(Image from, where else, The Pensblog)
We think there's a lot of truth in one of John Buccigross's favorite sayings: "Player A is clutch, and clutch is everything!"
Perhaps somewhat sneakily, Maxime Talbot is making his name as a reliable playoff scorer at all levels.
- At the age of 18 in 2001-02 while playing in the Q, Talbot put up a .92 points-per-game regular season. He followed by scoring 10 points in 12 games (.833 ppg) for the playoffs.
- The next season, 2002-03 was Talbot's breakthrough performance. He scored 104 points in 69 regular season games (1.50 ppg). To follow that up he scored an amazing 44 points [14g, 30a] in 20 playoff games leading his team to the QMJHL championship. Talbot won the Guy Lafleur Trophy for being the playoff MVP.
- In 2003-04 Talbot scored 98 points in 51 reg. season games (1.92 points/game). He followed that by scoring 27 points [12g, 15a] in 15 games and became only second person to win the Guy Lafleur Trophy multiple times.
- As a roleplayer for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in his first pro season, Talbot struggled in the 2004-05 playoffs, tallying only 1 assist in 11 playoff games.
- However the following season would be a different story...Talbot split time between Pittsburgh and the AHL and had a .76 ppg ratio in the regular season on the farm. In 11 playoff games there he even bettered that, with 9 points [3g, 6a], good for .81 ppg.
- Last year, Talbot's first NHL spring he, like the rest of the team, got a rude awakening and only produced 1 assist in 5 games.
- This year, after being hampered by a lingering high-ankle sprain Talbot scored .41 ppg in the regular season. He already has 1 goal and 1 assist in three playoff games despite averaging about 13:30 minutes a night while playing on the 4th line and killing penalties.
Some players show up in the clutch and, as we'll continue to see, Talbot is just one of those pesky players with a knack for producing points at big moments when it counts.
(Props to JB for the wiki link and get us thinking about this)