BACKUP PLANS

Con­don will spell An­der­son for a game in Al­berta — but which one is the big ques­tion

Ottawa Sun - - SPORTS - BRUCE GAR­RIOCH

CAL­GARY — Will it be Craig An­der­son or Mike Con­don on Fri­day night against the Cal­gary Flames at the Sco­tia­bank Sad­dle­dome?

Given the fact An­der­son posted a 37-save shutout in a 2-0 win last sea­son on Oct. 30 only days af­ter learn­ing his wife Ni­cholle had been di­ag­nosed with a rare form of throat cancer, it might make sense for the club's top goalie start against the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers on Satur­day night against at Rogers Place Arena.

Not so fast with that the­ory, though, be­cause the only cer­tainty is Con­don will start one of the club's next two games, no­body's sure which one it will be yet.

As the Sen­a­tors left the ice Thurs­day fol­low­ing a late af­ter­noon skate across the street from the main rink at the Cal­gary Cor­ral, coach Guy Boucher told re­porters he hasn't de­cided whether he'll go with An­der­son or Con­don against the Flames.

Yes, Boucher has fond mem­o­ries of An­der­son's per­for­mance in Ed­mon­ton last fall, but that's in the past and the de­ci­sion will be based on what's best right now. How much of a fac­tor will An­der­son's per­for­mance last year weigh into all of this?

“It's some­thing in your mind but it's to­tally dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances be­cause last year wasn't a back-to-back,” Boucher said on Thurs­day night. “We know Cal­gary is com­ing back from a road trip. I have to look at the big pic­ture.

“Yeah, if it was an iso­lated game, I think it'd be a no-brainer but with th­ese cir­cum­stances of back-to­back, we have to re­visit and see what we need to do.”

It cer­tainly sounded like Boucher was lean­ing to­wards An­der­son on Fri­day, but we'll see.

Boucher said he had to sit down with goalie coach Pierre Groulx along with the club's staff to make a de­ci­sion on what's best for the team.

“I'd give you an­swer if I had the an­swer be­cause I don't know what's go­ing to be the de­cid­ing fac­tor. That's what we have to sit down and look over with staff and with Pierre Groulx and see where he thinks the goalies are at and who would fit more.”

Ac­quired from the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins in ex­change for a fifth-round pick on Nov. 2, 2016, Con­don was brought in af­ter Ni­cholle's di­ag­no­sis be­cause the Sen­a­tors knew An­der­son would need a leave Sen­a­tors goalies Craig An­der­son (left) and Mike Con­don will split starts against the Flames tonight and Oil­ers on Satur­day. of ab­sence and it's the best deal gen­eral man­ager Pierre Do­rion has made since tak­ing on the role in April, 2016.

While An­der­son took time away to be with Ni­cholle when she un­der­went treat­ment at a New York-based fa­cil­ity, Con­don started a fran­chise-record 27 straight games. He held the fort un­til An­der­son re­turned in early Fe­bru­ary and Con­don's stel­lar play was a big role in the club's trip to the post-sea­son.

This year, Con­don's role is go­ing to be dif­fer­ent, he knows it and that part has been ad­just­ment.

“I try not to think about what I can't con­trol, whether

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