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RECAP: NUCKS WIN! Poor Effort and 5-2 Loss

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You want to see what poor starts can bring. I don’t

NHL: FEB 27 Canucks at Senators Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Losing in the Sens pen is not the worst thing.

Giving up the 1st goal on the road is not the worst thing.

Giving up the 2nd goal on the road is not the worst thing.

Put them all together and it’s the next best thing to the worst thing.

Team defence wins games. Weak team D doesn’t. Also... freelancing defenders doesn’t help.

This Nucks performance was the ghost of recent season’s late season performances. In other words... horrible.

In case you haven’t heard, we’re in the stretch drive season - where every game counts - where slow starts and sloppy play aren’t an option.

Want to see it how started? Me neither.

1st Period

Let’s get this over with.

5 minutes in and the Nucks are already behind. They don’t know that yet - but the missed chance to score on the 1st PP of the game will prove far too important.

Soon the Nucks are a goal behind. Thanks in part to Myers weird freelance defender motif. Looks like Myers doesn’t trust Fantenberg to cover Fantenberg’s man. And we don’t trust Myers to cover Fantenberg’s man. And worse, Demmer was channelling the McSofties of 2018.

Or something. 1-0 Sens.

The 2nd Sens goal from Ryan had to feel good. For Sens fans. For Nucks fans it was the time to bring out the barf bags. The well-used ones from 2018.

It’s the Fantenberg/Myers school of miserable pairings putting on a clinic. Poor clear, poor coverage, zero-engagement.

Nucks outshoot the Sens 11-10, so that tells you something. Something that says: 2-0 Sens.

Turns out that Tanev wasn’t happy with Senator Bobby either. Tanner is maybe the feistiest Nuck of the night. Unfortunately, he didn’t put Booby out of the game.

2nd Period

This is the better Nucks period. So that’s good, right?

Normally good, however, instant Vezina candidate, Hogberg is making save after save. Thanks to many Nucks sharp(ish) shooters aiming for the goalie crest.

Beags gets a grade A chance to break the drought... but the scoring well is dry.

Beagle finally deserves a goal

but still, because it’s Beagle, there’s no goal to be found — radivel

The Nucks keep pressing. And luck faeries keep playing hard to get. Even the game thread notices.

geez

puck luck for days. Just the wrong kind. — Twitchy

The Vancouver Badlucks can’t buy a goal

probably a stupid salary cap issue — radivel

But even the night’s Vezina front runner can’t withstand the Mighty Nucky power play forever.

It’s the last minute of the period during the 1st minute of the Millsie moment. Pete and Huggy with the apples.

Nucks dominate the shot clock 14-7 and score the only goal of the period. Just not the game. The shot count is a weird stat, because it seemed contrary to the flow of play.

sneaky nucks strategy

let the Sens wear themselves out with 90% of the o-zone time — jimmi

3rd Period

Sometimes I wish the Nucks could start the 3rd on the PP. Or the PK. Yes, the PK would be so much better than starting 5 on 5 in the Flustered Zone.

Throughout the game we’d noticed a lack of focus from many players. So many little things missed. And big things.

Worse, the shifty Sens deploy the horribly hard to defend against 2-on-5 play.

Great night for the AHL call-ups!

Whatever momentum the Nucks generated with that late power play goal in the 2nd is now required to be re-momentized all over again.

Fortunately the hottest hands of the TDL moment play for us. Hot shot from Millsie and wicked deflection from Toffoli.

Nucks try to build on the goal and a few chances arrive in the middle of the game thread NM late 3rd scouting report.

The Erikson-Beagle 2 on 1

Never been a worse 2 on 1 combination in hockey history. — radivel

It’s still 3-2. Still for the Sens. If the Nucks could have played with some of the intensity and defensive focus of the past 2 games, this game would be tied.

Instead it’s soon to be lost forever. Because the Nucks Team D is still at Ottawa’s Roxy ordering a few more nightcaps.

Let’s just pretend the Nucks after a fresh brush with Sedin caring and compassion, want to create a feel good moment for the Sens fans and Bobby Ryan.

It’s casual Thursday defensive zone coverage for the Nucks, and Bobby bops the puck up over Demmers for his 2nd of the night.

And then Green joins the festivities by pulling Demmer so... yup... Bobby gets the EN goal for the hattie!

The crowd in the Can Tire Center for the Underdog Arts is going crazy. Good for Bobby. 1st game since the fall and he scores a hattie.

Lovely scene. For the Sens. Who aren’t battling for a playoff spot.

For the team that’s (semi)determined to make the playoffs for the first time since... uh... a very long time, not a good performance.

Also... the refs weren’t delivering a very good performance. Or in ref-speak, a great performance. I saw at least 6 missed calls. Stretch Reffing 101: Better to make no calls in a period than one bad one.

Late in the period, Pete was getting whacked and hacked and smacked like the Sens had penal immunity. And did.

Pete gets clotheslined down by a stick

oh, that’s not a penalty, nope, because it’s Pete they can’t call a penalty — radevil

The game ends. Finally. It’s 5-2 Sens.

