Dave Hakstol: ‘Mase is our No. 1′
VOORHEES — Michal Neuvirth doesn't get all the hype. Or, if he does, he's doing a good job of downplaying it.
The goalie signed a two-year, $3.25 million contract in the offseason to be Steve Mason's backup.
So far, he has three shutouts to lead the NHL. His .945 save percentage ties him for first in the league among goalies who have played at least three games and his 1.81 goals-against average is fourth among goalies with five or more games. So far this season, he's outplaying Mason by a decent margin.
"I've been relaxed since training camp," said Neuvirth, whose three wins have all come via shutout. "I don't feel any pressure or anything like that. I'm just going day by day and giving my best each day."
Neuvirth, who played pretty well as a starter earlier in his career and eventually fell to being a solid backup, doesn't think he's involved in a goalie controversy...or as it's customarily called in Philadelphia, "Monday."
It would appear as though Neuvirth will get the start against the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday over Mason, who was feeling ill the last couple days, but is now "100 percent." It probably wasn't the Flyers' plan to have the goalies split time down the middle (both have eight games and seven starts), but some bad luck for Mason has forced the breakdown that way. He missed about a week in the first month of the season with personal issues and spent last Thursday's game against Calgary in a separate room as he backed up Neuvirth just so his teammates didn't catch his illness.