TIME IS NOW: Cam Talbot Named Starting NYR Goalie, Hank’s Injury & More

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IN CAM WE TRUST

Welcome everyone to another blog here on DOINOW.com. Before hitting the meat and potatoes, I would just like to thank everyone who is reading these words right now. I started this DOINOW.com project three years removed away from my 10 year run in the professional wrestling business. Dana of HipHopShortstop.com got my writing juices stirred up again last September, and when I opened this site in October, I didn’t know what to expect. Less than four months later, this site is receiving thousands of views a day and my twitter account @NYCTHEMIC jumped to over 10,000 followers. Not shabby for someone just speaking his mind. What impresses me the most is that I know we live in an ADD/ADHD world and I tend to go long with these blogs at times. To have consistent traffic like this, well thank you.

Oh, and of course, don’t forget to check out the right hand of the site for the archives. I don’t like to rehash myself and with the topic today, there is no way I can possibly rehash myself a million times here. Just read my past works when you get the time. When you’re done checking out the archives, don’t forget to tip your bartender, don’t drink & drive, don’t drink and text (JEFFREY), don’t drink and puke and always, ALWAYS, believe in TALBOT!

If you’re reading this, you know that it was announced this afternoon that Henrik Lundqvist will be missing at least a month’s time of work, due to the puck he received to the throat, during Saturday’s game with the Hurricanes. Here’s the official presser from the Rangers:

“Henrik Lundqvist suffered a vascular injury on Saturday. We have been conferring with leading medical experts to ensure the best possible care. Henrik will remain sidelined at least three weeks, until he is revaluated and we have completed the process of conferring with the medical experts.”

While there has been many articles, radio hosts and social media postings discussing this topic, the Rangers went with a short and to the point press release. Unlike the NFL, where teams have to be specific about injuries and talk to the media about them, NHL teams are not required to do that. That is why, in my opinion, Rick Nash wasn’t performing at the level last season, as he is this year. He was more dinged up & still recovering from multiple concussions. Now that he’s 100% healthy, look at the difference in his play.

The Rangers press release was in response to reporters breaking the news about Hank’s injury. A vascular injury is very vague. We don’t know how severe it is. We do know that something had to go wrong, that he was cleared to continue on Saturday and play Monday, before being unavailable on Wednesday. One doctor saw something that the team doctors didn’t see originally. That’s pretty scary when you think about it.

The Rangers will now be without the player most associated with this team, for nearly the last 10 years, for at least a month. However, life is all about opportunities and what you do with them. Cam Talbot now receives the biggest opportunity in his professional career.

The Goalbuster

The second the news about Hank’s injury was announced, my cell phone blew up. Texts. Facebook. Twitter. Pony Express. Pajamagrams & Hoodie Footie’s from WFAN. Over the course of this blog’s existence, and even before that, I’ve been the unofficial leader of TEAM TALBOT. I’ve been writing IN CAM WE TRUST so much, that my autocorrect automatically adds “CAM WE TRUST” whenever I use the word “in.” I’m sure if you know me or been following this blog & based on all the messages I’ve received, one of your thoughts was “Sean is gonna be happier than a pig in shit with this news.” Trust me, I am, but let’s take a look at what this means realistically.

The fanboy in me wants to scream from the rooftops, “TAL-BOT! TAL-BOT! TAL-BOT!” His play over the next month can define where his career goes. There are only three ways this goes down. Talbot plays phenomenally, where he’s so hot, that people have to question if you pull Talbot for Hank, once Hank is healthy. Another way this goes down is Talbot plays well, but not mind-blowingly enough, where people are chomping at the bit for Hank to come back.  The final way this goes down, is Talbot bombs and people are wondering if the Rangers will make the playoffs. For me, ever the Talbot optimist, I think Talbot plays out of his freaking mind, where if he doesn’t get the Rangers starting goalie job, come the off-season, teams will be looking to deal for him to be their starter.

Time for a new King in town?

