Written by Matthew McCormack at The Sports Quotient
For the foreseeable future, the Montreal Canadiens will be without last year’s Hart Trophy and Vezina Trophy winner.
And they will be just fine.
On November 30th, in a highly anticipated game against the New York Rangers, Carey Price aggravated a lower body injury that had been ailing him for weeks. Fortunately for Montreal, the injury will not require surgery. However, it will cause him to miss at least the next five weeks.
If everything goes right and Price comes back by the beginning of January, the Canadiens will have to last 16 straight games (approximately 20% of the season) without the services of the league’s top goaltender.
If this injury had occurred last year, Montreal would have been in deep trouble.
During Price’s Hart-winning 2014-‘15 season, he was absolutely vital to Montreal’s success. The Habs went 44-16-6 in Price’s 66 games played last season, while going a mediocre 6-6-4 with backup netminder Dustin Tokarski in goal. With Tokarski’s lackluster career numbers (2.85 goals against average, .906 save percentage) a long-term injury to Price would have been devastating.
This year, however, Montreal’s backup goalie situation is much more stable. Backup rookie Mike Condon has been nothing short of sensational filling in for Price this year.
Condon has started 16 games this season, already matching Tokarski’s total from last year. In these 16 games, Condon has gone 9-4-3 with a goals against average of 2.22 and a save percentage of .913, major improvements from Tokarski’s mediocre statistics last season.
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