Max Talbot

Max Talbot's (literal) up and down season continues

DJ Bean
November 21, 2015 - 8:01 am
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Max Talbot has found the AHL different this season from when he'd last seen it. Ten years after being promoted to the NHL, Talbot is back to minor-league life as he goes up and down between Boston in Providence. Currently with the NHL club, Talbot said Saturday that his experience with Providence has opened his eyes to what players are in these days. "Not only the league changed, but hockey in general changed from 10 years ago," he said. "Guys are a little bit more professional. They come more mature when they'€™re younger. They come prepared, they'€™ve been working out for a certain number of years. "The game is faster, the game is bigger. The younger guys, they have their legs and they forecheck. The game is similar in a way, but super different. I think it'€™s a better game than 10 years ago, like the NHL'€™s better now than it was before." Talbot was 21 when he went from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He recalls there being more of a split between prospects and veteran players back then than there is now, where teams might be more inclined to carry as many prospects as they can get. "It was more of a veteran type of game," he said. "Now it'€™s a little more younger and a development-type atmosphere." Talbot can only hope that his AHL days are over (again), but that'€™s not likely. Frank Vatrano is expected to begin practicing on Sunday, meaning the Bruins will again have 12 healthy forwards. The B'€™s could opt to bring Talbot on their upcoming road trip, but if Vatrano'€™s health doesn'€™t signal his return to Providence, David Pastrnak'€™s eventual health figures to. That said, Talbot said he is not resigned to having to go up and down this season. His goal is to force his way back into the lineup for good. "There'€™s always things you can do," he said. "If I play the best hockey I can play and show them that they can'€™t take me out of the lineup, that'€™s what I'€™m hoping I can do. If I play like I can play, the top of my [game], you can force some hands and stay here. That'€™s the goal of any pro athlete, to give the best you can give and hope for the best." Talbot may not be up for long, but Claude Julien feels fortunate to still have the 31-year-old forward as an option. The fact that he'€™s both a veteran and someone with whom the team is familiar means that the team generally knows what they'€™ll get from him. "He'€™s an experienced guy," Julien said. "'€¦ He comes, he competes hard. He understands what we'€™re trying to do here so it'€™s not like we'€™re trying to teach somebody. That'€™s the luxury that we have with Max being in Providence. When you bring him up you'€™re bringing a veteran player that'€™s played the game. But he'€™s not nervous about playing in this league and understands. He'€™s been with us since last year, so he understands exactly what we'€™re all about here."

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