Between Michal Neuvirth and Steve Mason, the Philadelphia Flyers frequently benefited from great goaltending last season, but that just hasn’t been the case in 2016-17. Now they’ll be without Neuvirth for four-to-six weeks.
The team only deems it a lower-body injury while CSN Philly reports that the issue is knee-related.
Again, it’s a pretty glum situation right now.
On the other hand, maybe the Flyers will benefit indirectly? Take a look at the stats so far for Neuvirth and Mason:
Neuvirth: 4-2-0, .859 save percentage, 3.54 GAA
Mason: 3-5-2, .880 save percentage, 3.41 GAA
Yeah, that’s abysmal. Those are Reagan-era goalie numbers.
So, perhaps this could be a blessing in disguise? Consider a few possibilities, however remote they may be:
1. Maybe they needed this nudge to go to Mason more often.
Yes, his numbers have been bad too … but they are a BIT better.
2. If Anthony Stolarz is the backup, maybe he deserves a shot?
There’s some pedigree there (45th pick in 2012), and he’s posted a .927 save percentage in the AHL so far this season. If Mason keeps struggling, why not just see if you lucked into a decent solution?
3. Perhaps Neuvirth will benefit from something of a “mental health break.”
Sometimes things get away from you. He can take these weeks to study game tape or catch up on “The Crown.”
Overall, this is a really bad situation. So far, Neuvirth and Mason look like they’re joining Brian Elliott in suffering terrible contract years.
Then again, with their goalies’ current struggles in mind, you never know when an injury might actually push you in a better direction or at least change your course. The Flyers merely only need to look at the Pittsburgh Penguins as an example of that.