Wow! What a difference a day after (and a practice) makes. After the goal-crushing zipping we got at the waaay too skilled hands of the Pens, this game was much, much better. Other than the Faeries took a foundational player in exchange for the win.
They say the playoffs are a war of attrition. For the Nucks, the first broken baker dozen games have been a catastrophe of attrition. We might have to start a GoFundMe for Centers project by mid-November. Or call up Gags.
Anyhow, let’s not give the freakin’ Faeries anymore mind time. Let’s just focus on the kids. Our new super duper D and our Vezina Trophy of the Night winner.
The lines are juggled tonight because
Faer Travis finally had a practice day after the endless road trip across the league. The practice was a success. And so was the 1st period.
How could we tell? Because Granny scored! That’s how. Not that the two Johns noticed right away. But the ROG did.
First goal of the game goes to the Canucks!
I can’t tell you how much that means. Because I’ve forgotten when we last did that. Impressive.
Speaking of impressive. The refs not wanting to be outdone on the first in the first front, made their own first. The NHL Officials made a
record rule breaking review - there was a near simultaneous high sticking penalty. The refs knew Parise high-sticked a Canuck Gaud, but didn’t know which Canuck high-sticked Parise. So the refs went for video review. But the rules state: No video review unless there’s a goal. End of.
Anyhow because they delayed the game and made the right call, Guds got a penalty. After a video review - which is against the rules. And in this case against the Canucks, of course.
No matter. This isn’t your last Saturday Night’s Canucks. Or last Saturday’s opponent.
However, the Wild have been on a 5 game winning streak and weren’t keen to let the Canucks leave the period with the lead. Selfish bastards.
As Westy so astutely noted in the game thread, the Nucks held the lead for 35 amazing seconds. And even better would hold even better leads even longer later.
The Canucks out shot the Wild 14-7 in the period. Double the shots. The Nucks are an offensive powerhouse. And the Wild are the best at allowing the most shots in the league. Good combo.
Still... there’s that unfortunate not holding the lead thingie...
The 2nd starts right where the refs like it. With a Canuck in the ref-box. Granny got 4 minutes for high slashing. It was a slasher high sticking movie night in the ROG - 5 high sticking penalties in the game. And a couple slashes to add to the Halloween game build up.
No matter. The impervious (pretty much) Dubnyk had a nightmare start to the period. Even though the Wild were outshooting the Nucks to start... the Nucks were spending their shots in such a canny way, that some were saying Virtanen was the Scottish Gretzky.
On the first Nucks shot of the period, on the powerplay, Virt scores! From a place no one ever scores on the league’s hottest tender. Thanks to a nice screen from Suter.
Great dish from Bulldog. Great game for Bulldog. And few things can make us happier than Virt getting some net.
2-1 Nucks! In the lead again. Can they keep it more than 35 seconds?
Yes! Yes, they can. Not only keep it. Extend it.
In my happy recap for a sad Saturday game, I stated that Pete would not be denied for long. And I was right (it happens occasionally).
A sweet setup from Goldy and MDZ leads to a sweet Pete one-timer. Wooo! Back on the board! On the 2nd Nucks shot of the game! Duby is duelling a 0.0 SV% so far in the period.
The ROG goes wild. The Wild go grumpy. The game thread goes... ping.
Up 3-1 there’s no way anything bad can happen now.
Unless old and slow Loui gets caught on a possible 2-on-1 and takes down Koivu. And on the resulting peerless PK, Sutter clears the puck out of the zone, Matt Dumbo puts Suttz into the boards and the Faeries take Brandon for weeks over in the painful dislocated shoulder of Faeridom.
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! It was a good play by Sutter to get the puck out of the zone, but on his follow through his shoulder is lined up to the boards at just the wrong angle when he gets Dumba’d. FFS!
Oh and on the same Sutterless PK, the Wild score. FFS!
