Simon Lajeunesse is driving Craig Anderson batty. As of Tuesday, only Lajeunesse stood between Anderson and the Ottawa Senators all-time marks for goals-against average and save percentage.
Not Dominik Hasek, not Ray Emery, not even Martin Gerber; Simon friggin’ Lajeunese, he of 23:20 in total ice time during one stinkin’ appearance nine seasons ago.
Anderson was sporting a 1.80 GAA to go along with a .946 SP in his 10 Ottawa appearances. Lajeunesse faced all of nine shots in his period-and-a-bit of work back in the day, stopping them all. That means no matter how good Anderson is, he can never overtake Lajeunesse in the annals of Senators history.
And that sure would be nice when contract negotiations begin this summer.
An unrestricted-free-agent to be, Anderson is basically on a professional tryout, attempting to show as much as he can to gain some bargaining leverage once the season is over. And at 6-3-0 with those near history-making numbers since being swapped Feb. 18 for fellow goaler Brian Elliott, Anderson is doing the job.
Problem is he’s absolutely killing the Senators (just not in the way fans are used to seeing their goaltenders do so).
At 29th overall, the Sens are in the running for the 30th position and all the ping-pong balls they could want when draft lottery time rolls around. But all this good play by Anderson is hurting those chances.
Not to put all the blame on Anderson. After jettisoning some dead weight – cough, Alex Kovalev, cough – and some useful pieces at the trade deadline, the Sens injected some energy into the lineup via call-ups. Jason Spezza is also producing more of late and the team is playing better collective defence.
It’s all added up to a 6-4-0 mark in the past 10 games. And that just isn’t getting the job done.
Not when there are 13 games to play and the Colorado Avalanche are free-falling with a 1-8-1 record in their past 10, while the Edmonton Oilers are four points behind you and now without top sniper Taylor Hall.
You can’t be winning at this time of year when you’re in the position the Senators find themselves. That’s the worst thing you can do.
So, c’mon, Craig. Figure it out, man. You’re never going to catch that Lajeunesse character anyway. Let a few softies in.
Give the fans something to really cheer for: the first overall draft pick in June.
This article was originally published in Metro News. For more hockey commentary, check out Metro Sports.