Have you noticed this season the inordinate number of A) “Great” glove saves Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson has made; and B) The number of goals that go in over his glove hand/shoulder?
Admittedly, I didn’t watch enough of him in his previous NHL stops to determine if this is something new or not, but Anderson seems to go down extremely early in most situations. That, to me, is why players are trying the over the shoulder shots so often, and also why he makes so many dramatic glove saves.
It cost him and the Senators again on Wednesday night on Nick Backstrom‘s third period power play goal. Anderson was down even before the shot was taken and Backstrom went top shelf to beat Anderson. It was a perfectly placed shot and might not have been save-able in this situation, but if the tendency wasn’t there, then players wouldn’t be shooting high on every available occasion.
Obviously, the book on Anderson is out. I have been watching him closely lately when I noticed the trend, and the games that he plays well and the Senators win are the games where Anderson stays up a bit longer and isn’t down in the butterfly before a shot attempt is even taken (and in some cases before the eventual shooter even has the puck). Listening to Dean Brown‘s call of the games, and the number of time “he misses high”, “what a glove save” and “scores over Anderson’s shouler” are heard on the broadcast shows that other teams are aware of it and trying to exploit it every night.
It in now incumbent on goalie coach Rick Wamsley to see it and also to show Anderson what it is doing in order to take that trend away and solidify his all-around game. Right now he isn’t consistenly providing the goaltending the Senators need or expect on a nightly basis to make them a playoff team.
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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