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RECAP: NUCKS BEAT The House! Deal Vegas out 3-2 in the Shootout

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Lose 3 Players, Get A Win. Road Faeries Hockey Rules

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Vegas Golden Knights
Slapping pucks and making saves - even in the SO!
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

We’re Number ONE!

We’re Number ONE!

In the Pacific.

Sometimes even the minnows win big in Vegas. And tonight it was the Orcas. Some say that to win in Vegas, some personal personnel sacrifices are required. Some say that was more true tonight than most of the stuff I make up.

However, the fierce dealers in the injury pit demand more than faery dust. They want a pound of flesh. And more. Lots more. More than you could imagine in a single hockey game. If you weren’t a resident of NucksNation.

But first.. let’s see what we’re up against or who is up against the glass pre-game...

The Nucks would play without Pete... because Matheson. FFS! And Brock who skated in the morning was sitting in the pressbox for the night. Top goal scorers not in.

So no worries, right?

Pretty Much. Pretty much nothing happened at first. Few shots. From either team. The gamethread was getting restless. Those that were still awake. There was speculation that first goal wins. In OT.

Marky was on his game. Frustrating wave after wave of Stolen Knights. More like ineffective ripples, but it was building into a dramatic game. Just not yet.

Marky was keeping his resume spotless. But where were our goals going to come from without Brock and Pete? Where? Caesar's Palace?

At some point in the period - there’s no exact interval noted in the NM game log - Travis was seen making some sort of deal with some sort of extrasupernatural representative of IFRS. We call them the ‘iffers’, but some know them as the Injury Faeries Reserve Force.

We don’t know the details, or even if there were details to know. What we do know was that human sacrifice was involved. How? Because moments later a legal hit from Patches escalated into the jaws of...

Vegas Faeries. Man-Game Eating Division. Right on national TV, they gobbled up Edler and took him off the ice - and put him in some noisy strip bar on the strip. That’s what we heard.

No worries. We can still play hockey with 5D. Maybe even squeak out a win. Even if we take lots of penalties. Vegas is ranked 31st on the powerplay. Finally. Expansion team service is served. Besides... the only Nucks penalty in the 1st was taken by Eddie. And now Eddie is taken, he can’t take anymore penalties. Strategy. It’s the start of a really weird gruesome, but surprisingly effective strategy.

Not saying we were immune to goals against. Just in this period. And possibly others.

The period ends the way it started. With only zips on the scoreboard.

There was some slight concern in the gamethread about losing Eddie already. But, many NM Man Game analysts have been trying to unload Eddie for months. Tonight they found a willing trade partner - but those who trade with the faeries need to set quotas - or the faeries hunger sets its own.

Why do they call it the Sinful Second in Vegas? Probably many reasons.

For us, the reason is the sinful play behind the net by Pouliot - he so easily gets his puck pocket picked by a Haula ice dancer. Who passes it out front to...uh-huh.. Patches.

House money gets a goal. The crowd is going full Vegas. They think they’ve won the game.

But, as we know so well... first goal doesn’t always win. Even when the odds are against us.

The fleshy faery trade made, Bo who has already made an impact all over the ice, puts a big impact stain on the Vegas lead. Great tip on a shot from NM’s fav $6M man.

That was a great shift. Nice goal. Right in front of Dad.

All tied up. For a minute three. Bo is on a mission.

It’s a goal scoring mission - off a great FO win in the defensive end and some clean outlet passing and snipe that caught Fleury out of his paint, his jersey.

Wooo! We’re winning in Vegas. A lead that won’t be denied.

Except there’s a price to be paid for it. The Faeries’ accountants must have their gory balance sheet balanced.

Get another goal. Lose another player. Road Faeries Hockey Rules.

Because we can’t afford to lose another D in this game, the Faeries took a second line forward for seconds. Nooooooooooo!

Won’t return because...

Vegas Faery cranial therapy. Otherwise known as a concussion. On a hit Sven didn’t see coming, but will be feeling for weeks. FFS!

At least we still have the lead. And Leiper is leaping on pucks and gets one on Fleury who bats it aside and... remember that Vegas team from last season that broke out of the zone faster than it takes to read ‘broke out of the zone’? They’re still here and still busting out the moves.

It’s the rushing Reavers!

