The presumption about Anderson’s recent injury and its ramifications on the team is that the stability Anderson brought to Ottawa’s goaltending situation is now subject to all kinds of doubt. Even if the team continues to hold on to one of those lower seeds and makes the playoffs, the thought of heading there will underwhelming backup Alex Auld or very young and possibly nuts Robin Lehner if enough to tug one’s collar clean off.
The thing is, Anderson hasn’t really been all that great this year. He can be, but is not consistently, and it seems that the stability he brings is as much a byproduct of the coach and management’s sudden dedication to riding their starter no matter what as it is of his performance. If Ottawa had played Elliott or Emery every single game even after allowing terrible goals (like from center ice against Boston?) maybe we’d be experiencing the same stability.
Anyway, Alex Auld has played almost 240 NHL games on eight different teams. He’s experienced, which is why he’s making a cool million when the team could have gone with anyone at league minimum (especially considering with Anderson they’re barely letting anyone else play). This is his chance to step in and steady the boat. And failing that, it’s Lehner time.
I say don’t worry, be happy. This entire season is gravy, and Ottawa enters the playoffs with the same attitude it’s had all season: no one expects anything. Stick Lehner in there, who seems to feed off of dire situations and being underestimated, and see what happens. It’s great experience at the very least.
The last thing I want Ottawa to do is trade for another goalie, especially one that might require more than, say, a fourth round pick. I like Chris Mason, for example, but he’s making almost $2MM a year and hasn’t been great in Winnipeg. Who else are we gonna get? Antero Niittymaki? I’m not typing that name every other day.
First of all I want to congratulate Robin Lehner on solidifying his Twitter legacy by besting his 111 day reign as title holder for Best Tweet I’ve Ever Seen with, “Of(f) to olive garden for lunch! Lehner wants a nice pasta!:)” by remarking “;)” at learning of his call up due to Anderson’s injury. There is none higher on twitter.
I am of a similarish mind on this situation. I don’t think the Sens should make a move goaltending wise unless it is on the cheapest of cheaps if only as a buffer in case one of Lehner or Auld are themselves injured. See also: Lehner has already been injured this year (more than once?) and Auld reportedly had to leave the ice after a collision with Zack Smith at practice today.
IIIIIIII think you’re being too harsh on Anderson. In my opinion, he has kept the teams in way more games than he’s lost them. Lest we forget he’s been the guy who’s allowed them to be the cardiac kids when the rest of the guys were only turning it on only in the 3rd. Or like the Washington game the other day where they forgot that they had to still play in the 3rd when they had a big lead. Like Brian Lee’s being drafted too high, Anderson actually being handed the starter role (and how) instead of facing the win and you’re in type garbage of the ghosts of coachmas past is unfair. He is in the highest percentile of shots faced in the year, has a winning record and was even starting to post a few shutouts recently. He’s also been a steadying presence in the shootout which is something basically no Sens goalie can boast since its introduction to the game. Anyway, Craig Anderson: Good Goalie. Yes, he let in a shot from centre ice. That shit happens every year to goalies of all stripes. I don’t even think that was the only centre ice goal that week. That’s why those dudes take those shots. They occasionally go in. Anyway, he’s played a lot of games and is 29-19-6 I can see why people are a little freaked.
Now regarding the current goaltending conundrum; as funny and awesome and killing it on twitter as Robin Lehner is, I think you give Auld the start against Boston. At least the team’s played in front of him a more than once this season, not a hell of a lot more mind you but this is a four point game, play it safe. He’s an NHL goalie even if he’s a career backup. He also played pretty damn well in an absolutely huge game against Nashville recently. Give him the big game and, you know, we’ve seen him struggle with getting a bunch of starts in his first tour with Ottawa so sprinkle liberally with Lehner starts. Even if Auld gets all of the hard ass Boston, Chicago, New York starts and Lehner gets the lighter Islanders, Tampa, Buffalo fare, like Varada said, that’s why Auld makes a million dollars and Lehner makes bets on twitter for autographed jerseys that you cant beat him at Modern Warfare. Now, that is ME (some frigging guy) saying this and my mind would not be blown to see Murray looking into preventing the idea of having a Lehner/McKenna tandem should something happen to Auld (WHICH ALREADY KIND OF DID AT PRACTICE TODAY gellllllllllllp).
As I see it, this is a business that has apparently lost money the last few years *mild hand wanking motion* poised to pick up some extra dough if even just for hosting the minimum two playoff games and probably doesn’t want to fuck that up a little over a month and two weeks from the post season. I think Murray’s too smart to mortgage the future or whatever because of an injury now that expectations of the team are different. Though I do think it’s understandable if he’s looking into getting a little padding if rumors are true that Auld was indeed shaken up at practice today. I hope to clay animation Jesus that Anderson is not out for the 8 weeks I’ve been hearing (how fucking bad is this cut?) because that is essentially the rest of the regular season. Even if Lehner and Auld can get it done while he’s out its kind of a shitty prospect to think about Anderson sashaying into the dressing room looking like Jim Morrison in his final days in Paris all “Sup my beautiful babies, I aint played in 8 weeks, been partying with Denis Potvin and his brobro Chico Gargantua in international waters…anyway BRING ON THE PLAYOFFS!”
The last four games have seen the Sens put up 4 or more pucks in the opposition’s net. If the Sens are going to ride this baby out they are going to have to do a hell of a lot of that. Beat them on the board. Lean on the scoring not the defense. Here goes nothin’…and by nothin’ I mean the Senators hopes and dreams of making the post season. This season has been Grits and Gravy while it should have been Blue Jacketsesque. Whatever happens happens. Though I do recognize that is easy for we fans to say. This team has worked damn hard to make it this far. It’s going to be a rough ride but I don’t think they are content to pack it in because of Andy’s kitchen nightmares and something something rebuild.
GET WELL SOON CRAIG ANDERSON. Don’t stop tweeting Robin Lehner!
NEWS UPDATE: Murray said something about Anderson’s cut not being that bad, that he’ll be back on the ice next week, and then he said something that was very 70-year old man about men in the kitchen.