Why not? The Vancouver Canucks season still has three games remaining, so before beginning the postmortem and deciding what has to happen next, let’s evaluate one of the positives. Conor Garland.
In what amounts to the season finale in Calgary on Saturday night, Garland was consistent and focused. He entered, played, and finished the game all in the same manner, apparently unaffected by the emotional highs and lows that pushed and pulled the Vancouver Canucks throughout the 6-3 loss.
Garland scored a remarkable goal, created other glorious chances, and had an opportunity to tie the game from the slot in the third period on the power play when his stick exploded. It was just one of those nights, a hard luck factor that he did indeed share with all of his teammates.
Calgary’s go-ahead goal in the third period caromed in off a skate from the left wing circle, another one knocked in by backpedalling Canucks defenceman Tyler Myers.
But then again, Myers was scrambling. Garland never seemed to.
“I told him (Garland) before the game, in the last fifteen games you’ve been the guy who’s brought the energy to our team every night,” Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said postgame Saturday. “For a smaller guy, and to continue to do that against bigger guys and I thought he was the catalyst again tonight. Going forward, that shows how valuable he’s going to be next year.”
Early in the season VHN had a little fun trying to come up with an extraordinary nickname for Garland and received some pretty good ideas from Canucks fans. None seemed to stick, none seemed perfectly appropriate, none seemed to pin him down. Much like his game.
During a goal scoring drought, naturally we began to hear talk in the market about having to get rid of Garland. That’s the market. We preferred to look at it this way. (link within)
Much like we’ve pointed out the clear public relations benefits of Boudreau’s tenure to the Vancouver Canucks, since often repeated, one could say the same thing about the most entertaining Vancouver Canucks player on the ice. We handed him that award along with the others on Thursday.
Garland played 19:21 on Saturday night in Calgary. He and JT Miller led the team with five shots on goal.