It was the (6th) night before Xmas, and all through the ROG the fans were nervous.
After getting belly-whomped by the bottom/side/top dealing player-stealing Knights of Golden Schmaltz on the Strip last Sunday, many at NM were trying to book 7pm root canals for Thursday. Less painful.
There were pre-game questions and quite a few during the game thread.
Nucks haven’t beaten Flower since 2006
And y’all think we will tonight with this fragile team ???
Only Westy and Twitchy had their straight flush swagger swinging pre-game. Although Westy’s flush might have been sunburn. The rest of us were sitting in the spw waiting room catching up on back issues of Floss ‘n Brush Monthly.
Could wet coast rainwater drown the Vegas White Knighties in the ROG?
Let’s get this slog on the ice.
Not saying the Nighties came out flat, but have to let the flannel crease where it wants.
Just a few minutes in, the 2nd miracle of the week happened. The Nucks Score! First!
It’s Roooouse from Gaud. So you know it counts.
Wooooo! Getting the first goal of the game guarantees victory! Unless it’s Tuesday in the ROG. But, it’s not.
And while the Stolen Knots are trying to figure out how a #teamlikethat can get the first goal like that on Flower, they’re called for tripping on Beags.
First unit gets on first. Nothing too exciting happens - just the usual dangerous turnover. But then with not much left on the advantage (advantage for 1st unit = high danger the other way), mere seconds remain and Myers makes a great play at the blueline (one of not many) and Leivo passes
once twice to Pearson and the puck is past Flower for the 2nd time in the same period!!!
2-0 Lead! In the 1st.
However, since the 2 goal lead isn’t the safest lead in hockey anymore, a nothing play inside the Golden blueline turns into something terrible, far too quick. The turnover was from Miller. To atone for his error, he makes a worse error on the back check and the puck is in the net. The wrong net.
The unsafe 2 goal lead is now the much safer 1 goal lead.
Or is it?
Nope. Miller having made 2 gaffs on one play, knows he must do better. And does. Steals the puck at the same tarnished blueline, drives to the net, gets hauled down, puts the puck on Fleury and it bounces to Pete who pounces to score.
Wooooo! Pete won’t be denied this game.
Game thread are getting pretty excited about the 2 goal lead.
Jimmi...your Recap headline should simply be
WE FRICKIN SCORED IN THE LAST MINUTE OF A PERIOD…and no, not on ourselves
As much as I’d like to conclude a recap in the 1st with a snappy headline like that - I asked to on Tuesday - the NHL demands a full 60 minute game. It’s not fair.
Still... no matter that the Golden Nighties outshoot us 14-11, it’s a 3-1 Nucks lead after one.
One period is won. That’s one down and two to go in old skool lingo. How hard can that be?
Actually... really hard.
In the intermission the Sleepy Knights have swilled the Golden Go juice. They’re skating and hitting like a playoff team.
And worse. They win an O-zone face off. Weird because Bo has won all of his so far. And then didn’t win this one.
And much worse, Bo tries to pin Karlson behind the net, got the body, but not the stick. And puck is out front before you can say ‘out front’ and passed again and in the net.
Fine. We don’t need no stinkin’ 2 goal lead. One goal lead is the safest lead in hockey. When the game ends and you have the one goal lead.
And Marky is keeping the desert gamblers at bay.
Dig all you want, that's a Marky save! pic.twitter.com/lbeWkktS85— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 20, 2019
And then it turns to the fugly side. When the play gets nasty, you can always count on the refs to turn the other eyeball.
Holden hammers Leivo into the boards with a dirty crosscheck. Right in front of the ref. No call. But Leivo is down. He’s hurt. The Nucks swarm Holden and demand justice from the refs. The refs don’t do justice to the term injustice.
No call. And worse, Holden scores from the point. I’m not making this up. It’s like one of those twisted sub-plot thing that makes the ROG shiver at night.
Insult meet injury. Leivo is done for the night. The faeries are circling for early Xmas dinner.
Unpenalized boarding by Holden on Leivo. Suspension?
Need to spin that Department of Player Safety Wheel of Discipline. - marcness52
The one goal lead is lost. The Knights of the Tilted Ice are playing their speed off the rush, relentless puck pursuit and possession game we’ve seen so many times. Possibly a half dozen too many times.
But Pete is going to beat Fleury again.
Petey beat Fleury, just not the post pic.twitter.com/Dsos2NzC7o— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 20, 2019
The Nucks might look beaten. But they’re not. Bent and drooping, but not broken. Marky is making saves and taking names. Not sure if he plans to keep the names, but I digress.
And so did the game. It’s tied 3-3 after 2. Nucks get outshot 12-10 and outscored by 2.
Oh well... starting the 3rd with a tie is far better than starting with a one goal lead - the least safe lead in hockey.
Means the Nucks can press. Can push for the one goal lead. Which is the safest lead in hockey. Rarely.
Sweet Pete passes cross ice to Brock who returns the sweetness and Pete beats Flower before the game thread had time to cheer. What a shot!
It’s the most dangerous one goal lead in hockey!
And the White Nighties are hammering shots at Marky. And Marky stops all 19. But one. Didn’t stone Stone on the backdoor.
It’s a tie game. Again. And Vegas is playing faster, harder than ever before. Do they think they can win in regulation in the ROG.
They think wrong. The Nucks are not playing to lose. Unlike that 5 times in Vegas.
And Marky is making the Desperato Save Of The Year off Stastny
Massive save from Markstrom to force OT! ❌ ❌ pic.twitter.com/zocO732QSK— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 20, 2019
The Nucks are going to get a point. They’ve earned it.
Wow....we won a point against Flower
You can add that to the Recap, Jimmi - ‘82
And that means... regulation is over. Shots were 19-12 for Vegas. Their shot quota is all used up. Because...
Pete is going to get the hattie in OT. Bet on it.
Nope. It’s going to be our sharpshooting OT winning D-man who saves our game thread and Green’s job with a simple deke on Flower.
The game thread is going Woo! Woo! The ROG is going home happy.
Happy as the 2 Johns at a free sandwich buffet.
GAME STATS (Playoff style)
PLAYER STATS (Our best player is Pete)
|#||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|
Let’s hear from our best Pete and the game’s 1st star.
Happy birthday, Chris! Great way to celebrate early.
Chris Tanev has six career game-winning goals, with four of those being OT winners. pic.twitter.com/o8hfQTarlI— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) December 20, 2019
Over in the Green Room, a hellava party is just starting.
Hard fought win. Just in time. The L-skid stops at 3. Just in time to start a 3 W-streak. Is that asking so much? Maybe on Wednesday. Now, not so much. Beating the Nighties is a big confidence boost. Sure, we still haven’t beat them in regulation, but small steps.
As much as we’d like the Xmas break to start now, there’s some payback due to Pitts on Saturday. And the Nucks pay their debts. Just ask Lu.