When the Ottawa Senators began training camp this year, there was no shortage of questions. What will the defence look like? How about the bottom six forwards? Will any of the new kids break through and make the team?
The one area seemingly free from question marks was Ottawa’s goaltending depth chart. Unless someone got hurt or sick, Anton Forsberg and Cam Talbot would be the team’s two goalies.
Well, apparently the injury bug that hounded the Sens last season followed them right into training camp. In the Sens’ very first preseason game September 24th, Talbot suffered a rib injury.
“It was a puck in the pre-season game in Toronto,” said Talbot. “Obviously, the only game that I’ve played in. A guy was behind the net and I went to intercept his pass to the guy in the slot. So I turned my stick over, which kind of opens up my oblique/rib area, and when I intercepted the first pass, there was another guy standing right at the side of the net.
“That guy just came and kind of one timed it, and my arm was still wide open and exposed my ribs. And he got me right up under there, where there’s no padding to be found.”
The Senators announced that Talbot would miss 5-7 weeks but he’s a more optimistic than that.
“Hopefully, only about four weeks,” said Talbot. “We’ll see. They said 5 to 7 in the press release but I hopefully heal a little quicker than that and I’ll be back before the end of October, I’m hoping.”
A rib injury is no picnic, causing pain from even the simplest movements like coughing, sneezing or just reaching for the TV remote.
“All of the above,” laughed Talbot. “Yeah. Laughing, coughing, sneezing. Sleeping is the worst. Can’t really turn over or do any kind of rotational stuff. So I pretty much just sleep on my back. And I’m getting older now so my back hurts when I wake up. It’s not a fun injury to have.”
Talbot’s injury leaves the net entirely to Anton Forsberg for now. On Wednesday, the club did claim goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from Seattle. Hellberg has played just 5 games in the NHL. Given how few back-to-back games the Sens have in the early going, the backup goalie, whether it’s Hellberg or someone else, probably won’t see much action in Talbot’s absence.
Of course, that’s barring any further damage from Ottawa’s relentless injury bug.
By Steve Warne