Garon’s ‘fair shake’, Reddox ain’t no Rudy

EdmontonOilers2

I was asked where I am regarding the Potulny re-assignment and some other things, so I will venture in on that and more random thoughts regarding the Oilers.

What can I say about Reddox, other than I’m perplexed? The “HE HAS HEART” and “

HE REMINDS ME OF RUDY

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” is a great observation, except, Rudy played two downs in four years. TWO. And they came at the end of the game with nothing on the line.
I won’t lie, I, like most men shed a tear in that movie, and I loved that portly little bastard. How could you not love Daniel E “Rudy” Ruettiger (What the hell does the E stand for? I’ve always wondered that). He engendered everything that we love about heart, determination and the will to succeed in sports. Hell, all of us relate to that because none of us had the natural ability to succeed in a really high level of sports, and deep down we all respect those traits.
That was Sean Astin’s best role, followed closely by his Sam Gamgee portrayal in Lord of the Rings.
But guess what? Rudy was in college and like I said he played two downs. Liam Reddox is in the NHL, and that fact he gives it all every shift is great, but he needs to bring more and frankly he doesn’t have the skills to produce in the NHL. I don’t think Potulny does either, so I’m not surprised he was sent down.
Reddox can barely stick handle through the neutral zone, when he hits he barely makes an impact because his buck-seventy-five frame doesn’t impose much of a threat, and outside of being in the right place on the ice he doesn’t do much for me. Thankfully Nilsson will return on the 27th and Reddox will be off the top two lines. He will probably stick around as a fourth liner or pressbox guy. Can his RUDY attitude rub off on some guys? I guess so, but I don’t see him being a factor long term, nor do I see Potulny. At least Reddox reminds us of one of the greatest sports movies of all time, so that’s a positive.

Promotion for the sake of it — I think not

I am still in awe of the blinder mentality of some of the readers and Oiler fans on here. Many of you are quick to dispatch Ethan Moreau as only a fourth liner, while you are willing to just hand third line minutes to guys like Pouliot, Brule and even an inconsistent Robert Nilsson, hell some of you wanted to hand Schremp ice-time ahead of Moreau.
“They have more skill” is the usual uneducated response to why these three should play ahead of him on the third line. Well, I’m from the Show Me State, and none of them have showed any consistency in their careers and outside of Brule even a shred of a gritty game which is needed to be a successful third liner.
I wonder if you truly understand the dynamics of what it takes to win in the NHL and the types of players certain teams need. Moreau is what he is, and he has been in the league for 13 years doing it night in and night out. He is Liam Reddox, just bigger and with more skill. Moreau gives you all he has most nights, and what he has isn’t a ton of NHL offensive skill. But he fights if need be, with a separated shoulder at times, he blocks shots with his face, he doesn’t seek individual accolades and while he might not be in the class of Messier, Gretzky or Weight when it comes to leadership, he is far from a Shayne Corson.
Did you see how excited his teammates were when he got his first hat trick? Do you think they all don’t respect him as a leader?
If you take away PP points, he would be tied for second with 18, only one behind Cogliano’s 19. Only Hemsky has more even strength goals (10), while Moreau has nine and one SH so technically he is tied with Hemsky.
He is second on the team in hits, and has more than Pouliot, Brule and Nilsson combined, yet many of you think he is better suited on the fourth line. Yes, he takes a few too many aggressive penalties, but it’s easier to kill off that penalty than a lazy hooking or tripping penalty any day.
I’m not saying he’s the savior of this team, but on a team that has one of the softest forward groups in the league, demoting the one guy who brings grit is asinine. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

