GDB XXI: Garon swathed in a blue jacket

Jason Gregor
November 16 2009 02:30PM

The Oilers will try and salvage their five game road trip with a win tonight against their former goalie, Mathieu Garon and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Oilers enjoy playing at Nationwide Arena racking up an impressive 9-3-3-1 record since the Jackets came into the league in 2000. The Oilers have scored 56 goals in 16 games while giving up 38.

Special teams are pretty much a saw off between these two. The Oilers are 79.2% on the PK and the Jackets are 79.3%, while the Oilers’ PP is clicking at 21% and Columbus is 21.7%.

The Oilers PP percentage wise has been okay, but yesterday they couldn’t get the timely goal from the man advantage. In fact, their PP looked awful yesterday, never setting up and rarely getting a shot. It was Souray’s first game back and he looked understandable rusty. I’d guess he will look better tonight.

The second quarter of the season starts tonight, and as I stated in my report card, the Oilers need to have a better second quarter to stay in the hunt. Columbus will be one of the teams the Oilers have to beat out if they want to make the playoffs, and heading into tonight the Jackets are four points up with two games in hand. A regulation loss would put the Oilers six back and the potential for the gap to be bigger if the Jackets win one or both of the games in hand.

Sure it's only game 21, but don’t fool yourself Oiler fan, the Oilers can’t be in ten-point hole come January and expect to make up that much ground in the three-point-game era. They need to keep treading water, stick close to the pack and hope that they can get on a run and get production from some forwards not named Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner.

Tonight Pat Quinn will go with Nikolai Khabibulin, which is a bit of a surprise considering Quinn wanted to avoid playing him in back-to-back games. I think it shows that Quinn understands the importance of this game and really wants a win. Or he doesn’t have any confidence in Deslauriers, which is a topic for another day.

The Oilers don’t want to go to a shootout, because Mathieu Garon is the best in the league in the SO, with a career record of 17-4. Garon has been playing well at 3-1 with a 2.60 GAA and a solid .923SV%.

More injuries

The Oilers might be without Sam Gagner tonight. Gagner blocked a shot in Atlanta and according to Quinn he is doubtful for tonight. If Gagner can’t go, then Quinn has to a choice to make. Would he move Gilbert Brule up and slot him in between Mike Comrie and Patrick O’Sullivan. Or will he put O’Sullivan in the middle and insert Robert Nilsson on the wing with Comrie.

Andrew Cogliano will play with Ethan Moreau and Zack Stortini on the other line it looks like.

Nilsson hasn’t been good so maybe Strudwick might move up to the wing and Dean Arsene could slot in for his first NHL game after seven and a half seasons in the AHL. The reason Quinn might go with Strudwick and Arsene and keep Nilsson out is because the Blue Jackets have lots of size dressed tonight.

Columbus’ fourth line will consist of Jared Boll, 6’3” 210 pounds, Tom Sestito, 6’5” 220 pounds and Michael Blunden, 6’4” 211 pounds. Quinn might be concerned his team could get taken advantage of tonight, so he might go with Strudwick on the wing and Arsene on the blueline.

Look for Hemsky to be productive tonight. Hemsky loves playing the Jackets. He had eight points in four game last year and has 25 points in 21 games over his career.

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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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#101 freeze
November 16 2009, 07:14PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7ZAFx8MKEU

ugh, that's no excuse. horrible WWE behaviour.

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#102 Librarian Mike
November 16 2009, 07:15PM
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@freeze

True enough. It's not quite as bad as 'shoooooot', but it's close.

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#103 freeze
November 16 2009, 07:15PM
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*choke, choke, choke* #provemewrong

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#104 freeze
November 16 2009, 07:18PM
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freeze wrote:

*choke, choke, choke* #provemewrong

eff you, guy!

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#105 Librarian Mike
November 16 2009, 07:18PM
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Ah crap. Back on the bus, Reddox.

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#106 jeanshorts
November 16 2009, 07:18PM
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CLUTTERBUCK!!!!!! Unlucky tip there boys. Fudge. Please do not let this go to a shootout.

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#107 SirFozz
November 16 2009, 07:19PM
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BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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#108 jeanshorts
November 16 2009, 07:24PM
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HEADSHOT!

Pheeewwwwww. I was starting to think the media wouldn't have another head shot to talk about this week.

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#109 SirFozz
November 16 2009, 07:26PM
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~SWEET behind the back pass captain~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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#110 freeze
November 16 2009, 07:26PM
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QUIT DOING THE NO LOOK, BLIND PASSES!!!

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#111 jeanshorts
November 16 2009, 07:28PM
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HOW FAST IS THIS GAME?????????????

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#112 Travis Dakin
November 16 2009, 07:28PM
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What's happening? be my eyes people... be my eyes.

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#113 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
November 16 2009, 07:29PM
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@Travis Dakin

x2

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#114 Librarian Mike
November 16 2009, 07:30PM
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*exhales* Okay, let's get that second point...RAMP IT UP!

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#115 MattL
November 16 2009, 07:30PM
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holy what a finish to regulation. Gotta love that horrible defensive zone work by the Oil, really makes a game worth watching.

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#116 freeze
November 16 2009, 07:30PM
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1 point at least.

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#117 Hemmertime
November 16 2009, 07:31PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

True enough. It's not quite as bad as 'shoooooot', but it's close.

Shoot at least has hockey significance, and we normally only do it when we know the coach is thinking it too.

