In the NHL, goaltenders, like pitchers in baseball, have to find their groove. In other words, they need to play consistently to get into a rhythm.
In Philadelphia, Flyers’ goalie Steve Mason feels that putting a string of starts together will help him mightily.
“If you look at what we’ve done so far this year, good performances have led to consecutive starts,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said Monday after practice. “Whether or not that continues exactly in that fashion, we’ll see in the future here. But you have to take it upon yourself to be ready to go and go out and do your job when you’re called upon.”
Although it is not his choice, the goaltender feels he could certainly benefit from increased playing time.
“That is something I want,” Mason said. “It is something you saw at the end of last season, you come to the rink and know you are the guy, you just get into a rhythm when you are not thinking about playing.”
Mason, who struggled mightily in last years postseason, has been up and down so far this year. He and fellow goaltender Michael Neuvirth have shared the net early on in 2016. After allowing three first-period goals to Pittsburgh on Oct. 29, Mason was pulled and did not return until Tuesday night, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
In the loss, Mason made a season-high 33 saves.
“It was a quality game but I think you take everything in stride and you can’t get too high off one game, he said. “Was it something to build off, yes, but one game isn’t good enough to make a season.
“Every time you get in the lineup, whether you’re a goalie or on defense, you want to play well, because if you play well, that’s how you stick in the lineup,” Mason said. “Everybody wants to play every game. It’s not fun sitting out.”
The Flyers will return to action on Friday when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto.