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Ottawa’s super strength is in goal

Aug 4, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

Craig Anderson Getty Images

When you think of the Ottawa Senators your thoughts don’t generally turn toward who is in goal. With the current team, you’re more likely to think about Jason Spezza or Erik Karlsson. Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner would like to change your mind about that.

Last season Anderson battled injury (like most of the rest of the team) and started in just 24 of 48 games. In those games, however, he was brilliant. He put up league-leading numbers in save percentage (.941) and goals against average (1.69) while going 24-12-9 leading Ottawa to the fifth seed in the East.

Numbers like those will usually put you at the front of the list for the Vezina Trophy. It’s that sort of effort that has to make Sens coach Paul MacLean breathe easier when it comes to who to play in net. Of course, it’s not as simple as it seems as he’s also got a hot shot youngster in Lehner as his backup.

Lehner’s numbers in the AHL with Binghamton the past two seasons weren’t the kind to make you think he was a top prospect, but when he took over the backup job in Ottawa last season he took off.

Lehner went 5-3-4 in his starts last season with a .936 SV% and a 2.20 GAA. If you have that kind of action to spell your starter, you’re going to win a lot of games.

No wonder people are looking at the Senators as Cup contenders. Scoring on them might prove to be impossible.

  1. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 4, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    With Ray Emery departing for the Flyers (and the chance to start), Sens duo may be contending for the Jennings this year.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Emery played for Chicago last year. **

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 4, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        Yeah, I’m quite aware, and was quite aware that he and Cory Crawford combined FOR the Jennings trophy this past year. With Emery leaving (he had a top 10 save% and GAA), I’m not expecting the Hawks to take it this year.

        And I would hope it would hav ebeen obvious by the context that I was talking about the upcoming year, not the past year, since we’re inbetweeen seasons.

  2. steelcity333 - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    “Scoring on them might prove to be impossible.”

    I heard a lot of that right before the Pens made Ottawa into their own personal punching bag.

    • chuvalo - Aug 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      In 2007 playoffs the young Pens went up against a veteran Sens team and what happened. The Pens were dispatched in 5 games. In the next two years the Pens went to and then won the Cup. Do I see foreshadowing with the 2013-14 Sens? I do!

  3. ak5040 - Aug 5, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    I was very upset when my Avs traded Andy, all because of one off year. Great goalie.

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