BOSTON — Max Talbot had reason to smile Wednesday night.
Not only did the Boston Bruins knock off Talbot’s former team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the veteran forward directly contributed to the win — something he’s not often been able to say since joining the Bruins late last season.
Talbot beat Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff midway through the first period of Boston’s eventual 3-0 win to snap a goal drought that dated back to February. It was his first point of the season and his first goal in 29 games as a Bruin.
“I mean, I think you saw by my celebration,” said Talbot, whose last goal came Feb. 28, when he still was a member of the Colorado Avalanche. “I think you could see a lot where it was obviously happiness, but relief, also. It’s been a rough start in a way, but at the same time, it’s good to do something good and to contribute.”
Talbot has been a man in the middle this season, playing 11 games for the Bruins and another 10 for the team’s American Hockey League affiliate in Providence. The hour-long drive from Boston to Rhode Island’s capital city has become a familiar one for the gray-bearded forward, who has been sent to the minors and recalled three times since opening night.
Before this season, Talbot hadn’t played a game in the AHL since the 2006-07 season. But the 31-year-old is taking his late-career transition in stride.
“You have to look at the individual,” head coach Claude Julien said. “Everybody handles it differently, but Max from the first day he went down to Providence, all I hear was what a great attitude he had, that he was smiling, having fun with the guys and playing as hard. He was one of the best players there. That just shows his character and what he’s all about. What’s happening to him right now, I think he deserves because of just the way he’s handled himself through the situation that started at the beginning of the year.”
While Talbot hasn’t produced much at the NHL level this season, he’s scored at a solid clip during his stints in Providence. He has four goals, including three on the power play, and six assists in his 10 games with the Baby B’s.
“I scored maybe 10 days ago, but it was in Providence,” Talbot said. “NHL-wise, I don’t remember the date. February something. I know it’s my first as a Bruin also, so I’m pretty proud of that. Hopefully, I can be a little light on my feet and keep doing some good things out there.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins center Max Talbot