It remains to be seen whether his insertion into the lineup will have any effect on the team, but one would think that the Flyers will come out in the first period jacked up and ready to play. It has to be a spirit-booster to get the No.1 goalie back after a fluke injury late in the season. The play will certainly be better in net because Mason is a flat out better goalie than Ray Emery. That's not meant to be derogatory toward Emery, but since his hip surgery a few years ago, he doesn't have the same lateral quickness that he had when he led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup.
Mason does have that post-to-post speed, and he owns a better glove hand. Mason, 25, is enjoying one of his best seasons of his career, but it's only his second appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first was in the 2008-09 season where he struggled mightily. The Columbus Blue Jackets were swept, and Mason had a sub-.900 save percentage. He will look to improve those numbers Friday night.
It wouldn't be a Flyers' postseason if there wasn't some goalie issues, right? And this postseason is no different, but hopefully Mason comes ready to play and he shuts the door on the New York Rangers' offense. Mason should give the Rangers a different look, and he should be more formidable in net that will force the Rangers to change their attacking strategy.Tags: Flyers, Game 4, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Ray Emery, Steve Mason