The NHL season hasn't even officially started and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot has made the save to beat as he robbed the Vancouver Canucks in a preseason game on Tuesday night.
Talbot struggled last season but if the save he made on Tuesday is any indication, the Oilers might have back the netminder who led them to within one game of the Western Conference Finals in 2016-17. Talbot played two periods in the Oilers first preseason game before being relieved by backup Al Montoya. While both keepers played well, Talbot was easily one of the game's stars, highlighted by a miraculous grab.
An amazing no-look pass by Peterson left Goldobin wide open to the left of Talbot. What should have been an easy tap-in turned into sheer robbery as Talbot got over and reached back with a huge glove save to rob Vancouver and keep the Oilers up by one with a few minutes left in the first period.
While there is no review in the preseason, the Oilers wouldn't have had to worry as Talbot clearly made the save before the puck crossed the goal line and with it, set the standard for all saves to be made this season. A highlight of the week for sure, there's a strong chance this could be the save of the year and if not, will definitely get consideration.
For the Oilers, Talbot looking strong in net is a hugely positive sign. A team that was expected last year to compete for the Stanley Cup, Edmonton didn't come close to meeting expectations and faltered early in the season, in part because of Talbot's struggles. They'll need him to be on his game if they hope to bounce back in 2018-19 and make the playoffs once again.
The Oilers went on to win the game 4-2 over the Canucks and did so without most of their top players. None of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Milan Lucic, Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, nor Darnell Nurse were in the lineup. Edmonton got strong performances by their depth players and outstanding netminding from their No. 1 goaltender.