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The Stanchies: The origin of the Garland shirt, EP40 screens, and the Canucks’ milestone-heavy night

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
The Stanchion
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks’ 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night felt like a big one.
After seeing the Canucks go down by two early, only to watch them battle back to get a win over a team that has had their number this season, that victory felt like a moment.
In front of one of the rowdiest crowds of the season, to boot. I wouldn’t call it a playoff atmosphere, but it certainly felt like a step in that direction. Let’s just say if The Rock had showed up, it wouldn’t have felt out of place.
Would The Rock have called us the biggest gathering of trailer park trash he’s ever seen? Of course. But the electricity in the building at times felt like something the Final Boss would leave in his wake.
Here’s the thing, though. The Canucks’ biggest opponent this season hasn’t been Stanley Cup-contending teams. Nor has it been injuries or a tough schedule. And despite my best efforts to prove otherwise, Fin has not noticeably hurt the teams performance.
No, the biggest opponent the Canucks have faced with enough regularity that they’re on a first name basis? Accepting accolades for their play.
Huge win? Doesn’t matter.
Big milestone? Doesn’t matter.
Crowd chanting your name? Does. Not. Matter.
So on a night in which several Canucks had big moments, and hit some noteworthy milestones, you just knew the biggest test of the night was going to be the post-game scrum where the Canucks tried to deflect any attention away from their success.
Which made it all the more amusing to walk into the locker room after the game to be greeted by Elias Pettersson and JT Miller rocking shirts in honour of Conor Garland’s 400th game played:
This shirt apparently came about because Conor Garland suggested to JT Miller that they come up with a similar t-shirt for another player. To keep things loose, to have a bit of fun with each other.
Jimothy Timothy, being the older brother of the team, realized this was a perfect opportunity to prank the Lobster Roll King himself, which is how Garland found himself watching his entire team rocking his face before the game.
It’s an approach that has worked very well for the Canucks this season. Don’t let the lows get you too low, and don’t you dare let the highs get you too high. A Presidents’ Trophy is shiny as anything, but somehow talking about that 2012 Canucks season doesn’t rally the fan base quite like an extended Stanley Cup run does. No one is going to break some windows at the Bay or steal some Pringles from London Drugs if the Canucks don’t lock up the top seed in the NHL.
So on a night in which Brock Boeser got his 40th goal, JT Miller got his 100th point, Garland got his 100th career goal, Elias Pettersson set three successful goalie screens, and Quinn Hughes joined the rarified air of equaling assists at a rate that only Paul Coffey and Ray Bourque have done before, it only makes sense that the one thing the team seemed content to talk about, was Corolla Garland’s 400th game.
And it all lines up. The win on Monday night? It was fantastic. It had that rarified air of beating up the bully who’s been pushing you around the halls of your high school all year. Of finally snapping back and attempting to drown them in a bowl of room temperature apple sauce all while screaming out the lyrics to a Papa Roach song, eyes manically searching the room both daring and begging for someone to stop you.
But to a man, the Canucks have bigger plans ahead. It’s Stanley Cup or nothing. It’s playoff success or all of this was for naught.
Which is what a lot of teams do, if we’re being honest. But it does feel kind of special to watch a team like Vancouver, a team that has been bad for so many years, not get lost in the moment.
I remember 2001. I remember the Canucks just being happy making the playoffs. I remember the crowd giving a standing ovation to the team as they got swept by the Avalanche. Just happy they were competitive in game four.
This Canucks team is not happy just to be here.
This Canucks team is not excited about the season they’ve had.
This Canucks team is focused on one thing and one thing only: Conor Garland t-shirt sales.
Oh, and winning the Stanley Cup.
That too.
And you know what? You have to respect that.
Let’s make some gif money, shall we?
Best good plans are adaptable
If this was Game of Thrones, this gif would be a subtle nod to the fate of Renly Baratheon, but instead it’s merely an indicator of the Canucks strategy on the night:
And much like my strategy when I was a child playing soccer, getting the ball to your best player while you run towards the net is still an effective strategy. Quinn Hughes dances with the puck while two friends wearing the same shirt as him race towards the net. Rinse and repeat.
