No rest for the weary in Edmonton — though to be clear, there’s only one Oiler that currently fits that bill.
Cam Talbot, who’s emerged as the NHL’s busiest workhorse, will make his league-leading 43rd start tonight when the Oilers host the Preds at Rogers Place.
That’s right. Forty-three starts, and tonight is Edmonton’s 48th game of the season.
Talbot isn’t just the league leader in starts, either — he also sits top of the table in minutes played, shots faced and saves.
“We’re playing it one game at a time — Cam’s fresh and ready,” Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said of his starter’s workload, per the team’s Twitter account. “We’ll worry about Calgary tomorrow.”
Ah yes, Calgary. The Oilers and Flames clash tomorrow night in the latest installment of the Battle of Alberta. That led our very own Jason Brough to speculate that Laurent Brossoit might get the start tonight, thereby giving Talbot some rest in advance of a key divisional — and nationally televised — battle.
But now, who knows? Talbot’s fully embracing his workload, and McLellan doesn’t seem too concerned about overworking him. Heck, Talbot could be right back out there tomorrow.
Anyway, the Preds. Pekka Rinne gets the nod tonight, after Juuse Saros scored the win in Calgary on Thursday.
— Corey Crawford has started five in a row, so Scott Darling gets a shot in Boston. Darling’s last outing was a 39-save win over the ‘Canes on Jan. 6. He’ll be up against Tukka Rask, who has lost two in a row while giving up eight goals.
— After replacing Jared Coreau in a comeback win over Boston, Petr Mrazek starts for the Wings in Buffalo. He’ll be up against Anders Nilsson, who replaced Robin Lehner in a loss to Toronto on Tuesday. That game, of course, was the one in which Lehner freaked out after getting pulled.
— One of the NHL’s other busy netminders, Carolina’s Cam Ward, will make his 39th start of the year as the ‘Canes host the Pens. Matt Murray is in goal for Pittsburgh.
— Al Montoya gets the nod for Montreal in New Jersey, looking to extend his personal winning streak to four games. No word yet on a Devils starter.
— Roberto Luongo returns to Vancouver and, fittingly, gets the start. He’ll have the benefit of some rest, too, as James Reimer played on Wednesday in a shootout loss in Edmonton. For the Canucks, Ryan Miller will look to continue his hot streak — he’s 4-0-2 in his last six, with a .946 save percentage.