Wild goaltender Cam Talbot does not like to hand over the crease to anyone. As far as he is concerned, the more he plays, the better he gets.
But at the age of 34, he has learned that sometimes less is more. Especially in the preseason.
“You ask me if 7 or 8 years ago, I would have answered it differently,” said Talbot as he entered his ninth season in the NHL. “Now it is more of a buildup for me to manage my workload and things like that unless it really matters. Obviously I want to feel as good as I can at the start of the season.”
15 opener against the Anaheim Ducks was fast approaching, with Talbot preparing for his first taste of preseason Thursday night against the Colorado Avalanche. According to coach Dean Evans, the plan was for Talbot to play the first half of the game, with fellow goaltender Andrew Hammond getting the second half.
This is a first step for Talbot as he tries to build on his performance from last season. He finished with a record of 19-8-5, a 2.63 goal-average and a .915 saving percentage. He also helped Wilde push the Vegas Golden Knights to Game 7 in the opening round of the playoffs.
When asked about Precision, Talbot commended the coaching staff for being open and honest with him.
“They give me guidelines about how much I want to play and things like that,” Talbot said. “It’s always nice when I go to training camp and know how to manage my workload on and off the ice. They’ve been great. It’s nice to be able to ramp it up here and get some game time.”
Thursday’s preseason game in Colorado provided a huge opportunity for young players like Matt Boldy and Adam Beckman. The two have turned heads throughout training camp and are seen neck and neck in the race for a final roster spot.
Given Boldy in particular, he was set to play alongside Freddie Goudreau and with Kevin Fiala. Meanwhile, Beckman was set to play alongside Joel Eriksson Eck and Matt Zucarello.
“This is a time where we expect people to start differentiating and it will be difficult and/or easier for us to make decisions about what they do and how they dictate how they play in the game,” Evans said. “It’s one thing to evaluate drills. Even when we’re screaming, it’s hard, right? Yeah, they look good, and he shoots the puck really well, and He’s skating really well. But we don’t know until we get into a sport. We try to get most of our actual evaluation from hockey games.”
Wild winger Jordan Greenway was to travel to Denver for Thursday’s game but remained at home to recover from a minor illness.
When asked about the decision to leave Greenway at home, Ivson replied, “Just a precaution.” He said Greenway’s disease is not related to COVID.
“As soon as we hear it, it’s like, ‘Ah jeez. Here we go,'” Evans said. “Because we’ve been through this, haven’t we? We’ve been there and done that. You never know what’s going to happen. But obviously we don’t believe this is out of the ordinary.”