Anderson cuts hand making dinner, out indefinitely

The Ottawa Senators face a crucial test as their regular season enters its final stretch with the news that goalie Craig Anderson has seriously cut his right hand (which is his stick hand) in an accident at home.

Anderson cuts hand making dinner, out indefinitely
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Maybe Craig Anderson should have just gone out for dinner after the game.

Certainly Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray must be wishing he did.

But Anderson decided instead to make a meal at home after Wednesday’s game against the Washington Capitals, and that decision has jolted the playoff hopes of the Ottawa Senators.

While preparing that meal on Wednesday night, Anderson, the team’s No. 1 goalie, seriously cut his right hand (his stick hand) and had to be treated in hospital.

In a release, the team said he will make a full recovery but will be out indefinitely. Initial speculation is that there could be some tendon damage and he could be out for 10 days to two weeks.

It’s expected that there will be an update following Friday’s practice. Team management declined an interview request on Thursday night.

This is not the first time an Ottawa goalie has had problems with a kitchen knife. Ron Tugnutt missed several games during his time with the team after cutting a hand while trying to cut a bagel.

Murray might just have to ban his goalies from using sharp utensils – especially with the playoffs just around the corner.
Anderson’s teammates expressed their wishes for a speedy return.

Matt Carkner and Chris Phillips were signing autographs Thursday night at a local automobile dealership. Ironically, Anderson was one of the four who was supposed to attend.

“Hopefully it’s not too major and it’s just a flesh wound, and just takes a little time for the stitches to heal up,” said Carkner.

“Andy is a big part of our team and has done really well this year, but we’ve got a good backup and he works hard every day, and is capable of stepping in. When something like this happens, a team usually groups together to get through this type of thing.”

Phillips expressed a similar sentiment.

“Nothing confirmed to us, and all I can say is I hope it’s not too long if he is going to be missing some time,” he said.

“We’ve got Alex Auld who can step in and we feel confident playing in front of him. That’s why we have two goalies; he’s a professional, he expects himself to play well and we have confidence in him, and we’ll play well in front of him.”

Anderson’s absence will mean that Auld, little used this season, will have to shoulder the load.

He has appeared in just 13 of the team’s 62 games and has a record of 2-3-2 with a goals-against average of 3.28 and a save percentage of .883.

Anderson, meanwhile, has appeared in 56 games this season. He has a record of 29-19-6 with a goals-against-average of 2.85.

In just his last four games, the 30-year-old goaltender is 4-0-0 with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and a save percentage of .970. He was on his way to another player of the week award.

The Senators are solidly in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and appear headed to the playoffs, but they have a busy, and difficult, schedule over the next two weeks.

Beginning Saturday against the Boston Bruins and Sunday against the New York Islanders, the Senators have eight games over the next two weeks, five at home and three on the road.

They’ll play the Bruins, the Islanders, the Chicago Blackhawks, the New York Rangers, and the Buffalo Sabres at home, while they’ll play the Bruins, Florida Panthers, and Tampa Bay Lightning.

With 72 points, the Senators need another 22 to reach the 94 that is generally good enough for a playoff berth. That’s a bit more than a point a game from their remaining 20 games so there’s not a large margin for error.

While Mike McKenna is the goalie with the better record in Binghamton, it’s believed that Robin Lehner is on his way from Binghamton and will be here in time for practice.

Lehner, 20, is having a miserable season. He is 8-16-1 with a 3.38 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.

However, he is regarded as the team’s goalie of the future.

He appeared in one game for the Senators this season, beating the Maple Leafs 3-2 on Oct. 30.

In eight NHL games last season, he was 1-4-0 with a 3.52 goals-against average and a .888 save percentage.

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