Frederik Andersen Becoming A Problem For Anaheim
Coming into the Western Conference Final, some writers had pegged the play between the pipes as a significant advantage for the Anaheim Ducks.
Frederik Andersen had allowed only 18 goals in nine games in the first two rounds of the playoffs while posting a robust .924 save percentage, numbers that gave many pundits confidence as the Blackhawks headed to California.
To his credit, Andersen was outstanding in the first three games of this series. He allowed five goals in nearly 12 full periods of hockey (including Game Two’s three overtimes), and had a stunning .957 save percentage in two victories and one marathon loss.
Heading into Game Four at the United Center, Andersen and the Ducks had reclaimed home ice with a Game Three victory and had confidence they could close the Hawks out soon. Anaheim hadn’t allowed anything in a third period all season, so heading into the final 20 minutes with the game tied appeared to be the perfect set-up for the Ducks.
In that third period of Game Four, however, the Blackhawks broke through – and may have broken Andersen.
Even with his teammates scoring three times in 37 seconds, it wasn’t enough for Andersen to win the game. He allowed three goals on 13 shots in the third period and the game-winner to Antoine Vermette in the second overtime. This performance would begin a startling downward trend for Andersen that has to be a concern for the Ducks moving forward.
In Game Five, even though the Ducks were able to escape with an overtime victory, Andersen allowed two goals to Jonathan Toews in the final two minutes of regulation to make what could have been a blowout home victory more thrilling than it should have been.
In Game Six, Andersen allowed another third period goal, this one coming in the wake of his teammates climbing back from a 3-0 deficit to be within one. It was a great play by Andrew Shaw – let’s not ignore the skill plays by Chicago – but another in a growing line of late game goals allowed by the Ducks netminder.
As the series has progressed, Andersen’s save percentage has plummeted:
- Game One – .970
- Game Two – .946
- Game Three – .964
- Game Four – .875
- Game Five – .857
- Game Six – .818
After allowing 23 goals in running up a 10-2 record in the first 12 games of the postseason, Andersen has allowed 13 goals in his last three games – and lost twice.
What’s more, his save percentage in the third period has been awful over the last three games. Andersen has allowed six goals against only 29 shots, good for a .793 third period save percentage.
If his confidence in himself was in question, his recent stretch of play late in games has to be giving Bruce Boudreau a moment of pause as the Ducks head home for Game Seven on Saturday night.
35 thoughts on “Frederik Andersen Becoming A Problem For Anaheim”
The last two seasons in Anaheim ended with game seven home losses. Let’s make it three in a row!
Let’s Go Hawks!
Biggest argument on why people actually spend money on goalies. If Anaheim had Corey Crawford, this series is probably already over.
In that same breath, I’m pretty sure both CC and Quick were right around .900 in the WCF last year. But some of the goals that Andersen has let in have been back breakers.
As a staunch Blackhawks fan, I worry about Frederick but I worry more about the calls that aren’t being made when Anaheim bangs into the goalie’s glove or just plain runs The Crow over. Then within two minutes after that, the Hawks are called for roughing or interference, which they should of been but all were plainly seen but no equal pentalization was given.
Interestingly, while Crawford has had a higher save percentage, he has let-in two less goals over the same stretch of games as Andersen. Yes Andersen hasn’t seemed very good the last few games, but he has made some excellent saves. Crawford has been okay and seems to be fighting the puck, but he gets the job done.
It should be said that the NHL desperately wants the Blackhawks to win this series. It would be a wet dream for a Hawks vs. Rangers SCF. TB vs Anaheim? No one would watch it.
JS – excellent point about a Hawks/Rangers final…
^ JS, I get the opposite impression from the NHL. They’ve pushed very hard to get hockey into non-traditional hockey markets. The NHL would be ecstatic to have an Anaheim v. TB series because it would me that warm weather markets can work and growth for the game. The conspiracy theorist in me feels validated in this thought based on (my) perceived bias in the officiating in this series. No goaltender interference calls against Crow? Blatant head shots not being called? And there has been an excessive amount of holding by Anaheim right in front of the ref with nothing called.
Objectively, when it came to making straight up saves, against Saad, Hossa and Kane all of those were clear shots straight on no deflections. Versus the “knuckle puck” that Crow had to stop. The higher percentage of goals that “50” has had to stop have been tips and redirects off of double screens. So if you’re making a comparison Crawford has had to do a lot more on his own, vs Andersen needing his guys out front to block everything.
JS – if I had a nickel for every time someone mentioned matchups a league wants hinting at or straight out saying there’s a conspiracy, I’d make Trump my butler. I don’t think that influences anything but I’ve been wrong before.
Thanks for pointing out Andersen’s save percentage trend line Tab. Let’s hope the trend continues for one more game.
As for the conspiracy theory. Bettman may or may not have a preference for teams in the SCF. In any case there is no chance the on ice officials are part of that thinking. Teams may or may not get the calls they would like and the equivalent calls may not be made at the other end of the ice. Other factors make that a reality. It is certainly not based on any conspiracy. Like the players the officials are doing their best. With hindsight and video replay we get to see things that they – both players and officials – don’t get to see in the game speed live action. If you don’t like that reality then advocate for a coach’s challenge or broaden the use of video replay in some other way. In any case get off the conspiracy theory thinking. It is hogwash unworthy of space on this board.