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#118 Shaun Doe
November 16 2009, 07:31PM
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I think that Quinn should place 4 Reddox's on the ice so that they can join together to assemble mega mega Reddox

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#119 jeanshorts
November 16 2009, 07:32PM
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Does anyone know if Rod made it out of that period alive? This has been one of the fastest Oiler games all season. There's no way he'd be able to keep up with it!

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#120 MattL
November 16 2009, 07:33PM
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OMG Wheels Penner!

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#121 Librarian Mike
November 16 2009, 07:33PM
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Shaun Doe wrote:

I think that Quinn should place 4 Reddox's on the ice so that they can join together to assemble mega mega Reddox

*imagines MacT sitting in front of multiple monitors* Regardless of how this game ends, you have put a smile on my face. Thanks!

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#122 freeze
November 16 2009, 07:37PM
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It's probably not the best idea to go to a shootout against Garon.

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#123 freeze
November 16 2009, 07:37PM
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Just say no to Comrie.

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#124 MattL
November 16 2009, 07:38PM
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Better than losing to him in regulation.

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#125 Travis Dakin
November 16 2009, 07:38PM
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freeze wrote:

It's probably not the best idea to go to a shootout against Garon.

Gotta go upstairs over gumby.

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#126 Librarian Mike
November 16 2009, 07:39PM
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freeze wrote:

Just say no to Comrie.

...is he even playing tonight?

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#127 Shaun Doe
November 16 2009, 07:39PM
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I say fire it glove side. I remember Garon having a shakey glove hand at the best of times. Make it happen.

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#128 jeanshorts
November 16 2009, 07:39PM
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What can go wrong in a shootout against Garon?

*rocks back and forth in the fetal position*

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#129 SirFozz
November 16 2009, 07:43PM
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YES!

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#130 Freezing Weather Fan
November 16 2009, 07:44PM
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Come onnnnn 10 rounder!

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#131 pmg2
November 16 2009, 07:45PM
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Oilers LOSE, ..again. Lose , lose, and lose some more !

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#132 SirFozz
November 16 2009, 07:47PM
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That was so close. Damn you Garon and your evil shootout ways.

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#133 jeanshorts
November 16 2009, 07:47PM
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Does Quinn get kick backs from the media for trying to make story book endings?

First Comrie in Ottawa, now Brule in Ohio? What the hell? Although I don't mind Brule getting a shot at all. And man he was damn close.

Exciting game tonight boys!

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#134 Librarian Mike
November 16 2009, 07:47PM
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Another one-pointer. Sigh.

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#135 Travis Dakin
November 16 2009, 07:47PM
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Fiddle dee dee

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#136 Shaun Doe
November 16 2009, 07:48PM
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I'm gonna go punch a manatee into extinction!

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#137 Eddie Shore
November 16 2009, 07:48PM
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Bear down Sully/Penner.

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#138 Crust
November 16 2009, 07:49PM
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That was a good game to watch.

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#139 freeze
November 16 2009, 07:49PM
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At least they put in some effort!!

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#140 jeanshorts
November 16 2009, 07:49PM
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Umm, can anyone understand anything Vishnovsky is saying?

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#141 Shaun Doe
November 16 2009, 07:51PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Umm, can anyone understand anything Vishnovsky is saying?

Ain't nobody understand the words thatta commin outta Lubo's mouth!

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#142 SirFozz
November 16 2009, 07:51PM
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Why even bother interviewing players other then Penner?

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#143 jeanshorts
November 16 2009, 07:52PM
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freeze wrote:

At least they put in some effort!!

It's definitely an easier pill to swallow when they lose exciting, hard fought games, as compared to games where they play okay for 20 minutes and then just coast along the rest of the time.

A lot of good things to take away from this one. Especially on the verge of a 5 game home stand.

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#144 SirFozz
November 16 2009, 07:56PM
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Well at least we can watch some great MNF action now....Cleveland vs Baltimore?!? argggghh.

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#145 Harlie
November 16 2009, 07:56PM
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Brutal call to have Brule taking a turn so high in the rotation.

Too bad Eberle is wasting time getting 2 points a game in the minors when he could have buried one for us in the shootout.

Captain Bonehead takes another stupid penalty to kill our momentum.

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#146 BarryS
November 16 2009, 07:59PM
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I don't know about anyone else on this site, but for two games in a row, I've been entertained vert well by Oiler's hockey. Now, if only we start to win.

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#147 David S
November 16 2009, 08:00PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

It's definitely an easier pill to swallow when they lose exciting, hard fought games, as compared to games where they play okay for 20 minutes and then just coast along the rest of the time.

A lot of good things to take away from this one. Especially on the verge of a 5 game home stand.

You know, maybe there was something to this flu thing.

Boys didn't look half bad tonight against a fairly decent team. I smell some home cooked victories coming up.

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#148 Dan the Man
November 16 2009, 08:05PM
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Losses like this are tolerable as long as they aren't preceded by several other losses.

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#149 Robin Brownlee
November 16 2009, 08:21PM
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The Oilers showed more energy tonight for sure, but they should be sending Justin St. Pierre flowers and chocolates -- the hooking call he made on Blunden that led to Hemsky's goal was pure fantasy, a phantom call.

The tap on the hip Blunden gave Reddox meets none of the rule book criteria for hooking. Somehow Quinn and DeBrusk failed to point that out.

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#150 Senator Theo
November 16 2009, 08:34PM
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I will watch an entertaining loss like that any day over the kind of hockey we've seen out of the Oilers the last few weeks. They keep playing like that, and fans will get behind them.

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