Player of the Week – Jan. 25

The Hockey News player of the week for the period of Jan. 18- 24, 2010 is Colorado Avalanche goalie Craig Anderson.

As the Avalanche continue their surprising season atop the Northwest Division, Anderson, who was signed as a free agent to a two-year deal in the summer, added to his already-stellar season.

First, in a Monday shellacking of the lowly Edmonton Oilers, Anderson recorded his fourth shutout of the season, turning aside 24 shots in a 6-0 win.

Four nights later the Avs took on a tougher opponent in the Nashville Predators. Facing 30 shots, Anderson stopped 29 and was able to hold off a late charge and hang onto a 2-1 win against one of the West’s toughest defensive teams.

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Finally, the Avs lined up against the struggling Dallas Stars Sunday and Anderson capped off his formidable week with another noteworthy performance. In his sixth straight start, Anderson turned aside 27 shots and recorded his fifth shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory.

The former backup goalie has grabbed the reigns as Colorado’s starter this season, posting a 26-11-5 record with a .923 save percentage and 2.46 GAA. Anderson was surprisingly passed over for USA’s Olympic team, but the Avs hold a two-point lead on Vancouver in the Northwest and sit third in the Western Conference.