WINNING. That’s a word that we don’t use often enough, especially when we don’t win. Which is too often this season. Coming into this game only the Yotes were below us in the standings. So easy win. Except that these puck hounds have won 3 of their last 5 against real good teams. They even had an unbelievable 2 game win streak this month.
We had one of those too. So...you might say we’re evenly matched. Sort of. But it’s the Yotes and well... if it weren’t for Gary B’s divine interventions we wouldn’t be having this game with the longest money-losing streak franchise in NHL history.
Anyhow, the important thing here is we WON! In the Yotes taxpayer supported rink of endless financial ruin and stubborn NHL sandstorms of bullsandshit.
Some may whine that we’ve hurt our chances at the draft table. And that’s a problem. The draft lotto is based on chances. Our lotto luck chances have historically sucked. A few percent one way or the other and we still pick 5th. If we get the chance.
We could adopt the Oil method, build a losing culture, draft some of the best prospects in the pool season after season and teach them to lose. Season after season.
Better to play hard, win as many meaningless games as possible and then hope to carry that winning attitude into future meaningful games.
And that’s just what the Nucks did tonight. Especially Marky. A freshly rested, goalie-coached-up Marky was sharp all night. We only need 2 or 3 Markys and Softies would be a thing of repressed memory.
Nucks started well. Didn’t give up the first goal in the first minute.
Ok, there was a little scare a few seconds in. A Yotey goal. But was called off because Richardson’s butt was pushing into Marky’s mask. Not just a rude hockey play, a violation of goalie interference policies and public health guidelines.
Fortunately, a NM health and safety approved event was next. The Nucks score the first goal of the game 2 minutes in. On the Power Play! On a set play off the faceoff, Pouliot fakes the goalie, puts the shot wide and Dank is there to tap the puck into the deserted desert net.
1️⃣7️⃣th goal for Daniel Sedin, putting him three away from his 1️⃣1️⃣th career 2️⃣0️⃣-goal season. https://t.co/6I3l2SQDpn— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 26, 2018
Up 1-0 at the start of the game. We win! At least for another 30+ minutes.
The Coyotes outshot the Nucks 14-10, but doesn’t matter because the Marquis is back in net. The Nucks were 1 for 1 on the PP - that’s 100% effective for those who like happily small sample sizes. The Yotes were 0/2 which is 0% effective, but makes the Nucks PK 100% effective and that is a happy happy joy stat after the Avs joyless PP splurge last week.
Nucks scored the only goal of the period. Sure, we’d like to have 4 more, but a lead is a lead in this league. Just have to keep it. How hard is that?
Not hard at all. No knotting it up for the Yotes. Despite having 2 chances on the PP. The slash call on Jake was so weak...that even the refs are consulting the Vogon legalese generator to explain it.
On our PP...well that wonderful 100% stat of the 1st was dropped to the sober 25% range. Still, the Nucks PK was going full out to 100% and beyond. No that’s later. Archie was giving it 110% tho.
Period ends the way it started 1-0 Nucks! Wooo! Thanks to Marky who stopped everything all period. Everything being 13 shots from the Yotes. Kuemper stopped all 10 Nucks shots.
We could have skipped this period. Some on the gamethread did. We won’t name them here, but they are on the NM watch list. Not that anyone watches the watch list.
So with victory assured for another 40 minutes we move on to the...
Leading coming into the third has been a random indicator of Nucks’ winning success. This season’s team hasn’t really scared any other team to give up in the 3rd and run away. Especially these wily Coyotes. They might be on the bottom bunk in the West’s stinky bunkhouse of hockey, but they have played like a middle bunker in the last 5 games.
The Sedins have been setting the league scoring charts on fire this month. No, not with lighter fluid and matches. By putting up points that put them at the top of the chart. Not bad for old guys.
Yes, this is a cheap setup. For Hank running out of gas and taking a cheap hooking penalty around the 8 minute mark. I’m sorry. Hank is too... because...Eddie has some ‘splaining to do to Marky and this is how fake locker room drama is created. With fake speculation and using almost real words.
The 100% perfect PK and Marky’s perfect game had a Special Ed incident. Eddie decides to play goalie. A fun thing to do on the PK, right? Shot blocking. Sure...but how do I explain the part about not blocking your own goalie for the rebound? I can’t.
Who ya gonna call when you need a goal?— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) February 26, 2018
D-man or Goalie. Pick one. Anyhow Eddie served his penance on ice - blocked a shot and left the ice and didn’t return. Ouch!
Game is now tied. The little air left in the gamethread was pushed into the exhale zone with a sigh heard round the screens.
Not to worry. If it’s one thing the Sedins can do, other than thugging it up, is score. Dank has 7 points and Hank has 4 in the last 5.
Brock drifts a soft one towards the goal. Dank makes a tricky tip - the lead and air in the gamethread are restored.
2-1 Canucks. We win! But, wait, we can win more by some more.
In a grand gesture of gamifying game management, the zebras call a penalty on Guds for holding. In reality it was just a clean tough defensive play. But, play the game the refs must - including a linesman throwing a hit on Loui. Just officiating it is too boring.
Anyhow, since the Yotes have scored on the PP they have their pucked up canines chomping for more. Except, we have a very effective PK. Especially with Sutter and Archie together. Are shorties more fun on the road? Or is that quickies? Whatever.
Stech sets up a 2 on 1 and the new big guy delivers his 2nd goal of his really short season.
Archibald! Shorthanded! Seals it? pic.twitter.com/xRdZgmDg9k— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 26, 2018
Wooo! Signed. Sealed. And Delivered. We win!!! It’s another 1 Nucks game winning streak on the books.
The Coyotes pushed back - pretty hard - but since Eddie wasn’t pushing Marky around, no more pucks found Nucks net.
Marky made 41 saves on 42 shots with a gaudy .976 SV% - that’s a really sweet form of gaudy. Nucks had 27 shots and these two low shooting teams combined for 126 shot attempts.
Was it our best game yet? No. We know which game was the best, most important game of the season. But this was a nice opener for the next 3 meetings with the desert dogs before the relentless regular season folds up it’s brutal schedule and kicks back for some tee time.
The Nucks only allowed a couple odd man rushes and Marky didn’t have to renew the Softie insurance for the night.
Here’s a video recap from the rival crew - the NHL.
And from the more fair and balanced Johns.
Danny had 2 goals in the game including the GWG. Talks well enough about playing well enough.
How about Archie? He was taking it one presser at a time.
The Green room was rolled up, thrown on the bus, but did leave us this grain of truth.
“Good players score. He’s a good player.” - Coach Green, on Daniel Sedin’s two goals— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 26, 2018
And Marky, who was the best Nucks player and 2nd star of the game, was all about the desert battling.
“We battled today, we battled hard. The score didn’t reflect the effort, we have some things to clean up, but we’ve been on the other side of games we should have won too.” - Markstrom— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 26, 2018
A victory in the desert is better than a loss. Much better. But we have no time to gloat, glow or savour, we’re getting Rock Mountain high. Nucks play the 2nd of this road B-2-B against the team that turned our perfectly acceptable PK into a spectacle at home.
Feels like some payback is order. Can we get 5 or 6 PP goals in a single game? In a week?
Stay tuned in and tuned-up. Pretend it’s not Monday already and have a tremendous day before Tuesday.