At this point as the seasonal winding down wiggles its way into the basement it’s tough to keep motivation and attention up at game level. Not just for NucksNation, but the players too are struggling to start games well. Or in this case, finish them.
Get a lead, keep a lead. Is that so hard? (It’s rhetorical Q night in the ROG).
If we could put this game up as the poster child of the Nucks struggles in 2019, the poster would be ripped off the wall, shredded and left in an alley in
At least this loss means nothing in this final stretch of nothing. So, that’s something!
The Nucks start sluggish and 5 minutes in, we’re all waiting for the 1st Nucks shot of the game.
What we’re not waiting for is the first Nucks injury of the game.
But, the Faeries must be fed. And who makes better Faery fodder than our former Gumby. Just one game back from the Faery farm, sideways Tanev blocks a shot. Tanev is out of the game. WTH?!
You can’t make this stuff up. That’s why we have the Injury Faeries. They make this stuff up - every game. Pretty much. Last game it was Roussel - now tap dancing on one leg with the BC Faeries for the season.
This game, the Faeries went back for one of their favs. The gamethread is angry. The ROG is rolling eyes and tears. NM Faery Farm Services is complaining about over-crowding.
At least the period ends in a 0-0 tie, thanks to the continued consistent, persistent sub-standard Nucks PP. Went 0 for 2. Did get one shot on goal in 4 minutes tho.
And the Devils, Faery-fevered themselves, outshot the Nucks 13-6. Not the best 1st in the ROG. Not the worst. That was in a game that none of us, but 83, can recall.
It’s a whole new period. It’s a whole new look Nucks D. Depleted and Determined.
Just 2 point 5 minutes in and the Nucks are back on their fearsome power play. The game thread was cringing. The ROG was nervous.
But not passing Pete. That Pete was passed over for Laser Pete.
Nucks 1st unit gets the zone. Pete has the puck. He’s not passing.
The Nucks #1 shootist picks a tiny little corner and the puck evaporates and is seen again for milliseconds hitting the back bar and out. Blackwood is stunned.
One, because he didn’t see it. Arriving to or leaving the net.
Two, puck teleportation hasn’t been invented yet. It’s Alien technology!
It’s a PP Goal! By Pete. We’re on our feet. Doing the Alien ankle-snap dance.
It’s been 12 far too long games since we witnessed a Sneaky Pete goal. This is the highlight of the game. We could stop now and we would all be happy.
No, really. While the Nucks will go on to extend the lead, Westy should have pulled the ROG Rum alarm, had the building evacuated and the drunk-sniffing dogs sent in to lick up the evidence.
In a reversal of misfortune, the Nucks dominate this period, out-shoot the road weary Devils 10-4. And have won the game 1-0. At least the most important part of it.
Going into the 3rd with a massive one goal cushion should be enough for any defence
focussed depleted team. Or is it?
Probably not. But a 2 goal lead might do it. But who to select for the lead-padding honour?
Guds Pearson. He puts a weak shot on goal (like Guds could have done) and the unlucky Devils tender puts it in his own net that he was trying to protect.
While not often seen or believed in the ROG, puck luck goes both ways. Just feels so much better when it goes our way. Weird? Maybe. Or maybe it’s the rarity.
Ok, we’re good. 2 goal lead. Solid lead.
For at least 4 minutes.
Then, stealing the thunder, the lightening and worse the goal from the Nucks Comeback Kids playbook, the Devils get on the board.
In the worst way possible. A fluky puck luck goal. Or was it?
Bulldog was tasked to fill in for Tanev as next shot-blocker up or something. The something was not enough as he didn’t block the shot and Rooney was behind him to get the rebound and watch Marky’s almost Hirsch-certain shutout ruined. Ugh.
Over-excited announcer warning - Turn down the sound. 0 is a good starting point.
No problem. One fluky goal each and the Nucks still have the lead and the game in hand.
Until the Devilish comeback starting putting more pressure on the back-check-free Nucks. Not a good look for Eddie over on Stetch’s side. Worse look for Goldy who was watching the play at a safe distance. The play that tied the game. FFS!
WARNING: This clip uses the Devil’s own screaming voice - lower the volume. Or better yet, turn off the sound and weep.
The game is tied 2-2. A TWO goal lead and certain victory blown. Smashed on the basement steps of the Pacific.
Would like to say, no problem, the Nucks would come back and win it in the last minute of regulation. They didn’t.
The Jersey boys outshot the Nucks 14-10 in the 3rd. And worse, outscored them 2-1.
Which is why I have to write more words than I either expected or wanted.
Would like to say, no problem, the Nucks would come back and win it in the
first last minute of OT. They didn’t.
The best chance they had was on a rush with Pete and Eddie. Pete elected to pass one (or two) too many times and OT ends in a disgusting and unnecessary Shootist Out.
Would like to say, no problem, the Nucks would come back and win it in the
first last rounds of SO. They didn’t.
At least in this period, unlike the previous one, Pete chose to shoot rather than pass. It was a sneaky, very Dekey Pete goal.
Pete’s deke was the only goal from the not-quite-so-sharp shooters and post-hitters on the Nucks. The Devils managed to get 2 pucks past Marky. He wasn’t happy. We weren’t happy. No one was happy.
Not even the two Johns.
Lose From The Front 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|
While some decried that Jake didn’t get a chance to not score in the not-shooting-out, the game should not have arrived at that anti-climatic period of discontent.
Our D is terrible this season. Not shocking news. Our D is fragile. Tanev and Eddie have played fewer games healthy together this season than not.
Except, the problem isn’t just D-deep. The Nucks on average have allowed 50-100% more shots against than most ‘good’ teams. The good teams that can both forecheck and backcheck. Sometimes it seems some Nucks forwards just want to cash cheques.
When the Nucks are getting outshot regularly, that puts extra pressure on the D. To block shots, to hit or get hit or just get hauled to the ice and require a million Faery facial stitches.
If only all or most Nucks forwards could have Pete’s d-zone work ethic. Granted Pete does get beat sometimes (twice tonight, but who’s counting?), but he usually saves a goal or two with some hard quick stick work. Being hard on the puck is a key talking point that Green tells us. He says he tells the guys too. It’s hard to be hard on the puck all the time. How about just...say 10 games of hard puck time, ok?
The almost human Alien accounts for some human moments.
The Puck Lucky Pearson points to the postal moments.
Over in the Green Room, it’s a puck-luck dinner and dog’s breakfast goulash for desert.
Well...this (pencilled-in) scheduled win off the board, the next few games get tougher. Not just because they’re back-2-back road games against tough opponents. But because, Tanev won’t be on the road to mess with Texas, the windy city Hawks or block any opponent’s shot until next autumn. Make your calls now, invulnerable shin pad sales associates.
The BC Faeries of February have over stayed their unwelcome. They’re back for more in their March for Mayhem. Even the usual Nucks ritual player sacrifice isn’t enough to grant us a win.
So...screw it. Win or lose. Probably lose, just enjoy the play of the game. If the game is played well. And Pete gets a Hattie before the golf greens of April are groomed and manicured, for the 5th straight season, by the tears of Nucks fans. We’re getting a little dry eye, best get another irrigation system figured out for next year, ok.
Enjoy what might have been a satisfying Saturday and get ready for Star-crossed Sunday and moody Monday.