Talbotís play giving Rangers confidence
With that said, when a backup is thrust into playing, he needs to show that there is no drop off in goal and that just like Lundqvist, he can help his team be competitive and give them the best opportunity to win a hockey game. In two games, Rangers’ rookie goaltender Cam Talbot has shown that and more.
With Lundqvist day-to-day with an unspecified injury, Talbot has already played two games and done well in both. The 26-year-old goaltender is 1-1 with a 1.94 goals against average and a .934 save percentage.
This is more than just Talbot’s statistics as the numbers do not explain just what kind of solid goaltending Talbot has given the Blueshirts in his two games. For starters, the numbers do not show how confident Talbot looks between the pipes.
If you are going to be an NHL masked man, you must have and play with all the confidence in the world. In his two NHL games, Talbot has done that by challenging shooters, making the big save when the team needs it and by not getting rattled when he allows a goal.
To be an NHL goaltender these days, one must be able to simply his game. When watching Talbot, one will notice that he is not flashy, that he stays in position, that he does not overreact to shots and that he lets the play come to him.
With a win under his belt and two games in which he gave his team every opportunity to win, Talbot has more than likely gained the confidence of his team and their coaching staff. This was especially the case in his team’s 3-2 overtime victory last night over the Detroit Red Wings.
Going into yesterday’s tilt at the Joe Luis Arena, the Rangers had not won a game in Detroit since January of 1999 (Mike Richter was in goal). Not only that, but they were facing a team with the likes of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson, Johan Franzen and other talents.
Talbot did not crumble under pressure and instead, stopped 32 of 34 shots. He matched Red Wings’ star netminder Jimmy Howard save for save and was there when his team needed a big stop.
While there is no doubt that Lundqvist is the main man between the pipes for the Rangers, Talbot has already shown enough that he deserves more playing time. Talbot is playing with confidence, has the trust of his teammates and has given his hockey club a chance to win in both of the games he started.
For a Rangers’ hockey team that is 3-6 to start the season, Talbot’s play has given them the confidence to start righting the ship and get back on track.