Alex Auld, fresh off his quality performance on Saturday, will be between the pipes for the Ottawa Senators again on Tuesday as the club hosts the Philadelphia Flyers.
Craig Anderson, who hasn’t been playing up to expectations, missed practice Monday for “personal reasons” and Coach Paul MacLean said the reasons were a factor in Auld getting the start.
However he gets into the net, if Auld plays well again, and gets a win over a top level team, does that create a goaltending controversy in Ottawa?
Anderson has been less than stellar, with a GAA of 5.07 and a SP of .859, stats that are good enough for 52nd and 49th ranking respectively league-wide among the 52 goalies who have seen action this young season.
Auld has allowed 2 goals in his only start, and with a couple of referee calls going the other way might have got a win.
Anderson was handed the #1 job when he signed the 4 year, $12.75M deal before last season ended. He was the toast of the town at that point and was rewarded with a long-term deal. Now, 5 games into the new season, Anderson is beginning to look like the player Colorado was willing to trade straight up for Brian Elliott.
Yes, Anderson is playing behind a very inexperienced blueline, but teams appear to have found a weakness in his game, as the multitude of high-glove goals that have eluded him so far.
I know that it is still very early in the season, and Anderson should be given time to work out the kinks in his game. How long that will take, and if it will take game action to work them out is up to the coaching staff. Until then, the coaches need to decide which netminder gives them the best chance to win on any given night.
Anderson’s family reasons for not starting Tuesday will give Auld a chance to play consecutive games, something that wasn’t supposed to happen much (if at all) this season. It will be up to Auld on Tuesday night to create a problem for MacLean (and Anderson) going forward, with a lights-out performance.
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