Craig Anderson: Best free agent addition of 09-10

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andersoncraig.jpgIt was supposed to be Marian Hossa. Or, maybe, Jay Bouwmeester. Instead, after looking at the 2009-10 season, is there really any doubt that the Colorado Avalanche’s choice to sign Craig Anderson stands as the best move in last July’s free agent spree?

The Denver Post reports that the former Florida Panthers backup broke Patrick Roy’s franchise single season record with a Brodeur-like 71 starts. He bested the legendary goalie’s mark of 65, although the Post notes that Anderson (38 wins) fell two short of Roy’s record for wins in a season.

Still, when you’re approaching Roy’s status in areas that are more legitimate than “most bizarre lapses in puck handling judgment” or “best Jeremy Roenick put-downs,” it’s a safe bet that you’re doing pretty well for yourself. Anderson went 38-25-7 this season with a sterling 92% save percentage and a 2.63 goals against average. Pretty good for a goalie who was once known mainly for ogling Ice Girls.

When you consider the fact that he signed a measly 2 year, $3.625 million contract (quite a bit less in total than the average annual cap hit for Bouwmeester and Hossa), I challenge you to find a better bang-for-the-buck move from July. Really, though, you don’t have to even qualify it: Anderson could be the best free agent move from a pure team impact standpoint.

The best news for Colorado Avalanche fans: Anderson will be able to grow with the young team for one more super-cheap year at only a little more than $1.8 million. Fans of the 14 teams who missed the playoffs should be asking themselves: will my team find the next Craig Anderson?

Despite tough fight, Stars hand Wild their sixth straight loss

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The Minnesota Wild put together the kind of effort that would beat a lot of NHL teams on Tuesday. Unfortunately for that beleaguered group, it wasn’t enough to edge the Dallas Stars.

Despite generating 40 shots on goal and generating 1-0 and 2-1 leads, the Wild lost to the Stars 4-3 in overtime. With that, they’ve lost six straight games.

(The view doesn’t get much prettier if you pull away a little further, either, as Minnesota’s only won once in the last month, going 1-9-2 in their last 12.)

Ultimately, the Stars’ big guns were too powerful. Tyler Seguin generated two assists and so did Jamie Benn, who set up John Klingberg‘s overtime game-winning goal.

Again, the effort sure seemed to be there for the Wild, even if they’re far beyond the point of accepting moral victories.

As frustrating as this must be, Minnesota’s not that far from a playoff spot. Still, it has to sting to see “Close, but not good enough” as a prevailing theme as of late.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then: