Craig Anderson out indefinitely with lacerated hand

Well this is a most unfortunate turn of events.

Reports suggest that Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson injured himself after last night's 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals by cutting his hand while preparing a meal or something similarly ridiculous. For now he's out indefinitely, but Bruce Garrioch is reporting he'll be out at least ten days--and maybe more.

Anderson's been he go-to guy for the Sens so far this season, having appeared in 56 of the team's 61 games and putting up a 29-19-6 record with a 2.85 GAA and a .913 SP. If the timeline for this injury is longer than a week or two, there will be a lot of uncertainty in Senators land.

First up after Anderson is Alex Auld, who's been better of late but has awful numbers so far this season: 2-3-2 record, 3.28 GAA, .883 SP. An optimist will look at his good numbers during the 2008-09 season with Ottawa (2.47 GAA, .911 SP), but a cynic will wonder whether or not Auld's best days are behind him.

The other immediate option, should the need arise, is to recall Robin Lehner (expect that call-up to happen his evening or early tomorrow) and thrust the young Swede into the starting role. Lehner's numbers this season have been abysmal (8-16-1 record, 3.38 GAA, .905 SP) with the Binghamton Senators, and he's been bumped from the starting position by journeyman Mike McKenna. Lehner's said in the past that he finds playing in the NHL easier than the AHL due to the increased structure and support from teammates, but he's still very young and very inexperienced to be guiding an NHL squad through the stretch and, potentially, into the playoffs.

Finally, there is one more option: A trade before Monday's trade deadline. There are goaltenders available out there (Chris Mason, Curtis Sanford, Antero Niittymaki, Evgeni Nabokov, potentially some bigger names), but the Senators aren't likely interested in making a big splash if they do trade for a 'tender--instead, given recent comments from Bryan Murray and Eugene Melnyk about staying the course on the rebuild, they'd be looking for a cheap and short-term option. If one exists.

Much remains to be seen about the extent of the injury and what will be done in Anderson's absence, but this just threw a wrench in the Senators' plans.

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