There's been a lot of talk recently about the Sens goaltending situation. Let's be clear: I don't think the Sens are in a bad position. They have a number one goaltender (Craig Anderson), a highly-touted 23 year old who has the chance to be a number one (Robin Lehner), and a 27 year old rookie who just the SECOND goaltender in the last 75 years to allow 2 or fewer goals in each of his first 8 starts (Andrew Hammond), the other being Martin Jones for LA last year. The key for the Senators now is to decide: is Andrew Hammond the real deal?
There has been a ton of reports that the Senators were open to moving Anderson or Lehner before the deadline - this from Elliotte Friedman's 30 thoughts column, but were scared that they didn't have the goaltending depth to follow it up just in case on got injured. As Bryan Murray always says (speaking from experience), it's good to have two number one goaltenders:
14. The goalie market this summer is going to be fascinating. It's no secret Ottawa planned to make some kind of Craig Anderson/Robin Lehner decision. Lehner's disappointing season muddles that because they can't be certain he's a full-time starter. And, what does his performance do to his trade value?
Andrew Hammond's sudden surge adds an interesting variable. This is too small a sample size to make any sweeping judgments, but, if you're the Senators, which one do you try to trade? If Anderson gets you the most, will you go into 2015-16 with a Hammond/Lehner combo?
However, should a hot stretch from Andrew Hammond warrant the Senators trading one of their two highly touted tenders, especially given his NCAA and AHL numbers to this point (see below) weren't anything spectacular?
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From Jeff, who's watched Hammond directly for two seasons (linked column in the Nuggets):
This season in Binghamton, Hammond has struggled with inconsistencies as he had flashes of brilliance but seems to lose his confidence somehow along the way, with a record of 7-13-2 and a 3.51 GAA, along with a SV% of 0.898, hardly anything to brag about. But to his defense, Binghamton is scattered throughout the league with the highest shots allowed, as well as goals, as victims to a rather porous defensive line-up which is more naturally geared leaning towards the offense sides of things.
It's not uncommon for goaltenders who aren't NHL calibre to go on hot runs only to fade back down to Earth, and this is why many, including myself, hold the "goaltenders are voodoo" mentality, where their career numbers are taken into consideration with their age to try and project what their performance will look like in the future. This projection will be key for the Senators, as a trade of Anderson or Lehner can significantly alter the direction of the franchise.
What do you think they should do?
- Three sets of game recaps for you - let's start in reverse chronological order with yesterday night's win vs. Buffalo. [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances, Ottawa Citizen, SensChirp]
- Next, Wednesday night's win against the Winnipeg Jets was super impressive because the Sens were on a back-to-back. [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances, Ottawa Citizen, SensChirp, SenShot]
- That back-to-back game? A hard fought shootout loss vs. the Minnesota Wild. [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances, Ottawa Citizen, SensChirp]
- Three points back, three points back! Eden asks if we recognize these very Ottawa Senators, and Trevor breaks down the Senators playoff push. [The Storied Sens, SenShot]
- Jeff reports on the Hamburglar, who looks vastly different than how he looked for most of the year in Binghamton, and the Citizen has a feature column on the 27 year old. [SenShot, Ottawa Citizen]
- Also relevant to our discussion today, Craig Anderson says that it's killing him to be out watching the team when he can't play a part. Uhhh Andy, I know what you mean, but be happy they're winning! [Ottawa Citizen]
- Our friend Daniel Alfredsson received the Key to the City! Alfie spoke about his future in hockey, and about his community work on mental health awareness. Wonder if he moves back to Ottawa? [SenShot, Ottawa Citizen]
- Our latest Email Hotstove is on the trade deadline! [Silver Seven]
- Did you vote for your player of the month? Erik Karlsson's February was great, with a point per game pace against top competition. [Silver Seven]
- Speaking of Erik Karlsson, here's a nice piece from the Hockey Writers on our Captain. [The Hockey Writers]
- Some third quarter grades and corresponding column from Jack and the SenShot crew. Milan Michalek has filled in very nicely for Clarke MacArthur on the top line, which I didn't expect at all. [SenShot, SenShot column]
- Jeff has game recaps from the BSens two victories against Norfolk this week. In case you missed it, that's the last time Binghamton will ever play Norfolk as their AHL team is being relocated next year. [SenShot - v. Norfolk I, SenShot - v. Norfolk II]
- Jeff then has the BSens third quarter grades. When I was looking at the prospects in the Senators system, these subjective rankings were invaluable qualitative information so I highly recommend you checking them out if you're interested in the prospects playing down in Binghamton. [SenShot]
- In case you missed any prevailing storylines from this week, Five Thoughts has you covered! [Silver Seven]
- A cool column from Dave Lozo on the most traded player in NHL history. [Bleacher Report]
- The folks over at War On Ice, in collaboration with Greg Sinclair, are in the process of getting salary cap information over on their site. Check it out! [War-On-Ice]
- The Pascal Dupuis column that had everyone buzzing earlier in the week. Fantastic writing. [The Players Tribune]
- Prospect stuff: the teams in the WHL that have produced the most NHLers recently are.....? [Dub From Above]