Fans started to realize what was going on when Craig Anderson’s two sons read the starting lineup before the game.
After the whistle, after both the Sabres and the Senators mobbed him with hugs, the sons and Anderson’s wife entered the ice on a Zamboni, and all Craig Anderson had to say was one thing:
”This is it.”
After a 20-year career, the 41-year-old Craig Anderson retires. He saved 30 shots in a 4-3 overtime win for the Buffalo Sabres against Ottawa on Thursday, and he closed his career at 319-275-71. Only four American-born goalies have won more games, and only two have had more shutouts.
With tears in his eyes, he hugged his family, for the first time as a retired player.
“I think I left it all out there. At the end of the day, I did everything I possibly could to make sure that I was competitive and gave the team a chance to win,” Anderson said. “You’ve got to be honest with yourself. And that’s just the way this game goes, Father Time always catches up to you.
The crowd was chanting, ”Andy! Andy! Andy!” and it was the perfect ending for Anderson. Not only did his team win, but his final game was also against the Ottawa Senators, with whom he spent ten seasons.
After the game, the Senators’ players waited for the Sabres celebration to end, and they then lined up to pay respect to Anderson.
What a touching tribute and what well-earned celebrations for a great goalie!