This is the twentieth in a series of profiles on each player for the Ottawa Senators.
Craig Anderson, G, Contract: 3.1875/15 (UFA)
T 2011 (Murray), 6’2, Catches L, YOB 1981, Park Ridge, IL
2008-09 31-15-7-5 2.71 0.924 SO 3
2009-10 71-38-25-7 2.64 0.917 SO 7
2010-11 51-24-20-4 2.83 0.913 SO 2
On February 18th, Bryan Murray exchanged struggling RFA goaltender Brian Elliott (3.19 0.894 43-13-19-8 3.19) for Colorado’s struggling UFA goaltender Craig Anderson (3.28 0.897 33-13-15-3). Elliott would continue to struggle (3.83 0.891 12-2-8-1) as Colorado stumbled to finish 29th overall, but Anderson found new life in Ottawa (2.05 0.939 18-11-5-1) and dragged them up to 26th overall. Murray rewarded Anderson with a four-year deal (too much term for my liking) and the uncontested starting job going into next season.
You would think that at Anderson‘s age, understanding what he’ll bring as a goaltender would be straightforward, but that’s not the case. While he’s played NHL games going back to 2002-03, he’s only been a regular since 2007-08. He spent two years as a backup in Florida before Colorado gave him a chance to compete with Peter Budaj. He was fantastic as a starter in 2009-10, but is that what Ottawa can expect going forward? Ottawa’s pro scouts and management certainly think so, but there’s a long list of goaltenders who have had a good year or two before falling off the map. It’s clear something was wrong with his situation in Colorado (his comments after being signed, “it’s about having a good fit and finding a place where I’m going to be happy, where players are treated with respect and the organization communicates with their players, and from day one, I’ve had great talks with the coaching staff, the goalie coach, the general manager, they’ve all gone out of their way to make me feel like I’m a part of the team.…You can’t put a price tag on that“, www.thehockeynews.com/articles/39208-Senators-sign-goaltender-Craig-Anderson-to-1275million-fouryear-extension.html), but how much of a factor that played is hard to say. He hasn’t had a truly bad run throughout an NHL season since 2005-06 with the Chicago, so he deserves the benefit of the doubt (for an interesting breakdown of last year’s stats follow the link, although the comparisons would be more effective if the looked at the last few years, www.silversevensens.com/2011/6/20/2196088/has-craig-andersons-play-made-one-year-senate-reform-possible). He’ll play the bulk of next season and should earn 30-35 wins.
Finding individual highlights of Anderson as a Senators isn’t easy, but all his big saves can be found here http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlp=8467950&fr=false
The next and final NHL profile is Alex Auld.