It's widely believed that a great deal of the Senators' success in the 2016-17 regular season should be credited to the team's two shining stars in the crease. Craig Anderson and Mike Condon combined for the league's eighth best team save percentage with a rating of 91.5 and the league's second most shutouts with 10.
Like all teams show during a marathon 82-game campaign, a bit of inconsistent play was revealed at times in the nation's capital. It was most prominent and understandable when the skaters were still learning and perfecting head coach Guy Boucher's new system until mid-November and when the team succumbed to what felt like a dozen injuries down the stretch.
But there was always one constant: Solid goaltending.
Craig Anderson - Save Percentage
It was a year to forget off the ice and a year to remember on the ice for Anderson. Battling through wife Nicholle's horrifying cancer diagnosis, the Anderson family persevered month after month and continue to do so.
Remarkably, when Anderson put on the uniform this season, he was the same dominant No. 1 goaltender the organization and fan base had known for the past seven years. With maybe his best statistical season to date, Anderson earned a Masterton Trophy nomination and surpassed Patrick Lalime for first all-time in franchise wins with No. 147 (now a total of 151). And who knows; maybe there's a Vezina Trophy nod soon to come.
The 35-year-old took multiple leaves of absence from the team to be with his family, but whenever he came back, he never missed a beat.
Anderson finished the year with a 92.6 save percentage, good enough for second in the league, only behind Sergei Bobrovsky amongst goaltenders with at least 1,500 minutes played.
What's even better news for Sens fans is that, historically, Anderson even further ups his game in the postseason. While he carries a career 91.6 save percentage in the regular season, his playoff save percentage is an outstanding rating of 93.3.
Mike Condon - Games Played Streak
It's rather obvious why critics have called general manager Pierre Dorion's move to acquire Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a fifth-round draft pick the best trade of his tenure.
When the Senators needed someone to come in and take the reins in place of an injured Andrew Hammond and an absent Anderson, Condon stepped up and held down the fort.
His franchise record of 27 straight games played through December and January - in what was the most difficult stretch of opponents for Ottawa all year long - was a season-defining moment.
As a backup, Condon's numbers were extremely important behind Anderson. Condon's stable 91.4 save percentage, one point above league average, and five shutouts were just what the team desperately needed during the darkest of times.