Coming into the season, the one thing no one was focusing on was the Rangers goaltending situation. Perennial Vezena Trophy candidate Henrik Lundqvist was the obvious starter with Marty Biron as his veteran back-up.
But then training camp began with an unexpected invite to Johan Hedberg and Biron surprisingly missing the first few days of camp due to an unspecified reason.
Once Biron returned to camp, Alain Vigneault indicated that it was an open competition for the backup position between the incumbent, the Moose and the darkhorse Cam Talbot.
Throughout the remainder of camp you'd hear little notes and quotes about the improved play of Talbot and once the Rangers cut Hedberg loose before heading to Banff to continue training camp it was a two-man race.
Biron ultimately won the competition, but his shaky play last season combined with some dreadful displays of goaltending in San Jose and St. Louis this year gave the Rangers no choice but to cut the veteran.
Would the Rangers go outside the organization for a new backup? Or stay in house? In my mind, Talbot's strong play during the preseason along with a 4-0-1 record to start the year with the Wolfpack made the decision for Rangers management easy.
And since his call-up, he's done nothing but impress with his calm demeanor and ability to make the big save when needed.
His mechanics are very strong. Not a lot of flopping around and always square to the shooter.
Here's one of his beauties during last night's 3-2 overtime win over the Red Wings on Datsyuk...
Here's Alain Vigneault on his back-up goaltender's 32-save performance in Detroit last night...
“Without a doubt, he’s played extremely well in both games he’s done what a goaltender is supposed to do, give you a chance to win. When we had a breakdown you need a save and he made some saves tonight.”
Here's Talbot post game...
“It’s just been an unbelievable ride, I’m still kind of taking it in. I know whenever Hank’s healthy he’s going to step right back in. I’m just trying to enjoy it while it lasts and give these guys a chance to win whenever I’m in there.”
...welp, looks like the Rangers have found their back-up. There were plenty of times in that game when the Red Wings could have ran away with it but Talbot was up to the task every time. I hate to crap on the guy, but no way the Rangers win that game with Biron in net. Sorry, but it's true.
...and with those back-to-back strong performances from Talbot, I hope the Rangers decide to keep Lundqvist on the shelf until he's 100%. Talbot has proven to be a capable replacement and there's absolutely no need for the Rangers to force Lundqvist back and possibly re-injure himself.
...and if Lundqvist is the "King" it must make Talbot his "Prince."
Here's Talbot, complete with Broadway Hat, post game...
right but you have to remember his not under contract so unless his willing to sign with the team his traded to there is no reason for them to give up a ton. that's why I only mentioned what I did, beside what is really ever enough for him? lastly, I know he will never be traded nor do I really want him to be. I just hope that they do start a winning streak and to do that when your losing you need to make big changes.
For the #1 goalie in the NHL, top 6 forward plus all the scraps u mentioned is not enough- personally, if I had no choice but to trade Hank, I would call the Ducks, ask for Perry, the 2 kids from Senators that came for Bobby Ryan, 2 first round picks and a goalie... Or the Avs for couple of the young kids they have... No way in hell would I trade him to East but being the way the teams trading pattern has been, hmmm Bluejackets? lol
before he was traded I would of said trade hank, mdz and pyatt to the sabres for miller vanek and a pick but that's off the table now. if its just hank your giving up you can expect a top 6 forward a goalie (maybe a minor league one), 2 minor league players or 1 minor league player and 2 or 3 picks
Sal- every point counts, and the team has been in contention especially the year before- the window is closing and the team needs to win now
if the rangers don't trade hank this season his going to walk away from the team. it has never been more clear. they don't know how to keep a superstar in this city at least when I comes to hockey. remember how they didn't resign jagr, messier and leetch. on another point how do you let your best player get hurt and then keep playing, his a goalie not a forward or d-man he has no stop action in front of him. you cant risk losing that play for a longer period of time.
Something I remember from the Red Wings game, his point blank save on Johan Franzen in the third. When he saved that, I knew the Red Wings lost. That's one of those game saving saves that people say "remember that one". And honestly, the way his season was going, I say Hank would've let that one in. That's the thing he hasn't been doing, making those saves to stop the bleeding, or to calm down the momentum of the other team. Obvi Talbot is no Hank, but I'm loving this kid so far.
hit the brakes people, ALOT of pucks hit him by accident and the flyers hit 2 posts. And there is not much pressure on a 3-6 hockey team. hes calm cool and collected but lets see a little bit more
Really enjoying watching Talbots play so far. He's the goalie prospect we didn't know we had! Definitely good to know we've got a backup who can play those 20 games we were nervous about Biron starting.
Beggars can't be choosers, but I only wish he were a few years younger, so he could develop into our starter as Hank reaches the end of his career 4-6 years from now (assuming they both resign) Not to say he can't, he's only 26, but he's a free agent after next season, and if he keeps playing like this, someone will give him money to be a starter a lot sooner than he would be here.
Time to think about looking to trade the King when he's healthy or else sign him and he will clog the cap for the next 8 cup less years
well said KD, a few pucks hit him by accident but he was composed and always in position. Now hes learning from hank and best goalie coach in the league. I know its early but if this kid shows some upside can you say trade bait? a goalie, a del zaster and a draft pick sounds like a nice cheap package for a another team.
Hank is probably playing monday... home opener, I dont think he will miss it, but Prince Cam probably goes tuesday on the Island in a HUGE game
Disagree- as the Rangers are close to contending for the cup right now, the team needs a veteran goalie (ex Penguins last season)
I agree 100 % we need Hank at his best and rested . No sense in having him fight thru a nagging injury thru the season . Give Cam The throne and ride the hot goalie .
@DubiLeetch True - however if your positioning is good a lot of pucks will hit you "by accident"
@johnnyb3910 He looked good in his 2 starts - very poised, confident with solid positioning but as far as being a starter, or even having a big league career in the future is still unclear. We have to wait until he has a bad game or a slump to see how he responds. I've seen young goalies lose their confidence and their careers went south. Mental toughness is hard to judge until someone faces true adversity
@DubiLeetch ?? why would you even consider trading this kid, he has way too much potential upside. DZ yes trade him hes been given chance after chance.
@_Jack Prince Cam
@NYR44 TRADE EVERYONE ! @DubiLeetch its simple...hank or talbot? exactly. he has less value to us and more to other teams after we resign hank.who cares who backs up hank? hes the best in the game. this kid is 26, we wont struggle to find someone to play 12-15 games a year. biron was a decent back up for us as will anyone else with solid D in front of them.