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

” 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

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.

  • APE

    TonyT wrote:

    Like it or not Roloson got the Oilers to the SCF,

    Pretty sure it takes 20 guys to win or lose a game, not 1. He may have stood on his head and stole a game or 5 but to say he "got us" there is unfair to the rest of the team who worked their asses off.

  • Dropping Deuces

    I'm sure Gregor doesn't just start rumors. He gets information none of us are privy to, everyone spins the stories to make it sound the best for them.

  • TonyT

    I agree somewhat that Garon was not given a "fair" chance. However, there is something to be said about seniority and that's life. Like it or not Roloson got the Oilers to the SCF, that alone has clearly bought a huge chunk of leeway. Garon's never been a consistent starter in his NHL career, so for fans to believe he could shake doldrums and risk 20 games for him to come around is not necessarily naive but it is wishful thinking. People will argue that Roloson lost his first couple starts and was therefore given a longer leash, to those people you have to look at the fact that Roloson was not the reason he lost those starts, he can hardly be held accountable for the team scoring 0 goals. And while Garon did win his first 3, if you watch the tape as always his rebound control and positioning left alot to be desired.

  • Dropping Deuces

    I think Garon didn't get a fair shake. Roli got 2 months to get out of his funk last year and it cost us a playoff spot. Gaaron didn't get any leash this year. Maybe he wasn't mentally set up for that but what do you think any other starting goalie would have done if they had a bad start and didn't play again for a month. I have a feeling Roli is going to get tired later in the season and Deslauriers won't be ready for the minutes. I hope I'm wrong but I was a Garon fan.

    As for Toby Reddox, I appreciate his effort but I don't see a fit for him on this team. Maybe until Stortini gets back but after that I would rather see Strudwick play on the fourth line.

    I wsn't a big Pouliot fan but before his concusion he was playing well and I feel he is a better fit on the second line because his game is offensive and he has enough defensive responsibility but Nillson will be back soon.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Ender the Dragon wrote:

    I just sincerely hope that I never see the day when Reddox is sent down to Springfield to make way for the likes of some punk from the ‘Me-First‘ generation whose shooting average is higher. Talent is needed to win games, there’s no doubt, but heart is what defines champions and there is always a place for some of that in the room.

    I don't get this. 99% of the guys playing in the NHL have "heart". It takes a pretty special talent to half-ass it and play in the best league in the world. What Reddox doesn't bring is size or talent. It's kind of hard to blame the guy because he obviously has a great work ethic, he is just lacking in a couple of god-given areas – sad but true. I don't think a guy like Potulny, who actually brings some size and a half decent set of hands, is going to put in any less effort to earn an NHL job.

  • I think Reddox has earned his spot. He's played on both the top 2 lines and while he isnt lighting it up he's holding his own. We might see 85-51-34 in a shutdown role when Pisani comes back. Kyle Brodziak is getting better and better in the faceoff circle and that could be his ticket to more minutes.

  • I was impressed by Schremp in the first two games he played here. He was dynamic and his presence and skill made things happen. Poultony brought a better overall game than Schremp but I think Schremp's offensive ability is more unpredictable which reminds me of how Hemsky was a few years ago. Schremp played terribly against Florida which is the game he got benched in, but damn, the whole team played bad.

    The thing I cant stand of the whole Schremp situation is how Mactavish cant seem to wrap his head around Schremp's positives and exploit them for the team's benefit. Instead Craig wants to focus on all the things he cant do and bury him as a result. Of course thats not taking into account that Mactavish hates his guts and seems determined to bury him in the minors.

  • One more question Jason – do you think Garon is on the level about his goaltending coach? You noted back in November the following:

    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.

    Garon says here that he only worked with Mast twice. I'm not trying to rabble-rouse, but do you think Garon is downplaying the story because:

    a) there wasn't all that much to it
    or
    b) out of a desire not to rock the boat?

  • Ender the Dragon

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    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 . . . At least Reddox reminds us of one of the greatest sports movies of all time, so that’s a positive.

    It's hard (ok, it's nigh impossible) to make the case that Reddox belongs on the top two lines on a consistent basis. For a few shifts, maybe, to make a statement, but I'm not so naive as to think that Liam Reddox is the second coming of Ryan Smyth. As Jason points out, Reddox will soon drop down to the energy line where he ultimately belongs and that is all for the best. I just sincerely hope that I never see the day when Reddox is sent down to Springfield to make way for the likes of some punk from the 'Me-First' generation whose shooting average is higher. Talent is needed to win games, there's no doubt, but heart is what defines champions and there is always a place for some of that in the room.

  • Rob

    My view of Moreau is that since he was appointed captain he is trying to do too much. He has taken too many restraining-type penalties at crucial times and hurt the team as a result. He got those goals last game by putting himself in positon to receive a pass and could have had maybe another goal or two. I am one of those who expressed opinions about the reason for Garon's sudden decline in net as coach-related. Clearly I owe Peeters an apology. That suggested reason for his poor start came from a radio sports show.
    It makes for a great interview when the interviewer asks the right questions and the interview subject is an open and honest person. It was very revealing and interesting.

  • Two things:

    1) Why don't you see Potulny being a fit over the long haul? He certainly looked good when he was up here (much better than Schremp, despite the superficial statistical similarities) and he's leading the AHL team in goals. I'm not sure that there's much else he could do to show he deserved another game. On a related note, any idea if the Oilers are sending him out to a) attend the AHL all-star game and b) avoid burning up waiver immunity during the all-star break?

    2) Moreau's also been injured for two seasons; I think it's fair to question if that has had some long-term effect on his game. The numbers so far this season are largely positive; he isn't an offensive player but we knew that and he is eating up ice-time against some legitimate players so he's doing his job, even thought the puck is going the wrong way a fair bit. The galling part for someone like me is watching him pull Pouliot and Cogliano out of the faceoff circle so that he can take the draw – all while he is 3-17 in the circle. His penalties may not be "lazy hooking or tripping penalties", but he takes a lot of them, and often they're slashing penalties in the offensive zone, so it isn't like he's only getting them for messing up opposing player's faces. I also wonder (since he's an integral member of the PK unit) how his penalties are easier to kill than the other kind.

    Nice article, and you do make a good point about Moreau's play so far this season, but I'd be curious to see you expand on those two angles.

  • Nice little morning tidbits Gregor.

    I can see how Garon felt like he got the shaft. He left last season early due to injury, but before that he was playing like a number one on this team and was the go to guy. Then he comes in this season thinking it's his job to lose, and well…he did. But I agree with him that maybe he coulda got a longer rope. But, as was mentioned, shorter ropes are the reality of a 3 goalie setup.

    Honestly, watching him play the season he never looked solid on most nights. He looked like he was reacting late to the puck and kinda looked shakey. The colorado game just before the trade was one of his best.

  • I am becoming a Moreau believer again based on the last game. The Pheonix game started out slow (which isn't uncommon) but Moreau was on fire right out of the gate. Your assessment is spot on, lots of talent on this team – not enough guts. I am like the majority of the other posters here who get frustrated by seeing him play so much. Moreau on the powerplay says more about the other guys who SHOULD be playing. The simplicity of his game is the biggest reason he is always on the ice.

    I think the offence this guy puts up is a bonus. He wasn't signed to score 20 goals, but he might again this year.