Cam Talbot has 31 wins, which for Oilers goaltenders is the fifth most in a single season trailing Grant Fuhr, Tommy Salo, Andy Moog and Curtis Joseph.
Fuhr won 40 in 1987/88, Salo won 36 in 2000/01, Moog won 33 in 1982/1983 and Joseph won 32 in 1996/1997. Fuhr started 73 games when he won 40 games, due to Andy Moog holding out for a new contract and then getting traded to Boston.
In the four previous season Moog and Fuhr always split the regular season duties, which is why neither won more than 40 games in a season.
Season Moog Fuhr
1984 27-8-1 30-10-4
1985 22-9-3 26-8-7
1986 27-9-7 29-8-0
1987 28-11-3 22-13-3
When Moog won 33 in 1983, Fuhr wasn’t yet on the team and Moog only played in 50 games. In 1988, Fuhr set the franchise mark for games won and games played, 75, due to Moog’s absence. I suspect had either goalie had the chance to play 60-70 games between 1984-1987 they likely would have easily surpassed 40 wins.
Fuhr won the Vezina in 1988 and finished second to Mario Lemieux for the Hart trophy, although Lemieux won by a large margin.
Fuhr had an outstanding season and Talbot has an excellent chance to match or surpass some of his team records.
Talbot is having a stellar season and has a realistic shot to be one of the three Vezina trophy finalists. He is tied with Sergei Bobrovsky for second in wins with 31, trailing only Devan Dubnyk’s 32.
Talbot has played the most minutes (3,202), faced the most shots (1593), and has the most starts with 54. He is ninth in GAA, 2.36, and seventh in SV%, .921, among goalies with at least 30 starts. He’s faced 200+ more shots than every goalie except Freddie Anderson.
The Oilers have 22 games remaining, and with only two sets of back-to-back, four two-day breaks and one three-day break remaining, I suspect Talbot will start 18 or 19 more games. I’m positive he’ll win at least six more games, so he’ll move into second place ahead of Salo and if he and the Oilers continue to play well, nine or ten wins is not unrealistic.
In 2001, when Salo won 36 games, he made 73 starts. He faced 1875 shots. Talbot has faced 1593 already and if he plays 18 more games he’s on pace to face 2,124 shots. That would be third all-time. Curtis Joseph faced 2,144 in 1996/97 in 72 appearances, while Bill Ranford holds the record of 2,325 in 1993/1994. Ranford was unreal that season and the Oilers still finished third worst in the standings. They were a bad team and Ranford faced a ridiculous amount of rubber.
In case you’re wondering, the NHL record for most shots faced in a season is 2,488 by Roberto Luongo in 2005/2006. He faced 2,475 in 2003/3004. Ranford sits seventh all-time.
The Oilers are on pace to finish the season with 98 points, the most since 1988 when they had 99, and it is fitting Talbot is chasing some of Fuhr’s records, which he established that same season.
The recent injuries to Adam Larsson and Andrej Sekera have many wondering if Peter Chiarelli might add a D-man at the deadline. It all depends on the severity of the injuries. It sounds like neither is season ending, and with Darnell Nurse set to return the Oilers still have six healthy defenders in Nurse, Oscar Klefbom, Kris Russell, Matt Benning, Brandon Davidson and Eric Gryba. They also have Jordan Oesterle, Mark Fayne and Griffin Reinhart in the minors if the injuries stretch into a few weeks.
Teams are often hush-hush about injuries publicly, but Chiarelli has six days to decide if he needs more depth. I’d be surprised if he adds a D-man, unless he knows one of Larsson or Sekera is done for the season.
The Penguins acquired Ron Hainsey today from Carolina for a second round pick and Danny Kristo. Kristo is an undersized offensive defender who was a second rounder in 2008. After three consecutive 43+ point seasons in the AHL he only has 13 points in 40 games this year. He is 26 and doesn’t look destined to be a regular NHL player.
Earlier this week, the Flames acquired Michael Stone from Arizona for a third rounder and a conditional fifth rounder in 2018. If he re-signs in Calgary the Coyotes get the fifth rounder.
