With Craig Anderson holding a firm grip on the starting job, he might want to keep looking over his shoulder when play finally resumes.
Robin Lehner, who has always had the talent but needed to mature a little bit (or a lot), seems to have reboundedfrom a mediocre 2011-12 season. He has been stellar for the Binghamton Senators thus far this season. Lehner is 8-2-1 with a GAA of 1.63 (3rd in the AHL) and a save percentage of .950 (2nd in the league) as the Senators have become one of the best defensive teams in the league despite regularly giving up well over 30 shots.
The big test for Lehner will come when the NHL season finally resumes. While he is on a 2 way contract, his current partner Ben Bishop is on a one way deal. That means, ready or not, Lehner is destined to remain in Bingo while Bishop will be summoned to Ottawa to understudy Anderson. Lehner is adamant he is ready for the NHL and how he handles the inevitable disappointment will go a long way to showing if he has indeed grown up.
After getting to Binghamton after training camp, the first couple of starts were less than stellar for Ben Bishop. However, his next two starts showed why he was so highly sought after last season. He has a GAA of 2.00 and a SP north of. 950 in those last two appearances. He will be teaching backup to Anderson and course be a mainstay in Ottawa for some time.
DOWN THE LINE
The Senators may have gotten the steal of the 2012 draft when they selected Francois Brassard in the 6th round. Under the tutelage of Patrick Roy, the Quebec Remparts goalie has emerged as one of the QMJHL’s best. Broussard is second in the QMJHL in wins and GAA and 3rd in save percentage. He was selected to represent the ‘Q’ in the Subway Series against the Russians earlier this month.
Broussard is still 18 years old, so he has some developing to do. But his future seems bright and his stock is rising.
The Ottawa Senators have drafted 17 goalies since they entered the league (including Mathieu Chouinard twice). Only 4 of them have played more than 15 NHL games, and only 2 (Emery, Elliott) have been considered starters at any point in their careers.
Now, the Senators seem to be deeper than ever at the most important position on the ice, and two home-grown prospects look promising. A situation that is foreign territory for this club that has been consistently inconsistent between the pipes.