Back in August when I posted the “reasonable expectations” items for each player, the projection for goals scored and against over the entire season was 248-242.
Projected over 46 games, that would work out to 139-136. The actual number is 132-138, which would be in the range. My projection was a little aggressive in that it was +3 and the Oilers currently sit at -6, but there’s been so much sway between performances I’m not going to spend much time looking for the reasons. I’ll throw out luck, empty net goals, the PK and the pure chaos that was playing men out of position. After that, I’m open to suggestions.
His handling this season is a mystery. I have a friend who goes crazy every time a French guy gets the boot by the Oilers, as he’s convinced there’s something to it. We heard it was Pete Peeters and then Garon flushed that idea so we’re back to do (in do-re-me) on that one. There are two absolute truths: his numbers were subpar compared to Roloson’s and he didn’t get what anyone could consider a legit chance to win his job back. People play favorites all the time, I think our collective surprise in this scenario comes from a belief that MacT is more fair minded (performance based forward thinker) than most coaches in the NHL. Garon’s handling tells us they never did believe in him.
The numbers I projected for Garon (above) were delivered by Methuselah. In many ways it’s a terrific story (old guy kicks butt in walk year) but in other ways (what if he gets hurt? He’ll be 40 later this year) it’s a big concern. My own opinion is once you reach the Johnny Bower years there’s no predicting performance or decline as the man has simply outrun the Daniel Bouchard curve. Roloson has not been injury prone as an Oiler (the one major injury came on a play that would have injured most goalies) and would seem to be as safe a bet as the next guy. It would behoove the Oilers to get him some rest in the second half (he projects to 52 games this season and remember Garon was here for the first half).
He’s been much better than expected going by the numbers but the major consideration here is sample size. He’s being used about as much as expected, but will probably start 10 games in the second half. The Oilers could lose the second season should Deslauriers perform poorly in these games.
Next up: Fringe players, callups and potential callups.