The Statsies: Quinn Hughes dominates and Vasily Podkolzin keeps buzzing in win against Jets

Year in Review for Quinn Hughes' 2023-2024 season with the Vancouver Canucks
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
4 months ago
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Talk about a statement win.
The Vancouver Canucks demolished the Winnipeg Jets 5-0 at home to kick off their homestand. There weren’t many negatives to take away from this game besides Thatcher Demko’s exit, which will be the focus of attention for most Canucks fans. The team played well, defending against a heavy team while potting in plenty of goals against an allegedly solid defensive team. That kind of result inspires confidence, especially against the calibre of opponent that Winnipeg is.
Here’s the win, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

While the first couple of minutes didn’t go the Canucks’ way, they picked it up pretty quickly as the momentum of the game tilted in their favour. Vancouver held a hefty advantage in puck possession, tallying a 68.29 CF% in the first and 57.69 CF% in the second. That translated to expected goals too, never losing a period in expected goals share to the Jets at all. Once they got themselves into that position of advantage, they were able to lock it down as well. There wasn’t a period where they were out-chanced, with the closest that the Jets got being the second period with a 4-4 split in high-danger chances.

Heat Map

The way that the Canucks were able to suffocate the Jets defensively is evident through the heat map distribution. While they did get a concentrated spot in the slot area, it was pretty limited. In total, Winnipeg recorded 16 scoring chances with 8 of them being high-danger. Meanwhile, the Canucks were clipping at 30 scoring chances and 17 high-danger chances, getting more than their fair share of chances against a pretty good defensive team in the Jets. It’s as good as it gets against one of the better team in the league.

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Was there going to be anyone else besides Quinn Hughes? The best defenceman in Canucks history was the best player on the ice last night, controlling a 73.81 CF% to lead the team. Absurdly, the shots were 21-5 while he was on the ice, resulting in the Canucks scoring 3 goals at 5v5. Hughes also put up an 86.08 xGF%, which was the third-best on the team, having a 21-2 scoring chance differential and a 14-2 high-danger chance advantage. It was very one-sided with him on the ice, and his impact completely tilted the ice in the Canucks’ favour.
Corsi Chump: Noah Juulsen brought up the rear in the Corsi department, coming in at a 37.50 CF%. He faced quite a bit of opportunities from the Jets as a result of them getting more puck possession, conceding a 34.80 xGF% share and seeing a 5-7 scoring chance differential. But, Juulsen also kept his nose clean pretty darn well, holding a 3-2 advantage in high-danger chances while being on ice for a goal for and zero goal against. Not bad for the worst defenceman that Canucks had at the start of the year.
xGF: Conor Garland had himself a good night defensively. His 91.45 xGF% led the team thanks to a team-best 0.07 xGA, not facing a single high-danger chance. Garland wasn’t just nullifying what the Jets were trying to create – he got a fair share of offence too. The winger saw 8 scoring chances during his TOI, 5 of them being high-danger, which registered at a 0.79 xGF. That’s not bad, considering that he only had 11:59 of 5v5 TOI. Shoutout to Vasily Podkolzin too, who came in second with a 90.32 xGF% alongside Garland and Elias Lindholm. Naturally, it was Quinn Hughes who tallied up the best raw xGF of 2.05.
GSAx: With Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith splitting a team shutout, the pair posted perfect nights respectively. Demko would finish with a 1.43 GSAx, while DeSmith recorded a 0.66 GSAx. They weren’t the busiest of netminders last night, with the team in front of them playing lights out defensively, but any shot that came their way they turned aside. Demko was especially sharp in that first period to help turn the tides in favour of Vancouver, one that the team rode to the 5-0 win.

Statistical Musings

The “fourth” line: It was pretty interesting to look at the 5v5 ice times and see that Podkolzin-Lindholm-Garland saw the least action of any unit. They were put out in a wide variety of situations, not really matching up against any line specifically, and produced pretty solid underlying metrics. They had the team’s best CF% share (53.33) and xGF% share (80.63), completely nullifying Winnipeg to the tune of 0.07 xGA. They were the only line to not face a single high-danger chance against, coming in with a 5-1 scoring chance differential and 3-0 high-danger chance advantage. Lindholm in particular looked engaged and ready to go, having one of his best games in Canucks colours yet.
The line that saw the most ice time: Not the usual suspects, it was actually PDG-Lafferty-Blueger. They were iced for 12:33 TOI, two minutes ahead of the Mikheyev-Miller-Boeser line. While their stats were pretty bad, coming in last for pretty much every metric, it’s important to recognize that they weren’t there to dominate the opposition. Rather, this line ate up the Jets depth, conceding puck possession and xGF but not actually letting them generate anything. Out of 6 scoring chances that they face, only two were recorded as high-danger. They were winning puck battles left and right, and it was clear that Tocchet trusted them to lock things down in a 5-0 game.

As a team

CF% – 61.00% HDCF% – 71.43% xGF% – 63.63%
It was a dominating effort by the Canucks last night. At both ends of the ice, they were excellent, and speaks to a complete team effort that resulted in all the right things happening. This is the kind of game that you can point to and see a Cup contender, with how this team got their offence in bunches while making sure that the opposition didn’t even get a sniff. Of course, it’s nice to see your best players being your best players, and getting the level of depth contribution that the Canucks have had all year is a bonus that most teams could only ask for.
Vancouver gets a bit of a breather before they welcome the Colorado Avalanche to town on Wednesday.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com
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