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Numbers Game: Avalanche Get A Goaltender

Scott Cullen
7/2/2009 1:51:04 AM
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Addressing their most glaring need, the Colorado Avalanche signed a backup goaltender who is ready for his turn as a starter.

Numbers Game looks at the Avs' addition of Craig Anderson.

The Avalanche Get: G Craig Anderson.

Anderson, 28, has emerged as one of the best backup goaltenders in the game over the last few seasons.  Since arriving in Florida in 2006-2007, Anderson has only played in 53 games, but has a .928 save percentage which is the best mark in the league over that time.

Considering Colorado's goaltending problems last season, it's hard to imagine Anderson being anything more than an upgrade on the tandem of Peter Budaj and Andrew Raycroft, who combined for an .897 save percentage, part of the reason that the Avalanche finished 26th in goals against (3.08 GAA) even though they allowed 29 shots per game, good enough for ninth in the league.

The challenge facing Anderson is that, as the starter, he'll be expected to start upwards of 50 games and last season's 27 starts was a high mark for his career, so he'll need to prove he has the stamina to be a true No. 1.

Signed for two years at $3.4-million, Anderson is a very reasonably-priced option if he can fulfill the starter's role, with Budaj as his backup.

Florida addressed Anderson's departure by signing Scott Clemmensen to backup Tomas Vokoun.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca

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