Of all the games we were dreading in SoCal on this road trip, this was the one. One filled with the most pre-game dread. After last week’s gaslight in the ROG Shark Tank we weren’t looking forward to more Shark gas attacks in the real Tank.
However, Marky is back, playing elite and the kids put on a skillz clinic in LA, so our loss wouldn’t be blown out of proportion. And it wasn’t. For some fine 40 minutes we who dared to dip into a game thread on a saturday, almost dared to believe a depleted Nucks roster might upset the over-stacked Sharks roster. Almost.
Yes, the Sharks thrashed their way out of the gate and looked keen to devour Nucks goalie stats flesh, yet the nimble Nucks had sticks loaded with Shark repellent. It was a game the Nucks could have won. Pretty sure. If.... that’s a big fat IF. If the PP had clicked and just a couple less mistakes were made. This is how you alter history. Just a few nips at details here and there, and the Nucks win 4-3. Woooo!
Thanks for reading.
This is not how you want to start a road game in the Tank. Take a penalty early. Sure, it was Poolie in the box, but better he’s on the bench.
Because.... the Sharks power play is pretty good. A little too good, too early.
Just how they like to start. Early goal and the SJ Tank crowd is in the game. So is Meier. Who should have been scratched by the Nucks goalie coach before the game. More about that later...
Who else is in the game? Bulldog and Roussel. Biega makes a great stretch pass out of the zone to a zipping Rous, who zips in on a shaky Jones and it’s a tie game not even 5 minutes in! Woooo!
Big response by the Nucks a minute after the SJ goal. Best response there is when swimming in the Tank.
The Nucks had two PP ‘oppourtunities’ in the period. No game-breaking-open oppourtunistic goals. Of course. However, the Nucks PK did kill another Sharks PP and period ended in a tie. In the Tank. That’s pretty good SoCal road hockey.
Shots were 11-8 for SJ, because that’s the rules.
As an unbiased totally fair and balanced biased Nucks fan this period was owned by the Nucks. Despite not being able to buy, borrow or rent a goal.
Two minutes in and Meier is called for running over Marky. At least the refs called this one. Those in the game thread were calling for much more severe punishment to Meier. Or maybe it was just me.
On the PP, the Nucks got very close to making it a bad night to be Jonesin’. A couple plays were close enough for us, but the league refuses to add some horseshoe scoring changes to goal scoring. Bastards.
Anyhow, the period was exciting to watch. The Nucks were keeping up with the best team in the Pacific.
Lots of back ‘n forth and scrambled play by both teams. Unfortunately the Nucks scramble luck ran out when Erik the Scary broke up a Nucks rush at his blueline.
Suddenly there were four Sharks rushing into make a kill on the scoresheet. And one did. Bastard. Marky said after the game he wanted that one back, because Guddy was tripped on the play, with no call. I agree, but again, the league doesn’t. Goal stands.
Right off the face off after this goal Zak spent part of his 2:34 of total ice time in a tussle. Which he won with a technical knock down. Tough kid.
Tough kid that Green doesn’t trust yet. And who might be Utica bound before the next home game. Only the Faeries know for sure.
I know I would have liked to see the Nucks trade goals with the Sharks in the 2nd. The feisty Nucks outshot the Sharks in their own Tank, 19-6. Outshooting them by over 3 to 1 should mean at least a goal, shouldn’t it? It does when other teams do it to us.
It’s not fair, and first thing Monday morning NM will be calling an executive meeting with the Unfairness and Whining About It Committee. Expect some stern missives. Or whinge-filled hangovers.
Fine. Can’t beat the Sharks in the 2nd. Let’s tie them in the 3rd.
Who better than Dekey Pete. Who was having another highlight reel game. Only lacking the highlight reel goals.
Pete is a puckhound. A sneaky puckhound. Disrupts two Sharks behind their net. Just when the defenders think they have Pete out-manned and beat, Pete sends a backpass to Brock who steps out front and lifts a muffin-shot past Jones. Just like he planned it.
Congrats, Brock!. Oh...there’s a winery in False Creek? Who knew?
I know, if only this was the last minute of play, we could have a certain OT loss in the Tank. But this goal was early. Not even 5 minutes in.
Instead of accepting their OT fate, the Sharks start pushing back. That’s not very hospitable. The Nucks have proven they can hang with the big fish. Why not keep the tension, the capture and release until the shootout? I don’t know.
The Nucks came close to taking the lead. But then...a failed clear by Bulldog led to the flakiest setup for goal we’ve seen all year.
Sure, the Sharks keep the play in the zone. Sure, they get a shot on Marky, but makes the saves. But his mask betrays him. Rebounds off the traitorous mask right to Little Joe. Who has an open net to shoot the puck into. And does. (watch the replay on that, Goldy)
Sharks have the lead. Again. And Bulldog is beating himself up over the failed clear. The real villain is right in front of Marky’s face. Masked betrayal. No worse fate can befall a goalie. Ok, there’s much worse, but still the goalie mask’s job is to protect the goalie. And his SV%.
All that game-tieing work must be done again. It’s not fair. Again the NM Unfairness and Whining About It Committee will be getting some sick submissions.
The Nucks almost make the OT miracle. In the last minute with Marky on the bench having words with his Mask (pretty sure he used the Jim Carey voice), the Nucks have to win a faceoff outside the Sharks blueline. And do. And once won, someone must get the puck to Pete. And Leivo does.
Pete zooms in on Jones. We can feel it in the gamethread. Those left with any feelings at all that haven’t left the game thread.
There it is. The sneaky wrister. Right on target - top corner, blocker side.
