GDB 21: Garon rides the pine

Jason Gregor
November 26 2008 01:46PM

If it wasn’t obvious before, it is now. Craig MacTavish has lost confidence in Mathieu Garon. In a move that shocked most, Dwayne Roloson will be starting tonight, not Garon, against the Kings.

Why you ask?

I have no idea. This move doesn’t make sense on any level. Roloson got pulled his last time out, and while Garon didn’t look comfortable for the first ten minutes in relief, he did look much better as game wore on.

The Oilers had four days of practice, Garon got to see more rubber than he had in the previous weeks, he looked and acted more comfortable and even he gave the impression he expected to start tonight against his former team.

But there was Roloson, first off at practice, and talking openly about starting tonight.

At the start of MacTavish’s press conference today, he was asked about Garon, but said he didn’t want to talk about the goalies before the game. Later in presser when pushed on it again he spoke about it.

“In talking to Pete about Mathieu he says his game in coming along in practice. It’s not just about the game, it’s about how Pete sees them (three goalies) coming along in practice. Matty’s game is coming around and based on practice he will get a start very soon.”

This move is more about just whether Roloson is better than Garon. MacTavish has lost confidence in Garon, and it sounds like goaltending coach Pete Peeters isn’t on the same page as Garon.

It was well-documented last season that Peeters wasn’t enamoured with Garon working with another goaltending consultant, Lyle Mast. Garon enjoyed working with Mast, and sources have hinted that #32 is no longer allowed to work with him.

If that is indeed the case, then Garon’s not playing could be based on more than just stopping pucks.

There is clearly something fishy about this situation.

Garon was great in his first three starts, and then average to below-average in the four since, but he wasn’t awful in relief against the Wings. And it’s not like Roloson was outstanding in his past few starts. He was okay, but not so great that you wouldn’t consider going with Garon.

Many wonder if the Oilers are showcasing Roloson, or plan on doing the same with Garon when, or if, he gets another start. So I asked MacTavish if he ever takes that angle when considering who will be his starter.

“I’m not a fortune teller. It's incumbent on the player to get in there and play well, if he wants continue to play. That's the simple part of it. When the goalies get and play well, like Mathieu did earlier, Jeff did in the middle, and how Rollie has done now. I go by what I see in practice and in the games; it's as simple as that.”

Based on those comments Garon must not be practicing well, because he has only played 48 minutes since Nov 7th.

Rarely do I second guess a lot of moves a coach makes, because I don’t think I know more than him, but in this case I’m scratching my head.

All the signs pointed to starting Garon. He allowed one goal in 25 shots versus Detroit. He had four days of practice, he was playing his former team, and he hasn’t had a start since November 6th, but he will be watching again.

Coaches get paid to win, so if the Oilers win tonight, MacTavish can feel confident in his decision. But this decision has many more negatives possibilities than it does positive ones.

The only positive is a win.

A lose opens him up to loads of criticism, and justified criticism in this case. It leaves Garon wondering more than ever where he fits on this team. It also hurts the team down the road. They need to clarify their goaltending situation sooner than later, and hopefully find a solution that ends what has become a five-year search for a true #1 goalie.

Win or lose tonight, not starting Garon looks wrong.

—Listen to Gregor weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on the TEAM 1260 or online at www.justagame.ca.

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#151 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 08:47PM
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Jeanshorts if you weren't my occasional blood donor and EXACT bone marrow match I would kill you where you stand for that Cole trading suggestion.

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#152 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 08:49PM
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That wasn't Maguire? Sh1t.

Cancel the suckerpunch dream sequence.

Hockey Gods -

My color commentary would consist entirely of me reading from my Lord of the Rings spoken word tribute album.

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#153 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 08:51PM
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LOL @ DUTCHY

Slamming Penner...conditioning, plate & fork

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#154 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 08:52PM
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Thank the laws of science then, because we all know that I have an irrational fear of being killed where I stand. I'd much rather be killed where I poop.

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#155 freeze
November 26 2008, 08:52PM
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wow, Stamkos and Zherdev(sp?), toe-to-toe.

