After getting a solid performance at the NHL 100 Classic, the Ottawa Senators goaltending is now crucial to their success. The Senators had a very strong duo last year in Craig Anderson and in Mike Condon. Some would argue that it was some of the strongest the team has had in a long time. This season, the Senators have lacked the consistent goaltending they held last year and it’s starting to hurt them severely.
Ottawa Senators Goaltending Crucial To Success
With not much going right this season so far for the Senators, they’re starting to get desperate for answers. Saturday’s NHL 100 Classic game was their best game they’ve played in over a month. It was also some of the best goaltending they’ve received in awhile too. Craig Anderson left Lansdowne park with a shutout, only his second one of the season so far.
It’s not fair to blame all of the Sens struggles solely on their goaltenders, but it certainly does add to the cause of their poor performance. The team also hasn’t been playing the defense that made them successful last season. If anything they’ve not played the boring hockey style for almost since the beginning of the season. The issues for the Ottawa Senators are coming at them from many different directions and goaltending is one of the severe ones.
With having trouble from many different aspects, the Senators will now look to goaltending to help them rolling in a positive direction. Both Craig Anderson and Mike Condon will have to step up their game in a dramatic fashion. The Senators goaltending will have to turn it around for their team to be successful again. They’ll also have to turn their performances around so they can play the type of goaltending they’re being paid to play.
Solid Goaltending Leads To Success In The NHL
We’ve seen time and time again in the NHL, if a team lacks solid goaltending, a positive season isn’t in sight for them.
Take the Calgary Flames for example. When Brian Elliott went on that ridiculous run, it looked like sunshine and rainbows for the Flames heading into the playoffs. The complete opposite happened. It was some of the worst games Brian Elliott ever played. The Senators right now face the same issue, both goalies aren’t playing to the standard that management hoped they would. They’ll have to turn their performance around along with the other players if the Ottawa Senators want to see playoff hockey in back to back seasons.
The Ottawa Senators will have to get good goaltending if they want to be successful. Even if the Sens goaltending woes improve by a slim margin, it could go a long way when the team is trying to secure a playoff spot. The Senators will take anything to get them out of the slump they’re currently in.
Ottawa Senators Goaltending Is Too Pricey To Not Be Playing Well
Coming into the season, goaltending didn’t seem like a problem for the Ottawa Senators. They even went as far as extending starting goalie Craig Anderson to a two-year deal, who was in his last year of his previous deal coming in. Now two months deep into the season, the Senators goaltending ranks second worst in save percentages sitting at around .908. For a pricy goaltending tandem, this is not something management was looking for heading into a new season.
The Senators signed both Mike Condon and Craig Anderson coming into the season. The two contract that management handed out to their goalies weren’t exactly the cheapest and shortest either. When Mike Condon was signed, it wasn’t a contract an NHL backup goalie signs too often. General Manager Pierre Dorion signed Condon to a three-year extension, hinting he sees him as a future starter. Condon’s extension was deservedly so, he was one of the main reasons the Senators saw playoff hockey. He started more than 20 consecutive games when Craig Anderson took a leave of absence.
It’s All on Anderson
Craig Anderson is a different story. He’s been one of the best goalies the Sens have ever had play for them. An extension was something most Senators wanted, but the terms might have irked at them a bit. For a goalie who is not getting any younger, a two-year deal seems like more than usual. Most people looked at it as the Senators wanting Craig Anderson to retire an Ottawa Senator. With not being as young as he used to be, the Senators next move would be to look to Mike Condon to take on a starting role.
Both goalies were signed to term and money, now the Senators are looking at them to improve their game so they can contribute to challenging for a playoff spot come April.