The Ottawa Senators Have A Top-Tier Goaltender In Craig Anderson


The last two seasons have been weird ones for Craig Anderson. It started with over-inflated expectations team wide in the 13-14 season and continued this year when Andrew Hammond took over the starting position towards the end of the year.

But the fact remains that the Senators find themselves with a top-tier goaltender in Anderson and one who should still be around as the team’s starter for a few more years.


Anderson found himself in a Sens jersey back in 2011, and since then has become the teams unquestioned starter, proving that his calm, relaxed style of play is one that suits the Senators well.

The options vary for the Senators this off-season, especially when it comes to goaltending. Hammond probably deserves a one-way contract, Robin Lehner is the unknown, and if the reports regarding Matt O’Connor come true, there will be goaltending moves made.

The one thing that should be a given, however is that Craig Anderson should remain in a Senators uniform.

Who is The Starter?

It’s Craig Anderson. No question.

Like I said, it’s been a strange year for Anderson, a 14-13-8 record isn’t a great one as he played on a mediocre team for 5 months. A .923 save percentage puts him above the league average, and his GAA of 2.49 is good considering the teams early play.

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But take a look at his single game performances and the ability he has to steal a game. Take last night for example, a 45-save, .960 sv% performance. It’s since Anderson stepped into the series in game 3 where the Senators have given themselves new hopes heading forward, and his game 4 and 5 performances where he has “stolen games” for the Senators.

13-14 wasn’t a consistent season, but the high-end track record for Anderson is there. All guys have their off nights, and Anderson definitely has his—heck, he probably could/should have stopped Dale Weise’s game 3 OT winner.

All that said, it’s clear Anderson has the ability to steal games. That’s not contested, and for that Anderson earns his spot as the clear-cut Senators starter. Not to mention that the fact that he is on a very favourable contract certainly helps.

The Contract

At 33 years old, Craig Anderson isn’t a young NHLer, but as Bryan Murray has discussed in the past, he’s still relatively young in terms of his career, meaning he hasn’t played a ton. Anderson was just inked to a new deal, 3 years term with an AAV of 4.1 million dollars.

This is a short raise over his last contract which was around 3.1 million and for what Anderson has accomplished the past few seasons, the one million dollar raise keeps him having one of the best contracts around and for 3 more seasons after this one.

To take a look at a few comparable deals around the league and how Anderson has performed…

[table id=8 /]

In fact, looking at the table above, Anderson has shown he has outplayed some of the leagues best. Including players like Jonathan Quick and Semyon Varlamov, both who have lower save percentages over the past 3 seasons.

The players who have topped Anderson in that department is a short list, with Anderson finishing 6th amongst goaltenders who have played a minimum of 82 games since 2012. Beating him are just Henrik Lundqvist, Cory Schneider, Carey Price, Tuukka Rask, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Corey Crawford.

Here’s a look at that chart: (Goaltender save percentages since 2012 min. 82 games played)

… and just for curiosity, Brian Elliott is 18th on the list with a .916 sv%, still good numbers.


So, while the off-season ahead should answer some questions, take a look at what Craig Anderson has done and acknowledge him as the great goaltender he is.

Anderson will certainly remain Ottawa’s number one starter and while Andrew Hammond may be pushing hard for a backup role, it’s also important to not forget about Robin Lehner, who as a 23-year-old has put up the league average at .914 through three seasons.

Some definite decisions ahead in the Senators crease, and Craig Anderson shouldn’t be apart of those decisions on who moves on.

Next: Well, We Have A Series