(source: Craig Roberts..."/>

(source: Craig Roberts..."/>

Game Report: Anderson Steals the Show, Sens 1-0 in SO Over T.O.


(source: Craig Robertson/QMI Agency)

Welcome to the Craig Anderson Show!

With this season a write-off, Sens fans are looking towards the future and seeing what our team could possibly look like next season. Last night, Sens Army got a glimpse into what Craig Anderson brings. Playing behind an inexperienced roster, Anderson was super human. Making his first start for Ottawa since being traded for last Friday, Anderson made 47 saves to secure Ottawa’s third win of 2011 after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The game wasn’t that all exciting to watch, which can be expected of two bottom five teams playing each other. From Ottawa’s side, they continued to MacGyver their roster and try to slot players into roles after all the trades they have made and with five regulars out of the line-up. From Toronto’s side, they began the Tomas Kaberle-less era as they played their first game without him on their roster in 12 seasons.

The first period was all Leafs as they welcomed Anderson to the Battle of Ontario with 13 shots in the first. Not much else happened in the period, as both teams were playing cautiously. The second period had the Leafs continue to throw as much rubber at the net as they could with 17 shots in the period. After 40 minutes, the Leafs out-shot Ottawa 30 – 15. This period also featured a little fisticuffs from two minor leaguers in Ottawa’s Francis Lessard and Toronto’s Jay Rosehill. Check out the fight video courtesy of Hockeyfights.com.

In total, there was 62 punches thrown in this 20 second fight – 29 by Lessard and 33 by Rosehill. These guys surely don’t get paid by the hour. End the end, I call it was a draw.

The third period was Anderson’s best. As one commentator said, “Anderson, more like Standerson… As in, on his head!” Making 13 saves in the period, Anderson ensured Ottawa at least one point.  Overtime had the ice tilted in Toronto’s favour as they got a rare overtime powerplay but could not beat Anderson. His best save came off Phil Kessel in the dying moments of the period where he made three amazing saves to keep the Leafs off the board.

Heading to the shootout, where Ottawa has been win-less all season, it was interesting to see how Anderson would fare. He did not disappoint. Stoning all three shooters, Anderson finished his Ottawa debut with a impressive 47 save shutout win.

The Positives

Craig Anderson was unbelievable last night. His performance made GM Byran Murray look like a genius- well, at least for one game. Anderson also had the luck of the draw as he drew the Leafs in his first game. Given the quality of the roster in front of him, Anderson was simply put, amazing.

Erik Condra  had a great game last night. Playing in his third career NHL game, Condra played the fourth highest minutes among the forward group. He was all over the ice all game long, and was even on the ice in the last minute of the game.

The Negatives

The offense was ineffective all night. Mustering only 22 shots with only a handful of scoring chances, Ottawa seems to be heading into another scoring drought. I hope Anderson will be ready every night because they will need him to be.

Interesting Side Note

With Kaberle  gone, the Leafs went 0 – 6 on the man advantage. With Leaf fans everywhere demanding he be traded, could Kaby have been their best chance to get into the playoffs and break their six year drought?

Here are the Game Highlights courtesy of NHL.com.

 ***Three Stars***

First Star: Craig Anderson – with 47 saves and the shutout, Mr. Anderson earns the first star hands down.

Second Star: James Reimer – made 22 saves and played a strong game.

Third Star: Erik Condra – This was his best game yet as he has been getting better with every game.

This victory was good on two fronts: Anderson got his first win in an Ottawa uniform; and we get to throw a wrench in Toronto’s playoffs hopes. Ottawa is off till Wednesday with the Panthers in town. Who will be traded next and who will play in that game is yet to be known, but expect a few interesting days off the ice for your Sens this week. Til next time, GO SENS GO!!!


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