Blog Entry

Lightning G Garon out 3-4 weeks with torn groin

Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:58 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 2:58 pm
Garon is 23-16-3 with a 2.85 GAA, .901 save percentage. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Wednesday that goaltender Mathieu Garon will miss the next 3-4 weeks after tearing a groin muscle in Tuesday's home loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Just when you thought the Lightning might have it in them to come roaring back (see what I did there?) this happens.

It's no secret the Lightning have been struggling with their goaltending this season. That would probably be an understatement, in fact. But Garon has given them a little more stability and good enough goaltending since taking over the reins from Dwayne Roloson. As a result -- and Steven Stamkos' 28 goals in the last 32 games, of course -- the Bolts re-entered the playoff conversation not only in the East but the Southeast Division.

That could all come to an end with this news.

The 42-year-old Roloson came to Tampa last season at the trade deadline and was a catalyst in the Lightning making it to the Eastern Conference finals. He hasn't been anywhere near as good this season. His vital stats? A 3.82 goals against average and .878 save percentage. I have one word for that: Yikes!

In relief of Garon on Tuesday, Roloson played 55 minutes and gave up five goals on 30 shots (the Senators had two more in the empty net).

As a result the Lightning have called up Dustin Tokarski from the AHL, who recently ran off eight consecutive wins for the Norfolk Admirals.

Now, why not put a claim in on Marty Turco before he can join the Bruins? Well it turns out that Turco wouldn't be able to play this season by a team that claims him since it's past the trade/acquisition deadline. So it's Boston or bust for Turco.

What the Lightning could do is sign a goalie from Europe like the Bruins did and then wait for him to clear waivers. The only question is if there's anybody they'd want.

Now I'm not going to say the Lightning are done with this news, I pretty much said that after they started selling at the trade deadline, but it certainly doesn't seem to help matters.

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Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:00 pm

Lightning G Garon out 3-4 weeks with torn groin

Stubitz, thanks for answering but consider the following:

what happens if they overcame all odds and actually made the playoffs?  Garon's groin is not guaranteed healed in 3-4 weeks and Turco can't play in the second season!  I guess in the end Stevie Y did exactly as I expected and let him pass because he also needs to develop his AHL prospect.  He's in a win-win situation even when they don't make the playoffs despite it being a waste of the phenominal season by Stamkos.

Now think about Boston for a minute: How many games is Turco actually going to get?  Thomas has to rest and they only have a 3 point lead for the division (yes, those surprising Senators again) with 3 games at hand.  I really can't see them playing Turco more than 3 times if the Senators stay close no matter how much rest the 37 year old Thomas really needs because they need to protect their slot in the East.  Could you really expect the Bolts to ride Turco into the playoffs?  That's 16 games, and there's no way he could be reasonably expected to carry a team into the playoffs.

Since: Oct 7, 2007
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:33 am

Lightning G Garon out 3-4 weeks with torn groin

I think everyone here is missing the point that the Bolts went into "next season" mode about 3-4 weeks back.  It's nice that they've decided to turn this back into a playoff race but the truth of the matter is that Stevie Y wisely started looking ahead and figuring out what moves he can make now that will benefit next season and further.

Keep in mind that the Bolts are rather deceptive looking right now.  They've played a fair chunk of the season missing literally half their starting defensemen at one time or another while their lead goalie suddenly discovered that he's not immortal.  For any other team, this means an enormous tank job but for whatever is going on, this coach and GM have these guys believing they can succeed on little more than hard work, rainbows and unicorn farts.  This team, with the injuries to the players they've had them at, has absolutely zero claim to be standing where they are now.  By all reasonable accounts, they should be lower in the standings that whale crap.  But they're not.

You don't lose Hedman, Ohlund and Bergeron for the extended stretches we did and we'd all be discussing the monster team in Tampa.  Instead, we're watching a real show of gutting it out while the injury fairy seems to have all her mail forwarded to the Forum these days.

I guess what I'm saying is that while Turco was literally a no option for the Bolts, the management is doing the right thing bringing up some of their farm talent to get experience while the season still lasts.  As for complaining about the GM's moves I think he made his moves earlier on with the trade and he's making them now with bringing up a raft of young talent.  I think the only thing people are misunderstanding is that Yzerman is no longer looking at the Bolts' prospects for this season...he's already working on next season.  And he's got a metric ass-ton of draft picks to play with.  Let's wait til the draft and the leadup to it and see what he does before we get all bent about what he's doing.

Since: Apr 16, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 8:55 am

Lightning G Garon out 3-4 weeks with torn groin

Of course I am razor. Now think about if your Yzerman and your team surprisingly has a shot at the playoffs. Teams don't pay salaries in the playoffs, it's a big money maker for them. It's not like the claim on Turco -- which obviously didn't happen and wouldn't have since he couldn't play for them -- would be very inexpensive and it would be just to get them through the final weeks of the regular season. It's not breaking the bank, especially once it's pro-rated. Where's the trouble in that?

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:47 pm

Lightning G Garon out 3-4 weeks with torn groin

Stubits are you paying attention?  Or are the brackets taking up too much oxygen in the office?  From where I see this situation: Stevie Y expected a top 10 pick before the power surge in February and knew he was playing with house money no matter what happens.  He then deals for Detroit's 1st (even though I would have signed Quincey) to load up the farm team and think past the retirement of the 36 year old St. Louis.  Why would he claim a goalie who is 2 months younger than St. Louis?  They have more than enough experience with old goalies:  Roloson looked ready for the beer league circuit against the Senators last night.  How is Turco going to be better?  I don't need to say much about Mike Smith's play this year but if there was a goalie to be had, Brian Murray made anyone looking for a prospect look bad with his trade for Bishop (who has widely been suspected to be the best player outside the NHL).  Especially when everyone knew Roloson was finished in the NHL. 

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:37 pm

Lightning G Garon out 3-4 weeks with torn groin

Lousy for Garon and TB...but GREAT for the Jets!  Roloson looks like a fish floundering out of water when he came in to replace Garon - he was flopping all over the place and he had a warm red glow to

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