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NUCKS WIN! (2 Goals!) Lose 5-2 to the Wild

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A better effort with a worse result?

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Vancouver Canucks
All The Hitting All The Time
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Well...that went well. At least it was more fun to watch than the previous game, which...I’ve forgotten about already.

Sure, the Wild are a better team than the current IR faeriefied Nucks, but at least the Nucks made a game out of this game - until the last minute when their record of giving up 16 goals in the last minute of the game this season is a near record. But, there’s still more games to play...

And in this game, Green was pre-mixing the lineup - Goldy and Hutton were out and Dowd and Bulldog were in. Would that be enough to put the compete level on stun?

1st Period

What makes this game so much better was the Nucks getting the first goal of the game first minute in. Bo makes a great play from the boards - puts a puck right on the stick of a streaking-in DMZ.

DMZ puts a shot on Dooby. Rebound comes out behind the net where DMZ scoops it up for the wraparound, just as he planned it.

1-0 Nucks. Thanks to the Canucks leading D goal scorer. MDZ has 6 goals on the season - matching the Wild’s Suter who has 6 too. MDZ’s 13 assists match Suter’s 41 points if you reverse the digits on the Suter side. At least Hank as as many assists as that old, stale defenceman.

Leading after one means the Nucks chance of winning the game jumps into the winning percentage range. Haven’t lost a game in reg when leading after 1.

What makes that stat so sad is that a minute after leading the game, the game was tied. Parise puts a bad angle shot over Nillie’s slumping shoulder for the Noftie®.

The NM gamethread was in a slouching fit of goalie-couch-coaching...

Up high over Nilsson - stupid words to hear when you have a 6’6 goalie

it should have rolled on top of the net if he was standing tall enough

- Westy

And the new goalie holding-the-post pose terms.

Drunken Master

Puking style.

It’s all in the hunching of the back and shoulders

- Gwailoh

Anyhow...as much as we want to blame the weird crouching goalie techniques, it’s a team game - a team that was playing a better team. So, there’s that.

Nucks kept pace on the shot count with 11 vs. Wild’s 14.

Period ends with the game still tied 1-1. Sorry. Even get a fake photoshop Nucks’ goal couldn’t build much false hope.

We’re missing our 30 goal guy. Brock got 30 before the Faeries took him. The NHL cheated him out of a goal, because...[redacted]

And the [redacted] conspiracy wouldn’t be complete without the refs overturning a good Nucks goal. Refs claim Gags kicked the puck through Dooby - it deflected off the shinpad of Gags and in. Whatever. It’s not like we need to have the lead going into the 2nd.

Ok...here’s something - the non-goal, evaporating puck save by Nillie.

Who says the Nucks don’t ever get any puck luck?

2nd Period

The better team was out-playing the less better team. Nillie made a good save on Cullen and then at 2:46 in, 41 year old Cullen shows up again on Nillie’s crease stop, dekes and scores on the backhand. 41 years old. We need to tell Minni about how getting younger is the key to success.

2-1 Wild.

At 7 minutes in the Nucks have had only 3 shots on Dooby. And just when the gamethread was about to crosscheck the TV, the Nucks got a break. Or a bounce. Or a juicy rebound.

On the rush, Guds puts a hot shot on Dooby and the rebound comes out to our new goal streak maniac, Jussi, for a juicy goal.

Jokinen is not joking around - has more goals in 2 games with the Nucks than his previous 3 teams - this year. Another old guy gets a goal. How is that possible in the younger, faster NHL?

Game is tied 2-2. That’s like a win in the 2nd.

And close enough for me. Thanks for reading.

Nucks 2 goals font is bigger than the Wild 2 font - ergo - Nucks win!

Fine, play out the string that’s tied to a garbage can filled with garbage time games.

You really want to know what happens next? Me neither.

While we weren’t high fiving our screens in the gamethread, we were feeling better about this Nucks team than that other Nucks team from the previous game.

Just when that little penlight of happiness was shining dimly in that dark drunken place in our minds, the batteries died.

Analytics darling, Staal, gets his 37th goal of the season. (Just kidding about the darling part).

Our young 5’10” D couldn’t budge the big strong Staal in front of the net. A shot comes across the crease - Nillie isn’t tracking the puck too well and well...it deflects off Staal for the soon-to-be winning goal. For the wrong team. Again.

