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Sanford earns eighth straight start

by Aaron Vickers /
CALGARY -- The message from Columbus Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel is simple – keep playing well, keep playing.

Goaltender Curtis Sanford has earned his eighth consecutive start tonight, against the Calgary Flames, after stopping 30 of 33 shots against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

"Right now, he's earned the opportunity to continue to be back in the net," Arniel said. "He's been very good for us. He's given us a chance to win. We're just taking this a game at a time, and if he continues to play the way he is, he's going to get another look."

Sanford has been impressive in eight games this season for Columbus, posting a 3-2-2 record with a 1.61 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.

Sanford said he isn't sure where this run of success has come from.

"I really don't know," Sanford said. "I'm just really enjoying being here. That's the big thing. I'm really enjoying coming to the rink every day. I'm not putting as much pressure on myself to be great, I'm just taking it day by day and breaking the season down that way. It's just really fun to come to the rink."

The 32-year-old has played in just 116 NHL games over the course of his 13-year professional career, but has found inspiration in the likes of Tim Thomas, who emerged as an All-Star-caliber goaltender in his 30's.

"Absolutely, he's a perfect example," Sanford said. "Him and Dwayne Roloson are perfect examples for a guy like me just to never give up and keep improving, wait for an opportunity, and when you get it, just be ready for it. So far things have gone well. It's still early in the season, it's only eight games, but I hope to keep building on it."

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