NHL: Colorado Avalanche Trade Goaltender Craig Anderson To Ottawa

Kevin Goff@@BrgBrigadeKevinContributor IFebruary 18, 2011

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 20:  Goalie Craig Anderson #41 of the Colorado Avalanche puts on his mask as he defends the goal against the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center on January 20, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It is being reported that the Colorado Avalanche and the Ottawa Senators have swapped goalies.

The Avalanche send Craig Anderson to Ottawa in exchange for Brian Elliot.

So far this season, Craig Anderson is 13-15-3 with a 3.28 goals against average and a save percentage of .897. 

Brian Elliot has appeared in 43 games this season, and is 13-19-11. His goals against is 3.19, with a save percentage of .894.

Looking at the numbers, it doesn't really appear as if either team is going to get much better from this trade, as far as their acquisition goes. 

This may be a case, however, of improvement through subtraction on both sides. It's very strange how just a change of scenery is sometimes all that the players need to improve.

Anderson has struggled greatly this year. Part of his struggles earlier in the year were because he seemed to have not fully healed from a knee injury that he suffered in October. 

More recently, he has just been inconsistent and seems to lack confidence.

Personally, this move doesn't really surprise me at all. Joe Sacco has clearly lost faith in Anderson. This is evident by the fact that Peter Budaj has started each of the last four games, and has appeared in six of the last eight games for the Avalanche. 

Anderson had left the team after a loss to Minnesota, a game in which he was pulled from net, to deal with some personal issues in Denver.

Anderson's departure from Denver comes a year after he started more games in net than any other Colorado Avalanche goalie ever has, including the great Patrick Roy.

Anderson has definitely been far from the spectacular goalie that he was last year, but it seems as if he was run out of town by a coach who is looking to save his job in any way that he can. Again, Anderson has not been very good this year, but he has been left out to dry by his defense more times than I care to recount.

You can't expect the types of miraculous saves he made last year to continue to happen when your defense is constantly overmatched night in and night out.

At the moment, this just seems like another one of those messages that Joe Sacco has been trying to send to his players for months now: Benching somebody didn't make him improve his play, so I guess I'll trade him. 

I'm not really sure that this is the message you want to be sending to the players a couple of days after saying that we're all in this together. 

In the end, while I disagree with it, I understand it. Anderson wasn't living up to expectations, Sacco and company didn't think he was capable of doing the job anymore, so they are moving on. 

I hope that a fresh start in Ottawa will re-energize Anderson, and get him back to the form he showed last year. I wish nothing but success to him. 

And let's hope that Brian Elliot will work out for the Avs as well.


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