I doubt many will be surprised by our opinions on this matchup.
Craig Anderson has, undoubtedly, been hugely important to the Ottawa Senators' success this season, but Henrik Lundqvist has been at least as important to the New York Rangers' success--and he has simply incredible numbers this year.
Speaking of which, let's take a look at the numbers:
|2011 - Henrik Lundqvist||62||3754||39||18||123||1.97||1753||1630||.930||8|
|2011 - Martin Biron||21||1220||12||6||50||2.46||519||469||.904||2|
And the guys you're more familiar with, the Senators goalies:
|2011 - Craig Anderson||63||3492||33||22||165||2.84||1917||1752||.914||3|
|2011 - Ben Bishop||10||532||3||3||22||2.48||243||221||.909||0|
Based on the numbers, the experience, and the reputations, the Rangers have the advantage. Below the jump are the rest of our opinions on the matchup, but up first is Parisi getting right to the point:
Craig Anderson can steal an occasional game. Henrik Lundqvist is a certain Vezina Trophy finalist this season. There's not going to be any "25% rule" this time around. Advantage: Rangers
In the opening game of his last playoff series, Craig Anderson was unbelievable for the upstart Colorado Avalanche. The Avs ended up winning in overtime when Dan Boyle threw the puck into his own net. Anderson will need to repeat that outstanding performance a few times for Ottawa to stand a real chance, while the Rangers will hopefully do their part by summoning their inner Brian McCabe's. But when squaring up the two tenders, it's really no contest. Anderson is good, Henrik Lundqvist is one of the prettiest there is. His eyes match the blue of his jersey- he'll be able to see for himself in the reflection of the Vezina Trophy he'll be holding in a few months.
Neither of Craig Anderson or Henrik Lundqvist are proven quantities in the playoffs, but no one can deny the fact that Lundy has been a better and more consistent goaltender for a longer period of time. Lundqvist and the Rangers have the inside track.
Henrik Lundqvist's all-star talent and Disney prince good looks are a perfect fit for the bright lights of New York City. However, Craig Anderson's quiet dependability and second-half consistency were just what Ottawa needed after several seasons of controversy in net. While Lundqvist has had a Vezina-calibre regular season that has some people talking Hart, Anderson actually has a much more impressive SV% in the playoffs, albeit in a limit sample. Anderson is capable of stealing games (see his performance for Colorado in the playoffs or his Sens debut against the Leafs) and will have to if Ottawa has any chance of winning the series. Lundqvist's playoff performances haven't measured up yet, but he has the ability to carry a team all the way, and has a gold medal from Turin to prove it.
What more can be said about King Henrik? He has been one of the best (if not THE best) goalies in the world for several seasons now, and he is the main reason the Blueshirts are a number 1 seed. He does not have great numbers in the playoffs, and so far, thats the only blemish on his sterling smile...errr... reputation. Sterling reputation. Craig Anderson is much like the Senators themselves. Underrated, streaky, and capable of surprising you. He has SILLY numbers at MSG in his career (6-0) and for the Sens to do anything in this series, he's going to have to at the very least match Hanks performance, something I'm not convinced he can do.