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RECAP: NUCKS Win Nothing. Stoned by NJ 4-0

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That’s why they call them mourning games.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at New Jersey Devils
Nillie Makes A Save. One of not many.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

2 game road win streak was so great that NM was in a fashion dilemma about playoff apparel. Something must be done to stop the exploitation of naive Nucks fans by profiteering NM clothing suppliers.

What’s the best way to stop a Nucks win streak? Change the D? Or change the goalie?

Since Nillie hadn’t played since the last loss, this morning practice in front of a live red audience seemed a good chance for streak-stopping, rather than puck-stopping.

With all the enthusiasm of a pre-post-during-hangover hangover, NM was ready to sleep through this 10 AM PST start. That would have been the best choice for the Nucks roster too.

As you know, morning games in the eastern provinces are a mourning concern this season. Not enough to cry about, but it is painful enough that it would save some wear and tears by just forfeiting and getting more rest. That would be the wise play.

Wisdom and pro hockey rarely mix, so the inevitable loss must be played out in front of obnoxious homers of the eastern block.

1st Period

Nothing to report on the Nucks scoresheet side of the bleary-eyed ice.

Yes, Nillie gets to test the rust early. And later, often.

While Vancouver out shot the little morning Devils 12-7, NJ outscored the Nucks 2-0. A 5-on-5 and a PP goal for the home red and noxious. When the Canucks PK goes 0% on its first kill, it’s not a good road game strategy.

We can complain about Nillie, but really...the Nucks were not too sharp in their own end. Let’s complain about Nillie later.

2nd Period

Nothing to report on the Nucks scoresheet side of the smeary-eyed ice.

Fortunately, nothing to report on the Jersey shores score either. So, a bleak as this game is looking, this is as good as it gets for the Nucks.

The Nucks are still out shooting NJ 9-6, so all hope is not lost. We’ll lose that later.

3rd Period

The good road strategy is in taters and it’s barely lunch time. Only thing left to do is...extend our league dominance in 3rd period Goals Against.

Let’s complain about Nillie now. The two Johns are. In a cruel, but clever twist of the Nucks 2nd PP unit, Granny takes a penalty rather than take the shortie against.

Decent, if sad, strategy. Until NJ scores on their PP when the 4-on-4 expires.

It’s now 3-0 nothing and all hope is truly lost. Blackwood is in our mood and playing lights out in the Devils net.

Only thing left to do is...give up and let the 3rd period GA lead get a boost. NJ obliges with another soft(ish) goal on Nillie and the rout is complete with the Nucks getting outshot 10-4 in the final frame of pre-post-hangover hockey.

Final is 4-0 for the Devils. Ugh.

Ugh. On many many levels, because Bo’s pointless streak is extended, Pete and Brock’s point streak is broken, Goldy’s play looks to be regressing, our normal semi-reliable top D pair were -2 and on and so on.

Let’s watch the vid recap and then celebrate like it’s 2019

Let’s a have quick look at the grim stats...

(SPOILER ALERT: OUR PP SUX)

SOG FO% PP PIM HITS BLKS GVA
Canucks
VAN
25 51% 0/4 16 18 8 3
Devils
NJD
23 49% 2/3 8 32 18 11

And while we’re looking at the goose eggs all over the bad road game ice, let’s lob a couple into the player’s court.

# Forwards GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
6 B. Boeser 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 19:48 4:34 --:-- 0
17 J. Leivo 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 4 1 0 0 0 14:54 2:58 --:-- 0
18 J. Virtanen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 14:52 --:-- --:-- 0
21 L. Eriksson 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 17:00 2:58 1:56 0
26 A. Roussel 0 0 0 0 0 2 12 2 0 0 0 0 12:18 0:16 0:57 0
40 E. Pettersson 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 1 1 0 1 54 18:55 4:34 --:-- 0
47 S. Baertschi 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 15:18 4:18 --:-- 0
53 B. Horvat 0 0 0 0 -1 4 2 4 0 1 0 0 50 18:10 4:18 --:-- 0
60 M. Granlund 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 50 13:20 2:58 1:10 0
64 T. Motte 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 11:29 --:-- 1:24 0
77 N. Goldobin 0 0 0 0 -2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 12:48 2:58 --:-- 0
83 J. Beagle 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 50 13:46 --:-- 3:33 0
# Defense GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
5 D. Pouliot 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 16:13 --:-- --:-- 0
8 C. Tanev 0 0 0 0 -2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 19:16 --:-- 3:03 0
23 A. Edler 0 0 0 0 -2 3 0 3 4 2 0 0 22:20 4:34 3:03 0
27 B. Hutton 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 1 0 0 20:15 3:14 1:27 0
44 E. Gudbranson 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 1 0 15:49 --:-- 1:27 0
51 T. Stecher 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 18:38 --:-- --:-- 0
# Goalies GP REC GA SV SA S EV PP SH SAVE-SHOTS SV% PIM TOI GAA
31 A. Nilsson -- 19 23 14–16 3–5 2–2 19–23 .826 0 60:00

Nillie hasn’t won a game since early December November October. His personal losing streak is at the magic 5 6 mark.

At least we have Marky. Clark has helped Marky improve this season - not so much for the other ‘starter’. Nillie’s confidence is a place where no confidence would look bright and optimistic.

It’s a good thing hockey is a team game. And a team game that’s best played at night. When the team is ready to play.

Where do we point the special barbs? Bo points at the special teams.

In a pointed statement about morning people vs night cats...we get a special glimpse into the early light of the special Green team road room.

Special teams made the difference between a 4-0 loss or a 4-2 loss or a 2-0 loss. Morning games are a loss-leader - that much is certain. Another advantage for the eastern block - time zone management.

Oh well. The good news about this ice-cold game is that we’re back to 500 hockey, which is a nice safe place this time of year. Or so the stoics at NM Hardy Central tell us in bland monotones.

Sure, it would have been more fun to end 2018 with a win. The good news is 2018 is almost over. The Nucks can open the 2019 segment of the season with a win against a proper Canadian team - one having a much worse season than us.

On Wednesday, the (-9 DIFF) Nucks take on (-30 DIFF) Sens. That’s sounds fair. Although it is an afternoon game, 4PM PST, it’s still better than a mourning game. Let’s help the sad Sens make it a -38 Goal Diff by dinner time on the wet coast.

Until next week year, have a safe and very happy New Year, NM.