Craig Anderson Proceeded To Post A 37 Save Shutout After Being Urged To Play By His Cancer Stricken Wife
PuckDaddy- Craig Anderson left the Ottawa Senators last week to be with his wife Nicholle and their family after she was diagnosed with cancer. It was an early diagnosis. Much was still unknown, save for one thing: They needed him.
But Nicholle knew that Anderson has another family, on that suddenly needed him more than they had anticipated: Andrew Hammond, the Senators’ backup goalie, was placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury suffered against Calgary on Friday. So she encouraged Craig to call GM Pierre Dorion, and let him know that he would rejoin the team in Edmonton for Sunday’s game.
Anderson made the start against the Oilers. He faced 37 shots. He turned aside 37 shots. With a heavy heart, Anderson led the Senators to a 2-0 victory over one of the NHL’s hottest offenses.
“Nicholle was the one who wanted Craig to come back. She was the one who said, ‘Craig, your teammates need you right now.’ We made this decision after consulting with Craig and Nicholle, their doctors, and we all felt because of this time frame it was all right for him to rejoin the team,” said Dorion.
It's in these sorts of situations where you want to say that there are other forces at work. That sports can be more than just a game, and that even the people playing them sometimes can't truly determine the result. Unfortunately, I just can't do that. Not because this win wasn't more important to Craig Anderson and his teammates than any other random October victory, but because acting as if it was a product of fate would downplay what a grieving goaltender managed to achieve last night. Handing one of the youngest, most talented teams in the NHL only their second loss of a season with a 37 shutout that he had to be pushed into participating in at the urging of a wife that was dealing with a recent cancer diagnosis? Craig Anderson displayed a level of perseverance that can't possibly be explained solely by the supernatural.
A man playing one of the most pressure packed positions in all of sports went out there with the heaviest of hearts and accomplished something that requires a laser-like focus, and I don't exactly think I am going out on a limb in saying he did so in honor of his wife. So fuck praising sports for their occasional ability to help in the healing process. Let's instead praise Craig Anderson for being the consummate professional, a damn good goaltender, and an even better husband. Pretty clear the Anderson's are a family full of fighters so even though they are about to embark on the ultimate battle, I know who my money is on. The type of woman that tells her husband to go play when there are much more important things to worry about is the type of woman that can beat the most dreaded of diseases, and the type of man that can perform to perfection while supporting said woman is the best possible third man in.
P.S. And a tip of the cap to Cam Talbot for being a class act...