He got off to a good start. In the first few weeks of the season, he had three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 14 games. Fans also were warming up to his feisty attitude, shifty moves and constant spinning. He was like the energizer bunny and was a bright spot in the tough first few months of the season
However, it is safe to say that Garland has struggled offensively. He has no goals in his last 15 games. The last time he scored was February 24 in the Canucks 7-1 beat down of the Calgary Flames.
Since the All-Star Break, Garland has scored four goals and managed seven assists for 11 points in 22 games. Before the break, he scored 10 times and managed 14 assists for 24 points in 41 games. The 26-year-old has only four assists in his last ten games and is on pace for 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points. Those are going to be career-high numbers but having him go cold at this time of year especially with the Canucks trying to push for the playoffs is concerning.
Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau wasn’t impressed by Garland in the 4-1 loss to the St.Louis Blues on Monday night.
“He didn’t play very well, and I need more out of him,” said Boudreau after the game per David Quadrelli of Canucks Army. “You’ve got to use your teammates and I think he could’ve passed the puck, he carried it a little too much, but he was one of the forwards I didn’t think had a very good game.”
Garland managed five shots on goal in the game and was kind of at fault as he was stripped of the puck in the offensive zone and it led to David Perron scoring the Blues’ second goal. He held onto the puck for too long and his shots weren’t too dangerous for Ville Husso.
While Garland has tried hard, the offence needs to come back. No goals in his last 16 games isn’t good enough for a guy who was expected to be a top-six player. The Canucks got goals from many of the goals on the last road trip from guys like J.T. Miller and Elias Pettersson. Garland was brought in to bring in some secondary scoring and he did that early in the season but hasn’t lately.
It seems like Garland is one of those players that is really good when he gets on a roll and has the tendency to struggle offensively. It also looks like he tries to shoot a lot from sharp angles. He doesn’t have the size but he knows how to battle around opponents. Maybe he should start trying going to the front of the net more often or he could use a linemate who does that since he is good on the half-wall.
One thing that Boudreau mentioned was passing the puck and I feel like Garland tends to hang onto the puck for too long while trying to do something fancy. Don’t get me wrong, the spins and moves are fun to watch but as Boudreau mentioned, he also needs to pass the puck more. There are times when he needs to simplify his game.
The shot doesn’t seem that strong from Garland and that could be something he needs to work on in the offseason. Shooting in areas like the slot instead of just from an angle almost all the time would probably help too.
While Garland is good at spins and drawing penalties and the effort is 100% there. However, there needs to be consistency when it comes to his offensive production and it needs to come as soon as possible.