Ottawa Senators’ goaltender Craig Anderson is getting closer to making his return to the crease.
Anderson has been sidelined since suffering a sprained ankle on February 21st. He had a great start to the season going before getting injured. He is 8-4-2 and still leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.49 GAA) and save percentage (.952 SV%). His owned percentage only dropped to the mid-80’s in ESPN leagues despite being out for over a month. It will be interesting to see if Anderson can pick up his play where he left off in February.
While Anderson was out the Senators used two young goalies, Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner. Bishop went 6-3-0 with a 2.44 GAA and a .924 SV% in Anderson’s absence. Lehner was 3-2-4 with a 2.15 GAA and .940 SV%. The way those two played over that stretch gave the Senators the option to trade Bishop. On Wednesday’s deadline they sent him to Tampa Bay for rookie forward Cory Conacher and a 2013 fourth round pick.
It was believed that Anderson was going to start tonight vs. Buffalo, but Senators head coach Paul MacLean says “he would just like to give Anderson more practice time and that’s why he’s going to Lehner tonight.” Anderson will serve as Lehner’s backup and says “he would have zero hesitation if he was thrown in there.” I would expect him to start Sunday in Florida.
With Bishop out of the picture and Lehner appearing in just his 20th career game tonight, Anderson should see the vast majority of starts going forward. The Senators (19-11-6) sit fifth in the Eastern Conference and are looking to make the playoff for the third time in four years and for the 14th time in franchise history. If Anderson is available in your league, I would scoop him up. If you held onto him the whole time he was out, then hopefully he keeps that 1.49 GAA going.