Garon talks about getting a raw deal

Yesterday I had Mathieu Garon on my radio show and the first question I asked him was if he felt like he got a fair shot from the start of the season?
“Well, if you look all around the league, a lot of goalies like Kiprusoff, Luongo and Turco had a tough start, and the team stuck with them a little bit longer. I don’t want to say they didn’t give me a chance, but it was really quick, two bad games and it was pretty much over, but what can you do about it? When you have three goalies you have the luxury to try other goalies.”
Clearly he wasn’t happy, but sorry Mathieu comparing yourself to those three goalies might be a stretch. The big difference is that those three are so much better than their backups that those teams have to go back with their starter even if he struggles. The difference between Garon and Roloson was marginal, and that more than anything was why he lost his job this year. He didn’t get as long of a rope as Roloson did last year, and that is unfair, but I think it was Deslauriers and not Roloson that made the Oilers feel Garon was expendable.
Deslauriers’ first game was in Calgary on Oct. 17. He wasn’t great but he won, and then his next start wasn’t until Nov. 9 in NJ. Guess what? He didn’t use rust or lack of practice as an excuse, rather he was the Oilers best player that night and the next against the Rangers. Garon’s mental game is what cost him this year more than anything.
He also talked about the allegations that he and Pete Peeters had a rift.
“It was good with Pete. I’ve heard and read things that I haven’t been happy with Pete and I wanted to bring in my own goalie coach, and that isn’t true… I never asked in the two years I was here to use any other goalie coach. I only worked with the goalie coach (Lyle Mast) in LA twice so that wasn’t true.”
I always liked Garon because he was honest and candid when you asked him a question. Athletically, he might be top three in the league, but it is the mental part of the game that he has to work on, and that is the hardest part of being a goalie, in my opinion.
If you want to hear the entire interview, visit

www.justagame.ca

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for a listen. The first question was, “Did you get a fair shot?” There is also an interview with Rick Nash talking about the Blue Jackets and if Hitchcock’s defence-first attitude has made him change his offensive habits.


  • Braden

    Damn, I just lost half my post.

    Basically the message I'm trying to convey is I have zero trust in what management says and that filters down to the people covering the team.

  • Braden

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    rindog wrote:

    And please enlighten us on these so-called skill players that deserve so much more icetime. And please include their stats so it proves they are more skilled, because last I checked I don’t see any with better goal scoring numbers, AT THE NHL LEVEL, but I could be wrong.

    Matt Cooke has as many EV points as Horcoff.

    According to your logic, he's just as talented as Horcoff because the numbers say so.

  • APE

    @ Travis Dakin:

    I don't buy that whole going with the hot hand argument. I think the coaching/mngmt have a large part to play in Garon's struggles this year. You could hear on Gregors show yesterday Garon said himself he didn't feel like his game was developing in practice and the whole 3 goalie debacle obviously hurt his play. I'm not saying that Garon is an awesome goalie and we shouldn't have traded him. I am aware Roloson has outplayed him but I think it was much easier for Mactavish to justify always going back to Roloson than it was for him to go to Garon. Either way, I am happy for the Oilers this whole mess is resolved.

  • Travis Dakin

    @ APE:
    I will completely agree that The Oilers management team screwed this situation up. Just like MacT putting guys out of postition or in wrong roles. If you don't set people up to succeed then they will most likely fail.

  • rindog

    @ Jason Gregor:

    Kneejerk reaction fan???

    That couldn't be farther from the truth.

    I am ALL about defining roles and letting them play there.

    When did I ever say that Moreau should be demoted. I said that when players aren't performing they can be demoted.

    I do find it humorous that people support the Penner and Nilsson benchings, but are dead set against demoting or benching certain players when they aren't pulling thier weight.

    On the other side, just becauase a guy like Moreau gets hot, doesn't mean he should play on the top line. He does not have the skill set to play on the top line…ever!!! You can give him (or his line) extra minutes (at the expense of the 4th line), but you should never try to put a square peg in a round hole (ie. Liam Reddox).

    Our top 7 players (from the start of the year) are the only guys that should be playing on the top two lines. If injuries occur, then things can change.

    rindog wrote:

    I am not sure what players we are talking about, but it seems to me that any numbers of AHL player could put up numbers like those.

    Where did I say that they deserved more icetime? I simply stated that guys like Brule or Potulny in their short time have displayed some offensive flair and should therefore be considered for the top two lines (as injury replacements). Guys like Potulny (.75 ppg) while averaging 10 minutes of icetime or Brule (3 points in 5 games since being recalled) should be given a chance in a more offensive role than guys like Reddox, Moreau, Pisani or Pouliot.

