It’s the 2nd game of a back-to-back. At home, sure, but still...we need to keep our expectations in check, despite the fan fiction speculators in the SPW.
Beating the Flyers 5-1 last night while not playing their best game was good. Playing much better and beating the Oilers was much more satisfying.
There was media hype of McD vs EP and while McD is always a force of unnatural skating to deal with, it was EP who won the hyperspace battle of the laser shot.
NOTE: In this recap, the claim will be made that the Nucks PP scored 3 goals. You might not believe it. I watched all 3 and still don’t quite believe it.
Doesn’t matter. This was a new and improved way to win a game... score 3 powerplay goals!
Intense. This period was fast and... intense. And the scoreboard showed it. Just not yet.
The Oil were putting pressure on. The Nucks were pressuring back. Marky was perfect on 10 shots and the Nucks 8 shots were stopped too.
Some were saying we were getting lured into Hitchcock low event hockey theatre. They forgot there’s a full 3 acts in live hockey theatre.
The intensity goes up another notch.
There’s a little scramble play in the Nucks end. Pete gets in on the scramble and not the nifty breakout pass he was looking for. And Khaira found Nuge for the snappy first goal of the game.
Pete was angry with himself about that rare defensive glitch. It was his last of the night.
Oil are boasting (a little too much) a one goal lead. With the apparent momentum probably slipping sliding away from the Nucks, they wouldn’t want to give the Oil a powerplay.
Except high risk, high reward, Eddie. Who took a possible career-ending penalty - high-sticked the boss’s nephew - in the o-zone. Uh-oh. Fortunately, Benning wasn’t bleeding, so it was only a two minute career altering penalty.
Even better, the Nucks PK stopped the league’s mid-level PP cold.
After the PK, the Nucks started to gain momentum - Pete made a key clearing pass and the Nucks turned up the hot shot heat. Keeping the heat on the Oil D in their own Oily end.
Just when we thought the 5-on-5 Nucks might even the score, they draw a momentum killer. A penalty.
It’s a Nucks Power Play! Gasps all around the game thread. If the Oil kill it off and why wouldn’t they, they killed the first one in the first, they could take control of the game.
To avoid that, the Nucks 1st unit did something different. They scored a power play goal! Not making it up. With a cool behind the net setup.
Pete passes down to Bo and he sends it over to Brock, who puts the puck in the middle of main street and Eddie rolls in with a slapshot through Koskinen.
Pete gets the official unofficial 3rd assist, so his point streak is safe.
It’s all tied 1-1. The Nucks powerplay is batting .500, going 1 for 2. Amazing, I know. Especially considering how pathetic their zone entries were. If you didn’t see it live, you don’t want to see it again.
Despite the tie, the Nucks want more and keep the Oil hemmed in their end. Gravel just wants to reduce the pressure and clear the puck out of the zone, and Motte’s stick helps Gravel’s stick lift the puck over the glass. Uh-oh.
Auto-penalty. And another Nucks power play. This can’t be good. For the Canucks.
The poor zone entry was reaching almost comical levels - wasn’t that funny at the time. After getting the puck for the zillioneth time in his own end, with less than a minute left on the PP, Marky launches a long pass to Hutton.
Hutton sends a cross-ice feed to Brock who skates into the zone. Yay! Clean zone entry. And fires a wrister on net. Koskinen has got it. Or does he? No, he doesn’t. It’s another power play goal! Yay!
It’s not a classic power play setup goal, but still counts as a goal and the Nucks have the lead. And Marky with an assist. How cool is that? In a terrible zone entry sort of way.
It’s 2-1 in the 2nd. Nucks are playing faster and harder than the Oil who looked more like the tired team that played just last night.
They outshoot Edmonton 15 to 4. I’m not making it up. Score 2 power play goals in one game, for only the 5th time this season.
The Nucks have this game in the bag, the Oil on the oil-stained ropes. All they have to do is stop the game now - because 2nd periods are the Canucks best periods this season - 3rd periods... not so much.
You knew it. A third period one goal lead to cling to. For the team with the league lead in 3rd period Goals Against. Would they extend that lead?
Yup. But not until really late in the period.
Before that, why not pad the game lead first. With, I know it sounds ridiculous, another power play goal. Even more ridiculous, it was another over the glass penalty for Edmonton.
This was a great setup, finally, for a classic power play goal. Not that we’re that familiar with the concept. Or execution.
Beautiful puck movement and a wicked beautifully accurate Pete snipe. Koskinen is set and ready for the shot. Not the shot he was looking for.
In previous Nucks power plays, seemed like there were two defenders on Pete almost all the time. For good reason.
When was the last time this season the Canucks scored THREE power play goals in a single game? Take your time. I’ll wait here...
October something? Nope. November? Ha!
It’s a trick question. The power play has not scored 3 goals in a game this season. Last time the Nucks PP scored 3 was back in March of last season.
