Cam Talbot will want a starting opportunity if he keeps up his form. (Scott Levy, Getty Images)
The dilemma is always there: A franchise always wants to have strong goaltending and a strong, reliable back-up, but the threat of losing such a commodity to a club dangling a starting gig is constant. Cam Talbot may be approaching this kind of situation in his near future and the Rangers need to be ready to deal with it.
The Rangers have been lucky in recent times with backup goaltending thanks to Marty Biron and now – in spectacular style – Cam Talbot. With Talbot’s play – leading the league in save percentage and goals against average – Talbot will surely be an enticing prospect for several clubs this summer (the likes of Washington, Islanders, Calgary and perhaps even teams such as Winnipeg). Henrik Lundqvist’s backup still has a year left on his modest contract and with his performances, appealing size and (likely) desire not to remain a back-up long term, he’ll surely be open to offers.
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This was literally the only picture I could find of Henrik handling a puck. I think this was ’06.
The request for this post came from reader Max Steuer. Keep those suggestions coming! If you have a post idea you’d like one of us to run with, make sure to reach out to your desired author via email or twitter.
Throughout Henrik Lundqvist’s stellar career to date, one of the common detractions from his game has always been his inability to play the puck effectively. The past couple years have highlighted this weakness in his game, as Marty Biron, and now, Cam Talbot have been effective and capable puck handlers. This skill has been somewhat anecdotal (though, I have always included it in my style analyses) throughout the evolution of goalie development.
It’s nearly impossible to quantify in any meaningful way, and was always viewed as a bonus when a goaltender was blessed with strong stick skills. After a quick Google search for the purposes of researching this post, this was all but confirmed. Many instructors and YouTube aficionados have drills and technique suggestions and the like, but no one out there seems to have a handle on how to quantify it.
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United in brutal paint jobs.
So far, the crew here at BSB has covered the GM, Coach, defense and bottom six forwards in our mid-season grades series. Today, we touch on something of a sore subject: the goaltending. Even though Marty Biron played in several regular season games, he immediately retired and gave way to Cam Talbot. For this reason, I’m not going to grade Marty. However, he would get a solid A- for his broadcasting prowess.
Much digital ink has been spilled in this space concerning the play of our now $59.5 million goaltender. In contrast to the rest of his career, this season has been marred by inconsistency and erratic play. All the speculation about his contract situation/future only compounded the problem, and was worsened by the eventual windfall he did receive.
From a statistical standpoint, the first half of the season hasn’t been a complete disaster. Hank is currently sporting a 2.70 GAA and a .908 Save %. As most of our loyal readers can attest, I am not a big fan of either of these statistical measures as accurate indicators of goaltending ability, but until a truly reliable advanced metric is developed, it’s all we got. Read more »
Scott Levy/Getty Images
Now that all the hemming and hawing over Henrik Lundqvist’s contract situation has been completed, Cam Talbot’s future has been an oft-discussed topic. Whatever you may think about the specific details of the contract, Hank is going to be manning the pipes at the Garden until 2020-2021.
This brings us back to Talbot. His emergence this season as a viable NHL goaltender have prompted quite a few fans to jump to conclusions about his long-term future in the Rangers organization and his potential trade value and contract status. Just to get the facts out of the way, Talbot is under contract for this season and next at a very reasonable $562,000 cap hit. As Dave pointed out in his fantastic analysis of Hank’s contract, the discount between Marty Biron’s salary and Talbot’s hedge quite a bit of the raise that Hank received in the context of overall goaltending cost.
After next season, because of his age, Talbot will be eligible for Unrestricted Free Agency. Generally speaking, when a player makes his NHL debut, there are usually several cost controlled years at the team’s disposal, either through the ELC or RFA status. Because goalies are more often than not, late bloomers, the Rangers don’t have this luxury with Talbot. Read more »
Scott Levy, Getty Images
If you read some of the papers this morning, then there is quite a bit going on about a goalie controversy here in New York. It was solidified even more when coach Alain Vigneault announced that Cam Talbot is the starter for tonight’s game against Winnipeg.