In fact, giving the puck to Quinn Hughes has been mathematically proven to be the right choice 97.3% of the time, with 1% each reserved for “Chaos Giraffe having that look in his eye” and “JT Miller is going to yell at me”, and the remaining .7% being “wait half a second and THEN give the puck to Quinn Hughes.”
The way to make this system really work is to crash the net and get your seven layer dip on. Get layers in front of the goalie, take away his eyes. Imagine a graphically violent image of sticking forks in someone’s eyes to rob them of their sight, but now replace that with several Canucks players lining up in front of Logan Thompson while Quinn Hughes shoots the puck, and you’ve pretty much nailed the Canucks strategy as of late.
When it doesn’t work? It looks ugly. It looks like your team got boxed out, that they couldn’t break into the guts of the ice. That they look more like the type of team a cowardly garbage heap of a a school like Lord Byng would produce, and not a proud, upstanding, winning team like Kitsilano Secondary would come up with.
But when it works? It feels gritty. It feels hard-working. It feels like it might work in the playoffs, where room is hard to come by, and grinding away for those greasy goals is the way to go. Luck plays a part in this, of course, but when the Canucks have things go their way like it did Monday night, it’s hard not to forgive yourself for saying it would be nice if the Canucks lost game three in Boston so Vancouver could win the Cup on home ice.
Best going down easy
Artus Silovs got the start on the night, and the Arty Party didn’t look good early:
The summary of this goal is essentially Jack Eichel enters the zone and shoots the puck on net, so I don’t know how much we can break this one down. Silovs has to have this shot, and he’d be the first to tell you that.
It’s the kind of goal that when it goes in when you’re playing an EA Sports video game, you’re jumping on Reddit to demand the programmers be fired for coming up with such a ludicrous display of goaltending.
Best it gets worse
While Connor McDavid does his best to cement his legacy by winning an actual trophy that matters, Jack Eichel is out here living his best life, having escaped Buffalo and having won a Stanley Cup, with the worst part of his day lamenting the loss of the Spice Market Buffet.
If you want to know what a person without a single care in the world looks like, it’s Jack Eichel scoring his second goal of the game on this nice Jonathan Marchessault pass:
There are a couple of things that the Canucks probably wish they did better on this goal.
Silovs planting himself and turning instead of pushing off to slide over isn’t going to make the Ian Clark “plays that I love to see” list anytime soon. I assume anytime a goalie turns instead of pushing off, Ian Clark approaches Tinker Bell levels of dying, and the only thing that can revive him is the sound of two pure white pads being clapped together.
And not to lean too heavily on the wrestling parlance, but if I were a booking man, I would assume Carson Soucy leaving Jack Eichel all alone in front was planting the seeds for a future heel turn. Carson is tracking Jack Eichel the entire way, has him covered going to the net, and then he just sort of throws a smoke bomb on the ground and runs away. All of a sudden Soucy is floating over to his left, trying to cut off a pass, leaving Eichel all alone.
It felt like there was nothing wrong and everything was under control, but then all of a sudden Soucy is screaming “FIRE, THERE’S A FIRE” and he’s running around spraying an imaginary hose on your cousin while you try and explain to your Aunt that Carson normally isn’t like this.
The end result is the Vegas Golden Knights being up two goals on two shots, and in the past, that has simply been too much of a hill for the Canucks to conquer.
But not tonight. Not on Corolla Garland’s 400th game.
Best toxic relationship
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to get accepted back with open arms. Sometimes a heart felt text or a video of you violently running over someone that your loved one dislikes will do just the trick:
I assume it’s part of teams playing harder down the stretch, but it feels like Carson Soucy and Filip Hronek have brought extra snarl to their games as of late.
I also assume Noah Juulsen gives them an extra long hug after every game in which they choose violence.
