Its a shame really.
After Erik Karlsson won the first individual award for an Ottawa Senator in over 15 years last season, Senators fans could rejoice. They had THE premier D-man in the league. There was a superstar on their team, and the rest of the hockey world had been forced to take notice.
For a team that has always had great, but not elite players, it was a pretty cool moment. This year started with Karlsson playing more minutes, excelling in penalty killing situations, and scoring 6 goals in just 14 games. He looked primed to make another run at a Norris trophy, but his achilles injury saw the end of that.
Funny enough though, through most of the season, it was another Senator that was being talked about as a shoe-in for a major individual award.
Craig Anderson has been spectacular this season (almost wish someone had suggested that in their Sterling Predictions). While he was THE shoo-in for the Vezina Trophy through most of the season, there was even talk of him being nominated (and losing to Sidney Crosby) for the Hart Trophy as player most valuable to his team.
The man has a .949 save percentage and a goals against average of just 1.53, both are tops in the league. Even having missed the time he has, he sits 6th in shutouts.
But there is the problem. Anderson missed 17 games with a high ankle sprain, so he sits 30th in wins and 30th in games played. He would likely have to post a shutout or two more, while playing the remaining games at his current stats, winning most of them, to even be considered for the Vezina. At this point a Hart nomination is out of the question.
And its a shame. Because he has been unbelievable this year.
- The aforementioned Erik Karlsson is skating in full equipment and Sens fans everywhere have to clean up their drool at the thought of him returning to the lineup for playoff time. [SSS]
- The most popular feature on our site (according to roll call): Ups and Downs! [SSS]
- B_T has been doing these week-at-a-glance posts for a while, and they are awesome! Check them out! [Fanpost]
- A really really strong article in defence of Zack Smith. Asked for comment, Zmith said "...do I look like I give a crap?" [6thSens]
- Ken Warren with a really cool Friedman-style 10 takes. [SE]
- Weary Sens can see the light at the end of this awful road trip. But first, the Bruins. [NP]
- Prediction Panel for tonight is almost evenly split. [SE]
- A Lambert-less WWL that looks at GMs with warm bottoms. [PD]
- Sidney Crosby, James Neal and Paul Martin are all back skating. Any first round opponent hoping to avoid those three, weep now. [NHL]
- Saving my favourite link for the last one: The NHL announces a historic partnership with You Can Play. [CBC]