Oh well... at least there’s...

OT

Just kidding.

Not even the 2 Johns are available to soothe our bruised ears. It’s the home federal team.

GAME STATS (Road Ugly Stats)

SOG FO% PP PIM HITS BLKS GVA
Canucks
VAN
34 56% 1/2 7 19 27 9
Senators
OTT
25 44% 0/1 9 30 18 8


PLAYER STATS (Look Away Stats)

# Forwards GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
9 J.T. Miller 1 1 2 2 -2 3 2 3 2 2 1 0 60 19:12 2:07 --:-- 1
18 J. Virtanen 0 0 0 0 -1 1 0 1 2 2 0 0 13:14 0:58 --:-- 0
20 B. Sutter 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 0 1 100 15:08 --:-- 1:01 0
21 L. Eriksson 0 0 0 0 -1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 9:20 --:-- 0:43 0
26 A. Roussel 0 0 0 0 -1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 12:50 0:50 --:-- 0
40 E. Pettersson 0 1 1 1 -1 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 18:26 1:48 --:-- 0
53 B. Horvat 0 0 0 0 -3 3 0 3 1 1 1 0 71 19:09 1:07 --:-- 0
64 T. Motte 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 13:09 --:-- 1:10 0
70 T. Pearson 0 0 0 0 -1 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 18:26 0:39 --:-- 0
73 T. Toffoli 1 0 1 1 -2 6 0 6 1 0 1 1 17:34 1:48 --:-- 0
83 J. Beagle 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 33 8:54 --:-- 1:06 0
88 A. Gaudette 0 0 0 0 -1 2 0 2 1 1 1 1 38 15:50 1:36 --:-- 0
# Defense GP G A P P +/- S PIM PIM SOG HITS BLKS GVA TKA FO% TOI PP TOI SH TOI PP GW
5 O. Fantenberg 0 0 0 0 -3 2 0 2 1 4 1 0 15:35 --:-- 0:43 0
8 C. Tanev 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 1 0 6 0 0 14:02 --:-- 1:10 0
23 A. Edler 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 2 2 3 0 0 22:34 0:11 1:17 0
43 Q. Hughes 0 1 1 1 -2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 23:37 1:45 --:-- 0
51 T. Stecher 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 19:35 0:03 --:-- 0
57 T. Myers 0 0 0 0 -4 4 0 4 2 1 0 1 22:02 0:58 0:50 0
# Goalies GP REC GA SV SA S EV PP SH SAVE-SHOTS SV% PIM TOI GAA
35 T. Demko -- 20 24 20–24 0–0 0–0 20–24 .833 0 59:23


25 Sens shots with probably 20 scoring chances rather than the expected 11-14 in a game.

Is this the game where the NM Analytic Cruel Meanie Force launches into a barrage of disgust? Nah... just weren’t good enough.

The Myers/Fantenberg pairing was terrible. Myers was a +1 in that game and a plus 0 in Montreal. Tonight a minus 4. -4 is not a good negative number. -1, sure that happens. His partner registered a not quite so terrible minus 3.

To put the loss on just those fire wagoneers is take the heat off other players who were either suffering from Montreal’s gourmet food and drink - known to blur vision and make you sluggish - or just felt that 60% effort is good enough in a government town.

Seems to me that Roos is playing hurt. He can’t skate fast. He can barely hit. Because he can’t skate fast, he can’t get to the puck first. Jake tho, he can skate real fast. But, the puck control was out of his control.

virtanen looking like mayray there

skates so fast he fell down. — Twitchy

Our hockey Gaud was playing like a demi-Gaud on most shifts.

Still... Huggy was getting apples and records.

I probably say this about once a game

but, damn! watching hughes skate, shoot, pass, see the ice is friggin amazing. How do we have someone soooooo good? — Twitchy

Because only JB last June saw then what we saw now.

Overall a complete game of why you must play the complete game for the full 60 minutes during stretch season.

Millsie makes some Grade A comments.

An AHL team can also make you pay.

Demmer is focussing on the future 2 points, not the current 0 points gained.

Over in the frantic to get out of town Green Room, we heard Trav say:

“Weird game. “

“I liked that we played a pretty good 2nd. “

“Unlucky bounce led to the 3rd Sens goal.”

“But their goalie played well.”

Let’s read the unsaid lines... Trav complimented the Sens goalie, didn’t compliment Demko. Also, he didn’t say it, but pretty sure Trav won’t have liked the systemic breakdown of defensive strategy. Or something.

Oh well... with that lost oppourtunity lost, we, the Nucks must re-focus on the most important Game of the Year.

Yes, through the benevolent scheduling department of the NHL, we mere minions of the galaxy can watch a game in the CoTU on Saturday.

I know how excited you must be to endure 3 hours of HNIC blather. It is what it is. And the is that is most important is getting another 2 points on this road trip. No matter what HNIC says it is. It isn’t important, only importance is that we win.

No more off nights. For anyone. Every single (multi)millionaire on the team must play like a million bucks for the rest of the stretch.