The Ottawa Senators continue to have issues maintaining a healthy goaltending duo. They have moved occasional starter Anders Nilsson to the injured reserve with a concussion. He last played on December 16th against the Florida Panthers. The news was announced via CapFriendly Sunday morning.
— CapFriendly Transactions (@CF_Transactions) December 22, 2019
Anders Nilsson Moved to IR
The 29-year-old has been the stronger of Ottawa’s primary goaltenders. Nilsson currently has a 9-9-2 record with a .908 save percentage and 3.18 goals-against-average. Those aren’t great numbers but they are slightly better than Craig Anderson‘s. Nilsson briefly grabbed the starter position but this injury derails that effort. Concussions are challenging so it is unclear how long this will keep Nilsson off the ice.
Nilsson has played for six different teams since his debut with the New York Islanders in 2011-12. His career averages are a .907 save percentage and 3.06 goals-against so he is performing within those expectations. It is a mild surprise he is doing as well as is given the Senators have one of the weakest defensive groups in from of him. Nilsson also has a cap hit of $2.6 million through next year. This injury does not change much as far as his future in Ottawa is concerned.
What This Means for the Future
This injury helps Ottawa in a tank outlook. It keeps the goalie performing better out of the net and forces the team to use its less-productive options. However, no one likes having their starter get hurt.
The Senators desperately need an infusion of young talent via the draft but are only in a tie for the third-best odds for the top pick. Losing Nilsson means Ottawa will rely more heavily on Craig Anderson and Marcus Hogberg in the short-term. Nilsson could be the starter in 2020-21 but watch Ottawa closely for the rest of this season. They still have assets to sell to help accelerate their rebuild and goaltending injuries will help on top of potential trades.