Welcome back, NM! Our victorious road warriors salute you. Or the other way round.
What a difference 10 days off can make. The Nucks had enough slack time to shake off the slacker work ethic that was
working kicking back in the 5-2 loss to the Canes at home. Personally, I could do with a few more days off, so have petitioned the league to skip the next B-2-B road games but give us 3 points. Maybe 4. Still in negotiation. With league representatives. In my mind.
While some in the SPW were confident the Nucks would win this game, some thought that was overconfident. Westy and I believed something else - the wrongs things. That’s not important.
What is important, is the Nucks believed in the power of themselves. Although we can’t discount the NM Effect At A Distance. Even if it’s available below wholesale online all the time.
The secret of a good road game is to start fast, score early, often and keep the lead. Better than keeping a secret is putting it to use.
First Nucks shot of the game. First goal of the game. First #Shotgun Jake toast in 14 games.
1-0 Nucks and not even 2 minutes in. This is a pretty good start for a team that was allegedly over-rested.
But wait! There’s more. And not just more shots from the Avs for Marky to turn aside.
More Sneaky Pete faceoff sneakiness. Pete wins the scrambly draw. Brock wrangles the puck and wrists a Brocket past Varlamov.
Boom! It’s 2-0 Nucks and the game thread is a mile high. Or at least 1.609344 km up in the giddies.
While the home team is outshooting the Nucks, Marky is out-saving them which is outstanding. Only thing to be worried about is taking a penalty - letting the highest scoring line in the league to have their own mile high moment.
So...Eddie does. The Avs PP is top 5 in the NHL. The Nucks PK needs to be perfect. And is.
Meanwhile...back to the Dekey Pete All Star clinic.
A reminder of why he's known as Dekey Pete pic.twitter.com/RhtN8nrxZy— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 3, 2019
Unbelievable. If Goldy had scored on that play the internet would have been broken. And Internet Overlord (Westy) doesn’t make house calls on weekends.
The hard working, hard skating Nucks win the period, 2-0. And the shot clock gives the homers a little 11-9 tilt. Doesn’t matter.
If you enjoyed the 1st, you’ll love the second. I did.
Loved every moment of it. Other than that moment when Pouliot didn’t win a vital puck battle and Marky didn’t keep his SO. But, that’s later.
First, we get the first goal of the second. On a smart play from Virt, great pass from Bo and smooth finish from noted ruffian, Roussel.
Another goal off the rush. 2 points each for Jake and Rous. So far.
3-0 Nucks. All the air, what is left, is sucked out of the mile-high arena.
The Nucks are breathing easy though. Except...when...let’s just skip that part. The part where the Avs get a goal and the locals get a little breath of hope. More of a last gasp, but we can smother the respiration later.
It’s 3-1 Avs. There’s false hope on the Avs bench and it’s more like no hope.
Because...the 4 line Nucks scoring lines aren’t finished...scoring.
With good pressure in the zone and Beagle and Motte in the zone, Stetch wrists a shot through traffic and Motte zones in on the perfect tip.
4-1 Nucks. 3 goal breathing cushion restored. Game thread exhales in relief. The Avs fake comeback isn’t coming up to this altitude.
The Nucks are the most penalised team in the league. And in keeping with that hard-reffing honor, the Avs are granted two more useless power plays. With even the best sniping line in hockey they can’t pop our game winning PK balloons.
The Avs outshoot the Nucks 13 to 10. And 24-19 through 2. And we’re through 2 and still winning. Can it get any better?
Yes, yes it can!
The Nucks extend their no-GA 3rd period streak. On the road!
Even better. The 2nd unit PP did something special. No, not give up a shortie, but really special - they get a goal. Pure Gold(y) - with a sweet fake and pass from Leivo.
It’s 5-1 Nucks!!! On the road! A mile high up in the sky!
Even better. It stays that way. The Avs top line, freshly united late in the first were shutout. MacKinnon, Landeskog and Rantanen have combined for 199 points this season. And they get none from the stingy Nucks and Marky.
A better start to a tough road trip couldn’t be imagined. Ok... a Pete, Brock ‘n Bo hattie performance might have topped it, but just barely.
Balanced scoring and near perfect team defensive play made this one of the better games of February. Maybe the best so far.
Video recap from the opposition’s site. The NHL.
Stats? Great Stats? Right Here.
Glorious Road Warrior Stats
|#||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|
The Marquis de Save stopped all 35 shots but one. Finished with a very elite .971 SV% and that means...
Marky is going to the dance. He is one of the elite goalies with 20 or more wins on the season so far. All the other goalies are on teams that are going to play off at the dance. And now, so is Marky. He’s not selfish and may bring his team with him to the festivities.
That was one of the most complete games the Nucks have played all season. It’s what we knew they could do with a complete roster. We did, didn’t we?
We may not have the best D in the
league conference division, but when this team plays as a team, they’re hard to play against. Willie would be proud. If he didn’t work for a former foe that is hugging the bottom of the drain in the basement.
The Jake break was great for Jake.
Our game-winning wonder.
No presser from the road Green room, but when asked about keeping the 199 pointers off the sheet said:
“It’s big,” Green said of keeping the top line scoreless. “I think every team in the league probably talks about it before the game, about the firepower they have with those three guys.”
“Really good effort, start to finish our guys were ready to play tonight.”
We’re going to the dance! Again. If this was the last game of the western conference final, we’d be... in Vegas, probably drunk, delusional and misconducting the state opera.
The easy road win is out of the way. Gets a little tougher on Monday against the hottest team in the league. The Flyers. Weird? Yes. But they’re on a 7 game win streak. That must be stopped.
Because... we need a 2 game win streak on the road more. That’s only fair. Be even more fair if the next night it blossomed into an early spring bouquet of 3 wins in 3 games. Which game does Demko play? In Philly or DC? It was an easy choice early last month. Now, not so much.
Enjoy the glow of a media-free Sunday and save your cheering and drinking for the occasion it deserves. Super Monday.