There's something about the finality of a Game 7. For the winner, it's extreme jubilation, and for the loser, it's disappointment as they watched their season come to an end. For the Philadelphia Flyers, they suffered through the latter tonight as they fell to the New York Rangers 2-1 to lose the series 4-3.
It's difficult to look at the positives at such a depressing time, but there is one glaring positive that the Flyers, their fans and their organization should be excited about, and that is Steve Mason. If there was any doubt that he could be the man in net for the Flyers after he signed a contract extension earlier in the year, those doubts were erased in the four games he played in the series.
Looking at the last two games specifically, Mason was instrumental in keeping Game 6 from becoming a shootout as he made big save after big save. In Game 7, he played even better. While he gave up two goals, Mason was outstanding. His acrobatic and mind-blowing saves kept the game within reach for the Flyers, and he was sole reason why the Flyers had a chance to tie the game at the end. If it wasn't for his play, the game would have been over in the second period because the Flyers were outplayed for the first two periods.
With every season's end, their comes roster turnover, and the Flyers have some questions to answer. With Kimmo Timonen likely to retire, they will need to fill that void. Shayne Gostisbehere or Samuel Morin may be ready to make that jump. But simply enough, the Flyers need more speed and they need more playmakers because as it stands, they only have Claude Giroux. With Scott Laughton waiting in the wings, it may be time for Brayden Schenn to leave, and his brother Luke may not be far behind. Wayne Simmonds needs to be featured more, as he proved that he does what Scott Hartnell does, but only better.
In retrospect though, the Flyers should be proud of their season. After the way they started and with all the adversity they faced this year, they were still one goal away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs. In the end, the Rangers were and are the better team, but the Flyers have nothing to be ashamed of.
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