Steve Mason is eagerly awaiting a package that should be coming any day now.

It’s not a contract extension, although he’d take that too. It’s something else that will make him smile: a new set of pads.

“I’m counting down the days because I like fresh gear,” Mason said. “I know (Ray Emery) likes fresh gear. Most guys will probably wear a set of leg pads and two sets of gloves each month.”

The set he’s been wearing, Mason claims, is nearing the end of its lifespan. It’s served him well. He’s quietly won seven of his last eight contests.

The NHL’s senior manager of hockey operations, former goalie Kay Whitmore, gets the pads first. He marks them for approval of new size regulations and sends them from the league’s Toronto office to the player.

When Mason gets his, he thinks he might be even better.

“When the gear breaks down, it actually makes it harder to control rebounds,” Mason said.

“We’ve been working on some tracking drills to make sure I’m seeing the puck the entire way. That’s something we kind of got away from for a couple weeks and I got back to tracking the puck better and that’s resulted in some better rebounds.”

The “we” he refers to is goalie coach Jeff Reese, who Mason credits for his much improved play since being traded to the Flyers last season. Although Mason has been excellent with rebound control for most of the season, it’s not the biggest indicator that tells Reese his goalie is playing well.

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