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Mathieu Garon

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Old
11-14-2004, 10:55 PM
  #1
ILuvLA
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Mathieu Garon

What's the scoop on Garon? Was glad to hear that LA picked him up - he was unbelievable against LA last year. Was that a fluke or can he turn out to be that good? Currently on fire in the AHL during lockout. Looking for feedback from Montreal fans. Thanks.

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11-14-2004, 11:05 PM
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Garon is that good. He is totally capable of being a top 10 or top 15 NHL goalie efgfective imediately. It's a question of being given the opportunity. I think he is more consistant than Theodore, but Theodore has a higher cieling. Theodore plays great but drops the ball here and there, allowing easy ones early in the 1st or succumbing to pressure late in a tight game. That happens sometimes with him. Garon is more solid I find, but can't quite stand on his head a-la-Theo.

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11-14-2004, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larocks
What's the scoop on Garon? Was glad to hear that LA picked him up - he was unbelievable against LA last year. Was that a fluke or can he turn out to be that good? Currently on fire in the AHL during lockout. Looking for feedback from Montreal fans. Thanks.
a potential top goaltender, very agile and quick. Only question is whether he can put up his good numbers over the whole season as a starter; in his limited action he has look very solid.

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11-15-2004, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larocks
What's the scoop on Garon? Was glad to hear that LA picked him up - he was unbelievable against LA last year. Was that a fluke or can he turn out to be that good? Currently on fire in the AHL during lockout. Looking for feedback from Montreal fans. Thanks.
Garon is a technical goalie, very good, if not elite down low. He covers the top of the net very well and has a very good glove-hand. He has a very very good attitude, very intelligent and a fan favorite. He's average at best when playing the puck behind the net and he might lack the "cockyness" to become an elite goaltender in the NHL. He will probably be a very solid #1 goalie, as his play reminds me of Sean Burke and Olaf Kolzig.

Definitly a good pick up for the Kings, and the trade will surely help Garon who would have had a hard time to take the starter role in Montreal over Theodore. In my mind, he is too good to be only a backup goalie, and he's not so young.

Win-Win for both teams.

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11-15-2004, 01:19 AM
  #5
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IMO, Garon might be the most underrated goaltender in the league. I dont think most people (outside of Quebec) know what Garon is capable of. This guy has stolen many games for the habs in his short career thus far in limited playing time.

This guy has the ability to singlehandedly pick a team up on his back and ride them to victory.

The only catch with Garon is that he does let in the odd weak goal and sometimes he leaves himself in scramble mode too quickly. Personally, I think that the soft goals should not be a problem in LA as long as he gets alot of starts in LA. I think its tough for a goalie to stay mentally sharp when you are only spotted games here and there when you have always been a #1 goalie. As for scrambling around too much, he has been improving in his positioning and anticipation to the point where that should not be a problem at all given more NHL games to work with.

Other than that, he is a big man that covers alot of net. He is quick, mobile, and very calm in net.

I think this is the kind of move that turns LA into a solid playoff team from a fringe playoff team.

A definite upgrade over cechmanek for sure!

Good job LA, you guys will not regret this trade one bit! You finally have a true #1 goalie for many years to come and that hasn't happened since Hrudey left.

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11-15-2004, 01:57 AM
  #6
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Garon future superstar....

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11-15-2004, 09:39 AM
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The talent is there, for sure. Could be top-tier goalie. Intelligent and articulate (I don't know if we can say the same thing with his english, tho). A real team guy, from what we saw, liked by everybody. Really really good goalie. But...

1- We don't know for sure how he will respond to being a real number one NHL goalie, night after night, with men looking at him to drive them far in the playoffs.

2- It's true he doesn't look to have this "cockyness" we usually see in the great goalies. But what do we know...

3- Except for being a second goalie who never had a real chance to be a number one in the NHL, we still don't know how he react facing adversity. Time will tell.

For sure, he looks more reliable than Cechmanek... But as far as he's still unproved on a long period, I find that giving Bonk and a draft choice for him is risky. Bonk didn't live up to the expectencies, but still, he's a good and big NHL regular player with skills.

