by Patrick Hoffman on 04/17/13 at 08:00 AM ET
When looking at the NHL as a whole, it is easy to see that several NHL netminders thrive when given a second chance to prove their worth.
As an example, one can point out the likes of Ray Emery (Chicago Blackhawks), Carey Price (2010-11 with the Montreal Canadiens), Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators) and so on and so forth. One can probably name several players in this particular category.
With that said, one player who really needs a second chance the most is Philadelphia Flyers' netminder Steve Mason. Mason, who won the Calder Trophy as the league's rooke of the year in the 2008-09 season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has struggled to find his rookie form and is now looking to do so in the "City of Brotherly Love".
Mason, 24, burst onto the NHL scene in the 2008-09 season and dominated the league. That year, Mason went 33-20-0-7 with a 2.29 GAA, a .916 save percentage and 10 shutouts in leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first postseason.
While Mason did not play well in that postseason, the Blue Jackets thought they had their netminder of the future. Unfortunately, the team was wrong.
Mason struggled for the next three and a half seasons in Columbus. He never finished with a goals against average lower than 3.03, never went higher than a .901 save percentage and also ended up going well below .500 in each of those seasons.
This season, luck simply ran out on Mason in Columbus. Mason ended up losing the Blue Jackets' net to Bobrovsky, who has played like a Vezina Trophy goaltender this season, thus making Mason expendable.
Now with the Philadelphia Flyers, it will be up to Mason to prove that he can be a solid and consistent NHL netminder. Despite not getting many starts with the team so far, the Flyers seem to believe that he migt be able to accomplish that as the club signed him to a one-year extension worth $1.5 million.
Since signing the deal on Monday, April 8, Mason is certainly doing everything he can to show that he can still be a good goaltender in this league. Last night, Mason stopped 38 of 40 shots in a big win over the New York Rangers and even in two straight losses before last night's win, Mason played well in stopping 48 of 52 shots and allowing just four goals in the two games combined.
At just 24 years of age, Mason still has a lot of hockey left in him. May be a new start and second chance in the NHL with the Flyers is exactly what Mason needs to get his career back on track.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: carey+price, chicago+blackhawks, columbus+blue+jackets, craig+anderson, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ray+emery, sergei+bobrovsky, steve+mason
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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