Back to the Tea Time of the hockey road game soul. Having left the mourning in Jersey, the freshly rested-up Nucks arrive in Ottawa to discover an eerie scifi doppelganger goalie conundrum. It’s a not so much scifi as it’s GM asset commerce at work in our capitol.
Trader-JB traded Nillie away from the scorching thorns of NM game thread taunts. Traded him and Archie to the Sens for an AHL goalie, McKenna and AHL center Pyatt. Plus a 6th round pick. Hopefully not in a 5 round draft. But, that’s the future. Tonight we’re in the moment that promises very promising future moments.
Marky was back in our goal and some elite AHL goalie was in net for Ottawa. Our Nillie is now their Nillie and he did look sharp in the home red on the Ottawa bench. Our new AHL goalie from Ottawa is on our bench. What might have been a battle of swapped backups wasn’t.
Probably for the best. If Nillie had started for the Sens and pitched a shutout, NM would have ripped the fine Italian leather off the padded game thread walls.
And we would have missed a new milestone for Pete. His First NHL Hattie! Let’s find out how.
Pete scored all his goals in the first 3 minutes. Since that would be rude on the road, he took all the goals back to save for later.
The Nucks were buzzing and putting all kinds of shots on the Sens elite AHL goalie, Hogberg (we will refrain from the boaring puns - besides Hogberg is a bone rack - no...don’t).
Anyhow the Sens
pork-stopper puck-stopper stopped all 17. The creepy heebee shutout Jersey jeebees were haunting the hungover game thread. Not to worry. Marky stopped all 5 Ottawa shots he faced. Besides, Elias won’t be denied.
Leivo left the game with an undisclosed upper body injury. The roster counters in the game thread were happy to play Roster Faery Roulette. To be fair - we lost so many times at the Faery IR tables of terrible luck - if some Faery dust eases the current roster crunch, we’ll take it.
The high (or low for Tim) point was a fight between Schaller and Harpur. Harpur pounded Tim - he looked worse afterwards than in previous game threads where he was pummelled by NM pummellers.
It’s still a scoreless tie and the scorelessness will soon be a faint 20 minute memory.
If you recall the early dates of this long, so long road trip, the best road game strategy is score first, get the lead and keep it.
As rare as it seems to be, there’s no NHL rule against scoring the first goal of the game on the power play. Sure, it’s not a popular method for the Nucks, but Sven has been out of the Nucks locker room for a couple months and still has a PP net nose.
It’s a Svenlicious rebound shot on the power play that breaks the tie.
1-0 Nucks midway in the 2nd. Should be 6-0 by now, but road game DIFFs differ from game to game, town to town, afternoon to morning.
The key thing is the Nucks have the lead and just need to extend it. And not take penalties. Because as mighty as the Nucks PK was last game, the mighty streak of 20+ perfect kills is over.
And worse, it’s a copy-cat goal. Off a rebound on the power play. Since the NHL doesn’t allow copycat protections, it’s a 1-1 tie.
It might have been a coincidence. Or having been named to the All Star game today, Pete decided to earn the star.
Pete is on the rush with Brock and they’re giving and going and Pete is scoring. How sweet is that?
Did we know this was the start of a new Pete milestone? Not yet, but we’re just happy that Pete is taking the team into the o-zone.
Shots and play was much closer in the period - Nucks edge the Sens, 13-12. Allegedly, the worst team in the league, the Sens kept the Nucks hemmed in their zone. The simple clear concept of clean clearing passes was clearly not on the minds or sticks of Nucks defenders.
2-1 Canucks after 2. It’s a slim road lead, but we’re not quibbling about lead giving up. Yet.
For Pete’s sake, we’re going to take a moment to savour one of his dekes. Because Dekey Petey put on a Pete deke clinic tonight. So neat.
Since in-game periodic symmetry is highly prized by students of the game... or is it gamer stoners or book-ended stick-handlers?
The Nuck opened the scoring in the 2nd on the power play, the Nucks opened the scoring in the 3rd on the power play.
Pete from his fav power lane blasts his blast past the helpless Hogberg. Never tire of seeing the Nucks hardest shooter shoot.
