Cam Talbot’s struggles could force Sather’s hand

Talbot before Sunday's game (Bruce Bennett/ Getty Images)

Talbot before Sunday’s game (Bruce Bennett/ Getty Images)

The numbers are not pretty folks for Cam Talbot. Since taking over for Henrik Lundqvist as the Rangers’ main man in goal he has struggled mightily. His goals against average is around 4.00 and his SV% is extremely telling at .882%. These numbers simply will not do.

Although the Rangers have had some lapses in defensive judgment, for the most part they have done their jobs well in front of Talbot. A quick snapshot from ESPN shows Talbot’s game logs and the low shot totals he had faced prior to last night’s 34 in Toronto.

Cam Talbot Feb Stats (ESPN)

Cam Talbot Feb Stats (ESPN)

Currently, Talbot’s .915 SV% and 2.40 GAA would rank him 19th in the league for both categories. Henrik Lundqvist’s 2.25 GAA and .922 SV% would rank him 8th and 11th respectively. It should be noted that Talbot does not qualify in the stats rankings for goaltenders yet. A goalie must be on pace to start 27 games to qualify.

Last year Cam Talbot posted an incredible stat line. In 21 appearances he was 12-6-1 with a GAA of 1.64 and SV% of .941! Those numbers are staggering but the Rangers were just that good in front of him. Last season he faced an average of 29.47 shots a game, this year it’s almost the same at 29.69.

So what gives? The Rangers may be playing a little looser in front of Cam this season, but the shot totals suggest not by much. More than likely, NHL teams studied enough game footage to find a few weaknesses in his game. Add the fact that last year’s numbers were unsustainable and the regression makes sense.

Cam Talbot is also feeling pressures he never felt before, he’s THE MAN now. The mindset of spelling Lundqvist once every two weeks is certainly different than knowing there’s no one behind you to bail you out.

Mackenzie Skapski is here because the Rangers have no one else. That may change as we noted yesterday the Rangers are exploring options for a backup to Talbot. That was further driven home by ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun who wrote:

[su_quote cite=”Pierre Lebrun” url=”http://espn.go.com/blog/nhl/post/_/id/34508/rumblings-rangers-looking-for-goalie-to-back-up-cam-talbot”]The New York Rangers feel they have a pretty good handle on Henrik Lundqvist’s situation, but to be safe, word is the Blueshirts are canvassing the market to see if there’s a fit to bring in an experienced goalie to back up Cam Talbot. [/su_quote]

As I said yesterday, my “Sather-Senses” are tingling in anticipation of a move. After last night they’re ringing like church bells in my head.