talbot capture 11

In his first two games as an Edmonton Oilers goalie, Cam Talbot was outstanding. In his first five games, he had a .920 save percentage (127/138) but since that time he is .867 (156/180). These are small samples and a two-week run of ugly doesn’t make a season. The key for Talbot? Make an impression when the next opportunity arrives. Next stop: Detroit.


Talbot hasn’t looked like the same player since the early days and coach Todd McLellan eventually moved Anders Nilsson to the starter’s role. Although Nilsson has performed well (Oilers fans well remember the adventures of Jason LaBarbera and Viktor Fasth in recent fall showings) but Edmonton spent dearly to acquire Talbot and he may well be the long-term answer (despite appearances). Only one way to find out: Play the man.

These are important games for Talbot because Peter Chiarelli is unlikely to go past the trade deadline without some idea about how the former Ranger fits into the future—or doesn’t fit into the future in Edmonton. I’m pretty certain the following view, from Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey, reflects what much of the hockey world thinks at this time:

They need a netminder who can become a leader. They need someone who can
steal some games. They need a goalie who can offset the miscues of a
rebuilding defense corps. In short, they need someone who will give them
a chance to win. And until that goalie is found, the Oilers will remain
outside the playoff picture. Source

A lot of comments here at ON and on my blog talk about a veteran goaltender who can push Talbot or Nilsson or even Laurent Brossoit. I’m of a mind that an inexpensive option is the better plan, and that spending big money on a Jonas Hiller is going to restrict the number of difference makers on the blue and at forward.

Edmonton has been looking for a goalie they could count on since Craig MacTavish said ‘if you have to ask the question’ and that’s a rather long time. I’m betting on Cam Talbot, he could solve a lot of problems by going on a good run in the net. How about you?

  • Al Theeathoone

    Calgary’s late goal destroyed his confidence, a WHL caliber goalie coach has been ‘working with him.’ Same WHL goalie coach who worked with Scrivens. Nuff said.

  • Travis Dakin

    I’d like them to learn from past mistakes and stop spending assets on goalies until they get the defense fixed. Eventually they’ll start to figure out why all these goalies with great SV% keep coming to town and turning to mush.

    Carey Price would look bad if he was playing for the Oilers.

    • Oilfaninvan

      The goalie’s on any team must be as accountable for poor play as anyone else in the jersey. But what you say hear is likely true. Shotty team defense coupled with less than mediocre blue lines are simply going to lose. Provide as much offense as you want but any man who’s ever designed a cup contenter understands that it’s the defensive play of your team that will win championships.

      Watch the old Oilers classic games against Philly and the Islanders and you see an offensive team that battlet their guts out defensively. If we have 8-12 forwards that get this mentality perhaps it’s possible to go somewhere without Keith or Doughty. Otherwise you better have those upper crust defenders playing big minutes.

    • Oilersman

      I am not a believer that our defense is that bad. I watch a lot of non Oiler games (I can watch without emotion) and at times all defensemen look bad.

      A number 1 goalie would do a lot for the defense.

      How many times have we seen Hall, Drei, Nuge, etc make the opposition defense look bad with the goalie making a fantastic save. The 2 on 1 with Gryba and Hall and the Crawford save on Hall in overtime come to mind.

      The goof ups by the defense don’t shake up the confidence of the team when a great save is made.

      We need a number 1 goalie, then the defense will play with more confidence and they will improve as well.

  • Travis Dakin

    I swear this is the exact same article form last year. Just the name has been changed from Scrivens to Talbot. Here’s an idea. GET SOME G0D DAMM DEFENSE!!!!!!! Take Hall, Eberle, Hopkins put the names in a hat. Draw one out and trade for a D man. No more of this Bull Sh;t. This team has literally gone through change after change and the D never changes. “But we have have Nurse and Klefbom”. You’ll say. How bout we start living in the NOW! No more could be’s. This pisses me off to no end. “But team defense”. No! At no point did we scout a guy like Hall for his play away from the puck. If we had to base his game on everything but his skill with the puck, you’d be hard pressed to see him in the NHL. You have this unbelievable talen. You need to compensate. If your going to ask a forward like Hall to make it back into position after he turns it over your dreaming. This team needs a solid no BS D man. To make up for the gaps in the forwards game. That’s how teams are built. Filling gaps. Im sorry even if you have justin schultz by some miracle turn into eric karlson, your just piling on more what we already have. It’s scary to think how many points Hall would have if he had D that could move the puck out.

