As the offseason drags on, the NHL Network has started a countdown of the top 10 goaltenders in the NHL. And Edmonton Oilers starter Cam Talbot is one of them.
"Carey Price, MontrealBraden Holtby, WashingtonSergei Bobrovsky, ColumbusMatt Murray, PittsburghDevan Dubnyk, MinnesotaJonathan Quick, Los AngelesCam Talbot, EdmontonHenrik Lundqvist, New YorkMartin Jones, San JosePekka Rinne, Nashville"
As the Oilers continue their rebuild and transformation into a winning team, they are catching the eyes of the entire league. A lot of that change, as well as their continued climb back up the standings, can be attributed to Talbot and the weight he has pulled in net.
Out of all the goaltenders in the NHL this past season, the 29-year-old carried the highest work load. Talbot started a league-leading 73 games this season, going 42-22-8 and posting a remarkable 2.39 GAA and .919 save percentage. He tied Braden Holtby for the NHL lead in wins, and his save percentage and GAA ranked in the league’s top 20.
Talbot’s play didn’t dip in the postseason; he faced the fifth-most shots out of all playoff goaltenders, and his .924 save mark was the ninth-best record in the postseason.
Thanks to an impressive year, Talbot finished fourth in Vezina voting and appeared on everyone’s radar as a goaltender to watch moving forward.
Talbot’s Continued Growth and Impact
Coming into this season, the Oilers are hoping that their continued growth and newfound depth will help them not only remain top Pacific Division Contenders but will lead them closer to a Stanley Cup. And with Talbot, the Oilers can reach that goal.
It is absolutely appropriate to rank Talbot in the top 10 heading into next season. He has incredible stamina and is quick between the pipes, and he is confident and calm in net. His cool collectiveness also helps him remain poised, and he is smart and able to read plays down the ice. Not only that, he is only going to get better.
The only areas where he will have to improve in is handling soft shots. He will let shots that he could have definitely saved easily get by, and that is one of his major flaws. However, with his budding confidence, he will definitely learn to overcome this. Talbot could also stand to show more consistency on a game-to-game basis, but thankfully for Edmonton, he has been getting better and is on a hot streak most of the time.