Vancouver Canucks’ 3 stars of the week: Quinn Hughes leads the charge with 8 points
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Dave Hall28 days ago
Welcome back to CanucksArmy’s 3 stars of the week brought to you by Finning!
I think I speak for the entire fan base when I say:
What is happening?!
Following Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars, the Canucks woke up on Sunday sporting an 8-2-1 record to finish the week sitting in third place.
No, that’s not third in the Division. No, that’s not third in the Conference. That’s third in the entire league.
But wait, there’s more!
Vancouver shares the league’s best goal differential with the Vegas Golden Knights. Both clubs have outscored opponents by a plus-26 margin over an 11-game span. That’s 11 goals more than any other club. The second-in-the-league Boston Bruins sit second with a plus-15 goal differential.
This week, specifically, they outscored their opposition 17-3, where one of those goals was the late, shutout-crushing goal from the San Jose Sharks.
As you can imagine, with a goal differential of plus-14, there was a list of impressive players who brought worthy performances this past week.
Anthony Beauvillier, who had just one point heading into the week, picked up four points, including his first and second goals of the season—both of which came during the 10-1 thumping of San Jose.
J.T. Miller, who now sits in a four-way tie for sixth-most points in the league with 16 points, continued his trip on the consistency train, adding another four points to his ledger.
Finally, Filip Hronek, who has lived up to his first and second-round (draft pick) pricetag, extended his point streak to six games. With 11 points, Hronek currently shares second place in points by a defenceman alongside names like Adam Fox, Cale Makar, and Victor Hedman.
There is a buzz in the air, and after a tough stretch of, well, 10-plus years, this market deserves a good time, and the players are delivering.
Third star: Elias Pettersson
What have we been saying all season long?
It’s clear that Elias Pettersson isn’t playing at 100 percent, yet he’s still managing to fire at a league-leading clip despite that.
Well, he dropped seven points this week, the second-most league-wide, and contributed in all three matches.
He kicked things off on a spooky Halloween evening, delivering his first hat trick on home turf and just the second hat trick of his career—a stat which still boggles the mind—in the team’s 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators.
He backed that up with three assists in the 10-1 landslide, then an insurance goal on Saturday against a pressing Dallas Stars team.
He now shares the throne with Jack Hughes as the league’s top-scorer with 20 points on the year.
With (Jack) Hughes out for an undisclosed length of time due to injury, Pettersson can now take sole possession of the scoring race as early as Monday next week.
With the goal on Saturday, the Swede joined Tony Tanti (10 games) and Patrik Sundrstrom (11 games) as the third player in Canuck history to reach the 20-point plateau in 11 (or fewer) games.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: if this is him at 75 percent, what happens when he’s 100% healthy?
Send your hate mail to previous upper management for cornering themselves into signing Pettersson to a bridge deal because it feels like the price keeps going up!
Second star: Thatcher Demko
A 27-save (5-2) victory over a mediocre Nashville Predators squad? Pretty good.
A 30-save (10-1) win against a bottom-dwelling Sharks team? Sure.
A 27-save shutout opposite the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars? Yeah, give this man the second star of the week.
Saturday’s win was a statement game for Thatcher Demko, as he made several game-breaking stops, one of which will likely see itself in the top echelon of “Plays of the Month.”
This week, he stopped 84 of 87 shots and carried an incredible 0.966 save percentage and 1.00 goals against. To take things back a little further, he’s shut down 122 of 127 shots over his last five starts.
He now shares the league lead in wins (6) and shutouts (2), while his goals against average (1.42) and save percentage (0.948) sit second among netminders with five (or more) starts.
This is Vezina-worthy stuff.
And what did Thatcher have to say about his impressive start to the season?
“I just really like winning, man.”
First star: Quinn Hughes
At this point, it’s a question of what Quinn Hughes “isn’t” doing, as opposed to what he “did” to deserve a star.
As of Sunday morning, Quinn Hughes is sporting incredible numbers in nearly every statistical category.
Among his fellow defencemen, here is a list of just a few categories Hughes leads in:
- Goals (4): 1st
- Assists (12): 1st
- Primary assists (8): 1st
- Points (16): 1st
- Shots (40): 1st
- +/- (+14): 1st
- All-strength CF% (players with 4+ games) (63.92%): 4th
- All-strength xGF% (players with 4+ games) (63.24%): 8th
Insert East Coast media shaming jest here.
Hughes took charge this week and led the league with eight points, including a five-point affair in San Jose to tie a club record for most points by a defenceman in a single game. He joins Jeff Brown, who hit that feat in 1995 against the Los Angeles Kings. Editor’s note: California, am I right?!
Looking under the hood a little deeper, Hughes also led the team in CF% (73.44%) and xGF (73.24%) across all situations.
Heck, he accomplished all of this while setting a career-high in penalties per game, sitting off for three penalties on Thursday night. Not that penalties are a good statistic, but come on, he’s firing on all cylinders here!
Insert additional East Coast media shaming jest here.
We said it last week, but we’ll say it again: We like Quinn Hughes with a chip on his shoulder.
The Canucks host the struggling Edmonton Oilers at 7:00 PM on Monday before setting off on a three-game eastern Canada road trip.
See you next week following a four-game stint!
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