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Canucks Hoglander & Hughes provides light in the dark season

The first 17 games of the Vancouver Canucks of 2021-22 didn’t look interesting, which is a bit polite. They are currently ranked second to last in the Pacific Division with a record of 5-10-2, have the worst penalty shootout percentage in the league, and they are in a season-high five-game losing streak. Their score is 26-10. Yes. Said that in Vancouver, the rain inside and outside Rogers Arena has never stopped.

related: The Canucks need to make major changes to reverse the bad penalty shootout in history

Fortunately, if you look carefully enough, there is always a glimmer of hope in every dark cloud. It may be difficult for fans to see any positives right now, but I will try to find some positives because the Canucks will continue to work hard to get rid of the darkness so far in the 2021-22 season.

Nils Höglander grows into an elite Swiss army knife

Niels Hoagland It may not have been hot at the beginning of the season, but he will definitely be smooth sailing now. Having scored five goals in the past seven games, he is the hottest of all Ganac forwards, and perhaps the most confident person except JT Miller. Currently tied with Bo Horvat for the team’s second-largest goal and leading PDO (shooting field goal percentage and ice save percentage) with a score of 104.6, he has never experienced a terrible second-year downturn.

Spark plugs from BockträSk, Sweden, brought the Canucks out of training camp at the beginning of the 2020-21 season and have never looked back. In only 73 NHL professional games, he consolidated his position as one of the most valuable practical players. No one has ever rested. He has shown a kind of unremitting professional ethics in every game, combining speed, creativity and the pursuit of ice hockey into one package. Every coach hopes to instill it in all players. .

Höglander is described as Small power forward Because of the way he competes for the hockey puck on the board. Although he is only 5 feet 9 inches tall, he is rarely muscular and usually wins in any ice hockey battle he participates in. He has also recently shown a penchant for promoting offense by improving speed and ball control. Currently leading all forwards with 3 and 23 high crises, he is someone Elias Pettersson should imitate. If his performance is even half of Höglander’s, the Canucks’ position in the standings will be much better.

Quinn Hughes’ improved two-way game

Unlike Paterson, Quinn Hughes Did not try to live up He signed a lucrative contract Just before the start of the 2021-22 season. After the long and lengthy contract battle during the offseason caused him to miss all training camps and most of the preseason, people were worried that he would stumble out of the gate. Fortunately for the Canucks, now only one of their superstars is trying to find his leg.

Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Owen / Hockey writer)

Since Hughes entered the sight of scouts and prospect experts, the blow to him has been his lack of defensive awareness. His skating, edge skills, first pass and offensive hockey IQ should all be transformed into the elite level of the NHL, but it is his defense that prevented him from becoming a Norris trophy-level defensive player. In 129 games of his NHL career, he scored at a crazy pace, but with a negative 34 black mark in the plus/minus column. All the experts are patting their backs because they are right. Fast-forwarding 16 games into his third full NHL season, he began to prove them all wrong. In fact, he can defend after all.

related: Hughes of the Canucks continues to improve early this season

Despite the overall poor performance of the team, Hughes performed well both offensively and defensively. He is on the right side of the positive/negative ledger, and the positive number is 5. So far, he still scored 14 points in 16 games. According to Andy and Ronuo’s player cards, he is at an elite level in almost every category, including defense, which is also a denial and game-driven factor. His always impressive transition game is also in the stratosphere.

The Canucks have performed poorly this season, but Quinn Hughes has performed very well this season! Almost one point per game, very dominant performance, especially watching the players is really interesting. The best player on the team in our eyes. https://t.co/iD5IT9w1i2

From the perspective of high-level data, Hughes leads the team with a Corsi-for percentage (CF%) of 63.4, and his Corsi-for percentage (CF/60) per 60 minutes is a career high of 71.8. Basically, as long as he is on the ice, his vision, passing and smart zone exits can control the game. The vision test also meets the basic data, because he reduced his area of ​​mistakes, and he used more good posture and clever sticks when defending. In other words, he didn’t look as good as he did in previous seasons in one-on-one or on rebounds against previous seasons.In addition to lack of discipline, he Show in an avalanche game On Wednesday, he has become the best two-way defensive player on the Canucks this season.

Conner Garland became a core player in the Canucks’ first season

Of all the new players that the Canucks acquired during the offseason, Connor Garland It is by far the most impressive. Although he just scored his first goal in 10 games against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, his performance did not indicate his lack of production. Like Höglander, he comes to the skating rink every day to get ready for work and never seems to take a night off.His cunning fringe work in small spaces and the constant pressure on the outposts have been demonstrated throughout the season, and he even Start to get chemistry With a rookie named Vasily Podkolzin (Vasily Podkolzin).

Conner Garland, Vancouver Canucks
Conor Garland, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Owen / Hockey writer)

All in all, since coming to the Arizona Coyotes, Garland has been everything to the Canucks, and more. Yes, he sometimes struggles to create goals, but he stands out in almost every game, and this is what you really want from the top offensive threat. It is hoped that the goals he scored on Wednesday will be enough to stimulate his creativity and make him perform at the same speed as when he started with six consecutive victories at the beginning of the season.

JT Miller continues production

since Lightning Arrival from Tampa Bay Miller has been one of the most efficient players on the Canucks for the conditional first-round picks a few seasons ago. With 49 goals and 136 points in 139 games, the Orca on his chest, no one can say that he has not reached the ceiling of 5.25 million US dollars. From goals (7) and points (18) to hits (45) and faceoffs (56%), he leads the team in almost all statistical categories, and he can now be said to be the team’s MVP. If he can win more faceoffs in penalty shootouts and score points in power play, he will be a complete package.

Peterson should be the best player on the Canucks.Except for the players who lit up N​​HL during his career and captured the hearts of fans everywhere The rookie season returns to 2018-19He definitely has the talent to be that player again, he just needs to trust his instincts and get rid of his own mind. His precise laser-like wrist shots can only be scored if he uses them, and his use in the main scoring area is far from enough. Surprisingly, he is the striker with the most shots on the team, but only three goals can prove it.

Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks
Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Owen / Hockey writer)

However, the number of shots does not tell the whole story, because only 10 of these shots are high-risk events. For a player who should create opportunities every time on the ice, this is not good enough. Compared with Hoagland, who has an average playing time of 6 minutes less than Patterson, his behind the eight-point shot is terrible. Of the 45 shots taken by Höglander, 23 were of high-risk types. This is 51.1% of his shooting percentage. On the other hand, Peterson only had a high shooting percentage of 21.7%.

related: The early fight between Pettersson and Boeser of the Canucks hurt the team

In order to get Canucks out of this early routine, Pettersson must hold back and start creating opportunities that we all know he can do. When he was confident, he was an excellent playmaker and ball possession wizard, but too many times this season he gave up scoring opportunities and chose low percentage passes, or tried to pass just to turn the ball over. Before he can regain his confidence, he needs to simplify his game. Until then, no matter how many other bright spots there are in the team, darkness will continue to envelop the Rogers Arena.

All statistics are taken from Natural Statistics Skills with Hockey Reference As of November 19, 2021

Matthew Zator is a freelance writer, media editor and scout for THW. He is closely related to the Vancouver Canucks’ hockey, NHL draft and overall prospects. He likes to talk about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read book for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL draft and its prospects.For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts, which are listed under the photo at the end of the article It’s like this about Taylor Mort.


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