Steve Mason

Mason to make first Flyers start tonight? (Update: Nope)


Perhaps it’s appropriate that Steve Mason (a goaltender that was at the heart of his former team’s problems) could get his first start for the Flyers (a team that’s been through countless struggling goalies) in a place like Toronto (where goaltending has been at the heart of the Maple Leafs’ problems for the last decade).

Still no official word from the Flyers, but that may well be the case tonight at the Air Canada Centre, where Philadelphia will try to win its fourth straight game against a Leafs side that’s closing in on its first playoff appearance since 2004.

(Update 12:21 p.m. ET: Mason says he’s not starting, but read the rest of the post anyway, OK? The Flyers play Saturday in Winnipeg. Maybe he’ll start then.)

According to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, 24-year-old Mason — who was traded from Columbus yesterday — could figure prominently in Philly’s future.

“We see him as one of our two goalies,” Holmgren said. “Not only for the rest of this year, but moving forward. We’ll just leave it at that for now.”

Of course, the Flyers also have 32-year-old Ilya Bryzgalov signed through 2019-20.

Bryzgalov is 16-14-3 with a .899 save percentage this season.

Mason is 3-6-1 with an identical .899 save percentage.

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Related: Flyers GM still thinks Steve Mason has ‘tremendous upside’

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.