The Hockey News Player of the Week for the period of April 12-18, 2010, is Colorado goalie Craig Anderson.
Facing the top-seeded team from the West in San Jose, the eighth-place Colorado Avalanche have a 2-1 series lead thanks in large part to Anderson’s stellar play.
In Game 1 on the road, Anderson and the Avs stunned the Sharks with a 2-1 victory. Facing 26 shots, Anderson turned aside 25 in his first career NHL post-season start.
In Game 2, the Sharks put everything they had on Anderson, who had to face 52 shots in his first big playoff test. Even though the game went into overtime, Anderson allowed five regulation goals before allowing Devin Setoguchi’s winning-goal to get by him in the extra frame.
It was much of the same Sharks domination in Game 3. Anderson again faced a barrage of rubber, seeing 51 shots come his way. However, this time the outcome was different. Anderson had the game of his life, turning aside every challenge he faced before a fluky goal got by San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov in overtime, giving Colorado a 1-0 win in the game and a 2-1 lead in the series.
Anderson, who was signed as a free agent by Colorado last summer, had a great year in the Mile High City, posting 38 wins, a 2.63 GAA and .917 SP. In his first year with the team, Anderson was a big reason for the turnaround from third-worst in the league to a playoff team.
Anderson hadn’t seen post-season action as a professional since playing six games for the Rochester Americans in the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs.