Crazy game. Caaaraazee night. Ends in redemption for Leipsic, but injury for Brock. Good luck - bad bench door luck. Typical Nucks luck. That Brock had to take the bad Nucks luck is too brutal. Typical, but brutal.
We all are wishing Brock’s injury is only a deep tailbone bruise and he doesn’t spend any time with his butt in a sling. Or worse.
Anyhow, let’s cover the good part of the game - which starts after the half way mark of the 2nd.
The Isles are desperate to get some wins and make the eastern wildcard spot and get bounced in the first round. The Nucks are desperate to start the game 20 minutes after the game starts.
It’s all Isles on the shot count. 8-2 at 6 mins in. So Leipsic decides to stop Coquitlam’s..er.. the Isles rookie star by reaching around with a motion too far. Brenden puts the Isles on the power play. The Nucks kill the penalty and Leipsic returns to the ice just in time for the Isles to score.
Marky is mad. Not his fault. In fact Marky kept the Nucks in the game all period. He shouted at the bench after the goal: “Let’s Go!!!”
The bench seemed to be puzzled by the term Go. Or the contraction of Let Us. So...they kept playing without the puck and Marky kept stopping the puck until the period ended.
The Isles outshot the Nucks 15-6 in the first. Halak had one tough stop all period, so he’s feeling good. Maybe the Isles will stop skidding on their 6 game losing streak.
The period starts pretty much where it left off - with the Isles having the puck and shooting early and often. And new-kid agitator, Leipsic takes another penalty. Green must know something we don’t. If this was Goldy’s 2nd penalty of the night, it would be his last.
A minute after the successful Nucks PK, the fancy passing from Coquitlam’s Barzal leads to a Tavares under-the-bar snipe. No chance for Marky, but another point for the leading Calder candidate.
Brock was on a line with Goldy and Gags. Not the best chemistry. Sort of awkward to watch. So we didn’t.
Instead, the new adhoc 1st line of Bo, Virt & penalty-taking specialist, Bad-Boy Brendan were out working the Isles down low.
After a great deke on Tavares, a little give and go with Virt and from behind the net, Bo passes to Virt on the goal line who puts a far angle shot on net. Rebound rolls to Leipsic who rolls it upstairs over Halak. Nucks are on the board.
2-1 game. 1 down and 1 to go. And in 1 minute more, it was none to go.
Because Archie got a breakaway and was Boychecked illegally. In one of those rare NHL calls, Archie is awarded a penalty shot. How many times in the history of the Nucks have they scored on a penalty shot vs the Isles? I’ll wait here while you wiki it up. No, I won’t. Never is the correct answer. Or was.
Archie breaks in and Halak is certain that the shot is coming 5 hole - puts the paddle down and Archie waits and puts the shot over the blocker.
ROG goes crazy! Hard-working AHLer makes good in the big league. Archie has 3 goals in 7 games since he signed his first NHL contract.
We need the feel good moment...because later we get a really not feel good moment. FFS. But for now we savour this tieing goal - this inexplicable comeback. Although, Green did swap around the D pairings and juggle the lines, for the better.
That’s the way the period ends, it’s 2 all. The Nucks push back to win the single digit shot count 8-7.
The third starts the way the previous two periods, with the Isles getting the run of play in their favour. Marky keeps making some great saves.
Half way through the period, Leipsic chips the puck out of the Nucks zone and gets a little 2-on-1 going with the instant accelerating Jake, who blows ahead of his check at center ice. Virt calls for the puck and Brendan sends a great pass over and Virt beats Halak glove side. Boom! Nucks have the lead. In the third.
Jake has 2 points on the night, as does Brendan to balance his two penalties and so-not-good 1st period play. Virt had 5 hits through 2 periods. This last stretch Jake has played great and earned his spot on the revolving 1st line lineup.
Because this is a Nucks home game, the 3rd in a 5 game span, is it possible that this one would go to OT like the first two? Yes, very much so. Dammit.
With a little under 2 to go, the Isles are pressing hard and guess what? Yup, Leipsic takes another penalty. Lost Eberle in front of the net and Halled him down as they used to say at the West Edmonton mall.
On the resulting 6-on-4, it’s Nucks-killer, Eberle, who scores the tieing goal. But that’s not the worst part.
The worst part was with 23 seconds to go. Brock checks Clutter*uck and bounces off and into the open door policy at Nucks line change central just as Virt was going off.
A few feet later or Clutter*uck wasn’t such a careless jerk, we escape without this brutal butt busting injury.
The rookie showdown vibe on the night in the ROG is escorted out of the building by the Injury Faeries Freak Accident Division.
Still the show must go on, even if we’ve lost our appetite for hard-hitting hockey.
We’re going to...
In the last two games at home, OT ended quickly. For the wrong team. Could imagine the Nucks would be more worried about Brock than stopping the endless home loss streak.
Except one player, who still needs to balance out the bad and good stuff. Enter Brendan, the self-redeemer, into the O-zone. Steals the puck, dekes Halak’s pokecheck and scores the game winner.
3 penalties and 3 point night for our high-risk, high-reward Leipsic.
The Nucks hand the Isles their 7th straight loss. You’re welcome.
The Isles outshot the Nucks 34-23 and won the 3rd period shot count 11-7. Vancouver won the OT count 2-1 and well...the game.
Finally. Marky gets a win. After many Woe® goals in the past games, it’s good that the Nucks finally figured out what he meant by that cryptic “Let’s Go!” shout out. He finished with a .912 SV% with 31 saves on 34 shots. Halak stopped 19 of 23 shots for a .826 SV%
Marky stopped more high quality chances than Halak faced. Was good to see Marky bouncing back from that last game where...I’ve forgotten the last game already. Not even sure there was one.
Vegas traded us a gambler. But, we knew that. And he knows he’s getting some good clean cards of chance from Green.
And over in the Green room, the mood is about as Boest as it can be.
Hear from Coach Green as he compliments his team after a great victory over the Islanders. pic.twitter.com/VHlHmfv8U9— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 6, 2018
Win a game. Lose our star rookie. That tradeoff can only work over a season if we have 80 or more star rookies. We thought we were off the IR faerie menu. Who knew they had a spring butt-bone selection?
We’ll find out in the next day the extent of Brock’s injury. Until then NucksNation will be hoping for the best and pacing back and forth outside the Canucks Twitter feed.
IR UPDATE ============================================================================
Injury update on Boeser, who will make a full recovery in 4-6 weeks. pic.twitter.com/BYaWlbTfAM— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 6, 2018
Basically, has his butt is in a sling. Ugh. Oh, well, it’s only a season-ending injury. That’s not so bad.
Not that it matters much, but there’s another game to play on Wednesday. The Desert Dogs are on the wet coast to see the overcast sights, maybe play a little ice hockey too.
Have a worried Tuesday and a tremendous day after.