If you wanted to script the least surprising Canucks Captain announcement, this is how you would do it.
If you could be so BOld as to predict an 8 goal win to start the season* and Capt’n Bo’s 1st Captain’d game, you’d be Westy’s best friend playing in the Rum Futures barrel.
(* - start of the real season - the two hAlberta road games were part of the extended pre-season and do not count towards the Nucks season points tally.)
I’m not saying that seeing many Nucks legends from the past 50 years made me tear up. No, it was thinking of the ticket price 50 years ago versus tonight’s BOnanza on ice.
Kurtenbach. Sedin. Horvat. What an amazing moment. pic.twitter.com/JPHnoLs91N— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
The tickets were free for the Nucks first home opener - blame or praise Woodstock. The summer/autumn of ‘69 was a great time for cheapskates. And NHL hockey. Not great enough for the Nucks to win their first NHL game against the Kings, but 50 years later that game was atoned. 8 times over.
What would be a great way to open the first home game? There’s so many options, but the one that happened was one of the greatest. Quinn gets his first NHL goal. On the first Nucks power play goal of the season.
Big screen edition (if you hit the big screen button):
Awesome deke into the zone and wicked shot that startled Quick and made pouty Doughty pissed. Very good start.
The Kings were tired from playing in cowtown 24 hours earlier. I was still a little tired from watching the Nucks play in cowtown days earlier.
The Canucks, now fully captained-up, were keeping the pressure on the fallen Kings. All the Nucks lines were buzzing. Yes, all of them. Even the new look 3rd line with new winger, Sutter, looking like a sniper with a purpose.
Well that was a fun period! pic.twitter.com/axfCnZHLgr— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
It was so much fun, let’s watch that goal again...
Shots were even at 10-10 even if the 50 year tidal pool of revenge was just getting stirred.
In the gamethread, we were right there with the Sedins...
2nd period time - get your ready! pic.twitter.com/YlqAFhX8xt— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
[Cue the Loui joke here - nah, NM is nasty, but not cruel. Too often.]
Leading 2-zip against a former bitter rival feels pretty good. Know what would feel better?
Yes, you do. An even-strength Petey goal. So let’s get one of those too.
Little fist pump from Petey says it all. He's happy to be back on the scoresheet. pic.twitter.com/WWNAPa9Xbo— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
Watch it again. It’s been awhile.
That was a 29 game 5-on-5 goal drought for the Alien. What caused some earthlings some thirsty moments is over with a smart play by Pete.
It’s 3-0 Nucks. They got this. It’s not like the Kings were down some goals in cowtown and came back to win that game in OT.
No, it’s exactly like that. So Toffoli gets the Kings on the board while undressing Marky in public. A shameful display that ruined Marky’s possible shutout. And worse, gave the Kings some hope and jump. Neither would last.
Partly thanks to JT Miller and his 4 point - career high night. I know, you were asking questions about JT in the summer. Me too. Like... who is this guy? He played for the Rags, so of course, I’d never seen him play.
But play he can. And score goals off one of the worst defensive-offensive players in the game. Kovie has a career +/- of minus one hundred and something. And counting.
At this point in the gamethread, Westy astutely observed that the Nucks had tied Neal in scoring. He made it sound a little sarcastic somehow, but I’m sure he meant it to inspire the Nucks to exceed even the new Neal deal.
Nucks have the lead, by 3 goals. That’s the biggest lead they’ve ever had. This season at home. Just have to keep the pressure on and play a disciplined game.
Or not. With the Nucks power play showing off in the 1st, seemed like Pearson wanted to show off the Nucks PK prowess by taking a penalty - while on the PK. Definitely showboating.
The Nucks PK, now down to 3 defenders plus Marky were able to endure the deluge of chances. Marky was the best penalty killer. He knew that his shutout bid just needed to bid higher and he’d win the goal auction. Or something.
Anyhow... Pearson had enough of showing off his penalty box PK skills and drew a Kings penalty... for old times.
