This could have been a great game. It was. Until the middle of the 3rd.
We can be happy for the win. A 3-2 hard fought victory. Winning by one goal in a game is almost as good as winning by 2 or 3.
Losing our young phenom in just his 5th game in the National Bush League to a dirty hit - a mugging unpunished by the refs - and no response from our supposed grit ‘n sandpaper new hires is not what we expected to happen.
The league wants to crack down on cheapshots, to protect its young stars. It just doesn’t supply the directive and the refs for the job. With the FA hires this summer, many expected as JB claimed that the Canucks would be tougher - wouldn’t be pushed around.
Just last week, Guds expounded on the importance of the ‘code’ and sticking up for teammates.
“Without it [the code], sometimes nasty things happen whether on purpose or not,” said Gudbranson. “The code keeps that level of respect among us and it’s very important. It’s good that fighting is leaving the game and becoming safer, but it’s nothing you can get rid of in the NHL.”
Seems the revised code edition means that EP does not have teammates to answer the bell. Elias must answer the bell himself - as soon as it stops ringing. Whenever that is.
Anyhow, before the non-fight broke out, there was a game. A game honouring Lu’s 1000th game. Which he didn’t play in. Because a teammate took out his knee. They say it was accidental. But, after tonight, there’s a few too many accidents that involve the Panthers. Technically, Lu played his 1000th game last April, but NHL party planners were fully booked for months.
So...there was a puck drop and Nilly didn’t allow the first goal to be on the first shot he faced. That’s good. So far not going down a goal on the road on the first shot is a better indicator of success than the other.
Nothing happened on the scoresheet at all. But in his Nucks debut, Roussel waited just 3 minutes to take his first penalty of the game. No matter. The Nucks PK can suck the life out of a building - two minutes at a time. And 10 minutes later when Roussel took his 2nd in penalty, the perfect PK persisted.
Florida took a couple penalties and were lucky at that. Not just because the Nucks powerplay didn’t convert, but because the refs missed a nutcracker on Virt. But not the unsportsmanlike penalty for talking in 4 letter words about the not sweet nutcracker Panther performance.
As per the winning road strategy, the Nucks let the Kitties win the shot count: 11-9. But, more reflected the 10 minutes of special teams time.
Tied 0-0 at the end of the period 1.
It’s still tied. No one scored during the intermission. I advocated getting free goals when the other team is taking a break, but the Nucks advanced strategy group isn’t really thinking outside the timezone just yet.
Panthers open the scoring half way through the period. Home court prerogative. Or something something. Huberdeau gets his own rebound, off point-oppourtunist, Edler and puts it past a sprawling Nilsson while Edler was busy backing into him.
No matter. On the PP, EP is in the slot. In the zone. And shifty Pete snaps a wrister past a weak shotblocker, Matheson [yeah, cue the premeditated conspiracy music], and a shocked Reimer, who was set and square, but as a human, doesn’t have the nanosecond reactions required to thwart an Alien laser.
What a goal! Enjoy it now and for who knows how long. Pete kept the point streak going through 5 games.
Just after the perfect Nucks PK kills off another penalty, their 5-on-5 luck bites. And so does Trocheck. Beats Nilly high glove side. Panthers take the lead 2-1.
Just for a few minutes tho. New guy and sinbin specialist, Roussel, gets a breakaway - but he’s hooked. Penalty shot for the penalty taker. That’s only fair.
The stats history would say that Reimer has the advantage in this scenario. But, Antoine missed that stats history class and gets Reimer to open up and forget too.
2 periods down, 2 for us, 2 for them.— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 14, 2018
Buckle up for the 3rd! pic.twitter.com/TtWMNmgbGp
Tied at the end of the second. Nucks outshot the Floridians 12-8.
It would have been fine with us to take the tie now and leave early.
But, no. The Cats want to win a game. Not going to happen, so why bother?
There’s some back ‘n forth play. And EP is making some shifty moves around the Panther D, making Matheson look like an pylon again [turn up the premeditated conspiracy music].
And then the Douchebag of the Night, Matheson, goes to finish a hit on EP on the boards - but goes full cheapshot scumbag instead. Right in front of the ref. FFS!
