Fantasy Take: Three years for Talbot, hip-hip hooray

Michael Clifford

2020-10-09

One of the secrets of fantasy hockey is that Minnesota has been probably the best place for goalies to play for years now, or at least on the shortlist. Their system, it seems regardless of coach, does a very good job of forcing shots to the outside, making easier saves for goalies, which allows them to inflate save percentages almost artificially. Case in point, here are Minnesota's ranks by high-danger shot attempts allowed per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 the last five years, starting with 2015-16: 9th, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st. Not a mistake. They've allowed the fewest HD shot attempts/60 in each of the last four seasons. And yet, in none of those five seasons of great net-front defence were they top-10 by total shot attempts allowed/60. That means they're mid-pack at allowing shots, but allow the fewest HD shots. That, in turn, means a high ratio of medium-to-low danger shots for any Wild goalie. That is how a goalie can inflate a save percentage, provided they're still a decent goalie. It's why Devan Dubnyk was above average by overall save percentage in 2018-19 despite his underlying performance metrics, like expected GSA, being atrocious. The system helps bad goalies look average and average goalies look better.

All this leads to the point of this post: the Minnesota Wild signed goalie Cam Talbot to a three-year deal carrying an AAV around $3.7M.

 

What the Wild get

We already broke down why going to Minnesota is good for any goalie, so let's get to Talbot.

Talbot has only had one really bad year, a