Revisiting Quinn Hughes’ six best games of the 2021–22 season
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Faber1 year ago
Quinn Hughes is coming off a record-breaking season with the Vancouver Canucks.
The dynamic young rearguard finished the 2021–22 season with 68 points, breaking Doug Lidster’s decades-old franchise record for points in a season by a defenceman and averaged 25:15 of ice time in 76 games.
We know that Hughes is one of the best defencemen in the league, and, at just 22 years old, he has a bright future with the Vancouver Canucks.
Today, we will be looking back at what we believe were Hughes’ six best games from the 2021–22 season. This takes into account his offensive production, ice time, and control of possession at five-on-five.
It was interesting, but not surprising, that all six games we selected were wins for the Canucks. When Hughes is playing up to his potential, he is a game-breaker. Hughes’ ability to control a game with his puck-possession skills and offensive instinct is often a big reason why the Canucks can win hockey games.
Now, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look back at Hughes’ best six games from the 2021–22 season.
December 1 @ OTT: 21:27 TOI, four assists, 69.2 CF%
Just days before the organization saw massive restructuring at the upper management and coaching positions, Hughes had a season-high four points in a 6-2 win for the Canucks over the Ottawa Senators. The Canucks had lost nine of their previous 11 games and needed to have a strong performance against the weaker Sens squad.
Hughes played four minutes less than his season average but he will be able to make a big impact at even-strength as well as adding two assists on the power play.
It was a good night for Luke Schenn, who scored his first goal as a Canucks on a nice move to the net that was assisted by Hughes during four-on-four play.
We love to see Schenn-daddy get on the scoresheet.
Hughes later had another primary assist at four-on-four when he set up Bo Horvat to rip a wrist shot from the slot that went directly into the top corner.
Later in the game, Hughes added two power play assists and the Canucks cruised to victory.
April 26 vs. SEA: 24:54 TOI, one goal, two assists, 56.7 CF%
The Canucks came out flying in this game with three goals in the first period. It could have easily been because they were wearing their black skate jerseys or that the Seattle Kraken just wasn’t a good hockey team.
The Kraken battled back in the second period with two goals of their own before the Canucks put it away in the third period with two more goals to secure a 5-2 victory.
Hughes was up to his usual ice time in this one as he nearly reached 25 minutes. He has two secondary assists in the game and scored the Canucks’ fifth goal.
It was a solid three-point performance for Hughes in this game and that’s why we included it in our top-six games of the year.
December 14 vs. CBJ: 27:28 TOI, three assists, 55.9 CF%
It was another three-point night for Hughes and this one felt like the first time that new head coach Bruce Boudreau really understood what he has with the offensively gifted defenceman.
This was one of the most exciting games of the season at Rogers Arena as the Columbus Blue Jackets were leading 3-0 after the first period but on the back of Hughes’ three-point night, the Canucks battled back with only five defencemen and won 4-3 in regulation. They scored a power play goal in the final minute of the game to send Rogers Arena into a frenzy and complete the comeback.
Hughes had two primary assists at even-strength, setting up a Bo Horvat goal in the second period and setting up the game-tying goal on a remarkable through-the-wickets pass that set up Vasily Podkolzin for a wide-open net to shoot at.
Boudreau had great things to say in the postgame availability about his defenceman after his big night against the Blue Jackets.
“You hear about Quinn Hughes and how good he is and how he almost won rookie of the year and how he’s a star,” said Boudreau. Then, when you get here, his passing is elite, his skating is elite and he does it effortlessly and for a guy his size, playing 27-28 hard minutes a night — it’s pretty awe-inspiring.”
This game against Columbus may have been the night that Boudreau fully began to understand how good Hughes could be in this league. Boudreau will surely rely on Hughes for hopefully years to come.
January 31 @ CHI: 26:52, one assist, 73.7 CF%
Though this game didn’t have the exciting comeback that the previous gamer did, we wanted to showcase it as a typical good night for Hughes. He played nearly 27 minutes and added an assist on a redirection from Brock Boeser.
On top of the offence, Hughes did a good job of keeping the puck out of his zone in this game. His Corsi-For in the game was a whopping 73.7% and in his 26:52 of ice time, the Blackhawks were only able to get eight shots on goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
December 8 vs. BOS: 28:32 TOI, one assist, 65.3 CF%
It’s the second game for Hughes under Boudreau and he played 28:32, showcasing how much of an impact he can have on a nightly basis. The Canucks won this game in a shootout by a score of 2-1. Hughes assisted on the Canucks’ only goal as Brock Boeser notched a goal on the power play.
The assist or the ice time wasn’t the most impressive thing in this game for Hughes. The impressive thing was how much the Canucks relied on him in this game. As a team, the Canucks were outshot by a count of 36-32 in this game.
As for Hughes, he was on the ice for 21 Canucks’ shots and only nine Bruins shots.
The Canucks were outplayed without Hughes on the ice but because of his efficiency on his big-minute night. The Canucks were able to get this game to a shootout, where Thatcher Demko was perfect in attempts against him while Miller and Horvat beat Jeremy Swayman.
November 2 vs. NYR: 22:00 TOI, one assist, 82.1 CF%
Though Hughes was down to just 22 minutes in this game, and only had one assist — it was his most dominant possession game of the season.
He controlled 82.1% of the even-strength Corsi-For in this game and to simplify that, when he was on the ice at even strength, the Canucks had 23 shot attempts on Igor Shesterkin while the Rangers only had five shot attempts on Demko with Hughes on the ice.
On top of the incredibly high CF%, Hughes put the cherry on top of his incredible performance by setting up the game-winning goal in overtime.
This was another fun game during the Canucks’ 2021–22 campaign. The Rangers held onto a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes but the Canucks came storming back in the third with two goals of their own before Miller was able to get the game-winner during his second effort on the breakaway pass from Hughes.
Hughes definitely made Canucks fans have fun last season and we’re going to bet that he continues to do that for years to come.
Which game did we miss when it came to Hughes’ top performances of the season? Let us know in the comments!
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