Welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. This blog is going to be different than anything else here, as I’m going to talk about the Oilers and Cam Talbot.
I was going to talk about the Oilers/Jets Heritage Classic game in my Rangers recap, but I decided to do this separate for a few reasons. For starters, I know I’m burying you Ranger fans by pointing out how Talbot is outplaying the overpaid Lundqvist. Secondly, I was in Edmonton last season (Kelly’s Bar was very kind to us Americans!) and met some cool people. I’ve also noticed that this blog is doing a lot of traffic from Alberta due to my conversations on social media with Oiler fans.
I’ve talked about it before on social media, but I’ll say it here to get the record straight. I only started rooting for the Oilers once Talbot was traded there. However, the Rangers & Oilers have a rich history when it comes to trading players. I know that in Edmonton, Oiler fans consider the 1994 Rangers Cup as the Oiler’s 6th Cup.
The Rangers will always be my favorite team. However, the Oilers are my Western Conference team. Even if Talbot moves on, I’ll still pull for the Oilers. After all, how can you not like the franchise that gave us Messier, Gretzky, Beukeboom, Graves and now Connor McDavid?
The only thing I’ll never agree with an Oiler fan is the legacy of Glen Sather. He had great talent fall into his lap. Just check out the last 15 years of his career with the Rangers. He is the only GM in the history of NYC sports, to keep a job for 15+ years despite never winning anything. He went senile in NY and destroyed the Rangers with bad move after bad move.
I was at Glen Sather night last season at Rexall and it was amazing the reception Senile Sather got there. He would be booed out of his diapers at the Garden.
As you may have heard, I’m a fan of Cam Talbot. While I’ve watched and followed the Rangers minor league system for some time, Cam Talbot is the one player that proved me right. You don’t need a top paid goalie to win a Cup. Just check out the archives on this site (located on the right hand side) for my multiple spiels.
Where I also enjoyed guys like Carl Hagelin, Anthony Duclair, Jaromir Jagr, Sean Avery, etc, Talbot was the guy that I thought could’ve brought the Rangers the Cup the most. For starters, at the time, he cost $8M less than King No Cup. The Rangers best season point wise, was when Hank was down for 3 months and Talbot held down the net. He would win the prestigious Steven McDonald award that year, but go to the bench as Lundqvist gave up touchdowns left and right in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Is Talbot better than Lundqvist? At the time of this writing, he may very well be. He’s 5 years younger, has less miles and is more complete. I mean, how many times have you seen Lundqvist crash and burn when playing the puck outside of the crease? Talbot has a great handle in that department.
As Talbot was proving me right in my arguments, I became a bigger and bigger fan of the guy. I mean, look at all the crap I’ve since acquired:
As I’ve watched Lundqvist the last few months give up 5 goals left and right, lose every OT game in the World Cup, blow every lead possible and get beat by back-up goalies, Cam Talbot has been playing strong.
Granted, the season is still young, but Talbot leads all NHL goaltenders in both the shutout and more importantly, the WIN department. NHL stats are a little crazy at the current time, since most teams have played 5-6 games, but he is currently excelling when it comes to league average in GAA and SV%. The reason he’s not a top of the list is because back-up goalie stats are thrown into the mix, since the season is brand new.
I always compare Talbot to Lundqvist for many reasons. If you’ve been following me you know why. If not, quite simply it boils to this – not one top 5 paid goaltender has won a Stanley Cup in the new cap era. I was always of the belief the Rangers should’ve kept Cam, trade Hank and use the money to beef up the lines. Talbot’s numbers are better than Hank’s. So why the fuck are the Rangers paying Lundqvist so much money? It just drives me nuts.
In another Lundqvist comparison, as a result of the Oilers 3-0 win, Talbot became the third goalie in 19 outdoor games to pitch a shutout. (Kiprusoff & Hiller being the others.) Lundqvist has played 3 outdoor games and the highest paid woman beating goalie (Check out the book review blog) has never gotten a shutout.
Furthermore, Talbot is the hottest goalie in the league and has the best human interest story going on today.
