Garrison sets bar high with early-season showing 0
Vancouver Canucks Jason Garrison battles against TJ Galiardi of the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Alta. on Sunday October 6, 2013. (Al Charest/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency)
Jason Garrison was brought in last summer to help fill the offensive void on the Canucks defence. The White Rock native, who is a younger, more durable and noticeably more hirsute version of Sami Salo, fit the bill.
Remember the Finnish MacInnis, quarterback of the NHL's most feared power play a few seasons back?
Trouble was, the only thing the injury-prone Salo feared when he was in the lineup was cranking one of his heat-seeking rubber ankle bombs off a teammate.
As sweet as that sentiment is that's some serious professional couch-time stuff right there.
There's not one hockey pundit in this city who doesn't believe the Canucks need more goal production from their back end.
So enter Garrison, who openly admitted last season he had some struggles feeling comfortable early on. Unfortunately, by the time he became properly acclimated to playing for the team he grew up watching his then coach, Alain Vigneault, had seen enough and relegated both his big shot and bigger pay-check to second-unit duty.
Last season, without the benefit of being the power-play workhorse, the former Richmond Sockeye still managed a respectable eight goals in a lockout-shortened 47 games. Pro-rated, that's a 14 goal season, just a pair shy of his career best of 16 goals.
His fast two-goal, two-assist start in the first three games has ensured he'll be given every chance this early season to feel at home on the first unit.
In the 1998/99 campaign Canucks defenceman Adrian Aucoin erupted without much warning for a 23-goal season, 18 of them coming with the extra man.
To eclipse that record really is a big ask, but when you look at the talent alongside the 28-year-old Garrison, coupled with the full belief his new coach John Tortorella has in him, perhaps becoming the second Vancouver Canucks blueliner in team history to reach the coveted 20-goal mark is a more reasonable ask.