So the price point looks like a second or third round pick for guys equivalent to Hainsey or Stone. Kevin Shattenkirk is the biggest name out there and he’ll cost much more, and he isn’t coming to Edmonton. He has a list of 12-14 teams he’d sign with and Edmonton isn’t on the list, so I don’t see him coming here and to be honest, I’d be surprised if the Blues trade him. They still believe they are a Cup contender, and moving one of their top defenders at the deadline won’t make them better.
The other UFA defenders potentially available include left-shooters Dmitri Kulikov in Buffalo, Kyle Quincey in New Jersey, Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto in Philadelphia, Johnny Oduya in Dallas, Brendan Smith in Detroit, Patrick Wiercioch in Colorado and righty Cody Franson from Buffalo.
If Oduya’s ankle is good he’d be the most intriguing for me, but even then I’m not high on him. I know some like Franson, but I’ve never been a fan. I don’t like his footspeed, and his competitiveness is a concern for me in the playoffs. I’m not sure what he does well. He doesn’t PK very much in Buffalo, and he’s played the 68th most PP time among defenders, but he is 90th among the 95 who’ve played 50+ PP min in P/60 and tied for 82nd in points with two.
None of the available defenders jump off the screen, so even if one of Larsson or Sekera is out any length of time, I’d only add them if the cost was a fifth rounder.
Do any intrigue you? What do you think they would add?
I think the Oilers number one priority is a third line centre who can win draws. Brian Boyle and Martin Hanzal are the top two candidates available, I wrote about Boyle here, however, there are always a few surprise moves. Not many expected Patrick Maroon to be moved the week prior to the deadline. So maybe another centre becomes available prior to Wednesday’s deadline.
Valtteri Filppula is another option, but he has one year remaining at $5
million. Tampa Bay would need to retain close to half his salary, but he has 33 points this season, with 27 of them at EV.
He is 32 years old. He’s played 773 regular season games and 152 playoff games. His point-per-game in the regular season is 0.54, and he is 0.51 in the playoffs.
He has nine 30+ point seasons and four 40+ point campaigns. He has experience and he’s +1 with a 49.9 CF% on the 21st place Tampa Bay team.
He can handle himself against the opposition’s skilled players. He’s played the most EV against the likes of Claude Giroux, Jacob Voracek, John Tavares and other skilled forwards. His contract is the issue, and how much of an appetite Steve Yzerman has to trade him. I think Yzerman would consider moving Tyler Johnson before Filppula. Johnson can play with skilled players, and he’s been excellent the past two playoffs scoring 42 points in 47 games, but the Lightning have an abundance of small, skilled forwards and they really like rookie Brayden Point.
Johnson is 26. He’ll be an RFA this summer. He made $4 million this season with a $3.33 mill cap hit. He has averaged 53 points that past three seasons (50, 72, 38) and is on pace for 52 this year. So he’s a consistent producer. If you acquire him, there is no Nikita Kucherov to play with in Edmonton. Can he produce as much without him? I don’t know.
I don’t see Johnson as a guy who can fill a third line spot in the same fashion as a Filppula. Johnson is more of a skilled centre, but with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl locked in as the #1 and #2 centres for the future, I don’t see it making much sense to acquire Johnson.
One final name I will throw out is John Mitchell in Colorado. He, like many Avs, is having a down year. He only has three points in 50 games. He’s playing 12:30/game. However, his previous four seasons were very consistent.
Year GP G-A-PTS
2013 47 10-10-20
2014 75 11-21-32
2015 68 11-15-26
2016 71 10-11-21
Over the past five seasons, including this year, 92 of his 102 points have come at EV. He has two SH points as well. He is having a dreadful offensive season this year, but he’s only -11 with a 49.9 CF% on a team who has been outscored 133-76 at 5×5 and out shot 1444-1244.
He isn’t a sexy name, but he’d cost very little and if Chiarelli can’t land Boyle, Hanzal or Filppula, he’ll need to look at other options. Mitchell has been consistent for four seasons, and for a low return I’d consider him.
Which centre would you want?
Hanzal is 56% in faceoff this year.
Mitchell is 54.6%.
Boyle is 53.7%.
Johnson is 52.1%.
Filppula is 46.6%.
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