Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Conor Garland on Quinn Hughes’ leadership, fighting Dakota Joshua in camp, and more
By Mike Gould1 month ago
Vancouver Canucks forward Conor Garland dished on a wide variety of topics during an appearance on the Dropping the Gloves podcast with John Scott on Wednesday.
Garland, 27, has settled into a consistent third-line role with this year’s resurgent Canucks team, which currently leads the Pacific Division with a 29-11-4 record and 62 points in 44 games.
But it didn’t always look like Garland would be this big a part of these Canucks. Surrounded by swirling trade rumours at the start of the season, Garland got off to a slow start to his third year in Vancouver since being acquired from the Arizona Coyotes, who are slated to visit the Canucks on Thursday evening.
Garland has six goals and 21 points in 44 games with the Canucks this season. He’s been playing of late on a line with Teddy Blueger and Dakota Joshua, who have collectively earned the trust of head coach Rick Tocchet more and more in recent weeks.
“We get a lot of defensive zone starts,” Garland said. “We consider it a good success for our line [when] we’ll finish our shifts in the offensive zone and either Miller or Pettersson can come out and do what they do best. That’s a good momentum builder for our team.”
The partnership between Joshua and Garland didn’t seem to be in the cards back in training camp when the two of them became engaged in a scuffle during an open practice at training camp in Victoria.
“I accidentally undercut him reaching for a puck,” Garland said. “I’m small out there and play small and sit low towards the ice. I kinda got under his legs and went over top and he didn’t know who it was so he was kind of running the guys and was upset it was me and he ended up getting me with a good slash. So I just snapped a little bit and it is what it is.
“It’s silly because it’s obviously Vancouver and there’s a lot of media and that makes its rounds around Twitter,” Garland went on. “But for us, it was over and at the end of the day, he’s one of my good buddies on the team and we sit together on the plane and we’ve had a lot of chats and I don’t think we’ve talked about it since.”
One of Garland’s more colourful asides had to do with Canucks captain Quinn Hughes, who he revealed is a voracious reader.
“He’s improved his eating habits, he’s reading a book almost weekly to try to improve his brain,” Garland said. “I know that sounds silly but as a captain at 23, that motivates you, that motivates our group.
“He’s the engine for our team.”
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