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Under the microscope: Garrison shifts to right side as Bieksa (groin) out again

Feb 26, 2013, 4:57 PM EDT

Jason Garrison Getty Images

As if Jason Garrison wasn’t being watched closely enough by an increasingly critical Canucks fan base, tonight he’s being asked to move from his preferred left side of the defense to the right, as Vancouver will be without Kevin Bieksa (groin) for the second straight game when it hosts the Coyotes.

“[Garrison] has played the right side before, he likes the left side better,” said head coach Alain Vigneault. “All the left-handed guys like the left side better, but tonight we’re going to try him there.”

For all the depth the Canucks boast on the back end, the team has just two right-handed defensemen, Bieksa and Chris Tanev.

Against Phoenix, Garrison will be paired with Dan Hamhuis, while Tanev will skate with Alex Edler and Keith Ballard will team with Andrew Alberts.

Vancouver lost its last game badly, falling 8-3 on Sunday in Detroit.

Garrison, 28, signed a six-year, $27.6 million contract with the Canucks this summer, and while some maintain he’s doing just fine, his play hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the majority of fans.

Cory Schneider will start in goal for Vancouver after Roberto Luongo surrendered all eight goals against the Red Wings.

  1. 19to77 - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Well, that’s what you get for throwing an immense contract at a guy on the basis of one good season. Steve Mason had a hot year once too and we all know how that turned out. Garrison’s hardly terrible, but he was never as good as the contract Gillis signed him to.

    • davebabychreturns - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Garrison was excellent defensively the year before playing with Mike Weaver.

      And he’s been alright in Vancouver so far, from a possession standpoint. But at any rate I wouldn’t be drawing conclusions about a six year contract twenty games in so that’s neither here nor there, really.

    • elvispocomo - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      Sure, there is some padding for the offensive ability he showed last season, but the Canucks didn’t pursue him thinking they’d get a repeat of 16 goals every year. They went after him since he’s a big, physical defender who also happens to have a big shot.

      Willie Mitchell’s been making $3.5M for the last several plus years, even as a UFA after a major concussion, and no one expects offence out of him. How much of a stretch is it to expect an inflated market before the signing of a new CBA would offer a player like Garrison a larger deal? When Parise, Suter and Weber all got offers worth $100M? How have they lived up to their new deals?

      • 19to77 - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        Yeah, fair argument. That’s a good point. He’s far more useful than Ballard so far at all the things the latter was signed to do.

  2. thehighcountrybear - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    I can’t see any of this being relevant. Starting with John [ what, no call…? ] Garrett of Sportsnet infamy, all the fault and attendant gnashing of teeth and duly appointed blame for disasters like the 8-3 schooling by the Wings falls at the feet of biased officiating? Chronically wet, Vancouver was yet again awash with tears amid protest of a general screwing-over by the game crew. Cue Julie London and cry me a river…

    • kitshky - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Go ahead and continue your tiresome negative and utterly biased ramblings all you want … but could you do us a favor and at least try and keep your comments somewhat related to the story above?

    • loinstache - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      Out of curiosity, was the uncle who dropped you on your head as a baby wearing a Canucks jersey? Just trying to gain some background for your unending stream of delusional “comments.”

    • loinstache - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      haha I just really have to stress the delusional part, because I visit a lot of hockey and canucks blogs and the consensus from the vast majority of fans is we lost because we got stomped by Detroit.

      The thought of you smouldering at your computer contemplating what YOU THINK the reaction of Canucks fans is fcking HILARIOUS to me.

  3. leepetertk - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    In the off season, I think the Canucks intended to re-sign Sami Salo and add Jason Garrison to the team. Garrison was to replace Keith Ballard and Sami Salo would occupy his usual slot with Alex Edler. Also worth mentioning, they wanted to bring in Justin Schultz.

    Their grand scheme of having so many defencemen and having right-left balance on the team has not worked so well. Salo signed in Tampa and Schultz chose not to battle for ice time on a deeper Canucks defence corps.

    Now the Canucks have a glut of left-sided defencemen who all seem to have difficulty playing on the right side. I don’t think this solution will fix itself over the season as each of Hamhuis, Edler, Ballard, and now Garrison have experimented on the right side with mixed results.

    One thing with Garrison that the Canucks have not done well is temper the enthusiasm for a 16 goal scorer. It would be hard to replicate his offensive numbers from last year. Garrison was also a very reliable defenceman in Florida paired with Mike Weaver. New role, new team, new system, new D-partner and its not surprising things aren’t going as well as many fans expected.

    • loinstache - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      Yeah people really need give Garrison the benefit of context for his first season in a ‘Nucks jersey. ESPECIALLY considering how poorly his partners have been performing… first part of the season saw him with Edler stumbling on his off side, then he had to deal with ‘LOL GRENADE PASS’ bieksa.

      He’s looked smart moving the puck, and I’m sure his defensive game will follow in time.

    • newms69 - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      Garrison was paired with Brian Campbell last year not Mike Weaver. Campbell is the reason why Garrison scored so many goals on the power play because Campbell always set him up. As a Panther fan I sure miss Garrison.

  4. thehighcountrybear - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Sorry klitshy, I’d forgotten NBC had appointed you Chief of the List Police…my bad? A principal characteristic of Canucks supporters is a prevailing persecution complex borne of insecurity driven by the winds of second-rate hockey teams. In spite of monumental management and coaching blunders over forty odd years, failure is the always the product of conspiracy and bad refereeing? The team and its fans are never held accountable for that failure, it’s always somebody else’s fault! Most recent example, the Hansen suspension; in spite of Hossa’s apparent injury, real or otherwise, not a shred of regret or responsibility was demonstrated by either team coaching, management, players or fans. Like Hansen, Kevin Bieksa is a cheap-shot artist, a back-running goon. When the team starts developing notions of accountability, then it will be able to see team shortcomings in that regard, and replace his kind, and ill will they bring to the team and its city. And still, every cast-off the Canucks bring in is instantly deemed to be a ‘find’, signed to a ridiculous contract, then proven to be what he was before, another team’s cast-off; Garrison is just another example. As for negativity, it is offered in counter to the ceaseless fawning love-in all players and teams receive from a shamelessly biased Canadian sports media so caught-up in flag waving, they’ve become the laughing stock of the sports world. If you don’t like my opinions, print them, fold the copy into a pointy dart, then work it, deeply…

    • kitshky - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM


      I see you started with butchering a pretty simple name, noticed something about Chief of the List(?) Police (whatever that’s supposed to mean), and then because you still haven’t figured out how to structure a paragraph … just stopped reading.

    • loinstache - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      oh wow that was actually kinda creepy to read, you’ve got some real problems bud and I don’t think it’s the canucks

  5. bcousy - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Thank you for that wall of insanity.

  6. thehighcountrybear - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    So loinstache, I can only assume you and your inbred Canucks supporting brethren have never actually attended the TSN post game moan-in? Over one third of commentary offered by Canucks supporters blamed the game crew for the Detroit beat-down I catch the Fox feed out of Detroit, so my view of the game is spared the opinions of John Garrett, first rate homer, second rate goalie, and third rate hockey analyst. I’d recommend you as a Canucks supporter, get some sun, get Centre Ice, get a clue, and hear what the rest of the hockey world thinks about your team…then pull your head out, you need some air dude!

    • loinstache - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      oh boom I’m going to disengage for a second just to say NEVER VISIT THE TSN comments. they’re horrendous! oh my god during the lockout most of the highest rated comments were stroking off Bettman while simultaneously wanting the players sent to North Korea. not to mention sites like TSN are based off of real time commenting, so the highest rated comments are often from ones happening early in the game and can therefore be even more irrelevant.

      anywho you’re a fool for cherrypicking regional media (TSN no less) and your dislike of the canucks sounds laughably personal

      • kitshky - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:02 PM

        O gad you’re right …my bad, he *was* actually just talking about the TSN comments section. Ha!

        Just about says it all.

    • kitshky - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      OK I can’t resist, I realize you view yourself as a highly intelligent hockey fan and all but… dude the game wasn’t on TSN.

      (Why are you so angry, do you wanna hug?)

  7. thehighcountrybear - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Commentary was directed at the TSN blogs, offered in commentary to TSN hockey headlines…one does not need to be inordinately intelligent to make that distinction? But then again?

    • kitshky - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      Ha …we calling that “commentary” now?

    • loinstache - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:24 PM

      hahah you just blatantly used multiple accounts to change the thumb ratio on *only comments regarding you* so I can’t really take anything you say seriously

  8. thehighcountrybear - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    What I need is, faster horses, younger women, older whiskey and more money…

    • kitshky - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      Well …that and a life.

  9. thomaspratt - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Garrison is coming off a long rehab this past summer as well. Canucks fans need to give him the benefit of the doubt — he’s learning a new system, on an uncomfortable side of the ice without the benefit of a full, healthy offseason to train (recall he didn’t come off the IR until the lockout was nearly over).

  10. kingsforever - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Untrue. Jack Johnson is left-handed and he prefers the right side….probably explains his career plus/minus rating though

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