DENVER The Colorado Avalanche swapped one struggling goaltender for another, acquiring Brian Elliott from the Ottawa Senators for Craig Anderson.
Elliott was solid a season ago for the Senators, guiding the team into the postseason.
Ditto for Anderson.
Elliott has stumbled this season, his squad tumbling to the bottom of the standings.
Ditto for Anderson.
But now both have a shot at a new start in net.
Change can bring a little excitement and a different attitude to a season that hasnt gone the way we thought it would here, the 25-year-old Elliott said Friday in a teleconference.
Anderson was the backbone of the Avalanche in 2009-10 when the team advanced to the playoffs, setting franchise records in starts (71), minutes (4,235), shots faced (2,233) and saves (2,047).
But he hasnt been the same in goal this time around, going 13-15-3 with a 3.28 goals against average. He had been losing starts to backup Peter Budaj with the Avs mired in a nine-game skid.
Its the nature of the business, John-Michael Liles said of the shake-up. When youre not winning, a lot of things can change, and a lot of things probably will change. Its never easy to see a guy leave that youve grown with over the past couple of years and has been a big part of your team.
So in steps Elliott, who was 13-19-8 for the Senators this season, allowing 3.19 goals a game. He will contend with Budaj for the starting job.
The jobs open, coach Joe Sacco said. Were going to give Brian an opportunity to see where hes at and how he fits in and give him a chance to play. Were in a situation where were looking for some results right now.
Elliott wont join the Avalanche for their game in San Jose tonight as he sorts through immigration issues. Hes hoping to meet up with the team sometime next week.
Its tough to see a friend go, but hes a professional, and he knows this is how this business works, Budaj said.
Anderson, who turns 30 in May, wrestled with nagging injuries this season, missing 10 games after hurting his knee during warmups Oct. 26 in Vancouver and three more with a groin ailment.
Still, Sacco was at a loss to explain Andersons sudden decline.
For whatever reasons, things werent working out quite the same this year, Sacco said.