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RECAP: NUCKS WIN!!! Defeat Cup Champs 4-3 in the 6th Skillz Round

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4 Game Nucks WIN Streak For the First Time In... A Very Long Time

Vancouver Canucks v St Louis Blues
Demko. Undefeated Backup Goalie of The Year. So far.
Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s 2 hours before game time on the wet coast when this game begins. It’s not fair, but eastern hockey rules. It’s like they live in their own time zone. Weird. No matter. The Nucks are in their W-zone.

After the spectacular 3 game home win streak, were we excited to take this streak on the road? Not really.

Sure, this is the Blues team we helped achieve the worst record in the west early last season. But this Blues team the Nucks faced are different. They’re respected now because their rink drinks from the finest league silver. Even if it is a Replica-Cup - a fraud award promoted by the NHL for decades.

Doesn’t matter. The new look Nucks won’t be put off by another team’s oversized beer mug. (That we desperately want to sip from - sooner than later)

Many pre-game thread questions were circling the weird arch of St Lois. Would Demko be intimidated by the big bad Blues? Could the Nucks magic 4th line frustrate opponents on the road as well as home? Did the 3 for 5 Nucks PP make the trip?

No. No and No. 1 out of 3. That’s not so bad. At least now the game is over. And the Comeback Kids are on the road and breaking records - last year’s records, but still...

1st Period

Let’s get this comeback started. Oh... too soon?

Ok, let’s get the back and forth play going. It almost looked like the Nucks had the better scoring chances.

Until, as is his false hope tradition, Demko let the Blues score the first goal. Not only that, but Thatch is a nice kid - stoned Fabbi earlier, then must have heard Fabi hadn’t scored this season. That and the posts in St Lois can be treacherous. Even for the home team.

The Nucks fought back valiantly and scored 3 more times. Just not yet.

Blues outshot Nucks 11-9 - so that’s pretty close. Blues lead 1-0 after 1. That’s pretty close too. Oh...a minor detail. 2 minors actually, with 2 Nucks power plays - each without a single shot on goal. Too much passing not enough shooting? There’s that. And more.

Still doesn’t matter. Yet.

2nd Period

This game was closer than it looked.

And Ferland makes it even closer just 2 minutes in. With his 1st goal of the season.

Good board work from Virt setup the chaos with Edler and Sutter getting apples.

The game thread was getting hopeful. It’s a tie game! On the road! The comeback is complete. Kind of.

We enjoyed the tie game. For under a minute. Not that enjoyable.

Because the Blues come back with 2 quick goals. Not the comeback we were looking for.

But wait! It gets worse. Much worse. Or much better if your team has the #1 PK in the NHL.

Half way through the period, Virt takes (or is it gives?), a high stick. Whatever. He goes to the box. The #1 PK in the league coolly handles the likes of O’Reily and Tarasenko. Pretty boring textbook kill.

So... 30 seconds on the PK, Motte decides to go full Beagle and get his own penalty. The 3-on-5 group now featuring Beagle, Tanev, Edler and Demko put on another clinic, just to show the Blues how it’s done. (BTW: No more 3-on-5 tutorials for other teams, k?)

With the #1 PK extending its #1 status, it’s time for the proper comeback to begin.

It’s Motte, who possibly wants to boost his sniper image, performs the perfect shot - right off a treacherous (for) St Lois post. The post responds with a perfect trajectory, puts the puck right on Miller’s stick. JT does the rest. (Is that trade looking good now or what?)

Woooo! It’s a tie game. The comeback is complete.

Or is it? That 3-1 Blues lead has dropped to 3-2, but not quite a tie. Close enough for us, but the league wants another period to make sure.

Blues outshoot the Nucks 13-11 in the period and 24-20 after 2. And the game is tied. Pretty much.

3rd Period

If you recall some previous Nucks games, you will recall how difficult it is to keep a 1 goal lead coming into the 3rd.

It’s nice to know it’s not just us. Even if was mostly us last season.

The Blues are not the Nucks, which is one of the reasons we’re not that fond of them at NM. There’s other reasons too, but this is a recap not a rant.

Anyhow, the Blues seem to be playing like they’re confident to not only keep the lead, but extend it. What we in the OGL (one-goal league) call over-confidence.

Because the refs can be game-changers too. Thomas is called for tea-kettling Demko. That’s a penalty for skating through a goalie in his crease.

Nucks are on the PP. Oh...yay. But wait! There’s more! The Blues bench is arguing the call. So the bench gets a bench minor for being poor sports.

The Nucks get a 5-on-3 for the full two minutes! Oh... yay.

The Blues, who watched the Nucks 3-on-5 tutorial a little too closely, totally frustrate our #1 #34 ranked power play. To be fair, unlike the earlier power plays, the Nucks did get a few shots - even if they were blocked and immediately cleared down the ice.

The 2 Johns claimed the Nucks had no shots in first the 1:57 during the 5-on-3. I count blocked shots as shots.... because special Nucks PP stats exemption.

