On the Ice with Isaac: Flyers Making Two Goalies Work, Update on Ghost
VOORHEES — This wasn’t the plan, really.
Steve Mason was supposed to be the Flyers’ starting goalie from the onset of the season and — this week — that happens to be the case.
Wednesday will mark the halfway point of the Flyers’ season and supposed backup Michal Neuvirth has only eight fewer starts than Mason.
Part of that is because a family emergency took Mason off the ice in the second game of the season and caused him to miss a week. At one point he was sick. At another he was just cold.
Neuvirth did a good job replacing him. Until last week, he had the league’s best save percentage. Heading into Monday’s action he was tied for second at .934.
(Listen to Flyers Radio analyst Steve Coates talk Flyers hockey)
All that could have gotten to Mason who’s been accused of a lot of things, like being mentally weak, dating back to his rookie year with the Columbus Blue Jackets. It didn’t. He’s won back-to-back games for the Flyers and has stopped 51 of 54 shots in that span.
“You kind of just take it in stride now,” Mason said. “Michal deserves everything that he’s gotten this year. He’s still playing some unbelievable hockey for us and he’s an asset to have regardless of whether he’s playing more than I am or the other way around. I think right now it’s a situation where you have two guys that the coaching staff feels comfortable with any night going out there and playing.”
The two-goalie system isn’t common and the Flyers haven’t really intended to do it this way. Mason’s bad luck and a couple nagging injuries to Neuvirth have forced it.