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With absolutely nothing happening in the hockey world right now, and for the foreseeable future, I’ve decided to take the plunge and write player profiles for each member of the Calgary Flames.
As was the case when I did them last summer, we’ll be looking at the season they just put together and expectations moving forward.
I’ve written up 10 players thus far, with Milan Lucic being the most recent.
Today we’re going with Cam Talbot.
26 games played, 12-10-1, .919 save percentage
.925 save percentage, .806 high-danger save percentage, +3.84 goals saved above average
The Flames smartly bought low on Cam Talbot last summer in hopes he could provide competent goaltending in a 1B role. He most certainly did that.
Talbot appeared in 26 games and posted a .919 save percentage, miles ahead of league average (.905) and the guy he replaced (.902).
His 5v5 save percentage matched Pavel Francouz and Jacob Markstrom, both of whom put together really impressive seasons, and bested notables like Ben Bishop, Jordan Binnington, Pekka Rinne, Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury and John Gibson.
Though his save percentage on high-danger shots painted him in a less positive light, there’s no denying his first (and potentially last) season with the Flames was a good one.
His standard totals were excellent, his underlyings were solid, and he proved capable of carrying the load for longer periods of play when David Rittich hit a rut.
Talbot finished with his highest Quality Start% since 2016-17, and the 2nd highest since 2013-14 when he made only 19 starts.
I think the ship has sailed as Cam Talbot as an undisputed No. 1 goaltender. He’ll be 33 by the beginning of next season and most teams just aren’t going the route of having one guy. Almost all teams want quality platoons, and I think playing that role is what Talbot is best suited for at this point.
I could see Calgary taking a run at re-signing him but they have other problems (a lack of scoring depth, 500 UFA defenders, etc.) so I’m not sure they’ll want to spend the resources it’ll take to keep a quality backup goaltender.
Should Talbot hit the market, I think a team like New Jersey would make a lot of sense for him. He could play the 1B role behind Mackenzie Blackwood, spot him for longer spells when necessary, and they have the financials to pay him well for that job.
Wherever Talbot ends up, I think it’s fair to say he’ll probably be best suited playing 30-35 games.
numbers via naturalstattrick.com and hockey-reference.com
2020-21 player profile: Milan Lucic
2020-21 player profile: Mark Giordano
2020-21 player profile: Dillon Dube
2020-21 player profile: Andrew Mangiapane
2020-21 player profile: Derek Ryan
2020-21 player profile: Sam Bennett
2020-21 player profile: T.J. Brodie
2020-21 player profile: Mikael Backlund
2020-21 player profile: Noah Hanifin
2020-21 player profile: Elias Lindholm