Who should be the Senators’ No. 1 goalie?
Suddenly, the goalie with a 1.43 goals-against average and .954 save percentage can’t get back in the Ottawa Senators’ net.
Rookie Andrew Hammond, who made eight consecutive starts while Craig Anderson recovered from a deep bruise to his blocker hand, gave way to the latter Sunday evening and watched his teammates blow a 4-0 lead against Calgary, only to rebound for a 5-4 shootout win.
Anderson, who stopped 42 of 46 shots for a .913 save percentage, then was tabbed Monday by Senators head coach Dave Cameron to start Tuesday’s critical home game against Boston.
The Bruins hold down the second wild-card playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference with 76 points, five more than Ottawa, which has a game in hand.
Cameron undoubtedly raised eyebrows with Sunday’s decision to sit Hammond and probably more with Monday’s announcement.
The 27-year-old Hammond, nicknamed “The Hamburglar,” is 7-0-1 this season for the Senators in nine games, including eight starts, and just the second player in 76 years to allow two or fewer goals in his first eight starts. Los Angeles Kings backup Martin Jones is the other.
So, why the move to rest Hammond, who’s in the final year of a two-year, $ 1.4-million US contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer, unless he told Cameron he needed a break?
Well, the coach might have looked at the Senators’ upcoming schedule of nine games in 16 days, including four this week.
Furthermore, Anderson is no slouch, having posted a 2.42 GAA and .926 save percentage, fifth best in the NHL, in 32 games this season.
Still, some would wonder why Cameron would mess with a good thing, given Hammond has almost singlehandedly propelled Ottawa back into the playoff race.
With 18 regular-season games remaining, what would you do if you were Cameron?
Vote in our poll below and share your thoughts in the comment section.
CBC | Sports News