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RECAP: NUCKS WIN! A Point. Lose 5-4 in OT to MacKinnon

So close... but not

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Vancouver Canucks
The Brocket for the Point
Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

You were promised a 7 to 12 goal game a couple days ago. By me. It’s a 9 goal game. That’s not so bad. Not all 9 were Nucks goals. That’s not so good.

It was retro jersey night in the ROG. The Flying Skate jersey. Voted most popular by the marketing polls of summer. The ROG was loving it. The game thread were watching the Montreal game.

Here’s the thing with the retro jersey nights at home. They’re all about the marketing. The winning, not so much. Sure, it was possibly a marketing win, but can you remember the last time the Nucks won a game in retro-wear? Me neither.

However, Juice was on HNIC and jealous these kids got to wear the black ‘n skate uniform. So.... yay, Juice!

Meanwhile, the ushers were checking tickets - in case Uncle Bill swaggered onto the HNIC cameras after MacKinnon beats all Canucks at the same time. Probably too late to trade for Nate.

1st Period

Period starts with some north south action. Good speed from both teams. Bodes well for a classic old skool run ‘n gun 8-6 Nucks win.

Until the gun misfired and the Nucks give up the 1st goal of the game. For the 14th time in 21 games. Second only to the Laffs in playing from behind early.

Pretty sure the Nucks strategy was to get lots and lots of shots on Bibeau, who hasn’t played NHL stopping in 30 years - talk about retro night. 5 Canucks shots in the first period confirmed that strategy was abandoned to play the catch-up style and let the PP win the game.

But first, the legendary Nucks PK must not lose the extra special teams battle. And doesn’t. Kills off a scary looking Avs 5 on 3. Impressive. Totally shifted the momentum and embarrassed MacKinnon on HNIC. He went to the dressing room to count thousands of thousand dollar bills. Or so the the imaginary commentary in my head said.

Anyhow back on retro-ice, we had to settle for a different kind of win. The 2nd unit won the period with a Gaudy goal. Technically it was a tieing goal, but it’s marketing night in the ROG, must be sexed-up to winning status.

Period ends with a 1-1 tie. Not a bad start for a road game. Except this was a home game for the Nucks. Avs outshoot the Nucks 8-5. I know, disappointing. We were promised, well... we assume we might have been promised at least 15-20 Nucks shots. In the first 10 minutes.

Not to be.

At least we know Uncle Bill isn’t part of a non-Nucky retro-conspiracy. There’s other celebs for that.

Sure, she’s wearing a ‘regular’ Nucks toque - even I wear one sometimes - but where is her retro-toque to support the retrograding home team?

2nd Period

Period starts with the Nucks winning. Leading the game 1-1.

The run ‘n gun format was retired to the center ice clog dance portion of the program. Until the Nucks took one too many liberties with the refs. Sven gets a high-sticking penalty. For merely saying hello in Kadri-speak. That’s a penalty now?

Worse. MacKinnon instead of sulking on the bench for not scoring 5-on-3 is on the Avs PP, puts a very strong shot past Demko’s weak side. Ugh.

The Avs tie it up and lead 2-1 in the middle of the 2nd.

Still, not all doom and doomer. Nucks are using some psyche techniques on the Avs backup goalie’s backup’s backup.

The pane of glass above the Avs goalie - has had more shots than the goalie - Westy

Astute observation. Nothing says ‘You’re next, buddy’ to an inexperienced NHL goalie than lots of off-target shots.

The Nucks range-finding exercise continued for most of the period. Maybe this is how they played the game in the 80s. Not saying the retro-jersey games are cursed, but it’s November, the Faeries are providing enough distraction for the team.

Meanwhile, for some inexplicable reason, the Avs think they can extend the lead and win. Which is not happening. We know that. The ROG knows that. Canucks Marketing HQ made that very clear in the pre-game hoopla.