    The thing I whole heardedly agree on that Moreau is doing exactly what I want. Playing on the 3rd line and not getting offensive minutes (or being asked to produce). When he gets upwards of 16 or 17 minutes (like he was earlier) he becomes ineffective. He knows his role and is sometimes asked to play out of that role.

  • misfit

    "Reddox can barely stick handle through the neutral zone, when he hits he barely makes an impact because his buck-seventy-five frame doesn’t impose much of a threat, and outside of being in the right place on the ice he doesn’t do much for me."

    Fernando Pisani doesn't stick handle through the neutral zone, nor is he a punnishing hitter, but he's made a very good career out of "being in the right place" and is one of the team's more effective players. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that sound positioning is more important than throwing bodychecks or being able to dangle.

    …and Rudy sucked.

  • Since79

    Sorry Greggor, you're wrong on Garon. He was royally screwed over by this organization and its coaching staff. Garon had every right to mention that other goalies were given a longer leash than he was. I don't think he's comparing himself to them, only that other teams' coaches gave their STARTING goalies a chance to get their games going. He should have been afforded the same courtesy. Instead he was railroaded by a coach who liked another goalie better.

    Garon was treated like garbage this season by a coach and organization that's completely out of touch when it comes to dealing with goalies.

    I heard you mention yesterday that Roli was tougher mentally; it's pretty hard to be mentally tough when you know you're not getting a fair shake from the coach and team CONSTANTLY. You and Rishaug talked about how he played when he was given the chance, yet you didn't bring up how the TEAM was playing in front of him during those games. They were non-existent.

    Garon LOVED playing for the Oilers, anyone that's been to his house and/or met him knows this.

    Other points…

    Reddox needs to go. The guy is a joke out there and gets laughed at by the opposition, seriously. I would rather have Potulny playing with Gagner and Cole; there was chemistry there. Reddox does nothing but bugger up chemistry. The only reason MacT likes Reddox is because he's another borderline fourth line player who reminds MacT of himself.

    You are bang on when it comes to Moreau. I think he's still learning on the job when it comes to being the captain; but I think he's done a good so far. He knew when to call a players only meeting and I think that may be a huge turning point in this season.

  • Bruthah

    I doubt Garon was given a fair shot. Kinda like another goalie that's currently 16-5-1 this year.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8469152

    But at the same time, it's a moot point. Goalies aren't what are winning games for the Oil. Goal production is what is needed. With only 126 GoalsFor this year, so far, it could greatly improve the teams standing if they had 140+ like the top 4 teams in the West.

    What's my point? I dunno, just wanted to channel Jdubs for a few seconds and throw some stats around. haha

  • Tankit4Tavares

    Like this post Greggor, and I totally agree on your views regarding the Captain. But I listened to the interview the other day with Garon and I don't feel that he compared himself, in terms of his ability, with Luongo, the Kipper or Turco. To me he was simply stating that when a goal tender is named number one, usually it is the club's and the goal tenders best interest to let him play through the low points in his game. In his case that was not allowed to happen.

    AND, although Roloson ,of late, has really been on top of his game, there have been points in his time here that he has not been great and was given time to make adjustments. Until he came to Edmonton, Roloson had no proven track record that he could be a number 1 over a long period of time. So the argument that Garon had never proven himself, and thus his leash was shorter doesn't hold water. He really wasn't given a fair shake at the start and was not able to recover.

    All that being said, clearly Roloson's numbers are better and he deserves to be between the pipes. I'm glad that the three headed monster is finally dead (no disrespect to Sabourin) and hope that Garon puts in some good preformances with the Pens. I still think he has all the tools to be a top 10 goaltender and can't help think what might have been… (a single bittersweet tear rolls down his cheek, and his man card is offically revoked)

  • Cam

    rindog wrote:

    I do find it humorous that people support the Penner and Nilsson benchings, but are dead set against demoting or benching certain players when they aren’t pulling thier weight.

    Penner and Nilsson were benched because they were being LAZY and that is NOT acceptable at this level. That is a far different situation than someone who is having timing issues or making errors. I will take errors over lazy every day of the week.

  • @ Jason Gregor:

    Thanks, Jason. The thing I like about Potulny (over Nilsson, anyway) is that he brings a shoot-first mentality, which would seem to be a better fit on this team which lacks those kind of players.

