When the Ottawa Senators take on the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon they will have starting goaltender Craig Anderson back in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 5.
Anderson has been away from the team to be with his wife, Nicholle, as she battles cancer.
“This is like a cold water pool,” Senators coach Guy Boucher said on Saturday morning, when asked about putting Anderson back in the lineup after such a long layoff.
“You look at it, and you look at it, and you want to get in and it’s cold and the longer you wait, it’s still going to be cold when you get in. So I think it’s jump in and swim and you’ll remind yourself that you know how to swim pretty good. I think that is where it is with Craig. Expectations are not that he is coming in to save us and get us a shutout. Expectations right now are to be yourself. It’s exciting, and what’s going to happen is going to happen. There is a process, and hopefully things work out for him right off the bat.”
In 19 appearances this season Anderson has a .924 save percentage. He allowed seven goals in his most recent start.
He will be backed up on Saturday by Mike Condon. It will be just the second time in the past 30 games that Condon has not made an appearance in the Senators’ net.