Let me start off by saying what Andrew Hammond has done so far is nothing short of a miracle. To go 7-0-1 in his first eight career starts, including the dreaded California road trip to lead the Senators to a playoff push is insane. Nevertheless, Senators fans need to be aware of sample sizes. Eight games is a very small sample. Hockey is a game of luck, especially over small samples. A few bad bounces can make you look terrible, while a few good ones can make you look incredible. For Hammond, the latter is what’s happening. He is currently rocking a .954 SV% this season in the NHL. It’s unsustainable. This season in the AHL he had a SV% of .898 and many Binghamton fans had him third on the depth chart behind Scott Greenham and Peter Mannino. His best season in terms of SV% was 2012-2013 in the CCHA with Bowling Green State University with .917.
With Craig Anderson fully healthy, it was a smart move by Dave Cameron to return to him. Despite playing in front of a much worse Senators team earlier in the season, Anderson is still among the top goalies in SV% this season with a solid .926 in 32 games. He’s the reason the team won many games earlier in the season, and if the team has any chance of making the playoffs he’ll be the one to lead them there. The team got to ride the Hammond train and it was a great trip. With every passing game though, the other shoe was bound to drop. Regression was going to happen. The team is better off not letting it happen by going back to Anderson. For Hammond though, he’s done enough to change his life prospects with his run. He’ll land a big contract either in the NHL or overseas next season. It’s a feel good story.
Just to show you how much luck is involved, here are a few GIFs of posts, disallowed goals, and grade A scoring chances that should have probably gone in during Hammond’s run. A few bad bounces/calls, and Hammond is nothing more than a footnote during this disaster of a season. Luckily for him and Sens fans, the opposite happened.