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NUCKS WIN! (44 Shots!) Lose Game to SJ 4-1

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Highest shot total of the season - Target Practice!!!

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks
Only tickled the line. Not a Goal.
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

72 shot attempts - 44 shots - 5 Grade A Chances - 1 goal.

What does that mean? It means the Nucks did everything to use this game to prep for the real game on Saturday - the most MUST-win game of the season.

We need to consider this game, not so much as a loss/gain of 2 points, but a full 60 minute simulated NHL game practice session. Conveniently located near Silicon Valley. Not only did the players get some full contact hockey prep, they got the latest beta updates on many of their apps, so they’ll be the cool guys around town again.

And the town to be cool in is Vancouver. On Saturday.

Do we need to recap a practice conclave? No. But...according to silly NHL rules, this practice will go on record as a loss. The 30th of the season for the Nucks. Doesn’t matter. I mean... it matters to the overlords at the {redacted}. They put the loss in their secret {redacted} column in the {redacted} book that has a secret {redacted}.

1st Period

First SJ goal was scored while Tierney sent a centering pass to Boedker while MDZ and Archie were sending mixed signals. Or mixing up signals. Or signally something that even the most discerning Nucks fans can’t understand. (Secret shout-out to Beaker for getting the assist, you traitorous bastard.)

The NM gamethread was a little peeved about something.

Loui and Stecher just let Boedker skate straight into the slot to take that pass for the goal - Gwailoh

To be fair to Loui, he was way out of the play. Searching for alien motivational crystals or an unlikely outlet pass at the blueline. And Stetch did give Boedker a slight push.

So this unhappy series of hockey events led to the first goal of the game. Why, oh why, do the Nucks have to give up the first goal so often? Practice. They’ve practised it a lot this season. And now that practice has become habit.

Now you know why this game practice in San Jose was so useful.

With that not-so-good practice of giving up the first goal off the board, we can move onto the really not-good practice of giving up the 2nd unanswered goal. But, not just yet. Thankfully.

The 1st practice period ends with SJ up 1-0 and 10-9 on shots. Nilly shutout streak ends in a small deficit. But, hey...it’s just practice.

Wasn’t a horrible game practice either - just the 33rd game practice trailing after 1 this season.

2nd Period

Early on there was a scare for Nilly, but Stech scooped the puck off the goal line. And signalled no goal to the locals despite the obnoxious fog horn sounding in the tank - it’s obnoxious because, 1) We invented it and 2) we heard it 4 times too many tonight. After video review, the young Nucks call on the ice stood. Take that refs!

But...at the 5 minute mark, off a..yup...a faceoff, Burns, now playing D rather than as a forward in the first, scores on a slapper from the point. Point made. Hard. Nilly might have been screened, but the burning shot wasn’t. Had eyes only for net.

Down 2-0 just 5 minutes into the second. Why? Because...in case you missed the obviously obtuse intro, this game practice was about practising hard for the real game on Saturday. Practising what? Uh...you know...over coming adversity. And sticking to the game plan.

And practising getting more shots! And shoot they did. Nucks probably, possibly out-played San Jose for the final 40 minutes. Pretty much.

In this period alone, the Nucks put 22 shots on Jones. Their reward for it? No goals, but OCA (Over Coming Adversity) lessons. With the ‘Their Goalie Has Your Number’ addendum.

The Nucks out shot the Sharks 2:1 in the period and yet the Sharks get a goal. Easy for them, tough for us. We like it that way. So easy when you have one of the best, most versatile beards in the game. Not our style.

We want to win clean. Shaven and showered. We want to win while our defence just wants to get to the showers first.

3rd Period

If you remember last night’s foreplay in the back-to-back to schedule, the Nucks were down a goal coming into the 3rd. And unable to score. Tonight, probably due to the extra practice, Nucks were down 2 to start the 3rd.

Unlike last night’s unconsummated 3rd base, the Nucks struck first. Or second. No matter.

The f****** adversity textbook was left open during the intermission. Should have been banned, but anyhow, it was Nilly’s turn. For a softie, or as we will reference in future, if there is one, a Noftie®.

