Canucks: 3 takeaways from 4-2 win over the Calgary Flames

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 13: Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks knocks Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames to the ice while chasing after a loose puck during NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena on February 13, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 13: Quinn Hughes #43 of the Vancouver Canucks knocks Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames to the ice while chasing after a loose puck during NHL hockey action at Rogers Arena on February 13, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /
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VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 13: Nils Hoglander #36 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during NHL hockey action. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 13: Nils Hoglander #36 of the Vancouver Canucks skates with the puck during NHL hockey action. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

Nils Höglander’s intensity continues to impress

Höglander has been a revelation for the Canucks this season. This year’s Most Exciting Player consistently brings his A-game night-in and night-out.

https://twitter.com/ChrisFaber39/status/1394302132644286465?s=20

The Swede is a workhorse; he’s constantly crashing the boards, forechecking hard, crowding the net-front, and doing whatever he can to push play forward. As this season has progressed, the rookie has proven himself to be one of the Canucks’ best play drivers, and yesterday was no different.

Along with his goal, Höglander recorded two shots on goal, a blocked shot, and drew a penalty. He also led Canucks skaters in individual expected goals at 5v5 and contributed two out of the team’s six high-danger chances, according to Natural Stat Trick.

While Höglander’s Corsi For% was unimpressive today, the top-six as a whole was hemmed in their own zone as Calgary continued to press. In fact, he spent over 65% of his ice-time against the Flames top-six.

Regardless, much of the offence that Vancouver’s top-line generated came from Höglander’s stick. His positioning away from the play allows him to pounce on loose pucks as they come, and his sharp eye for the game lets him often make the right play.

After a season marred by misfortune, Höglander’s breakout as a legitimate top-six forward has to be the biggest silver lining.