Even with the regular season approaching quickly, there are a still a few outstanding questions for the Flyers. One of the questions seems to come up every year: is our goaltending good enough? With Ilya off coaching his sons pee-wee team in New Jersey while collecting his fat buyout checks, Steven Mason and Ray Emery have been tasked to pick up the slack and finally silence the fans begging for a dependable goalie.
Emery was great for the Blackhawks last season, posting up a record of 17-1 with a .922 save %. This will be the second stint with the Flyers for Emery who had a solid, yet underwhelming, season in 2009-2010 with the team. His save percentage has gone up in the seasons where he has gotten a decent amount of work since leaving the team so he seems to be the front runner for taking the goaltending reigns.
The question remains is whether Emery is solid enough to be a full-time goalie or if he performs better in a platoon role like he did with the Blackhawks. The best thing about Emery is that you know what you are getting on a daily basis with very few surprises.
Steve Mason is a former Calder winner that seemed to have lost his game after a single good season in Columbus. Much of the talk was that the team was to blame but it seemed disproven by former Flyer Bobrovsky last season. Mason has had a historically bad save percentage during his tenure with Columbus but showed some flashes of brilliance picking up work late last season, posting a .944 save % in 6 games with the team.
Mason has the largest upside of the current goaltending tandem. I’m certain that Mason doesn’t want to become the Calder winner who fizzled out after his first season (I’m looking at you, Andrew Raycroft) so it’s safe to assume he’ll be out to prove something.
Neither goalie has looked spectacular during the pre-season but then again, it’s the preseason. The real test comes on Wednesday against the Leafs.