And worse, guess who gets a goal on a quick release on Demko’s now known weak short side? Yeah. Him. Who was already greeted in the traditional manner by Sven.

HNIC is apoplectic. Or apologetic. It’s hard to tell. Anyhow, they claim the Avs are leading the retro-skate-Nucks 3-1. In the ROG. Talk about exaggerating every little goal for the non-retro-obeying team.

Think about it. The Avs didn’t exist when the Nucks began wearing these jerseys. The least they could do, is not play the Nucks hard until late in the 3rd when the Nucks are up 5 goals. Spoil sports. Some may say, they have their own NHL agenda. I say, not on our special home game marketing night.

Ok, stop thinking. Time for the Nucks to start scoring and regain the lead or the tie whichever comes later.

Gaud helps again. In the dying seconds of the period on the power-play. Looked pretty lively to me, but sports tropes never die. The 2nd winning goal for Gaudy.

Gaudy goals in both periods.

Nucks outshoot the Avs 11-8 and win the period for the 2nd time in the game.

3rd Period

The Nucks are going for it. Still leading the Avs. This time 2 to 3. The ROG is getting that 80s winning mojo on their boomboxes. The Nucks are getting their comeback Rocky 80s anthem tuned up.

But then MacKinnon decides to embarrass all the Nucks players. Again. Sure, he’s an elite player. But, why so cruel?

He skates around open ice in the Nucks end. Must have appeared open to him and the Nucks defenders were just retro-atmosphere holograms. Sends a pass out front to one of the non-hologram Avs players and another non-retro puck zips past Demko.

That’s not fair. We were told the Avs top players were playing Faery hockey this week. Turns out they have more than one top player. Not fair. But, that’s the parity thing that never was popular in the 80s.

Half way through the 3rd period of the most important retro marketing game of the season (other than the dozen other most important ones) and the Nucks are leading 2 to 4.

We’re down to the final 3:33. The Nucks decide to pull Demko and play the more men gambit.

Nucks are pressing, but feels like they need more of an advantage. Avs Calvert volunteers to play the headshot shot block on Pete’s point blank shot.

Mission accomplished. Pete’s shot is blocked (like 50 other Nucks attempts) and bounces to the boards while Calvert leaks blood all over the ice. Pete looks concerned. The refs aren’t. The show must go on. It’s the rules.

The Nucks 6 on 4 advantage pays off from a seeking victory pass from Quinn to Eddie who slams it past Bibs for the near win.

Ruthless playoff hockey in November. Who would have thought that possible just last month...

But wait. According to the NHL official scoreboard, the Nucks haven’t clinched the game. Those league scorekeeping officials are easily confused by sticking to the current era. Not on retro-ROG night. 3 Flying Skate goals, adjusted for inflation, are equal to 7 in today’s moneypuck game.

No matter. The NHL is stuck in the present when it suits them. And the game continues. Fine. The Nucks will just keep running up the score.

And do. With just a minute left in this huge lopsided Nucks retro-victory, sneaky Pete bounces a rebound off the shaky Bibs and Brock buries the shot for the commanding retro-win.

The retro-jersey curse is dead. The Nucks WIN 4-4!!! (Our 4 is much bigger than theirs. nah-nah)

The ROG is going crazy - wanna have fun like Cindy Lauper at a pink hair gala.

Wait. Appears the NHL doesn’t appreciate the serious nature of a retro-jersey game. They say we’re going to OT. Sure.

Kicking and puck dragging.

Which is exactly what happened.

OT

Fine. Nucks and Pete can beat the Avs in OT. Done it before. And won’t get a chance tonight. What!?

Again, talented and very cruel, Nate MacKinnon skates around all the Nucks (not that there that many, since again the league wouldn’t honour their wink-wink deal about 6, adjusted for inflation, retro-Nucks in OT).

Tanev is the victim of a pick and Nate skates in on Demko’s too weak side and pops the puck in the net.

