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[Article] Shots Fired: Canucks Hughes wants to increase shot volume and velocity


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Shots Fired: Canucks Hughes wants to increase shot volume and velocity


New captain thinks he can increase offense with better and different shot selection.


Quinn Hughes is always honing his craft and looking for new ways to gain a competitive advantage. This summer, the new Vancouver Canucks captain says he worked on his shot and will be looking for ways to put it to good use in games this season.


On Wednesday, in Edmonton, Hughes scored the Canucks lone goal on a second period power play snapping a quick wrist shot that found it way through levels of defenders and past Oilers netminder Stuart Skinner on a second period power play.


The goal was great, but the real takeaway from Hughes' first pre-season appearance was the fact he launched nine attempts at the Edmonton night: three on target, five were blocked and the other missed the net.


"I always work on my shot," Hughes said on Saturday morning at Rogers Arena after the Canucks first home ice game day skate of the exhibition schedule. "What I think I worked on is being able to get my shot off from different movements so that I don't have stop my skating and be in a comfortable position to get my shot off. I think there are different areas I can get a shot off depending where the D is. That's the big thing I'm working on and we'll see how it goes this year."


Hughes scored seven times on 154 shots last season. The goal total was one off his career-high first accomplished as a rookie in 2019-20 and matched in 2021-22. And while the 154 shots on goal were the most of his career, he ranked 33rd among NHL defensemen -- 121 behind leader Dougie Hamilton of Carolina.


"I'm trying to be more of a shot threat and trying to create more shots and rebounds and different things," Hughes explained. "A lot of times, I've been a pass first guy. That's just who I am, but being able to create more off my stick will help the team."


For his part, Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet is convinced he's seen more zip on Hughes' shot through training camp. And he wants to see more of it as the regular season unfolds.


"I can tell you his shot is about 10-20 miles an hour harder," Tocchet said. "He's worked on his game all summer. You can tell. His movements on the blueline have always been elite, I think there are about three other plays that he's worked on. He's incredible on the blueline and even that shot in Edmonton through a screen. Great wrist shot, Garland in front. I want him to take that shot. If he takes that shot more often, he'll score goals. I want him to have that shooting mentality. His shot is sneaky good. He worked on this summer a lot. I know he did for sure."


For the second straight preseason contest, Hughes will play alongside rookie Cole McWard. The Canucks will also use Ian Cole and Filip Hronek together as they did in Seattle on Thursday. Based on the morning skate, Carson Soucy and Tyler Myers appear to be the team's third defensive pairing.


Up front it appears Anthony Beauvillier will skate with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko while JT Miller centres Brock Boeser and Phil Di Giuseppe. The third line looks like Pius Suter between Conor Garland and Nils Höglander while the fourth line was Teddy Blueger with Nils Aman and Jack Studnicka.





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4 hours ago, PeteyBoeser said:

No McDavid and drai 

we better win or we won’t even be a wild card team 

The team nearly shutdown McMuffin and Drai last game, despite the loss... It was an impressive display of defences, compare to last season blunders. I think this team will do fine, it's still early and a lot of tweaking from now to post season, for the playoffs.  

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I'd like to see more one-timers from him but his game is all about control rather than power, so even if he's just firing wrist shots through I'm happy. I think Hughes is going to take his game to another level next year, so far in pre-season he's just been owning the puck and controlling the play so much more than previous years. Dare I say, even with Demko and Petey out there, Hughes is becoming our best player on the ice and the go-to guy.

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13 hours ago, 6of1_halfdozenofother said:

He needs to take lessons from Sami Salo.  Learn to drive it so hard with a slapper that blockers end up with broken bones, make other shot blockers think twice about attempting to block his shots.

Would need to add 5-6 inches and 30 lbs to his frame.    Don't see that happening, but for sure he could end up with a shot as hard as Chelios if he hones his craft and keeps adding muscles.   Brian Campbell/Chelios/Rafalski are guys close to his size.    Last night was aces.   His shot is already great for tip-ins, if he truly is adding a goal scoring element to his game including a bomb from the point...well we haven't had a guy who could score a lot of goals since Jovo.   Ohlund did it one year too, and of course Aucion one crazy year on the PP.   Salo rarely hit double digits - mostly because he was made of glass.   Do miss having someone who could really pound the puck, we haven't had that since Salo for sure. 


Edit.  Aucion's crazy one off season,  was one of the lone bright lights during the Messier era, him Gelinas one season, and Back-Up Bob.   Not much to celebrate back then.   Saw quite a few live games back then, and remember Aucion chasing the all-time record for power play goals and when he passed Bobby Orr.  Tied Potvin, but couldn't get that last goal.   Eventually Souray got one more, but still Adrian Aucion is in the record books both all-time any team, and ours.    Don't think any other NHL D we've had, scored more then 20. 


As far as any D to play with us, Babych actually leads the pack, 51 all-time,  followed by Jovo 59th...OEL is close lol at 61.   Too bad he lost his scoring touch. 

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