2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Max Talbot Is a Player Every Playoff Team Wants

Ian BarryCorrespondent IIIApril 16, 2012

During the offseason, Penguins forward Max Talbot switched sides of the state and of the rivalry. With a new team and a new city, Talbot is proving why he's the type of player a team needs to win the Stanley Cup.

Max Talbot is not a player who makes a name for himself by being overly skilled or scoring a large number of goals.

Instead, he's the embodiment of what a grinder should be. Everything Talbot gets on the ice comes through hard work and constant hustle.

Penguins’ fans have already seen what Talbot is capable of, because he was an important part of their Stanley Cup run in 2009. While Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Marc-Andre Fleury were the names that made headlines, Talbot was just as important.

When the Cup was on the line, Talbot came up huge in Game 7 and scored two goals, leading the Penguins to win the Cup.

It's still early in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, but Talbot is already showing Flyers' fans how significant he can be in the playoffs.

The Flyers have played three games against Talbot’s old team, and so far in the series, Talbot has four goals and one assist. Two of Talbot’s four goals against the Penguins have been shorthanded.

Talbot is a fourth-line skater for the Flyers, and gets about 17 minutes of ice time per game. In addition to Talbot’s regular ice time, he's on the ice for the majority of the Flyers’ penalty kills and none of their power plays.

Even with the limited ice time and penalty killing, Talbot has a plus-five rating so far in the series.

The Flyers have not finished their first playoff series, and Talbot is already showing that he's a perfect fit in Philadelphia.

Talbot plays every shift with the same intensity. He's on the ice giving it his all from start to finish. Because of his style of play, Talbot has been embraced immediately by the Flyers faithful.

Talbot will not score the most goals for the Flyers this postseason, but he does score goals when they are most needed. Early in Game 3, the Flyers were down 1-0 and killing a penalty, and with one play, Talbot tied the game and drew a penalty to stop the Penguins’ power play.

As the Flyers go further into the playoffs, Talbot will continue to show how important he is to the team. He might not be the most noticeable player on the ice, but when the Flyers need a player to step up in a big way, Talbot will be ready.