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.

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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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#201 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:21PM
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This team has the Awesomest Power play

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#202 OilersNinja
November 26 2008, 09:21PM
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I miss Don Matingly's side burns

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#203 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:22PM
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I thought I told you to TRIM those side burns.

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#204 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:22PM
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Another pock mark for grebs

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#205 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:22PM
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Puck in the Goat's face!

There goes the Russian Modeling Career

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#206 OilersNinja
November 26 2008, 09:24PM
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Was that Richard Simmons that hit goat boy in he face?

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#207 OilersNinja
November 26 2008, 09:24PM
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Was that Richard Simmons that hit goat boy in he face?

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#208 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:24PM
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dear god.

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#209 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 09:25PM
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Home Run!

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#210 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:25PM
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I'm feeling another loss coming on.

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#211 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:25PM
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Oilersninja: goats will eat anything.

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#212 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:25PM
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Sestito - Reddox - Smid

OMG we sound like the Leafs with all these hacks on our team at forward

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#213 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:26PM
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"dear god."

That's what she said

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#214 |\|0081?|\|þ®1|\|(355
November 26 2008, 09:27PM
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Juicy loss that is

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#215 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:27PM
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Please God, make me a bird, so I can fly far. Far far away from here.

*repeat*

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#216 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:28PM
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This Astro Physicist scares the hell out of me

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#217 Zamboni Driver
November 26 2008, 09:28PM
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Looks like I picked the wrong night to stop sniffing glue.

...again.

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#218 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:29PM
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This Astro Physicist scares the hell out of me

Exactly what I was thinking

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#219 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:29PM
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So far I give this game 2 counts of vehicular manslaughter out of 6.

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#220 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:30PM
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Rishaug: what's the worst part about being in LA?

Stoll: Awkward weekly moments at the door of the house with Rod Stewart.

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#221 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:30PM
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Matt Green with a good night - 2 penalties already

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#222 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:30PM
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taking a penalty is a wise choice. we can't score.

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#223 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:31PM
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oohhh

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#224 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 09:31PM
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Lowetide guaranteed a win tonight.

WHERE IS YOUR LOWETIDE NOW!!!!!

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#225 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:31PM
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"Looks like I picked the wrong night to stop sniffing glue."

Is there a right night to stop sniffing glue?

Answer: NO

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#226 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:31PM
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Safe way to protect the lead for LA - stay in penalty box

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#227 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:32PM
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Maybe Ferraro can coach us.

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#228 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:32PM
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The moon is out and therefore the tide is high...

Wahhh wahhh wahh wahhhhhhh...

Boo baggemilk

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#229 Our Power Play
November 26 2008, 09:33PM
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Where is Craig Simpson?

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#230 Kris
November 26 2008, 09:33PM
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i think my freinds beer hockey team has a more effective pp

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#231 Zamboni Driver
November 26 2008, 09:33PM
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"Is there a right night to stop sniffing glue?

Answer: NO"

Don't tell that to the braintrust...

they'll be hawking bottles of Elmers for, like 11 bucks, in no time.

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#232 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:34PM
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Horcoff looks absolutely lost out there.

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#233 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:34PM
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Kopitar is a monster tonight...

Ferraro needs a catch phrase.

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#234 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:35PM
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No plan plan

Sounds like the oilers...

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#235 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:36PM
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Klowe: (After buying 13 rounds of Coors light and few shots of Tequliia) You're sober enough to drive, here take my car.

MacT: Hiccup, yup, let's we what this baby can do.

Klowe: Giggity giggity

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#236 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:37PM
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I'd like a catch phrase too. What should I use?

Early idea: I could hoot like an owl

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#237 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:38PM
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I am going to go with...

Pet the dog, and bring on the lipstick.

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#238 Kris
November 26 2008, 09:38PM
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Good thing the game is not on PPV tonight.. how lame would paying for this be...

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#239 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:39PM
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It feels like a PPV

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#240 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:40PM
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As lame as paying for the other 4 PPV games...

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#241 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:40PM
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at least Minny lost...

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#242 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:41PM
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they aren't even wearing the retro jerseys.

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#243 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:41PM
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sam needs some time in the A.

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#244 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:41PM
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torts is interviewing for a job right now.

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#245 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:41PM
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I guarantee Gags is scoring...maybe not on the ice

Torts is applying for a job it sounds like...

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#246 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:42PM
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Torts can have a certain someones job.

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#247 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:43PM
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"sam needs some time in the A."

I disagree. I actually think MacT is doing a good job not criticizing him and continuing to give him ice.

If he had this attitdude a few years ago Michel Reisen could still be sniping in the NHL instead of waxing thighs in Zurich

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#248 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:44PM
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fair enough.

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#249 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:46PM
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Ugh.. Guiness tastes like pig uterus in motor oil.

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#250 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:46PM
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What about steve kelley? does he change oil now?

Bonsignor is a parking meter cop?

MacT is awesome with first round picks

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