The Minnesota Wild made the decision to start the recently acquired veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury at the start of this year's Stanley Cup Playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, which many can understand given the fact that Flower currently holds the 3rd most playoff victories in NHL history along with the fact that he's the reigning Vezina Trophy winner.
However, things didn't go according to plan for the Wild, who had just completed the best regular season in franchise history. The Blues took a 3-2 series lead into last night's deciding Game 6 at Enterprise Center with a chance to once again prevent the Wild from advancing. And head coach Dean Evason made the head-scratching call to put in the ice-cold Cam Talbot between the pipes for the game. Needless to say, the rust of Talbot was immediately evident.
He allowed a terrible goal to defenseman Nick Leddy in the 1st period en route to a 5-1 defeat, sending the Wild once again into an early and uncertain offseason.
There will be plenty of second-guessing Evason's decision to start the postseason with Talbot on the bench, especially after he went 13-0-3 down the stretch. The goaltender himself made no secret that he wasn't happy that he was watching the postseason from the bench.
“That doesn’t really matter," he said. "To me, that’s between the coaching staff and myself and Flower. Obviously, was I disappointed? Yeah. Pissed off? Yeah. But they expected that. They want you to be pissed off. I mean, who doesn’t want to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs? But I respected the decision, of course.”
Talbot's wife Kelly was also clearly miffed, and seemed to imply that a divorce between her husband and his team was a possibility.
"Ride or Dies!” she wrote in a Tweet that has since been deleted. “So proud of @ctalbot33 ! Home is wherever YOU are! Excited for time with you and wherever the next adventure takes us!”
She would later post a new tweet that included a caveat that she wasn't implying anything in the first post.
Talbot has one year remaining on his contract with the Wild. Meanwhile, Fleury is a pending unrestricted free-agent.