Talbot literally has had one of the best weeks in hockey history for a goalie. After suffering a bad loss, Talbot wins a game 3-2. The next day, his wife gives birth to twins. The day after that, Talbot wins a game 3-1. Three days later, Talbot pitches a shutout on national TV, during an outdoor game nonetheless! He’s stopped 96 out of his last 99 shots. I mean, this week alone, he’s won 3 games, had two kids and deserves the number 1 star of the week from NHL.com!
If that wasn’t impressive enough, for the first time since 1985 (Talbot wasn’t even born), the Oilers are 5-1 and are the best team in the league.
Oh, and who’s been saying the Oilers would make the playoffs and Talbot would be in the Vezina running this year? If the season ended today, I’d be a genius. Let’s just hope the Oil keeps it going and my prophecy comes true!
The Oilers defeated the Jets 3-0 on Sunday afternoon. The game, delayed by two hours due to sun spots (Seems this happens a lot, even happened to a Ranger/Devil game I went to a few seasons ago), finally kicked off. The Oilers & Jets, while not Oilers/Flames, have a deep history. The Jets defeated the Oilers for the last Avco Cup. However, the Oilers would beat the Jets like a drum throughout the 80’s during their magical dynasty. These two former WHA franchises have had a storied history over the years, but it was Cam Talbot who wrote the final page in the latest chapter.
The three goals the Oilers scored were all different and all were scored in the second period. Mark Letestu scored on a picture perfect breakaway. I wish Rick Nash could score like that. Darnell Nurse made it 2-0 after a jack in the box goal. Zack Kassian found the third goal beating Connor Hellebuyck with ease.
What made Talbot’s shutout even more remarkable, despite the game being on an unknown surface, was that Talbot and the Oil killed a lot of penalties. With the Jets being home, they didn’t want to be shut out and pulled their goalie with a little over 4 minutes to go. Talbot was able to deny all comers.
I love visiting Canada. I went there 4 times last season to visit different markets. (Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary.) I loved Edmonton the most. Montreal is fun, but I did encounter the French-fuck the American people there. Calgary was too bougias and a dead city, although I did enjoy my people at Hudson’s. Toronto was fun, but it was just Canada’s NYC. Edmonton was a blue collar town with great people. What I really respect, and no offense, the Oilers have kinda sucked for so long. Despite that, Oiler fans remain dedicated and passionate for their team.
If I didn’t already have my roadtrips planned for this season, I would’ve went back to Edmonton this year to see the new Rogers Place. It’s just tough being in NYC. Flights aint cheap.
Perhaps one of you friendly Edmontonians can do me favor. I have developed a thirst for authentic Labatt Bleue Dry and regular Labatt Bleue. The Labatt Blue we get in the States is no where near the same. If someone wants to ship me a case of the stuff, I would be more than willing to compensate you through paypal. Feel free to contact me about this! Right now, I’m sucking down American Labatt Blue Lights, and it’s just not the same!
For the Oilers, the future of the league in Connor McDavid and perhaps a Vezina candidate in Talbot, it’s a long season. However, Oiler fans have every right to be excited. Look at the division. The Canucks will taper off, they just aren’t good. The Kings are going through injury problems. The Coyotes are terrible and won’t spend money to be competitive. The Flames are burning out and are probably a season or two away from being a threat. The Sharks and the Ducks are two teams that won’t be easily beat. However, the Oilers can meet the challenge. At very worst, I would think if they don’t finish at least third in their division, it would be a disappointment.
However, as a sit the lone Edmonton fan in NY (I’ve worn my Talbot jerseys around NYC and Long Island and haven’t encountered one person who says they are an Oiler fan), I think the Oilers will finish better than my beloved Rangers.
In a dream world, I get the Rangers vs the Oilers in the Cup. Who do I root for? I root for the front of the jersey not the back, so I would pull for the Rangers to win in a 13484384 OT game 7, where Talbot had to go to the bench and the back-up gives up the GWG. How Disney of me!
It’s great talking with all you Canadians on twitter and I enjoy learning from you guys. My country is all fucked up. Look at the two idiots we have running for president. It’s always a pleasure talking hockey with you and I’ll try to do more Oiler oriented things on this site. Of course it will be a heavy bias towards Talbot, but you know that already!
Let’s Go OILERS (and Rangers!)
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter