PHILADELPHIA — “Was Steve Mason ready? Why wasn’t he playing in Game 3? Why is Ray Emery in net? The Flyers have a goalie problem. Mason’s never won a playoff game.”
These were just some things overheard in between Tuesday’s Game 3 4-1 Flyers loss until Friday night’s 2-1 Game 4 victory.
It’s safe to say there’s no more questions about who mans the pipes for the orange and black.
Steve Mason, in his first game since suffering a
concussion upper body injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins two weeks ago, stole the game for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was spectacular, making 37 saves on 38 shots from the New York Rangers. He bailed out the Flyers on numerous occasions, including after an Andy MacDonald turnover that could have potentially tied the game.
Mason looked like a seasoned playoff veteran in net, playing the puck behind the net calmly and collectively, including late in the third period springing a Flyers 2 on 1. Not bad for a guy who had been 0-4 in the playoffs and hadn’t played in the playoffs at all since April 23 of 2009 (as a member of the Blue Jackets. Columbus was swept by the Detroit Red Wings).
What’s great about Steve Mason’s performance is that the Flyers, who have for the most part been outplayed by the Rangers all series, can play poorly and still win the game. Mason stole Game 4 for the Flyers in a game that had to be won.
Think about this: when was the last time that sentence was said. “(Goalie) steals the game for the Flyers!”
Rolls off the tongue weird, right?
Hopefully it’s a sign of greater things to come by the young goaltender. If Steve Mason can even do half of what he did Friday night, the Flyers have as good a chance as any to win night in and night out in the post season.
So now instead of questions being asked, we have answers and statements thanks to the man in net.
“Wow. Mason played really well. He’s the starter without a doubt. Oh my gosh did you see that?! What a save by Mason! So glad he played in Game 4. He really stole that game for the Flyers tonight.”
What a world of difference three days makes…