What can Ottawa expect from Craig Anderson?

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Barring an insurgence from backup Ben Bishop (or Robin Lehner), the Ottawa Senators expect to depend heavily on goalie Craig Anderson.

For considerable stretches of last season, Ottawa would win despite its should-be No. 1 guy. Anderson’s up-and-down season included some genuine valleys, most notably his chicken-prepping injury.

That amusing gaffe doesn’t change the fact that his season ended with promise, though.

In a seven-game series against the New York Rangers, Anderson went toe-to-toe with Henrik Lundqvist, sporting a fantastic .933 save percentage before falling just short of a big upset.

(Interestingly enough, Anderson posted the same exact save percentage when he gave San Jose a serious scare during his only playoff run with Colorado in 2010.)

Strong but short-lived playoff successes combine with the fantastic numbers he put up as a Florida Panthers backup to explain why Anderson is, to some, quite intriguing.

On the other hand, he bares the rare distinction of being drafted twice (both times in the third round). Aside from that, some will remember him merely as the guy who got caught staring at ice girls twice.

Ottawa won’t “sneak up” on other teams next season, so the Senators hope to see more of the dominant side of Anderson (and less of the clumsy cutting side) in 2012-13.