Seeing the Max Talbot factor

Everybody who said Max Talbot would have more goals than Danny Briere, Jaromir Jagr and James van Riemsdyk through 58 games stand up.

How come you’re all sitting?

Talbot’s knack of putting the biscuit in the basket has been among the biggest surprises of this zany Flyers season. In a year where most of the talk has been about head cases (Ilya Bryzgalov) and concussions (six Flyers have missed time), along with the development of a huge rookie contingent headed by Matt Read, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn, he’s been one of the few constants.

Not bad for a career journeyman, whose previous claim to the fame had been scoring both goals in the Penguins’ 2009 Game 7 Stanley Cup clincher in Detroit.

“In that playoff run I was on [Evgeni] Malkin’s line and had eight goals in 24 games,” said Talbot. “That was probably the best I played. But the consistency I’ve had here for the season is the best I’ve felt. I really like my role.”

Talbot, with 16 goals entering last night’s game, is tied for fourth on the team in goals scored. So what’s gotten into a player with just 52 goals in his first six seasons?

“I’m lucky to play with Jake Voracek,” said Talbot. “Having him on my side is huge. He loves to have the puck and I like to drive the net and the puck hits me and goes in. He’s the difference in my game.”

And, Talbot has been the difference in a number of games, justifying the Flyers’ decision to sign him to a five-year, $9 million contract.

“I know the team wants to win and will do anything to win,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why I signed here. Right now the sense in the room is yes, we have the elements to win. When you get into a playoff run anything can happen.”

Lamps lit

Flyers’ leading goal-scorers (through Feb. 20):

Scott Hartnell, 27 goals

Claude Giroux, 22 goals

Wayne Simmonds, 21 goals

Max Talbot, 16 goals

Matt Read, 16 goals

Bryzgalov injures hand, not serious

Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov left yesterday’s morning skate in Winnipeg with a left hand injury.

Bryzgalov was hit by a puck in his glove hand and went to the dressing room for X-rays. The team said it wasn’t serious and the X-rays came back negative, according to The $51 million man started in net last night.

Bryzgalov entered last night’s game with a 20-11-6 record and a 2.79 goals-against average in 40 games.

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