|2008 - Mathieu Garon||4||206||2||1||0||0||10||2.91||94||84||.894||0|
For some of you who joined PensBurgh during the Stanley Cup Finals, you may only know Mathieu Garon as the mystery man who was put in net during Game 5 against the Detroit Red Wings. While being a back-up goalie to the likes of Marc-Andre Fleury can limit playing time, it's vital to have a quality netminder waiting in the wings to give your work horse a breather. The Pittsburgh Penguins used two other goalies who aren't named Fleury in their Stanley Cup season of 2008/09.
John Curry, an undrafted free agent signed by the Penguins in 2007, played three games for the Penguins, posting a 2-1-0 record with a .913 SV%. Curry, for the majority of his Penguins career, has been in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with the Baby Pens of the AHL. In the past two years in the AHL, he's played 90 games, posted a record of 57-27-4, had seven shutouts, and has held a consistent SV% of .915 and .916 over the last two seasons.
The man who filled in for Fleury the most in the 2008/09 season was Dany Sabourin, who went 10-9-1 with a .904 SV% in 24 games played. However, Sabourin, along with AHL forward Ryan Stone, were traded for goaltender Mathieu Garon of the Edmonton Oliers mid-January.
Garon, a native of Quebec, was rarely used with the Pens in his stint with the team, only four games (five if you include the appearance in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals). While this doesn't give you much to depict him as a Penguin, he is a veteran of the NHL. He has played 204 games in his career with the Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oliers, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Plus, Mathieu Garon is still fresh from a great 2007/08 campaign where he played 47 games, went 26-18-1 for the Oilers, and posted a .913 SV%.
While you can ponder giving the reigns to our up and coming Curry, you can never underestimate how valuable it is having an experienced back up to use when you need to rest, and/or bench a starter. Fleury is our guy, but he can't play them all. It's up to Ray Shero to figure out how to handle the back up role, and, if it were me, I think experience is a valuable commodity to have, and one the Penguins should consider in the offseason. Whether that be Mathieu Garon or not, is yet to be decided.