See you in February? Habs say Price won’t return before All-Star Game

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Looks like Montreal is taking a very, very cautious approach with Carey Price‘s return from injury.

Price, who’s been out of the lineup since Nov. 25, will remain out until after the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, set to be played in Nashville on Jan. 31.

At first glance, the decision might seem rife with concern — the reigning NHL MVP has already missed a ton of time this year, and will now essentially be shelved for another month — but, digging a little deeper, the move is logical.

See, the Habs had a really busy December. It ended with a six-game road swing that extended into this month, with the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium and Tuesday’s 4-3 loss in Philly.

As a result, the schedule makers gave Montreal a pretty light January.

The Habs actually only have eight games left before the ASG: versus Pittsburgh, versus Chicago, at St. Louis, at Chicago, versus Boston, at Toronto, then a home-and-home set with Columbus to close things out.

The decision to keep Price parked was probably made easier by the recent play of Mike Condon. His last two starts have been great — he stopped 27 of 28 shots in a 5-1 win over Boston at the Winter Classic, then made 19 saves on 20 shots in a 2-1 victory against the Devils on Wednesday.

All told, Condon’s sporting a .930 save percentage in his last five appearances.