Last night, Cam Talbot stopped 33 shots for his sixth shutout and 36th win of the season. Cam Talbot impersonating your favourite wall certainly isn’t news, and we all know that he’s closing in on Fuhr’s record, but it’s getting to win number 36 that I want to talk about.
Right now, the Oilers have 11 more games on the season and have a magic number of eight. While we don’t know how many of the remaining games it will actually take for the Oilers to separate themselves enough from the LA Kings to clinch the playoff spot that we’re all dying for, I’d say it’s a safe bet that Cam Talbot will be in net on most of those nights. Even if we underestimate and guess that he’ll play eight of the last 11 it is that unreasonable to assume that he can maintain a .500 record, resulting in enough wins to tie or beat Fuhr? It’s possible, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
I want to talk about the win Talbot got last night. As I mentioned in the opening, last night’s win was his 36th of the year which was the most wins by an Oilers goaltender since Tommy Salo did it in the 2000-01 season. That got me to thinking, what’s happened SINCE Tommy Salo? Well… it’s not pretty.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE
The biggest reason that I bring this up now is because not only does Cam Talbot have a legitimate shot at Grant Fuhr’s record, but also because it’s just plain impressive that he’s here in the first place. As I mentioned, last night was Talbot’s 36th win of the year – the most since Tommy Salo in the 2000-01 season. That’s wild to think about. It’s been 16 years since an Oilers goalie has put up 36 wins in a year and Talbot is quietly racking up enough of them that he should probably be in the Vezina conversation.
When you sit back and think about it, it’s pretty depressing when you look at the numbers and see that there hasn’t been a goaltender in the 7-8-0 since Tommy Salo that was able to put together 36 wins or more. To put it another way, since Henrik Lundqvist stuck in the league back in 2005-06 he’s been able to get 36 wins or more five times and he had another two seasons that I didn’t count with 35 wins. It just reminds me of all the horrible hockey we’ve had to sit through.
OILER GOALIES AND THE DECADE OF DARKNESS
Since I was looking at goalie numbers I figured I would put together a few stats for you guys that show even more reasons that we should be shouting Talbot’s name from the mountain tops. Ready? You’d better be or else I’ll post these stats twice. Here we go:
Q: It’s not in the decade of darkness but who had the most wins since Salo’s 36 in 2000-01?
A: Salo again in 2001-02 with 30.
Q: Which starter had the worst record in the decade of darkness over an 82 game season?
A: Nikolai Khabibulin went 10-32-4 in 2010-11 with a 3.40 GAA and a .890 save%.
Q: Remind me how Roli did?
A: The most wins for Dwayne Roloson came in the 2008-09 season when he had a record of 28-24-9.
Q: Who was the most random/funniest goalie you found?
A: It’s an impressive list, actually. Let’s rattle a few names off – Joaquin Gage (2000-01), Stephan Valiquette (2003-04), Mike Morrison (2005-06), Martin Gerber (2010-11), Yann Denis (2011-12, 2012-13), Jason LaBarbera (2013-14)
Q: How many goalies did they use in 2013-14 again?
A: Six goalies got starts that year – Devan Dubnyk, Ben Scrivens, Ilya Bryzgalov, Viktor Fasth, Jason LaBarbera, and Richard Bachman
Q: Who allowed the highest number of goals?
A: Actually, it was Dwayne Roloson who allowed 180 shots past him in 2006-07 in 68 GP. Ben Scrivens gets an honourable mention after allowing 170 goals to get past him in 2014-15 in 57 GP.