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NUCKS WIN! (Point to Take Home) - Lose 4-3 in OT

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Win or lose - it was a game no tagline could name. Except at even strength.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks
Bulldog leading the D on goals
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

If only. If only the Canucks could make the 2 for 28 stat mean something better than a 7% power solution.

If only their best penalty killers weren’t in the sinbin - at the same time.

If only the Nucks were playing in a division where 5 points separate the 2nd seed and the bottom of the tank.

Hey... the Nucks are exactly in that division. 1 out of 3, that’s not so bad.

And this game wasn’t so bad either. Wasn’t as good either. And that’s the single point.

1st Period

The road stung Nucks came out of the gate on pace to beat the Hawks 5 on 5. Had more shots early. And often.

Then the better 5-on-5 team gave up their advantage and went on the man advantage. Even more surprisingly, the easy to defend against Nucks PP by almost standing still, get another man advantage.

It’s 5 on 3. The Nucks have a chance to get 2 quick ones early. Just kidding.

They looked more concerned about not giving up a stinker while on the power play. Not an invalid concern - but that’s the 2nd unit’s job. No creative risks = no reward. And there was no reward. 0% success rate isn’t even on the success rating scale anymore.

Finally off the vibe-killing power play, the Nucks get back to their game-winning 5 on 5 play.

Until the Regal Beagle takes some royal liberties against Count Drake Caggiula. The refs called it hooking. But it was an ancient polo greeting the NHL plebs aren’t privy to.

Doesn’t matter. In the new NHL, it’s a penalty. And worse, even when you’re on the PK, the refs can call another penalty. And do.

Sutter takes an uncharacteristic slashing call on Erik Gustafsson. Maybe Sutter thought Gustafsson is how they spell Gudbranson in Chicagoese.

No matter. It’s 3 on 5 for the Nucks PK, minus its two best PKers. The not-the-best PK goes to work.

And then stops. Debrincat is open for the one-timer. Texbook 5 on 3 play. If only they had textbooks in the Nucks locker room.

Fine. It’s just one goal. Then the almost 43% successful Hawks power play goes even more successful - hits the 100% rung of the success scale. Ugh. That’s a rung too far.

Maybe the Nucks watch game footage. Maybe not. But maybe they could pick up a few pointers on how to run a power play from the insanely hot Hawks. The well-practised, lull-the-defenders-into-not-working-hard or at all approach isn’t working too well.

Oh well. It’s only fair. The 0% Nucks power play is balanced by the Nucks 0% PK. That’s a special stat right there.

It’s 2-0 for the freakin’ Hawks!

The game thread took the sudden reversal of goal fortunes well.

I’m making french bread… baking is stopping me from yelling and throwing things at the tv! - Chicky

While the Nucks special teams don’t seem to have any, the NM game thread keeps their alternate coping strategies in the oven. Just in case.

Periods ends with the Nucks outshooting Chicago 14-13 and now have the shell-shocked momentum on their side. The comeback side.

2nd Period

All hope is not lost. Unlike my cable TV feed. Which spared me the endless commercials during the intermission.

Despite the infinitesimally small loss of ad revenue, the Nucks came out in the 2nd determined to be the far better team 5 on 5.

And were. Pretty much.

Just a couple minutes in and Bulldog does what no Nucks defenceman has done in a long time. Scores on a long shot! Assists from Brock and Boards-Master Lievo.

Biega was the most fierce player on the ice for most of the game. The Bulldog is back!

The comeback is not complete - still down by one.

Down by one? Leave it to Lievo. He delivers. Sneaky shot. Assists from Jake and Tanman.

We’re not even 5 minutes into the 2nd and game is tied 2-2! Any team can win! Maybe ours.

If the Nucks keep playing like this 5 on 5, there’s a very good chance they will.

Just stay out of the box. Or just parade into the box.

First Hutton starts the trend. Then on the PK, Pouliot takes a cross-checking penalty on the PK. You might be wondering why Poolie is on the PK. The game thread planned to hire an international hockey coaching detective to find out. Then decided that a little mystery is cheaper.

Besides, with Poolie in the box, nothing bad can happen. And didn’t.

It’s either a miracle, or the Nucks PK got real good real fast or the Hawks power streak is officially over.

Again, it’s a question that the game thread wasn’t prepared to ponder - there’s a 5 on 5 game on now. And that’s where the good things happen.

Unless they don’t. Maybe it was the relief of killing off the 5 on 3, or maybe a set play for a Sedins moment for fond memories from the Chicago broadcast booth. Nah... it was the let down.

For the 2nd time in the same game, the Nucks are behind. At least it’s only one goal.

And as token of windy city hospitality, Toews takes a late penalty. Lets his teammates take a break watching futility on ice with the Nucks man advantage.

The never-quit Nucks outshot Chicago 14-9 in the period. As marcness52 noted in the GT, technically, the Nucks are ahead 2-1 at 5 on 5.

It’s true. Special Teams specialness is over-rated.

The Nucks win 2-1 and we can skip the last minute heroics and almost redeemed in OT part of the night.

3rd Period

In typical NHL fashion, however, we aren’t permitted to win a team game on a technicality and the Nucks must play some desperate comeback hockey. In the 3rd.

And they did. Outshooting the Hawks 13-10.

