Making The Grade: Craig Anderson



Season Review – Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson withstood a pair of challenges to his starting job, with stellar performances since the beginning of the season.  While Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner forced him to excel in order to keep his position, only Chris Kreider‘s lack of balance could keep Anderson from a potential Vezina trophy win.  Anderson appeared in 24 of Ottawa’s games, and ended up with the best GAA and SP in the league.  He had a record of 12-9-2, in the midst of the whirlwind of injuries and new faces that were playing in front of him.

May 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) makes a save against Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Jarome Iginla (12) during the third period in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 6-2 to close out the series. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Playoffs – Anderson was the major reason that the Senators handled the Canadiens with relative ease in the first round, however his balloon was popped a bit with the second round loss, that saw him get pulled twice in 5 games against the Penguins.  However, he wasn’t given much support in that second round either.

Contract Status – Anderson is still locked in for 2 more years, with a cap hit of just under $3.2M.

Importance To Franchise – Anderson has provided stability to the Senators since he arrived from Colorado.  He has been a good mentor to those playing beneath him, but the time could soon be coming where the student surpasses the teacher.  He should be the starter next season, but will be constantly pressed by Lehener for playing time going forward.

Needs to Improve – He needs to be better on high shots, as the biggest holes teams find on him tend to be over the shoulder shots.

Grade – A.  You couldn’t ask for much more from Anderson than what he gave the Senators this season.  If he had not been injured, he likely would have earned some hardware for his mantle.