During the month of October there is a different kind of fighting in the National Hockey League. Teams and fans celebrate Hockey Fights Cancer month with special games, pink jerseys, and other events to support the fight against breast cancer.
On Sunday night, Ottawa Senators (OTT) goaltender Craig Anderson pitched a 2-0 shutout against the Edmonton Oilers just days after finding out his wife had been diagnosed with cancer. It was a night filled with emotion.
Right in the feels. pic.twitter.com/6wVdeacFNW
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 31, 2016
Per NHL.com, Anderson took a leave of absence this past Thursday upon hearing about his wife’s diagnosis. Then he got back between the pipes on Sunday. Anderson stopped all 37 shots against the Oilers in the game. It was a moving performance to say the least.
It’s hard to put a night like that into words, but one word does come to mind: amazing. Anderson’s teammates surrounded him after the final buzzer to congratulate him. Even though it was an away game for OTT, Edmonton’s fans gave Anderson a standing ovation for what he’d done to show their support for him and his wife. Even Oilers’ goalie Cam Talbot came out post-game to give Anderson a round of applause upon being named the first star of the night. It just goes to show that the sense of community around the sport of hockey is so strong.
Take a look at some of the things players and analysts had to say:
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) October 31, 2016
@TSNRyanRishaug proud of oiler fans and talbot showed a ton of class
— Gordon pacholka (@cort0colt) October 31, 2016
Don't think I've had the privilege of calling a performance more emotional than Craig Anderson's shutout tonight. #hockeyfightscancer
— Chris Cuthbert (@CCtsn) October 31, 2016
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 31, 2016
Anderson’s goalie partner, Andrew Hammond, also showed his love for Anderson:
I'll be honest I've never been more happy or proud of a goalie partner in my life. Tonight was special in a lot of ways. #trooper
— Andrew Hammond (@andrewhammond30) October 31, 2016
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 31, 2016