This was going to be our revenge game. Payback for losing in the tropical litterbox.
But then we heard Demmmers and JT and Bo and Gnarland couldn’t play because the Covid Protocol Faeries had claimed them. No worries, we have Halak. Oh no... we don’t, C-Faeries grabbed him too - in a foreign country! As was Bo and Gnarland.
So the Cov-depleted Nucks roster gets to play the best team in the league. We were not worried.
We were horrified.
We have a journeyman goalie. And Bruce behind the bench. That’s all we need.
The NHL/AHL hybrid Nucks played a hard defensive system game - pretty much threw off the panting Panthers all game. The stats show the Nucks were the better team 5-on-5. Nucks had 6 high danger chances vs 3 for the kitties.
That’s pretty good.
Game thread were confident too.
5 minutes in and so far...so tied — Westy
Even better, the kittens get a phantom call on Pete, but the Nucks PK and Martini stop all ‘best PP in the league’ chatter early.
Okay Marty pic.twitter.com/KUXn0Ly8kl— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 22, 2022
Even better, the Nucks PP started the ROG night strong with the game winning goal. A goal that almost lasted the whole game.
Not just that, an extra rare Chiasson goal! — Gwailoh
Power play starting strong pic.twitter.com/1cYiVM9G7F— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 22, 2022
The Nucks kept the game-winning lead all the way into the 3rd.
For sentimental reasons or possibly minimum ‘sucky’ contract reasons, Lu was up in the ROG pressbox making 3.5M Nucking dollars for watching our $800K AHL stopper making elite stops.
Roberto Luuuuuuuuuongo pic.twitter.com/cfAil1fsWe— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 22, 2022
For $3.5M, couldn’t you put some multi-million-dollar ooomph in your camera wave? Sigh.
At least our elite Quinning D was able to play. Huggie played over 28 minutes, had the puck over 2min 30 seconds - more than any other player - while skating 23,700 feet - more than any other player. And (with Pete) setup the Nucks PP (game-winning) goal.
As well, the Mottely crew were keeping the fast Cats at bay.
Motte and Lammiko have been great on their matchup against Barkov’s line. Impressive. — Gwailoh
Meanwhile, Martini was stirring saves all game while channeling his inner Demmers.
Spencer Martin pic.twitter.com/c80LIgjqFp— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 22, 2022
Sure, the Kitties got a lucky bounce with their 3rd period PP to salvage a point. Luckier they got through OT with Highmore, Motte and OEL keeping them hemmed in the Nucks zone for 3 breath-taking minutes. And, unfortunately, Cats got luckier in the SO... because sniper talent.
Better result than I anticipated. And go Spenser. I’m the happy with this result. — Chicky
ROG Video Recap
ROG was rocking - despite the crowd being 50% depleted. Fortunately, the 2 Johns gave us the other 10%.
GAME STATS (Not Lopsided. Not At All)
SHOTS (that) COUNT (Close Count)
PLAYER STATS (Read that Martini number - Wow!)
|#||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|
In case you missed Spenser Martin’s SV% above, it was .971 - which was better than the other Spencer’s .964. And yet the Cats get the win. Not fair. Neither was the weak call on Pete and Hoagie. But still... our Martini was the game’s 1st star. Cheers!
Hear from the game’s 1st star - Spencer was happy to be back in the bigs. And so were we.
"I felt incredibly blessed, just to know how hard it is to get to this level...it's hard to put into one answer for you but it felt incredible to get an opportunity."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 22, 2022
️ Spencer Martin on tonight's game against Florida#Canucks | @TheProvince pic.twitter.com/r9wk1KgEh0
Bruce almost got a home W without a full roster. The (remaining) players were willing to play the disruptive system that Bruce needed against the SoBo power cathouse. Good coaching can help under-manned teams compete against the best. Someone should tell Westy - again, that he was right - it’s been a couple weeks.
"Everyone stepped up to the plate, had more minutes than I'm sure they have ever played at the NHL level before and they played good."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 22, 2022
️ Bruce Boudreau #Canucks | @TheProvince pic.twitter.com/Gur1CwAd2v
Nucks got a point from a game that earlier today seemed like a faint hope too weak for even our feeble good wishes pool.
A tough test for the Canucks - is there any other Nucking kind? Yet, this Bruced-up Nucks team won’t give up even when a man or many key men down. That’s a really good attribute.
This gusty almost-win confirms that the Nucks are in a new era. Really. A solid structured team that (finally) plays this team game as a team.
Despite this SO loss, feels like the Nucks have home momentum going - could carry into a ROG win on Sunday. It’s definitely possible.