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The Statsies: Quinn Hughes and Filip Hronek’s worst game of the season

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Photo credit:© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Liu
7 months ago
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Well, that was certainly a way to end a 5-game win streak.
The Vancouver Canucks fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a scoreline of 5-2. It didn’t seem that way from the get-go, with a 2-1 lead through the first period making it look as if the Canucks were capitalizing on a tired opponent. But, sloppiness creeped into their game, and Vancouver couldn’t afford to do so against a good Toronto team. While losses like these are bound to happen, this also drops Vancouver to 13 defeats in their last 14 matchups at Scotiabank Arena, while doing so in front of Eastern media who actually were awake during this game. Why now, of all times?
Here’s the loss, by the numbers.
As always, you can find our glossary guide of advanced stats here.

Game Flow

Even though the first period was Vancouver’s best, it was still a rocky up-and-down affair. The powerplays interspersed throughout the frame were really what brought the ebbs and flows in the positive for the Canucks and helped them secure the 2-1 lead. At 5v5, the Leafs held a 58.33 CF% share, a 6-2 edge in HDCF, and a 0.88-0.7 lead in xGF. That 5v5 play would only be further cemented in the second period, where Toronto would gain the lead that they didn’t surrender. Of course, the Canucks pushed at the very end, but turning it on there was too little, too late when being down 5-2 on the road.

Heat Map

This is a heat map that supports all the expected goals percentages. Four of the five tallies that Toronto racked up came right in tight on the crease – some of the highest xGF values that can be generated by shot attempts. The Leafs consistently out-high-danger chanced the Canucks, a 12-9 difference at 5v5 expanding to a 16-13 lead across all situations. Vancouver ended up with a 4.31-3.43 lead in xGF by the end of the game thanks to their push in the final minutes, but make no mistake – Toronto was controlling the flow of the game and score effects played a big role in making the numbers look a little better than they actually were. Take the comparison to the 5v5 heat map, which shows just how little the Canucks were able to generate in the offensive end:

Individual Advanced Stats

Corsi Champ: Conor Garland has been showing some impressive metrics as of late, and a lot of this is coming with the defensive side of the game. He led the Canucks last night at both 5v5 and all situations in CF%, topping the charts with 79.49. Garland was on ice for a 13-3 shots advantage favouring the Canucks, while also keeping his nose clean with zero goals against. The production hasn’t been there but the underlying numbers show a very solid winger for which the dam has yet to break. Perhaps, the biggest issue is his linemates –  Pius Suter has been on a bit of a heater as of late but isn’t exactly a renown finisher, while Dakota Joshua has much different hands than that of a sniper. Garland hasn’t exactly been red-hot as a finisher himself as of late, but it could be a combination of a lot of factors in the bottom 6.
Corsi Chump: Sam Lafferty recorded the worst CF% numbers of any Canuck last night with a team-low 23.53. This comes without seeing any minutes against very heavy competition, generally speaking also against the Leafs’ bottom 6. Lafferty was on ice for a goal against, managing an impressively low 0.07 xGF, coupling with his 0.94 xGA to result in a team-low 6.53 xGF%. The Leafs pretty much had their way when he was on ice, generating 8 scoring chances and 4 high-danger chances. Meanwhile, Lafferty was only on ice for one scoring chance for.

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xGF: Garland set the pace in the xGF% category as well last night, looking like one of the only couple of players that consistently had good defence to go along with chances offensively. He led Vancouver with a 88.89 xGF%, a result of his second-best xGF (2.13) and third-best xGA (0.27). Garland saw a 13-3 scoring chance difference when he was on the ice, which led the team, and a further 8-2 HDCF differential. Linemate Pius Stuer led the Canucks in raw xGF with a 2.15.
GSAx: This was Thatcher Demko’s worst game of the season. Conceding 5 goals on 22 shots is never a good look, but to do it like the way he did was pretty brutal as well. The Leafs managed to generate a total of 3.43 xGF over the course of the game, meaning that Demko was firmly in the negatives with a -1.57 GSAx. Three goals came off of high-danger chances, while the other two were chalked up to one middle-danger and one low-danger. It wasn’t his night as Demko just looked off. He was way deep in his crease, sliding around everywhere and reacting to the play instead of letting the puck hit him. Hopefully, Demko can get some rest against the Habs as DeSmith takes the reins.

Statistical Musings

Hughes-Hronek: As the title of this Statsies suggests, the Quinn Hughes-Filip Hronek pairing had their worst outing yet as well. Remember when they went basically a whole month with just a single goal against? Well, that was not the case against the Leafs as Hughes was on ice for two goals against, and Hronek was out there for three. The numbers aren’t the best for the pairing either, with a 48.15 CF% and 37.50 HDCF% together at 5v5. Hronek took a big blow to his numbers on the PK, but even at 5v5 his CF% of 39.39 had him as the third-lowest Canuck, far cry from his usual play. Hughes wasn’t that far behind in 6th last for CF%, but what stands out is that he didn’t generate nearly as much offence as we are used to. Hughes only tallied up 0.86 xGF over the course of this game, and that isn’t what you want to see from your best defenceman.
A bit of a silver lining: Carson Soucy had his best statistical game as a Canuck thus far. Not only did the defenceman lead the d-corps in CF% (73.53), but also racked up an impressive 1.93 xGF and 73.97 xGF%. Soucy managed to hold Toronto to just 5 scoring chances, while staying on ice for 9 scoring chance for. He looked to have carried Tyler Myers, as his partner looked a little more chaotic than usual. But, that also comes with the territory of playing 19:18 minutes at 5v5, the Chaos Giraffe playing far above his head and ending up putting the puck in his own net.

As a team

CF% – 55.00% HDCF% – 44.83% xGF% – 55.64%
The final numbers are generous to the effort that the Canucks put out against the Leafs. They were sloppy in the second and third, only getting a chance to have offensive pressure at the very end of the game thanks to Toronto buckling down to lock up a win. There really wasn’t much to like about the performance as the lethargic effort from the Sens seemed to have translated in the provincial capital as well.
Vancouver will looked to take accountability for their lacklustre play and bounce back tonight, as they head into the Centre Bell to take on the Montreal Canadiens.
Stats provided by naturalstattrick.com

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