Last night’s Nucks team were lucky winners in the track meet lotto. It was a win we needed - a win that kept our 500 dream alive.
Tonight’s Nucks was the team we worried would arrive from Cowtown and make 2nd periods the stuff of fan horror fiction - except it was horror reality TV.
There were some issues before the blowout blew in. Eddie and Hamonic are out defending with the faeries. 3 rookie D in the line up. Only Myers and Hughes were playing here last year.
You might think the strategy would be to play 5 man defence. Or... just let the rookies sink for themselves while the forwards do too much forwarding while going backwards.
Let’s check in with the checklist:
2nd Period Collapse? Check.
No team defence? Check.
The word rarely heard in the Nucks locker room: Back-check.
Most used word in the Nucks locker room: Turnovers (yummmm).
Phrase no longer in popular Nucks usage : “Hard to play against”.
Phrase played generously: “Gift Wrap Goals Against”.
Can only hope many Nucks are embarrassed to collect millions while putting on beer league displays of individual offensive play and little team D.
Normally after a bad game, I would perform a period by period timeline of doom.
Not this time. The Nucks don’t seem to care to play 3 full periods and neither do I.
Let’s just cut to the good, bad and the fugly.
Bo is still a go. 2 goals, 1 on the PP too. So the PP streak is intact.
PK killed 8 of 9 penalties. The one that got away was at the end of the game when it didn’t matter - even if Demko shoulda had it. Doesn’t matter.
Sutter, waited years to channel his foundational Sid the Kid move and scored his first of the year to lead the Nucks 30 second comeback in the 3rd.
Toffee is determined to make JB look bad. Mercifully only 2 goals on the night.
Too many top guys, can’t name them all, are cheating for the next goal. And tonight the next goal was for the other team.
Chatfield was injured early in the game and he’s too young to be speaking fluent faery.
Pete is still skinny dipping in a deep pool of frustration. Only Pete knows how deep.
The 3rd line is bad. Not bad bad, but bad enough for the 4th line to be the De Facto 3rd line. Yeah... they’re that bad.
On the PP.
All the other times.
Also... Nucks had some bonus brain farts and Nuck puck luck.
Habs get 2 goals in 9 seconds. Break that down for me.
Nucks get outshot 18-3 in the 2nd. 42-17 in the game.
Nucks allowed 20+ prime Grade A chances on Demko. 10 alone in the 2nd.
The Nucks have a group of individual players, some very very talented. There was little team play in the team’s game.
Pressing hard at all the wrong times. Playing hard on the puck not nearly enough times.
Tyler Myers took 2 penalties in the 2nd. Took a match penalty in the 3rd with the high chest hit on Armia. Probably took himself off the shelf for 2 to ?? games.
28 GA in 6 games. Only the Fawks
are aren’t worse.
It’s a Wrap:
The 2 Johns make us feel better about skipping forward to the Sutter goal and closing the browser.
GAME STATS (You might have seen these before - they don’t age well)
PLAYER STATS (No team defence wins - drafts - maybe)
|#||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|
Our mature Green room has us wondering how fast the immaturity can mature in the remaining 50 games.
“We weren’t just giving up scoring chances, we were giving up goals. We gift-wrapped four or five goals. In this league, if you give up chances that are gifts, you’re going to lose bad. We did that tonight.” - Coach Green following Vancouver’s 7-3 loss to Montreal. pic.twitter.com/qFT1enJyOv— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 22, 2021
Bo knows. Tough night to face the presser.
“It wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to figure it out within our dressing room and buy-in. Everybody has to step up, including myself.” Bo Horvat said it like it is post-game. pic.twitter.com/j1A6OPeLwq— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 22, 2021
Nucks couldn’t compete. Lack of effort, focus, little things? Little things lead to big things. Maybe next game we’ll see.
Unfortunately, Nucks face the same team on Saturday. This would be a good time to start the Sens series. Or the Almost Star game. Or spring break.
The Nucks seemed to be forging a strong team identity in last season’s summer playoffs. Turns out that hard-to-play-against, never-give-up identity is fragile.
Doesn’t have to be. But the doubt demons appear to have taken over the coaching duties in most player’s heads. We at NM know how that feels... 50+ years and counting...
The Nucks can bounce back, straighten out the details and play like a team. Once they get the demons out of their thoughts and play like demons on the ice where every game, every shift counts.
There are no ordinary games left. Only extraordinary chances to make us forget this horrible streak of no compete hockey.