Flyers Will Learn Mason's Real Value in Game 7
Mason's career certainly started off with a bang as he won the Calder Trophy as the league's rookie of the year and was also nominated for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender while with the Columbus Blue Jackets. That season, Mason went 33-20-7 with a 2.29 goals against average, a .916 save percentage and ten shutouts.
After that season, however, things trended down for Mason. During his next three and a half seasons, Mason slowly but surely played himself out of the starting goaltender position with inconsistent play between the pipes, an inability to win hockey games consistently and more importantly, better play by his goaltending partner.
That all came to a head last season when Sergei Bobrovsky took the starting goaltending position and ran with it all the way to Vezina Trophy winning season. His strong play between the pipes made Mason expendable and as such, the Blue Jackets moved him to the Flyers.
Fast forward to now and not only has Mason played well since joining the Flyers last season, but he has managed to win two playoff games and is one win away from helping his hockey club advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Mason has come a long way since his struggles with his the Blue Jackets and he has proved that in the playoffs this year. In his two wins, Mason has been the main reason why the Flyers have won the hockey game as he did so with consistently good netminding.
In his team's 2-1 win in Game 4 last Friday against the New York Rangers, his first full-game back since suffering an upper body injury at the end of the season, Mason stopped 37 of 38 shots and came up big when his team needed to the most. The Flyers were badly outplayed in that hockey game, but Mason was there time and time again to make the save and was able to help his team even up the series at two games apiece.
In his team's 5-2 victory in Game 6 tonight, a win that helped tie the series at 3-3 and force a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden tomorrow night, Mason kept his team in the hockey game in the early going. The Flyers' young goaltender made 13 saves, many of them on quality scoring chances, in the first period and because of that, his team was able to escape the period with a 1-0 lead.
Mason would then go on to stop 21 more as he finished with 34 saves on the night. Mason had his glove hand going and despite having trouble controlling his rebounds, was able to recover nicely and get back into position to make second and third stops.
With all of that said, however, Mason will prove his true value to the Flyers tomorrow night in Game 7 at MSG. The crowd will be in a frenzy tomorrow night and when MSG is loud, it is a tough building to play in.