Given how far they’ve fallen, it’s hard to believe that back in 2008-09, everything seemed to be finally looking up for the Columbus Blue Jackets. It wasn’t because they had built a great supporting cast around Rick Nash – only one Blue Jackets player outside of Nash even reached the 50 point mark that season – it was because they had rookie goaltending sensation Steve Mason.
Mason was a game changer for the Blue Jackets and while he’s certainly been a difference maker in the three seasons that have followed, it’s been for all the wrong reasons. Since then, finding out how to restore Mason to his former glory has been a top priority and while very little of it has actually led to tangible results, he is encouraged by a recent tweak he’s made at the guidance of goaltending coach Ian Clark.
“It was just reducing my depth off the rush,” Mason said. “It was something that (he) and I worked on the last couple practices. I was getting a little bit too far out and making too many extra movements.”
Mason thinks the change played a role in his 33-save shutout on shutout on Thursday. Only time will tell if Mason is one step closer to getting out of his three season rut. After all, since he won the Calder Trophy, he has had some great starts. The problem is that the vast majority of his outings have been far less encouraging.