Avs go crazy. Celebrate like they won the game. ROG goes quiet. Haven’t witnessed such an egregious violation of retro-hockey etiquette since Lu was banished from the Heritage Classic.

It’s freakin’ Flying Skate Night. We win. Like NM, all the real Nucks fan blogs will confirm. Was hysterically clear in the last minute of the 3rd...

The Nucks WIN 4-4!!!

Anyhow, if you want to watch the usual doctored HNIC highlights go ahead. But expect the retro indoctrination team knocking on your retro-fandom at random.

STATS (Gaudy Stats)

SOG FO% PP PIM HITS BLKS GVA
Avalanche
COL
23 36% 1/5 14 10 24 2
Canucks
VAN
32 64% 2/6 12 16 15 8


That giveaway stat is little giveaway to to the previous game’s big giveaway stat. And look how many shots the Avs blocked. They didn’t trust their backup’s backup’s backup either.

PLAYERS

# 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 1 0 1 1 1 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 22:27 6:13 --:-- 0
9 J.T. Miller 0 1 1 1 0 4 0 4 2 1 1 1 62 23:50 6:22 1:17 0
17 J. Leivo 0 1 1 1 0 3 0 3 0 0 1 0 12:51 2:31 --:-- 0
18 J. Virtanen 0 0 0 0 -2 1 0 1 5 0 1 0 12:13 --:-- --:-- 0
21 L. Eriksson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6:47 --:-- 2:12 0
40 E. Pettersson 0 1 1 1 0 5 2 5 1 0 2 2 22:00 6:22 --:-- 0
44 T. Graovac 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 33 2:46 --:-- --:-- 0
47 S. Baertschi 0 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 11:18 2:20 --:-- 0
53 B. Horvat 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 81 25:55 6:12 3:03 0
59 T. Schaller 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 10:20 --:-- 4:30 0
70 T. Pearson 0 1 1 1 -2 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 15:36 2:01 2:40 0
88 A. Gaudette 2 0 2 2 -1 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 27 14:00 2:44 --:-- 2
# 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 -1 2 0 2 1 3 0 0 12:27 --:-- 3:43 0
8 C. Tanev 0 0 0 0 -1 0 2 0 0 2 0 1 19:13 0:08 4:29 0
23 A. Edler 1 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 0 3 1 0 27:09 2:37 4:33 0
43 Q. Hughes 0 2 2 2 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 23:51 6:12 --:-- 0
51 T. Stecher 0 0 0 0 -2 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 11:18 --:-- 1:22 0
57 T. Myers 0 0 0 0 -1 1 2 1 1 4 0 0 18:38 0:28 1:19 0
# Goalies GP REC GA SV SA S EV PP SH SAVE-SHOTS SV% PIM TOI GAA
35 T. Demko -- 18 23 13–17 4–5 1–1 18–23 .783 0 58:06


Bo is part, the biggest part, of why the Nucks are #1 in the NHL. Nucks are first in playoff faceoff wins. And Bo leads all players in wins and number of draws.

We’re Number ONE! In that one stat. Something to build on.

Not Demko’s best game. Maybe his short side game needs a tall adjustment from Clark.

Tough game for the young stopper.

Since it’s a win, Bo gets a media hall pass and we hear the voice of Gaud.

Coach ‘Too Late Goals’ Green explains the retro-winning strategy.

That retro-night is another page in retro-marketing curse history. With the big comeback win, the Nucks now embark on the darkest journey of November.

It’s an endless (it will feel like it) journey into the eastern provinces. I know, had hoped the 40 games in 14 days road trip would be diverted to SoCal on humanitarian grounds.

However, it seems the dinner time game on Tuesday is still scheduled to be played in the heart of Texas. Where we hope the road Nucks will mess with them.

Enjoy your retro-Sunday hangover and get ready for road Capt’n Bo to light up goalies from Texarkana to the swamps of DC.