And then, just as the power play was expiring and game thread was exploding with the outrage of a rum-stained Westiny...

terrible movement - Posted by westy99

Yes, just when all come backing seemed lost, the players - the same Nucks power play players scored the most beautiful just-expired power play goal of the season. Possibly of all seasons.

This was a beautiful Dekey Pete moment. With a twist. And some swipes and Capt’n Bo scores! 1st of the season! Wooo!

How sweet was that? Very. You want dirty clutch goals? Yes. Against the Blues we do.

Sure, there was more back and forth and more failed Blues belief in winning in regulation, but Demko was having none of that. Fort Thatcher is closed to any more rubber incursions.

Period ends with Blues outshooting us 11-10. Who cares. The comeback is complete.

At least more complete than the comeback in the 2nd. Seems it could be a 3 stage comeback.

OT

Settles nothing. But Quinn got very close to settling everything.

SO

Who are you picking as the SO game winner?

Keep guessing.... through 6 rounds.

Wow! That’s how you deke Binnington - aerobatics. Leivo can fly!

NUCKS WIN 4-3! Over the Blues! On the Road!

Demko is player of the game. Leivo is the 1st Star! Bo is the 3rd!

And all of NucksNation are winners. Most of them anyhow.

Here’s the video highlights served with the winning tones of the 2 Johns.

STATS (Not too bad for a road game)

SOG FO% PP PIM HITS BLKS GVA
Canucks
VAN
32 53% 0/5 8 15 11 4
Blues
STL
37 47% 0/4 10 11 11 9


Sure, the power play reverted to doughnuts going 0 for 5, but fully redeemed themselves with the best almost-power-play goal in years. At least the most timely.

The Nucks have a FOUR Game WIN Streak.

Let that settle in a bit. You remember that 4 game win streak last season?

Me neither. Because it never happened.

Have to look back 87 games for the last 4 Game Win Streak. Ouch. I know. But this season’s Nucks might just be what we all (secretly) hoped for during that little hockey lull between spring, summer and autumn.

Player Stats (Good work from the 3rd line)

# Forwards GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
6 B. Boeser 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 6 0 0 0 3 20:55 5:22 --:-- 0
9 J.T. Miller 1 0 1 1 1 4 0 4 2 1 1 0 60 21:39 4:48 0:04 0
17 J. Leivo 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 17:20 3:28 --:-- 0
18 J. Virtanen 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 0 12:38 0:07 0:08 0
20 B. Sutter 0 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 33 12:53 0:08 1:20 0
40 E. Pettersson 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 100 21:56 5:21 0:04 0
53 B. Horvat 1 0 1 1 1 3 0 3 0 0 1 1 64 21:06 3:46 --:-- 0
59 T. Schaller 0 0 0 0 -2 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 8:57 --:-- 3:15 0
64 T. Motte 0 1 1 1 -1 0 2 0 4 1 0 2 12:40 0:02 0:53 0
70 T. Pearson 0 0 0 0 -1 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 16:23 1:53 0:11 0
79 M. Ferland 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 2 2 0 0 0 100 10:01 1:53 --:-- 0
83 J. Beagle 0 0 0 0 -3 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 50 10:27 --:-- 4:27 0
# Defense GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
4 J. Benn 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 2 0 0 14:48 --:-- 2:33 0
8 C. Tanev 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 2 24:33 0:06 5:09 0
23 A. Edler 0 1 1 1 0 1 2 1 1 0 0 1 25:46 5:09 3:10 0
43 Q. Hughes 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 2 22:43 2:02 --:-- 0
51 T. Stecher 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 1 0 0 0 10:52 0:06 0:01 0
57 T. Myers 0 1 1 1 -1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 21:27 1:44 0:49 0
# Goalies GP REC GA SV SA S EV PP SH SAVE-SHOTS SV% PIM TOI GAA
35 T. Demko -- 34 37 26–29 7–7 1–1 34–37 .919 0 64:56


Gusty win on the road. Beating the Blues at home.

Confidence. Capt’n Bo’s got some now.

The game’s player of the game, Dependable Demko got some confidence too.

Pete, who hasn’t quite reached full Alien altitude yet, is confident for the future of inter-stellar hockey.

There’s no Green Room in St Lois - so you’ll have to hunt down some radio clips of Travis smiling about a comeback win over last season’s Cup champs.

Instead, let’s watch the Leivo levitation again.

Savour this road win. As much or as little as you need. Because the weekend is a weird back to back series in the NY area. An area that forbids sports playing during humane game times.

Saturday, Quinn and the Nucks are in Jersey for an early brunch game against his brother and the morning Devils - 10AM puck drop. Ugh. And worse, Sunday at MSG at the same 10AM yawn-time.

We might wonder if these winnable games are winnable in off-hours. And more importantly, will the game thread have any hooch left for afternoon tea. Stay tuned.