By simply being on the ice this season, Maxime Talbot has improved tenfold compared to 2009-10. Talbot missed much of that season due to offseason shoulder surgery and never quite seemed to get everything back in stride.
This season, Talbot has regained his form as versatile player capable of playing on any of the four lines and has been a stalwart on the penalty kill.
Earlier this week, he assessed his rebound season at the midway point, talked about an upcoming milestone and his impending free agency:
On the first half of 2010-11:
"Compared to last year, I’m miles ahead. Last year was really tough. I missed the first 35 games I think. I feel better. I think the first half, I’ve been pretty successful. I was playing a lot of minute. The team was successful. It’s always a good feeling."
What has been the highlight of this season so far:
"It’s being consistent night after night. It’s a big part of being a professional athlete. Trying to help every night. Obviously the (12-game) winning streak was pretty good being a part of that."
Does he need to improve his game or is he satisfied with it:
"No, there’s always improvement. There’s always a couple different things you want to get better at. Try to control the puck down low and try to get involved a little bit more offensively."
On being two points short of reaching 100 in his career:
"My game is not all about points obviously. I don’t think my game or success can be characterized in points. But for sure, it would be something that I would be proud of. The more games you can play the more points you can get. You can be a part of something."
How big is this season given his impending restricted free agency this season:
"It’s huge. It’s something I want to show that I’m a consistent player. I’m a guy you can rely on. It’s a big second half for me and I’m pretty pumped up about it."
(Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)