    I get what you're saying about Moreau too – we've all played the game and sometimes you get caught up in what's happening and do something that probably isn't great in hindsight. I've always had a problem with his penalties, but that's accurate too – it's just the way Moreau plays the game.

  • misfit wrote:

    In fact, I’d go as far as to say that sound positioning is more important than throwing bodychecks or being able to dangle.

    It certainly gets you more opportunities at the NHL level – not just with MacTavish, but pretty much every coach.

    I like certain parts of the Reddox/Pisani comparison, but Pisani's got a much better release; his overall offensive game suffers because of the role he plays but it's underrated (except for those guys who figured he'd score 30 after the 05-06 playoffs, of course).

  • Ender the Dragon

    Since79 wrote:

    Reddox needs to go. The guy is a joke out there and gets laughed at by the opposition, seriously.

    And your list of sources for this include . . .? Or have you just been in a lot of NHL dressing rooms and listened in on the banter?

    Your statement is a joke, not Reddox.

  • Since79

    Ender the Dragon wrote:

    Since79 wrote:

    Reddox needs to go. The guy is a joke out there and gets laughed at by the opposition, seriously.
    And your list of sources for this include . . .? Or have you just been in a lot of NHL dressing rooms and listened in on the banter?
    Your statement is a joke, not Reddox.

    Sitting behind the opposition's bench for starters, how about that? Plus I do have a press pass, I hear all kinds of things.

    I've read your crap on here all the time MacT, I mean Ender… you're the joke around here.

  • Jonathan Willis

    @ Since79:

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but anonymous hockey thread commenters don't have a ton of credibility; anyone can say he has a press pass.

    Reddox is a top-tier AHL player, or a serviceable bottom-six guy. Nothing special, but not exactly a "joke" either.

  • Since79

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    @ Since79:
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but anonymous hockey thread commenters don’t have a ton of credibility; anyone can say he has a press pass.
    Reddox is a top-tier AHL player, or a serviceable bottom-six guy. Nothing special, but not exactly a “joke” either.

    He asked, I told him. Anyone that sits close enough to the boards or the bench can hear what the players say. They make fun of him like they used to make fun of Marchant; the high voice, little frame, etc. When it comes to my pass, I've had one for years; I do work for the NHL.

    I should have stated that he needs to go from the top two lines. He does nothing of value there; in fact, he looks lost at times in the offensive zone. That's what I meant as a 'joke'. He's a great AHL player, but at best he's a fourth liner in the NHL. Why is he playing with Gagner and Cole when Potulny was the one who started to have chemistry with those two?

  • Travis Dakin

    @ Didsdave:

    Hey Buddy! I hope the retirement has been treating you good. Man it's been a long time. I'm still here but in the plant now. Good times. It's good to know that they will let ANYBODY on this site! ha.

    @ bingofuel:
    Tee-Hee.

  • Jonathan Willis

    Since79 wrote:

    He’s a great AHL player, but at best he’s a fourth liner in the NHL. Why is he playing with Gagner and Cole when Potulny was the one who started to have chemistry with those two?

    Gotcha. Yeah, I have no reason why Potulny was scratched so he could play on a scoring line. It seems fairly obvious that Potulny adds scoring, while Reddox adds defense. The Gagner-Cole line would seem to be more about scoring. I understood (even if I didn't agree with) Reddox being put with Horcoff, but the second line spot was baffling.

  • Braden wrote:

    Matt Cooke has as many EV points as Horcoff.
    According to your logic, he’s just as talented as Horcoff because the numbers say so.

    I meant on the Oilers…Wake up. As for my credibility, read my post GDT post. That clears it up and my source was correct that talks occured, but it was in fact the Garon camp who started them and the Oilers said they would wait.

    So I guess you will call Garon a liar when I asked him if he had any conversations and he said no. I don't expect him to have to divulge everything, but it is my job to ask the question.

    I'm pretty confident in my credibility, and I'm glad you won't bother reading any of my stuff because according to you I'm not credible. I'm not sure how I will sleep tonight knowing that…it will be tough.