Change In Net For Game 4 Won't Make Up For Philadelphia Flyers' Lack Of Power Play Success

By Steven Smith
Philadelphia Flyers' Goalie Steve Mason
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday’s loss to the New York Rangers was a little bit of a head scratcher for the Philadelphia Flyers. On paper, they did everything they needed to do to win the game, or at least put up more than one goal. They outshot the Rangers, the hits department was even and they even won in the face-off circle more often than the blue shirts. Considering all of that, it’s not as if they were getting outplayed all night.

Backup goalie Ray Emery surrendered some incredibly soft goals. His inability to move and lack of vision left plenty of fans saying to themselves, “Steve Mason would have had that.” That’s sort of becoming a theme in Philadelphia the past week and a half. Look, I’m not saying that everyone should bombard Emery with insults, but you’ve got to admit Philly is better off with Mason in net. How much better off, though? If you ask me, it’s only a fraction.

Sure, you can count on Mason to cut out the loose ends on the gimme goals that Emery gave up, but when it comes down to it, that’s about the only benefit you’re going to get out of the switch. Philadelphia absolutely must do more, especially on the power play.

Philly cleaned up plenty of the mistakes they made in Game 1. Everything was improved except the power play. In Game 2, Philly capitalized on the Rangers’ mistakes and scored two goals on three power play chances. The outcome was a win. In their two losses, however, the Flyers have gone 0-for-6 on the power play.  In Game 3 they went 0-for-5.  See the pattern here?

The energy, or lack thereof, and minimal grasp for desperation was also a concern, but simply put: If the Flyers capitalize on the Rangers’ mistakes, the energy is reborn into the building.

Getting Mason back would be a good start should he definitely be the guy in Game 4. Having him in net will at least open the night on good vibes. If the Flyers do what they’ve done the past two games and can manage to score on the man advantage, a victory should be theirs.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for  Follow him on Twitter and “like” him on Facebook.

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