Yes, that Steve Mason has been good for the Philadelphia Flyers. Anyone who watched Mason crumble over the years while wearing a Columbus Blue Jackets sweater is probably balking at the sight of seeing a positive adjective attached to the name “Steve Mason,” but there’s no denying how outstanding he’s been for the Flyers so far in 2013-14.
Most pundits expected Philly to use a platoon system in net, with Mason splitting the starts with Ray Emery. Emery is in a familiar position in Philadelphia now though—sitting on the bench—while Mason is in an unfamiliar position in that he’s been the best player on his team so far this season.
Claude Giroux is still looking for his first goal eight games in. Scott Harnell is on the IR for at least another few weeks recovering from injury. Jakub Voracek? Zero goals. The team’s plus-minus leader is Maxime Talbot, who currently sports a plus-one rating, and is one of only two players that doesn’t have a minus-rating right now.
Leading the team in goal scoring is rookie sensation (??) Tye McGinn…who was only called up to replace Hartnell in the lineup three games ago. Things are going very poorly for the Flyers right now, and if you’re a glass-half full kind of person then Mason’s play is about the only thing you’re going to be able to drink up at this stage of the season.
Despite sporting a 1-5 record, Mason’s numbers are strong.
His GAA is 2,37, which is every bit as good as that of Jimmy Howard, Roberto Luongo and even Sergei Bobrovsky. After cutting Ilya Bryzgalov loose over the summer and bringing in Emery to push Mason for playing time, it was a safe assumption that the Flyers weren’t going to receive strong goaltending.
At least it seemed like a safe assumption. Philadelphia has problems coming out of their ears, from the mess that is the front office, to the lack of cap space, to the injury sheet to the lack of production from big stars. Alarmingly and shockingly, the one bright spot in orange and black this season has been Mason.
Yes. That Steve Mason.