This post is part of Oilers Day on PHT…
Technically speaking, you could probably argue that Laurent Brossoit was essentially already a “backup” for the Edmonton Oilers in 2016-17.
After all, with Jonas Gustavsson being, well, monstrously bad, Brossoit actually appeared in more games (eight to seven) and started four versus five for “The Monster.” Brossoit’s already gotten his feet wet at the NHL level in general, with 14 games played spread across three seasons.
Still, all of that feels pretty insincere when you consider how much more could be asked of Brossoit in 2017-18.
Easing the burden
Frankly, the Oilers would be playing with fire if they ask Cam Talbot to recreate last season; it feels quite a bit like an NFL running backs and all the ways they can “fall off a cliff” with too many carries.
Talbot easily topped goalies in games played with 73, as no one else even cracked 70 (Frederik Andersen came in second with 66). Talbot wasn’t taking it easy, either, as he faced the most shots with 2,117 (Andersen is the only other goalie who faced at least 2,000 with 2,052).
It’s plausible that Talbot could remain a workhorse in the NHL, and he’s probably anxious to prove as much considering that he’s still not that far removed from his days as an excellent backup for Henrik Lundqvist.
Even so, you’d think that the Oilers would, ideally, want their backup to play at least 15 games. With higher aspirations for the postseason, keeping Talbot fresh is the wiser choice.
So, with that, Brossoit would need to make the leap from a goalie bouncing between the AHL and NHL to a true backup.
There’s evidence that he could fit the bill. Eight games is a small sample size, but he was solid in 2016-17, registering a fantastic .928 save percentage. His AHL numbers were modest last season, but he managed nicer numbers (18-9-3, .920 save percentage) in 31 games with the Bakersfield Condors in 2015-16.
At 24, Brossoit is in that age range where goalies likely need to start showing some NHL results. Naturally, we’ve seen an Aaron Dell or Alex Stalock (and even some non-Sharks goalies) make an impact around age 27, but one would assume that Brossoit wants to gain traction sooner rather than later.
There’s a solid chance that he’ll receive opportunities to prove himself, especially if all that volume catches up with Talbot.