SUN Hockey Pool

Watching is no fun for Garon

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

DENVER -- Mathieu Garon's heart hurts worse than his ankle.

He was playing the best hockey of his career and was all psyched up to be leading Edmonton down the stretch, but a bum ankle is scripting a rotten ending to his fairytale season.

Nothing's worse than watching the most important games of the season go by instead of playing them.

"It's tough. We've been working hard the whole year for this and personally you always want to be in those games at the end of the year," said the easy-going netminder. "It's tough to be on the side like that."

When he'll be back is anyone's guess, but no time soon is a pretty good starting point.

"I have no idea," he said, adding he hasn't seen much progress in an injury that's already cost him seven starts. "It's pretty much the same. Maybe (today) I'll try to skate a little bit at the end of practice, I don't know. I want to try it on the ice first and see how it goes. We're taking it day to day."

Garon first hurt it March 9 in Chicago, played a couple more games and felt it getting worse, till it deteriorated to the point where he couldn't even skate on it.

"It was bad at first and I tried to still practise on it," he said. "It wasn't getting any better, maybe a little worse. We tried to do different things on it and it didn't seem to react well."

A cortisone shot offered no help.

"No improvement. With the shot, we were expecting it to get a little better but it didn't make much difference."

With Garon out, the Oilers have rookie Jeff Deslauriers as their backup, leading to a rather tense few moments last game when six-foot-seven, 270 pound Derek Boogaard fell on Dwayne Roloson.

Roloson didn't get up for a few minutes and it looked like the might have been injured.

"It's a scary moment," admitted Deslauriers.

"You wish that he's going to get up and he's going to be OK."

If not, well, that's why Deslauriers is here.

"If I had to go in I was ready to go in," he said. "That's why I'm practising hard every day here. If anything happens, I'll be ready."

Head coach Craig MacTavish knows the Oilers are in a vulnerable situation.

"But there's nothing we can do about it," he said. "What's our alternative?

"We don't have one. Jeff has to go in and play if he needs to play, it's as simple as that. There's nothing we can do outside of bringing in a faith healer for Mathieu.

"I'm just thankful Roli looked really sharp last game."

POWER OUTAGE

Edmonton's power play hasn't scored in four games, and it's no coincidence the Oilers lost two of them.

"We talked about it before the road trip that the power play definitely has to be productive for us to do what we need to do," said MacTavish.

"We need a game out of the power play. The only two ways you can steal a game are with great goaltending and a productive power play. And we're going to need to steal a game or two in these last four."


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