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GAME RECAP #67: Nucks Win! A loser point! Blow 3 goal lead - Lose 4-3 in OT

March 14, 2024
- jimmi

Nucks win the first 39.9 minutes! Lose the rest.

It was the best of games. It was the worst of games. Two thirds of a win deliver half the points. Is that so bad?

Feels bad.

Didn't start that way.


Started great. 24 seconds great. JT kicked out of the circle on his 1st FO of the game. Gets the 1st goal of the game. Not only is JT a +1, but MacK is -1. Good start. 1-0 Nucks.

Nucks are keeping the Avs stars at bay and a drought-biten, snake-shocked Nucks player breaks the hearts of bookies.

JT is playing like a beast, going around the net sets up Miki for his 1st goal in 35 games. Not making it up. 2-0 Nucks.

Was so weird… When Mikahayev scored, there was a scroll on the bottom of the screen “Do not adjust your sets.” Somebody made a fortune with their prop bet…


What a great start. Except Charles Manson goes head hunting on Millsie. JT is already pinned on the boards and Manson skates in elbow-first into Millsie's head. Only gets 2 mins, not 5 and a game. Like others who play cheapshot league hockey. Not this time, because... reffing consistency isn't a good fit for the NHL.

Worse, Millsie goes down the hall in protocol, not on the PP. Which does not score.


Nucks keep clogging up center ice. Pushing play. Extending the lead?

Why, yes.

Gnarly zips behind the Avs net and passes out to the blueline. Zadorable shoots a puck past Gergy. 3-0 Nucks. Wooooo!

Even better, Zav goes after Manson for the Howie Hattie.

Maybe the Nucks are going to win. Later in the period Gergy goes for a stroll and Lindy has a great chance to go 4-0 into the open net. Doesn't go. Coulda been the game winner.

If one wanted to switch off the game and enjoy rest of the night with winning Nucking goal songs playing in their head, this is the best moment to do it.

Well, sadly gonna have to miss the rest... night all


Even more sadly, in the last 5 minutes of the period, Avs wakeup... and pressure the Nucks - relentlessly. Nucks keep them at bay.

Nucks have the period won. Last defensive zone FO, Taco has all centers on the ice, Miller, Lindy and Petey. Who collectively or one of them win the draw and clear the puck. Their work is done - the Three Tenors... er Centers.

And yet, Avs come back and in the last 1.8 seconds of the period, score. Ouch!

Nucks lead 3-1 after 2. The last time they will lead.


Play scared. Is that the new Nucking mantra when leading by 2?

Early in the 3rd, Pete, who was invisible most of the game, takes an unwanted slashing penalty after Huggie's pass put Pete in a bad spot. Taco said something recently how they had gotten stupid stick penalties out of their game. Until now.

It gets worse, on the PK, Cole gets called for a weak hook that MacK sold really well. It's a 5-on-3 Avs PP for 41 seconds. Can you guess what happened?

It's 3-2 Nucks and the momentum is swinging hard down the Rockie Mtns into False Creek. Like the Nucks of yore years, Nucks can't match the speed and intensity of the Avs as MacK has upped his power forward level to absurd.

What the hell happened to the heavy forecheck, fast transition game from 1st period?


Got de-mojo'd in the last second of the second.


In response, Nucks seem content to get the puck to center ice and shoot it in, rather than make one of those many forechecking pressure plays we saw in the 1st and early 2nd.

Every Canuck was playing for the next change. Not wanting to meet pressure with pressure. It's how you get outshot 17-3 in a single period.

Soon, the Nucks were playing for the tie. Avs swamped DeSmith and the no goal call on the ice was changed to a goal, because no Nucking puck luck is available.

Still... Nucks get a late period PP and the 1st unit is oophable. Which is like laughable without the funny part. 2nd unit goes to work. Hoagie gets a great chance in close. If only he had shot higher or any place Gergy wasn't, Nucks would have won the game. And we'd say, sure they sagged a bit, but they came back and beat the former champs. And the dreadful 0 for 3 Nucking PP wasn't as terrible as it appeared... etc...

Instead, in the last 10 seconds of the period, Saint Soucy blasts the puck high, high over the glass. And the Nucks get to start OT on the PK. Which doesn't last very long.

Avs erase 3 goal deficit and win 4-3.

It stings.
We were coasting to win and gave it away.


A tale of two Nucks teams. One team can dominate the Avs for 35 minutes. The other team gets dominated by the Avs for 25 minutes.


Lots of lessons to learn still. Good thing the playoffs aren't like 15 games away.

The lesson from the Pens game where they came back in the 3rd when the Nucks were leading by 2 goals hasn't been studied fully.

Sure hope $11.6M Pete shows up for the playoffs. If not, uncertain Miller, Huggie and Demmers can carry the team past the 1st round. Or worse, keep from getting 2015'd.


Shortie and Dave are back on the air... even when air leaves the ice.



6 1st 6
10 2nd 12
17 3rd 3
1 OT 0
34 TOTAL 21


MILLER 1 1 +1
ZADOROV 1 1 +3
COLE 1 +1
Saves Shots SV%
DESMITH 30 34 .882


Taco had so much to say about the 3rd period 'soft on pucks' Canucks.
"We need some guys to dig in certain situations... we couldn't get anybody to grab a puck and hold it." - Coach Taco

Watch his presser here on NHL data-mining central.

With that not unexpected loss out of the way (Avs are a pretty good team), Nucks get another 2 days off, so Taco can go over the Taco Tough playbook from 'meet pressure with pressure' to 'Get your man, then get the puck' and back again.

Despite this prequel lesson in playoff pressure hockey, Nucks still have a 5 game point streak going. And a new win streak to start from scratch again on Saturday.

Enjoy the weekend buildup!


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