Talbot has been phenomenal in his first seven starts, and could push himself into the Calder conversation if his play continues. (That’s just a bad mistake on my part. Talbot is not eligible for the Calder, he is too old). Henrik Lundqvist is still an All-World goaltender, but he appears to be mortal this season. AV also noted that Hank is still the team’s #1 goaltender.
But let’s entertain this for a moment. Hank is struggling –somewhat– but his play recently has been more on par with what we’ve expected. Over his career Hank is a .920 SV% guy, and is currently at .917 SV%. That includes the San Jose and Anaheim games. Statistically he is on par with last season. So what’s the issue?
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Len Redkoles/Getty Images
The request for this post came from reader Michael Noltemeyer. Thanks for reading Michael, and feel free to submit requests for posts on specific topics or questions for a mailbag at the author addresses on the right margin.
A couple years ago, I broke down the specific goaltending styles of both Henrik Lundqvist and Marty Biron. There wasn’t really much of a need for an update to this series, since the goaltending situation remained relatively stable. Now, with the retirement of “our Marty” and the emergence of rookie backup Cam Talbot, it’s time to break down the young man’s game.
During the pre-season, I wrote a piece introducing us to the player, his background and the main features of his game. Much has changed since then, however, so let’s get into it with some more detail. The previous format will still apply: analyzing the five categories of Stance, Crease movement/depth, Equipment, Puck-handling ability and Exploitable weaknesses. Here we go… Read more »
Photo credit: Getty Images
Well, now that the Rangers roster looks more like an AHL club, tonight’s game is a sure fire win, no?
This is a quick Musings, and a pretty negative one generally. Buckle down folks. Here’s hoping better news arrives tonight!
Cam Talbot. How he deals with the expectancy and pressure tonight will be very telling to his potential. He doesn’t have the safety blanket of a guy like Lundqvist to lean on. He has to play well. There is no NHL experience in net tonight. That’s perhaps a huge slice of unnecessary pressure on his shoulders.
When was the last time an NHL club started a game with both netminders dressed having zero NHL experience?
Ryan Callahan aside, three of the four other presumptive top forwards for the Rangers – Nash, Stepan, Brassard – are all goal-less as we head toward November.
Seven games in to the season and only seven players have more than one point for the Rangers heading in to tonight. That my friends, is abysmal production.
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Update 6:15pm: Per Steve Zipay, the Rangers have recalled forwards Brandon Mashinter and Chris Kreider.
Original Post: The Rangers have returned forward Darroll Powe and goaltender Jason Missiaen to the Hartford Wolfpack. Missaen served as Henrik Lundqvist’s backup in last night’s loss to New Jersey, and Powe was a -2 in 8:30 of ice time.
Cam Talbot has been recalled to serve as Hank’s backup for the time being.
The injury bug continues to haunt the Rangers, as the club has announced that Ryan Callahan is out 3-4 weeks with a broken thumb. This is certainly terrible news for a team that appeared to be finding its groove under AV. It is assumed Cally will be placed on LTIR. Darroll Powe has been recalled from Hartford to take Cally’s spot on the roster.
Goaltender Jason Missiaen has also been recalled, and Cam Talbot has been returned to the AHL. The goaltender swap is likely to get Talbot some AHL work, as Hartford has games coming up.
As for Powe, it’s interesting that he was recalled, and it does speak to his play and the play of others in Hartford. Powe will likely slide into a fourth line role, which means J.T. Miller should get top-nine minutes.
In the worst kept secret of the 2013-2014 season so far, the Rangers have officially called up goalie Cam Talbot and forward J.T. Miller (per the AHL Transaction Log). This was originally revealed by Melissa of Black & Blueshirts, as she attended a Hartford Wolfpack meet and greet in which only Talbot and Miller were absent.
The moves were expected, although some may find it interesting that the Rangers only called up one forward.
It looks like they will roll 11 forwards and 7 defensemen for the time being. (I don’t know how to count).
A pair of roster spots opened when the Rangers waived Martin Biron and Arron Asham yesterday.