Today’s dinner time meal plan was meant to be a cold plate special. Because revenge is best served cold.
We saw how the Dallas Trappers played in the ROG. Great defence can cause great turnovers. You’d think the Nucks would work on the simple defensive strategies - like minimising odd-man rushes against the currently most successful rushing team in the league.
You think weird. Instead... the Nucks worked on their possible saviour getting on the ice for a game on this trip. Roussel was featured on the Nucks website pre-game. He was chipper. About the weather.
Nucks had a day of prep and practice time in Dallas.
Let’s see how that game prep played out.
All the Nucks pre-game prep was tossed in favour of playing the worst 10 minutes of the season.
Nucks get scored on first. Twice. Because of a mercy call the first goal was called back on the offside. The 2nd first goal was not.
Bad clear by Loui who went to join his line on a bad change set up the Dallas odd-man goal. Jamie Benn gets in on Marky alone. That’s not going to end well. And didn’t.
It’s 1-0 Dallas. And the Nucks push their luck by giving up the first goal in 15 of 22 games. That’s not the kind of luck that takes to being pushed.
Oh well... at least the Nucks have almost as much experience as the Leafs when playing from behind. And equal amount of success.
The best part of the game... was before it started.
Benn: We'll be leading after the 1st.— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 20, 2019
Benn: Then we'll tie it in the 2nd.
Benn: Then we'll win it in the 3rd - and head to Nashville!
It's 1-0 Stars after 20. pic.twitter.com/PIjSB3E8iG
Stars outshoot Nucks 11-8. But, that seems more respectable than it was. At the 12 minute mark Nucks only had 4 shots on Bishop, none were grade A chances.
Only the Gaudy shot late in the period tested Bishop. There were some other Nucks chances but they were stopped by the glass behind the goalie. Good to know it’s not just the ROG glass that bedazzles Nucks shooters.
Oh well... down just one goal on the road. That’s not so bad.
The Nucks PK is tested early and passes. Then the Nucks get a power-play and another at the same time! It’s a 5 on 3!
Or at least Dallas fans are. For whatever reason we can’t understand until the entire Nucks special teams department is performing hard labour at a golf tee in AZ will we know why the Nucks power-play isn’t very powerful. Some say it’s static, predictable. Others say it’s just bad puck luck combined with bad passes and poor screens.
After Dallas kills off the 5 on 3 and the 5 on 4, seemed like the Nucks momentum left the rink to catch the plane early.
But not Brock ‘n Bo (Green was mixing lines and stirring possibilities).
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Too long has Bo not had a goal. Great pass from Brock and Capt’n Bo skates in alone, snaps it past Bishop. Breaks his 10 game goal drought and snaps Bishop’s SO.
Bo(eser) pic.twitter.com/cnUZD80f8Y— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 20, 2019
Wooo! Way to go Bo! It’s a 1 goal game. Again.
And then it’s not.
Some not so uncharacteristic poor coverage, Fedun is allowed a couple chances to score his 1st goal in 27 games. His last goal was in March. Against the Nucks. In Dallas.
Vancouver outshoots Dallas 14-10. Just guessing, but Nucks would need to outshoot them 35-10 in the period to preserve the tie. The tie that isn’t on the menu. The tie that is out of reach and driving away.
3-1 Stars going into the 3rd. Benn has 2 goals in the game. The wrong Benn.
Remember last year when the Nucks were down a couple to start to the 3rd and then bad stuff happened?
This is worse.
How much worse? 3 goals against and no energy worse. All the puck gazing by the Nucks couldn’t help Marky. All the broken plays, bad passes, line mixing couldn’t help the Nucks score.
Green was even swapping defence partners - Myers out with Quinn. Stetch with the Dallas cheerleaders. Didn’t help.
And worse, we have to watch (don’t have to) the ‘highlights’ from Dallas home on-air crew.
The worst blowout of the season? Check. 6-1 star-blasting.
Power-play continues at 0%? Check. Went 0 for
Legendary Nucks PK now mortal? Check.
Oh well... that’s one road game through the dark, dangerous east finished. And neither Tanev nor Eddie were injured. So... small tight-fitting silver lining.
STATS (Look Away)
PLAYERS (Also... Look Away)
|#||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|
Because it’s a road loss, Capt’n Bo takes the blown-out heat.
"It's a long roadtrip, it's not the way we wanted to start this one off but there's a lot more hockey to be played so we have to be ready to go." -Horvat on the 6-1 loss to the Stars. pic.twitter.com/3JcwHIAUhk— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 20, 2019
Coach ‘Not Very Good’ Green went on a good trend bender:
We weren’t very good all night. We didn’t have a very good game.
We weren’t very good - Not going to comment on 1 goal or 2 goals - we had a lot of holes in our game. Not hanging the goaltenders out to dry.
Marky after posting the .806 puts a little understated emphasis on the state of the team.
“We’re not playing as good as we can and we know that. It’s frustrating. We’ve got to work our way out of this.” - Markstrom— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) November 20, 2019
Really, this loss wasn’t all Marky. Kept the Nucks in the game until the 5-on-3 PP betrayed them.
Also... Dallas is the hottest team in the league right now - trending waaaay up as the Nucks make their waaaay down descent. Hockey is a funny game. Unless you’re a Nucks fan, then often it’s more sad than funny.
What happened exactly? Just a half dozen things.
The Nucks were:
Out-played, Out-pressured, Out-skated, Out-passed, Out-checked, Out-scored.
That’s the delicate part. Sure, a blowout is bad. Losing is never fun. Losing your confidence is worse.
Hopefully this hard blast of losing hard is enough to shock the team that they need to play as a team again.
Forwards need to support the defence. The defence needs to support the goalie. And the goalies need to support the forwards until they can find the all-4-lines-scoring touch of October. Is that asking for so much?
We’ll find out on Thursday. When another dinner hour is interrupted by a game that will be a defining moment for either the Preds or Nucks. Or both. Since both have lost 7 of 8.
Let’s hope, even if we know it will be crushed, let’s hope the Nucks can be the W in that record of slumping. Hump day is for hoping, isn’t it?