It’s old news by now that the Flyers fired head coach Peter Laviolette on Monday in one of the quickest coaching firings the league has seen. Assistant coach Craig Berube was promoted with John Paddock and former Flyer Ian Laperriere taking the helm as his assistants in his coaching debut against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Berube got his first win in his debut for two reasons. One, the Flyers were playing the Panthers, which is a team that is historically awful. If the Flyers didn’t get a win against them, then we’d know the team was really in trouble. The second reason was that Steve Mason is really starting to prove himself as a decent goalie.
Judging on the fact that Mason has gotten the start in three of their four games, it looks like the Flyers’ confidence may be focused towards him as starting goaltender. Of the 34 shots fired to his crease, Mason saved 33, only allowing that one shot from Panthers’ Brad Boyes to get past him. Mason stood on his head at the end of the first period when he stopped a one-timer from the slot and also the ensuing rebound. He was also really impressive on the four-minute penalty kill in the final period as he did not allow the Panthers to bank on that man advantage.
All in all, Mason looked big in the net on Tuesday night. It may have been due to having a confidence boost from starting in back-to-back games for the first time this season, or it could have been that he was really trying to impress the new coach. Regardless, his performance Tuesday will go a long way when Berube thinks about who will get the start in Friday night’s game.