|Ottawa Senators Chris Neil congratulates Craig Anderson on shutout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. (REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)
Craig Anderson singlehandedly beat the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night.
Now he’s hoping to put an end to the Senators’ 10-game home losing streak, dating back to Dec. 26. A loss to Florida Wednesday night would tie a franchise-worst record of 11 straight defeats dating back to Dec. 1993 — the club’s second year.
The Senators goaltender, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche last Friday in exchange for Brian Elliott, is expected to make his home debut against the Panthers at Scotiabank Place.
“It’s good to make a good first impression,” said Anderson on Tuesday. “For me, it’s just to have success and to continue battling for the guys and showing them I can be their guy.
“I’ve never really played (in a hockey market) except for in junior. For me, it’s kind of a new thing. It’s still the same job: To stop the puck. There’s just more people watching.”
Anderson is potentially an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so the Senators want to get a close look before deciding if they’re going to sign him. A few more games like Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Toronto and the decision will be easy.
It’s a two-way street. Anderson wants to see the direction Ottawa takes before any contract discussions.
“We haven’t had any talks. So far things are going well. Craig is loving being in this organization and the guys here get treated first-class,” said Anderson’s agent Justin Duberman, who is in town.
“He wants to see the direction from the management standpoint. The whole group is made up of straight-up people who are honest. I want to see the plan (going forward) as far as the structure and the bones of this organization.”
Duberman wouldn’t comment on reports from Denver that Anderson turned down a two-year, $7.5-million extension before the season.
“We never asked for a trade,” said Duberman. “I can’t discuss anything because I gave (Colorado GM) Greg Sherman my word we would never talk about anything. I’m just going to say that I read (the report) and I thought it was funny.”
Anderson likes what he has seen so far.
“This is one of the first times I’ll be playing in a city that lives and dies for their hockey team. It’s a great feeling knowing the fans are behind you,” said Anderson.
“My first impression from Ottawa is that it’s a place I definitely want to be in. Hopefully everything works out.”