SUN Hockey Pool

Garon makes his case

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Mathieu Garon needed a big game.

Another stinker and the Edmonton Oilers backup goaltender would have been wiping the cobwebs off his pads at his next start.

"We needed it as a team," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "I think he's got plenty of confidence in his own ability to play, so I don't think he needed it for a confidence builder.

"He's got lots of confidence in his ability, but from our perspective we needed a real good performance and got it."

Garon made 30 saves against the Anaheim Ducks Sunday and added another two in the shootout in the 3-2 victory.

It had been over two weeks between starts for him, getting pulled after allowing three goals on 11 shots on Oct. 12 against the Vancouver Canucks.

From then up until Sunday, Dwayne Roloson had been the Oilers exclusive goaltender.

But Garon got the call against the Ducks and was sharp keeping his team in the game through the latter stages of the contest and in overtime.

He then shut the door on Corey Perry and Chris Kunitz in the shootout to earn his second victory of the season.

"I think it was more important for the team than it was for him because he is a confident guy," MacTavish said. "We have confidence in his ability too, but we needed a big game."

Garon, 29, was signed by the Oilers as a free agent this off-season. He had spent the previous two seasons with the Los Angeles Kings.

Originally MacTavish said Garon could play up to 30 games this season in relief of Roloson.

But his slow start and Roloson's strong play had the native of Chandler, Que., on the bench for the better part of the first 11 games.

It's probably easier squeezing water out of a rock than getting MacTavish to reveal his starting goaltender game in and game out.

"It's going to be a game by game thing," MacTavish said. "I don't want to say too much about the goaltending, but he'll be in shortly."


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