Best hitting the hundo
The Canucks’ powerplay has not been a good talking point for this team since the All-Star break. How bad did it get? At one point, it felt like Pius Suter might be the ticket to solving the first unit’s woes.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Pew Pew as a player. He’s the El Dandy of the team, he’s a real jam up guy. But the team needs to figure this out without using Suter.
And right now, Garland might be the straw the helps stir the drink. To a man the Canucks have said they’ve liked the look of their powerplay the last several weeks, they just needed some bounces.
Well Monday night? They got those bounces:
Once again, getting the puck to Quinn Hughes seems like the best strategy. And remember those layers Tocchet loves talking about? Taking away the goalie’s eyes? That is firmly in play as both Corolla and Elias charge the net and set up shop, urgently telling you it’s dangerous to go alone, so take this sword.
You can almost see Logan Thompson shrug as if to demand answers as to why his ability to see the puck was taken away from him, surely that has to be illegal.
But no, it’s simply a case of the Canucks crashing the crease and getting the grease. Elias Pettersson going net front played a part in three goals on the night. Garland crashing the crease played a part in two of them.
It’s not the prettiest hockey, but it’s the kind of goal you’re going to see a lot of in the playoffs.
Best total eclipse of the heart
Like a night at the Roxy, all Logan Thompson sees is a bunch of ass on the Canucks second power play goal:
I think it’s clear that Quinn Hughes knows what it takes to get Frank Seravalli’s vote: Beat Makar in goals.
Better defence? Better offence? Better 200 foot game? Better at lifting up his teammates’ play? Better at basically everything than Makar this year? Sure, that’s fine and all, but does he have 19 goals yet? I don’t think so.
But with his 17th goal of the year, Quinn Hughes pushes himself an inch closer to securing Frank’s goal-or-nothing vote.
And how did he score? With Elias Pettersson and Conor Garland once again metaphorically raking the eyes of Logan Thompson, and/or throwing a bag of flour in his eyes.
You can literally see Thompson shrug his hands in the universal sign of “wtf am I supposed to do here, are you shitting me” the second the puck gets by him. The only thing missing from this goal was the sweet sultry tunes of Haddaway blaring in the background while Elias and Conor debate which one Logan wants to dance with.
JT Miller said after the game that this powerplay you saw tonight has been rocking like that for a couple of weeks now. It’s just on this night, the bounces and shots went in.
I will go one step further than that, however, and say on this night, the Canucks crashing the net was noticeably more efficient. More daring. More in your face.
The Canucks’ powerplay had that Rufio flair to it on the night, and it showed.
Which brings us to the next question on everyone’s mind, who was the worst captain choice of all time, Mark Messier or Thud Butt?
Honestly, this is a tough one.
Best Jeff math
J Pats using the “thoughts and prayers” method I used to get me through multiple choice math tests in high school.
Best getting in on the ground floor
Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey come from an era in which scoring was astronomical. Walt Poddubny was a 40 goal scorer and I’ll give you time to Google that name so you can pretend you knew it.
That being said, the position of the defenceman has gone through astronomical changes, in which attempting to concuss and murder your opponent for looking at your crease and having an ok credit score is no longer the number one thing looked at in a d-man. Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey were outliers in every sense of the word.
Sure, you had your Larry Murphys, Denis Potvins, Al MacInnis and Phil Housleys of the world, but there is a reason Coffey and Bourque have a 300 point lead on the next closest player on the list.
So the fact Quinn Hughes, in today’s game, is doing anything to be mentioned in the same breath as those two players? That’s pretty damn special.
Quinn Hughes might just be good at this hockey thing. Something we all kind of knew already back in 2020.
Best PNE ride
The Canucks almost got their third goal on an Ilya Mikheyev sponsored rush:
Part of me is convinced Ilya has the yips when it comes to shooting on a goalie, so any chance he can to make a pass out of something, he’s going to take it.
The good news is that this play was pretty solid. Ilya draws in the defender and the spins to try and find JT Miller all alone in front, and I can promise you every fan in the building was pretty on board with that play over watching Mikheyev shooting the puck with the gentle urgency of a mother wiping spaghetti sauce off their child’s mouth.