Well, Andersen is average, he’s pretty good, no new news there. All goal tenders go thru streaks where their goals against drift up a little. Some very soft shoots from hawks have made it in, that is the shock, i could have stopped TVR shot in my bare feet.
The real issue is the Ducks Defense, they are also over rated as a pure defensive unit. Offensively they are as very good better than our SIX but for pure defense they are often way out of position, physical YES but skilled not really. YOU have to remember the Hawks are NOT putting any real sustained forecheck pressure on THEM as they are US. So take that SOFT forecheck at times and Hawks going after puck not PLAYER and you can see like last night the defensemen all just in fire drill mode.
No goal tender is king, even King in NY ain’t King. Traffic, big bodies, tip ins, deflection off your own guys, deflection of opponents etc. make it hard to have 3 games in a row in the playoffs at a high level, just not possible.
Smitty, you’re completely right. It’s pretty easy to be an armchair referee. To be clear, I don’t actually believe the NHL is machinating the SCF: it’s just that with the inconsistencies in officiating in these series (not just ANH and CHI) it’s easy to let reason fall to the wayside. As for a coach’s challenge and expanding video replay, I would be shocked if there isn’t a greater push for that soon, especially after Calgary’s no-goal against ANH last round.
As for the topic at hand, I think Andersen’s greenness is beginning to show. Playoffs are brutal and for the uninitiated goalie, it’s hard to maintain the necessary mindset. Crow has shown an astounding mental toughness that I personally think is unmatched by any other goaltender. He has a bad game, moves onto the next one, whereas Andersen is starting to become his own worst enemy. It hasn’t helped that in the games the Hawks have gotten more than a few by Andersen, they’ve had intermittent bursts of shots. Those long periods without shots on net seem to freeze Andersen a bit.
Tab, thanks for the numbers. It is clear that as far as the Hawks and us fans are concerned the well worn cliche of ‘the trend is your friend” seems appropriate. All keepers hate the front of their crease being a high traffic zone. Early games in this series the Hawks lost their focus in this regard, whereas the Ducks do this ALL the time. Andersen has been the beneficiary of a team in front him blocking a boat load of shots. As the Hawks spread the ice and get better looks Andersen has been forced to come up with the saves, and also has allowed more goals past three games. Problem is he is now seeing more shots get by him, and his posture says he ain’t feeling to good right now. Misdirection plays also have revealed Andersen a little slow moving post to post. Apart from super human efforts like what Mike Smith threw at the Hawks a few years ago, most elite goalies are brought back to earth in a 7 game playoff series. The list of the “goalies Almighty” that aren’t playing right now is pretty damn long too. Guys like Bishop and Andersen hav’t been there. King Henry and Crow have been down that road and that experience I think is worth something in crunch time. We will see soon enough.
Let’s Go Hawks!
Tab your analysis and breakdown is spot on, i had the same thoughs regarding Andersen and liked your in depth breakdown.
Winning in the regular season and winning in the playoffs are 2 seperate animals. Dont believe me ask the Nucks and Blues.
This storyline has a potential major footnote at series end. IF for reasons unknown we were to fail in game 7, it will forever be my contention that had we been able to continue testing Andersen in the game 5 OT, he WOULD have proven to be fragile and beatable again. Therefore making a home ice win in game 6 the series clincher(that we are still looking for). We just gotta win this thing…..or this cross we will bear. C’mon Saturday
No one is saying the league is behind a curtain trying to set the Final. They simply want the 2 teams that will provide the most viewers. That is Chi/NYR. and by a very wide margin. I dig original 6 Finals, but my bracket at nhl.com
has Chi and TB squaring off. As long as we are there, I’m happy with either one
To me he has looked all shake and no steak since game two. That was the frustrating thing during our losses is that he was never really tested all that much. We may have lost the game but the comeback in game five exposed how shakey he is and smashed his confidence. If the Hawks can play their fast game and keep the pressure up on Saturday we are going to be moving on. I want some WCF game seven redemption so bad I can taste it.
Imagine if the goal that CC was interfered on turned out to be the winner. It can happen if the refs dont have the courage to call the game as it should be called its probably a directive from bevis butthead. to let everything go unless the Hawks do it. head locks . cross checking from behind. the Ducks get away with on every shift but thats the way they play so the refs let it go. Andersen may be getting spooked but it happens to any goalie occasionally . remember Coreys performance against the Coyotes a couple of years ago .but hes turned it around
and now hes cool B
Last 3 games might be a trend (lets hope so), but it’s probably a good idea not to get too cocky. These two goalies are pretty close when it comes right down to it.
