When the Flyers decided to take a chance on goaltender Steve Mason, one of the many questions asked was if he could handle the pressure of playing in Philadelphia.
Maybe in the long run it was for the best that he got his Flyers debut out of the way in a relief appearance with his team already down by three goals on Saturday. He made the most of it, turning aside all nine shots he faced in the third period of Philadelphia’s 4-1 loss to Winnipeg.
“This definitely wasn’t the most pressure-filled situation,” Mason admitted in a CSN Philly report.
“My job was to just go in and close the door for the remaining 20 minutes. Obviously, this wasn’t the result we were looking for coming here [to Winnipeg].”
Mason won the Calder Trophy in 2008-09 with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but his career has fallen apart since then. Now he’s been given an entirely fresh start in a new conference.
“The Eastern Conference is a little bit different,” the 24-year-old netminder said. “The Western Conference is a lot more rush plays so for a goaltender it’s really managing rush speed.
“I tried to make things simple out there and overall it was pretty good. It’s something to build off of. Since the trade’s been down, I haven’t had a practice yet, so I’m looking forward to getting out there with the team and really starting to figure things out here.”
It’s not clear when Mason will get his first start with the Flyers, but Ilya Bryzgalov would probably benefit from a breather after playing in 36 of Philadelphia’s 38 contests.