Not all Nilly’s fault, even if it was a stop Westy could have made with the wall of empties in the NM basement gamethread and beer therapy lounge. Brock seems to be showing some fatigue as the season wears us down when 30+ too many games are required. Required to fill the coffers of billionaire vanity team owners who don’t need the money, but have to pretend they do. I digress - NHL regular season length is jarring on even the most game-hardened NM washouts.

Anyhow...Brock lost his guy. Ok, didn’t lose him, just lost interest in checking him. And that guy, takes the puck across the Nucks blueline. Without proper notification to our goalie his intent to shoot from just inside the line - shot the puck. At the net! We’re not ready! The shot zipped by Nilly on the short side. Westy, will say that a 6’ 6” goalie can’t have a short side, but somehow the puck was taller. Or it was just a Noftie®

As I was saying...unlike last game when the Nucks were down a goal and tangled in the golden locks of a tempting tryst, the newly practised-up Canucks would score.

And what a score. The golden autumn hues may not have flattered the Sedinery in the mood-kill lighting at the ROG, tonight it was a Renoit on ice, a Picasso of passing and masterwork of finish. And the only time the Nucks would paint Jones into a the wrong corner of the net.

Enjoy the Hank-Dank-Vank-Dank expressionist outburst on a frozen canvas.

Not only was Dank painting past the goal line he was pounding bodies and not stopping to take names. Danny threw 5 hits to lead all Nucks. Maybe he didn’t get the memo about practice, the Sedin line came to play hard like it was a real regular NHL game.

And that closes the top-corner painting section of the game practice. Jones, just a kid from Vancouver that wears a funny mask for a living, has owned the Nucks in his 9 games of puck-stopping domination. So far.

His record facing the Nucks is...a scary 7-1-1. Under 1.5 GAA .957 SV% - Wow! I mean, Ouch! His SV% in this game was a really disturbing .977, stopping 43 of 44. Sadly, only had to make a few ‘tough’ saves. Chance quality for the Nucks is something they may need to practice more harder. In less than 48 hours.

And because...well..just because he can, Burns sets up the 4th Sharks goal on a slap pass shot to the right of Nilly. And more disturbing, right on the stick of Tierney who taps it in for some mean-spirted reason - Brock arrived too late on his check to find out. The Nucks were already still practising the OCA lesson, no need for a snap quiz now.

Again for the 2nd consecutive period - you asked for consistency, you get it - the Nucks outshot SJ 13-9. They blasted (in the hyped-up sporting sense) 44 shots at Jones. Only that one moment of picturesque Sedinery was artistry sufficient to captivate the Sharks goalie.

Nillsy missed the shutout by some margin. Stopped 26 of 30 for a .867 SV%

The Goldied-up 1st line wasn’t at the top of the good stats list. Brock had an off game - credited with only 1 shot. Ugh. Bo had 6 shots, but was robbed on a couple and didn’t have enough artistic style points on the other. Goldy had 2 shots on goal and according to Cheech was playing well on the first line - which is good. If the first line was playing well. And well...not that good.

Special teams note: The practice featured no goals on the vaunted Sharks power play - despite getting 3 full two minute sessions for them to practice.

In contrast the Nucks didn’t draw any penalties. Until the last 1:26 of the 3rd when the blind-to-Nucks-bleeding refs realised they could manage the game now that it was out of reach. The symbolic Nucks power play didn’t get the ultimate power symbol.

Here’s how the game practice looked on TV. Note: had to skip the practice jerseys due to pressure from network sponsors.

Anyhow let’s not talk about any defensive lapses during the game practice. Let’s run the positives all the way home.

Danny was happy with the practice, maybe not the results.

Yeah! Bring it next game, Dank!

The road game Green room could only be accessed in small phrases on the way to the airport. Travis noted that they:

“played the right way - played well and lost - had a hell of a 2nd period. “

Bo has his eye on the practice prize:

“Learn from it - take positives - and bring them to the game on Saturday.”

And now we know the way to play in San Jose. Lots of shots. Bring that effort + finish and we can all enjoy winning the most important home game of the season.

You know who is coming to town on Saturday. A former arch-rival, but one that is a new rival in the rebuild race. And they’re winning that too. It’s so {redacted} unfair that I can’t type the word {redacted} without {redacted} {redacted} {redacted}!!!! Bastards!

Get ready to rock the ROG. Poke the bear and steal its cup - of porridge.

Have an amazing Friday and a tremendous day after.