Things hadn’t been going well for Steve Mason after he signed a new contract with the Flyers, but that changed on Tuesday as Philly beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-0.
Mason stopped the 33 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season and his 20th win of 2013-14.
One might argue that the real story was Scott Hartnell, however. He collected two goals and one assist to give him 20 points in his last 21 games. Hartnell also made a strong argument to stick with Claude Giroux long-term, as they factored into each others’ three-point nights (one goal, two assists).
The Flyers ended a four-game losing streak in the process, which is a good thing as they ready for a three-game road trip against tough California teams. It remains to be seen if Kimmo Timonen will join them on that trip after suffering a lower-body injury tonight.
Philadelphia improved to 26-22-6 while Detroit slipped to 23-19-11 on Tuesday.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: