But I still want to second-guess the Craig Anderson deal some.
I still can’t believe Anderson is gone. He was so great last year, and now he’s gone, traded for a guy who has been terrible all year in Ottawa. Can’t believe that’s all that came of Anderson, after a first year in which he literally carried the team into the playoffs, playing 71 games.
Moreover, I can’t believe so many Avs fans who threw him under the bus so quickly. So many fans seem to think he “quit” on the team this year. Does anybody have any evidence of that? I sure can’t find any. A lot of people seem to think he had bad “body language” in games this year. Yeah, maybe at times he did, but does that mean he quit on the team? I don’t think he did. And how is a guy supposed look, especially on a night like last Monday, when Calgary was just waltzing into the zone all night, doing anything it wanted? Was Anderson supposed to look happy about that?
Anderson’s first game for Ottawa tonight was a 47-save shutout in Toronto – a team that has been hot of late. He’s a good goalie. He showed how good he can be last year. His numbers weren’t as good this year – not even close. Yes, he deserved his share of criticism for that. But, good lord, you just want to give up on him like that, by dealing him off to Ottawa for a marginal talent? That’s the deal that I think will really haunt this team.
I think the Avs should have kept Anderson, started over with a new defense and go from there. Sorry, but I’m an Anderson guy. I think this: I think Anderson DID feel less wanted this year, after the Avs didn’t give the time of day to his agent toward talks on a new contract. I think that maybe affected him somewhat. I think the Avs are too non-communicative to their players sometimes, and this was one time.
Is that an excuse for Anderson’s play here this year? It shouldn’t be. But I think it was a small factor. But BY FAR the bigger factors in his poor numbers were a total meltdown of the defense in front of him, combined with another rash of injuries, including a couple to himself. The guy needed a little more time to come back from that knee injury probably. He seemed bothered by that knee even after he returned.
Then he had a couple of bad games, and suddenly he was in a rotation basis with Peter Budaj. That’s where I split with the coaching decisions from there on the goaltending. I still think Anderson needed another bunch of games to play by himself before he started to be in a platoon position with a guy who has NEVER proven himself as a No. 1.
I think Anderson was misused toward the end of his stay here, and I don’t think he deserved that. He just gave the team way too much last year to warrant such a quick toss aside, like he was just any other guy. I think the Avs should have talked more than they did with him about a new contract. If they would have been off on the numbers, so be it, but at least they would have talked and shown him they cared more than they did. How would you feel after a great year in which you were underpaid in the relative sense, hoping to maybe at least be talked to about an extension as a reward, only to get nothing?
Why would Avalanche management do that to a guy who was so critical to their success last year? I don’t get it and I don’t agree with it. That’s my take, and you’re all perfectly free to disagree with it and tell me why here and now.