds. And ambitions.
At the ten minute mark, Sutter breaks the
goal shot drought. We rejoice at the sight. All hope isn’t lost. It’s just a little soggy and miserable.
And 5-on-5 the Canucks start to push their shot count up to double digits by the end of the period.
Before we could nurse our drinks and nerves into the middle of the frame, something unexpected happened. The Canucks scored a goal! I’m not making this up. And more amazing, it was the Sedin line. And more amazing Loui got the assist. And more amazing it was a fair-is-flukey-is-fair goal like LA’s first one. Hank shot a pass/shot/seeing eye puck out front and off Shore’s very upper thigh area past Quick into the net. And onto the board. The Canucks will not be shutout twice in Cali after all.
Now we're talking. Hank with his second of the year, from Eriksson and Pouliot. Game on. pic.twitter.com/rfTRSpj10y— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 15, 2017
1 hour, 32 minutes and 58 seconds. That’s how long it’s been since the Canucks scored a goal. To us fans it seems like two games and many days ago. No matter. It was a bonafide league-sanctioned score. It counted. Drought is over.
Flood Trickle gates were opened.
And then the deep groan moment occurred. A groan across the lower mainland that some mistook for thunder or a big cloud fart. But, stinkier. It was the prospect of another Canucks power play on the road in SoCal. If you don’t know how the past 5 PP
opportunities events played out, lucky you.
And then this miracle on ice occurred. The newly re-booted, re-jiggered, re-powered, re-playified Canucks powerplay scored....wait for it...a GOAL!
Don’t believe me. Believe the NHL’s GC then.
Ok, maybe not Twitter. But, the game is tied. From a Canucks power play goal!!!
Brock’s rocking shot shocked Quick who only could snag it with a passing elbow and it fluttered in to the crease where Bo did a Borrific thing.
The momentum had swung back to the Westy Destiny Playbook swings and roundabouts section of improbability. And more.
The period ends with a 2-2 tie. We’re winning! Pretty much.
There’s more? We’re just happy to be back at par on an unfriendly course. And yet, the plucky never-say-never newly powered-up Canucks are ready for more.
And they get it. On. The. Power Play. Even John was ready for the oopsie moment, but this happened off a seeing-tape pass from Vanek. A Svenrumptious serving of Quicksand.
Boom! Baby, Boom! Canucks take the lead. In the third.
Can they keep it? Well...that’s for another recap. Just kidding. Of course they can. Sure... the Kings pushed back, emptied their net, rode their Kopi horse hard, but Nilsson was playing for the shutout all over again. And he got it!
We’re fans of a 500 road team again! Yay us! It feels good. Or at least better than the sub 500 trend we were staring down the funnel at.
A little icing on the stats cake, this worst power play in the league was 67% on the night. Scored on 2 of 3
events opportunities. Could this be a turning point. Oh...please...be a turning point.
Here’s some winning words from the team.
“It’s a goal I’d like to have back, but the only thing that matters is how you rebound from it.” – Anders Nilsson pic.twitter.com/3OmHXUS64W— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 15, 2017
Don’t think about the Vegas (Surprising) Dark Knights who will be visiting the garage on Thursday. Just enjoy the smooth ride back on the Neverland Express.