All Habs Hockey Magazine is proud to provide a platform for young writers to express their views on important issues. Today, we present a fan piece on Canadiens backup goalie Mike Condon. Your comments are welcome.
by Dean Matheos, Junior Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine
PIERREFONDS, QC. –Mike Condon took everyone by surprise during the preseason with his extraordinary play. With strong performances he managed to steal the backup spot from Dustin Tokarski.
After Condon played the first three games of his NHL career, we learned that Carey Price was out with an injury. Condon then assumed the starter’s role having a magnificent start but then started to fade over his most recent four starts. For some it might be a cause for concern but in reality, it was just an usual bump in the road.
Now Condon gets another chance to be the starting goaltender as Price has reinjured his right leg. Can Condon regain the form we saw at the beginning of the season or has he taken a step back?
Setbacks can happen to anyone even star players on a league leading team. Max Pacioretty had seven goals in nine games to start the season before being held pointless in five games and goalless in six. Alex Galchenyuk was off to a strong start but then hit a drought. He has now potted goals in his past two games. So Condon’s struggles is nothing to worry about. He may be a rookie but he will be able to get through it with the help of his peers.
It’s a common thing in sports for people to hit difficult patches. Over the course of a season it is not easy to produce at a high level consistently each and every game. The way Condon was playing he was due for a rough game of two. Now he gets a chance to put those bad performances behind him.
When Mike Condon entered the NHL he won his first four games. He went 6-0-1 allowing 11 goals before he started to fade. Since then Condon allowed at least three goals in his last four starts and was pulled after two periods against Colorado allowing four goals on 11 shots. Before that stretch he allowed two goals or less in all of his previous seven games. The rookie goaltender even led the league in goals against average at one point. His numbers just need to be solid to give his team a chance to win.
Although he denied it, Condon could have been fatigued towards the end of his starting stretch. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on but often conceded the first goal. It is difficult for a team to come back after being down early and often.
When Carey Price returned it allowed Condon a well-needed rest. Condon will start in New Jersey and with a home and home series against the Devils, it will be interesting to see whether the young goaltender gets back-to-back starts. Dustin Tokarski, called up from St. John’s could see action on Saturday in Montreal.
We can assume that fatigue got the the best of Condon during his setback. There is no need to worry about anything. It’s just another bump in the road for a National Hockey League player.