Which Craig Anderson will show up for Senators this season?

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This is part of Ottawa Senators day at PHT …

Heading into last year, some worried that the Ottawa Senators would put too much stock in Andrew Hammond‘s stunning, likely unrepeatable run (which saved their 2014-15 season).

That didn’t happen. Instead, Craig Anderson regained his role as the clear No. 1 goalie; Hammond only appeared in four games during the first two months of 2015-16.

Such a decision took courage, yet it didn’t exactly yield fantastic results.

The Senators fell short of a playoff berth with Anderson starting 60 games, going 31-23-15 with a solid-but-unspectacular .916 save percentage.

As we’ve seen for the last few seasons, the Sens often live or die based on hot-or-cold goaltending. Anderson’s shown a remarkable trend of rotating average and strong seasons himself.

Starting with the 2010-11 season in which he was traded to Ottawa, he’s been remarkably “consistent” in that way.

2010-11 with Colorado: Lousy .897 save percentage
2010-11 with Ottawa: Fantastic .939 save percentage

2011-12: .914 save percentage
2012-13: .941 save percentage
2013-14: .911 save percentage
2014-15: .923 save percentage
2015-16: .916 save percentage

Based on that pattern, you’d expect a strong 2016-17, right?

At 35 with two seasons remaining on his current deal, Anderson has some incentive to get things together. It’s also plausible that Guy Boucher may install a system that brings out the best in the veteran netminder.

As much as Erik Karlsson is on another planet as a defenseman, there’s a strong possibility that Anderson’s performance will actually make or break Ottawa’s 2016-17 campaign.

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