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11-15-2004, 10:12 AM
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Darz
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Garon is going to have a good run in L.A. He might still need a bit of polishing, but he is definately an NHL calibre goalie. All that is still to be seen is if he will be a top 5 NHL goalie, a top 10 NHL goalie or an average starter at best. The skills are there though.

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11-15-2004, 10:37 AM
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To answer your question fully, I will post what our best analyst on this board, Guy! wrote about Garon in his End Of Year recap.





Mathieu Garon

He’s been called a ‘future franchise player’ from time to time, and former management called him the ‘goalie of the future’. The question therefore becomes: when is the future? Garon has been toiling in the shadow of Theo for a couple of season’s now, and with each game you get the impression that he’s starting to push more and more. Perhaps the time is ripe, after Theo’s late season weaknesses, for the future to be now; certainly Garon has all the requisite qualities to become a number one and a top-flight one at that.

While it would be easy to point at Garon and claim ‘butterfly’ the truth of the matter is that he’s a hybrid goaltender. He does use the butterfly in certain situations, but he’s also a stand-up goaltender. If you need an example, think of a guy from Jersey by the name of Marty Brodeur. This type of goaltending gives the player a little more flexibility in his play and while it might allow more goals down low, it prevents perhaps more up top – where most NHL snipers like to look. Combine this style with reflexes which are, in my opinion, second in the NHL only to Robbie Luongo, and you’ve got someone who can steal you games and quite possibly only needs to be shown a little confidence and a little more playing time to round out his game and take it to a level that Theo can only dream about.

Working on his positioning is the most critical aspect to a potential jump to the next level. There are games when it’s good, and those are the games that it takes a minor miracle to beat him (see LA late in the year). Unfortunately, he does have the tendency to over-commit, but I’m fully convinced that this is more a result of lack of competitive game time rather than just a large technical flaw that he can’t overcome. If he gets the chance to step in and shine (much like Theo did when Hackett went down with injury), I believe you’ll see him become more and more comfortable to the point where he might take over that starting job.

In Garon, I see all the potential to be as good or better than Brodeur. He plays a very similar style and backs that up with phenomenal reflexes as well as, as Hackett put it, the best legs of a goalie he’s ever seen. He just needs to be given the opportunity to take that next step.

Strengths

He looks like he’s beaten as an attacker has him heading the wrong way, but suddenly a leg sticks out and the opening that was previously gaping is quickly shut and a goal is prevented. There are no better legs in net - that I’ve seen anyhow. If a butterfly is there to cover the bottom of the net, the a hybrid goaltender who can do the splits and utterly cover the bottom of the net, post to post mind you, is infinitely better. He’s lightening quick in his lateral movements and when he gets the chance to hone them in game situations, they’ll win games.

His hybrid style is also a great strength. As much as the butterfly is loved around the NHL these days, there’s a lot to be said for a goalie that can stand up to the pressure and not drop, thereby exposing the top corners, every time an attacker makes a head fake. Combined with his good height, this makes him an imposing goaltender and one that can dominate.

His biggest strength is, of course, his reflexes. You only need to watch that game against the Kings to see that they’re bordering on precognition, much like Spiderman. When it looks like he’s beaten, even if he’s thrown himself out of position, his recoveries are delightful to watch and make for highlight reel saves on a consistent basis.

Weaknesses

Positioning has to be at the top of this list. Too many times you see him over-commit on a lateral movement, throwing himself totally out of position and leaving the yawning cage an inviting place for the puck. Now, that’s he’s a great at recoveries is wonderful, but think of how good he’d be if he had something even approaching the positioning talent that Theodore displays. I kid you not: if Garon can master this aspect of the game, he’s going to make Theo look silly.

Another problem that I’ve detected – circumstantially mind you, so take this for what it’s worth – is his mental game. Not in terms of preparation, because I believe that he’s well-prepared rather consistently, but when was the last time you heard him complain about playing time? Theo used to talk constantly when he was behind Hackett, letting people know that he was the goalie of the future and the guy that should be getting the top minutes. I want to hear a little of the same swagger from Garon, because it would indicate to me that he’s got the same drive to succeed, and it seems to me that those with that huge drive and confidence, like Roy, Brodeur, and Theo, are the ones who make it to the top. Garon needs to develop the swagger of a guy who believes he’s the best.

