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Talbot to make third straight start over King Henrik

Dec 27, 2013, 12:21 PM EDT

CamTalbot Getty Images

We wondered if Cam Talbot would get a third straight start over Henrik Lundqvist if he played well in his second straight Monday versus the Leafs.

Well, Talbot did play well, stopping 25 of 26 Toronto shots in a 2-1 shootout win for the Rangers. And per Pat Leonard of the Daily News, it seems all but certain he’ll get the nod from coach Alain Vigneault to start again tonight in Washington.

Talbot, 26, is 8-2-0 with a .938 save percentage. Those numbers in comparison with Lundqvist’s (10-15-2, .905) would seem to make it an obvious decision for Vigneault, except for the fact the latter just signed a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension.

To be clear, though, this isn’t a goaltending controversy, and we’re not selling it as such. Lundqvist is still the No. 1; he’s just going through a tough stretch while Talbot happens to be going through a good one. It’s the nature of goaltending.

Does it look good? No, not particularly. But with his team on the bubble to make the playoffs, Vigneault — a guy who knows what a real goaltending controversy looks like after his time in Vancouver — can’t afford to worry about optics.

  1. gaborik104life - Dec 27, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Comments will be made no doubt about how Hank sucks, not worth the money, sucks now that he does not have the 5 shot blockers in front of him. While he is sucking, currently not living up to his contract, and does not have the 5 man squad in front blocking shots he has been one of the best goaltenders since his arrival resulting in being nominated in his first 3 seasons for the vezina which mind you was way before Torts brought the shot blocking style so many people continue to point out was in front of him and was nominated five times total. Furthermore he is the only goaltender in NHL history to win 30 games in each of his first seven seasons and also won a gold medal. On top of that as I stated in another post the way the team plays in front of Cam as opposed to Hank is that of night and day with Brassard even saying so after their previous win.

    All that being said Cam needs to get starts until Hank gets out of this funk that he is in otherwise this will be a long season as Cam only has 10 nhl games under his belt so we do not know for sure exactly how good he is.

  2. xdj511 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    I called this. One thing about Hank’s time with the Rangers is that while for the most part he has had a capable backup like Weekes and Biron, at no point in the last 8 or 9 seasons has any of them been able to seriously threaten to take playing time away. Along comes Cam Talbot this season and he’s putting up better numbers. I don’t know why this isn’t pushing Henrik to play better… if anything, he’s gotten worse, but it’s good to see. I just hope he doesn’t become the league’s highest paid backup for the foreseeable future.

  3. laughernyc - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Your comment is pretty spot on, even if your handle makes me wonder if you are sane. Gaborik for life? Wow. The guy is as soft a player as there ever was in the NHL, and he gets hurt because he never goes through contact, something del Zotto is going to learn the hard way if he doesn’t start taking the body soon, or he will learn it for another team and a few surgeries.

    Talbot has earned the starts. Not giving up crap goals that deflate the team is why he seems to get a better effort. Henrik will come back. He owes the team an apology for his line about “cleaning up” their mistakes. When rookies are scoring their first goals or guys are breaking 34 game skids against you, and fourth line scrubs are making you look bad in shootouts, you need some time to regroup.

  4. sportsfan69 - Dec 27, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    It’s quite amusing that Henrik Lundqvist would even make a comment. He knows he’s guaranteed $59.5 million dollars. Lundqvist has become a slow and average goaltender.

    His contract will be the butt-end to hockey jokes in the NHL. Behind the scenes, General Managers are probably cursing out Glenn Sather underneath their breathe.

    Everyone saw it coming this year. He’s get outplayed consistently by the opposing goaltenders. Then, the NYR offensive team gets the blamed for not scoring. Did anyone noticed Bernier in the last game stopped 22 shots on goal in the second period. If Lundqvist made 22 saves, their would have been a huge write up for Kinggg Lundqvist. Like in the Dallas game, he still let in a soft goal in that game. He is so overrated. He is No Richter. Richter won a Stanley Cup. It’s the truth.

  5. bronxtale247 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Question..hypothetically speaking here, but if his slumping continues, can anyone see the Rangers actually use their last amnesty on Henrik rather than Richards??

    • xdj511 - Dec 27, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      Not sure you can use a buyout on a contract signed after the lockout, but you get points for outside the box thinking!

    • narfmoo12 - Dec 27, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      They have to use it on Richards because of the recapture penalty. They can’t risk him counting as $20M against the cap if he retires early.

  6. bronxtale247 - Dec 27, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    As a NY fan of all major sports It hurts me to admit but I actually envy how Boston handles their beloved stars who they don’t see worth being over paid for. See it ALL THE TIME with the RedSox letting guys go else where in free agency. Kind of wish the Rangers did things with their mind and not hearts so much.

  7. bronxtale247 - Dec 27, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Oh ok gotcha, I wasn’t aware of that thanks!

  8. sportsfan69 - Dec 27, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Bottom line, the NYR team is not very good one. Three of the top salary players suck. Lundqvist, Richards, and Nash suck. They are not leaders. There Old Men, like their GM Glenn Sather.

    The young players show more grit and heart then Lundqvist, Richards, and Nash. It’s time for a veteran shake up/trade or outright release.

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