It seems like just a couple days ago that the Nucks PP looked dangerous - dangerous enough to get a goal.
Tonight with 5 PP attempts the Nucks were reportedly grinding for a goal. When driving a manual, the clutch can help you avoid grinding your gears. When playing hockey on the powerplay, a clutch goal is...clutch. The Nucks PP is clutchless.
Urgency. Less than 20 games to play. It’s the urgent stretch run...er.. tortoise waddle part of the season. While the Nucks did get better as the crazy game went on, their urgency was more scramblurgency. Whatever.
The game thread was unprepared. As was the Nucks powerplay. 11 seconds in and the most penalised team in the NHL takes a penalty.
It’s a road team dream. Get on the power play early in the first and pot a goal.
A dream we dare not dream, 93.8% of the time.
A few minutes later, it’s the Avs turn for powerplay futility. We like that. The PK is solid, if not squishy in the middle.
But, the Avs are pressing at even strength and the Nucks aren’t clearing. And McKinnon is scoring.
1-0 Home High Altitude.
And then while the Nucks were busy getting outshot, out-pressured, a small time in the home o-zone ends in a big Nucks goal.
Point streaking Bulldog puts a shot on net and Rous gets the tip past the Varlamov.
Wooo! Despite playing too high in the mountains, the Nucks come back to tie and the game is anyone’s to play for. To play scrappy for, at least.
As the scrappy period progresses the refs give the Avs 2 more chances to rest up on the PK. It’s not far. Actually it’s very far and unfair. Gave us a power play too early and now it’s too late for two more.
Not too late for the Avs power play. Beagle takes a penalty. Slinks to the box like he knows what’s next. The game thread slouches down into the oh no position.
The Nucks PK is doing good. For the first minute. But Granny gets greedy on a clear. Thinking breakaway for Loui. Not thinking fast enough. LandersDoggie steals the puck and before you can say broken play, Rant-a-man snipes it past Marky.
Marky is not happy. We’re not happy. The thin-air breathers in the rink are ecstatic.
Avs up 2-1 and the period’s done. And so are we.
Nucks are outshot 17-8 and outscored 2-1. And out-chanced 5-1. Marky has kept the game close. Thankfully. Game is too young for a mile high blowout.
Last game the new, improved Nucks PP was 1 for 2. So far the not-so-new dis-improved PP is 0 for 3.
Just imagine if last game’s Nucks PP was available....no, don’t. That way leads to suffering.
The Nuck play better this period. Their lighter-air legs are working better. Almost keeping up with the Avs.
Shots are even 12-12 and no more Avs goals are scored. Sadly, no more Nucks goals are scored either. The teams trade PP/PK time with both PKs winning the effectiveness stat.
Oh well...trailing 2-1 going into the 3rd isn’t totally horrible. Could be worse.
Some in the game thread were worried that some cynical bastard’s depressing prediction looked like it would spoil our amazing 1 game win streak extension. Or maybe it was just me.
On and on the teams traded chances. The Rocky Mountain chances looked more playoffy than the Nucks heavy-breathing shots.
However, the comeback kids won’t be denied. Sooner or later it had to happen. It was later, because...later timezone stuff.
Off the faceoff, won by Bo, who was struggling early in the dot, going 0 for 9, he gets the puck to Spooner, who passes back to Biega, spoons it back to Spoons who ladles it Leivo. Who wires it past Varly. Woooooooooo!
Game is tied with less than 3 minutes to play!
And you know what that means... you do right? It means we’re going to win in OT, because that’s what we do - or at least what our proxy players do. Win in OT. Not Colorado. They’re 1-11 in OT.
Period ends with Avs winning the shot clock count 12-9.
We got this! Or at least our proxy players do.
We WIN! New old kid, Pearson threw himself and the puck into the net. The refs didn’t count the double commitment. The man-in-net play was reviewed back in the War-On-Nucks Room and confirmed the unfair on-ice call.
Unbelievably Nucks don’t win in OT. I still can’t believe it.
That’s ok, we can still win it in the One-Shot-At-A-Time section of the game.
Watch it and cringe along with Marky.
Ugh. Petey fell for the Varly open wicket ploy. Brock didn’t and beat him high. Marky stopped all the shots. But 2. Dammit.
To console ourselves, we video snip with the 2 Johns.
So close, but really very far. The Avs looked like a team playing playoff-style hockey. More jump, more jump on pucks, urgent clears and urgent speed. Without the spectacular saves from Marky, 43 of them, the Nucks might have finished with another pointless road game.
Thin Air Stats
Non-Urgent Team Stats
|#||Forwards||GP||G||A||P||+/-||S||PIM||PIM||SOG||HITS||BLKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||TOI||PP TOI||SH TOI||PP||GW|
|#||Defense||GP||G||A||P||+/-||S||PIM||PIM||SOG||HITS||BLKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||TOI||PP TOI||SH TOI||PP||GW|
Marky was brilliant - he won us the sore loser point - he wasn’t happy about losing in the SO. But if Petey doesn’t score in the shootingout, that gives the other team an advantage. Especially if most Nucks shooters were getting baited by Varmy’s open honey pot - which he closed every time. Dammit.
Here’s the game’s #1 star and unhappy stopper.
"This one's going to sting, but there's a game tomorrow." - Jacob Markstrom comments on a frustrating shootout loss to the Avalanche. pic.twitter.com/IdHQXAeLaK— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 28, 2019
If you noticed, Pete didn’t get a point. His play was less Alien and more earthling than usual. Perhaps he’s feeling how very, very long the NHL regular season is. We all are. At least this long season the Nucks are playing semi-meaningful games down the stretch. So that’s pretty good. It’s better when Petey scores, and we’re greedy for more.
How did the new guy fit in the net and with the media?
Tanner Pearson comments post-game on the Canucks disallowed goal and the shootout loss to the Avs. pic.twitter.com/QWohiTtlXz— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 28, 2019
Leivo says they were playing playoff hockey. That’s cleared up at least.
“It’s frustrating, but our belief level is still high. We needed a better start tonight. Fighting for that point was big. Every point matters right now. This is playoff hockey.” - Leivo— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 28, 2019
Over in the road Green room, there were words. Some cranky words for the refs and was cornered about the abysmal power play results.
Travis said: “It’s a hot topic right now. The guys are grinding...”
Goldy wasn’t to blame tho.
Green on Goldobin: "You could probably tell I was riding him a bit and putting him on a couple different lines. He started to create and as the game wore on I thought he was one of our guys that was creating. It's good to see. I'm happy for him & it's good for our team." #Canucks— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) February 28, 2019
And with that half-win, we turn our attention to the lower attitudes. To one of the hot, if not the hottest spot in hockey. Glendale.
Tomorrow, or today if you’re one of those living in more advanced time zones, the Nucks get to play a B-2-B against the dirty dogs of desert hockey. The Yotes stole a game from us we were winning in our own building last week. Need to return the disfavour.
Lick your Wednesday hockey wounds and heal up for a classic no-event game in the most important taxpayer-paid-for rink in the NHL. So exciting!