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02-21-2013, 06:10 PM
Drop the Sopel
Join Date: May 2007
Originally Posted by
And it makes no sense to justify the play of Garrison based on the poor play of others.
Really disagree here. You can't dicount how a dman's partner is playing and how it affects a duo's effectiveness. Kevin Bieksa for example has looked good with Willie Mitchell and Dan Hamuis there to carry the paring defensively but has struggled when not alongisde these 2. This season Bieksa has been very erratic and unpredictable and this will transfer over to his partner, whether that's Garrison or otherwise.
Garrison's skating and puck handling has been a bit choppy but his positioning, strength one on one and alpong the boards have been encouraging. Garrison is a bit like Mitchell in that he defends well, he just looks a bit awkward doing it. I wouldn't say he's been as good defensively as Mitchell and probably never will be but he's definately started to come around of late.
There are a ton of reasons why we can't put too much emphasis on the small sample we've seen - 9 month layoff, coming off injury, new system, new partners that haven't played well themselves... I think considering a buyout here would be akin to considering a Bieksa buyout due to his awful and inconsistent defensive play thus far.
There have been obvous signs of improvement as the season has progressed. This is what separates Garrison from Ballard's 1st year in Vancouver. Garrison is also coming off 2 seasons of strong defensive play, whereas Ballard was coming off a very poor season in Florida. Don't see these 2 as comparables in any way.
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