Forecasting the playing time of Cam Talbot

Cam Talbot (Getty)

Cam Talbot (Getty)

This morning I woke up and was going to enjoy a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. Being over 40, I need to control my cholesterol but I still like sugary cereal. Basically, I get the best of both worlds in one cereal.

Anyway…I started to pour my low fat milk into my bowl of sweet goodness when I noticed Cam Talbot on the milk carton. “Where or where is the Rangers back up goalie,” I cried. “Will we ever see him again?” Well I believe we will, I just don’t know when?

Today, Henrik Lundqvist didn’t practice and was given a “maintenance day. Immediately I suspected Talbot would get the start, but Alain Vigneault confirmed that Lundqvist will indeed start his 8th straight game.

TalbotCam Talbot hasn’t played since a 3-0 loss in Boston on January 15th. The Rangers have back to back games this weekend (Nashville on Saturday and Dallas on Sunday) so Talbot will surely get his 10th start of the year. I think.

Vigneault said on Monday “I’ve looked at the schedule at length with Benoit and Cam’s going to get his games.” However, exactly how many will that be? The Rangers only have 34 games left and Talbot has only started twice in the last 17 per Steve Zipay of Newsday.

Last season, Talbot started 19 games but as you recall didn’t make his debut until late October (a 2-1 loss to the Flyers on the 24th). In order to meet that number, Talbot will need to start 10 more games this season. That would mean Talbot would play 1/3 of all games remaining with the Rangers jockeying for a top spot in the playoffs.

It is possible, but I just don’t see it. Will he get his games as AV suggests? The schedule demands that he does. New York will play 7 back to back games for the remainder of the year.

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NYR schedule via ESPN 

Right off the bat I am banking on 7 more starts for Cam Talbot this season. My best guess would be that he gets Dallas, Buffalo, Washington, Florida, Carolina, Washington and Columbus.

Depending on where the Rangers are in the standings, I can see him picking up 1 or 2 more games for a total of 8 or 9 in the Rangers last 34. That game could be Valentine’s Day, February 14th in Arizona and one of the two remaining contests with the Ottawa Senators (3/26 and 4/9).

Since adding charts are all the rage these days to prove your point and make you look smarter…I added a random Pareto Chart I found on the internet. Bottom line, with 7 back to back games totaling 14 of the Rangers remaining games, AV is on point – Talbot will get his games.

Random chart found on the internet with the hopes of making me look smarter in my forecast but likely to subject me to ridicule.

Random chart found on the internet with the hopes of making me look smarter in my forecast but likely to subject me to ridicule.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore