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RECAP: NUCKS Win A Blowout Loss! Lose 6-2 to the Stolen Knights

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We’re Not Ready! Please Start All The Remaining 1st Periods with the Shootout

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Vancouver Canucks
Demko Gets An Unexpected 2⁄3 of game
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

They’re back!

Not just the Vegas Stolen Nights, but the Vancouver Tire Fire Defence Fund. If you think that’s the sort of combo that creates blowouts in mere minutes, you’d be thinking with Kreskin-like accuracy. Congrats.

It’s not like the Nucks didn’t know what sort of ferocious, puck-hounding, T-2-T passing team was coming into the ROG.

They knew. Probably too well.

I’m guessing so did the entire Nucks coaching staff. Pre-game they all were making the right noises, sounds and sporting grunts about what was to come.

I envision something Larsonable going through the minds of the Nucks just before the first puck drop...

Gary Larson

Let’s see how that negative mental visualisation technique works in the NHL.

1st Period

Period starts. End of the 1st minute. So far so good.

End of the 2nd minute. Not so good.

Even the doomy HNIC crew weren’t ready for the Nucks comedy of clearing conference. The Vegas forwards are very disruptive to our laid-back west coast game starts. The game of pinballs ends with Stone’s 1st Knightly goal. Thanks, Ottawa.

Ok, at least that’s out of the way and the Nucks can settle down in their own end.

Settle, not pinned. There’s a difference.

The difference is the Stolen Knights are buzzing. Creating havoc. The Nucks are trying to prevent havoc by creating more chances for the Knights to create more havoc. A risky strategy that needs some smokescreens and lasers to possibly be effective.

A lucky bounce off Tuch is an unlucky bounce for Marky.

Still it’s only 2-0 for Vegas after 5 minutes. The Nucks got that early behindness from the Leafs and fought back to come back. No worries.

8 minutes in. Shots are 8-2 Vegas. There’s something something about zone time I want to mention, but there’s no time for that.

Because...they’re back! The Chaos Math brothers. Or is it the Pinball Pals?

Whatever is going on in the panicky minds of the Nucks, it isn’t good and isn’t fast enough to help with split-second decisions that could change the course of history. Or at least the miserable course of unlucky bounces.

Behind by 3 goals in just 8 minutes to an eternity of chaotic play making, the Nucks need to assert their will - other than against Marky.

Why not put some pressure on Fluery. Didn’t work last week, but different city, different game (sort of).

Our young Alien hero, has endured a little goal drought recently. Not a point drought tho. Extends his one game streak to two. With a little help from Vancouver’s leading offensive defenceman this month, Biega. Sweet tip by Brock. Wooooo!

No B-2-B shutout for Flower. This goal gives us hope. Hope that we can hang on our comeback flashbacks.

For about a minute.

Vegas aren’t teetering on their heels by the Nucks obvious offensive superiority. Not even a wobble. Dammit.

The Golden-K passing machine is too fast for mere coastal hockey powers. And their sick tips are rumoured to be developed by some Vegas magician’s tech department.

No chance for Marky on that goal. Or the other 3.

Also, no chance the Nucks can allow any Vegas players in the Nucks D-zone. They’re just too sneaky and don’t play fair. They move their feet, pass the puck and always seem to be in motion. The NucksMisconduct Proper Conduct Commission will be conducting a full review of this scary and probably, illegal style of play.

It’s 4-1 and the game hasn’t really started. Real hockey games don’t start until the mid 2nd. We all know this. It’s in the Code.

Vegas is still a newbie team and possibly not that familiar with the Code. I don’t want to get all Elder Codifier, but this part of the unwritten, unspoken, unthinkable Code words were pulled from an esteemed source, the American Sports Psychology Association. It states: “Anything that can be accomplished in a very short time, can be accomplished just as well in a very long time”.

Some teams, like Edmonton, believe that part of the Code applies to a rebuild. That’s not correct - it applies to a game - specifically the gradual building of the pace and speed of the game, with a resulting crescendo of comeback tieing in the last minute of the 3rd. It’s basic entertainment pacing. Why do I have to explain it now?

Is it because, I’m stalling? Yes, there’s that. Also because, this goal might be the only one that Marky, maybe could have been better prepared for.

Not just Marky. The game thread was ready to be pulled. Instead, Travis pulls Marky. Not because Marky was all softie, but more of a mercy pull. The Nucks defensive zone coverage is not so much soft as mushy with a mooshy Special Ed center.

It’s 5-1 Vegas in the ROG. WTH! Too much! Too soon! We need a break, an intermission, possibly a week vacay to process this blowing up blowout in just one period of indefensible hockey.

The good news is that the NHL allowed time to be called at just 20 minutes in, not 1 minute as the Nucks might have preferred.

The other good news or little fragment of hope is the Nucks were only out shot 16-10. They’ve endured far worse. Just not so many goals in one little period. Over a decade in the ROG since they’ve given up 5 goals in the 1st.

2nd Period

So...it’s evensies. A fresh start for the Nucks. Or one of them. Demko is in net and ready to face the Vegas showboat music.

Pretty sure, the Nucks had a good talk during the intermission and decided to never use a Larson cartoon in pre-game motivational sessions ever again.

Also sure, that Bo was really angry about trailing by a really long trail and decided to let his Bo-rrific Bo-ness loose on Fluery and the scoreboard.

The Nucks breakup the Vegas attack at the blueline. See... that advise to never let Vegas enter the Nucks zone is a good tactic. Bulldog knows. And so does Bo.

They’re back! The comeback kids are on the comeback trail. Only trailing by 3.

For a minute.

Pete is cheating on his check, the puck gods are breaking sticks. The breaking sticks are tipping shots. Tipping at the wrong end of the ice. Leivo declined the credit, so Schmidt gets the glory.

