Coyotes Should Play Conor Garland More
The Arizona Coyotes will soon by playing the Nashville Predators for the right to continue on into the NHL Playoffs proper.
One way they could do that is by playing Conor Garland more.
Garland had 22 goals, and 39 points in 68 games.
That is OK but doesn't sound great until you know the context, which is this:
Garland scored 27 of those 39 points 5v5, where he scored more than two points per 60, which is first line production.
He racked up 22 goals while scoring 16 of them 5v5, and playing just 11:43 per night at 5v5.
That is less than: Hall, Stepan, Kessel, Dvorak, Keller, Schmaltz, Soderberg, Crouse and Hinostroza.
What in the _____ was Rick Tocchet thinking?
So many questions here, but let's just focus on the Garland related ones.
How is the guy who is - at worst - your 4th best forward (Hall, Dvoark, Keller) and arguably your second best (Hall) playing less per game than Soderberg, let alone Lawson "not an NHL player" Crouse?
It defies logic, and common sense.
However, there is good news: By the end of the season, Garland was averaging an extra 30 seconds, and playing more than Crouse and he was up to second most used on the PP.
So this is great. But they've got to keep playing him, and not make him re-earn it. When the season starts, Garland needs to play as much, maybe even more, than Keller.
More than everyone else except Dvorak and Hall. (Who I assume come as a package).