The Statsies: Quinn Hughes’ worst game of the season is Canucks’ 5-1 loss to the LA Kings

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
4 months ago
That sucked so much.
The Vancouver Canucks lost in hilariously boring fashion, a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings. There weren’t many redeeming qualities to this game besides a nice power-play goal. The Canucks just got out-hustled and out-played by a team hungrier than them, a Kings squad that is looking to claw back into the playoff picture. In a vacuum, it isn’t the worst thing in the world, but putting this into the context of the slump this team’s been in, it’s not a good thing.
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

The overall 5v5 game wasn’t the worst for the Canucks. They generally put up better numbers possession-wise against the Kings, totaling a 62.38 CF% over the course of the game. The expected goals however didn’t follow that trend, with Vancouver tapering off from period to period. In the first, they were clicking at a 60.27 xGF% share. By the third, that had dropped to a 46.15 xGF%. From the y-axis, it’s apparent that this game was one of minimal shifts of play – they stayed within 0.5 of change to the mean.

Heat Map

Despite the Canucks having a 27-19 edge in scoring chances and a 12-11 advantage in high-danger chances, it was the Kings that were able to generate a concentrated hot spot in the low slot area. What this suggests is that while Vancouver was able to get the raw numbers over LA, they weren’t able to repeatedly generate a consistent area of chances – credit to the Kings’ defence for preventing such. On the flip side, the Kings didn’t have the spread that the Canucks did, but what they did produce was usually quality chances.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Nils Höglander did decently well for himself in a game where no forward line was safe from being switched up. The Swede led the team with a 76.92 CF%, racking up a 65.93 xGF% share along with an 8-3 advantage in scoring chances. However, Höglander wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows (as is usually the case when your team loses 5-1), as he was on ice for a goal against and a 1-2 high-danger chance. To be fair to him though, playing mostly against Quinton Byfield will usually do that to anyone.
Corsi Chump: It wasn’t the greatest night for Quinn Hughes, and that by proxy impacted Filip Hronek. The Czech was the worst Corsi man on the Canucks last night, posting a 40.00 CF% to find himself as a -34.55 CF% rel to team average. Essentially, the Canucks retained the puck about 35% less than usual when Hronek was on ice. That disparity led to three goals against, conceding the second-worst xGA of 0.91 and the fourth-worst xGF% of 26.33. Not the best when your top pairing was bleeding chances, Hronek being on ice for a 1-5 disparity in high-danger chances.
xGF: Elias Lindholm had a better game than most. He led the team with a good two-way showing, recording a team-high 92.97 xGF% to go along with a team-low 0.05 xGA. Lindholm’s 0.72 xGF wasn’t too shabby either, ranking him as the third-best Canuck last night. This was coming mostly against Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, who aren’t exactly what they used to be in their primes but definitely still good competition. In terms of raw xGF, Ian Cole led the way with a 0.82 – which is an indication that Vancouver struggled to generate much offensively at all.
GSAx: In a game where neither team generated many expected goals, Thatcher Demko’s numbers looked eye-wateringly bad. With the Kings only recording 1.82 xGF, the netminder’s GSAx for last night was -3.18, which just doesn’t seem like Demko numbers at all. Three of the goals came from high-danger chances, with the other two split between middle and low danger chances. It wasn’t a good performance from anyone in front of him, so these numbers shouldn’t be a surprise for Demko.

Statistical Musings

Quinn Hughes’ anti-Norris game: In a season where he’s been so lights out, it was jarring to see last night’s Quinn Hughes. The Canucks’ best defender was not himself, looking exhausted while being shut down and everything not going his way. While he wasn’t the worst in any specific category, there’s pretty much no question that he was Vancouver’s most innefective defenceman and maybe even overall player in this game. Hughes recorded the third-worst CF% on the team (48.28) and the worst xGA (0.92) on the team, along with the worst xGF% (11.28), all the while being on ice for three goals against. The concerning part isn’t just those defensive numbers, it’s the fact that his offensive game vanished. Not only was Hughes’ xGF of 0.12 subpar, but it was also by far the worst expected goals for of any Canuck last night. He was on ice for zero high-danger chances for, while bleeding the most high-danger chances on the team with 7. That’s not the kind of player that he is (and we all know that), but it’s a big concern that Hughes was shut down as badly as he was last night.

As a team

CF% – 62.38% HDCF% – 52.17% xGF% – 52.70%
The overall stats were far too kind for the effort that the Canucks turned in. They sleepwalked through a boring, sleepy game, one where they looked completely drained of everything that gave them success so far into the season. It was a boring game where they couldn’t do much of anything, and their best players looked mostly invisible. And when they were visible, well, they weren’t for the right reasons.
Vancouver has a bit of a rest before they hit the ice at Anaheim against the Ducks.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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