The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to their newly acquired (and signed) goalie Steve Mason to help win their biggest game of the season. The team faces the New York Islanders in a battle of the Atlantic Division basement, with the highly coveted 8th spot in the Eastern Conference up for grabs with less than ten games left. Mason recently took over in the third period of the team’s loss to the Winnipeg Jets, stopping all nine shots thrown at him. This will be his first start for the Flyers.
“Mason was brought here to be part of a goaltending duo,” Coach Peter Laviolette told reporters after this morning’s skate. “We didn’t want to change things up with being on a streak…”
Mason did not speak to the media after the morning skate, per a team policy regarding starting goaltenders. Philly tends to protect their goalies from the over-critical media and their obsession with the Flyers’ long history of goaltending woes.
Mason’s record this year is actually better than Bryzgalov’s, from a goals against and save percentage perspective, but he only has 14 games played and won only three of those.
Starter Ilya Bryzgalov had some flippant words for the media on the situation, as well:
“We have a front office and coaches who make the decision about the lineup and what type of team they created. You come to the locker and they tell you and you can’t do anything about it; you must accept it, what are you going to say?”
The Flyers need this win badly, and if Mason shuts the door, expect Laviolette to keep the hot hand rolling, while Bryz gets some much-deserved rest.