A final point would be his rebound control, but again, this is something that really only takes that last step of improvement in game situations. There’s only so much you can do during practice where the intensity can never be the same as during a game, and only with consistent time against real opposition will Garon develop this aspect of his game.

Future

Presumably, unless someone comes calling with an offer that Gainey can’t refuse, Garon will again be patrolling the Montreal net from a backup standpoint next season. There are those, however, who do see his potential as can be evidenced by the fact he was named in the negotiations for Kovalchuk, so hearing his name bandied about in trade talks should surprise no one.

More importantly, the question is how Montreal management looks at Garon. If they see him much as I do, then perhaps he’ll be given every opportunity to succeed to the point where they might trade Theo in order to give the reins to Garon to run with. As a backup, Garon has probably reached the pinnacle of his development and his next logical step would be in taking the mantle of the number one in Montreal.

With Gainey being so tight-lipped about any plans, everything must be pure speculation, but it’s this writer’s opinion that next season is the key for Garon. I believe he’ll be given a much larger shot with the goal being his replacement of the overpaid Theo. As the team develops, Gainey will probably be trying to adjust his pay scales, remove negative influences, and slowly remodel the team into ‘his’ team and this is an area where he could make an indelible stamp for certain.









Note: this was all written before the trade to LA.

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Old
11-15-2004, 10:47 AM
  #10
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Thanks for all of the info!

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11-15-2004, 05:38 PM
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I recall Rollie Melanson saying that he has the fastest legs he's ever seen. He's got unreal flexibility... essentially all the physical tools you could wish for in a goalie!

Best of luck in LA!

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11-15-2004, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habsfansam
I recall Rollie Melanson saying that he has the fastest legs he's ever seen.
uh...i am pretty sure he would have been referring to Theo. Garon's "fast legs" are not the strongest part of his game.

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11-15-2004, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikey_s_
a potential top goaltender, very agile and quick. Only question is whether he can put up his good numbers over the whole season as a starter; in his limited action he has look very solid.
I wouldn't say that he is "very agile and quick".... like most big goaltenders, these are the attributes he need to work on..... Ilja Bryzgalov looked to have the same problem during the world cup (the only time I could see him play).... you can really tell he is not very quick when you are used to watch Theodore play. Still, I think he has a good attitude and will have the success some big goaltenders have...

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11-15-2004, 07:22 PM
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All I can say is he has a glove hand that can make the Hejduk's and Iginla's lower their arms after realizing they didn't just steal a goal

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11-15-2004, 07:52 PM
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Thank you, guys.

Garon ( 7-1-0, 3 SO, 1.50 GAA, .949 sv% ) and Adam Hauser ( 4-0-0, 2 SO, 1.25 GAA, .951 sv% ) have been a terrific tandem in net here in Manchester. I understand that Yann Danis has been playing quite well too for the Bulldogs.

I'm looking forward to Garon's potential emergence as a #1 in Los Angeles, as well as Huet playing behind a solid Montreal team. I'm pretty sure you'll find that Cristobal is a good return for Garon, in addition to Bonk.

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11-15-2004, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espion
Garon is that good. He is totally capable of being a top 10 or top 15 NHL goalie efgfective imediately. It's a question of being given the opportunity. I think he is more consistant than Theodore, but Theodore has a higher cieling. Theodore plays great but drops the ball here and there, allowing easy ones early in the 1st or succumbing to pressure late in a tight game. That happens sometimes with him. Garon is more solid I find, but can't quite stand on his head a-la-Theo.
Good analysis. I agree with your assessment of both goalies. One of the reasons behind Theo having been that good, in my opinion, is that, since he started with the Habs, he has always had stiff competition for his job. First, it was from Andy Moog, then Jocelyn Thibault, Jeff Hackett and finally Mathieu Garon. Will it be the same with Cristobal Huet? I doubt it. It wouldn't surprise me at all if, when the NHL hockey schedule resumes, Garon achieves better GAA and sav% stats in LA than Theo in Montreal.