Now it’s a 3-1 lead. On the road. Great road game.
And then the sinister statisticians at the NHL Goals Against Center for Disappointment make their unwelcome appearance.
As you know, so so very well, the Nucks lead the league - by an even bigger margin now - on 3rd period Goals Against.
Maybe some Nucks player’s agents have some very fine print in their client’s contracts that give bonuses for league stat leads - regardless if it’s a happy or sad stat.
Maybe. We don’t know. What we do know is the bad clears of Nucks periods past are still in the game. And that the Sens are determined to not be tied with St Lois for the league lead for least points in the standings. Although this low, it’s more like in the sittings.
No matter. What matters is that the Nucks get caught 4-on-4 with a Pouliot on the ice. Maybe it’s a good strategy for offensive zone 4-on-4. Not for the other end. Instead of playing hard on the puck, Derrick decides to play fancy skates.
Earlier in the day, Westy had already traded Pouliot to the Sens with Nillie. It was a simmering subliminal trade, but nonetheless appeared to have worked. For the Sens. Not so much for us.
It’s a one goal game and the red-jersey’d devils..er.. Sens...are not content to lose by one. The game thread took a poll and it was agreed that a one goal road game win was just fine with us.
The Nucks weathered a bad clearing pass by Tanev and worse penalty in the last 5 minutes. We might just make it out of reg with a win with the calm assurance of PK perfection.
And then when we were assured of an EN, the Sens made that assurance less assuring, by keeping the pressure on - with a 6-on-5 setup not associated with the worst team in the league.
And then made it even worse, Stone scores to assure OT.
Fine. We don’t care. We’ll take the one stupid road point out for a drink later.
In a terrible twist of uncleared passes the Sens had more o-zone time and out shot the Nucks 15-14. And worse, outscored us 2 to 1.
Not fair. We’re the better team. The better offensive team. If Goldy was sat in the pressbox because of his weak defensive play, well...most of the Nucks forwards and D need some p-box time too.
Too late to gripe tho. We’re going to 3-on-3 OT where the better offensive team can get the better offensive chances.
And they did.
Sweet give and go with Brock and Pete beats Hogberg with a perfect porkchop shot up high on the range.
Woooo! We win! Pete’s first NHL hattrick!
Pettersson collected his seventh game-winning goal of the season to establish a @Canucks single-season record the most such goals by a rookie, besting Pavel Bure’s mark in 1991-92 (6). #NHLStats #VANvsOTT pic.twitter.com/fEjzrGyqOh— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 3, 2019
All’s well that starts well, sags in the middle and ends well.
Canucks put 45 shots on net, Sens sent 33 to Marky. Both goalies were very good. The Sens AHL goalie a little too good according to another poll taken in the game thread.
Here’s the video (without the 2 Johns. Sorry.)
|#||Forwards||GP||G||A||P||P||+/-||S||PIM||PIM||SOG||HITS||BLKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||TOI||PP TOI||SH TOI||PP||GW|
|#||Defense||GP||G||A||P||P||+/-||S||PIM||PIM||SOG||HITS||BLKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||TOI||PP TOI||SH TOI||PP||GW|
Marky was pitching a really good SV% until the 3rd when the Nucks defensive zone play was pitched over the side. Still...Marky ended with a .909 SV%. Not good enough to win the game’s first star honour.
That was Pete’s. Let’s hear from our All Star Rookie and his All Star performance.
Only some subterranean Saskatchewan hockey shark saw how complete Pete’s game would be this season. Pete is the real
Neil deal. He’s our best forward. Our best defensive forward. Our best player. And barely half way through his first NHL season.
Congrats, Pete! Making Canucks history and Canucks fans happy!
We want to keep the giddy going, but the road going Canucks had to hit the road right after the game. No gloating or glowering in the Green room - can’t imagine Green was too happy about losing the lead.
Oh well. Pete made the lead loss more palatable. Can we have a re-Pete in Montreal?
Back-to-back hatties? Who knows? What we know is that it’s another 4PM PST Tea Time game. This time à la carte at Le Habs. Isn’t it time for another road game win streak?
Qui, qui, it is. Enjoy your terrifically thirsty-for-more-wins Thursday.