McKenna’s Matchup of the Day: Dec. 2 – Cam Talbot vs. Igor Shesterkin

Former NHL netminder Mike McKenna provides his Daily Faceoff Starting Goalie Matchup of the Day for Fri. Dec. 2, 2022:

Why I like this matchup:

The Senators and Rangers both need a boost, and I think goaltending could be that catalyst.

What to watch for:

I’ve been really impressed with Talbot this season, especially of late. He’s only allowed nine goals in his last four starts and posted a save percentage above ninety percent in each of those games. Advanced analytics have never favored Talbot but he routinely posts above-average numbers. The Senators are brutal defensively yet Talbot has a .918 save percentage in 11 appearances. That takes consistency. Talbot should have more than three wins given the way he’s played in Canada’s capital city.

Shesterkin has been hard on himself this year, and at times rightfully so. But he’s not Superman, and the Rangers haven’t been good enough in front of him. His .913 save percentage is well off his career pace of .926. My quick assessment is that Shesterkin is trying too hard. Last year he was able to mask the Rangers’ deficiencies. But it’s been different this year. A calm Shesterkin is the best version. And his puckhandling should be a bonus against Ottawa.

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What fantasy owners should do:

Shetserkin has lost two in a row and allowed eight goals over that span. So I think he’s due for a rebound game. I’d start him. Talbot has been so consistent this year. He’s only allowed more than three goals once. But the Rangers’ power play makes me nervous. Gut feeling: leave Talbot on the bench for tonight.

Bottom line for Cam Talbot:

Study up on Adam Fox and the Rangers power play. Ottawa needs Talbot to be their best player.

Bottom line for Igor Shesterkin:

Relax. Just play.

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