I am guessing that when the season began not many expected the Colorado Avalanche to have only 1 regulation loss through 11 games and be leading the Western Conference. A team that was scheduled to be occupying the cellar of the west for most of the year has come out of the gate on fire due to some stellar goaltending from journeyman tender Craig Anderson. Toiling in the Chicago and Florida systems for the last 7 seasons, Anderson has never been given the chance to take control of the number one role. He has had spurts of great goaltending the last couple of years in Florida, but the team always reverted back to the veteran Tomas Vokoun. Anderson went to Colorado with the hope of being the number one. He has shown everyone that he is clearly the man for the job. Posting a 8-1-2 record, with one shutout, a .923 save percentage and a 2.14 Goals against average, he has made the Avs a legitimate opponent on a nightly basis. He ranks 2nd in GAA and save percentage, amongst starters, and tied for 1st in wins. It is amazing how having confidence in your goaltender changes a player’s outlook on the game, as the Avalanche have not had this type of goaltending since Roy was between the pipes.
To add to his stats, Anderson has now officially just shut the Oilers out.
Looking ahead to tomorrow night when the Flames take on Anderson and the Avs. The Flames, for their efforts, are red hot coming off their most complete game of the season on Saturday, and look to continue the trend against the division leaders. The Flames out shot their opponent for the first time all year on Saturday and will have to extend that streak tomorrow night in order to get the 2 points. They will have to pressure the young Avalanche squad into making mistakes and continue to improve on their league leading powerplay.
The emergence of Rene Bourque has been a huge contributing factor into the Flames success this year and he will hope to build on his team leading 14 points against Colorado.
The Flames will look to go 6-0 against the division tomorrow night; which would go a long way into securing the Northwest title.
This has been
Newman on the Flames
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