And the Nucks, the ROG, the game thread get the shaft.

It’s 6-2 Vegas. We don’t like those odds. Not one bit. The over is over-the-top.

The sort-of Comeback Kids outshot Vegas 12-8 in the 2nd, but there’s only so much coming back when the hole is so deep and team so over-matched.

3rd Period

Always a chance. And the Nucks are getting a few looks. Virt is looking better and causing some havoc. Havoc that the other Nucks can’t quite channel into another goal.

And so on. The period ends in a tie. That’s not a bad start. But, it’s a terrible finish for a comeback.

In the final period, shots are even 9-9. Final score is not.

Here’s the highlights from the voices of the two Johns.

Overblown Stats

SOG FO% PP PIM HITS BLKS GVA
Golden Knights
33 51% 0/2 2 15 10 2
Canucks
31 49% 0/1 4 34 18 7

Under Performed 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 1 0 1 1 -1 7 2 7 0 0 1 1 67 17:38 0:58 --:-- 0
17 J. Leivo 0 0 0 0 -1 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 16:45 0:58 --:-- 0
18 J. Virtanen 0 0 0 0 -1 4 0 4 5 2 0 1 16:04 --:-- 0:03 0
21 L. Eriksson 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 12:58 --:-- 0:06 0
26 A. Roussel 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 14:30 --:-- 0:47 0
40 E. Pettersson 0 1 1 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 38 17:14 0:58 --:-- 0
53 B. Horvat 1 0 1 1 0 2 0 2 0 4 0 0 63 17:38 0:58 --:-- 0
64 T. Motte 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1 0 0 50 12:37 --:-- 1:23 0
70 T. Pearson 0 0 0 0 -3 0 0 0 4 2 0 0 15:03 --:-- 2:02 0
77 N. Goldobin 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 9:52 --:-- --:-- 0
83 J. Beagle 0 0 0 0 -1 1 0 1 3 0 0 0 47 15:05 --:-- 1:32 0
88 A. Gaudette 0 0 0 0 -3 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 29 11:34 --:-- 0:03 0
# Defense GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
2 L. Schenn 0 0 0 0 -1 1 0 1 5 1 2 0 12:41 --:-- --:-- 0
5 D. Pouliot 0 0 0 0 -1 1 0 1 1 1 2 0 20:03 --:-- --:-- 0
23 A. Edler 0 0 0 0 -2 3 0 3 5 2 0 0 26:12 0:58 2:35 0
29 A. Sautner 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 13:11 --:-- --:-- 0
51 T. Stecher 0 0 0 0 -3 2 0 2 1 1 0 0 24:32 --:-- 2:44 0
55 A. Biega 0 2 2 2 0 3 0 3 3 0 0 0 22:23 --:-- 0:37 0
# Goalies GP REC GA SV SA S EV PP SH SAVE-SHOTS SV% PIM TOI GAA
25 J. Markstrom -- 11 16 11–16 0–0 0–0 11–16 .688 0 14:17
35 T. Demko -- 16 17 15–16 1–1 0–0 16–17 .941 0 45:43


Not the worst game of the year, perhaps. The worst single period in the ROG in a very, very long time.

Lose the first period, which the Nucks did, and it’s a tight 2-1 loss. That’s not so bad.

But those game starts against hot teams....that’s real bad.

Ask Beagle.

“For me, honestly it’s our starts, I don’t think our starts haven’t been good in… I don’t know how long. And that’s on everybody. We leave our goalie out to dry at the start and if he stands on his head and keeps us in it, all of a sudden we get going. But we can’t play like that. To lose the way that we did is unacceptable, the group knows that. Going forward, this is the time of year where you grow as a team. We’re obviously in a lot of adversity right now. But to be where we want to be as a group in the future — next year, the year after — you have to know what it takes to win at this time of year.”

How long have they been slow starters? January? December? Just this was more than slow, it was a Tire Fire with Vegas accelerants.

Oh well. Can’t win every period.

One to start might have been enough for Marky, he said post game:

Frustrating! It’s embarrassing... they got a lot of bounces.

Asked which goal(s) he wanted back:

“All of them”

2 point night for the Bulldog, doesn’t take the sting away...

Brock offers the details on the little details.

Over in the besieged Green Grim Room, it’s un-contained grimness.

Post-game, the game thread erupted into wholesale Gudness. And not the good kind. Some, or one commenter who will remain attynonymous, was blaming the loss(es) since the Guddy trade on the Gudless Nucks.

Has the Nucks compete level left the building? No. It was just out puck gazing for some minutes in the first. Excruciating minutes, sure, but if any team can expose our sub standard D-corp, Vegas is a great choice. If LA or Anaheim had put us down 5 goals in the first, then we could wag fingers and tongues and question our sanity and the sanity of Nucks HQ. Oh, wait... we’re Nucks fans, forget the part about sanity.

We knew coming into this season that we might see a few bad games, the odd blowout. However, the New Nucks have surprised us all with their (mostly) fun to watch, never quit style. Until late February, many felt the Nucks might steal a seed from the NHL final seed store. But, between the Faeries feasting on the roster, the ramping up of stretch play, ramping down of officiating and the NHL reg sched fatigue on the rookies, the seedy dream slipped away into the basement.

Oh well. Throw this on the bonfire with last week’s Vegas tilt - plenty of fuel to burn for a while. And plenty of time to re-group, get faster starts booster shots and possibly, see our new young stud-D, Quinn, in a Nucks jersey on Wednesday.

Rags are in the ROG to face the wrath of a Nucks team scorned. And there’s lots of wrath to unwrap. Bounce back games are a Nucks speciality, 1 in 4 times. Pretty much.

Enjoy your shellacked weekend and gird your fan loins for the final stretch of seasonal disappointment.