In praise of Steve Mason

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The Philadelphia Flyers are having a tough season. Even after four straight wins, their chances of making the playoffs remain slim.

That being said, we’d be remiss to overlook the season Steve Mason is enjoying in goal. In 30 starts, his .924 save percentage ranks 6th in the NHL, which puts him ahead of the likes of Semyon Varlamov (.923), Henrik Lundqvist (.922), and last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, Tuukka Rask (.921).

And lest we forget, Mason doesn’t have the “he plays behind a great defense” advantage going for him. Ask anyone; the Flyers’ blue line is decidedly not great.

Mason’s career has not been without its highs and lows. The 26-year-old has gone from winning the Calder Trophy in 2008-09 with Columbus to people wondering if he’s even capable of playing in the league anymore to joining the Flyers and rediscovering his confidence again.

“Early in his career he might have enjoyed reading things about how well he was playing in this league and stuff,” said former Jackets teammate and current Flyer R.J. Umberger, per the Courier Post.

“I think now he knows he can be better and continue to be better. I think the highs aren’t too high for him and the lows aren’t too low. It’s an old saying, but I think it’s really true. Right now it seems like he’s really confident walking around with the confidence that he should have.”

Mason will get another start tonight against one of the best offensive teams in the league, the New York Islanders.

His last outing was a 30-save shutout of the Leafs.