    • Maverick

      I don’t know why everyone thinks one more star will make the team better and fix it’s problems. Every time someone is added, people hail him as a saviour and then dump on him when he doesn’t win games by himself. Listen, this team can’t execute a breakout for the life of them. Forwards can’t generate offense without being fed the puck, and defense can’t defend on their own without hitting, backchecking forwards who play positional hockey.
      You can’t trade for a piece and think it’s the answer, whether it’s a ‘tender, d-man or 1st overall pick. The team needs role players and stars and people to play their roles. Then it takes chemistry to make the whole thing gel. Trading Nuge, Schultz or Talbot is a stupid idea put forth by people who don’t understand hockey. I get the frustration with the endless rebuild, but seriously.

  • Oilersman

    Just get our two backups to play some games. I was hoping that they could just hold the fort until our young pedigree in Bakersfield was ready to handle the reigns. Really thinking that they should test LB soon. Not just one game but at least a handful. Lots of young guys on the team I know, but come on, we are going no where as it is. Get the kid in the net so he can see what next year will bring and if he sees what he needs to work on. Maybe he doesn’t need to work on anything other than experience.

  • D

    This defence corps, the lack of consistent backcheck by the fowaeds and almost non-existant puck support could erode the confidence of any goal keeper. Talbot has shown he can carry the day when he has a decent NHL defence in front of him. Responsible forwards who come all the way back wouldn’t hurt. Lazy forwards who cheat for offence need to clean up their act. Right Jordan?

  • Oilersman

    Give me twenty games without five novice goals going in and that would do a world of good for the confidence of the whole team. That goal in Calgary was awful. Get a save percentage at league average and we have a shot at the playoffs….

    • Lowetide

      No, he won’t have to clear waivers until fall 2017 unless he plays pretty much every game this year. I think that’s it, anyway. He’d have to play the final 59 games.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I swear, when LT talks, all I hear is ‘these aren’t the droids you’re looking for’. Who cares which career back-up gets a push? The pressing question is how will the oil fill the new rink with the economy in the dumper and a last place team going through the motions.

    • Lowetide

      I’ve finally reached my goal!!!! I’d like to thank the academy….. 🙂

      As for Mr. Katz, he may well have a hard time filling the arena someday, but it won’t be next season. The novelty of a brand new state of the art facility will be enough for the first while, I’d expect.

      And I do believe this team will contend, lollygaggers be damned.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    The players are willing to do anything to help and support their goalie team mates. They would like nothing more to push these self induced issues to the back burner.

    It’s not their fault they keep bringing a knife to a gun fight. They’re doing the best they can now with what they have.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Other teams give up bad chances against as well. It is the goaltending and there is no secondary scoring everybody blames defence but come on let’s stop regurgitating the same old crap we need 2 more saves a night and we need a second and third line.

  • tileguy

    Oiers call up Khaira from AHL… Wow problems solved.

    Yet another call up that has no business being in the NHL,like many of the others that are running around the ice,contributing zero to the game.

    The depth on forward sucks, that why we have to put up with guys like Lander, Letestu, Korpokoski, etc.

  • tileguy

    You can say the exact same thing about Nilsson, one will be here next year the other probably not. Just because Talbot was more expensive does not give him the upper hand. I would say the odds are 50-50.

    • Semi

      You mean the guy that was hired exactly 1 year and 3 days ago? After they fired Chabot?

      Kind of hard to blame him for much… Do you even follow the Oilers, or just posting for the sake of it?

      • Lowetide

        Exactly. People also forget that Schwartz has primarily in his career worked with LB and Tristan Jarry. Jarry is just starting in the AHL and by all accounts is doing well, LB is really putting together another nice year in the AHL and will be pushing for NHL duty soon if he stays on this path…. but ya, let’s blame the new guy who barely worked with Scrivens.

  • Oilfaninvan

    Anders or Cam will have to step up and grab the brass ring. They are both in their contract years and have a golden opportunity with Ben & Victor in the history books.

    I would like to see them both healthy and stealing a game or two each just for fun. If they can combine for .925 or better for the rest of the year we could actually have a thrilling spring.

