JIM: In Cam Talbot's first seven starts---a loss in Philadelphia followed by six consecutive wins---not only had Talbot allowed two goals or fewer each time out, but the team seemed to play some of their best games this season with him in goal. Whether that was a case of playing harder in front of the first-year rookie, or if it was just plain circumstance, there were a string of big victories over Detroit, Montreal, Columbus, and Vancouver---to name four---with Talbot between the pipes. However last night the Rangers did not play well in front of their No. 2 goalie, and Talbot was good, but not great, in allowing four goals on 29 shots before an empty netter finished the team off with 51 seconds to play. Certainly no reason to panic when assessing Talbot's performance Monday night, but a reality check that all is not always going to be perfect when the 26 year-old Talbot starts in goal either.
MATT: As you said, Talbot was good but not great, as some fans seem to just expect him to be after his stellar stretch. I thought Talbot played well through the first two periods and gave the Rangers the opportunity to take the lead, but Talbot ran into bad luck in the third on the strange bounce that led to Winnipeg's first goal. You could make the argument that Talbot probably wants the fourth goal back, but it was an odd-man rush and that falls more on the players playing in front of him. Talbot is so calm, so I don't feel this loss will hurt his confidence, but as you said, it certainly was a reality check for everyone involved, and hopefully the loss benefits the team in the long run.