Craig Anderson

Craig Anderson (born May 21, 1981) is a professional ice hockey goaltender who plays for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Anderson was originally drafted by Calgary Flames in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, in the 3rd round 77th overall. However, because Calgary failed to sign him to a contract he was returned into the entry draft a few years later. In 2001, Anderson was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He was chosen with the 73rd overall selection in the 3rd round. After two seasons as backup goalie in Chicago, he was traded to the Florida Panthers in 2006. He has also played parts of five seasons in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals (4) and the Rochester Americans (1).

Anderson during his time with the Panthers.

During the 2007–08 season, Anderson set the NHL records for the most saves in a shutout (53) and most saves in consecutive shutouts (93). During the 2008–09 season, He recorded 15 wins for the Panthers as they battled (but ultimately failed) to qualify for a playoff spot.

Anderson signed a two-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche on July 1, 2009.[1] He won the starting job from Peter Budaj in training camp for the goalie position and started the 2009–10 season. Anderson became the second American in Avalanche history to mind the net, the other being Philippe Sauvé.

He began his career with the Avalanche on a positive note, recording a shutout in his second game,[2] and was named the league’s second star of the week twice in October.[3] Eventually, he was also named the league’s first star for the month of October. Anderson went on to set a Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche franchise record on October 24, 2009, when he started his 10th consecutive game as a goalie to begin the season, a game the Avs went on to win 5-4 against the Carolina Hurricanes at home. His marathon record of starts ended at 15. On December 2, 2009, the Avalanche’s 29th game of the season and his 27th start came against his former club, the Florida Panthers. In overtime he was run over just outside of the crease by former teammate Keith Ballard rendering Anderson out of play for the remainder of the game with a neck injury. He was replaced in net by backup Peter Budaj who played the remainder of overtime and ended up allowing the game winning goal in the shootout, losing 6-5. Anderson missed four games, and came back against the Tampa Bay Lightning winning 2-1 in the shootout.

Anderson has become the 4th goaltender in Avalanche history to win 30 games in a season behind Patrick Roy, David Aebischer, and current Avs backup Peter Budaj. In his first season with the Avs, he has collected numerous franchise records, surpassing Patrick Roy in most minutes played in a season, most regular season games played, and most shots faced in the regular season.

Anderson makes a save (2010)

After being predicted last place in the west by most hockey pundits, the Avalanche made the playoffs ending the regular season in 8th place in the Western Conference, widely attributed by Anderson’s performance in net, posting a record of 38-25-7 and seven shutouts in 71 games played. His first career test in the NHL playoffs would come against the first seeded San Jose Sharks.

Anderson tallied his first career playoff shutout in round 1 against San Jose on April 18, 2010, after 51 seconds of overtime after making 51 saves, winning the game 1-0, and putting the Avs ahead in the series 2-1. Only Patrick Roy and Dominik Hašek have had more saves in a playoff shutout; Roy stopped all 63 shots in triple overtime to win the Stanley Cup on June 10, 1996, against the Florida Panthers, and Hašek recorded 70 saves in a shutout 4-OT win against the New Jersey Devils on April 27, 1994. Anderson, however, owns the record for the most saves made in a playoff shutout within regulation time with 50 (the 51st save came in overtime). After this performance, he went on to lose the next three consecutive games, giving up 10 goals in that span, and the Avs were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.

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