Anti-climatic. It’s a word used to fend off climatic change.
And describes the hockey game that follows after the best game of the year. Sure, professional hockey players will profess to giving 110% every game - consistently. However, giving 110% and receiving 150% return on the giving investment is often more consistently erratic than the pre-game advertising.
The Nucks poked, pushed, pounded the Boo-urns 6-1 on Saturday. That win featured a perfect PK against 5 boo-vantages.
Tonight the PK was a billowing smokescreen of climatic destruction - tire-fire style. The flame-free Nucks PK in the past 15 games was running at 96.5% - in this game the PK was engulfed in a burning ring of ice fire at 16.7% effectiveness.
The Avs got 5 PP goals on 6 shots. Tyson Barrie set an Avs team record for a D-man with 5 points. He was in on every Avs goal. And all the Avs’ goals were on...uh-huh.. the powerplay - that’s Island power. It makes no sense.
Let’s see how little sense we can make using words that we make up as we go along.
Nothing happened. We can skip ahead when ALL the Nucks goals were scored. Ok. Fine. The Canucks didn’t have a good start. More of the normal sluggish home start. So...a good start. Avs hemmed them in at times, but Nilly was perfect facing 12 shots - 8 of them before the Nucks could get a single one in return. The Avs goalie was also perfect with 9 saves.
34 seconds in the flood gates are cracked open by the quick stick of Archie. The quick stick on the ice in the right spot.
Then the Avs get one of their 6 power plays and Jost redirects an Island Boy shot from the point.
Tied 1-1. No matter. At least for now. Lots of teams get power play goals in this league.
Not so much the Canucks. To get a powerplay goal, must first get on the powerplay...
And then it happens. Something we haven’t seen in 6 periods of Canucks hockey - a power play! And a power play with a goal! A Goldy goal! Wooo!
Back in front. 2-1 Nucks. What post-great-game hangover?
Less than a minute later, the Avs’ net puckers from a shot of Sutter - his first goal in over a month. An assist from Goldy gives him a 2 point night.
Boom! Nucks leading 3-1. What post-great-game hangover?
And two minutes later, Brock feeds Bo. Actually he meant to feed Sven, but Sven was distracted by his stick being lifted, but not Bo, he let go with a shot for the uber-can’t-lose lead.
4-1 Nucks. What post-great-game hangover?
And then the hangover seemed to hit MDZ as he took a minor cross-checking infraction - needed a nice 2 minute recoup time out. He didn’t get it.
16 seconds after Vancouver won the PP faceoff, but couldn’t clear, Rantanen gets a pass at the circle from...uh-huh, Tyson Barrie. RanMan wires a shot over the glove of Nilly.
4-2 Nucks. That’s not a hangover...it’s just the second something something from the league’s worst road powerplay.
And less than two minutes later...Vanek took a retaliation penalty after getting hacked and slashed and not drawing a penalty. Frustration? Sure. Smart vet move? Meh.
Guess what happens next...uh-huh. Another Avs power play goal, featuring a great MacKinnon pass to the side of the net, where Gabriel Landeskog gets the tap in. With another assist to...Island Boy! Wish he was OUR Island boy.
4-3 Lead. What post-great-game hangover? It’s a twin-temple 3 alarm full frontal head banging, stomach churning why-is-the-ice-spinning-so-fast great-game-hangover.
WTH just happened?
Our champions of consistent inconsistency have resumed the great up down puck cycle game.
The period ends tied 10-10 in shots. The Nucks have the lead. A lead the Saturday Night Canucks could keep on a whim. These are the Tuesday Night Nucks. Different night, different team.
How many games have the Nucks lost when leading into the 3rd? It’s a negative stat, so let me just put it this way; too many. Or 6 including tonight. Really good teams don’t let that happen. But, we know where we are on the really good to not that good scale - no need to pull out the standings micrometer.
Turning a 3 goal lead into a 1 goal ankle-biter wasn’t all the Canucks’ fault. We can blame the refs - but that gets boring, game after game. The near legend Nucks PK had a legendary fall from grace into a steaming pit of abysmal.
No matter. Still have the lead. Just have to come out hard and push the Avs into taking penalties. Or giving up goals. For the later to work, need to put lots of shots on goal. More than 4. Lots more.
Instead...using the still-to-be-proven sit back and nurse the lead strategy, the Nucks were outshot 10-4. But the Avs only needed one shot to puncture a hole in the ROG and let the gasps out.
Poor Jake takes a bad penalty at a bad time on a bad call. Called for hooking. Because we already know that not-our-Island-Boy Barrie is on the way to the record books, takes advantage of an awkward Stech fly-by in front of Nilly. Barrie releases a blast that beats the flown-past Nilsson.
Since the Nucks are now playing for the tie. They survive and win it. Yay. Meh. Blow a 3 goal lead and now have to play 3-on-3 against the best 1st line in the game - at least tonight it is.
It looked that maybe possibly just a little Brockstar luck might rub the twine. But no, having been slashed (without penalty) earlier, Brock was playing through some pain and his timing and shot were just a little off.
And then as if some internet-owning maven named Westy had written it, another vet takes another penalty. This time Dank gets the hook for the hook.
And like the record-book writers in the Rocky Mtns will write, Tyson Barrie, our Island Boy Traitor (his 5th point of the game) passes the puck to McKinnon who gets his first ever goal against the Nucks. And the GWG.
And that’s how the boo-urn beating Nucks turned into the unable to keep the lead Nucks.
Enjoy the 1.5 periods.
The Nucks took more shots in OT than in the 3rd period. Makes you wonder...but don’t wonder too far, remember this game is not that important.
In two weeks we won’t even remember it. But we, our children and their grand children will always remember the glorious win on the best Saturday Night game of the century. So far.
Nilly stopped all the 5-on-5 shots he faced. It’s just that on the PK, he wasn’t the Canucks best penalty killer. To be fair there was no best Canucks best penalty killer.
The Nucks were 1 for 3 on the powerplay. Better stat the other ‘special’ team. The Avs had 6 PP chances...5 with more certainty than chance.
Colorado outshot Vancouver 34-28. Not a big tilt. But this is...
The Avs scored 5 PP goals on just 6 shots. 5 Goals - 6 Shots!!! WTH?!!
All from 5 guys. The Avs’ first line really is their first line.
One-liners can sting.
Guds was on the ice for 4 of 5 goals scored against. Didn’t get the new contract as a PK specialist it seems.... but...the big, bruising shutdown defenceman was shutdown on the stats sheet. Also stung with 4 PP GAA was Sutter, Edler and Archie. Stech, MDZ, Loui and Dowd were on the PK for one goal against.
Blowup the PK? Nah...they did that themselves already tonight. Just get the guys from Saturday’s PK back in the line up and it will be fine.
Not many Nucks available to face the WTH happened questions...but Sutter was.
"That's definitely too many...but we can't make any excuses - we just have to be better on them." - Sutter on penalty kill woes. pic.twitter.com/22fwEmCANk— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 21, 2018
Over in the Green room, what would seem a coach’s nightmare presser didn’t even get to the REM period.
Coach Green talks about the positives and negatives after a tough loss to the Avalanche. pic.twitter.com/uDnLhDr45J— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 21, 2018
Anyhow, who cares about this game? Can’t see the show of hands from here. We fans are still basking in the glow of winning the most important game of the year. The Nucks will have to shake-off the stench off losing a not that important game. Maybe on the road.
So...what’s next? Vegas, baby! We’re going to sin city for some recreational hockey in the desert on Friday night. Whatever happens, doesn’t count - it just stays there in the Stolen Knights rink of bright lights and big fake league standings.
Have a humpty dump day and a tremendous day after the day after.