Mike Condon stops Eric Staal (via NHL/YouTube)
Montreal Canadiens netminder Mike Condon made a spectacular backhanded glove stop to steal a goal from Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal. Condon’s stop was one of 27 he made in the contest, but the Canadiens dropped the contest 3-2.
Montreal has been without Carey Price for the past five games and backup netminder Mike Condon has done his best to replace the superstar netminder. On one stop Saturday night, it would have been easy to mistake Condon for the Canadiens’ all-world goaltender.
Midway through the third period of Montreal’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Condon made an absolutely spectacular save on Eric Staal that was Price-like. Staal’s shot had the puck sailing over Condon’s left shoulder when he turned, threw his arm backwards and was able to knock the puck clear of the net with his glove:
For as good as the save was, Condon ended up taking the loss Saturday night, making for the first time the 25-year-old netminder has lost back-to-back games in regulation during his NHL career. The Hurricanes’ Jeff Skinner notched a power play goal with less than eight minutes remaining to hand Carolina the victory.
Condon was nearing on unbeatable early in Price’s absence, but his play has slipped through November and December. At the height of his play, Condon had a 1.50 goals-against average and .941 save percentage with a 6-0-1 record. However, since Nov. 11, Condon has a 3-4-2 record and his GAA has slipped to 2.22 with a .913 SP.
Condon has played every outing for the Canadiens since Price went down with injury during Montreal’s Nov. 25 game against the New York Rangers. It’s possible, however, that Condon will see his first game of rest during Price’s absence on Dec. 9 or 10, as the Canadiens play back-to-back games against the Bruins and Red Wings.