Steve Mason has struggled badly over his last six starts, and he’ll get another chance to rediscover his early season form tonight when the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Minnesota Wild. The netminder was arguably Philadelphia’s best player through the first two months of action, but has allowed at least four goals in four of his last six starts.
He knows that he has to be better.
Mason spoke to Tim Panaccio of CSNPhiladelphia.com about his recent struggles and had this to say:
I got to start making more saves on key opportunities, whether it be a 2 on 1 or whatever. We’ve had a couple of bad bounces. It’s a matter of staying the course. And we had a couple pucks deflect off our guys into the net. These are things that happen over the course of a season. I keep saying, it’s not to lose confidence in what we’re building here. I have 100 percent confidence in my game. I know if I keep working, my sharpness will get back to where it was.
This is a storyline that should sound familiar to fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Mason burst onto the scene during the 2008-09 season and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s most outstanding rookie mostly on the back of his scorching hot first half. He was very average after the All-Star break that year though, and never found his top-end form for the Jackets.
He’ll have a chance to get his game together against a Wild team that is playing its second game in as many nights. Minnesota took a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers last night, and they have now dropped two consecutive contests.