First regulation loss in this 6 game home stand. First time since 1999 that the Canes won a game in Vancouver.
That 10 game streak is over. And only the Canes are partying like it’s 1999.
Right out of the gate they looked sharp. Moved their feet. Hard on the puck. Passes crisp. Everything was tape-tape. Got 10 shots on goal.
And then there’s the Canucks. They were keeping their intensity on simmer, keeping their breakout passes from breaking out. Chasing the game before it got going. Despite that, managed 4 mighty shots on goal. And they all counted.
As shots. The previous 3 games, this method had proven to be a recipe for success. This game promised it could again. Promises made by games are not to be trusted.
Scoreless after one, the Nucks just needed to muster another 180 seconds of magic and everything would be cooking with lazy pass gas.
Did the start of the period hint at the worst Nucks 2nd of the season? Not yet.
Just a minute in and recent Game-Winning-Goaler LittleThinger takes a little penalty.
As we know little penalties can turn into bad goals. For the wrong team. Niederreiter taps a rebound past Marky for the first of the game.
That’s not so bad. And at this early point in the period, it’s not.
Besides, the Nucks can tie this up and get the lead. Just play a solid 90 seconds.
So they do.
With some good pressure from the backend (savour it, won’t happen often), Hutton sets up Bo who sets up Stech who gets slap-pass-happy to Leivo. And we get a goal!
Shots are 16-6 for the Canes at this point, but it doesn’t matter. Sloppy slacker hockey with brief interludes of sharp passing can win any game.
Just to prove the point, Huttun, EP, Brock and Sven get their seconds of sharp, sharp play.
And ultra-sharp passing. Hutton to Pete. Dekey Pete to Brock. Brock to Pete. Pete to Sven. Sven to net. Net to scoreboard.
That play took maybe 10 seconds. That’s efficient game-winning hockey right there.
Nucks win 2-1. Stop the period! Stop the game! We’re done.
No, really. That’s it. The 60 second magic mojo moments are over.
But, jimmi, there’s almost another 15 minutes to play! And another 20 after that! Yeah...that’s gonna be a problem.
If the Nucks planned to play shutdown hockey, tight-checking, solid-D from this point on, the plan missed the execution part by a large margin. Four unanswered goals margin.
Do you want to see how the plan was busted? No you don’t.
It only took a few minutes. And an embellishment penalty to Williams to get the Canes riled up beyond gale force wind levels.
Carolina elevated their play. Their play that was already out-playing the Nucks.
But...but we have Marky. 2nd hottest goalie in the league. True. But Marky has Pouliot and Guddy.
And Guddy is one of the worst defensemen in the league. Statistically. His mean intangibles are still pretty good. Until the 3rd at least.
But, when Pouliot can create freakin’ Orr gamethread comments, he can just as easily generate MDZeezian outrage.
Remember these moves from the Sabres game?
Amazing. Amazing JB didn’t trade him right after that game. Too late now.
The combo of Pouliot and Guddy made tough work for Marky. And Marky was already working tough.
Through the power of home cooking that makes pro hockey players just a little more sluggish and whatever it is that makes clearing the puck from the defensive zone so difficult, the Nucks paid the price.
Over and over.
And out. Another less than stellar effort win turned into a 5-2 semi-blowout. In one period.
So you’re saying there’s hope? Another period, chance for scoreboard redemption?
No. Not even the hint of a whisper of a poor chance.
Let’s get the good news out of the way. The good news is that the Canucks for the fourth straight game didn’t give up any 3rd period goals. So the league lead in 3rd period GA is shrinking. The bad news, they may have started a new 2nd period GA streak.
The other bad news, even with the tough guy efforts, the Nucks could not close the 3 goal deficit despite having a full
20 12 8 minutes to make good. If that.
When there was a flicker of a distant spark of a comeback, former Game-Winning-Goaler, Roussel, snuffed it out just 6 minutes in. Not his fault.
It was his fiery temper’s fault. Rousell took a cheap Nino elbow to the head. Rous was riled. No call. Instead, to stand up for
his team himself, he went after Nino. Crosschecking. Cross-wording. Basically fully crossed up. Gets 14 minutes of penalties, including a Game MISCONDUCT!
I know, NucksMisconduct has a special place for Misconduct penalties. And we can take pride in the fact that Roussel has regained his status as the most penalised player in the league this season.
Even better/worse. Bo takes a penalty while killing the penalty. That’s not unlike a double negative. Or it is. Doesn’t matter. The 3 man Nucks PK kills off the 5-on-3. Yay!
So there’s some hope then? No, there’s not.
Because it’s Guddy’s turn for an early shower. Guddy draws a boarding penalty from the Cane’s Svechnikov. Could the Nucks (ineffective) power play, get a goal back and more?
Nope. Instead of getting the powerplay, Guddy chases Svechnikov all the way down the ice. Wants to drop the mitts, the gloves and most of all, drop Svechnikov. Instead the refs drop Guddy from the game. It’s another Game MISCONDUCT! Yay!
And that ends the whimper of a whisper of an impossible comeback.
The Canes win 5-2. For the second period in a row. Ouch!
That stings a little. Not enough to make a lasting, lingering week long dent in the delicate psyches of our slacker heroes, but it’s not a great game to send our rookie phenom off to the All Stars.
Oh well. We can watch the video highlights (there’s 2) and lowlights (there’s 5).
Slacker Team Stats
|#||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|
Maybe it wasn’t Marky’s best game, but he deserved better than a .853 SV%
And Bo agrees with me.
Over in the Green room...it’s a darker shade of green...
The DIFF stat took a hit tonight, sitting in the cool teens with a -14. Still...much better than Anaheim’s -33. That’s cold. Even for Disneyland.
The Nucks finish this home six stand with a 3-1-2 record. 8 points out of a possible 12. That’s not so bad is it? But...
We’re not going to the dance. If the dance music started tomorrow. It won’t because they haven’t even got the band back together or figured out the hall rentals. So... there’s still hope. According to Sutz.
“We’re excited about where we are in the standings, we relish this opportunity, but we have to come back better after the break. We’ve got some important hockey coming up.” - Sutter— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 24, 2019
And comeback they will. Next month. February is the tough schedule month. Starts on the road with 4 games in 6 days and finishes
at home on the road with a 2 day back-to-back.
How bad will it be? You decide.
Although, would be best if the Nucks decide it will be good to bounce back with fast skating, crisp passing and rejuvenated defence corp after JB makes a couple Leivoesque trades during the break.
From the NM deep blue brain left out in the rain for weeks, this carefully calculated (in the last 2 minutes) win/loss/tie projection shows a good possibility of keeping the little white-Nuckled boat of 83 just above the 500 water line. Or it could be November Part 2. Or it could be a 15 game win streak that we never want to see end.
That’s why we will have to wait until the 29th of February to know our fate. Or March 1st for those of you on the non-leaping calendar.
Until then, we can feast our eyes on Pete feasting on All Star goalies all weekend.
The Super Pete Schedule (some other minor players involved as well):
- 2019 NHL Fan Fair™ - Thursday, January 24th through Sunday, January 27th
- 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills™ - Friday, January 25th at 6:00PM PT
- 2019 Honda NHL® All-Star Game - Saturday, January 26th at 5:00PM PT
Also don’t forget to vote early (and often) for Quinn to win the Hobey Baker.
We can take a week off to recover from this game and reset our game thread attitudes.
We can be better, faster, sharper fans. We can make the Nucks a better, faster, sharper team. At least those of us with elite NHL D-man skills. If you have those skills, please contact Westy for illegible, binding contract documents.
Have an easy queasy week of hard fan
training drinking and a fab February.