A quick glance at Philly’s goalie stats paints a clear picture of who’s played best.
Michal Neuvirth: Eight games played, seven starts, 3-2-1 record, .945 save percentage, 1.81 GAA, three shutouts.
Steve Mason: Eight games played, seven starts, 2-4-2 record, .902 save percentage, 3.34 GAA, zero shutouts.
What’s more, it looks like Neuvirth will get the start against Colorado on Tuesday, his fourth in a row.
Yet despite all this, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol insists Mason is still the team’s starting netminder.
“Mase is our No. 1. We’ve said that all the way along and feel that way,” Hakstol said, per the Courier-Post. “The big benefit for our team is how well Neuvy’s going and how well he’s playing. I think both guys are ready. That’s part of their job is to be ready when they go in.”
Mason said the (perceived) pressure from Neuvirth is “not making me sweat,” and there’s good reason why. His less-than-stellar start to the year was partly out of his control; Mason missed time early in the campaign attending to a personal matter, then missed time on the club’s recently-completed Western Canadian road swing with an illness.
Despite Hakstol’s and Mason’s comments, one has to wonder if Neuvirth is closer to the No. 1 gig than everybody’s letting on. On that note, it’ll be really curious to see what Hakstol does if Neuvirth stones the Avalanche on Tuesday — do the Flyers go to Mason for Thursday’s big tilt against the Caps, or will they ride the hot hand in Neuvirth?