The New York Rangers are 7-1-2 since Cam Talbot took over as starter in place of injured Henrik Lundqvist. Talbot’s record is solid, but the whole experience hasn’t been a cake walk. Now we examine if Talbot’s performance puts him in a position to be considered a number one goalie.
When Lundqvist first went down Cam Talbot spoke about his opportunity to Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post “I just look at it as an opportunity for me to go in there and prove I can shoulder the load” Talbot also said, “I haven’t really been able to play that many games where maybe I can go out there and a team would even look at me as a starter,”. It was clear when Talbot only signed a one- year contract extension with the Rangers in late December for 1.45 million, that the net-minder planed on a future beyond being a backup.
On the season Cam Talbot has posted a .914 Save Percentage a 2.46 Goals Against Average and 4 shutouts in 21 game played, which are respectable numbers in the NHL. The recent test for Talbot has been how he plays when he has to be “the guy” for the Rangers on a nightly basis. In 6 of Talbot’s 10 starts he has registered a save percentage under 900. and has faced over 30 shots in just 5 of those contests. Talbot has shown flashes of being the starter he craves to be, but has also had some really poor moments.
Most of Talbot’s problems seem to stem from him getting caught deep in his net.
Below are some of the goals that Talbot should have had during his stretch,
Two of them are long distance shots that should almost always be gobbled up, and the Tavares one is more of a brain fart than anything else. Talbot has had other instances where he gave the puck away when handling it, but he wasn’t burned. If your a GM watching Talbot, you are concerned with some of those goals, because in the NHL, it is very hard to overcome your goalie giving up an easy one.
That being said the same GM would be left scratching his head when he saw just how many times Talbot bailed out shoddy Rangers defense on plays like this.
Here are a few teams where Talbot could stand as the go to goalie.
Ben Scrivens- 42 Games Played, .897 Save Percentage, 2.94 Goals against Average, 1 shutout, and 12 Wins.
Mike Smith- 44 Games Played, .895 Save Percentage, 3.27 Goals Against Average, No Shutouts, and 10 Wins.
Kari Lehtonen- 50 Games Played, .906 Save Percentage, 2.96 Goals Against Average, 4 Shutouts, and 25 Wins
I think Talbot could start in this league. He comes up with tons of big saves, handles the puck well, and is excellent at shaking off bad goals. Every goalie in the league gives up goals that they would like back. What separates the good goalies from the bad ones is the ability to keep a cool head and maintain confidence. For example in that Islanders game, Talbot gave up 2 goals to start the game, one was awful. He regroups and makes a huge save on a Casey Cizikas breakaway, and the Rangers score shortly after that. Also keep in mind that this is the first time Cam Talbot has ever been the go to guy at the NHL level so the mental aspect of the game can be wearing on him. If not for Talbot’s play the Rangers would be fighting for a wild card spot, not first in the metropolitan division.
You can follow me on Twitter @StevenLoffredo
I graduated from Brooklyn College with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. Shortly after, I began writing for the Full Tilt Hockey Network, where I still contribute, covering a broad range of topics across the NHL.
I have been contributing to The Hockey Writers since February of this year focusing on the New York Rangers. My articles tend to focus on analysis of players, and possible directions that the organization could go.