  • Oilfaninvan

    Cam Talbot should be playing more. Period. Who are you more scared of losing without giving a serious chance: the guy you picked up for nothing, or the guy you spent two picks on? I’m betting on Talbot.

  • Semi

    Scrivey was fine before coming to Edmonton. Talbot was fine before coming to Edmonton. Dubnyk was a Vezina candidate after leaving Edmonton. Its not the goal tending!

    Our D gives up too many opportunities in close (man left alone in the slot, giveaways, 2 on 1’s etc.). We could have Lundquist and things would not dramatically improve (except we would lose $9.55 M in cap space). Sekera and Fayne have to find their games and our incredibly young and inexperienced D have to get seasoning. Unfortunately, no easy fixes with Ference/Nikitin salary overhang. Hangover from C. McT. Spend on a D not a G.

    • Maverick

      Did our sh*tty defence allow a 2 mph chip shot from behind the red-line in a tie game, with a minute left, against a rival team from the same division? A team that has owned us for the last 10 years? I think not.

      The oilers d is not great, but its not nearly as bad as it has been the last several years. Goalie needs to make a save at key times, and Talbot sucks at doing that so far.

      • Al Theeathoone

        It was a horrible goal but soft goals happen to G all the time. Go on Youtube and you will see all kinds of them against great G. If you does it consistently then, yes, it will be time to replace him. I am not there yet.

        More importantly, we need our D to stop giving up shots from high scoring locations, losing puck battles down low and leaving players in front of the net uncovered. Reduce those opportunities (they will never be zero) and you dramatically improve your chances of winning.

        • Travis Dakin

          I agree on the soft goals. For the rest, it’s not just the D or just the Goalie. It’s them, plus the forwards combined. Probably more of a Forward thing though.

          Take the Washington game. Very good team defense. They all supported each other which requires hard work and discipline. If they can get back to that, and then start scoring some goals, we’ll be back to enjoying some success.

          New talent would help too but I think the immediate goal is to get the present line up playing to their potential.

          I do think this is all achievable in the near future.

  • Keg on Legs

    I’ve never seen so many goals go in from behind the icing line, this HAS to stop!!
    We hade another one in Carolina, nothing kills momentum quicker than that(or loses games)
    I thought Nillson played well in Wash, but if he just stands up, the winning goal doesn’t go in, no 6’5″+ goalie should ever get beat over the shoulder.

  • Danglishish

    I think every single decision around roster should begin with the following question: what makes us a competitive team from day one next season?

    In other words, if you’re suggesting the Oil do something to “fix” the team this year, you may have to reconsider. Even before McD’s injury this season was about implementing a system, finding an identity, and giving Chia an opportunity to assess the team’s strengths and weaknesses so he could make the appropriate moves. None of this was targeted for achieving great results this year. Sorry.

    As frustrated as I get watching us crap the bed against a terrible team, I really do think that Chia and McLellan have their eye on becoming a dominant team in 2-3 years. It will take time and a lot of pain to get there, but no sense in rushing decisions so the fanbase can feel good about a 23rd place finish this spring.

    • Maverick

      Totally agree that this should be about building a dynasty 2 yrs from now vs. a more competitive team this year. I hope you are right and that is what PC and TM are focused on.

      I don’t want to trade Hall or Eberle or RNH or Nurse for some 30 year old stud D that is one the downside of his value and 3 years from now will be a 3rd liner at best.

      Do I want to win – hell yes. Do I want to give up our future for victories today – hell no. Stay the course, minor tweaks, get more experience and learn TM’s systems and solidify lines.

  • Semi

    I’m interested to see how Khaira peforms………I for one am hoping that he can play sound positional hockey and run a few guys over…….just to get the team going!

    Like in the days of old when Mclelland or McSorley would bang a few guys around, and generate some exicitment.

    My Christmas wish is that some how the hockey gods bless us with a few flukey goals…….you know the kind that bounce around hit a few people and trickle into the net.

    I have watched every Oiler game and can’t remember one……….I know that you have to shoot the puck from odd angles to do that and that no Oiler player except Pakarinen seems to do that.

    Go Oil!

  • Al Theeathoone

    Ya but advanced stats look good. All of LT posters rely heavy on advanced stats they are so wrong about most things hockey. Perhaps they should go back to watching the game. No self reflection.

    If your a betting man then LT blog is good go against it and you will win 90% of the time.