October 27, 2010
Putting on my New Jersey Devils fan hat for a moment -- you know, the one with the little flashing horns that's autographed by Jay Pandolfo(notes)? -- here's a message for Colorado Avalanche fans this morning: I understand what you're going through after seeing this happen Tuesday night before the Avs' game against the Vancouver Canucks.
On Nov. 1, 2008, Martin Brodeur(notes) went down with an injury, and the panic button was slammed. Lamoriello said ‘twas merely a flesh wound; turns out it was a "a torn distal biceps tendon in his left elbow." Which is about four months on the IR longer than a bruise.
On Oct. 26, 2010, Craig Anderson(notes) was making a routine save in warm-ups, knowing he was due to ride the pine behind Peter Budaj(notes) that night, when something happened to his right knee. He flew back to Denver, will have tests Wednesday morning; until there's a medical evaluation of the injury, it's pins and needles time for Colorado fans.
It looked more like a tweak than a blown knee but let's wait until tomorrow before we start speculating, pontificating and prognosticating on how bad it is and what it means to the team. Or freak out now. Dealer's choice, really.
The Denver Post spoke with Budaj after Tuesday night's 4-3 loss, in which he played well knowing there was no backup goalie on the bench, which has to be stressful. Said Budaj on potentially being the top dog for a bit:
"It looks like I'm going to be that, so I just have to be ready and we'll see what's going to happen. It's an unfortunate thing, but I'm going to be ready."
The Post believes John Grahame(notes) -- the former Stanley Cup champion, KHL flameout and the son of the Avalanche's VP of hockey administration Charlotte Grahame -- is the "most likely choice" to get the call from the AHL should Anderson need to go on IR.
Lake Erie's Jason Bacashihua(notes) is the other option; when Post writer Adrian Dater was asked recently who would be called up should either Budaj or Anderson get injured, he replied: "Bacashihua is the No. 1 guy, but Grahame has more NHL experience. I would assume the Avs would go with the No. 1 Lake Erie guy, but you never know."
Bottom line: Despite having given up more goals this season as a team than anyone on the West not named the Anaheim Ducks, Anderson is their rock: Sporting a .910 save percentage despite facing the sixth-most shots (237) in the NHL.
Budaj's no slouch, but he's not an MVP either, which is what Anderson is for Colorado. Hopefully it's a tweak, not a tear, and Avs fans won't have to face much life without Andy.