After the disgrace that is NHL self-promotion stunts, led by their commissioner-in-chief, the league seized the Nucks podium to announce that Vancouver gets to host the 2019 Entry Draft in lieu of getting the 1st pick. Is that enough league annoyance for one day? Nope.
Had to make us play the Rags in the ROG. The Rags who are visiting Vancouver to consult with Mr B. on arranging the welcome party for Dahlen in June. That and to play a hockey game with their freshly depleted roster. Any Nucks fan born before 1994 has a deep and abiding disgust for the team led by that bald Doritos salesman.
Still... we get to watch our freshly renewed roster. The new guys impressed. That was very refreshing.
This was a fun game to watch - if you look past the ventilation of backcheckers and goalies. That’s ok, the refreshed Nucks doubled the raggity rags shot count. We outplayed them and won the most important stat of the game, less that other most important stat.
Remember that game when Marky came in refreshed and focused after a little break? Just focus on that for a moment. And while you’re doing that put a little hairy eyeball on starting at home with some jump. And luck.
1:26 into the first the jump, luck and focus went Softie™ for the near instant wraparound deflation of Marky’s mood. Kevin Hayes gets the first goal for NY with accidental assists to Hutton and Hank. It’s that time of the year - they’ll take the points where they can.
No big deal. Down just a goal. For less than a minute.
An unassailed Vesey deflects Pionk’s slapper from the blueline past a seriously miffed Marky. Not really his fault. Not like he has those nano-second Swedish goalie reflexes.
No big deal. Down just two goals. For much more than a minute. That’s good.
But then, Hayes deflects another quick Pionk shot past Marky. Could Eddie have taken some space away from Hayes? Or play an effective goalie-blocking shot blocker? Maybe.
Down 3-0 on 5 shots. Do the math. No do not. Green wasn’t pissed at Marky, but maybe worried Marky was pissed at Marky. Not just because the team pays for those very expensive goalie sticks, Travis decided to take Marky off the ice for a little stick-free reflection.
Nillie comes in to finish the period and the game. And to get the refreshed Nucks back into some captivating comeback hockey.
So...at this point, the Nucks are outshooting the Rags. A lot. But King Henrick is playing out of his fancypants pads. Who have we got that can snipe down the best dressed goalie in the league?
I know. Our own Brockstar. Off a sneaky cross-ice feed from Bo, Brock pops the top off the King’s shutout crown.
The monstrous momentum moves more shots on King H. and finally NY collapse into a penalised bundle of rags.
On the Nucks Power play, Hayes gets a short-handed breakaway and we prepare for the worst, but Nillie does his best poke check and the Nucks counter-counter-attack. Hank gains the zone, saucers a pass to Danny to tee up the shot off Lundqvist pads and Bo pounces on the rebound to score on the seemingly unbeatable King of net-minding.
Woo! Only down by 1 at the end of the period. A period that saw the Nucks put 17 shots on goal, very few weak ones vs the 7 the Rags put on Marky. And Nillie.
There will be no blowouts tonight. Maybe some barn-burning, but the crowd are enjoying the prospect of fireworking puck-searing hockey.
The comeback is complete. Less a little Sedinery. After an icing, Goldy makes a nice play to chip the puck up to Dank who passes over to Hank as he arrives off the bench. Hank tries to pass to it to a pinching DMZ, but goes off a NY player and right to Dank who slaps home his 20th of the season past an own-screened Lindquist.
Wow! Dank is playing like he’s 27, not 37.
He’s really enjoying this season. What seems to me, the Sedins final season. Hank doesn’t seem to be enjoying the game as much as Dank. I’m not saying they’re going to retire, but wouldn’t be surprised if they did, because Dank has been playing like every mean-nothing game means something very special.
While that possibility may get the youthy-goosies plumage popping, not sure where the Nucks will find that sort of point production next season if our Twin Towers retire.
Anyhow...not my point. Although after the bad turnover by Hank at the NY blueline he may have wished he’d retired yesterday. Namestnikov steals the puck from a disgruntled old guy and skates in on a not-quite-ready-for-it young goalie. Puck zips in 5-hole and the lead is restored for the wrong team. No, I’m not having ‘94 flashbacks. I’m not! Shutup!
Period ends with shots 18-10 for the Nucks who have out-played, out-pressured and out-shot the rickety Rags. If not for the King of Saves, might have been 6-3 by the end of the period.
But, it wasn’t. And that’s the way schmuckery puckery can make the barn burn funny.
Let’s get this comeback party started on the fast and loose ice. Not many games where the Nucks have comeback in the third. But not many games where they have 35 shots on goal coming into the 3rd either.
While the Nucks just keep on outshooting the Rangers, that Puck King keeps on stopping. Then when it was getting tense, the Nucks get a power play - for the Rags. Eeeek!
