Craig Anderson was beginning to prove to the Ottawa Senators that he was an elite goaltender in 2013. Through 24 games he was posting ridiculous numbers. His 1.69 GAA was out of this world, and his .941 save percentage was eye popping.
Then he sprained his ankle and was forced to miss 18 games, throwing off all of his momentum and probably robbing him the journeyman netminder of his first Vezina trophy. While he got into some games following the sprain, the damage to his season was done.
The offseason is a long and monstrous thing, and over the course of the summer pundits began to wonder aloud whether or not Anderson’s remarkable run was just a flash in the pan. After all, the man had been with three teams prior to the Senators and never really shown anything quite that remarkable.
Was it possible for a goalie to suddenly hit a new level of goalkeeping entirely at the age of 32?
Through seven games of play, Anderson is doing his best to piece together another strong season. While his GAA isn’t as low as it was in 2013, the 2.58 he sports right now is on par with that of Jonathan Quick or Jimmy Howard. The law of averages will kick in sooner or later this season, and the likes of Steve Mason and Ben Scrivens will tapper off.
Which side of the ledger will Anderson fall on?
His .930 save percentage might be a better indicator of what he’s done so far for the Senators, and his performance against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night is just another signpost that Anderson is settling back into his 2013 form. Which, by the end of the season, should cement his reputations as one of the top netminders around.