Re:Bort Cards: Goalers

goal

Goalers, right? Like dads say!

Look, Ima be str8 with you. It’s going to be pretty tough to write these without making them about much more than SCINTILLATING takes on who to keep and who to trade and how I learned to know who Andrew Hammond is.
I’ll save you a bunch of time and just summarize my plan: You trade Chris Dreiger for Yakupov and a 1st, open a bed & breakfast / detective agency called The Lehner n’ Hammy Arms and finally make Craig Anderson Editor in Chief of WTYKY which he will eventually turn into a very unsuccessful Corvette Modification Quarterly. That’s what we’re all thinking, correct? What’s that? It’s not even June and you’re looking for something to read between now and training camp?
Alright, it’s your funeral…

Goal’s Keep Letter Grade Teacher says…every take a blog brings, an a-hole gets his wings.
Greg Anderton A  Another super solid year for Andy. Rocking some of the leagues best numbers and playing the majority of your starts when the team is flirting with a lottery pick? Sounds like our Andy alright!
Actually, at this point in his tenure as a Senator, I am starting to develop a profound frustration. The frustration with his performance isn’t even negative toward him. No, for all the talk of taking advantage of young players in their so called prime years, I worry that we are squandering / have squandered #PEAK Anderson.
Guy has been one of the best goaltenders in the league on some lacklustre Ottawa teams for a couple of years now. All we have to show for it is one playoff round win. Turning 34 this summer, I wonder how much longer the kind of performances we are getting from Anderson can be expected. With all the debate of what goalie the organization should move forward with, I sometimes wonder if it’s time that we send Anderson some place where he can make a real run before his age starts catching up with him. You know, to repay him for that shutout win against the Leafs in his Sens debut back in 2011. That’s not to say I would be mad if he stayed. There are worse things that can happen than having a really good goaltender who, sure, is getting up there in pro athlete years. If he’s continues playing he has been? Can’t complain.
Throbbin Leather C So yeah. This might get emotional. Gentle reader, I know you skim WTYKY for my balanced approach to …covering(?) your Ottawa Senators. I must confess that I’m not sure I’m thinking straight about The Lehner. It might be a touch late to bring this up but I suppose this is as good a time as any to come clean about something serious: I am not, nor have I ever been, a professional hockey talent evaluator. Lehner has only solidified this fact the past two seasons. My beautiful thanx4reading and I would appreciate that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.
K.
What is Robin Lehner? Is he amazing? Is he just kind of aight? Is he overrated because he is such an engaging personality with a style of play that  looks so awesome but isn’t overly effective? Is he starting to be somehow underrated because despite a lack of results he has a comparable development record to Carey Price? Is he a head case whose performance is all over the place? In the past 3 or 4 seasons that I’ve been watching him develop I have seen him be all of those things.
What’s important to keep in mind, and I’m far from the first person to point this out, is that despite being drafted way back in ’09, he’s closer in age to Zibanejad and Stone than he is to those “time for the next step” guys like Turris or Wiercioch. So for a guy who plays the extremely unforgiving position of goalie it should be noted that his learning curve has been kind of insane (like him!).
It seems to be that maybe because Lehner is so vocal about wanting the starting job so bad (good thing IMO) that it ends up making ME impatient for him to take it to the next level (bad thing).
A popular knock against Craig Anderson, especially going forward, is that he seems to suffer an injury of the long term variety every season. The result is that Lehner pretty much gets an annual opportunity to steal the starter spot…and…doesn’t. This season was no different.
Hammond, as once in a lifetime as his run was,  in an exaggerated way, proved if you make yourself the guy, coach will keep you as the guy. I mean, they gave Hammy the first two starts of a playoff series against a high seed with only 25 career NHL games under his belt. Think Lehner wouldn’t become starter if he just started wrecking shop? As the cheaper, younger option, the organisation probably
wants him to take over as starter.
The thing I have a hard time with is this: Another season in the books another losing record for Lehner. Granted he doesn’t have the best teams playing in front of him but neither does Andy and he’s managed to eek out more W’s than L’s every year. Now add into that Andrew “One Loss Larry” Hammond to make things start to look worse for Lehnny.
