We wondered if Cam Talbot would get a third straight start over Henrik Lundqvist if he played well in his second straight Monday versus the Leafs.
Well, Talbot did play well, stopping 25 of 26 Toronto shots in a 2-1 shootout win for the Rangers. And per Pat Leonard of the Daily News, it seems all but certain he’ll get the nod from coach Alain Vigneault to start again tonight in Washington.
Talbot, 26, is 8-2-0 with a .938 save percentage. Those numbers in comparison with Lundqvist’s (10-15-2, .905) would seem to make it an obvious decision for Vigneault, except for the fact the latter just signed a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension.
To be clear, though, this isn’t a goaltending controversy, and we’re not selling it as such. Lundqvist is still the No. 1; he’s just going through a tough stretch while Talbot happens to be going through a good one. It’s the nature of goaltending.
Does it look good? No, not particularly. But with his team on the bubble to make the playoffs, Vigneault — a guy who knows what a real goaltending controversy looks like after his time in Vancouver — can’t afford to worry about optics.