Conor Garland isn’t looking for sympathy amid the first real goal-scoring drought of his career.
After a costly turnover against the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau was candid in his assessment of Garland’s game.
“He didn’t play very well, and I need more out of him,” Boudreau said post game of Garland’s performance. “I think he’s pressing really hard to score because he hasn’t scored in a while, but the idea is you can’t do it all by yourself when you’re pressing. 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.”
To be fair to both player and coach, Boudreau was asked a follow up about Bo Horvat’s performance after the Garland question, and said that many forwards played poorly, and that he wasn’t going to single players out.
Additionally, J.T. Miller took ownership on his poor play in the game against St. Louis, in particular, his lack of coverage on the Blues’ third goal of the game.
“I actually had a good play before that, got a good stick on him, and then I just puck watched for one second. I know he’s over there, I really do. I was just being stubborn,” Miller said. “Buchnevich made a really nice pass over there, but all it takes is one second with good players. Watch the puck a little too long, and it’s in the back of the net.”
The reason Garland’s name is in the headlines is because he’s in a scoring drought, had a turnover that cost the Canucks big time on Monday night, and there’s a soundbite to go along with it.
But Garland says he has no issue with Boudreau’s comments.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” said Garland. “It’s Bruce’s job to win games, so when you do something as a player that hinders that, it’s very fair for him to come out and say that, so it doesn’t bother me one bit. That’s his job.”
Garland also spoke a bit about his scoring drought as a whole, and maintained that he isn’t thinking about it or letting it get in the way of the main task at hand: winning games.
“I’ve never really gone through something like this, but it’s just kind of is what it is, I don’t really think about it. On our day off yesterday, I didn’t think about it, I thought about our game coming up and how to help the team win. So if I have to block three shots tonight, and that helps us do that, that’s what’s important at this time of year… For me as a player, you’re just worried about winning games. So if I can help by scoring goals, I’d love to do that.”
Additionally, Garland says he’s not all that bothered with his overall play, and is trying to stay as even-keeled as possible.
“It’s easy to be reactionary and say it’s not very good because [I] cost us the game in St. Louis with a turnover,” said Garland. “But big picture I thought I had a pretty good road trip. I understand that I’m paid to produce offence and that when you’re not scoring, it’s easy to say you’re not playing well, but you can get one, get some confidence, then all of a sudden have a couple.
“I’m just trying to stay as [even-keeled] as best I can. It’s not easy. It’s a big market and I’m sure there’s lots of talk about it, but I just try to go one game at a time. It’s a big game tonight and if you perform well you can forget about the last one.”
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