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Steve Mason Changes the Complexion of the Philadelphia Flyers’ Playoff Chances

April 26th, 2014 at 9:25 PM
By Tyler Ruby

Steve Mason led the Philadelphia Flyers to a Game 4 win against the New York Rangers Friday, and Mason put in a special performance. 

After being hurt for a couple weeks, Mason showed no signs of rust as he made big save after big save to preserve the Flyers' 2-1 lead late into the game. He outplayed Henrik Lundqvist on a night in which it was required. If Mason can play at a high level for the rest of this series, the Flyers have a much better chance of advancing further into the playoffs. 

He finished the night with 37 saves, which turned into a .974 save percentage. It's simple, but Mason brings so much more to the game than Ray Emery. He's just better. He is quicker along the ice, and he has the ability to make the spectacular save as he did late in the second period with an outstanding diving stick save.

Estebomb / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Heading into the series, goaltending was a perceived weakness with the Flyers. Of course, he's not as good as Lundqvist on the other end, but he doesn't need to be. He needs to be solid, and he can't be the reason that the Flyers lose. The Flyers and their fans trust Mason so much more than Emery and other goalies in the past 10 years, and because of Mason's play, they have a real chance of walking into Madison Square Garden and taking a crucial Game 5.

Being in good form also helps the rest of the team. If they know that Mason will bail them out if they make a mistake, the Flyers are more likely to take chances, specifically moving the defense into scoring positions.

If Mason plays in any way like he did in Game 4, this series will begin to take on a new outlook. For Mason, it was his first playoff win, and he earned it. 

Tags: Game 4, Game 5, Henrik Lundqvist, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Ray Emery, Steve Mason

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