In case you missed the can opener from Matheson - watch his stick. FFS!
Our worst nightmare made real in only the 5th game of the season. EP seems to be concussed on the dirty play. Wobbles trying to get back on his feet. Finally gets off the ice with the help of a trainer and is ushered into the quiet room. But, we’re screaming at the TV, FFS!
It’s ok, because the sandpaper players on Nucks send a message to Matheson. Probably by email. Or carrier pigeon. Or other ‘coded’ method.
The game resumes and the Triple Bs manage a little payback on a rush up the ice - where they make Matheson look stupid. But we already knew that.
Sven sends a feed across to Bo and Bo goes for the open net. And scores the GWG.
Tough to stop Baertschi & Horvat at top speed! pic.twitter.com/1MDGC2l5J7— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 14, 2018
It’s payback. Of a kind.
Many in the gamethread and around NucksNation wanted a more immediately gratifying form of payback.
In the thread, Westy was the calming voice of reason. I know - must have had his rum spiked by the Faeries.
You want revenge. Going after Matheson won’t stop stop other teams from running players. Do you know how I know this? These actions continue even when teams respond in kind. Wins matter if want to build a team that wins.
While I agree with the sentiment about building a winning strategy, I disagree with the passive tactics in this case. EP is a generational talent for our team. Or was for 5 games.
EP has the skill to frustrate most D-men. The Nucks, whether it’s via the ‘code’ or direct messages, need to warn the douchephiles, there will be consequences for their premeditated douchery.
Because the refs obviously won’t. Expecting the DoPS to make an example of Doucheson is to dream of league where fair play is enforced.
Anyhow, the sage and newly wise old Westy managed to hold his own while the outrage across the internet threatened to storm his tropical bastion.
The freshly unpunished Panthers pressed for the EP-lizer...er, no they got that already, the EQ-lizer, but the net at Fort Nucks was not breached again in the game.
There was one more Nucks casualty in period. Beagle blocked a shot with his wrist. His wrist did not like the technique. It may have been broken. He was forced to play ten seconds of one-armed hockey player until the puck was cleared from the zone.
Oh...and the Nucks PK had to perform miracles for the 5th time on the night.
Here’s the John & John game highlights. On a very dark night.
Bo shared his thoughts...
“To grind out that win, with that much composure and will to win, is huge. We were down some players and we pulled it out.” - @BoHorvat— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 14, 2018
Some players? Ok.. no special treatment for Aliens. Got it.
Nilsson gets another win - it’s a two game win streak to start his season.
“It was a really, really solid 60-minute effort, a great road game. Our D-zone coverage was unbelievable all game, that made my night easier.” - Nilsson— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 14, 2018
No news is bad news.
No update on Pettersson or Beagle from Coach Green.— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 14, 2018
Although bad news is bad news too.
Our new former Faery fraterniser speaks for the first time after a game.
All through the long and storied road trip, we weren’t invited into the Green room for a post-game presser.
Tonight tho, Green wanted to make a statement. To the refs and the DoPSickles, who probably do nothing, because... double standards.
The Canucks gutted out another road win in the soggy hockey hotbed of Florida. Should be happy. But the cost was too high.
I’m not saying there’s a Faery conspiracy, because Matheson must be held accountable for opening a can of douchebaggery on national TV, but where there’s dirty douche faery smoke... there’s...
A creepy coincidence that our only player who was playing at the Injury Faeries Funhouse returns to the ice in the same game that two Nucks are taken to Injury Faery Purgatory for an indefinite stay. And our young 19 year old phenom pays way too steep a price this early in his career. In the season. FFS!
At the time of this ranting there is no further update on the status of Elias. All NucksNation are hoping his Alien hockey powers extend to super-human renewal for a speedy recovery from one of the most insidious injuries a hockey players can endure.
At least the road trip is over and we can grieve a little with some home games.
Or not. Nucks are in Pittsburgh to meet the Pens on Tuesday. Maybe Sid can share his concussion recovery therapies with Elias. FFS! This could have been a great game to watch. Without the Alien sparkplug, just another Nucks game to endure.
Happy Hollow Victory! Enjoy the rest of your miserable weekend.