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NUCKS WIN! (JB back) Nilsson Gets SO! Marky Doesn’t - Cats win 4-3

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After the strong start in Dallas, the Nucks change it up with 6 goals exchanged - at a 1:2 rate

NHL: Florida Panthers at Vancouver Canucks
Archie (snow) screens Reimer
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Remember that game last Sunday? Wasn’t that a great game? Yes, it was. In fact, it was so good, let’s recap it again.

Welcome to the 2nd recap of the Nucks stunning stoned-cold ice-stomping of the Stars. The first Canucks shutout in Dallas since 1999. And we’re still partying like it is!

Until tonight. It’s Valentine’s Day...so it’s either a romantic candlelight contact signing dinner with JB or it’s a Valentine’s massacre. Marky and the Nucks made their choice for us.

Which is probably better than staring through the soft flickering flames, looking deep into those big freshly upped eyes. A little awkward, especially for the Brotchiers in NucksNation’s Disgruntled Dining Club.

1st Period

So...it’s an opening period. Again. Wasn’t that first ten minutes in Dallas worthy of a period pass? I believe it was. The NHL doesn’t care what I believe.

So...we’ll let Brock get the first goal of the game - 37 seconds in! Woo! Off a shot from DMZ. But will the NHL? I believe they will.

The NHL doesn’t care what I believe, what I see or who I see seeing it with. It’s obvious that Brock touched the puck if not with his stick, with his winning attitude. And that’s enough for me. Not the National Hockey-Grinch League.

Look Clearly. Clear Contact.

Because the NHL isn’t giving us the Boest goal for Valentine’s, we’re not sharing the vintage cinnamon hearts we found down the back of the chesterfield in the NM recap bunker.

Oh well. At least we have the lead. Early in the first. All we need is for Marky to stretch his 60 minute streak to 67:37 or more. But no.

The Nucks were busy trying to keep Reimer busy, after winning an O-zone faceoff, they lost a little puck battle - one of those little things that Green whines about all the time - what a vibe-killer. The guys just played their best game of the season - a little next game sloppiness isn’t being inconsistent, it’s an indirect extended celebration.

Anyhow... that little Floridian takeaway led to a pass that slipped by a startled Guds and led to a breakaway for Dadonov who skates past former speed puck hound, Eddie, and slips the puck through Marky’s 5-hole. A 5-hole that was wholly without holes last game.

A Softie! Cried the NM gamethread. Medium-soft with a touch of un-puck-luck seasoning.

Tie game. Dammit. 3rd career shutout for Marky is off the over-priced menu under the languid mood lighting in the less amorous ROG.

Still...what about an early Nucks comeback. That’s one of our fav romantic fantasies, right?

Puck romancer and future leader of the free Orca-crested, Bo bolls over the Panthers on the forecheck, sets himself up out front and snaps the puck past a pouty Reimer.

Lead restored! Gloom blooms into hope and the period ends with the Nucks up 2-1. As we know from last game leading after the 1st period is a gold key for unlocking a win.

And the Swamp Cats agree with me - about the key-unlocking metaphor. I believe the period is over. The NHL doesn’t. They have stronger believes than me and the budget to match.

So... against my quixotic game ending vision of Love On the Ice, the battle of hockey hearts continues. With a spoil-the-moment Panther power play goal. It was a flukey, love-hurts, off the hickey shoulder of McGinn deflection. Marky protests to the refs about the unrequited puck luck and possibly about MDZ shoving McGinn into the G-spot deflection-spot for the tally.

Tied. Again. A beautiful rendezvous, so suave in it’s promise of leads fulfilled is tossed aside in a bitter spat of a 5 minute hockey-lover’s quarrel.

Hell hath no fury like a player scorned.

Guds checks the player he was traded for. But, McCann steals the puck from Guds and breaks our hearts. Again. This time with a pass to Petrovic for his first goal of the season. Marky was possibly screened by his Valentine’s defensive dance partners. Or not. Another Softie! Cried the NM gamethread.

Swamp Cats lead 3-2. But wait. There’s more! Not chocolate covered Svenshots tho. Or Vanek-shaped goal mouth puffs. Or even a bouquet of Boucher candy tallies.

No..this was a marshmallow from the point off a faceoff that marshed through Marky like a bittersweet pastry well past its due date. Marky was upset. The ROG felt jilted. The gamethread was drinking. From under the table.

While Vancouver outshot the Bad Cats 16-14 and had the lead twice - in one period - the cruelty of NHL score keeping kept the Cats in the lead. Despite my proposals of hope for hometeam-hearted and heart-broken fans left gazing emptily at the empties in the gamethread, the cold shower of boxscore indifference glared back at us disdainfully.

