Nov 9, 2013; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators goalie Robin Lehner (40) is congratulated by teammate Craig Anderson (41) following their win against the Florida Panthers at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators defeated the Panthers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Now What? Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner?

I stated heading into the Philadelphia game that starting Craig Anderson was a risky decision.  Now, Senators coach Paul MacLean is in a tight spot.

Does he come back with Anderson, who has struggled to put up consistent numbers this season and gave up 5 to the Flyers in his return from a neck injury, or give the crease back to Robin Lehner, who won three straight starts while Anderson was on the shelf.

 

The way they are playing at this time, Lehner gives the Senators the better chance to win.  He is playing superior hockey behind a porous team that has allowed more shots per game than any club in the league.  Lehner won 3 straight despite that fact.  The team responded in front of him for whatever reason.

Lehner has the third best save percentage in the league, with a .945 contrasted with Anderson’s .902, and Lehner allows almost a goal and a half less per game (2.13 vs Anderson’s 3.30).   If the Senators had still lost with Lehner in the net, then the transition back to Anderson for Friday against the Bruins would have been simple.  As it stands now, with the profession that Anderson is the #1 guy, MacLean almost has to go back with Anderson, or almost admit he made a mistake on Tuesday by benching Lehner.

Its a long season,  and giving Lehner 6 or 7 starts in a row because he is winning doesn’t reflect poorly on Anderson, because he will get his chance.

I am not saying Lehner would have been the difference against the Flyers, but the Senators have played better with him in the net.  Its a battle of two cliches, and in my opinion, the old adage of “you don’t mess with a winning streak”  out-trumps the “you don’t lose your starting job to injury” in this case.  Hopefully the Sens can start a new winning streak, no matter who is between the pipes on Friday.

Tags: Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators Robin Lehner

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