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Round Two, Game Six Hotstove

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How much rope should Andy get?

New York Rangers v Ottawa Senators - Game Five

Craig Anderson has had a rocky series so far. He's made some spectacular saves, but (apart from game one) has also been letting in bad goals on a regular basis and has the worst GAA for round 2 starters which has a growing number of fans asking about Mike Condon. How much rope do you think Andy should have tonight?

nkb: I can't imagine a scenario in which the Sens are in a competitive playfoff game and Anderson isn't in goal. He's had his ups and downs this series, but he's easily the better of the two not just over the course of their careers but this season too. If Andy is healthy, and the game is within reach, he should be playing. If it's a blowout, I don't see why Condon can't play some mins to give Anderson rest but otherwise the choice is pretty clear cut to me. Your best players got you to where you are; they're the ones that will win or lose it for you. Anderson is the Sens best goalie.

If the game is competitive, he should be playing even if it's 5-5.

Colin: Definitely agree, Anderson should stay as Ottawa's starter, unless the circumstance becomes dire. Of the 16 playoff starters, Anderson ranks 14th in low danger SV% and last in medium danger SV%, although he's sporting the 5th highest SV% in high-danger events. All three categories were near the top of the league in the regular season, and I have higher trust in his high-danger and medium-danger improving than his high-danger falling. Condon's a good backup, but the Sens should definitely continue to play Anderson.

Beata: It's hard because there's so little margin for error in the playoffs, and because we can always count on Andy to bounce back if he has a good period. I'm not sure I trust him entirely at this point, but I do trust him more than Condon, so I'm with NKB and Colin on this one. Keep him in for now.

Peter: Yeah, I agree with NKB... if we get into blowout territory we'll likely see Condon come in, but not if the score remains close (just as happened in Game Four of the series). Last game, we saw Anderson make some incredible saves when the score was 4-3, and that's why he should stay in as long as things stay within reach--he's a better goalie than Condon, and he can set the stage for late-game dramatics.

My feeling about Anderson right now is similar to what it was after Game Three in the first round, where I was disturbed by some uncharacteristically poor play but optimistic that he would be able to bounce back and bring his numbers up to the levels we normally expect. Then he put up a perfect game and shutout the Bruins. He'll need more support from the Sens' skaters to keep shot numbers down and reduce the number of rushes he faces, but I expect his numbers should bump up.

Callum: Unless it's 5-0 in the first period and you're looking to get Andy some extra rest for a looming Game 7, you don't pull him. As much as some fans, and a beat writer here or there, like to think that there is a bit of a goalie controversy in Ottawa, it's the exact opposite.

Adnan: The Senators have allowed four or more goals for four straight games. They have faced a two goal deficit for four straight games. They have somehow managed to win two of them. The defence has been bad, but Anderson has still stopped only 89.8% of shots in the series. After all that, yes Anderson has been bad, yes they have won despite him, but you can't expect Mike Condon to be the better option.

Trevor: I agree with the responses here; the only reason Andy shouldn't be playing at some point is if the game is so far out of reach. Even if the game is high scoring, he's still going to make some great saves that Mike Condon simply will not. Anderson certainly needs to be much better, but he's the much better goalie right now, and he should be given a pretty long leash.

Ian: Like most of you have mentioned, Andy's leash is super long in game 6. The only reason that I would want to see Condon come in would be for blow-out mop-up duty. Anderson is our number one, the team trusts him, and he's earned it. Wouldn't be surprised to see a great effort out of him tonight and steal the series for the Sens.

Ross: You need a goalie who can steal you a game. Condon is a career AHL goalie who's been thrust twice into a starter's role for a short stint - he's not a goalie you can expect to steal a game