Blues have decision to make with Chris Mason

The St. Louis Blues have a tough decision to make this summer when it
comes to the goaltending position, but in Chris Mason’s eyes he’s
earned the right to keep his spot as the starting goaltender.

Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

don’t think I had a point where I bottomed out, or stayed in a slump
for a long time,” said Mason, who will turn 34 on April 20. “Other than
December, which was my toughest month, I think I was pretty consistent
all year.”

“Statistically, I’m almost exactly the same as I was
last year,” Mason
said. “I think the fact that last year was my biggest workload, and I
exceeded that this year, that proved that I can definitely do it more
than just one year, which is what (the Blues) wanted to see.”

Blues and Mason entered into brief contract talks during the season,
but the team decided to wait until this summer to go further into in any
future contract considerations.

Ty Conklin is under contract for
next season, but he’s yet to take on a full load this summer. His
overall numbers weren’t bad this season, but he wasn’t exactly a winning
machine. He shouldered a significant load last year with the Red Wings,
so he’s proven he can at least be more than an “every now-and-then”
goaltender. He’s also skilled at helping to get teams to the Stanley Cup
finals; winning them….not so much.

That being said, quality goaltending is hard to find. Mason is 33
years old, which plays against him, and is was paid $3 million last
season. He’ll likely want more per year, and he’s yet to prove himself a
viable goaltender for the playoffs.

With goalies like Marty
Turco hitting the open market this summer, expect the Blues to bide
their time to see just what Mason thinks he’s worth.

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    Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

    Alex Ovechkin
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    Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

    He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

    Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

    That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

    This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

    No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

    Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

    Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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    Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

    With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

    Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

    Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

    Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

    The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?