Can a Mason, Neuvirth Platoon Work for Flyers?
VOORHEES — The end to Steve Mason’s season was just as embarrassing as the start was to the point where it’s easy to overlook the middle.
In his second game of the season he was so unfocused due to a family emergency that he allowed four goals on eight shots in less than seven minutes.
In Game 2 of the playoffs, he allowed a shot to go in from center ice. He was replaced by Game 4.
“Individually it wasn’t an easy year, especially with the way the season started for me personally,” Mason said. “It took a while to mentally overcome. Then obviously there was some ups and downs in playing. I think the last few months of the season I played some really strong hockey and I was happy with the way that the regular season ended and obviously getting into the playoffs was a big thing. It’s not the way I wanted playoffs to end, but I’m not gonna judge my season based off two outings which were obviously at an unfortunate time.”
Mason carried the Flyers down the stretch and into the playoffs with a 2.14 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in the final two months of the season, most of it with his cohort, Michal Neuvirth, on the shelf with a knee injury.
Before he got hurt the most recent time — injuries have been the story of his career — Neuvirth was having his best season ever and led the league in save percentage for a good portion of the campaign.
“I had a lot of good games and I was consistent enough,” Neuvirth said. “I gave up four goals twice or three times. … I’m really happy with the way I played and the way I improved. It’s been a fun year.”
Now that it’s over, the question for next season becomes: Who is the top dog? Can a platoon work again?