Marky stopped 10 of 14 shots to finish the period and the game with a .714 SV% - spurned again. Puck love was not his to hold through the night.

2nd Period

Down 4-2 with 2 periods to play.

In romantic comedies, they often have a plot twist that edges towards ruin and despair, yet can turn even the least puck-struck #1 backup goalie into a hero.

Nilsson starts the period and makes the perfect pucker for the next 20 pucks that struck and stayed out of his unseeded net.

With our newly refreshed goal virginity intact, the Nucks pressured the Panthers, romanced the puck and sought the great tieing aphrodisiac of impassioned hockey.

Who better to mount the comeback than our stud of snipers, our Prince Charming of shot seduction, our Boest puck pushing player than Brock.

On a Nucks 5-on-3, Bo wins the draw, Dank kicks it back to our Brockstar who leaves Reimer weak-kneed with his quick release of puckered poetry.

Here it is again, because we need to see it again.

We need to embrace the teasing possibility of courting the tie with attentive caring to details in order to score more.

But, our advances were thwarted and the period ends with an imbalance of goals that spoils the mood, poisons the gamethread with improper innuendos and distractions of Olympic hockey proportions.

The Nucks out-infatuated the Cats 13 to 6 on the shot flower count. Win the period, the damsel of victory’s affections with the only goal of the 2nd.

3rd Period

A fresh period. The top of the third. One smooth stroke of the stick and the rush of redemption will tickle our spines until the secrets of OT are revealed. It’s that close.

How many times this year have the Nucks comeback from a 2nd period deficit, claimed the heart of pucks for their own and embraced the willowy frame of winning?

If you answered two you would be correct and not asked to play spin the bottle of fake stats in the next gamethread, recap or SPW.

The odds aren’t tilted in our favour. A good pushback in the third would seem to require a good number of determined puck placing manoeuvres on the ice. More than 8 figures of offensive shot-speech would be best. Or just MOAR shots!

Our quixotic gang of ice gigolos must press their advance on every breathtaking rush. Not getting reamed by Reimer or being rebuked by Eks and Blads. Nilsson has stopped Ekblad’s sinister shot cold and kept the Nucks in the game of puck pursuit.

It looked so close to a sweet kiss on the lips of a delectable draw. Despite being outshot by the Florida stick-handlers, it seemed the Nucks could push their wanton goal lust into the net of fulfilment.

In a twist that romantic comedies generally avoid, not just because of the blood, but because it looks like a needy insecure clingy sort of move that spoils the game of romance and hockey, the NHL refs shred the rulebook of puck love.

Stetch gets cut by a high stick. Instant 4 minute penalty. We know that. It’s like a league rule. Or is it? All’s fair in love and war. And NHL officiating.

The refs confer that perhaps a Nucks player lifted the Cat-stick and that led to Stetch’s gaping nose wound. So instead of 4 minutes of beguiling power playing, the sentence is halved - 2 minutes for elbowing is the ‘official’ call. Two minutes isn’t quite enough to lure the Cats into the provocative position of giving up a goal against.

No matter. There’s still time for our goal hankering Nucks to satiate the ravishing fan hunger.

We reached a pivotal point of voluptuous possibility, the Nucks kept the exhausted 3rd line of Cats in their tired zone - these defenders of diminishing resolve could only ice the puck repeatedly to fend off our hotshots of profligate puck lust.

On the final icing, the cake was set to be devoured by sticks in hot steamy hands. Hank faced-off with the pretty face of McCann one last time. Youth won over veteran treachery. In response, or because Hank just needed a hug, he took a holding penalty.

And those last moments of close quarters cupidity were spent in futility on the PK stupidly hoping for a quickie, a shortie to satisfy. One last lunge into the chasm of over-timing. Not to be.

The Swamp Cats escape our climatic release of scoring. The Panthers win this Valentine courtship battle and steal away into the night with two points and our former goalie poet.

At least, there was the sweet taste of Calder candy in Brock’s 27th of the season. And 28th.

Here’s the film version of the unrequited win.

In the locker room of hockey love....Stech knows love hurts.

Bo knows the way to win the wiles of winning requires unflinching consistency and better bounces.

Over in the Green room, Travis was seeing a little red in the heart of details.

Oh well...courtship in February in Vancouver is always uncertain. It’s the way the game is played. All to play for or nothing to win. At least JB has won the hearts of his suitors employers for another term of generally managing the prospect picking, player evolving, player swapping and finishing the rebuilding-while-flying.

No time for pining about a jilted game. On the road to San Jose. A back-to-back Thursday and back to the ROG to gird their loins against the crotch-shots of Bahston.

Have a tremendous today, tomorrow and all the days after.