Wow! Who saw the Nucks going on a 5 game win streak to push Bedard far away?
Besides, everyone. But other than them, probably everyone else too.
Anyhow... now that team tank is off the treads and partying down on 21 Straight Win Street, we can cheer this 5th consecutive win. Even if CB goes to CBJ for 4 years of exile.
Here we are... it's 2022 all over again. New coach bump. Nucks pushing hard to make a wild card play. And falling short. Not saying they'll fall short, finish 23rd and pick 11th. Not that at all. Probably pick 12th.
They have a large gap to cover - only 99.999% victories can help assure a possible spot at the wild card table.
How tough is it really at this point... let's use graphs and arrows and stuff.
Anyhow, we're or just me is getting ahead of themselves. Let's review this impressive win over the Central's best team.
Great start for the ROG-ladites. JT gets his 1st B-day point of the game early in the 1st. No, not on the PK. It's his birthday, not Xmas.
1-zip Nucks. And game thread expectations are going up.
Great first on the scoreboard and yet so many little things to work on.
It's funny how my expectations of this team seem so much higher than the record they have produced.Westy
Then, not making it up, Nucks 2nd unit gets a goal! Ok, not that surprising - but surprisingly, Kuz, the goal getter was on the 2nd unit. 33rd goal of the season. Bess with his 1st of 3 apples.
2-zip Nucks after 1. All going to plan.
Interrupted by an unscheduled tire fire event 40 seconds into the 2nd.
Terrible back check by Canuck forwards and missed coverage leads to quick Stars goalWesty
“Terrible” implies there was at least some back check…Rob Scott
The almost-but-not-quite playoff bound Nucks get the 2-goal lead back against the grain, against the run, the flow of play, with a Beau goal.
3-2 Nucks after 2 - because Benn and Nucking PK and stuff.
Because early in the 3rd, we should have known this was a guaranteed Nucking win. How?
Brise has an amazing Nucking record. Every time he's scored, the Nucks win! Fact. No, really.
The fallen Stars push back a bit in the 3rd, but bubbly Demmers is back and stealing pucks.
And the birthday boy is putting the icing on his birthday game cake.
JT puts the Stars come back on the plane. Nucks win 5-2. For the 5th straight game, it's a WIN!!!
Brock had a 3 point night - 300 career points. We're happy Sith-Trader didn't send him away when he had the no-chance to in the past year.
Big night for Beggsy's fav D-man in hockey - or maybe just after Huggie. Good to see Brise rise to the top of the Nucking D single goal pantheon, finally.
ROG Winning Vid
2 Johns on the mic, on the amazing Brise through to victory.
PLAYER STATS (Good Stats too!)
|#||Forwards||GP||G||A||P||P||+/-||S||PIM||PIM||SOG||HITS||BLKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||TOI||PP TOI||SH TOI||PP||GW|
|34||P. Di Giuseppe||1||0||1||1||2||1||2||1||1||0||0||0||13:05||--:--||0:46||0|
|#||Defense||GP||G||A||P||P||+/-||S||PIM||PIM||SOG||HITS||BLKS||GVA||TKA||FO%||TOI||PP TOI||SH TOI||PP||GW|
Brock talking the right way about practice making perfect - or pretty close.
Brise performing his excited Kuz impersonation.
RikTok, looking to block his NM Interim position - maybe as far as next November.
With this season's best 5th straight win under their home jerseys, Nucks are off to the desert to face the red hot Yotes in the league's most intimidating 5,000 seat arena - the Mullet Dome.
There's so much to play for, desert dogs are nipping at the heels of Nucking faint hope - just 2 points behind. Exciting!
Is it either or time already?
Let's find out.
7:00 PM PST
ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: SN PACIFIC. RADIO: SN650
I'm back. Try to contain your excitement, eh? And as long as we're talking about muted responses, let's talk a bit about the Vancouver Canucks. As with every other dream that involves the Canucks, the hopes that they could somehow stay relevant in the chase to the basement and a legitimate shot at winning the draft lottery and the golden ticket that is Connor Bedard, it's gone.
In a scenario that was both worst case and yet most likely, the Canucks have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, including a season high 4 game winning streak. They're 5-1 since the last times these two teams met 15 days ago, and while the Dallas Stars indeed have a lot to play for, sitting just one point behind Vegas for first place in the Western Conference and home ice advantage through the first three rounds of the playoffs, the Canucks are playing for pride and I guess the consistency of being below average? I just don't understand, even after 14 years of covering this team, why they do what they do, and I'm not alone. I would imagine that there are people in the organization that are thankful for the Arizona Coyotes, because there'd likely be more focus on how dysfunctional they are.
Alas, with the dream having died, we may as well strap ourselves in, put on that "this is actually fine, and I enjoy Vancouver Canucks hockey" face we've perfected over the past years, and enjoy some of the good things. I dare say there's not a person out there who could have seen Andrei Kuzmenko having the impact on this team that he's had when the Canucks landed the much-desired KHL free agent this past summer. While we get the whole "he's not an actual rookie" thing, he's hands down the best first year player in the league this season and it's not even close. This is a guy who does nothing but score HUGE goals, every damn night.
We're also getting treated to the emergence of Elias Pettersson into the upper echelon of NHL stars. He's shattered his personal best in goals, assists and points already, and he's done it being an incredibly consistent two way player. Quinn Hughes continues to develop into the kind of rearguard this team's not had for a long time, if ever, and you can't help but be inspired by the way a finally healthy Thatcher Demko has played since his return. Admit it, you were as concerned as we were about how he played before the injury, but he's been stellar since coming back. Sure, there's an argument to be made that this team's record would have been better if they'd gotten better goaltending this season, but it is what it is, and they are what they are.
It's still too early to tell if the Canucks are truly better with Rick Tocchet behind the bench, or if this is just the same new coach bump we saw last season when Bruce Boudreau took over from Travis Green. They have been getting a little better defensively, as we saw in the games against Toronto and Ottawa, and have only allowed more than three goals against once in the last two weeks, in the 5-4 win over... the Dallas Stars. Yes, they're playing some subpar teams the rest of the way, but the improved defensive play is encouraging if it can remain consistent.
According to nhl.com, this is what we can expect in tonight's tussle:
Stars projected lineup
Scratched: Nils Lundkvist
Canucks projected lineup
Scratched: Jack Studnicka
It's a little remarkable that the Canucks have managed to put together this run when you look at how many of their regular defencemen are injured, but then again, maybe it's not. Ethan Bear (he with the face injury, according to the nhl dot com) has been practising in a non-contact jersey but should be returning to the lineup soon. Given the chatter about Tocchet expecting more from Brock Boeser of late, a game against Matt Murray seems like just the thing to do it. You probably shouldn't be shocked if Boeser rings up a hatty tonight, is what I'm trying to say.
The Stars have been rolling along well in their own right, though one of their losses in their last 10 came to the Canucks, in that 5-4 OT Canucks win. The Stars have been scoring an average of 4.9 per game over their last 10, so if Demko's not on his A game tonight, it'll be a long one at the Rog.
GAME DAY CHATTER
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
We've featured them a couple times earlier this season, and the latest release from ELECTRIC CALLBOY doesn't disappoint. It's stupid, infectiously so, and the perfect theme song for this stupid team going on a stupid run to finish off this stupid season. All aboard!