Talbot Ruling The Net For the Kings

(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The NHL’s Pacific Division has been an interesting one to start the season.

As of this writing (Monday night, November 6th), the Vegas Golden Knights are already running away with the division. The Golden Knights are currently 11-1-0-1 with 23 points, and not only is that record good enough for first in the division, but it also puts them first in both the Western Conference and the entire league.

Right behind the Golden Knights are the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have surprised many by jumping out to an 8-2-0-1 record thanks to having the league’s second-best offense and one of the league’s best goaltenders in Thatcher Demko.

Sitting in third place and also off to a solid start this season are the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are currently 7-2-0-2 and sit one point behind the Canucks and seven points behind the Golden Knights.

One of the main reasons why the Kings are off to such a good start has been their goaltending. After using the likes of Jonathan Quick, Pheonix Copley, and Joonas Korpisalo last season, the Kings may have found someone who can be more consistent than all of them were last season.

That goaltender is Cam Talbot. As of this writing, the veteran Talbot, 36, is 6-2-0-1 with a 2.14 goals-against average, a .923 save percentage, and one shutout.

As you can see above, Talbot’s statistics in the early going have been impressive. Talbot’s statistics have him ranked among the league’s best so far:

  • Seventh-best goals-against average (2.14)
  • 12th-best save percentage (.923)
  • Tied with five other goaltenders for the most wins (Six)
  • Fourth in the league in saves made (229)
  • Fourth in the league in minutes played (532:33 minutes)

Thanks to his experience between the pipes, Talbot plays with a lot of poise. He does a great job of controlling his rebounds, he puts himself in a good position to stop first and second opportunities, he makes smart plays when he handles the puck, and he comes up with the big save when his team needs one.

Kings head coach Todd McLellan told Zach Dooley of LA Kings Insider after his team’s two victories over the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators last week that Talbot’s style of play has been a big factor when it comes to helping the Kings win hockey games as he makes timely saves and provides consistency while in the net.

“I think that calm and stable are probably two pretty good words to describe him. Good at cleaning up our messes, we let up a lot on the early penalty kill but after that, there wasn’t a lot coming at him, over and over again. After that, they’re a dangerous team and he was there to mop everything up.”

“I thought he was really good tonight. He was calm, which settled our group down, he was pretty predictable as a goaltender in the net which helped us because we tried to play a predictable game defensively. He made timely saves and he got us the win. If you just say those things, without the name behind the goaltender, you’ll take that every night.”

Not only has Talbot’s head coach noticed his fine work between the pipes, but his teammates also pointed out just how good he has been for them to start this season in the same article linked above.

“He’s been great for us,” forward Pierre-Luc Dubois said. “Having that back there, the D feel a little bit more comfortable, the forwards feel a little bit better. You don’t want to make more mistakes, but he has been playing great for us and I think with goalies, all you can ask for is making key saves in key moments of the game and keep us some games. Whether it’s a two-goal lead, a one-goal lead, just making that one save. He’s been phenomenal for us.”

Thanks to Talbot’s fine efforts for the week ending on November 5th, Talbot was named the NHL’s second star of the week. He won all three games he started and stopped 77 of the 80 shots that he faced while posting a 1.00 goals-against average.

With Copley off to a tough start (1-0-0-1 with a 4.98 goals-against average and a .788 save percentage), the Kings are going to need Talbot to keep playing well. The team plays in a tough division and conference that has a lot of firepower and will more than likely experience a lot of changes in the standings throughout the season.

If Talbot can keep playing the way he is now, the Kings should have no problem not only making the Stanley Cup playoffs but also maybe winning a round or two at the most important time of the year.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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