Sens' Anderson a regular working man

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:13 PM ET

Craig Anderson likes a heavy workload.

The numbers back it up.

Few NHL goalies, in fact, have performed better under plenty of fire than Anderson, obtained by the Senators in a Feb. 18 trade for Brian Elliott.

In his eighth NHL season, Anderson is 20-10 when facing 40 or more shots in a game. He is 71-95-2 when he’s been tested fewer than 40 times.

“For me, it’s just a matter of getting in there and not really thinking too much,” said Anderson. “And just stopping the puck.”

From the 2008-09 season to present, only Florida’s Tomas Vokoun has won more games when facing 40-plus shots. He has 17 victories, while Anderson has 16.

Since the 2004-05 lockout, the following is a list, compiled by Elias Sports Bureau, of goalies with the most victories when seeing 40 or more shots:

1. Vokoun (31)

2. Roberto Loungo (24)

3. Dwayne Roloson (22)

4. Anderson (20)

5. Tim Thomas (18)

It’s important to note that while the others have established themselves as starters and stars over the years, Anderson has only been a full-time No. 1 goalie for two seasons.

As a Senator, Anderson has a 4-3 record with a 1.56 GAA and a .952 save percentage. He has faced more than 40 shots twice — a 1-0, 47-save victory over Toronto in his debut, and a 3-1 victory in Atlanta which saw him make 42 stops.

After the latter game, a TV reporter mentioned to Anderson that Ottawa fans were beginning to think he could walk on water.

“Well, there’s only one man who can walk on water, and he’s very powerful,” said Anderson.

Another asked if he was referring to Sidney Crosby.

“I think his initials are J.C.,” smiled Anderson.

“I’m just reaping some of the benefits of some good defensive play,” he said. “The team is making it very easy for me to make the first save, then cleaning up any type of rebound. I look better when the team plays better, and vice-versa.”

Anderson looked bad on only one goal in a 4-1 loss to New York Friday. He admitted as much when asked if he was screened when Vinny Prospal’s wrist shot beat him on the short side, past his glove.

“Traffic or no traffic, you’ve got to make that save,” said Anderson.

After a rare Saturday off, the Senators practise Sunday in preparation for a four-game road trip. While Cory Clouston will hold his cards close to the vest until Tuesday morning, a betting man might expect Anderson to play later that night in New Jersey and again Thursday versus his old team, the Panthers.

That would give Curtis McElhinney his first start Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who last month traded for him and then let him escape on waivers.

Going to Florida will be special for Anderson, and not just because he played for the Panthers.

That’s where he will see his pregnant wife Nicole — who moved from Colorado to be with her family when he was dealt to Ottawa — for the first time in two weeks.

That he has been able to play as well as he has for the Senators, while his wife is carrying their first child, speaks to Anderson’s focus.

“We get the video chat going here and there, but obviously it’s a tough thing when you get moved to a new team,” said Anderson. “She’s kind of left there doing all the groundwork.

“She’s been terrific. She’s been a great support, a crutch for me.

“She’s the greatest girl I’ve ever met.”

 don.brennan@sunmedia.ca

 

 


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