March 16 2008 09:41PM
Is Mathieu Garon injured? There's no word from the Edmonton Oilers on that, but after making 17 straight starts, Garon was back on the bench for the second straight game as Dwayne Roloson got the call in a 2-1 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks. While Roloson was outrageously good in San Jose, making 48 saves, his back-to-back starts—he beat Phoenix 5-2 with 38 saves Saturday—seem odd, given the circumstances. Garon faced the Colorado Avalanche in Denver Thursday, but was pulled four minutes into the second period with the score 3–0 right after Steve Staios rode forward Milan Hejduk into him. Not after the 3–0 goal, but right after the collision at the top of the crease. The 29-year-old stopper also took some punishment at the United Center March 7 when Matt Greene dumped 250-pound Chicago forward Dustin Byfuglien on top of him. The Oilers couldn't land in San Jose after the Phoenix game because of a curfew at the airport there. Instead, they had to land in San Francisco and bus to San Jose, getting to the hotel at 2 a.m. It's common practice to split back-to-back games between a starter and the back-up. Sitting out your starter, assuming he's healthy, for both games is anything but common—especially when those games are played in less than 24 hours. While Garon may just have some bumps and bruises as opposed to having a specific injury, I suspect there's more to Roloson's back-to-back starts than just "rest" for the starter. As sharp as Roloson looks, Garon may get more rest if he, ahem, needs it. —Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5pm on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer on Team 1260.