Another great return from the Edmonton Oilers yesterday (December 26th, 2015), as goaltender Cameron Talbot sent back these two cards that I'd sent out on November 4th, 2015, so a 52-day return for two cards, signed in black sharpie:
didn't start the season out so well, and there was chatter that he'd lost the #1 job to Anders Nilsson - but he has bounced back of late, with a 2-1-2 streak in his last five games where he twice stopped more than 40 shots.
He's making the case that he deserves some time in front of the crease at least in tandem with Nilsson; unlike the former New York Islanders draft pick, though, Talbot is an unrestricted free agent at season's end, so he's not just playing for ice time, but possibly for his very future in the NHL.
At 28 years of age, he needs to show that his finishing 7th in Vezina voting last year filling in for an injured Henrik Lundqvist was not just a product of playing behind the New York Rangers' stingy defense but also of his own doing.
Over two seasons in Manhattan, he posted a 2.00 GAA and .931 save percentage with 8 shutouts in 57 games - 53 of them starts, 33 of them wins, for 17 regulation losses and just 5 more in overtime.
Since the 2015-16 season started, he's 5-9-2 with the Oilers (who've had a poor start, regardless of his play, and didn't help in any statistical department), with a .905 save percentage and 2.93 GAA in 17 games.
But things are improving. He's making huge saves in bulk, and his losses at least come with points, helping Edmonton stay in contention for a payoff spot. And all the while, he and his wife bring smiles to the tundra as they give their time to the community.
Here are the cards he signed, first wearing the Rangers' blue (home) uniform, on card #535 of Panini's 2011-12 Score set and Hot Rookies sub-set, sporting his rookie number (81):
identical from that from my post four years ago, card #232 from Upper Deck's 2011-12 Victory set and Rookie sub-set, here he is wearing the white (away) uniform: