Welcome back, Mr. Anderson.
After missing 5-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, Craig Anderson didn't look exactly like the brick wall he had seemed to be before the injury. Sure, he was playing fairly well, but bad goals that didn't go in on him in the early part of the year seemed to find the back of the net.
Last night Craig Anderson reminded everyone why he was the lock for the Vezina Trophy prior to his injury and why some people were calling for a Hart nomination for the Senators favourite bald goaltender. He was unconscious, stopping 48 of 50 shots in regulation, including a number of excellent chances. The only shots that DID beat him were shots you can't expect any goalie to stop.
Its no surprise though is it? Craig Anderson, since he joined the Ottawa Senators (and occasionally before that), has shown two things:
- When he gets a lot of work, he looks much better. This is true for a number of goaltenders, but it seems especially true for Andy. The more shots he sees, the better.
- He elevates his game in the playoffs.
Now, that second one is interesting. This quote from Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer made me laugh the other day:
Reimer on no NHL playoff experience: My job is to stop that little black puck, unless they change the size during the playoffs, I'm good.— Andi Petrillo (@andipHNIC) May 1, 2013
While he has a point, there is something to be said about players who elevate come playoff time, and it appears as though Craig Anderson is one of those guys. A few years ago, he was the story of the first round, stopping more than 200 shots in his first round series against the San Jose Sharks. Last year he went toe-to-toe with Vezina winner Henrik Lundqvist and had the Rangers shaking their head when the Sens took top seeded New York to seven games.
And in game one this year, he looked unbeatable at times. And that bodes well for the Sens as the rest of this series continues.
- Speaking of Anderson, he was the NHL's 1st star last night. [NHL]
- Game recaps of last night's huge win. [SSS] [Warren] [EOtP]
- Postgame quotes and stats [Warren]
- I know you are shocked, but Adnan wrote an article about how Erik Karlsson is better than PK Subban. [SSS]
- Lars Eller was in hospital last night. Here is hoping he makes a quick and full recovery. [CBC]
- Meanwhile Eric Gryba may not be available tonight as the hit is the subject of a phone hearing he has with the league today. [NHL]
- Scoring chances compiled for the last quarter of the season. Cory Conacher has been awesome. [6thSens]
- Prediction panel is pretty split on tonight's game 2. [PP]
- James Day Preview of the tilt tonight in Montreal. [WTYKY]