Grading Josh Anderson's season

Josh Anderson had the type of year that you want to bury and act as though it never happened.
Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens
Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The easiest of all players to grade is Josh Anderson for all the wrong reasons, but the good news is that you can't get lower than rock bottom.

Simply put, the fact that Anderson didn't just bail out on the team and stop playing after the first 30 games of the season is an impressive feat in itself. What it showed is that he is a team player and although he struggled mightily, he put the team ahead of himself. It was likely the most difficult season of his career, but the bigger the fallback, hopefully, the bigger the comeback will be.

Anderson played all but four games during the 2023-24 season, with a large cast of different linemates. This didn't make much of a difference, because he handcuffed the top line and at times looked lost on the ice. He did manage 20 points (nine goals & 11 assists), but that was the worst point production of his career, with the second worst 24 points coming during his first season with the Habs (2020-21)

The trade that saw Max Domi head to Columbus in exchange for the rugged power forward caused back-and-forth arguments. But if we're looking purely at last season, Max Domi made the playoffs with the Toronto Maple Leafs and played on their top line, at times with Auston Matthews and William Nylander and Anderson barely looked like a fourth-line player.

Hockey is a sport that can be very cut-throat, some players may have one dominant season then totally free-fall ending up playing in the European leagues for the remained of their careers. The fact that Anderson has carved out a solid career for himself, leads me to believe this year was a one-off. I would like to hope so anyway and I think that he will use the setback as a springboard for a great comeback season.

With all that said, it is difficult to grade his season as anything but an F, and sugarcoating it doesn't make any sense. It is what it is and Anderson knows that another season like this one will have him sitting in the press box, regardless of his cap hit. But, like his teammates and the majority of the fanbase, we are all pulling for Anderson to get back to his 'powerhorse' ways.