Every time Talbot gets a start, the ball breaking begins on my end. Everyone knows I’m a Talbot guy. I believe in this kid, as soon as I started hearing what he was doing in the AHL. I knew the Rangers wouldn’t miss a beat once Biron decided to retire last season. Read the archives, you know I’m Talbot’s biggest fan, outside of his family & close friends. Some people think I hate Henrik Lundqvist due to my appreciation of Talbot. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I just hate Lundqvist’s contract in the salary cap era, a point I feel that I need to keep saying again and again and again on these pages and in interactions with other Ranger fans. For $8 million less this season, I believe you can get the same productivity from Talbot, with the way this team is skating. It’s not like Hank is stealing wins left and right this season. He’s been getting a ton of 3,4,5 Goals for a game. Plus, Talbot has the most shutouts per game started this season. Not too fucking shabby if you ask me!

On a personal note, the world isn’t over if the Rangers lose a game or two during the next month. Let’s see how Talbot handles the month. Ditto, the Rangers aren’t the Stanley Cup champions if Talbot goes on a three game winning streak. It’s February. Tons of games left to go in this season. Of course, it’s fun to talk shit and ball-break with everyone, but if Talbot can keep the course, the Rangers should be in first place, at the very latest, the end of the month. If the Rangers drop off considerably in the playoff seeding, then you can blame him. Let’s see where this team is come March 1st.

Thanks for the shirt WEBLEEDBLUE.com

Let me tell you a little story. In a world not so far away, in a time not that long ago, there was a young 6th round draft pick called Tom Brady. Do I need to continue? In case you haven’t heard this one before, let me finish.

See, young Tom Brady had his fans, but there was this guy named Drew Bledsoe. Both were quarterbacks for the New England Patriots. Bledsoe, who took his team to the Superbowl, signed a huge long term contract, making him the highest paid player ever in team history. However, shortly after signing that contract, Bledsoe got hurt by the big bad Mo Lewis monster. The Patriots had no one to turn to, besides this young second year quarterback, who was 5 years younger than Bledsoe. The Patriots handed Brady the keys to their car. Would it would be an accident or would the Patriots drive straight to the Superbowl?

With Tom Brady leading the team, the Patriots won the Superbowl that year. Bledsoe was ready to return & even helped the team in the playoffs, but one thing was apparent – despite being the man with the money & the years, Bledsoe took a backseat. This was now Tom Brady’s team. Fast forward to the present day, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, with 4 Superbowl rings, 6 AFC titles, a perennial Pro-Bowler and a 16-0 regular season under his belt. Does this story sound familiar?

In 2015, there was a guy named Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist just came off signing a huge mega million dollar long term contract, making him the highest paid player ever in team history. However, shortly after signing that contract, Henrik got hurt by an errant puck, that he unfortunately caught in the throat. The Rangers had no one to turn to, besides this young second year goalie, who was 5 years younger than Lundqvist. The Rangers handed Talbot the keys to the car. Would it be an accident or would the Rangers drive straight to the Stanley Cup?

The rest of the the story has yet to be written. However, let me put my money where my mouth is. Let me, the unofficial leader of Team Talbot, the conductor of the Talbot Train, the man who’s mantra is “IN CAM WE TRUST”, put it all out there! Cam Talbot leads the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup. The New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup. Hank is one of the best goalies in Ranger’s history. Hank’s number will be retired. Hank will forever be immortalized as a Ranger, but the crown will go to the rightful heir to the throne, KING CAM TALBOT! Talbot will Wally Pipp Hank’s job. You heard it here first.

Passing the torch?

All bold predictions aside, here’s a look at the Rangers upcoming schedule for the month:
@NSH
DAL
@TOR
@COL
@ARI
@NYI
VAN
@BUF
CBJ
CGY
ARI
@PHI

While there are good teams in the mix there, like Nashville, which is Talbot’s second test, already passing his test against Boston on Wednesday, the Rangers got some bottom feeder teams coming up. They have Toronto, Arizona twice and the Sabres. This is not a murder’s row of teams.