After the game they lost, Hank said:
You score three on the power play and you should win in this league. It’s tough to lose again in the third. That’s the difference between teams that are in the playoffs and teams that are outside
This time, score 3 on the PP, win the game is correct. Calm down. We’re still on the outside.
Sure, the Oils pressed hard in the last 5 minutes and McD was un-tugged, uncorked and out-skated Pete and Eddie and threw a pass out front for Chiasson who beat Marky.
The Canucks faced a well-Oiled onslaught with Koskinen on the bench. It’s like a Nucks PK, a Nucks PK that had been very good on their blueline. The trend continued.
You could feel it building in the ROG. The empty net. Attracting the empty net goal.
Who better, than the anti-McD weapon, Bo with a bouncing, bounding puck empty-netter.
It’s 4-2 Canucks with a minute to go. And the minute went. And it’s still 4-2 Nucks!
Woooo! We win against the highly skilled, winner of 8 games straight, Oilers.
Enjoy these high speed video highlights of this high speed game.
Thanks to great, no really, great defensive play, Marky has won 5 in a row. The first time in his career. The Canucks blocked 22 shots. And Marky only faced 22 shots to get his .909 SV%. The not-that-courageous, Oil, only blocked 4 shots. Wimps.
Canucks outshoot Edmonton 33-22. Nucks owned the 2nd period. And pretty much had a rent-controlled 3rd.
Brock had a goal and two apples. He’s back on form - got his own points streak strutting.
Eddie was a minute monster, had 2 points.
While Pouliot launched passes into places where passes aren’t ever meant to go, he was even on the night.
Stech was playing great - doing the little things - blocking fire alarm passes and dekeing Looch freight train hits. Even out positioned McD on a key play.
Guds was back - making big hits and was force on the ice even if he was burned on the two Oil goals.
Tanev was the shot block champ with 4 and was skating smooth and making the calm plays during the stormy Oil moments.
With the GWG, Pete kept his amazing streak shining through seven games.
It also ends up being the winner, already tying him (with Patrik Sundstrom from 1982-83) for the 2nd most game winning goals in a season by a @Canucks rookie (5. Most: 6- Pavel Bure, 1991-92) https://t.co/BmxXV76yqC— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) December 17, 2018
Roussel got a point and made some good points.
“That was fun. Everybody stepped up big. Marky made the saves and Petey, Bo and Brock were great. Plus we shut down one of the best players in the game.” - @Rous_ant— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 17, 2018
Hear the Brocket fuel that powered the first star of the game.
Bo knows probably not getting a Xmas card from Hitch or Connor. Oh well.
According to Hitchcock’s storyboard it was a tug-of-war on McD, not a high speed, high skill, close checking game. Hitch is a master politician - coaching the refs is part of the job.
Over in the Green room the compete level was high as well as praise for the officials.
The best game of the year? Sure, let’s say it is. Or was it the 7-6 blast over the Avs? Or Pete’s 5 point feat in the win over the Blues?
Let’s settle it. Democratically - Internet Poll Style
Canucks Best Game of the Year (so far)
This poll is closed
4-2 WIN Over Oilers
6-1 WIN Over the Blues
7-6 WIN Over the Avs
None of the above. If you don’t know by now, I’m not telling
Much better team effort from the shutdown top line of Bo, Roussel and Loui, to extra-shutdown line of Beagle, Granny and Motte. (Motte was killed on a Louch hit in the 2nd - but was resurrected).
Stats? They look pretty good.
|#||Forwards||GP||G||A||P||P||+/-||S||PIM||PIM||SOG||HITS||BLKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||TOI||PP TOI||SH TOI||PP||GW|
|#||Defense||GP||G||A||P||P||+/-||S||PIM||PIM||SOG||HITS||BLKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||TOI||PP TOI||SH TOI||PP||GW|
This was a game that really did live up to the pre-game hype. For Nucks fans. Shutting down McD is tough. Really tough. So it was two victories in one. A win. Which is the best kind of victory. And keeping McD to a single assist.
Oh wait. It was three victories in one. THREE power play goals in one game. So much winning!
This winning streak for whatever reason, feels much better than last month’s losing streak. I know, it’s how you play the game that counts. When the Nucks played well last month, they lost. This month, they play well and they win. So, the lesson is... winning streaks still feel better.
It’s a 5 game winning streak (skipping the Cashville OT loss for storyline completeness). There’s only one little Lightening event that could keep the streak from screaming to six. T-Bay, the league’s leading team, is in the ROG on Tuesday.
Sure, it will be even tougher to beat them than the Oil, but remember, we’ve already beat them once this season. So, it’s possible to beat Lightening in a bottle hockey game twice.
We’ll find out soon enough. Maybe too soon. Savour the moment. This was, as they say in the NHL Dept. of Cliches, a huge character win - a strong team win. And everyone gave 110% and left nothing on the ice, but blood, sweat and cheers.
“Fun game to play. “ - Elias Pettersson
And a really fun game to watch.
Have a moderately fun Monday and a terrific Tuesday.