The Nucks are frustrated. The media are frustrated. And the fans are cranky.
Finding new ways to lose. On the way to find almost any way to win.
One way is to add a new player for each
game period. Some say all JB needs to do is trade say... Littlethinger and MDZ and Pouliot. By Thursday would be good.
Failing that, let’s look at giving the young guns another chance at rebuilding our false hope from the pressbox. Where Goldy was viewing the game. It’s not desperate times with desperate measures when you sit your 3rd highest points guy. Worth a try?
Sure, why not. Because the Nucks aren’t playing to win. Just yet. They’re playing to make a team that works hard every game and has a chance to win each one. Pretty much. Then next season - if there is one - this painful rebuilding streak will seem worth it. Just sit back and wait for it.
A one game win streak will happen again. Possibly in the current calendar year. No worries.
It’s new faces in old spaces. Everything is possible. Including the first goal of the game.
On a Sneaky Pete pass, our new guy, Leivo, gets his first goal with a good shot on a shaky Duby. Sweet!
It was good to see the new kid make an impact right away.
It was unfortunate, the Nucks couldn’t make Duby feel more uncomfortable in the ROG. More about that later.
But first. Let’s keep the lead. Or not.
It’s a Wild powerplay. It’s a Nucks PK. Guess what happens. Not a tough guess.
The Nucks PK has not been too good recently. But Beagle is back, PK will be better. Soon. Hopefully by Thursday. Just not tonight. Sorry.
Period ends with the shots tilted to the Wild 7-6. And the game tied 1-1. That’s not so bad. For the road team.
This period started with the Wild keeping the Nucks penned in and taking liberties with the shot clock. Early on GC was reporting that the Wild had 10 shots and the Nucks had none. Of course, GC is run by the NHL who don’t like the Canucks as league policy, so it probably wasn’t that bad. Sportynet was counting 9-1 for the Wild. Yay Canadian media bias!
Coach T. noticed this hemming and penning and felt it was time to unleash the new beast line. The 4th line.
For whatever reason (Beagle) Schaller was playing his best game of the year, although there was no explanation (Beagle is back!) for it. The new improved, for whatever reason, 4th line had some jump and couple of good shifts. And were making Duby nervous about his shaky .825 record.
And for good reason. This new Monster line was hemming and penning the Wild in their discomfort zone. Off a Schaller shot, Motte spins around like he was on skates on ice, defying Duby’s perception of the space/time/ice continuum.
And it’s a goal! It’s the lead! It’s the win!
Stop the game! We’re going home now.
Thanks for reading.
Because... we can’t take anymore penalties. The PK is a work in egress. It’s not going to get better.
But no, Special Ed gets caught taking an interference penalty where he hurt his knee. Nooo! Yesssss! Hurt it so bad he had to go backstage and Virt had to sit in the bin.
But wait! There’s more. Parrise sells the MDZ crosscheck and the refs are eager buyers.
It’s a Wild 5 on 3. And that’s too much wild for our tame PK.
Seconds into the 5 on 3 nightmare it’s over. On a Suter point shot that may or may not have been tipped by Zucker. Do we care? No, no we don’t.
Unless it makes Nillie feel better, then sure.
But, yeah...wait...there’s more. This time five on four.
In a few long excruciating short minutes, the Wild lead 3-2. Their powerplay is going 3 for freaking 3!
“You can’t give up three on the PK. That can’t happen. I’m a big part of the PK and I need to be better. The PK needs to be better.” - Beagle— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) December 5, 2018
And not taking penalties is good way to make the PK better. MDZ took 2 penalties and the Wild took 2 goals. Fair trade? No. This trade didn’t involve JB and Toranna.
And worse...Virt was boarded hard in the last minute of the 2nd and left the game for unboarding. Even worse, that brutal hit put the the Nucks on the powerplay. Double ouch.
And worster-sauce, that’s the game. Sorry.
There’s no easy way to say the game ended in the 2nd, the hard way. On the PK.
Good news for the grim viewers of the league’s leading 3rd Period GA stat. The gap was not extended. Yay!
And even better news, the Nucks didn’t take any penalties in the 3rd - or the refs didn’t want to give any. Except a PP to the Nucks. Because they like to see our Special Teams suffer equally.
The Nucks PK was 0% and the PP was 0 for 3 which makes the success rate, 0%. At least there was exact balance in the Nucks special team division.
Oh well... five on five, the Nucks only gave up 9 good chances, so that’s real good. Even better. They won 2-0 at evens! Skip the ‘special’ parts and this is a proper 5-on-5 win. Yay!
And even better, they didn’t give up or roll over or play disinterested Littlething hockey, so that’s good.
They did push hard for some OT magic. Brock was so close to popping one in the last few seconds. So close.
That’s as close as they’d get.
8 losses in the last 12 losses have been by one goal. One freakin’ goal. One more good bounce and we’d only be feeling bad about losing 11 of 13. That’s a different feeling.
The last home game win was a wild run ‘n gun 7-6 win over the Avs - over a month ago. Tonight’s narrowest of margins loss was a one goal game too, but it’s funny how this one goal loss is not as much fun as that one goal win. That seems so very long ago.
Before this game and during the first Dubnyk hadn’t been playing well. His .825 SV% was something you’d expect to see from a Nucks goalie playing all the road games and B-2-Bs. But, Duby improved throughout the game - ending with a lofty .935% - even stopped a late 3rd Petey sure-thing breakaway shot. Dammit.
Still...it’s nice to know the generous Nucks can help a slumping goalie bust a slump. Some night, it could even be one of their own.
3 goals on 4 shots. That’s the Wild PP stat that stings. Here’s another sting: Nucks PK won 25% of their scary zone PK faceoffs. That’s a scary stat. Paging Manny! Where’s Manny?
How many powerplay goals have the Nucks scored during this homestand? Take your time. It’s a tricky stat. Also bleak and futile. Like the Nucks powerplay which has scored no goals on the powerplay at home since...oh... the exact records don’t go that far back in time.
Let’s focus on the positives and let the new guy, Josh, bask in the gentle glow of the Vancouver hockey media spotlight.
Over in the Green room, there’s no room for excuses, only better executions.
Some in NucksNation want the executions to start with Green go through MDZ and Pouliot and end with Loui. Or is it the other way round? Whatever.
Could Green sit Loui? He was invisible this game on the stat sheet - and on the ice. Does it matter?
Doesn’t matter. This mind-numbing 1 win in 13 games stat is what we expected in the preseason. Then the early season Nucks went all speed killz and won lots of games. Which triggered the fans to wave their cute little false flags of false hope in unwavering support for the young guns fighting (and winning) the grand underdog battle.
First in the division! Third in the league and en route to the SCF by a healthy margin. Then the road Faeries went all IR killz and took all the wins away by a very unhealthy margin. With a decimated roster and brutal travel sched the beautiful blip was flat-lined, side-lined and main-lined into an overdose of losing.
Doesn’t matter. This fresh 4 game home losing streak could take a turn for the worse on Thursday. Smashville is coming to town. They’re a very good win-now, possibly win all the marbles team. The Nucks are a lose-now, win-later team. And that’s ok. It’s just really tough to watch sometimes. Or most of the times.
Oh well... It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s how you play the game that counts. And how the team develops so they can win more than lose, because that’s what counts.
Enjoy your respite from wicked Wednesday weather and brace your thermionic undies for a tumultuous Thursday.