New kid on the team, former Vegas Puck Shark, Leipsic gets called for slashing - as we will come to know as stick-enhanced pestering. All in good fun. Until refs spoil the pestering.
But, on this night of burnt barn bits, the Nucks’ PK is looking hot - Nillie makes some great stops and the new kid Motte gets his PK juice going - steals the puck and keeps it and loses it and steals it back - frustrating the NY power players. That’s fun to see.
5-on-5 service is resumed and the comeback is in full swing to the fences. Swinging so hard the Nucks draw a penalty. Playing so hard on the power play they draw another penalty.
It’s 5-on-3 power. We know that can be really good. Except it’s more like 5-on-4 since the King is making amazing stop after scintillating save. Bastard. Why couldn’t we play their backup’s backup goalie?
But, just as both penalties expire, Goldy gets his good snipe on. From Leipsic’s sneaky fake shot that fakes out Lundqvist that becomes a sneaky cross ice pass to Goldy. Which becomes a Golden Goal on the four hundredth and twenty-seventh Nucks shot of the game.
The King is toppled! Game is tied! We win! ROG is rocking. The Nucks pressure will triumph on this night. We know it. No goalie can withstand 44 shots (and counting) and win. Not possible.
What is possible though is for one of the Canucks’ backup goalies to face 20 something shots and lose. No! Tell me it’s not possible. It’s not possible.
As good as Goldy was playing tonight, a few minutes after scoring the tieing goal, he makes a bad play at center ice, loses his check and NucksNation lose their mind, their shit, their mindshit.
Zibanejad breaks in on Nillie and using the puckistic powers of the long cross crease fake pulls Nilsson out of position and snaps the puck into the net.
Rags lead 5-4 with 5 mins to go. But that’s plenty of time for the 2nd tieing goal of the game, right?
We’re going to Empty Net Theater in the ROG. Seems only fitting since Marky was pulled in the first that Nillie gets pulled in the 3rd. The difference is that Nillie was replaced by an extra attacker. Extra attacker. How many times have the Nucks been successful with the 6-on-5 strategy this season?
We know for sure it worked once. More than that is urban legend.
No matter. We have some new kids on the ice block. And even better, so is Brock’s wrister. With some great down low work from Leipsic and Bo, Brock gets the puck on his stick for a moment. One of those NY-minute moments where everything goes so fast. Like a puck zinging by the King.
The ROG is all tied up with excitement with 46 seconds to go. And so is the game. Again.
Ignore the lost in OT thingie. Nucks outshot NY 2 to 1. That’s all you need to know.
We won a point!!! The comeback was fast, exciting and could have had a slightly happier ending, but we’re taking that point down to the NHL 18 store and splurging!
Here’s some video to highlight the night.
The Nucks had 81 shot attempts and 55 shots on King Henrik. It was Lundqvist’s 1st career game won when allowing 5 or more goals. His SV% was .909 - not that gaudy, but stopping 50 of 55 shots is close to Hawaiian shirts and shoes. Not that he’d wear them.
The Goalie King, since he was beaten twice by our Brockstar said this about our Boest sniper:
“He’s a great player - hard to stop”
Nilsson stopped 19 of 22 for a .864 SV% - not a great stat, but better than Marky’s final number which is
Lots of action in a meaningless game may give meaning to a possible future with more meaningful outcomes.
Bo breaks it down for us. As usual Bo was a beast - 6 shots, a goal and 2 assists.
“Our energy, our puck management and our forecheck were excellent tonight. We put a lot of pucks on net, but we had too many defensive breakdowns.” - Horvat— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 1, 2018
The Mottely Crew (is that a nickname or a weird band from a previous century?) enjoyed getting some burning barn action.
“Tug-of-war game. Don’t see that much anymore. It was fun to play in a game like that, better if we would have finished with a win.” - Motte— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 1, 2018
Our sniper king liked the new guy energy. Brock had 6 shots and 2 goals. His line combined for 18 shots.
And our new pestering-force was thrilled to be playing with B & B. Brendan had a team high 7 shots and 2 assists in his debut. Nice way to take advantage.
Over in the Green room, the mood was 55 times better than last game.
Coach Green liked his team's resolve, despite the outcome. pic.twitter.com/QyW6TeHtOC— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 1, 2018
Now that the exciting game of this homestand is over and we are still twitching from gamethread mania, we have to refocus for something far more serious.
Not really serious for us. But a serious Cup contender team is coming to the ROG on Friday to make road predation as ominous as it is in Smashville.
Can we make them pay for their voracious ambition to share the top of the west with Vegas? Sure. Just need to keep King Henrik in town and our net for an extra 3 periods.
Will Marky shakeoff the shakiness from the pull? Will Nillie get the start? Will this recap end soon? Yes, it will.
Have a thirsty Thursday and a tremendous day after.