First and Last: The New York Islanders vs. Vancouver Canucks

Are you still not over the 1982 Stanley Cup Finals? Then this game is for you! A huge rematch between the team with a “mentally fragile” Jordan Eberle and the “award the Calder to” Mathew Barzal versus the “he might be starting but that could change” Anders Nilsson and “I don’t score but that’s okay” Brendan Gaunce. The Canucks are currently 2-1-1 on this Eastern road trip and going into Brooklyn against an Islanders team who has won 3 straight and 7 of their last 10. Surely, this is a Canucks win, no?

532x290-islander-canucks

Game 1:

VANCOUVER CANUCKS 7 – NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2
(4-7-1) – (2-7-1)
November 3rd – 1972
Pacific Coliseum – Vancouver, BC

BOXSCORE:

1st Period:

5:11 (PPG)
VAN – DAVE BALON (1) – Rich Lemieux (5), Bobby Lalonde (4)
1-0

5:56
NYI – BRIAN SPENCER (2) – Ed Westfall (4), Brian Marchinko (5)
1-1

8:14
VAN – BOBBY SCHMAUTZ (5) – Dennis Kearns (2), Don Tannahill (3)
2-1

9:36
NYI – BILL MICKELSON (1) – Terry Crisp (3), Don Blackburn (1)
2-2

2nd Period:

1:40 (PPG)
VAN – BOBBY LALONDE (4) – Orland Kurtenbach (6)
3-2

19:22
VAN – GERRY O’FLAHERTY (1) – John Wright (5), Don Lever (1)
4-2

3rd Period:

3:35
VAN – GERRY O’FLAHERTY (2) – Barry Wilkins (3), John Wright (6)
5-2

4:33
VAN – ORLAND KURTENBACH (4) – Wayne Maki (5)
6-2

7:01 (PPG)
VAN – JOCELYN GUEVEREMONT (3) – Bobby Schmautz (4), Andre Boudrias (5)
7-2

SHOTS:
VAN – 35
NYI – 22

PENALTY MINUTES:
VAN – 25
NYI – 27

GOALTENDERS:
VAN – Ed Dyck – 20/22
NYI – Gerry Desjardins – 28/35

The Canucks were not much better than the expansion Islanders at this point, and coming into this game Vancouver had more losses in the short season. The 7 goals they put up wouldn’t be the most, or even the second most they’d score in November, putting up 8 against Los Angeles and 9 against Buffalo in back-to-back games (they also let in 9 against Montreal in the same month). In contrast, the Islanders gave up 9 goals in each game against those same Kings and Sabres team in the same month of November. The Canucks were the better team, but only barely at this point.

 

Game 108:

VANCOUVER CANUCKS 3 – NEW YORK ISLANDERS 4 (OT)
(28-30-9) – (32-23-11)
March 9th – 2017
Rogers Arena – Vancouver, BC

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BOXSCORE:

1st Period:

15:01
NYI – JOHN TAVARES (25) – Josh Bailey (35), Anders Lee (16)
0-1

2nd Period:

1:35
VAN – REID BOUCHER (3) – Bo Horvat (26), Troy Stecher (18)
1-1

3:31
VAN – SVEN BAERTSCHI (16)
2-1

9:44
NYI – ANTHONY BEAUVILLIER (7) – Josh Bailey (36)
2-2

19:36
NYI – BROCK NELSON (15) – Nick Leddy (26), Josh Bailey (37)
2-3

3rd Period:

19:40
VAN – TROY STECHER (3) – Henrik Sedin (27), Markus Granlund (12)
3-3

OVERTIME:

1:33
NYI – ANDREW LADD (19) – Calvin de Haan (15), Ryan Strome (17)
3-4

SHOTS:
VAN – 39
NYI – 28

PENALTY MINUTES:
VAN – 6
NYI – 6

GOALTENDERS:
VAN – Ryan Miller – 24/28
NYI – Thomas Greiss – 36/39

 

Troy Stecher, the hero. Scoring with 19.3 seconds left and grabbing that extra point (which could have caused the Canucks to lose the draft lottery), gave the Canucks some hope, only to lose it a minute and 33 seconds into overtime. Fairly entertaining game, and considering this was March and the Canucks tank job was in full swing, the fans left relatively happy.

For Game 109, taking place tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, it could happen like the game in 1972, a decisive victory for either team (much like the Pennsylvania part of this road trip) or like the game in March or the game Sunday morning against the Rangers. My prediction? The Canucks finally kick their extra time losing blues and win 4-3 in overtime. Or a shootout. No, overtime. Overtime. 4-3 Vancouver wins in overtime.

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