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#156 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 08:52PM
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Fighting Zherdev is like ripping one off with my left hand. Yeah I got the job done but it was awkward and wasted everyone's time.

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#157 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 08:52PM
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I'd much rather be killed with kindness.

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#158 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 08:54PM
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And I would rather die while Sheldon Souray gives me raspberries and tickles my belly with his ever evolving facial folliage.

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#159 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 08:55PM
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baggedmilk -

That is precisely how I define 'kindness'

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#160 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 08:56PM
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Who wouldn't want to have their belly tickled by Souray?

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#161 Rusty Blowjobs
November 26 2008, 08:57PM
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I sure would!

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#162 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:01PM
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Oilers game on ---- HELLO

Who cares about Bobby Orr

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#163 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:01PM
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Rusty Blowjobs!

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

*dead silence*

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#164 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:02PM
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Is that similar to the Rusty Trombone?

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#165 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:02PM
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Bobby Orr is awesome. That was a cool mastercard ad he was just in.

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#166 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:03PM
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I prefer the strwberry danish

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#167 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:03PM
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I love the Justice league.

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#168 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:04PM
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and the justice league loves you

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#169 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:04PM
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Those knees!

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#170 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:04PM
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Not the same as Graham James loves his junoir players though

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#171 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:05PM
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And Bobby Orr would love a Rusty Trombone from someone at MasterCard

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#172 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:05PM
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Bobby Orr is awesome, but I miss the banter of Jason Portuondo & anyother stiff they jam in the chair beside him during intermissions showing us "filler" by Gene Principe

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#173 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:07PM
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Good "filler" would be Portwando going all gangster on Principe's ass.

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#174 moo
November 26 2008, 09:08PM
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that intermission was the most boring thing i've seen on TV since Parking Wars on A&E.

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#175 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:08PM
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Portwando is about as gangster as the St Albert Girl Guides troop #12

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#176 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:08PM
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Good comments from Ferarro on Smid...

Wake up Brodziak & Stortini

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#177 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:09PM
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The girls in troop #12 stole my hub caps.

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#178 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:09PM
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A defenseman that hasn't scored in 74 games is playing forward.

This makes perfect sense in what parallel universe again?

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#179 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:09PM
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That seems like a short list of names to wake up

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#180 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:10PM
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I thought you rolled in 'Dubs'

Hub cap? What is that

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#181 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:10PM
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Stortini is just awful. The only thing he's useful for is the day long preparation of Penner's trough.

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#182 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:12PM
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zing

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#183 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:12PM
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I liked that Iso shot of Grebs after he coughed the puck up. You could read his lips - F*CK"

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#184 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:12PM
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Advantage, baggedmilk.

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#185 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:13PM
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soooowheeeeeeyt

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#186 moo
November 26 2008, 09:13PM
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this team really does look god-awful. gregor and brownlee, surely you must have some inkling as to what's going on?

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#187 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:15PM
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When did video game ads start to look like movie trailers?

What year is this??

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#188 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:16PM
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Someone take out Brown!

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#189 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:16PM
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It's really not fair if the cover 44 all the time. It makes it too hard... Souray might grab the puck and run home.

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#190 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:16PM
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I know exactly what is going on Moo. Jeanshorts told me today in the bathtub. And neither of us are telling YOU

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#191 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:16PM
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The only game I ever want to play is Rampage.

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#192 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:16PM
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Nice PP there.

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#193 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:16PM
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Sestito better fight Brown for hammering Hemsky

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#194 2k9fan
November 26 2008, 09:17PM
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Or 2k9 hahaha

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#195 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:18PM
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time to go boys! get your sh*t together.

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#196 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:18PM
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Wooooo another PP. LA is 2 mins closer to the plane ride home

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#197 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:18PM
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sweet

I predict goal

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#198 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:19PM
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Labarbra sounds like the name of a 70's porn star... nice bush, do you condition

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#199 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:19PM
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I liked Handzus better when he had that giant mop. AND when Chris Simon had his long greasy indian hair.

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#200 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 09:20PM
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What me, Wanye, Brownlee and Gregor discuss in our morning bath is no ones business but our own.

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