With the weight of the world placed firmly on his shoulders, Craig Anderson delivered an emotional performance against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Ottawa Senators goaltender’s family received devastating news last week when his wife Nicholle was diagnosed with cancer. Anderson left the team to be with her but with the blessing of Nicholle, returned to the team on Sunday to face the Oilers. Anderson turned in a season-best performance, stopping all 37 Edmonton shots in Ottawa’s 2-0 victory. He was given support after the game from the Oilers crowd and goalie Cam Talbot.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 31, 2016
Anderson declined to speak to media following the shutout, but Talbot commented on his opposing netminder’s perseverance. Via Sportsnet:
“Him being able to play the way he did under those circumstances?” Oilers goalie Cam Talbot told Sportsnet, just a dozen days removed from having won a game the day after his twins were born. “You have to give him so much credit. It’s an unthinkable situation.”
The Oilers didn’t lament the loss, instead celebrated Anderson’s brilliant performance on their home ice. Considering the circumstances, Edmonton was very classy in allowing him to take the ice post-game and receive some love from Oilers fans.
Hockey is a tough sport, but the NHL is a family. Anderson’s family is hurting at the moment but the league, like the Oilers, have his back. It’s great to see him out there performing at such a high level. Hopefully, Nicholle’s diagnosis will improve in upcoming weeks.