226 Shots against .909 Sv%
Low Danger goals against (5)
Med Danger goals against (2)
High Danger goals against (11) Total Goals Against 18
207 Shots against .905 SV%
Low Danger goals against (4)
Med Danger goals against (2)
High Danger goals against (12) Total Goals Against 18
I agree with JS’s point on the League’s desired matchup. Although I believe any talk of a conspiracy is and would be absolutely ridiculous if both the ‘Beloved’ and the Rangers win, I also absolutely believe Mr. Bettman would die for the matchup.
It would be great viewing so let’s hope for it.
GO HAWKS &………………………………rangers!
If the NHL actually “wants” TB and ANA they are nuts. Yes, the NHL needs popularity in smaller markets. But what hockey and the NHL really needs is the media to cover our beloved sport. ESPN hardly covers the sport. I opened up Google sports just a few minutes ago. The Rangers/Lightning game is story number 19……19. Behind everything including a story about Taylor Swift riding in an Indy Car…….whatever!!
Have said before, for most teams in the NHL, 25 miles from their arenas nobody cares. This is true for both TB and ANA. A Hawks Rangers series will at least attract numbers of viewers simply from the size of their markets. TB/ANA will be seen by no one. We know who NBC would like to see.
AlbertHF- thanks for “voice of reason” on Goalie #’s…
wts- the Hawks “protected” Crow far better in the last game (not a lot of Grade A chances for Ducks)… than the Ducks “protected” Freddie… furthermore, the Hawks “learned” that the Ducks are really getting in shooting lanes and Blocking a shit-ton of shots… so (Keith -out waiting the D- pass to 81,,, Kane driving the Slot and out -dangling Beleskey) shows some understanding by Hawks -of “How” to beat Ducks…
I think the team that “protects” goalie best wins… One of my fears or “wild card” is the PP’s and which team can take advantage of… also- it is game Seven… how much crap will the Ref’s let go??? and which team- gets away with the holding, grabbing, interference and stuff…
The goal that Crow was interfered with, was that reviewable? Hard to believe the NHL doesn’t use review more than they do.
Just curious as to which of the 4 Blackhawk goals you think Anderson should have stopped.
1) Saad’s breakaway
2) Keith’s fake leading to Hossa’s empty netter
3) 88’s deke followed by a perfectly placed shot through a screen
4) Shaw’s determination and roofed backhand from 5 feet away
IMHO, all 4 goals were the result of the Blackhawks incredible skill and determination that NO goalie could have stopped.
You sir are a smart man, not only with your spot on call on the OT. I’ll even take it a step further had the Hawks won that game Gibson would have started game 6 and also with your TB VS Chi bracket pick which was also mine!
I had the West pegged with the exception of the Blue making the 2nd round and then promptly losing to the Hawks and out East I had the Rags getting knocked out by Washington,…close but no cigar.
DTP, very good point. You can’t exactly point to one of those he would want back. I think the larger point is that his confidence seems to be shaken having given up the look-away goal to TT and the baseline goal to Toews both of which he should have had.
Another question for the crew. The 19-88 partnership has been reformed and is garnering all sorts of praise. I know the idea of keeping them apart forces the opposition to pick where top their better defensive lines leaving the other with a weaker matchup. But if they are so good together, why wait until game 6 to pair them up? Or is this a case of the Ducks size getting worn down and not being able to keep up with that line’s speed. Just curious what the Committed Indian intelligentsia think.
Great post, entertaining comments.
Hopping on a plane with my 7 year old from San Fran to Anaheim for game 7. Sounds like there’ll be a lot of Red in the crowd.
Let’s go Hawks!!!
Anaheim has been getting the better of the calls. That interfernce on Crawford on the second goal was obvious and a blatant miss by the refs. I don’t think there is any conspiracy, but if there is one it would be to promote hockey in southern california and build up the fan base there.
From Puck Daddy -“Alexei Kovalev, 42, eyes NHL comeback if he’s wanted”
44’s replacement next season…..?
The referees for Game 7 tomorrow are Steve Kozari & Dan O’Halloran.
Steve Kozari always helps the USA hockey referee program along with Andy McElmend. Two really great mentors to a lot of referee’s!!
Remember this boys………whether we move on tomorrow, or extend our season, the end is coming soon for this group of Hawks. They are really a special group of players AND people. Sharpie, Johnny O, Rosy, Bickel and possibly a couple more players may have to move on down the road. Let’s really appreciate their time in Chicago because win or lose I really love this group of HAwks.
Thanks Boys!! Now let’s kick some Duck butt!!!!
@ REG DUNLOP
Completely agree, I was reflecting a lot on this team and some of the players that will undoubtedly be leaving the organization before the drop of the puck on game 6.
When I look around at the complete and utter dysfunction with some of my other favorite sports team its nice to be able to look at the Hawks and be able to smile at where they are and where they have come from. Go Hawks!
In SB we must trust. The New Look Hawks will be strong. But until that time, let’s go out with a bang…….and hopefully another Cup
Were going to reload again with exciting players.
The guys we have had for a long time are true Blackhawks and these guys deserve everything these 7yrs and counting.
Reg-right on-as I said before Game 6 watch and enjoy-win or lose we have been fortunate to watch this team-(and 88 for many more years-lol)