Originally posted on The 6th Sens  |  Last updated 1/13/12
Gaborik_scores_against_8978


For many hockey fans and members of the media, last night's game changed the way that they have perceived the Senators. There's a definite 'holy **** these guys are for real' attitude that is starting to permeate the news and the social media reactions. Having said that, with Ottawa in the thick of the playoff hunt, the importance of each of this team's final 39 games cannot be understated. For the first time in a long time, it feels like every coaching decision and lineup decision has significant far reaching ramifications.

Keeping this in mind, it is going to be interesting watching Paul MacLean monitor Craig Anderson's workload moving forward. Having played in 40 of the team's 45 games this season, Anderson's on an unsustainable pace. Not only has Anderson only played in more than 70 games once, this season's 40 games already represent the second most number of games that he's played in during one season. Yet, with Ottawa in the thick of the playoff hunt, playing Anderson has become somewhat of a necessity thanks to presence of a backup goaltender who cannot be relied upon to win games.
In fairness to Alex Auld, he's had his moments this season. There was an inspired 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on October 15th and there was that thrilling 2-1 OT loss to the Vancouver Canucks on November 20th. Unfortunately for Alex, those moments have been few and far between. Despite a 1-0-1 record in his past four games, his peripheral numbers -- a 4.26 GAA and a save percentage of .873 -- look like something that you would have seen during the 1970's or 80's.

In an interview with Justin Goldman from The Goalie Guild on our podcast this past summer, we discussed what would be an appropriate size of games for Anderson to play in and he mentioned that a sample size of 60 to 65 games would be an appropriate number of games to keep him fresh, focused and ready for the postseason. Under the current setup, I cannot imagine the Senators are completely comfortable using Auld 8 to 12 more times in high leverage games.

While you can hardly blame the Senators for bringing in a veteran backup tendy during what was expected to be a rebuilding year, circumstances change. This season was designed to one of a transition, just another year to develop the team's younger skaters and peddle the team's veteran assets. Rather than expose a young goaltender to the ebbs and flows of a losing environment, the team elected to sign Auld; thereby allowing Lehner to suit up and hopefully play in 50 or more games at the AHL level.

Unfortunately for Lehner, like the rest of Binghamton teammates, his season has been hampered somewhat by injuries. Not only have they caused him to split the starts with veteran journeyman Mike McKenna, even when healthy, it's not like Lehner has been the benefactor of playing behind a good team. In fact, in light of the way Binghamton's season has gone, it's enough to wonder whether it'd be more prudent for his development to promote him in the midst of Ottawa's playoff run.

With Auld being an unrestricted free agent at the season, it's likely that Lehner would enter next as the backup goaltender anyways. However, with the added threat of a work stoppage looming over the NHL, why not add to Lehner to the mix now? What better time to add a hunter to the playoff hunt?

Count me among those who are all aboard the Lehn Train.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Report: Josh Gordon expected to get reinstatement update in May

Landon Donovan retires from soccer again, this time for good

No discipline for Crosby for slashing off Methot’s fingertip

Jim Harbaugh ditches signature cheap khakis

Report: Magic to skip Shaq statue unveiling to scout tourney game

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker