What a difference a day makes. What? Can’t see the difference?
It’s huge! The Nucks lost the game, sure... but kept all their starting lineup in the game. Although, for a few minutes we were worried that Beags might be confiscated by the DC fans.
“I don’t know what to say. Playing here was special and the fans here are amazing. I had trouble getting going after the tribute video, they did that on purpose to knock me off my game!” - Beagle— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 6, 2019
Seemed like the Caps were ready to make this game a nice playoff intensity tuneup. Why not? The Nucks were ready to tune out the road fatigue, but the Faeries had made them tone-deaf the night before.
With the defensive corp in shambles since
last night the start of the season, losing the top minute scruncher, Eddie, it would be hard to compensate.
Who would step up? Pouliot? Just kidding. No, it would be Tanev taking over Eddie’s position on the
1st 2nd unit and Biega slotting in on Tanev’s slot. Confusing? Yes. Effective? Not really.
Remember last night when I reported there was no good news to report in the first. Same here. Only worse.
It’s just bad news to report.
Not for Beagle, but for the other tired dogs on the Nucks.
Did I mention, Beags is a DC Hockey God?
Ignore the gratuitous Cup references. They aren’t that big of deal. When EP hoists it 2021, then sure, it’s a really big deal. For now, it’s a load of hype TV commercials are made of.
Anyhow besides making one of our tough gritty players tear up a little, the Caps were making the game thread shed tears as DC tore up the Nucks newly formed D-corp.
Exhibit A: Tanev in Eddie’s slot isn’t a good fit.
Exhibit B: Guddy in Guddy’s place is not a good fit either.
A and B result in Exhibit C: First Caps goal.
Big deal for Ovi. Highest scoring Russian in NHL history. Not that the NHL considers history very important. If it did...well...they’d have to stop revising NHL history and skip the ugly parts between 1950 and
Anyhow, since ugly is how the Nucks period is going, might as well mention the ugly stat. The Caps outshoot the Nucks 18 to 5. That’s over 3x Ugly.
In the game thread, K2, waxed eloquent with his well-worded description of our play:
Pretty much. Except Marky. He’s exceptional. Without him at the leet end of elite, it might have been 5-0 Caps after one.
The Nucks in the first looked like a team that were worn out the game before, went over to Westy’s place to drink until even Westy passed out, slept drunk, got up drunk and staggered into a weird red zone with bright lights and too much noise.
The Canucks need a rest. Maybe another week of rest. An intermission will have to do.
The Step-Behind Crew were slightly less behind to start this period. Let’s say they were medium-soft to play against. They were still over-skating or under-skating the puck. But a little less than the first.
Bo was on a roll and Bo’d himself through all the Caps all at the same time, but was hooked just when he knew he had Holtby beat. So...Penalty shot. Bo skates in and sees not a goalie, but a pit of vipers. That bite. Bo is still snake-bitten and is really pissed at the snakes and the goal gods, who probably don’t work afternoons mid-week.
The not-as-sucky Nucks managed to outshoot the Caps 13-3. Who are the slackers now? With this improved rate of shooting the Nucks were rewarded with no goals. Either For or Against. A positive improvement on the negative side.
The period is a tie! We’re winning! Just down a goal against the reigning Cup champs.
That’s not so bad. But, come on... can we just drop the Cup repeat pretence? It’s not happening. Move along, DC, there’s other old expansion teams that are still Cupless that need their feeble hopes fulfilled too.
There’s almost something good to report. Actually pretty good. But, first we have to wade through the pretty terrible reports to get there. Lace up them boots.
If you recall the Nucks D-corp for the game and if you don’t recall, that’s probably for the best. Hutton was playing hard and pretty much effective defence.
But, Bulldog looked a little rusty. Not sure why, it’s only been 114 games since he last played in the NHL. When paired with Poolie tho...bad things happen. Quick.
The Caps attack the Nucks blueline or just skate past defensively-challenged Goldy, around Biega and man-lost-in-ice-Poolie to setup a quick pass right in front of Marky’s front door.
Poiliot had a chance to clear the broken pass - the pass he accidently broke with his skate - puck was right in front of his right skate - but required some quick thinking and nimble reflexes - something not available when he’s been hypnotised by that memorising rubber thingie all game.
