It was the kind of thing movies are made about. After shutting out the Canucks, Craig Anderson took a personal leave of absence from the team. As it turns out, Nicholle, his wife, had been diagnosed with cancer. But when backup Andrew Hammond went down against the Flames, Nicholle reportedly told Andy that his team needed him. And he earned a huge win, stopping all 37 shots against the red hot Oilers en route to his second shutout of the week. It was emotional to say the least, as a quick Twitter search of gifs will show you.
Also, apologies if there are loads of typos here. I'm typing on my phone as a passenger on the trip back to Calgary after the game.
The first period opened poorly for Sens fans. Connor McDavid had an electrifying first shift, deking through the Sens defence. It made the building even louder. The Oilers would get the only three powerplays of the period, but they couldn't solve Andy with some quick passing.
The second period saw Ottawa tie up the shots early, only to watch the game slip out of their hands a bit later. But importantly, Ottawa scored the only goal. Mike Hoffman got his long-awaited first of the season after a nice behind-the-net pass from ‘bona fide NHLer’ Tom Pyatt. That seemed to ignite something in Hoff, who gained confidence, making smart dekes and even hitting a post on the powerplay.
The third period saw Ottawa play alright to start it, but the Oilers took over pushing for that tying goal. Ottawa went into a shell for the final six minutes, but Andy continued to stop everything, and Bobby Ryan sealed the win with an empty-netter because he was on the ice to protect a one-goal lead for some reason. Sens won, 2-0.
Sens Hero: Craig Anderson
No one else deserves a hero nod tonight. Even in the third period I saw him bobble a puck, and realized it was the first time I'd seen him do that all game. He was stellar. All the best to Nicholle and Craig as they continue to navigate what must be s a difficult time.
Honourable Mention: Mike Hoffman
He looked like a man on a mission in the second. Here's hoping that goal opens the floodgates for arguably Ottawa’s best goal scorer.
Honourable Mention: Whoever decided to put me on TV after the Ryan goal
Also thanks to all my friends who messaged me after I showed up on TV and took those screenshots.
Possibly when I'm not on my phone. Possibly.