Armed with a brand new 4 year, $12.75M, Ottawa’s goaltending was firmly in the grasp of Anderson heading into the 2011-12 season. The question for him heading into the season was if the “real” Craig Anderson was the one who struggled as the #1 in Colorado, or if it was the stellar performer that Sens fans saw over the last 20 games of the 201-11 regular season in mop-up duty. Either way, the plan was for Anderson to start 55-60 games behind a young forward corps and a veteran defense that struggled mightily a season ago.
Anderson carried the load as expected and played in 63 games this season, including a team record 21 straight starts from New Year’s Eve to late February. He recorded 3 shutouts and notched his second career 30 win season (33). In the playoffs, Anderson stepped up his game, and put up very solid 2.00 GAA and a .933 SP in the 7 game loss to the Rangers.
Anderson suffered an unfortunate off-ice injury to his hand while slicing it open while cutting up chicken at home, forcing him to miss 12 games. The injury kept him from reaching some career highs in games, wins and minutes played. Anderson allowed 4 or more goals 17 times, and was pulled 7 times in 60 starts, which is something that will have to be improved upon in the future for the Senators to be competitve deep into the playoffs.
Anderson was 10 in the NHL with 33 wins, but his GAA of 2.84 and his SP of .914 were good for only 37th and 24th respectively.
Given the expectations and the role Anderson was expected to have, in my book, the final grade for Craig Anderson in the 2011-12 season is: