For Playoff Berth, Steve Mason Must Start Every Game for Flyers
There had been no contention, no bad blood as Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth shared the net all year.
Neuvirth had a career season with a 2.28 goals-against average and .925 save percentage, but his regular-season campaign is over after a left knee injury.
He pushed Mason, both goalies say in a healthy way, and now the Flyers don’t have much of an alternative.
Without Neuvirth, Mason may end up playing every game for the rest of the season, or at least until the Flyers either clinch a playoff spot or are mathematically eliminated. Rookie Anthony Stolarz, recalled under emergency conditions, has yet to make his NHL debut.
“You want to be a No. 1 guy,” Mason said after the Flyers’ win Monday, “you’ve got to carry a big load.”
And he may have to. To this point, he’s shown he’s up to the task. He was by far the best Flyer in Tuesday’s shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, making a career-high 51 saves.
“He’s in the zone right now,” Nick Cousins said recently. “When he’s at his best, he’s going to give us a chance to win every night. I think he’ll be ready to play when he needs to play. I’m not worried about him. He’s one hell of a goalie when he’s on his game.”
He was on his game Tuesday when his teammates weren’t, stealing a point from the Blue Jackets when the Flyers were up two goals with 64 seconds left and promptly left their goalie out to dry.