Kings had 16 shots to the Nucks mere 7. Kings were winning the shot count. But losing the goals-against count. And tonight that’s what counts.
If you recall that extended pre-season game in that other colder, oranger Rogers Place, the Nucks went into the 3rd with a lead. Stop recalling and regurgitating - this game is nothing like that.
Sure... 6 minutes in and LA scores and the game thread had that queasy feeling in their stomach return. For a moment.
Instead, just a minute later, we were treated to that Quinning feeling all over again. With Brock leading a Hughes rush up ice, we anticipated Quinn putting a shot on Quick. Like Quick did. But no, Quinn was sending the puck to Tanev, for the tip-in.
And Tanev scores! I’m not making this up!
Bedlam ensues. The police were called. Small pets were deafened by the gamethread shouts of disbelief and joy. It’s a once-in-a-season sharp shooting incident. And the game is won. Every time Tanev has scored, the Nucks win the game. Basic cause and effect that even the most advanced hockey physics theorists can’t explain.
The Nucks are leading... by even more. It’s 5-2 and the ROG is rocking.
But wait. There’s more. Lot’s more.
More Nucks goals. I’m not making it up. The Nucks were. If you can believe it and I still can’t even though I watched it happen. The goal-limited Nucks of last week, were suddenly uncorked, on an unstoppable streak of 4 goals. In one period. The last period of the game.
The ROG is thristy. And again, it’s Miller time. JT performs some board mastery in front of the roaring crowd - pivots and puts a pass on fast Eddie’s good stick. Eddie’s blows the puck past Quick rather than stick splinters.
It’s freakin’ 6-2 Nucks! Try to keep up.
Except, not all is right in this wildy unbalanced game. What?
Well... Captain, our new captain, can’t be left pointless in this game - what would be the point?
Capt’n Bo said no to that. Steps around a check and into the zone to setup our Leaf castoff for the 7th cut of Quick hell. Leivo will not be left out of the mo’ goal mojo.
It’s 7-2 for the Nucks! A season high blowout on the most important night in 50 years. Ok, a little bit of an exaggeration, but still...
We’d all be happy to leave now with the full disgrace of our once powerful rival. But, when the pucky luck gods are on a roll, they call Toronto for more.
Super duper sniper Sutter put a shot on goal. Looked like Quick or one of his henchman had kept the puck out of the net. But, as the play went on, the Masters in the Center of Universe blew the Big Important Horn. Remotely controlled from the Center of the Universe. Play stopped. The ROG waited to see if this was a test of the air raid sirens from 50 years ago.
Nope. It was a good goal, cheekily swept out by Doughty who was very pouty at this point.
8-2 NUCKS WINNNNNNNN!!
50 years late. Perhaps. But as they say in the icy hockey district of Sicily... revenge is best served cold. Ice cold.
Then Vs Now recap.
Extended 8-Goals-in-1-game Edition.
Stats (You can believe in)
While they were outshot and Marky deserved to be the 1st Goalie Star, the Nucks were never outplayed, other than that little dip in the second.
All the lines were great. So many different players with so many points. That’s when hockey is a great team game.
|#||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|
What a debut for Capt’n Bo. For Quinn. For NucksNation.
Let’s start with the first goal scorer of the game.
Quinn Hughes > Jack Hughes pic.twitter.com/N7xEyLkyOd— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) October 10, 2019
And freshly Captain Canuck.
Let’s hear from Coach ‘Giddy’ Green. He was so giddy, took over 10 minutes before he could giddy-up to the mic. You can skip ahead... or let the giddy tension build.
We needed a win. A big win. Maybe a little over the top, but we’re going to talk about, gloat about, smile about this game for days. Wish it was weeks, but the arbitrary NHL schedule waits for no long-term reverie.
The 50 year Nucks franchise celebration was a success. It could be the high point of the season - a fast, skilled team with a healthy roster is something to savour.
Savour the moment. Enjoy the joy of being undefeated at home. It’s true. The Nucks have never lost a game at home this season. That’s huge. So far.
Have a wonderfully long, giddy stretch to Saturday.