Can one game in professional sports make your whole entire career a success?
If Pittsburgh Penguins forward Maxime Talbot is any indication, it sure seems that way.
The fan favorite will live in Penguins' lore forever, thanks to the fact that he scored two goals in Game 7 of the 2008-09 Stanley Cup Finals.
Not only did Talbot score both goals, but one of them was the game-winner, not to mention he was the only player on the team to score that game.
Yes, that's great, and we were are very grateful for that. He deserved the attention that he got.
However, this is a "what have you done for me lately" world we live in, especially in the world of professional sports.
What has Talbot done for the Penguins lately? He has one goal in his last 12 games. He has just seven goals on the season and just 15 points.
For someone that gets "superstar treatment," I find this simply unacceptable.
Talbot gets to be in commercials and gets standing ovations by Pens fans. I simply don't understand it.
Those two goals get you that kind of treatment?
Those two goals allow you to be mediocre the rest of your career?
The reality is Talbot is not getting better. He's actually regressing in terms of career production.
In 2007-08 he scored a career-high 26 points, which is good for a third- or fourth-line player. This season will most likely be the third straight season he will fail to get back to that point total.
So you're trying to tell me that Talbot's ceiling in terms of point production is 26?
If that's the case, then I really don't see the reason for bringing him back after this year.
Talbot is making $1.05 million this year and is an unrestricted free agent after this season. I would much rather have a young guy like Dustin Jeffery and/or Chris Conner assume Talbot's spot on the team permanently after this year.
I actually was hoping and expecting Talbot to be traded this year at the trade deadline, but it didn't happen. That worries me.
It worries me that they might bring Talbot back because he's such a big fan favorite. I hope that's not the case. If Pens fans can get over Colby Armstrong, then they should be able to get over a lesser player in Talbot.
I know that Talbot is well-liked by his teammates and in the Pittsburgh community.
I know that he's supposedly a really good guy.
That doesn't excuse the fact that is just a career fourth-liner.
For as much love and praise as Talbot gets, he's arguably the least important forward in the lineup on given nights. At this point, Talbot is nothing more than a personality. He's funny, and apparently many of the female fans find him very attractive.
I guess that also excuses him for playing mediocre hockey.
I realize it's hard for a lot of Pens fans to let go of Game 7, but those two goals have made Talbot one of the most overrated and over-celebrated athletes in Pittsburgh sports history.