A scant few months ago, if one of us optimistic Atty82 train riders proclaimed the Nucks would be leading the Pacific division at the All-Star break, the echoes of NM laughter would still be heard on New Years. Or the division had tragically lost 7 teams in a freak autumn storm that struck 7 NHL cities at once.
And yet... here we are. With the best team in the division.
At NM, we already know we have the best team with the best fans. Not just in the division or conference, but the entire league. It’s a fact, fully documented in the NM Big Book of Documented Facts.
And for a day (maybe longer) the Nucks fanbase has swollen to umpteen zillion with an overnight influx of bandwagoneers. We’ll accept them with open empty bottles and smug looks of disdain.
But we’re not there yet. First the Nucks have to defeat a former arch rival that hasn’t been beaten by Nucky puckies since the season before last season.
However, this Sharks team isn’t the team that went to the western dance last year and lost to the Blue scourge.
This former SoCal foe is struggling just to stay ahead of their pathetic SoCal team neighbours. We feel for them all. In our bellies. Where belly laughs are born.
The stage is set. And we’re ready for anything. That involves winning.
No goals were scored by either opponent. However, the home team was winning so much on the shot clock that some wondered if it was working.
so much action
so few shots — Westy
The game thread action was then focused (unusually) on the officiating.
Sutts 2 minutes for smashing his face into a fist
Undisciplined Brandon — ‘82
While we wondered how soon the Nucks would give up the first goal because Demko was reading the commercial side boards to try and stay engaged in the game, the period ended.
The Nucks outshot the shrarps 9-3.
The game thread and the ROG were wondering why the score wasn’t 3-0 for the Nucks to start the period. In the first few minutes.
wow JT so close
Sharks are looking outclassed tonight!
So far… — radevil
To say that the Nucks are controlling the game is as weak as saying Westy controls the rum cabinet.
And the game thread is wondering what it will take to beat a Dell.
2nd unit PP out for the full 2 mins...Dell is playing well
15-3 shots….Jose wants 1 point — ‘82
All the Nucks lines are playing fast, tight and pushing play. Who would get the first Nucks goal? Brock? Pete? Miller? Bo?
Bo’s astonishingly adept winger - EN specialist. But the game isn’t over. At least not soon enough for old Joe. And old Erik.
Pearson fans on his shot that Dell commits to. Puck dribbles down to Karlsson and Loui. Who deftly lifts Erik’s stick and puts a sweet backhand past Dell for his 5th of the season.
Deliberate fan to fake out the goalie. Skill play! — Canta
Nucks lead 1-0 half way through the period. Woooo!!!
Game thread is counting shots, because...
Shots now 21-6 Canucks — Westy
The Nucks keep coming. Getting so close to going up a zillion to nothing.
So many Nucks chances, so many posts. So little time and space for the SoCal fishery.
I realise this is the 2020 Sharks but
I’m enjoying the dominance on display tonight. — Canta
To end the period Pete, Millsie and Jake put on a puck possession clinic in the final minutes.
What a spectacular shift.
Holy moly, when these guys get a couple years of experience and familiarity with each other… I’m super excited for this team now, wow. — radivel
The Nucks outshoot the Sharkcicles 18-4. I’m not making it up!
27-7 for the Nucks after 2 periods. I feel like I’m making it up.
Wow Total 40 mins of domination
And only 1 goal to show for it — LotteryLuck
It is a Loui goal, while the goalie is in the net, so it counts for 3.
The 3rd period begins with the Nucks confident in their commanding 1 goal lead.
5 minutes in and the Nucks 2nd unit wants a PP goal more than the game thread does. Ok, maybe it’s a tie.
Gaud gains the zone, dishes to Jake who puts a shot on net and Pearson tips it past Dell.
Boom! 2 goal commanding lead.
That needs more commanding. The Nucks allow the Sharks to swarm the net and the last guy to touch the puck is a Wall Street broker, Barclay Goodrow. Who plays in the NHL on weekends. Yeah, SJ has cap crunch issues too.
Before the game thread could get all gnarly and start tearing up teal cushions, Huggy Bear makes us all feel huggable again with a net-hugging shot!
All-Star Quinn Hughes, y'all! pic.twitter.com/gv2hWchfFV— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 19, 2020
Huggy Bear with the Honey
Gaud makes it happen — ‘82
The 2 goal lead is restored and the ROG is getting rockus.
But wait, there’s more. Pete doesn’t have point with only 10 minutes left in the game. Neither does Millsie. That ain’t right.
With a good clear from the D-zone from Pete, Jake carries the puck up ice and makes a saucy pass to Millsie. Who makes Dell wish 3rd periods were shorter.
The pass from Jake didn’t escape the the game thread saucy meter.
That was a sweet pass — Chicky
It was so nice that I thought it was Pete’s pass haha — radivel
It’s 4-1 Nucks with less than 5 to play. The sunk sharks can’t compete in the ROG, so old dirty Joe takes out his frustrations on Sutz. A broo-ha-ha ensues and Sutz gets a...
Sutter to be escorted off...
for looking menacingly at Jumbo?
He got interfered with then tackled from behind — Canta
So does Tanev and Eddie.
The game ends with the Nucks on the PP and politely let Dell leave the ROG with a .897 SV% and a stern warning.
Was this the best game the Nucks have played at home so far? It was the most dominating performance. No passengers. Only relentless pressure. And puck pursuit.
So... pretty good game.
Here’s the HNIC higlights - more highlights with the sound off. Don’t know why the 2 Johns can’t work HNIC, but perhaps Rogers wants to punish us.
GAME STATS (Total Domination)
PLAYER STATS (Best Players in the ROG!)
|#||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|
This is the 8th straight Nucks WIN in the ROG!
Hasn’t happened in 7 years. During the NHL half season. Which awarded a half Cup. But not to us. We only want one after the full 82 battle.
We’re over half way in this season and in case you missed it... #1 team in the Pacific!
Sutz smiling after the late game antics and the mid-season winingness.
“A lot of work to be done here, but at the start of the year if you’d have said at the break we’d be in first place in the division, that’d be huge." pic.twitter.com/437QBDsG2Q— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 19, 2020
Point-A-Game Pearson is on quotable streak too.
Over in the Green Room, Travis is playing fast and hard. Have to read his lips around the 5:50 point when talking about Eddie’s ice time. A coincidence? You decide.
What a dominant game! A great way to take the All-Star break. 1st in the Pacific.
And we can enjoy the All-Star break and even the All-Star weekend, with Petey, Quinn and Marky there to represent the surging, the confident Vancouver Canucks.
Enjoy the break and get ready for some wild 3-on-3 action next weekend. And wilder action on the 27th. When the Nucks seek to extend their domination to the team that surged last January.