[Ed. note: As part of the build-up to the second round playoff series between the Capitals and Penguins, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but lesser-known players on the Penguins and how they might impact the series.]
#25 / Center / Pittsburgh Penguins
Feb 11, 1984
Lemoyne, Que., CAN
234th overall, 2002
|Strengths||Is an outstanding penalty-killer. Plays with tremendous passion and displays sound leadership ability. Also plays bigger than he is.|
|Weaknesses||Is undersized and injury-prone. Struggles when asked to shut down big NHL forwards. Doesn't light up the scoreboard at the highest level.|
|Potential||Versatile, gritty two-way forward.|
Why you should know who he is - Talbot is a superstar whose Game 6 tussle with the Flyers' Daniel Carcillo inspired the the Penguins to dig themselves out of a 3-0 hole to go on to win the game (or not). Regardless, he's an energy guy capable of rallying the troops should they require it. He hits, blocks shots and does all of the little things that it takes to win games this time of year. Plus, he's damn sexy.
How the Caps can stop him - Much like Brandon Dubinsky or Blair Betts last series, it's a matter of matching Talbot's energy and effort levels. When Talbot scores, it's usually the result of outworking everyone on the ice, so a lazy backcheck or a half-hearted battle along the boards could be disastrous with Talbot on the ice. Smart breakout passes will be key, and for the love of Red Jesus... don't drop the mittens with him if there's no reason to.