There is a little break here in the next week for the Edmonton Oilers. The club plays tomorrow, and then Tuesday, before having several days before their next game Saturday. There is a small window of opportunity to tweak the roster, and based on usage by the coach, I think goal is a position of interest. Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved.
Laurent Brossoit third star last night (31-33). Now T-5 in SV% #FreeLB
— Vaughn Woodruff (@conkanen) December 10, 2016
Brossoit has a .927 save percentage currently, a nice step forward from one year ago (.920) with the Condors. His progression in three years as a starter in the Edmonton system (.918, .920 and now .927) is textbook, and the natural stepping off point for him is NHL backup duties.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH
I could quote you chapter and verse about Jonas Gustavsson’s save percentage in the NHL this season (it is .893, ranking him No. 49 among 54 goalies who have played six or more games). The real number to pay attention to? Gustavsson’s time in the Edmonton goal. Why? Because Todd McLellan and his coaching staff have to decide on who to use, and the overwhelming preference has been to run with Talbot. Consider these numbers:
- Cam Talbot has played 85 percent of Edmonton’s NHL minutes this season.
- Cam Talbot has started 26 games, No. 1 in the NHL.
- Cam Talbot has 13 wins, tied for No. 5 in the NHL.
- Cam Talbot is No. 1 in shots faced this season, fully 100 SA ahead of the No. 2 goalie.
- Cam Talbot is No. 1 in saves, also more than 100 more than the No. 2 goalie.
- Cam Talbot ranks No. 17 among starters in save percentage.
- Cam Talbot ranks No. 21 among starters in even-strength save percentage.
- Cam Talbot ranks No. 8 in power-play save percentage.
Cam Talbot is a good NHL goalie, average and maybe a little better—that is progress in Edmonton, and if and when the defense gets better we could see some playoff games. Still, best to have a backup the coach trusts, and I think you can make an argument that Jonas Gustavsson does not have the complete confidence of the organization based on usage. Fair?
TIME FOR A CALL?
By any reasonable measure, the AHL education of Laurent Brossoit should be over. He has done his time, there appears to be an opening, and perhaps we will see him in an Oilers uniform in the coming days. There is a slight expansion draft worry (Brossoit is eligible and could be chosen), but if Gustavsson is going to get less than 15 starts (he is on pace for 11), perhaps it is time to try the farm hand.