Before Tuesday night’s game against Vancouver, Craig Anderson suffered a knee injury during pre-game warmups. The goofy part about the injury is that Peter Budaj, and not Anderson, was the starting goalie for the Avs for this particular game. Unfortunately, Anderson has been flown back to Denver and is undergoing tests to determine the severity of the injury.
Whenever a team states that a player is sidelined indefinitely, alarm bells begin to sound. Add to that the fact that this is a knee injury, and this injury has the potential to be disastrous for Anderson owners. Anderson’s injury isn’t as much of a fluke as Erik Johnson’s golf cart mishap, but the worst-case scenario is that it wipes out an entire season, like Johnson’s injury. The good news is that early speculation is that the injury is nothing more than a sprained MCL (Denver Post), but that is far from confirmed.
In the meantime, an IR stint seems probable for Anderson, so his owners have some work to do. The most obvious pickup in leagues in which waiver-wire goaltending options are light is Budaj, who should receive a ton of work while Anderson is out. The Avs will likely recall either John Grahame or Jason Bacashihua, neither of whom should be relied upon in fantasy leagues. The Avs could also surprise us and look outside of the organization (paging Vesa Toskala) or attempt to trade for a goalie like a Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk in Edmonton.
Budaj sports a career 2.76 GAA, so if there happen to be more proven options in your league, then they should be considered. Goalies that could be considered (less than 50 percent ownership in Yahoo leagues) include Kings super rookie Jonathan Bernier, one of the Flyers’, Lightning’s, or Islanders’ platoon options (Sergei Bobrovsky, Brian Boucher, Mike Smith, Dan Ellis, Rick DiPietro, Dwayne Roloson,) or Senators’ interim starter Brian Elliott.
The bottom line is that Anderson owners can only hope for the best and prepare for the worst, in case last year’s fantasy darling turns into this season’s most devastating injury.
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