Rangers' Talbot Proving He Belongs in the NHL With Strong Play in Net
This particular back-up masked man does not need to be perfect but as long as he makes the big saves when his team needs to, the team will be in a good position to win a hockey game. In reality, this is really all you can ask of your back-up goaltender.
Currently, the New York Rangers are getting everything mentioned above and more from their rookie back-up Cam Talbot. With his first career shutout tonight, a 1-0 blanking over the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal, Talbot has gotten better and better in each game he has played this season.
In the five games Talbot has started, he has put up great numbers, has been a steady presence between the pipes and has shown the organization that he can be relied on to provide a ton of support to Henrik Lundqvist. There are not many rookie goaltenders who can do this on a consistent basis when first starting out but so far, Talbot is proving that theory wrong.
For a rookie goaltender, Talbot's numbers are quite impressive. Going into tonight's game, Talbot was 3-1 with a 1.97 goals against average and a .933 save percentage.
If you add in tonight's numbers, which includes 22 saves and a shutout, Talbot's numbers are even better. Talbot's stats show that he does a good job of keeping the goals against down, that he stops a good percentage of the shots he faces and more importantly, he wins when he is in the net for his hockey club.
Secondly, for someone who is rookie, Talbot has played like a veteran when in the net for his team this season. He looks calm, keeps his game simple, stops the shots he is supposed to, controls his rebounds and when his team makes a mistake in front of him, he is there to bail them out.
Again, this is really all you can ask out of a rookie goaltender in his first few games in the NHL. As a head coach, you want your netminder to keep things simple and play the game that he got him to the show and right now, Talbot is doing just that.
Lastly, the way Talbot has played has probably shown both team head coach Alain Vigneault and the rest of the organization that they can afford to rest Lundqvist every now and then. Yes, Lundqvist can play a lot of games and yes, Lundqvist wants to play in every game but, that just cannot happen in this league nowadays.
With a grueling schedule and the risk of injuring your team's best player, the team can now turn to Talbot to get the job done between the pipes without there being much off a drop-off in play in the crease. For Vigneault, this is an absolute luxury that not many teams have in this league.
With Talbot continuing to get into more games and playing well each night he gets in between the pipes, the Rangers and their fans can go into each game knowing that whether they have Lundqvist or Talbot in the net, they will get the goaltending that is needed to win in this league.