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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#251 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:46PM
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i disagree.

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#252 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 09:46PM
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I blame the media for pestering him all damn year about the sophmore slump. If you keep forcing the issue, eventually it becomes an issue.

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#253 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:46PM
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about the Guiness.

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#254 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:47PM
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HA, Leafs rebuild is going in the toilet

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#255 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:47PM
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Burke - making rules before he even has the job

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#256 Zamboni Driver
November 26 2008, 09:47PM
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Btw, wasn't someone in the paper talking about LA essentially deliberately pissing away the season to get a high draft?

So...we can barely compete, and can't get motivated after a week for a team that got waxed by the Flames yesterday, and that is barely trying to begin with.

Awesome.

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#257 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:47PM
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The panel tonight has about as much life in them as a palleative care unit

Burke is such a piece of sh1t by the way. How on earth does he leave the Ducks for family reasons mid season? Doesn't even have the sack to stick out the season. What a douchebag. A player couldn't do that.

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#258 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:48PM
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blah blah Burke blah Leafs blaha blah hahaha

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#259 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:50PM
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Douche is his middle name

2 biggest Douches in the league gonna be in TO now. The inventor of hockey & th egod father of hockey.

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#260 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:50PM
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Not to mention he is an over-rated piece of previously flung money dung. What did he truly do to build Anahiem. Look at them after this year. What maybe 3 or 4 guys who aren't UFA's

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#261 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:50PM
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video games are awesome.

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#262 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:51PM
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I hope a Zombie Apocalypse happens in Toronto

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#263 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:52PM
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Getzlaf was a good pick, but so was Pouliot

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#264 I Am The Law
November 26 2008, 09:52PM
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What's up with TSN's "Final Fantasy" music?

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#265 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:52PM
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Did Burke pick Getzlaff or inherit him?

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#266 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:53PM
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Dual hat tricks by Ovechkin and Malkin is basically a TSN wet dream

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#267 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:53PM
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0-7 when trailing after 2?

Good night...

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#268 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:53PM
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Burke picked him & Perry

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#269 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 09:53PM
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Don't tell Toronto fans that Burke is over rated though. They won't be having that. It takes a really gifted man to get Chris Pronger to play for a team that doesn't end in monton, and get the other Nidermeyer to come play with his baby brother. What a genius!!!

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#270 Zamboni Driver
November 26 2008, 09:54PM
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I still like that Russian guy who may or may not actually exist.

(Sure SOMEONE was here a couple of years back, but really, it coulda been anybody.)

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#271 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:54PM
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grebs lost teeth!

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#272 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:55PM
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Poor Goat - Plastic Surgeon

LUCKY THING WE HAVE AN EXTRA DMAN

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#273 Zamboni Driver
November 26 2008, 09:55PM
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Grebeshkov is out.

I really think they should consider putting Pouliot on D. It's the outside the box thinking.

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#274 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:55PM
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Plastic surgery for Grebs? Sammy hopes it's new boobies.

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#275 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:55PM
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Bring back Mikhnov!

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#276 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:55PM
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He will have to gum his morning breakfast of garbage and old shoes

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#277 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:56PM
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How bad did I butcher the spelling? Ahh who cares.

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#278 Zamboni Driver
November 26 2008, 09:56PM
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*Laughing right out loud...yes yes, I just went "LOL"*

The complete tool of a coach puts Smid out as a forward AGAIN.

If it weren't true it'd be hilarious.

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#279 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:56PM
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and we got Poo in '03.

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#280 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 09:56PM
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http://oshlhockey.blogspot.com/2008/11/get-ready-canada.html

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#281 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 09:57PM
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Russian last names are like asian faces. They all look the same

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#282 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 09:57PM
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I'm surprised you can break his teeth - tin cans toughen up those choppers

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#283 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:57PM
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we make shitanusly® bad passes. shitanusly® shitanusly® shitanusly®

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#284 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 09:58PM
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Hockey Gods: HAHAHHAHAHAH

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#285 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:58PM
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What is that OSHL? Any good shortsies?

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#286 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 09:58PM
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They have a very topical post about TSN and Brian Burke.

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#287 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 09:59PM
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someone owes me 20 cents

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#288 freeze
November 26 2008, 09:59PM
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its in the email.

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#289 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 10:00PM
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2003 Draft

1 19 Anaheim Ryan Getzlaf 1 22 Edmonton Marc-Antoine Pouliot 1 24 Philadelphia Mike Richards 1 28 Anaheim Corey Perry

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#290 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:00PM
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shitanusly®

quarters are easier to send.

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#291 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 10:01PM
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Someone has to add this to Urban Dictionary - I cannot use it in context or define it..

shitanusly®

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#292 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 10:01PM
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*starts sewing stop signs on the back of all NHL jerseys*

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#293 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:01PM
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use it once more and you get one free.

SO MANY people find the Nation by searching for shitanusly. I'm wondering if I have stumbled upon some sort of dutch S&M safe word

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#294 Zamboni Driver
November 26 2008, 10:01PM
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Probably a vacation for Staois.

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#295 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 10:02PM
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Strudwick making saves left and right. HE'S THE NEW NUMBER ONE PEOPLE!!!!

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#296 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 10:02PM
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It doesn't have a definiton on Urban Dictionary

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#297 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 10:03PM
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Studwich starts in goal Saturday... someone already called it. I second it

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#298 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:04PM
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Buck75 -

I can say with 100% confidence I invented this word. I thought of it one day and googled it and nothing came up. Now - all me.

This word is my contribution to society

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#299 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 10:05PM
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Juice Boy. I smell a new nickname!

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#300 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:05PM
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we are so lucky it isn't 4-1

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