MUST WIN home game. That was the simple imperative in the pre-game SPW thread. It was the same imperative in the game thread.
We assume it was the same imperative in the Nucks locker room.
We’re all on the same imperative page. Fans, players, coaches. Possibly even the media. It’s a 4 point game on the line against a team in the same place on the half shell in the turtle derby. To be fair the Yotes have won every game this season against the Canucks. Won the last one in OT. Eerie foreshadowing or stupid pattern? You decide.
This is what they used to call a classic stretch game. Back when the Nucks used to make stretch runs. Those were the days.
It’s all to play for in the Any Western Team Can Make the Playoffs derby.
Yotes were out-chancing the Nucks 8-1 early. Not the best must-win home game strategy.
The Nucks must have realised that and turned up the intensity control on their custom made HEGs (Hockey Effort Generators - it’s an arcane technical term that’s no longer used).
Turning the tide and brushing aside the dogged checking of the Yotes, Bo goes for the O-zone. Ekkkman-Laaaarson couldn’t clear and Granny back hands a pass to Roussel, who gets slashed ‘n gashed and backpasses to Bo for the goal. Wooo!
This is how you win a must-win game. Score early. Score first. Score often.
2 out of 3 isn’t so bad. The Nucks kept the pressure on the desert pups and at the end of the period, had outshot Arizona 17-11. I know, it’s still weird calling them the Arizona Coyotes. But they took a poll and no one voted for the Glendale Coyotes Living Large On The Taxpayer Dole.
The Nucks are engaged. Lead 1-0. They just need to marry another goal.
Or shotgun wedding another goal. Oh, wait. Only the Faeries are shotgunning right now.
No matter. They get some other chances on 2 power plays. Against the NHL’s #1 PK. Ok, fine. Not much of a chance with the Nuck’s very far from 1st PP.
The Yotes are very aggressive on the PK. The Nucks are very passive and static on the PP.
What could have been the difference in the game - a MUST WIN game if you recall - was yet another demonstration of the 7% solution to game no-difference making.
The Nucks have scored 4 magnificent goals on their last 54 power plays. They were magnificent goals because of the special rarity.
In a stretch run, it’s considered essential to have a semi-decent power play. Not the 5th worst one. Without a better power play success rate it appears the Nucks stretch run won’t stretch far. Even amongst the brittle turtles of the Pacific.
Shots were 9-6 for the Nucks in the 2nd. Typical Yotes no event hockey game.
At least the Nucks have the lead coming into the final 15 minutes. Or is it 10?
It wasn’t what we would have thought a MUST WIN Nucks 3rd period would look like. The Yotes were winning the puck battles, the shot clock, the O-zone time, the power play wars.
PP? What? The Yotes is marginally better than the Nucks. And worse, it succeeded when needed.
And even worse, it was working when Poolie was in the box. For only 35 seconds. Poolie took a penalty because... reasons...
And most worst, the Yotes PP tally wouldn’t have tallied if not for a defensive tip by Beagle gone horribly wrong. Ugh.
No matter. It was a lucky bounce on a generally unlucky power play. The Nucks will get it back and take the lead.
Or not. Instead, the Nucks get outworked for seemingly the 100th time in the period. Unsurprisingly, Guddy loses the puck battle behind the net. As did his D-partner.
Puck squirts out front. Ok, it was passed out front, but squirted makes it sound less dangerous. The freshly squirted puck drips onto Crouse’s stick and he gets his first goal in a long time. Just not long enough.
The air, the happy time is sucked out of the ROG. In the game thread the air was blue. With some Gaud-dammed expletives. Goal wasn’t totally Gaudette’s fault. It was a team D-zone effort.
At this point in the period, the Nucks had 2 shots on goal and the Yotes 18. Oh and 2 goals. Let’s
not forget those.
The Nucks are down a goal, which is definitely not the way to win a MUST WIN game. In the game thread, the blank stares could be heard across the internet.
No worries. We only need Gaud’s help.
From a sweet pass from Rous, it’s Gaudy bar down redemption! Wooo!
It’s a tie game again. There’s hope! We’re winning. If this was the 2nd and the Yotes didn’t score in the 3rd. That’s how I want to remember it. And will.
The last couple minutes of no event hockey passed without anymore unfortunate events. It was unfortunate enough that the Yotes outshot the Nucks 20-5 in the 3rd. And those other 2 unfortunate events.
At least there’s another chance to win the MUST WIN.
Another chance. Another lost chance. Best Nucks chance was when Stech broke in with EP and Brock. Did he get the puck to Pete or Brock? No, he didn’t.
And worse, the Yotes got possession. And fresh legs. Pete and Brock were tired. And when you’re tired...well...wily fresh Coyote out-dekes Marky and Brock.
Oh well. One point is better than no points. It’s almost like a win, but without the winning points.
As K2 commented in the game thread:
Lost another must win. I am not sure we understand the meaning of the word must.
Not sure? We can ask Webster.
be commanded or requested to
be urged to : ought by all means to
be compelled by physical necessity to
be obliged to : be compelled by social considerations to
The Nucks social rebel force, fought the bigger fight. Take that Social Media! We give you no consideration!
A point and a social media protest. Next best thing to a musty win.
“It went down to the wire, but we sat back in the 3rd and it cost us. I’m frustrated.” - Stecher— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 22, 2019
The tale of lost mustiness with the 2 Johns.
The biggest take away from this game...a point. And the other point: without a power play that can be at least average, the turtle derby surely won’t be won.
The other pain point is the cap ceiling. The Faery cap. The Nucks have $19M in the Faery Reserve Fund. The Yotes are hurting too, but only spending $14M of their cap space on the Faeries.
The good news, is the same old turtle news. The Nucks are still in the same 6th seed position as last week. Too bad they only allow the 1st and 2nd seeds to sew wild spots.
MUSTED UP STATS
MUST POINTED 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|
Marky played great. Again. Behind an over-worked Stetch and Hutty. Sautner was pretty good. Bulldog played hard. Guddy and Poolie were... Guddy and Poolie.
Let’s hear about redemption from the voice of Gaud.
Over in the Green room, the mood was surprisingly perky.
Let’s check the schedule. Too many Xs and not enough Ws, And now a cross T.
Just one possible projected W to go. Would be great to turn that question mark into a sweet W on Saturday. The Isles are only the #1 team in the Metro with a 6-3-1 record in the last 10, so we could pencil in the W now with invisible
ink lead hope.
Let’s keep our feet on the table, our eyes on the ceiling and watch for falling turtles.
Have a fab Friday and a lotto-sanctioned Saturday in the ROG.