Hundreds of times during the 2016-17 NHL season, Cam Talbot saved the Oilers and kept the team in the game. As a reward, he gets to do it again, this time without one of the team’s best veteran defensemen. Edmonton is in the window of opportunity to win Stanley and that means a lot of pressure on the goaltender. Cam Talbot has met every challenge he’s seen, how far can he take this team in 2017-18? (Times Like These).
CAM TALBOT 16-17: 73GP, 2.39 .919
CAM TALBOT RE 17-18: 64GP, 2.42 .920
- You have him running in place! Well a slight increase in save percentage, and I also project he’ll face more shots.
- How many? He faced about 29.6 shots in 2016-17 (using hockey-reference) per 60 minutes, I have him seeing 30.1 this coming season.
- Why? Sekera’s absence, Oilers spending more time ahead in games, that kind of thing. I have the team getting more shots on goal too, so it’s not all bad.
- You also have him playing less. Yes. I do think the Oilers will have a legit backup by season’s end, and Talbot will see more rest during the year. Nothing major, three games a month projected to the backup goalie.
- Will Todd McLellan risk it? I think the Oilers learned a lot about their team last season and Talbot held up very well. That said, you’d like him to be fresh for what might be a long playoff run in the spring. If he plays 64 games during the regular year, that still represents a significant work load.
- Can we do a quick review on his 16-17 season? Sure. His .919 SP was well above average (average was .910), that .919 total saw finish him No. 10 overall among NHL starters, who I define as having started 35 or more games. Even strength SP was .927, tied for No. 10 overall. Led the league in wins (42). Power play SP, tied for No. 14, .877, and he was near the top for much of the season.
- What about playoffs? He was No. 8 (.924) overall among starters (five or more games), No. 12 in even-strength SP (.923), No. 3 in power-play SP (.926).
- Why didn’t he receive Vezina consideration? He finished fourth, that’s clearly a reflection that his performance was noticed around the NHL. Source
- How important is he to the team? You’re kidding, right? Massive.
- Can we begin to talk about your RE numbers? I think Monday is better, I’ll finish things up Sunday night and then present everything on Monday.
- Is Talbot the best trade Chiarelli’s made? Yes, a thousand times yes. Also important to get him signed, which the Oilers were able to manage.
- Do people give Chiarelli credit? I give him a great deal of credit for it. A helluva get. There’s a vocal group (I would like to call them the Drifters, but loved the Drifters) who say the deal was preordained. Neat trick, the Reinhart deal was Chiarelli’s, the Talbot deal was MacT’s, I’m not buying. We credit and blame the man sitting in the chair at the time. Getting Talbot was a very good trade for Edmonton.
- What about the next contract? There will be a little more room to wheel summer 2019 when Talbot’s contract expires.
- Is he the best goalie in the Pacific Division? All three California teams had better goals-against totals, but John Gibson’s future is the only one I’d take over Talbot. I’m biased, however.
- How many years has he been playing at what we might call peak level? He has four NHL seasons on his resume, all look like quality. Cam Talbot came from a long way back but he’s a bona fide No. 1 goaltender.
- How many years does he have left at this level? Great question. Three? Four? I think he’ll get one more big contract, and he’ll be in the NHL for the rest of this decade and beyond.
- Can the Oilers win the Stanley Cup with Cam Talbot as the starter? Yes. Of course. That’s the plan.
- Why this song? The day he arrived it was a brand new sky. Helluva goalie.
- Are you going to mention his new mask? Awesome. Source.
- If the Oilers win Stanley, does Talbot get the Smythe? He has a real chance.