But for a millimetre of post and a micron of Jones stick, Pete would have added his 10th game-tieing goal of the season. Still...his 9 GTGs lead the league. He’s not only sneaky, he’s clutch.
The vid recap is only with the single John (HNIC house rules) and it misses the near miss at the end that would have made this recap more fun to read and my mood better too.
Almost Winning Stats (ignore those losing ones)
|#||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|
“At the end of the night we need the points and the playoff spot. This was an improvement from our last game against them, but it still stings.” - Hutton— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 17, 2019
Bo is taking positives and making names.
"These are important points to get but I thought we did a good job against a hard team to play against." - Bo Horvat comments post-game against the Sharks pic.twitter.com/Taft45InKQ— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 17, 2019
Markstrom was a little frustrated:
“Third game of a California road trip, with a limited lineup, guys have really stepped up. To be 2-2 coming into the third, and with 10 minutes left in the third, and to lose in regulation, that’s tough.”
And to give the minions at home a better fate, the road Green room setup the cameras and the mics.
The SoCal sojourn is over. Thankfully. The Nucks come home with 2 points out of a possible 6. That’s .333 hockey. Is that so bad?
No, it’s not. Despite losing more than winning, the Nucks are still in 9th place, just peeking over the wall they keep around the 2nd seed. Fortunately, it’s not a tall wall at all.
Dynamically depleted roster. Cali Mob games. Still bitter about the goon they call Getz. But, he was just following orders. He’s like a waiter at the all you can break Faery Smorgasbord. At least we didn’t tip him.
The Faeries have feasted in February. This week, real Canadian winter hit Vancouver and the Faeries have been putting on the calories. Here’s who was on their menu.
Nucks were without the 1st pairing of Eddie and Tanev. Rumour is they both could be back in a week(ish). Nothing more on Jake’s status, except he’s with the faeries in the reserved seating section. Demko is unknown. Sven and Sutts are out long term - months, maybe longer.
The Nucks now can go home and take a few days off. Because the date-math challenged mavens at NHL scheduling hell can’t make the sched fair and balanced, the Nucks played 3 games in 4 days. And now won’t play for another 5 days. That’s sched-feds version of balanced.
This does give us time at NM Worry & Losses Command to over-analyse the results so far in this crucial juncture in the Pacific Turtle Derby.
Nucks have played 9 games so far in February. Won 3 and OTL’d 1. The X’s mark the spot where the 5 games of pain went.
So far this month, the Nucks are sub-500 and yet...still in the hunt for apres-season glory (or despair). This division is a tight race to the top. Or bottom. It changes every night.
For example, the next ROG game was marked in as a probable win. The Yotes have been chewing on garbage games and weren’t expected to make a charge. Yet after chewing up the Laffs, the desert dogs are nipping at our 9th place heels. WTH?!
On Thursday we could be facing the rabid dogs of 9th. It’s a MUST WIN game. For those who prefer to see the Nucks win more games than lose. Although the way this stretch run is getting stretched and twisted, the team with the close to 500 record could win the chance to lose 4 extra games. It’s that damn close.
So close, we might have to consult the numbers.
|Wild Card||GP||W||L||OT||PTS||ROW||GF||GA||DIFF||HOME||AWAY||S/O||L10||STRK||Last Game||Next Game|
|1 Dallas||58||29||24||5||63||29||145||149||-4||18-8-2||11-16-3||0-0||6-3-1||L2||Feb 16: DAL 0 - CAR 3||Feb 19 vs NSH|
|2 Minnesota||58||27||25||6||60||26||164||172||-8||13-11-5||14-14-1||1-2||3-4-3||OT1||Feb 15: MIN 4 - NJD 5||Feb 17 vs STL|
|3 Vancouver||60||26||27||7||59||23||170||188||-18||13-11-3||13-16-4||3-3||3-6-1||L1||Feb 16: VAN 2 - SJS 3||Feb 21 vs ARI|
|4 Arizona||58||26||27||5||57||24||152||167||-15||11-14-3||15-13-2||2-1||4-5-1||W1||Feb 16: ARI 2 - TOR 0||Feb 18 @ CGY|
|5 Colorado||58||23||24||11||57||23||186||192||-6||10-12-5||13-12-6||0-1||1-6-3||L1||Feb 16: COL 0 - STL 3||Feb 18 vs VGK|
|6 Chicago||59||24||26||9||57||23||192||216||-24||13-11-6||11-15-3||1-1||8-2-0||L1||Feb 16: CHI 2 - CBJ 5||Feb 18 vs OTT|
|7 Edmonton||58||24||29||5||53||21||163||195||-32||12-15-1||12-14-4||3-0||1-7-2||L4||Feb 16: EDM 2 - NYI 5||Feb 19 vs ARI|
|8 Anaheim||58||22||27||9||53||19||128||185||-57||11-9-8||11-18-1||3-2||2-8-0||L1||Feb 15: ANA 0 - BOS 3||Feb 17 vs WSH|
|9 Los Angeles||58||23||29||6||52||21||141||179||-38||12-14-2||11-15-4||2-2||4-4-2||L1||Feb 16: LAK 2 - BOS 4||Feb 18 vs WSH|
Lots of small gains or huge losses to watch this coming week. Hopefully the Flames can burn the sheen off the dog kennel.
Enjoy your Nuck-hockey-free week. Keep your mouse tuned to NM Trade Rumours for all the latest fake rumours and non-trade talks.
Have a happy BC Family Day weekend for those in BC, with both family and a job to take off from. That’s a lot of qualifications.
Never mind. Just have a great week of what-might-be and enjoy the rest of the slide into Pacific Division top-to-bottom-bottom-to-top topples.