The fact is this, the Rangers currently sit in fourth place, but that’s a misleading stat.
Here are the top four in the Metro division, as of tonight, 2/6:

NYI 67 Points in 51 games
PIT 66 Points in 51 games
WSH 66 Points in 53 games
NYR 64 Points in 49 games

Put it this way, and I know the teams all play each other, but if all four teams were to win every game from here on out, the Rangers would win the division. Washington has played four more games than the NYR and only has 2 extra points to show for it. The Isles & Pens have played two more games & if the Rangers make those four points with the two games in hand, they are in first place.

Listen Ranger fans, Henrik Lundqvist has been a Rangers icon for nearly a decade. You can’t take away what he’s done for this team. My view, and again, I feel like I need to say this because people just take this as hatred when it’s not, is I just don’t like his contract. Long-term deals rarely work out. In sports, no one plays forever. Trust in Talbot. Root for Talbot. Chant TAL-BOT after big saves at the games. Talbot needs Ranger fan support more than ever. It’s “IN CAM WE TRUST” for at the very least, the next month. Let’s see where it goes from there. He CAM do it.

I expect to see Cam with the hat many times this month

 It’s important to keep in mind, just like Lundqvist, Talbot can not do this alone. Sometimes, the Rangers play aggressively, with the safety of Hank in net. However, Hank hasn’t been the Hank of old this year, and it has come back to bite the Rangers in the ass. The Rangers need to get tighter on D. For the love of shit, the Rangers need to calm down on the turnovers in their own zone. The Rangers need to win more faceoffs. Brass & Step can’t be hesitant with the puck and let that shit rip. Tanner Glass needs to be as hard as glass and not be dead wood or soft as plastic out there. Rick Nash just needs to keep being Rick Nash!

AV will continue to juggle lines during this month. I hope the Rangers don’t over-react and don’t make a dumb trade to boost scoring, at the expense of Mats Zuccarrello or JT Miller. I really hope to see Zuc & Miller in blueshirt jerseys next year. If you want to trade Glass, John Moore, Kotska, McIlrath, Allen, Haggerty, and I’ve wavered on this, but to boost scoring, Carl Hagelin, go ahead. This team can be in first place as early as Sunday. There’s no reason to go nuts.

As far as a back-up goalie, there are reports that Sather is looking for a veteran and Skapski will be sent back to the Wolfpack. I think it would be funny if Marty Brodeur somehow wound up here, just for all the press & people going nuts reaction. I’ve heard names as far out as Nabby, DiPietro & even asking Biron to come back. I don’t see any of those three coming here. I don’t know who Sather is realistically looking at right now, but Talbot is fresh. He hasn’t played a whole lot this year. The Rangers schedule isn’t treacherous this month. He could ride the month and just hope he stays healthy. I don’t see a “IN SKAP WE TRUST” campaign taking off, no matter how hard my friend Garrett Gorton tries to sell it!

In closing, I really believe Talbot will live up to the hype I’ve given him. It is unfair of me to hype players up to the moon, because you set unrealistic expectations. I would hope by now that you realize some of what I write here is exaggeration, however, I do truly believe Talbot is a winner.

Talbot already has 3 shut-outs in limited appearances. He did what Hank couldn’t, and beat the Kings in LA. Hank was 1-7 against Boston in his last 8 games. Talbot stepped up and beat Boston at home on Wednesday. Now, it’s up for Talbot to take on the best team in the NHL right now, with Rinne returning, in the Nashville Predators, in Nashville. Talbot shut out the Predators the last time he played them. Will lightening strike twice? I don’t know, but what I do know is….

“IN CAM WE TRUST!”

I’ll be back tomorrow with Ranger/Pred reaction. As always, “LET’S GO RANGERS”

Sean McCaffrey
BULLSMC@aol.com
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter machine

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