Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/23/11 at 09:25 PM ET
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Here’s a look at a key question facing each team in the Western Conference:
Can Steve Mason rediscover his Calder Trophy form?
Mason was the NHL’s top rookie in 2008-09 and led the Jackets to their first (and only) playoff berth, posting a 33-20-7 record, a 2.29 goals-against average and 10 shutouts. But he hasn’t come close to matching those numbers in either of the next two seasons—last season’s 3.03 GAA was actually a slight improvement from 2009-10, and his .901 save percentage was well below the League average….
How much effect will last spring’s near-miss have this season?
The Canucks spent the summer trying to get over the one that got away—they couldn’t hold 2-0 and 3-2 series leads against Boston in the Stanley Cup Final, then got smoked 4-0 at home in Game 7, spoiling what had been a near-perfect 40th season. Most of the cast that got the Canucks within one win of the Cup will be back for another run, though injuries may keep Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond out of the lineup at the beginning….
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