Best we dem angry boys
At one point, Hronek just got real mad and decided to take it out on Tomas Hertl:
I have to assume this was related to salary cap shenanigans. You want to hide salary due to “injuries”? Why not have the real thing?
Sadly, hitting someone who doesn’t have the puck is considered illegal, so the Canucks went to the penalty kill, continuing their trend of being a little too loose with penalties as of late.
Best finding your mojo
Vegas almost took the lead on another confusing defensive coverage moment from the Canucks, when Tyler Myers left Noah Hanifin all alone in the slot:
Chaos Giraffe damn near shoulder checks three straight times but still decides to merge right into traffic, leaping up into the slot, and leaving Hanifin all alone with Silovs.
Arturs, however, was up to the challenge. Literally. He stood up tall, pushed off and slid over perfectly, and squared up to the puck. It was an impeccable save from a goalie that truly felt like he was one more goal away from being pulled in the first period and never being seen again this season.
Best Hughes your daddy
I have to assume when you’re playing hockey and you see Quinn Hughes with the puck in his own zone, part of you just wants to go for a line change. Because you essentially have two options:
1 – Back away from Quinn and try and defend the neutral zone rush that is about to come your way
2 – Chase him down and fail horribly
Option one feels like the best way to keep you off the highlight reel, but players still try and chase him down. Unfortunately for them, it usually ends like this:
Two players converge on Quinn, and he draws them in to create open ice for JT Miller. Then, he sends a perfect pass to Jimothy Timothy for the zone exit.
Watching Quinn Hughes play hockey is a privilege, not a right.
Best why not both
Carson Soucy, one half of the We Dem Angry Boys, took a penalty in the second period that wasn’t good? Was poorly timed? Could have been chosen better?
Like, I get it. That’s a tiny tug, a little bit of gamesmanship between two players. And Ivan Barbashev goes down easy, and then goes full Creed with his arms wide open, staring up at Carson with accusation in his eyes.
But it’s also a play that Carson doesn’t need to make, especially because it’s high risk, low reward.
The end result was Vegas going up 3-2, something that felt like it was going to be a death knell for this team:
Silovs probably should have had that, he looked to have decent sight lines on the puck, but that’s also a powerplay he didn’t need to be facing were it not for Carson.
The end point is that this was a self-inflicted wound the Canucks brought upon themselves, which is something that has happened far too often ever since the All-Star Break of Doom.
Best losing their cool
The beauty of hockey is how quickly things can change.
In one universe, Ian Cole chasing this hit leads to Vegas going up 4-2 and never looking back:
No one is covering for Ian Cole, and he didn’t bother checking to see if anyone was, so when he goes for that hit, sure, it got a loud cheer from the crowd, but it also gave up an odd-man rush.
To Zadorov’s credit, he plays this perfectly. He takes away the passing lane, refuses to go Sex Giraffe, and forces Michael Amadio to take the shot.
To Silovs credit, he gives up very little net, squares to the puck, and swallows the shot into his chest easily.
Now, instead of it being 4-2, it’s still 3-2, leading to the next big moment…
Best my client, Baraaaaaaaaack Boeseeeeeeeeer
There was a time in which Brock Boeser’s chase to 30 goals was THE STORY. Now? Much like Cody Rhodes, his story actually finished at 40.
This is a beautiful goal for a couple of reasons.
One, Elias Pettersson is once again the big bad body in front of the net. Without his screen, this goal never happens. Elias might not be doing his dekes, but he is sure as shit boxing people out in the crease and setting up screens.
Two, Brock Boeser circling with the puck and finding the open ice to unleash his shot. Drawing the puck back and flicking it on net rather than continuing to circle around? That’s the good stuff. It’s incredible to think that the Canucks seemed on the verge of moving on from Brock a year ago and fast forward to today’s 40th goal celebration.