What’s troubling about being a fan and trying to stay patient with a developing prospect, is the last awesome thing I can remember Lehner doing was going on that 3 game unbeaten streak…which was all the way back in early November…of 2013. It’s not like he hasn’t had good games but you gotta throw us dat patience rewarding bone every now and then. Like how Condra DID score on a breakaway in the playoffs!I could just keep going back and forth on this forever. I totally support if Murray chooses Lehner going forward. We love Lehner. At this point I’m just not sure if I’m blinded a bit by that love. Sucks to see him get such a brutal injury to finish his season early but with a 9-12-3 record coupled with a 3.09GAA and .905 SV% and another blown chance at pulling away from Andy, I cant help but be disappointed. There’s still plenty of time for Lehner to redeem himself I’m just afraid he might not do it in a Sens uniform.
Andyrew Hamburgson A++ *Fills crack pipe with an orange Skittle, lights and smokes it…listen, it’s not as big a deal as it has to be… just to get some ideas going, you know?*
Where to start with this one. A story: Remember Bobby Butler? K, imagine he didn’t have the distinction of a Hobey Baker nomination or ever standing out in Binghamton or in any way…Hmmm wait, maybe this: Remember Tim HUSSEIN Thomas? K, only imagine he never had the distinction of being a two time NCAA All American or being drafted by an NHL club. What I’m saying here is, there are a lot of heart warming underdog stories in the NHL but damn G, Hammond’s college/pro career is MAD quiet in terms of accomplishments. Even the underdoggiest of all Martin St. Louis boasts an 85 points in 35 games year, 2 Hobey Baker noms and an ECAC championship in college. Finished his school’s all time leading scorer too. Now, that’s how you get overlooked PROPER-LIKE.
Hammond’s record in his first season in college? That would be a big 0-12-2…so…sure he won some team MVPs on some godawful Bolling Green teams where he finished with a stinkline adorned 30-68-13 record. His SV% indicated he played well enough on those teams but it’s not like we pump the tires of the best player on the Evansville Icemen; that shit is inconsequential until further notice. What I’m saying here is I’m amazed Andrew Hammond even made the American Hockey League. That’s almost what makes HamSNBC (nickname idea) hard to write about. Up until now, he has had a career of being passed over…That. Made. Sense.
St. Louis or Thomas were obviously good but their respective merits were ignored for whatever reasons. Hammond was traded in Junior A.
Nothing about his season makes any sense and I think I can speak for everyone by saying it’s awesome.
I think his recent signing has jarred some and why not? A few bulletproof months netted him the same extension term as Robin Lehner coming off his ELC and that was 5 years into his development. The way the last two off-seasons have gone, of course Hammond goes nearly undefeated for months and needs to be re-signed. Cant have so much as a year left on his deal just so we can be sure. Nope. Either way, 3 years is a lot after 27 NHL games but I think it’s not unreasonable that that Bryan Murray and Co. gambled that he’s at least CURTIS MCELHINNEY good. Much as we love having the Anderson-Lehner tandem, did any of us really think it was all that long for this world? A new fighter has entered the tournament and has taken the backup spot, for cheap. What I like about Hammond is that despite whomever is left and deemed the starter in October, I believe he will be breathing down their neck for their job, keeping them sharp whi—what’s that? I haven’t really touched on the Hamburglar’s actual performance? Oh…Andrew had a satisfactory season. He met some of the expectations I had of him at the beginning of the year.
Chrisp Diapers

(Ugh, what is this? Mad Magazine? I feel sorry for people who read this website. (Srry 2 U)

Participation Forgotten in this whole mix is Chris Driedger. Yes, he only played a little over a period but pretty cool that he stopped all 10 shots that he faced. If that doesn’t sound impressive, consider that up to that point he played that year on a team where a bunch of his teammates were roofers (great practice for the Sens where several roster players own other businesses outside the rink). Anyway, no joke, even though it was one period its still super impressive to go from the ECHL to holding the fort against a team as strong as the President’s Trophy winning Rangers. I would imagine Derek Stepan can shoot a bajillion times harder than *Doesn’t bother to look up who the best player in the ECHL is because who gives a damn*. It’s probably also worth mentioning that at 21 years of age, the only player on the roster younger than him is Curtis Lazar and he hasn’t even been born yet!
Driedger went undefeated in his 8 games in Binghamton which is nice. With the signing of hottt college prospect Matt O’Connor the spotlight is off Driegs to keep doing his thing in the shadows. I’ll keeping an eye on him, so you don’t have to.

Liked what you skimmed? Check out my SCORCHING hot evaluations of this season’s forward group and defense corps.

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