COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In 2016-17, Cam Talbot set the Edmonton Oilers record for most wins by a goaltender with 42, passing Grant Fuhr.
The year before, he tied an international tournament record for shutouts with four.
On Friday against New Jersey, Talbot will be part of another mark, becoming the eighth goaltender used by the Flyers, an NHL record.
“I don’t know if it’s something you really want to be a part of as a goalie or not,” he said after the morning skate before the Flyers met the Blue Jackets Thursday. “But here we are.”
Traded from Edmonton for Anthony Stolarz on Feb. 15, Talbot has not started a game since Feb. 9. With Carter Hart still sidelined with a sprained ankle and Brian Elliott not far removed from returning from his long injury, Talbot was an obvious choice for Flyers interim coach Scott Gordon.
“Obviously we had to get him on the ice for some practice time, and at this time of the year there’s not a whole lot,” said Gordon. “And we don’t want to go back to back with our goalies as much as we can. So it’s an opportunity for him to get in and play.”
By the time Talbot left the ice during Thursday morning’s optional skate, literally every one of his teammates had left the building. With visa problems delaying his arrival and a helter-skelter schedule that included fanfare around the stadium game, he has not had much practice time with his new team.
And that’s just practice. The mental sharpness is something most goalies, if not all, agree comes only from playing games.
“You just have to approach it in practice the same way as you do in a game," Talbot said. "Like when we’re doing power-play, penalty-kill stuff like that, don’t try and cut corners. Make the reads you would make in a game. Focus on your tracking, focus on your reads. Any drills that are somewhat game-like.”
Talbot has some experience in this, backing up iron man Henrik Lundqvist in New York, stepping in spectacularly during the 2014-15 season after Lundqvist ruptured a blood vessel in his neck. Talbot went 17-4-3 and finished with a lower goals-against average (2.21) and higher save percentage (.926) than Lundqvist.
He played himself right off the team in fact, traded at season’s end to Edmonton for three high draft picks, and ultimately earning a three-year, $12 million contract with the Oilers midway through the following season.
That contract expires at the end of this season. Talbot is hoping he gets a new one with the Flyers as Carter Hart’s backup.
His audition begins Friday.
"You always want to get that first game in with a new team, so I’m looking forward to that," he said.