The tie is back on the card table of Vegas hockey.

It’s a Nucks Dad’s road trip. So we’re going to hear from a happy Dad.

Tim is hoping for a Nucks victory. Let’s hope the Faeries don’t hear us hoping out loud...

So...the lead that was gained in flesh and pain is taken away. It’s not fair. But the Faeries are not finished not being fair.

Vegas comes out in the third pushing hard to take the lead. Possibly the game. The Nucks are hanging on. Tanev is hanging on. On the bench.

While Guds was ejecting skate blades from his skates in a post-modern Penn & Teller tribute, Tanev was left to his own defences. Took a puck, or skate blade or cheap Faery shot to the hips.

Tanev is....

Not Tanev in the jaws of Faery goooo too?! Yup.

Without their Top 2 D, the remaining defence force on the Nucks must become the Top 4 D. And amazingly. They do. This isn’t last year’s defence. Even if it is left over from last year.

Hutton is a minute-eating beast. Stecher is playing big and bruising.

Pouloit and Guds are defending like there’s no other option. While Vegas keeps pressing, the Nucks keep unpressing - keeping the tie locked in the tie cabinet until it’s time to take the tie to the win locker.

The Vegas assault keeps falling on its butt.

The gamethread is filled with dread... the bottom 4D are the top 4D. This tenacious play can’t out run the clock. Or can it?

Why, yes it can. Despite getting out shot almost 2 to 1 (like that’s new) in the period, the Canucks (what’s left of them) have stolen a point from the Stolen Knights!

And that means we only have to play 3-on-3 for 5. This was one of the better OT periods of the season. Not just the Nucks season. League wide season.

Chances both ways. Goalies denying goals. Clock ticking down and we don’t want them to stop. But they do. NHL time rules are tougher than they look.

And that means the last chance shoot out salon of doom. That’s what Marky called it last year. We won’t mention his (dismal) shoot out record from that season, because some things are better forgotten.

Marky is making save after save. So is Marc-A. The first round is over without a whimper or a cheer.

Who will break the desert goal drought? A wild wet coaster from Finland perhaps...

GRANNY gets a goal. All Marky has to do is stop one more Vegas shootist - some guy called Karlsson. He’s pretty good at the hockey. But not better than Marky.

WE WIN! The GAME! Winning while losing 3 players. Tough bargain with the Faeries, but a gutsy performance by the team.

Enough words. Let’s watch.

How crazy was this game? Could only happen in Vegas. We hope. Winning while losing 3 players a game is not sustainable...unless Franny buys a couple extra AHL teams. Then it could work.

Let’s hear from the game’s 1st star.

Bo knows.

High fives all around for the 4D. Hutton played over 29 minutes. And looked good doing it. Everyone stepped up and made the former Western Conference champions look former.

“That’s a helluva win,” defenceman Troy Stecher said. “We’ve always had the belief that we’re going to win hockey games. We’ve shown that so far this year. We believe in the group in here. This is a big character win, though. This is one of those games we can probably look back on in a couple of months if we go through a tough stretch and it will keep us going.”

Definite confidence booster. Winning despite the ‘game management’ by the Faeries. Or because of it. Bodes well for the traditional Xmas gifts the Nucks receive from the Faeries.

“It means everything,” Gudbranson said. “That was a hard hockey game. But that’s the difference with this team this year: we just get our noses dirty and find a way to grind it out. That’s a really good win, a really positive win for us. Knowing you can come into a building like that… that’s one of the hardest buildings to play in in the NHL.”

Marky played a great game. Hitting a .943 SV% and a 1.00 SV% in the SO.

“We were tired at the end of the game there,” Markstrom said. “But we battled really hard in the third with a limited lineup to get a win in Vegas. I think that shows some character.”

A big, really big character win.

And it’s fun to be on top....

We’re Number ONE!

Let that sink in for a few weeks days hours. Sort of wish we had a full day of gloating. But, nope. It’s back to work in the desert hockey gulag of Arizona.

Who knows who will be on the roster in Scottsdale to start the game. Or finish it. All we know is, that this is not last year’s Nucks. It really is the new, improved, faster, harder working Nucks just like we saw in the brochures - from the Westy Destiny dream series.

Have a great big smug Thursday!