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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#351 moo
November 26 2008, 10:35PM
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i've never understood why all of a sudden this season the "oh don't worry, home games will save us" theme became so popular...

talk about grasping at straws.

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#352 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 10:36PM
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Good idea Hockey Gods! As soon as I find the dog My daughter is going to have one hell of a story at school tomorrow.

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#353 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 10:37PM
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Bagged there could be a positive... I KayZ would sack up and spank lowe and force him to make a change... preferably coaching

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#354 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:37PM
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"So do we hope for an exon valdez type tanking, so we have a shot at Taverese or that gigantic Swede?"

I hardly think that is necessary at this point. Is it really that dire?

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#355 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:38PM
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Quote = Gilbert

"We’re just way too lazy to do it ourselves. "

"Sam is interested... but he’s just too lazy to get his act together."

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#356 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 10:38PM
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I don't think it's that dire, no. But how many more points are we willing to give up before something, anything changes?

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#357 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:39PM
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That's a real quote? From where? From all accounts Gagner is a fitness champ in the offseason

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#358 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 10:40PM
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HG: I have my option figured out. I hope everyone liked that arena design because I'm going to burn Rexall down.

Wanye, can I say I was at your place? I'm going to have some explaining to do tomorrow.

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#359 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:40PM
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But how many more points are we willing to give up before something, anything changes?

I think this game would be an excelletn place to draw a line in the sand.

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#360 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:40PM
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ok, ok, real quote: "Sam is interested in cooking some more but he’s just too lazy to get his act together. "

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#361 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 10:41PM
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Brutal...I can only imagine what kind of pissed off ppl are on the call in shows...

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#362 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:41PM
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Wanye, can I say I was at your place? I’m going to have some explaining to do tomorrow.

There is always room under the bridge. Bring canned goods

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#363 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:41PM
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edited from frustration. http://forums.edmontonoilers.com/index.php?autocom=blog&blogid=6&showentry=64

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#364 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 10:42PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db5_qG5KlsA

Aparently so Wanye....

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#365 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 10:43PM
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Changes need to happen now. A great place to start is the obvious goalie, lack of heart/grit/leadership.

The kids don't listen to the old guys JMHO

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#366 Travis Dakin
November 26 2008, 10:43PM
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This is definately a good line in the sand.

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#367 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:43PM
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hahaha holy smokes Hockey Gods I have to go edit that.

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#368 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 10:44PM
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"I will admit that I really wanted to see High School Musical 3"

No wonder this team is so soft. They have the same interests as pre teen girls.

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#369 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 10:45PM
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Hopefully Penelope isn't rocking the rotten oyster ditch like the last lady you suggested.

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#370 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:45PM
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"Sam wanted to see it too but couldn’t make it. Now nobody else will go and see it with him so he’s a bit upset about that. "

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#371 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:46PM
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How can it be that this was the busiest justice league so far this season?

That's some friggin heart if you ask me

*eyes fill with tears*

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#372 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:46PM
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anyway, how is the new website coming along?

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#373 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 10:46PM
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Wayne I though you might, I can give another metaphor... like a fat kid chasing a smartie???

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#374 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 10:48PM
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LMAO

Pay the love princess a little extra to stay quiet

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#375 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 10:49PM
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I'm so freakin upset I've turned to Deal or No Deal. Thanks Oilers, way to go.

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#376 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 10:49PM
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LMAO rotten oyster ditch

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#377 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:50PM
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Website is coming along very well freeze. Actually met with the new developer this week and he is on track for a December 5th launch. Because he is a reader of the Nation he is fixing a zillion things that we didn't even know were broken in addition to building all the stuff we want.

Should be pretty awesome

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#378 Penelope
November 26 2008, 10:50PM
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I got your back Bagged milk, remember you owe me $30.

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#379 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:51PM
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I'm watching a documentary on Female US Soldiers serving in Iraq. These dames have 100 times the nuts any Oiler sports.

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#380 jeanshorts
November 26 2008, 10:51PM
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Hey, at least we aren't paying Jeff Finger 3.5 million a year, am I right?

*sob sob sob sob*

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#381 BUCK75
November 26 2008, 10:52PM
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Can you add a button to get to the main menu that goes down with the thread to get back to main menu?

How 'bout not having to scroll all the way down after posting?

