What could have been is a question we asked last year. Not this year. Or is it?
Maybe it is. Eastern block road trips in November are not to be played, watched or lost lightly.
What’s worse than playing a game with a Faery-ravaged roster in NY in the afternoon? Two. Playing two games back-2-back in NY. With one goalie.
Not saying tonight’s terrible puck luck was on Marky. No, that was on the puck gods and the NHL. Who demand that the 1st period starts every game. At 4 in the afternoon on a Tuesday!
While it was only a short long ride to Brooklyn, it seemed unfair to start Marky so soon after the last loss. That was the consensus on the gamethread.
Green doesn’t participate in the NM gamethreads. Maybe it’s because he’s knows that we know so much that he’d have nothing more to offer. Or he was busy behind the bench defying our wishes.
Despite the bus-lag, the Nucks started the game pretty well. Especially Leipsic, our nominated Isles-killer. He won the nomination last season and why mess with good mojo. So Leipsic opens the scoring wounds 1st.
1-0 Nucks. On the road. We have the lead! On the road!
There’s nothing better than scoring first on the road and taking a lead.
Ok, there’s a little something. Keeping the lead for more than 3 minutes. That’s good too.
However, giving up the lead on a bad shot is...bad. Because of the soft cushy bus ride or just meeting a secret quota set by the CSD, Marky let in the softest of MarkSoftie™ softies.
He’s not ready to play! He needs a rest! We need Nillie! All valid expressions of gamethread frustration. Kuhnhackl (the ‘h’ is silent, like Marky’s right skate) was getting knocked down by Hutton and slid a harmless ground puck towards the net. Where it softly slid past Marky.
Ugly. Game is tied and we’re wondering if Randy or one of the Bachmans should’ve had the start. Wonder no more.
Throughout this road trip, our relentless road rogues have found a way to bounce back from a little adversity.
What about a lot of adversity? That’s next at the Long Island Ice Tea Party.
Who wouldn’t want to see Tanev score? Me. On his own net. Not a Sbisaian own goal, but worse. Tanev is knocked to the ice in front of the net - shoulda been a penalty - instead, as he gets up, the puck is shot. Into his skate. And into the net. Our net. The net Marky was guarding so well.
Double Ugh. Marky’s SV% is .500. And we’re a 500 team. What’s not to like?
At least we know where we stand. Who we’re facing. And how many teams. The home team in the snazzy new uni and the team wearing the misery of misfortune jersey.
It’s tough to play the 2nd road game in as many nights. Play against two teams is tougher.
But wait. There’s more. Guess who plays for the Isles. Uh-huh. Yeah, Barsale and worse, Eberle the Nuck Net Menace.
Sure, we can blame our D coverage. Or we can say it’s Eberle. I’m going with the later.
Isles have 3 unanswered goals in the 1st. Outshoot the Nucks 12-8.
That’s a big deficit to overcome. Against one well-coached opponent and a sneaky striped one.
At least the Nucks weren’t forced to bag skate during the intermission. Marky might have bag skated his mind during the break. He came out in the 2nd and meant business. The saving business. And made 5 saves in the period.
Single digit shots from the cruising Isles and 11 from the comeback kids means the Nucks outplayed the home team in the period.
And were ‘rewarded’ with a powerplay since the Isles were cruising in numbers around their bench. Were called for too many cruises too.
On the power play, our 1st unit, without Brock didn’t score. Haven’t scored in 19 oppourtunities. However, our 2nd unit is all tuned up and skating and moving the puck around. And scoring! On the powerplay!
It’s Jake with roofer. Woofing it up in the gamethread. Yay! A powerplay goal!
Game is all tied up and we win. How cool is that?
And then the period continued. The Nucks continued to outplay the Isles though most of the period, but weren’t outrewarded like we hoped.
The 2nd ends with the Nucks only down a single goal to the home team. But is a 1 goal lead safe for the home team?
Safe? The refs and more importantly the NHL War Room don’t play a safe and correct game when the Nucks are in the eastern quarter.
Here’s what happened. Kuhnhackl (the 2nd ‘h’ is silent, unlike the screaming in the gamethread), kicked the puck past Marky.
Right away the goal was sent for review. Just for kicks. And the ‘War Room’ kicked it back into the net faster than any goal review in history. Maybe they didn’t have all the camera angles available like we viewers do. Perhaps they didn’t pay their NHL Center Ice subscription. Perhaps they’re just a bunch of Nuck-hating Bettman-licking sycophants. You decide.
Here’s what Green thought of the call.
Even the milk-toast PC Nucks twitter feed played the deadly-Devito meme.
"goal" counts. Should it? Nope. pic.twitter.com/wgT9FZ5PZQ— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 14, 2018
If Danny says no, it’s a hard no.
And now it’s a hard game. Very hard to comeback from a 2 goal deficit, since the Nucks goal quota is already at the limit. Remember last season, when the Nucks couldn’t score more than 2 goals in most games. Don’t remember? Good.
It’s better to look forward to Brock, Sven, Nillie, Sutz, Eddie and Beagle playing for the Nucks than the fluffy nonthreatening Faeries. We knew that this stretch in November would be tough. What we didn’t know was the Fluffy Faery Fever would linger so long. Ok, we did, but try to act surprised.
To add insult to our injured core, and break a Clusterfuk streak, Cal gets a PP tally on Marky from a sick pass from Barzal.
And that makes the final score 5-2 Isles. Just as I predicted in the SPW. And now regret. I’d forgotten what it’s like to lose by 3 goals. It sucks.
We were spoiled in those other ‘close’ losses. Sure, they still sting, but this multi-goal loss hurts more. Why?
Because while the Isles scored 3, the officials scored 2 against us. That stings harder.
And worse, Pete’s point drought streak has e x t e n d e d to 3 games. Three! No points in 3 games. Our sole consolation in this game was that Pete thugged it up with Barzal - pulled him down and wasn’t penalised. Because the War Room had already preemptively penalised us enough.
I hate road trips to NY. There I said it. They’re games that start too early and don’t finish soon enough.
The Isles outshot the Nucks 34-24. And outscored the Nucks 3-2.
Here’s what our 2 point Leip of points had to say.
And some kickback over in the Green room.
Coach Green gives his take on tonight's game, the road trip and the season so far. pic.twitter.com/fVgDhnJqFl— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) November 14, 2018
And that’s that. At least the 10,000 hour road trip is over.
Pretty much. Just have a layover in Minni. Without Brock. Which sucks. For Brock. And us.
At least we’re still
#1 #2 in the Pacific. Can we bump up another position by the weekend? Not that we care about leading the division as much as Petey bumping his slump. Fine. We care about both.
We’ve been spoiled by the great play of this ragtag roster. Probably best to have a small expectation adjustment. Just a small one tho. Don’t be Jackin’ round your Hughes just yet.
The sooner the Nucks get home the better. Road hockey, while entertaining in certain dingy rinks, isn’t as sweet as big wins in the ROG.
Until the weekend, let’s assemble (in an orderly fashion) on Thursday at 5pm PST for a good road win. Want to?