The post-game report: Anderson content with first full game

It wasn’t a perfect outing for Craig Anderson, but all things considered, the Ottawa Senators goaltender was satisfied with his own performance in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

MONTREAL — It wasn’t a perfect outing for Craig Anderson, but all things considered, the Ottawa Senators goaltender was satisfied with his own performance in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

“I felt great,” said Anderson, who stopped 22 of 25 shots in his first full game of the pre-season. “It was a good test there. There were a couple of turnovers, where I had to move side to side laterally and I felt pretty good.”

Anderson has been careful in dealing with an undisclosed injury through the first two weeks of camp – all we know is that it’s unrelated to the high ankle sprain he suffered last season – and he’s not pushing too hard, too soon.

His goal is to be as sharp as possible for the regular season opener Oct. 4 against Buffalo and he acknowledges he’s not quite there yet.

“I felt a little rusty, but I was tested. There were some quality chances and I felt like I was kind of in position and moving quite well. I’ve got a little ways to go here, but we’ve still got another six or seven days to fine tune some things, but overall, for where I’m at right now, felt pretty good.”

Practice is one thing, Anderson says, but it’s also hard to simulate game situations.

“Finding loose pucks, fighting through traffic, it’s stuff that maybe you’re a little fatigued because you see a lot of pucks in practice and don’t have as much time to work on some individual stuff that you want to. But in a game, there’s no excuse for not being in shape. You’re only seeing 25 or 30 shots. In a practice, you’re seeing 300 or 400.”

Despite the loss, Anderson offered up plenty of praise for the young team playing in front of him Thursday.

“I’m real proud of our guys,” he said. “There are a lot of young guys who don’t have a lot of (NHL) experience and they came out here and played the system pretty well. They worked hard. We didn’t give up a whole lot of odd man rushes, other than the couple turnovers we made, and that’s just trying to make a play and you make a mistake. When you gain experience, you get a little more comfortable and you’re going to make those plays.”

Senators coach Paul MacLean echoed those comments. He was satisfied with the effort, if not the loss.

“We didn’t get the win in an exhibition game, but I thought we got some pretty good results,” MacLean said. “I thought we came in here and played pretty hard. I thought a lot of players gave a very good account of themselves.”

WRESTING WITH THE MEN IN STRIPES: If you’re wondering who the toughest linesmen in the NHL is, don’t bet against Ottawa’s Derek Nansen.

Nansen did his best Hulk Hogan impersonation in the third period Wednesday, hauling down Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki from behind when he was about to fight the Canadiens’ Travis Moen.

Borowiecki admits he was caught off guard when he found himself on the ice, wrapped up by a guy wearing a black and white striped shirt. A second earlier, he was preparing to fight.

“I don’t want to say you black out, but you’re so focussed on going, right?,” he said. “That was a bit of a surprise when I felt that tug, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”

Borowiecki offered a few gentle words to Nansen as he went to the penalty box, but he appreciates the officials have a tough job.

“I sort of politely said, ‘hey, maybe next time, kind of let me go there’. But you can’t fault him. He’s trying to do his job.”

Anderson quipped that few of Borowiecki’s fighting opponents get off so lightly.

“Boro is a big guy and a tough guy to take down, but I guess when you sneak up on him from behind, it’s a little easier,” he said.

Tags: , ,

What do you think? Leave a comment