Ahead of the 2018-19 season, EdmontonOilers.com is taking a look back at the '17-18 individual performances of the Oilers in our series 'Roster Redux'
EDMONTON, AB - After two seasons in Oil Country, it's clear goaltender Cam Talbot enjoys the heavy workload.
"You guys know me," the 31-year-old said to the media back in April during his exit interview. "I like to be in the net and I don't want many days off."
His wish has been granted so far during his tenure as an Oilers netminder.
Video: RAW | Talbot Exit Interview
The Caledonia, ON product played 73 regular season games (including 13 more appearances during the playoffs) in 2016-17 with a .919 save percentage and 2.39 goals against average, including seven shutouts. If an early-season injury didn't keep Talbot out of the lineup for seven games in December during the 2017-18 NHL campaign, his 67 games played easily could've been higher and surpassed his previous total.
The Oilers struggled out of the gate with a 10-13-2 record at the time of his injury, and it was a slump that Talbot and the team admittedly couldn't break.
"I don't really have an answer for that one," Talbot said of the team's early struggles. "It's tough to say what went wrong right away, but we have to have a better start. We put ourselves in a bit of a hole, and in this league it's too hard to climb out of sometimes."
"A couple years ago we felt like we had something to prove, and after the year we had [in 2016-17] we maybe forgot how hard it was to do what we were able to do. I think we have to come in and manage our own expectations and be ready to go at the drop of the puck in October."
For Talbot, as a goalie, a little confidence can go a long way. Returning himself to the mindset he had two seasons ago right from the start will be critical towards improving on his 3.02 goals-against average and .908 save percentage from last season.
"Confidence plays a big part in goaltending," Talbot added. "You never lose your athletic ability or anything like that, so when things aren't going well it can snowball.
"On the flipside when things are going well you start making those big saves and it goes the other way. It's the mental side of it and you have to manage those swings."
Video: EDM@ANA: Talbot gloves down Rakell's point-blank shot
An attempt to ease his workload last season was escalated due to injury, with Al Montoya and Laurent Brossoit sharing 23 games in the backup role. The addition of free-agent signing Mikko Koskinen allows Talbot the time off when needed, but his hope of playing as many games as possible continues.
"Sometimes there's lots to be said of that, especially when you're going through some stretches where you need that game off to rest or work on a few things, but I want to be in there," Talbot said. "I feel good when I get as many starts as possible but 65 to 70 games is good for me."