Ugh. It’s 2-zip Caps and the crowd is already counting the hangovers for their 2nd Cup win. We’re not going to spoil their delusion. Yet.
But, someone is going to spoil Haughty Holtby’s shutout. Is it Bo? Is it? Please say it is.
It’s Bo. The Bo from Finland. Let’s call him Granny.
Off the rush, because the best Nucks one-gun-and-dun scoring chances in the game are off the rush. Nice clear from Hutton sets up Roussel for a nice centering pass to a streaking Granlund. Streaking fast, that is.
How is that possible? The Nucks have been the slower skating, slower thinking team so far. Simple. Granny isn’t tired, tuckered and road worn. Fresh roster puree. First game after a little pressbox vacay. You know who needs a pressbox vacay? Starts with P and ends with tosh.
Anyhow, Granny gets behind his check and pops a shot over the freshly disgruntled Holtby.
Boom! Just like that it’s a tie game. Or would be later if the next thing didn’t happen.
Two Tales of One Goal.
It’s the same goal. Just from the vantage point of the Caps broadcast team, the NHL and the Two Johns.
First watch the Caps/NHL version of the non-high-sticking high stick goal. Good goal.
Then from the authoritative perspective of the Two Johns. One of the Johns is a former NHL goalie, so he knows what is a proper and correct goal. FTR, he seldom let in those types. Not a good goal. But, a twinge of doubt. Dammit.
The game thread was apoplectic from the forced dose of War Room apoplexy. Or devious disdain from the NHL Room of Doom. Or strategic deviousness.
Anyhow, like my grandma used to say, “When in doubt, it’s out” - which means something about certain inside info trading or something. I’m using this time-tested family life-nugget to state that without certainty there can be no goal. Of that I’m certain.
With the hope of a loser point bounced over the net of grumpiness and lost under a game thread bottle of empty promises, we knew what needed to be done.
And Travis too knew what needed to be done. Get Petey a goal.
So with 3 minutes left, he pulls Marky off the ice - which was pretty easy, because he’s on skates.
It’s like the Nucks never-fail power-play, but a bigger 6 on 5. And this time more effective.
Pete kills it. Kills Holtby too. Although technically it was Bo who did. Although technically Bo was cross-checked into Holtby just before Pete sent an Alien missile into the net.
Wooooo! Pete’s streak is back!
The Nucks are back in the game.
The scambly, desperate play worked - just need another in the remaining 7 seconds of the game.
Not quite enough time to be that desperately lucky.
Oh well. Nucks lose 3-2 to the reigning Cup champs. Is that so bad? Yeah, it is. If only we weren’t struck down by Faery fever and if only JB had made some off season moves to improve the D and if only the Nucks weren’t tired and playing from behind this game and the game before. And so on.
The Two Johns do what they do. Make a Nucks road loss seem
inevitably plausibly deniable.
Stats? Again? Fine.
Roughed Up 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|
What kind of points can we take from this game?
The best point might be that DiPetro made his NHL debut. As an emergency backup, sure. But, he got to be in the warm-up, got to sit on the bench and gawk at Marky making almost enough elite saves.
"This is another step for me and it was definitely a cool opportunity stepping on that ice today and I'm soaking it all in." Mike DiPietro is excited to be up with the #Canucks. pic.twitter.com/uKsSGr3TWw— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 6, 2019
The other point was the Regal Beagle’s return to his former castle.
"It's something that I'll remember forever." Jay Beagle discusses the welcome and ovation he received in his return to Washington. pic.twitter.com/BJOFhtSx0X— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 6, 2019
In the No-Green Room for Road Games there were no Green words. Probably a few blue words for the refs...but that’s enough colour for one recap.
The good news is.... probably the worst road Back-2-Back of February is over. SoCal hell is always warmer than the eastern edition.
The sure Philly win turned bad, real bad. Now it seems the sleepy windy city of Chicago has a hockey team on a hot streak. So that previous win prediction has turned uncertain.
Yes, we’re still the 2nd seed in the west, but there’s no easy games coming up. Until we get to Disneyland at least.
And at least the Nucks aren’t the Oil, who were crushed by the Hawks 6-2, giving up
4 5 3rd period goals. We know where that stat can go.
Maybe the Hawks are sated and ready to assume their tanker destiny at home on Thursday.
Have a wacky Wednesday and high-scoring Thursday.