Actually it was worse than that, but not going to say it hit Stech’s skate and in. Anyhow, NHL credited Staal with the goal, not Stech, so let’s leave it there.

Vancouver was outshot 14-8 in the period. But not out hit. At one point in the 2nd the Nucks had 23 hits, the Wild only 3. Over 7 times the number of hits? We’re winning!

3rd Period

How many times this season have I asked you long-suffering questionees how many times the Nucks have trailed coming into the 3rd? So many, that you may need to take a day off to run the numbers.

Only down a goal against a team that is in a very good place going into the 2nd season is pretty good. There’s still time to salvage a 2nd or even 3rd tie of the game.

No need to rush right out and get that goal. Best to be patient. Keep the Wild guessing when the push might shove. About half way through the period the Nucks had peppered Dooby with 3 shots.

Then, surprisingly, the Nucks pushed. Got oh so close...Pouliot put the puck past Dooby. Looked like a sure goal, but trickled up against the post and laid on the ice for nearly 5 minutes. Or a half a second. No matter. Because Dumba got to it first and pulled it away from the happy hopeful place.

Then we enter the EN section of the game.

How many times this season have I asked you long-suffering questionees how many times the Nucks trailing in the last minute of the 3rd score 6-on-5 ? Not so many, maybe once.

How many times have the Nucks been scored on with the extra attacker? So many questions, jimmi, can we just get this over with? Nope. Because Coyle drags Leipsic and the puck down the ice and puts the puck, but not Brendan, in the empty net.

You had your chance for smug victory in the 2nd and you kept on reading. I can’t help you now. And it’s going to get worse.

After the EN goal, Nillie is put in net just so his SV% takes a hit. From Dowd. Or Foligno. Or both.

Game ends with a 5-2 victory for the Wild. Just as predicted. By me and other members of the SPW depressed precog pod.

Nucks were close on the shot total 32 to the Wild-eyed 36. Nillie made 31 saves on 35 for a last minute .886 SV%

Good Things:

  • Was better than the last stinker
  • Jokinen is on a scoring streak
  • Got points from the D
  • Virt got 15:44 - still has Green’s confidence

Bad Things:

  • Didn’t win. Again.
  • Jokinen’s scoring streak is probably over - possibly forever.
  • Virt didn’t have any hits, and made a couple bonehead rookie plays

And in summary, the good things outweigh the bad. So that’s not so bad.

How’d the players feel about it?

Good point. Although, the PK was 100% effective. Wild didn’t score on their 2 PP chances. And Motte looks to be an effective PK guy.

Mr. Assist, Guds, on giving.

MDZ on his D-team-leading 6th goal.

Speaking of positives...over in the Green room it was positively passionate about the response.

Battling. If we include hitting as part of the battle, the Nucks put 34 hits on those meek Wildlings who could only muster 10. Probably too busy with puck possession and scoring more goals to match the superior physical play of our rough and tumble Nucks.

Motte led all forwards with 5 hits. Hank had 3. Guds delivered 5, MDZ and Eddie with 4.

With 7 players out playing physio rehab checkers with the injury faeries, winning many some one will be tough. Especially since our top goal scorer is finished for the year. And our second best goal scorer is playing for another team. Traitor.

Since the last cycle of Injury Faerie tyranny took our wildcard and shredded it into tear-stained pieces, we at least could enjoy a streak of Brockets. Now that rainbow shot of hope has been replaced with wariness on how deep the depth of the basement can be.

Will the Nucks beat last year’s point total? Will they win a few more games? One more game? No more? Is a 18.5% chance of lotto ascendancy worth more than 5th?

They’re on the road for 3 games. The easy game is on Sunday in the coolest taxpayer-supported rink in the league. Definitely winnable. Probably. Pretty sure. Almost confident. Monday’s game in LA is a well-placed NHL scheduler FU. And after that B-2-B, the Nucks get to tangle with the waterfowl in Disneyland on Wednesday.

But, let’s not dwell on that stuff. Let’s just dwell on the remarkable.

Never back. Always forward. Works for TV series, it can work for the Canucks. And more importantly, Nucks fans.

Enjoy your HNIC-free Saturday and have a tremendous day after.