So...just as the script was written, re-written and finessed by the pen of the Pens, revenge for their home ice embarrassment by the Nucks. Oh those were the days. The happy road win streak.
Tonight, the Western Conference Road Slayers completed the sweep of the western world. It’s not fair. But at least it wasn’t 9-1. And we didn’t even deploy our top D. So...we have excuses. Not that we need them. The Nucks are not in the same league as the Pens. Ok, theoretically, they’re in the same league, but at opposite ends of the good/bad bathtub curve.
Besides, it was enough (pretty much), just to have Pete and Brock back in the roster.
Like the Caps tilt, the Nucks were over-matched. And allowed the same number of goals against. And this time with our mid-AHL department of defence keeping it real. So, it was an improvement. Other than not scoring.
This was the best period of the game. No scoring. By either team.
The Nucks came out hard, kept pressure on the Pens. Pete almost scored. Almost. And that’s close enough for us. Pete was breaking in goal and DeSmith deTripped Pete. Could have been a penalty shot, but not to be. But got a PP and Pete was keen to be redeemed and almost was.
Nucks actually got two powerplays in the period while the Pens had none. Although their PK was as good as the legendary Canucks PK. Copycats.
When the buzzer booped to end the period, the Nucks had won the period. Out shot Pitts 11-9. That should be worth a notch on the saddle mount of the scoreboard. It should, but the league stopped using saddle mounts in ‘88.
12 seconds in and the power forwarding Nucks score. Just kidding. Instead, Sid managed to make Roussel take a non-sporting gentleman infraction. No worries. Nucks legendary (to us) PK stopped the Pitts Penstars cold.
The Nucks looked like they might score the first goal of the game. However, some sloppy defensive zone coverage (Surprise!) allowed Phil to give the road team a very cheap thrill. Dammit!
Fine. We spot them one goal. Let the star-crudded Pens get some fake momentum. We can fake it right back at them. With some of our own fake goals.
Speaking of fake goals from fake backhanded shots, what’s the deal with this Sid kid guy? Seems like he just scores on a whim when he wants. Poor Marky gets stretched beyond the behind the back.
So, the Pens out shoot the Nucks 14 - 9 and worse, get two big notches on the scoreboard. Dammit.
And so, the comeback kids have a good chunk of coming back to chase around in the 3rd.
And the kids start to push right off the opening faceoff which they lost. And scrambled to clear their own zone and not take any stupid penalties. Instead the Pens and the refs took them for the Nucks. In a puck battle, Sprong puts his stick in his teammate’s face. Guentzel squirts blood. Something must be done, Serge! Something must be done! Put Roussel in the box! For Four Momentum-Killing Minutes. Wrong call at the wrong time.
Because of the official’s superb game management skills, 20 seconds later, they called a soft penalty on the Pens to nullify the the Pens PP. For two minutes at least. And the legendary (to us) Nucks PK rights the wrongs of past miscalls.
However, the momentum of the big swinging pendulum of momentumness was swooping and looping around the Pens gravitational pull. And push.
The Pens played protect-the-lead to perfection. And then the game’s 1st star played the expand the lead just as well. Dammit.
Not satisfied with that hot doggin’ outburst, he was Malkin’ it less than a minute later.
Dammit. Down 4-0 is a pretty deep trench of doubtful, nay, even dubious rebound of possibility. Actually, there was no possibility that our young rebuilderites could match the soaring Penguins. Who were flying, no matter the flightless birds moniker.
Oh...and the Pens have another guy who can score two goals in a game. He appears to have a decent nose for the net and equally effective forehand.
5-0 for the Pens and while some (probably me) in the gamethread suggested pulling the goalie and the D and peppering DeSmith with deShots, that powerful strategy was never tried. Pretty sure it would have worked. To get a 8-0 loss.
Want to watch the five Penguinable goals again? Me neither. Here you go.
A powerhouse opponent, D-pleted lineup, depleted results. Oh well. Need to manage our expectations.
Expectation management was in session over in the Green room.
Scoring depth. It’s an issue again. Wasn’t in the first six games, but the goal drought in the desert is drier tonight. In the pouring rain. Weird.
But weather metaphors whether fair or foul fail mainly on the plane. The team plane. Which was grounded, in the rain. So the Nucks are stuck in the muck of a loss at home that could have been a tie if only the game ended after the first. On account of rain.
At least the Nucks got 29 shots versus the 35 from the Pens. The shot quality balance was tipped in a fowl direction tho.
Marky played well. He was frustrated for letting five go by. Not all on him. There’s another five players in front of him who were giving up open lanes like a drunken realtor pitching a no-money-down bowling league condo complex.
“They had a lot of odd-man rushes. Whenever you give those up, it’s tough. Give them up to a team like that and you lose.” - Stecher— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 28, 2018
Giveaways - Pouliot led the team. Again. Travis values consistency. But with 22:47 of time, Derrick was tasked with playing above his pay grade. He’s a decent 6th or 7th D on a rebuilding team. Going up against the top two lines of the Pens is an up with only downside.
First game the Nucks have been shut out. First time they’ve lost back-to-back games. Oh, well... there’s a first time for everything.
Not so bad. The one crappy stat was Pete’s pointless streak was extended despite: 1) Pete played in the game and 2) Pete’s competitive drive. Oh well. Sneaky Pete will not be denied for long.
The Nucks could have a Wild comeback on Monday. That’s what we’re hoping for. A three game losing streak might give us last season flashbacks and we’re not fully emotionally prepared for that. Need to be closer to June to embrace the Hughes upside.
Until the marvel of Hockey Night in Monday is revealed, we can take comfort in the fact that we’re still
#1 #2 in the Pacific.
Enjoy your soggy Sunday wet coast hockey mavens.