As if Jason Garrison wasn’t being watched closely enough by an increasingly critical Canucks fan base, tonight he’s being asked to move from his preferred left side of the defense to the right, as Vancouver will be without Kevin Bieksa (groin) for the second straight game when it hosts the Coyotes.
“[Garrison] has played the right side before, he likes the left side better,” said head coach Alain Vigneault. “All the left-handed guys like the left side better, but tonight we’re going to try him there.”
For all the depth the Canucks boast on the back end, the team has just two right-handed defensemen, Bieksa and Chris Tanev.
Against Phoenix, Garrison will be paired with Dan Hamhuis, while Tanev will skate with Alex Edler and Keith Ballard will team with Andrew Alberts.
Vancouver lost its last game badly, falling 8-3 on Sunday in Detroit.
Garrison, 28, signed a six-year, $27.6 million contract with the Canucks this summer, and while some maintain he’s doing just fine, his play hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the majority of fans.
Cory Schneider will start in goal for Vancouver after Roberto Luongo surrendered all eight goals against the Red Wings.