Vancouver – They say overtime and shootout is a coin toss. Rock-paper-scissors should be tried instead of Vancouver Canucks.
In their frantic but fading bid for the National Hockey League play-off spot, the Canucks have gone overtime four times in the last four weeks and lost four times.
Sunday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights followed a familiar pattern. A terrific start by the Canucks led to an early 2-0 deficit that could have been worse, the team worked relentlessly for the rest of the control, but collected only one point from the OT when two were essential. Vegas won 3-2 at Rogers Arena.
Even the winning goal of the Golden Knights was known. Canuck Elias Peterson lost a Pak battle in the offensive zone against Jonathan Marchesalt, failing to move to the Pak defensive side. Canucks captain Bo Harvat went ahead and got stuck before deciding to fight, defending Tyler Myers from a two-on-one.
Marchesalt passes to Shia Theodore from Myers, who scored at 2:05 in a tie-breaker – about two minutes after Vegas goalkeeper Robin Lehner stopped Harvat at break.
If the standing is not sufficient proof, these points are added.
Sunday’s bonus points have taken the Golden Knights back to the Western Conference final wildcard spot, eight points away from Canucks, who are 3-7 at OT this season and 1-6 in the last 2 months.
The Vegas team has just passed – and the Canucks are also trying to catch one – the Dallas Stars, and they are 10-1 in the OT.
The Canucks have had a lot of positive things since Bruce Boudreau became coach in December, but their bad start and bad finish in overtime have become disappointingly well-known.
“It’s like a broken record; I was already thinking about it before you asked, “said winger Jetty Miller after his 29th birthdayM The season’s goal marked the start of Canucks’ third-period comeback. “I don’t know what else you want to say to me about this, to be honest. (We) were not ready to play and lost in overtime. Obviously, we played our butt off for the second and third, but it was too late. Like I said a million times, you can’t do that every night in the league.
Harvat says: “Of course it’s frustrating. We need every point we can get in this moment of the season, and our start disappoints us again. ”
Miller says overtime is about luck and getting a bounce. But it sure looks more like that.
Three of Vancouver’s four OT losses since March 11 have been decided after the Canucks lost to Pak in the offensive zone.
Players are being caught on the wrong side of Pak.
“Obviously,” said Boudreau. “And we talked about it before overtime – we talked about it all the time – To be on the right side of Pak. And 53 (Horvat) had no reason to go that way; We had no control over it. Even Petey could check from the other (side). And you know in overtime, you can’t beat the boys one by one when you’re not going 100 miles per hour, and we still try that. So I don’t know, I’m at a loss. “
Marchesalt fell into the ice when Pak approached him along the Vegas Zone board, which is probably why Peterson chose it from Pak’s offensive side instead of getting his body between Marchesalt and Canucks goalkeeper Thatcher Demco.
But outside of Pak, Harvat went ahead, hoping to emerge with Peterson. When he didn’t, Harvat was caught in a two-on-one.
Marchesalt said he was “fortunate that he cheated on the other side and the two of us faced off.”
“I’ve seen Petty and Marchesalt fight there, and maybe a bit of a game of hope (by me),” Harvat said. “But at the end of the day, as Milsi said, it’s all about bounce, about capitalizing on your opportunities. If I had scored in the opening draw, nothing would have happened. “
Harvat made a break for himself by pushing Theodore early in overtime, but stopped by calling Lehner, who started his first game after suffering an undisclosed injury on March 8. Another big miss for Canucks was that Myers was shooting over the Knights net from about 10 feet away and had one second left in control.
There will be one goal and five points behind Vegas instead of Canucks Eight.
Harvat scored a tying goal at 9:42 in the third period when he lost a power-play draw to William Carlson but Knight defender Alec Martinez mistakenly saw Pak deflect by Lehner.
The teams will play again in Nevada on Wednesday.
With 11 games left, the Canucks need at least 10 wins to give themselves a chance to make the playoffs.
Vancouver went down to five defenders in the last two seasons after Tuck Pullman played his first game since a migraine complication knocked him out of the lineup on January 26, his nervous problems recurred.
“I don’t know why we don’t start on time,” Boudreau lamented for a slow start. “In the first period they made our shot 10-1. I think the teams know it (about us) and they fly out, and we should be able to know it, ‘Hey, we did it. . . Stop and play hard for the first period. ‘ Usually when we are ahead or tied, we usually win the game.
“On the other hand, I give a lot of credit to the boys. I mean, the second and third episodes, I thought we played really well. And with five defenders in the third round, I thought we played an almost perfect game defensively. And, you know, we had a chance to win it a lot. We just didn’t do it. “