Garon Keeping Jackets in Stead
Never once has Mathieu Garon complained about wearing the ballcap on the bench.
He has never contemplated causing a "goaltending controversy" with his netminding companion Steve Mason. Every day, he comes to work and prepares to the best of his ability. Helping the team win is his top priority.
The Blue Jackets coaching staff, management and his fellow players have not let that go unnoticed. Garon is one of the most respected players on the team and it's not only because of his play—he's also a quality person.
With Mason going through a rough stretch in his season, head coach Scott Arniel decided to give Garon some more time between the pipes.
Many coaches might exhibit reservation when calling upon the goalie that hasn't played as many games, but the man they call "Matty" is an exception.
Arniel has said throughout the season that Garon "gives us chance to win every night." The numbers don't lie: after a 3-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Nationwide Arena, Garon improved his home-ice record to 10-2-4 with a 2.05 goals-against average.
Simply put: he has been fantastic since joining the Blue Jackets.
The Flames caught their second wind in the third period and Garon was there. Jarome Iginla played nearly 25 minutes (and seemingly the entire final period) and tried to will his team back into the game.
"When it got late (in the game) and we were sitting on our lead a little bit, he was certainly strong," Arniel said.
"He gave us an opportunity to win the game."
In a game that the Blue Jackets wanted badly to win and re-build momentum, Garon was on-point. He made 29 stops on the evening and was the elixir during times of elevated stress.
"Guys worked really hard in front of me, took care of rebounds and blocked a lot of shots," Garon said. "We took care of the little things."
He has been the steady hand all season—but in his mind, he's just doing his part.
"I'm feeling good right now," Garon said. "But the way we're playing makes the goalie look good."