Cam Talbot handled his playoff benching like a pro, but he admitted after Minnesota was drubbed 5-1 in a season-ending loss Thursday night that getting benched after going 13-0-3 in his final 16 starts of the regular season made him "pissed off."
“That doesn’t really matter. To me, that’s between the coaching staff and myself and Flower," Talbot said when asked if he was given an explanation for why Marc-Andre Fleury (Flower) was given the nod over him until Game 6.
"Obviously, was I disappointed? Yeah. Pissed off? Yeah. I think 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 respect the decision, of course."
Talbot allowed four of the five goals the Blues scored in Game 6. Two came on the power play and two were at even strength, including the first of the night by Nick Leddy in which the Eden Prairie native fired a wrist shot between five Wild players and it somehow snuck past Talbot.
Michael Russo of The Athletic wrote a column Friday saying the Wild clearly didn't have confidence in Talbot in the playoffs, and that "it’s going to be a tall task for the Wild to ask Talbot to let bygones be bygones."
Russo asked Talbot during the postgame media conference if it would be easy or hard for him to put the benching behind him.
“Ask me in a couple more days after I process this one," Talbot said. “This is a special group, and I do have one year left (on my contract), and I’m still excited to be a part of this team and this group, that locker room. As much as that obviously hurt, this is still a group that I believe in — a group that I’d like to be a part of. It’s a special team."
Talbot has one year and $3.67 million left on his contract. But with Fleury already saying he wants to return next season, Wild GM Bill Guerin has a big decision ahead of him.
"Excited for time with you and wherever the next adventure takes us!" Kelly Talbot, Cam's wife, tweeted after the season ended Thursday night.
That wasn't Kelly's only tweet. She also responded to a tweet from Russo, making it very clear that she wasn't pleased with Wild coach Dean Evason saying it was an "easy decision" to start Fleury over Talbot to begin the series.