Fine. The Faeries get another 190lbs of prime Orca flesh for their own Faery Fantasy league. At least we can blame Loui to cheer us up. And at least we still lead.
And keep the lead going into the 3rd. And we get to watch Pete sucker Suter into taking a stupid penalty. EP’s hockey smarts are amazing - it’s like he knows what the opposing player wants to do and when. Usually before the other player knows.
Canucks get a powerplay in the final 20 seconds of the period. Wild out shoot the Nucks 15-11, but don’t outscore the Nucks, and on this night that’s the more important stat.
Nucks start the period on the PP. That’s great. Except for the lacklustre play of the power. Maybe Green didn’t have time to have the PP fully practised up with the defensive zone practice needing so much practice after Saturday.
No matter. Even if we get another PP. We don’t need a PP to generate moar goals. We just need great defensive play to make great offensive chances.
Who better to demonstrate just-in-time shot blocking, than, Eeeeeek, Pete. We already have 3 players on the Faeries Shotblock clock and we don’t want our young phenom to get any incidental rubber poisoning. But the kid is fearless. And smart. And a sharpshooter.
Wow! What a shot! What a goal! Even B. Burke said “There’s no goalie in the Universe that can stop that shot”. And if we include the ROG in the big U, he’s spot on. Brock gets the A on the breakaway.
Wooo! 2 goal lead restored. Up 4-2 on the Minnesotan feral hockey team. And you know what this means...
Uh-huh... time for our minute-munching D wizard to pot a goal - even if Hutton was looking to pass to Pete for the three-Pete night.
What a great game. Even if it involved a brutal one-side trade with separated Faeries.
Marky was awesome with a .949 SV%. And needed to be. Faced a season high 37 shots. The Nucks put a season high 31 shots on the Wild net. All highs all around.
Hutton logged 27:55 and looked good doing it. Bo was playing all 4 line’s FO specialist. With Sutter out, Pete weak in the dot and Gaud even weaker, Bo was taking so many draws, we were calling him Manny in the gamethread.
The Guds-Hut combo were logging 1D minutes. The lines were a wild mashup after the second. Granny played his best game of the season. Motte was his usual relentless puckhound. Stech & Poul were pretty good too. Bulldog brought his best fierce energy game, chomped a point and MDZ looked much better than his previous outings.
Almost all the forwards were getting points. Except... you know the $6M pointless 4th liner.
Anyhow, what a wonderful bounce-back game.
With the win the Nucks have strong a strong handpass on
1st 2nd in the Pacific. Let’s see it all again. In under 5 minutes.
Over in the Green room, the mood was bouncy, not tersey.
And our humble hero was throwing off the media pump-up queries. Classy guy.
And Marky was feeling better about his game, but couldn’t figure out the fickle faery finger of fractured fate.
Was a little scary watching Pete block five shots in the game. Just the one in the 3rd was enough.
Let’s watch the block, the rush and the goal again.
EP is a fierce competitor in every zone. And is teaching new tricks to old dog teammates like Virt, who mentioned post game that he wants to learn some of that Alien stuff.
Elias is the 22nd player in NHL history to score at least seven goals through his first seven career games and just the eighth to do so in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44).
Just keep Pete in the lineup and we can enjoy every Nucks game this season, win or lose. He’s so much fun to watch. He’s only played 7 games - and he’s already the Nucks best player.
Next up for our fearless shotblocking team is the Hawks. Nucks are #3 in the blocked shot stat - yes, be ok if they were #15 and we had two more of our players off the fickle faery roster.
The old rivalry is well... old. Like half the players on Chicago. When we face them on Wednesday, with Tanev and Edler out, the Nucks won’t have any players on the ice from the good, old bad days. Hell... won’t have enough players from the old days of early October 2018. It’s a brave new roster juggle for Travis to find the center of.
No matter. We have our new kids and they could make the old Hawks look real old.
Have a terrific Tuesday and don’t forget to vote for more Canucks Wednesday night wins.