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11-15-2004, 10:01 PM
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Thanks for all of the info -Can't WAIT to see him in uniform for LA!!!


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11-15-2004, 10:13 PM
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I think you're mostly overestimating Garon here. He's a good goalie, and I think he'll prove to be an average to average-good starter, but no better. But to say that he's got all the skills to be as good as or better than Brodeur? I think that's a bit out in left field.

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11-16-2004, 03:38 AM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky
I think you're mostly overestimating Garon here. He's a good goalie, and I think he'll prove to be an average to average-good starter, but no better. But to say that he's got all the skills to be as good as or better than Brodeur? I think that's a bit out in left field.
Ah, good to see a level headed person.

Perhaps y'all should hold up on engraving Garon's name in Vezina.

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11-16-2004, 03:44 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espion
Garon is that good. He is totally capable of being a top 10 or top 15 NHL goalie efgfective imediately. It's a question of being given the opportunity. I think he is more consistant than Theodore, but Theodore has a higher cieling. Theodore plays great but drops the ball here and there, allowing easy ones early in the 1st or succumbing to pressure late in a tight game. That happens sometimes with him. Garon is more solid I find, but can't quite stand on his head a-la-Theo.
You say in your post that it's a matter of being given the opportunity. That I agree with. But then you say that you think Garon is more consistent then Theo. How many times in his career has Garon even played back to back games? And then you say, Garon is more solid, well it's a lot easier playing against the weaker teams every so often then having to be a superstar for 70 games.

I like Garon and think he can be a good goalie but he has proven NOTHING. Which is no fault of his own but to make statements like you made is absurd. I think Garon will be a good goalie in the league, do I think he will be better then Theo? No. I think Theo has the *potential* to be the best goalie in the league.

But I think Garon is in a good situation in LA, and I wish him the best.

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11-16-2004, 02:39 PM
  #21
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I honestly think we could have got more for Garon.

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11-16-2004, 02:48 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketlives
Good analysis. I agree with your assessment of both goalies. One of the reasons behind Theo having been that good, in my opinion, is that, since he started with the Habs, he has always had stiff competition for his job. First, it was from Andy Moog, then Jocelyn Thibault, Jeff Hackett and finally Mathieu Garon. Will it be the same with Cristobal Huet? I doubt it. It wouldn't surprise me at all if, when the NHL hockey schedule resumes, Garon achieves better GAA and sav% stats in LA than Theo in Montreal.

You could throw Vokoun in that cast of competitors as well

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11-16-2004, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habsfansam
I recall Rollie Melanson saying that he has the fastest legs he's ever seen. He's got unreal flexibility... essentially all the physical tools you could wish for in a goalie!

You must be remembering that wrong. I could see that claim being made about Theodore, who has outstanding leg speed and is, IMO, the best goaltender in the league for lateral movement largely due to that. But Garon's leg speed, and his overall quickness, is, IMO, by far his biggest weakness.

Besides a pretty good glove hand, every other aspect of his games in terms of quickness is below average.

He's solid technically, plays with good agressiveness, positionally is very solid, uses his size very well to his advantage and his mental game is top notch. But his quickness, like most larger netminders, is not a strong suit.

My biggest reservation about him as a starter in the NHL was based on his lack of quickness and the question mark about how he would handle a big work load.

If Garon truly was quick goaltender as somebody in this thread suggested, he never would have cleared waivers in 2002-03 because all the other tools are there.

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Old
11-16-2004, 09:56 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FerrisRox
You must be remembering that wrong. I could see that claim being made about Theodore, who has outstanding leg speed and is, IMO, the best goaltender in the league for lateral movement largely due to that. But Garon's leg speed, and his overall quickness, is, IMO, by far his biggest weakness.
Regarding Theodores leg speed, it wouldn't surprise me. I remember in an All Star game, I believe it was Jeremy Roenick who also made that comment when he was microphoned up regarding Theodore having the fastests legs/feet in the game.

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11-16-2004, 10:33 PM
  #25
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I wish the Sens would have just done a Bonk for Garon deal minus the middle man.I'm not sold on "The Hasek Project" myself.

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