(photo via oilers.nhl.com)
Cam Talbot has been a rock for the Edmonton Oilers since the calendar flipped to 2016. It’s refreshing for Oilers fans to not have their goaltending collapse every second game.
When Talbot was brought in this summer he was fresh off two very solid seasons backing up King Henrik in New York. His statlines in both those seasons were those of a number one goalie (except the games played):
Two really good years but yet when the Oilers acquired him there were questions being thrown around about how he could potentially adapt to a much weaker Oilers defense.
While the case for that is very valid, going from McDonagh/Staal/Girardi to Sekera/Klefbom/Schultz. But when looking more in depth at the chances the two teams (14/15 Rangers and 15/16 Oilers) gave up at 5v5, the gap isn’t very big at all.
|Team (NHL Rank)||Shots Against/60||Corsi Against /60||CF%|
|2014/2015 Rangers||29.6 (22nd)||55.6 (20th)||49.5% (20th)|
|2015/2016 Oilers||30.4 (24th)||56.7 (24th)||48.9 (18th)|
As you can see, the actual amount of shots and shot attempts they gave up were very close. But that wasn’t the problem being brought up, the quality of the chances given up was supposed to be a problem for the 28 year old goalie. The numbers don’t necessarily back up that stat either.
|Team||High Danger Scoring Chances Against (% of Total)||High Danger Scoring Chances Against Per 60 min|
The first column lets us know that out of the high danger scoring chances going both ways. The 14/15 Rangers allowed essentially half. The 15/16 Oilers weren’t far off, allowing about 53% of the high danger chances. The next column shows that the Oilers gave up about one more high danger chance per game. That’s a number that concerns me a little bit, but one thing I’ve learned about Talbot is that once he starts heating up in a game, he keeps on getting better.
With all that said and being able to now watch Cam Talbot for almost a full season it’s clear that he can backup his numbers.
Over the past while he’s been keeping the Oilers in almost every game he’s been in. And what’s impressed me the most isn’t the numbers he’s been putting up. It’s been just how rock solid he’s been. There has been no need for him to make ridiculous sprawling saves, he’s simply been in great positioning.
The play we’ve seen from Talbot shows every sign of being sustainable and if we compare those to the numbers from New York. It’s clear that Cam Talbot has come exactly as advertised.
*numbers via http://war-on-ice.com/ and http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/