Third, and my favourite part of this goal, is the impact of Quinn Hughes. Watch at the start of the clip where Brock comes off the half wall and skates towards the point. Watch as Barbashev sees Brock and Quinn criss cross, and Ivan chooses Quinn as the most dangerous target in this exchange. Because honestly, 90% of the time Quinn gets the puck there. How many times have we seen Quinn criss cross with a player and take the puck to continue the cycle? All the time.
But here? Brock keeps it. There mere presence of Quinn Hughes brings about the Ralph Wiggum chuckle of being in danger from the Knights. Instead of tracking Brock, Ivan cuts back because Quinn might get the puck, and there are few things worse in the world then letting Quinn Hughes have room in your offensive zone with the puck. It’s the equivalent of leaving your car door unlocked in New West, you’re just asking for trouble.
And that is the beauty of Quinn Hughes, that the mere thought of #43 controlling the puck opens up space for his linemates.
That, my friends, is true power.
Best Gladiator moment
Can you believe there was a point during the start of the season when people were actually questioning the value of Conor Garland?
Carson Soucy got this goal started by picking off a pass in the neutral zone, but Dakota Joshua’s nifty pass to JT Miller and Corolla Garland banging in the rebound is what gets recorded on the official score sheet.
JT Miller gets that elusive 100th point on this goal, cementing another milestone that will not be openly celebrated by anyone on the team, as is tradition.
The thing about Garland’s game is just how big he plays.
Nobody is tougher to get off the puck than Garland.
Nobody drives harder to the net than Garland.
Nobody makes high danger passes like Garland.
No one fights like Garland.
Douses lights like Garland.
In a wrestling match, nobody bites like Garland!
No one shoots like Garland.
Makes those beauts like Garland.
You get the picture.
Best state of the union
 
Best revenge is a dish best served dirty
Howden remembers that hit into the boards from Zadorov, so I assume this was the receipt:
That’s a revenge hit all day long, and a pretty scummy one at that. That feels like an extra inch of torque away from being a knee injury for Nikita Zadorov.
Best all the small things
While Ilya Mikheyev might not be scoring, his work on the forecheck and on the penalty kill was a huge part of the Canucks’ victory.
Facing a vital penalty kill late in the third period, it was Ilya pestering away at the puck, forcing his will onto the game and getting zone clearances with efforts like this:
It’s clear that Ilya Mikheyev would be in the running for the Jeff Tambellini Hustle and Bustle Trophy if it weren’t for Corolla Garland, who has already locked that up.
That powerplay was the last good chance Vegas had to score on the night as Vancouver locked it down the rest of the way.
Again, the result of this game wasn’t vital. It’s not something you’re likely going to remember next season.
But in the moment? It feels like a good win, the kind of win that makes you more confident in this team going forward.
How much is that worth? Probably not a ton.
But it sure beats watching a deflating loss.
Best getting your accolades whether you like it or not
Corolla Garland refused to get too excited about the chants after the game, the closest he came was admitting that chants like that are part of the perks of playing in a Canadian market.
Garland constantly conveys himself like he’s a fourth line grinder, just happy to be here. It’s rare that he ever revels in a high scoring game or a big performance. And hey, that mentality is probably what helped keep him in the league all these years. Not getting complacent is a big part of staying in the NHL for a lot of players.
But it’s clear that Corolla Garland is a very important part of this team, and is just one of several stories of players who have found a way to step up and improve their game for this club. Another story that helps explain why Vancouver is having the year they’re having.
And while nobody on the team wants to celebrate their milestones just quite yet, it’s very clear that the season we’re witnessing this year? Yeah, it’s pretty damn special.
Enjoy these moments, enjoy this season, because we know all too well in this market about how quickly things can fall apart.
Best quote of the night
“He’s a greasy guy. Not his hair, his hair’s not greasy.” – Rick Tocchet on Conor Garland.
Best jersey Botch
There is only one thing that can beat a Thomas Gradin sighting on this night.
The legend himself, the Hand Taco King of the Desert, Eddie Lack.

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