Don't think the coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team hasn't noticed what Craig Anderson has done in the opening month of the NHL season. The Colorado Avalanche goalie, not invited to the U.S. orientation camp in August, was named the NHL's first star for October.
"Craig Anderson has suddenly put himself in a very good spot by how he's played up to this point," Ron Wilson said Monday after his Toronto Maple Leafs' practice. "But we still have two months to make our mind up."
Wilson went on to handicap the performance of the three goalies who were at the U.S. camp.
"Clearly, the front-runner now in goal is Ryan Miller," Wilson said. "[Jonathan] Quick has been good, and Tim Thomas has struggled at times in Boston. Still, there are two months for guys to play themselves on or off the team."
Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle was the NHL's first star of the week after putting up 12 points (2-10) in four road games.
"It seems like everything is going in right now," Kaberle said after Monday's practice. "Obviously, eventually, I'm going to get cold; it's a long season, but I'd like to keep it going. The power play has been doing great."
On the eve of Phil Kessel's expected debut with the Leafs, Kaberle chuckled Monday when I reminded him that he was nearly traded to Boston for the winger back at the NHL draft. In the end, the trade broke down after GMs Brian Burke and Peter Chiarelli miscommunicated with each other on a key part of the deal. Kaberle remembers hearing that night in June that he might be a Bruin.
"Actually, my buddy called me and said, 'It looked for a second like you were going to Boston and then it didn't happen,'" Kaberle said. "But it's something that's part of the game, you never know. Obviously, I'm happy here; whatever happens, happens. Things happen for a reason. I'm happy I stayed."