Mar 30, 2014; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Matt Hendricks (23) tips a shot just wide of New York Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot (33) during the third period at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Talbot A Strong Contender To Follow Henrik Lundqvist

On March 30, 2010, goaltender Cam Talbot was signed by the New York Rangers. Undrafted and an unfamiliar name to most hockey fans, Talbot bounced between the AHL and the NHL for 3 years, never actually playing a game for the club until Martin Biron was demoted during the start of the 2013-2014 season. On October 24, 2013 the 27 year-old made the first NHL start of his career, and opened many eyes in the process.

While the Rangers came up short in a 2-1 loss that game, first impressions were made, and they were certainly good ones. The majority of Ranger fans do not watch the AHL, therefore this was their first glimpse at the goaltender later nicknamed “The Prince” by the Blueshirt faithful. The next game saw Talbot start once again, versus the Detroit Red Wings. It was strange to see superstar goaltender Henrik Lundqvist sitting on the bench for more than one game in a row, but the team was performing poorly, so then-new coach Alain Vigneault decided this would be a good wake-up call. This game would see Cam Talbot earn his first NHL win as the Rangers defeated the Red Wings 3-2.

Cam Talbot compiled an impressive 6-1-0 record in his first 7 starts, solidifying himself as the backup with a 1.41 GAA and a .953 SV% in that time span. Much to the relief of the team and the fans, it didn’t take too long to find a replacement for Martin Biron. Alternatively called “Goalbuster” after his Ghostbusters themed mask, Talbot had a few moments where he proved to be human, such as giving up 4 goals in a 5-2 to the Winnipeg Jets on December 2, 2013.

With some minor bumps in the road, Cam Talbot impressively finished his first regular season with a 12-6-1 record in 21 games, including a 1.64 GAA and a .941 SV%, as well as earning 3 shutouts. But he didn’t fare as well during the playoffs, posting a loss in 2 appearances, 2.61 GAA, and a poor .841 SV%. His rookie performance in the playoffs is excusable is forgivable though, considering the small sample size.

While it’s difficult to judge whether or not Talbot will eventually take over for Henrik Lundqvist after only one season, he’s off to a terrific start. Getting on the fans’ good side is an extremely difficult task, yet Cam Talbot has seemed to have done the impossible, and in such a short time span too. If Talbot can continue to play the way he has, Henrik Lundqvist has found the heir to his throne.

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