The New York Rangers morning skate is over in Washington D.C. and it is Cam Talbot who has gotten the nod for his third consecutive start tonight against the Washington Capitals. Ranger fans, believe me when I say this is the right move. However, also believe me when I say there is no goalie controversy.
The number one goaltender for the Rangers is Henrik Lundqvist, and it will be that way for the next seven years that he’s with the Rangers. That being said, Lundqvist is having the worst season of his career so far; his confidence is way down and his performances are more than disappointing. There is no reason that Talbot should be sat tonight. Talbot is the much hotter goalie at the moment with a 1.60 goals against average and a .938 save percentage, allowing only two goals in his last two starts that were back to back; one against the Minnesota Wild and another against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Talbot plays confident and calm in net, something that we have yet to see Lundqvist do all season, and for a goalie that is an eight year veteran and one of the leagues elite goaltenders, Lundqvist should not be having a confidence problem.
Now the simple answer to the problem seems to be to let Lundqvist play, because the only way for him to regain his confidence is to play in games. I agree, however Lundqvist had seven starts in the nine game home stand and allowed 24 goals in that time span. Lundqvist had SEVEN starts and did NOT gain his confidence back and the Rangers lost out on 10 of a possible 14 points in those seven games that Lundqvist started.
As I said before, there is no goalie controversy but head coach Alain Vigneault needs to ride the hot hand and go with Talbot if he’s looking for wins and a hot streak from the team, Talbot is the better option at this moment.