“I’m feeling really good right now,” Mason said. “That time when (Curtis Sanford) was getting the consecutive starts really gave me an opportunity to work on some things, and I feel good about my game and things are going well.”
Mason stopped 36 out of 37 shots against the Dallas Stars in a 4-1 win last night and only allowed one goal in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. Amusingly enough, making 61 out of his last 63 saves pushed his 2011-12 save percentage to .887. That still qualifies as the numbers of a mediocre backup, but it’s a significant upgrade from what I called “bad for the ’80s.”
The struggling should-be franchise goalie might just have a point about the value of stepping back, though.
His Calder Trophy campaign created a lot of excitement, but it’s not crazy to think that it rushed along his development by a stage or two. In all honesty, the 23 year old netminder might have even benefited from a confidence-building tour of the AHL during the last couple years. Instead, the Blue Jackets brass essentially crossed their fingers and hoped that he’d “figure it out.”
Two strong games won’t overturn a lot of worrisome evidence, but maybe he can take baby steps on his way back to being a credible NHL goaltender.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.