Talbot will serve as the backup to Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart. When Talbot makes his first start he will help the Flyers set an NHL record for most goalies started in a single season (8). The Flyers have had an issue at the goaltender position for quite some time now and with the acquisition of Talbot, many are wondering if he is the solution for the Flyers woes. But unfortunately, the answer is no. However, Talbot’s skills will not go to waste.
In order to understand what a good goaltender is for the Flyers, we have to go back and look at some of the best Philadelphia had to offer. The Most recent goalie to play well for Philly is Steve Mason from 2013-2017. Mason ranked third all-time in wins with 104, sixth in SV% with a .918, and ninth in GAA with a 2.47. But one of the greatest goaltenders to play for the city of brotherly love was Bernie Parent. Parent ranked second in wins with 231, seventh in SV% with a .917, and eighth in GAA with a 2.43. The last time the Flyers had a goaltender with a GAA of under 2.40 was 2004, so help was definitely needed.
Talbot is in his sixth year in the NHL and has a .915 SV% and a 2.59 GAA. However, this year has been his worst with n SV% of under .900 and a GAA of over 3.30. Talbot’s best year came in 2016-2017 when he posted 42 wins, a .919 SV% and a 2.39 GAA. If the Flyers are looking for a goaltender that can be consistent and bring them to the next level, Talbot is clearly not their man with his last two seasons declining in overall stats. With the young Carter Hart playing well in his rookie season he will definitely be the one the Flyers want to invest in.
However, Talbot’s acquisition will not go to waste as he brings more to the table than just skills. With Talbot being in his sixth NHL season he is a seasoned veteran that knows a lot about the game of hockey. Talbot even got to learn from one of the greats Henrik Lundqvist in his days with the Rangers. This can be really helpful to a young star like Hart as he begins to shape his NHL career. This is also huge in the locker room as Talbot can help a team learn in situations it may have never been in before. Many underestimate the value of locker room presence, but I can assure you it plays a large role in a hockey team’s success.
Talbot will help the Flyers on the ice despite his just okay performances. With all the injuries the Flyers goaltenders have suffered, Talbot can be a valuable backup to help take the pressure off Carter Hart. Talbot is also a better backup for the Flyers over Mike McKenna. In 11 games this season McKenna has a GAA of 3.99 and a SV% of .892. Talbot has been better than this and has the potential to be much better given the chance.
So while Talbot is not the long term solution to the Flyers goaltending problem, he does give the Flyers much needed relief and expertise to their young stars of tomorrow. Overall this is a good trade by the Flyers and it may definitely pay off in their playoff push.