Almost same day, same road trip, different town. Through the miracle of modern sports games scheduling the NHL Department of Screwing With The Far West have granted us another B-2-B.
Guessing the NHL expects we should still be grateful that the pre-Bettman league let us join the cup-less party almost 50 years ago. Guess the NHL is as out of touch with 1970 Canada as it is with competent officiating.
With that fresh scar of ref-robbery on our minds and off our tongues, we can focus on the next opponent. The dangerous streaking Hawks. Haven’t lost a game in 5. Enter the Vancouver StreakStoppers: Overtime Edition.
I don’t want to make a big deal out it. I don’t, but we’re on a streak of our own.
We’re on a....
As you know, the Nucks new normal sorta-500 rhythm is win, lose, lose, lose, win, lose in OT, win in SO, get a point, lose 2. It’s a very chic dance step - in the basement clubs of the West.
This season, the longest continuous win streak the Nucks have squeezed out of the Faeries and other teams is 3 games. So... at this critical juncture in the distant seeds of off-playing, we’re two thirds of the way to matching that season high from December. Exciting!
Did we feel this was a certain win? I can’t answer that without violating the sanctity of SPW thread protocol.
So here we are after a tough game against the Stars and the refs. Nucks are playing a team on a hot streak who are suffering from sudden seed syndrome. We know what that’s like.
The Hawks seem confident they can handle the tired road Nucks. The Nucks are confident they can play 1 or 2 solid road hockey periods.
It’s a mental stalemate. And the play is pretty even too.
In fact the Nucks are outshooting the Hawks, 11-10 and the the first goal could go either way.
It went the wrong way. In the last minute of the 1st on a tip by Capt. Serious on a Hawks PP.
It’s 1-zip Chicago to end the first. It’s not the worst way to end the period. Better than the dreaded 2 goal lead.
In the first minute of the period the balance of PP tips will be restored.
Right off the clean faceoff win by Bo, Edler puts a wrister on net that gets tipped or dipped or mind-puck controlled by the game thread. It’s a Power Play Goal!
Wooo! When the Nucks get a PP goal (every rare game) it usually means a win. Or a small bonus of less deductions off Brown’s pay cheque.
Game is tied and the Nucks look refreshed, not road weary.
The Hawks, tho, don’t look like a team ready to beat the beasts of the West. Actually expected they’d be a better defensive team - their 5 game win streak would need that. But they also allow 40+ shots a game, so they’ve had some lucky bounces and great stopping since Crawford’s return.
Crawford is known as a bit of a puck magnet. On a couple wide open net chances, every Nucks open shot somehow went to Crawford rather than the opening.
Doesn’t matter. Because Pete is in the zone and breaking records. If not ankles.
Dekey Pete starts this play in his own zone and finishes it off with a pass to Brock, who puts a shot on net - which hits Crawford, of course - but the rebound comes to Granny and he Finnishes the play.
Elias: The Nucks New Rookie Scoring Leader.
Thanks, Pete. Just beat Pavel’s sophomore points record too, ok?
It’s a Nucks 2-1 Lead. We’re Winning! The Nucks have played reversi conversi on the shot clock. Put 11 on Crawford while the Hawks could only get 4 on Demko.
Taking a posh lead into the 3rd is a certain win. The one goal lead is not posh.
It’s a tenuous, low-rent grasp on victory. But the Nucks are hanging on tighter than Westy gripping the last shot at last call at the Rum Cabana at the End of The Universe. Which is just off Bloor in the CoTU.
It looks like that last gasp grasp might just hold.
So the benevolent game managers exercise their management powers and put the Hawks on the PP - on a stupid call on Brock who was deemed to be holding the stick of the Koekkoek. Refs brilliantly ignore how the croquet stick was lodged between Brock’s legs while he was down on the ice.
Whatever. The refs don’t answer to us. Or anyone not named in the NHL inner circle of HQ power.
No worries. The near perfect Nucks PK is perfect. To tie the Nucks on this night will require more than just an extra Hawk.
They need an extra special Canuck to play goalie for one badly blocked shot second. Their twisted wish is granted.
Game Thread Update:
Edler is a terrible goalie - Westy
Special Ed has some ‘splaining to do. Demko was doing fine without the help of a spontaneous vigilante goalie.
It’s a tie. And for the
2nd 3rd straight game we’re going to OT. How does this happen? And why? Those are questions that not even the philosophic branch of our local NM Philosophical Research and Hockey Drinking Game Society will ponder without a few stout choruses.
The Hawks outshoot the rundown road warriors 17-11. Just to make their comeback look legit. But they squandered their chances - their shot quota is shot.
There’s only one shot in this gruelling 16 seconds of overtime and it’s Bo-rrific! Eddie with the redemptive assist.
Bo Horvat's goal 16 seconds into the extra frame marked the second-fastest goal to start a regular-season overtime in @Canucks franchise history, trailing only Dixon Ward (0:15 on Nov. 29, 1993 vs. CHI). #NHLStats #VANvsCHI pic.twitter.com/F3Gk55JONb— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 19, 2019
2nd Straight Win - in extra timezones.
The Hawks 5 game march on seediness is stopped. By a point.
The Nucks are now placed precariously above the tOil on the basement steps. We believe. We don’t believe. We believe. Hard to know what to believe. This season, the bottom steps in the West are closely spaced and treacherous.
Let’s recall this sweet little B-2-B road win with the 2 Johns.
Big Stats of the Big Game
Road Roster Stats of Destiny
|#||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|
The Canucks didn’t look too tired and weak. And the Hawks did look beatable. And were.
The happy and easy-going Demko lets Eddie off the hook.
"Any game I get, any minutes I get... I'm just taking it in and making sure I learn from it and make the most of it." Thatcher Demko speaks on gaining experience. pic.twitter.com/uPKgl39hlZ— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 19, 2019
Setting records and making fans smile.
And thus ends the 2 game Back-to-Back road trip. The schedule makes as much sense as the Nucks winning both games in extra innings.
Not complaining. Just perplexed. But, this team has surprised us all season. Why not now, when the end is so near and now, uncertain.
Fun times return to the ROG on Wednesday when the league’s worst team arrives to give us a beating. Oh right, we’re not the Laffs.
Enjoy your mid-week doldrums while the west coast gets an early summer long before Junuary.