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#382 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:52PM
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nice. at least something is looking up.

until next time justice league, good night.

hahaha, burke to toronto, love it...

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#383 moo
November 26 2008, 10:52PM
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Wanye: it's been 6 days with no hockey, and the mob has switched from "excited" to "lynch".

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#384 freeze
November 26 2008, 10:52PM
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live chat for games please.

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#385 Hockey Gods
November 26 2008, 10:55PM
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Well fella I am off to bed to put a batch of dummys in the sheets. Have a good one, looking forward to reading about bagged in the paper tomorrow

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#386 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:55PM
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We are adding in a bunch of functionality to navigate between articles. Also have the ability to sort all the articles by author, look by month. All the broken RSS feeds are fixed and dramatically improved. My patented flash page at oilersnation.com is now gone.

Basically we have all the functionality of a 'real website.' Live chat is something that we are working on but once the latest version of the site is released we have a BIG thing we are doing then we will double back and start to add in functions like chatting.

Moo - funny how that goes isn't it?

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#387 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:56PM
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peace out hockey gods and freeze

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#388 Wanye Gretz
November 26 2008, 10:57PM
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I should actually roll too. Peace out justice league. I'm off to dream of Bea Arthur. Thanks for stopping by gang.

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#389 baggedmilk
November 26 2008, 10:57PM
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Wanye has been dreaming big while the rest of us cretins sleep in our race car beds.

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#390 MJ
November 27 2008, 08:57AM
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I wore my cup to work, just in case Wanye moved a few blocks off of 105th street in my direction.

Besides going to the game to see my Slovenian brother Anže Kopitar (1st star of the game woohoo), that was an utter waste of money. The crowd is turning into an angry mob inside of Rexall. The last time I remember things that quiet was somewhere in the 90s when a younger MJ could get tickets to the game for half-price because no one in this city cared.

After reading / posting here and doing the same in the Review thread on OilFans last night, I may just save myself some more 3rd party rage and avoid HF today. Is there any Oiler fan satisfied whatsoever anymore? Any glimmer of hope left I can hold onto?

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#391 Rick
November 27 2008, 09:14AM
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MJ Says: Is there any Oiler fan satisfied whatsoever anymore? Any glimmer of hope left I can hold onto?

...

Satisfied? No Hope? There's always hope.

I have always been a stay the course kinda guy when it comes to the Oilers but I think they finally broke me.

I don't pin these problems on MacT but if a change was made there I would no longer think it was a mistake.

I still see the problem being with the players and I really wish management did something sooner rather than later.

I would be happy to see them ship out Nilsson, Pouliot, Garon or Rollie and/or Cole in an effort to get this wreck back on track. All of them for different reasons but one thing is clear, something has to be done.

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#392 shakey
November 27 2008, 09:16AM
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MJ; Grebeskov is going to have a really nice smile after several trips to the dentist this week. That's some good news isn't it?

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#393 Deans
November 27 2008, 09:33AM
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So this whole three goalie carousel/nightmare is partly due to Pete Peeters bruised ego?!?! In my book the most important part of goaltending is confidence. If Garon felt more comfortable with Mast then Peeters has to swallow his pride and take one for the team.

The way Garon played last year he deserved a longer leash. Actually come to think of it, Garon deserved A leash. He had a pretty good start to the season, hit a rough patch and was subsequently benched. If my memory serves me correct Roloson was terrible for a very long stretch last year before he finally lost his #1. I'm honestly starting to believe that the coaches have lost the room. The team played completly uninspired hockey last night. I actually cant believe that Im yearning for the days when the oilers had minimal skill but still worked their tails off every night.

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#394 Travis Dakin
November 27 2008, 11:01AM
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"I actually cant believe that Im yearning for the days when the oilers had minimal skill but still worked their tails off every night."

That thought crossed my mind too and it scared the hell out of me.

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#395 Smokin' Ray Burnt
November 27 2008, 02:40PM
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Does anyone remember the teams that we have watched for the past 17 years? There was a time where Marchant's Playoff goal was the cat's meow. The team sucked for years. And years. And years. Getting past the 1st round was a heckova year for the team.

My point. We have all been through worse. It's not the end of the world. It sucks? Yes. But no the end of the world.

Ummm... Mr Katz? Where are you?

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#396 Yo' Mama!
November 27 2008, 02:41PM
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yeah!

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