And more dramatically desperate, Green pulls Marky so Pete can keep his streak going. We like that.

Here’s the weird part. Not only did Pete score the game-winning tieing goal, he did it on the power play. But with a 6 on 4 twist. With Lievo and Stech setting up Pete for the stunning slapper that stunned a flinching Delia.

That’s the secret to getting the first unit off the shnide. Pull Marky, put Stech on the power play! Ingenious. Imagine how effective the Nucks 5 on 3 would be with 6 on 3.

Not a proven method for all game situations. Yet, Brown likes to get creative with power play concepts. The Nucks power play needs more creativity. And aggression. And movement. Feet, pucks, ideas. Move ‘em all!

As scripted in the little Green book of play well - get rewarded, the Nucks hang on to win the tie. And a mighty valuable single point.

Could there be more than one point?

OT

Almost one more.

Marky makes a glorious save - drops the puck - passes the puck up ice for a....Dekey Pete breakaway. Yay!

You could feel the tension in the rink - they’ve seen what an unchecked Alien can do. The tension in the game thread, for those still able to feel anything after the extended rum brain-baking from the first, is one of easy expectation.

This is Pete’s office. The highly mobile, unpredictably Dekey Pete office. Except... Pete doesn’t deke. He skates straight in and shoots and Delia gets a piece of it. Too big a piece.

Moments later, our old nemesis, Toews dekes out Tanev and lofts a shot over Markstrom. Certain comeback victory smashed on the ice of defeat.

That is probably the worst way to lose a game - the Nucks fought hard to get back into and looked (almost) sure to win. Still...a loser point is better than pointless.

Let’s commiserate with the Two Johns with a sub and maybe some chips. It makes the 1-2-1 road record more palpable.

Stats

SOG FO% PP PIM HITS BLKS GVA
Canucks
VAN
43 48% 1/5 10 17 15 3
Blackhawks
CHI
35 52% 2/5 10 22 15 12


1 Pointed Stats

# Forwards GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
6 B. Boeser 0 1 1 1 1 7 0 7 1 0 0 0 18:42 5:29 --:-- 0
17 J. Leivo 1 2 3 3 2 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 16:54 6:05 --:-- 0
18 J. Virtanen 0 1 1 1 -1 3 0 3 1 1 0 0 0 17:48 1:54 --:-- 0
20 B. Sutter 0 0 0 0 -1 2 2 2 1 2 0 0 35 15:30 1:36 2:48 0
21 L. Eriksson 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 2 12:26 1:36 1:19 0
26 A. Roussel 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 2 0 0 16:23 0:20 --:-- 0
40 E. Pettersson 1 0 1 1 1 5 0 5 1 1 0 1 25 18:46 6:13 --:-- 1
53 B. Horvat 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 4 0 0 0 2 62 23:55 5:55 0:46 0
60 M. Granlund 0 0 0 0 -1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 8:58 --:-- 1:09 0
64 T. Motte 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 1 0 1 0 13:12 --:-- 2:43 0
77 N. Goldobin 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 9:58 2:28 --:-- 0
83 J. Beagle 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 56 12:49 --:-- 3:01 0
# Defense GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
5 D. Pouliot 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 12:48 --:-- --:-- 0
8 C. Tanev 0 1 1 1 -1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 20:50 --:-- 5:52 0
27 B. Hutton 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 3 0 2 0 0 31:18 5:18 4:22 0
44 E. Gudbranson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 15:13 --:-- 2:34 0
51 T. Stecher 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 2 0 2 1 1 22:49 2:31 1:03 0
55 A. Biega 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 2 5 1 0 0 12:36 --:-- --:-- 0
# Goalies GP REC GA SV SA S EV PP SH SAVE-SHOTS SV% PIM TOI GAA
25 J. Markstrom -- 31 35 20–22 9–11 2–2 31–35 .886 0 63:01



It’s official. Without Eddie on the ice, the Nucks lose more than they win.

Oh well. We’re still in the hunt for the 2nd seed or the bottom of the rink’s best draft odds. We’re two places at once!

With Demko out, seems Marky is set to play 9 games in 14 days. Is that a good thing? Ride ‘em while he’s hot?

Or let DePetro get a Disneyland start with his first NHL SO in his first NHL win in his first NHL game? Why not? Nillie shutout the Ducks, how hard can it be?

Let’s hear from a non-quitter, the Flow knows.

Looking like a rookie who just played his first very long, but not over yet, NHL season, here’s Elias.

Marky on Pete’s OT breakaway:

“Would have been nice if he’d scored.”

Would it ever. Could have been the game-winning goal of the month. Or year. Oh well.

The 3 point man said this about the 1 point game:

While the Green Room was leaving on a jet plane, we heard Travis say:

“If you play well, good things happen - I really believe that.”

Our power play is not clicking right now - that was the difference in the game.”

“Guys aren’t trying to take penalties”

With that cleared up, we can safely look forward to the first game back home at the ROG where we won the last home game. Or was it the 2nd to last home game? Whatever.

It’s Hockey Night in Canada Vancouver Calgary on Saturday where our never-quit home road warriors are set to wrangle the top team in the West with an upset. We can do this. Make HNIC squirm again.

So...have a fearless Friday and a Superduped Saturday.