While everyone assumed that Ben Bishop would get the start in the second half of the back-to-back in Florida, Craig Anderson‘s stellar play has at least begged the question of whether or not it would be better for the Senators to ride the hot hand and leave Anderson in net while he is playing so well.
Paul MacLean didn’t quell the questions when he left the door open for Anderson to stay in the net during his post-game press conference.
You can make a case for both goalies to start:
- 3 wins, 0.67 GAA and .976 SP so far this season
- 6-1-2 career record against the Tampa Bay Lightning
- Needs to play in at least 7 games or the Senators risk losing him as a group 6 UFA in the off season
- His value in a trade diminishes if he doesn’t get the chance to showcase his ability
- Provides a chance to give Anderson a rest before a real test against the Penguins
- Hasn’t played a game since January 11th, so he needs to get in some action
The bottom line is, it is a good problem to have. Personally, I would give Bishop the start. A couple of days rest wouldn’t hurt Anderson or affect the roll he is on. And that is what the backup goalie is for. Anderson has shown to be inconsistent in the past when forced to play too many games in a row, and the schedule lends itself to playing the backup when needed. And unlike most of last season, MacLean has confidence that he is going to get a decent performance from the backup goalie when he is called upon.
I would go with Bishop. What would you do?