Posts Tagged ‘steve mason’

Flying Jet-lagged

October 22nd, 2015 by Joe Buscemi | Comments Off on Flying Jet-lagged | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey, Sports


Too much of anything is no good, just ask any athlete about a long lay-off and they will give you a similar answer to that of Jake Voracek in reference to the the Flyers six day break.  “We will most likely have to shake off some rust in the first twenty minutes of play against the Stars”. Unfortunately it took the Flyers a good forty-six minutes to shake off the rust and score their first goal to trim the Stars 2-0 lead in half with 8:57 left in the 3rd period. The offense looked flat throughout the first two periods, this included a lot of ill-advised passes, turnovers, issues setting up, and barely any time on attack. The Flyers also failed to convert on all four of their power plays as the team continued to turn the puck over multiple times while entering their own zone.

Despite winning 56% of their face-offs and out shooting the Stars 35-33, the Flyers failed to capitalize during multiple opportunities and to add insult to injury Braydon Schenn wound up committing an untimely slashing penalty with only 2:08 remaining in the game, which pretty much ended the Flyers from having any shot at potentially tying the game.

  • Positive Takeaways: Despite ending up with the loss and an early 2nd period goal, Steve Mason played brilliantly between the pipes, especially for returning from what seemed to have been a serious personal issue.
    • The defense really picked up for the lack of play in the team’s offensive zone and weak fore-checking. Had it not been for the solid play by both Mason and the team’s defense, the deficit could easily have been larger.


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Steve Mason set to have surgery on right knee; Phantoms’ backup Anthony Stolarz called up

February 10th, 2015 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Steve Mason set to have surgery on right knee; Phantoms’ backup Anthony Stolarz called up | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey

(Photo by Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

UPDATE: Steve Mason will officially undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on his right knee. For now, he’s expected to at least miss several weeks, if not more/the whole season, depending upon how his surgery and recovery period goes. I’ll expand more on this story as more news become available. For now, the two Flyers’ goalies on the depth chart will be (newly-appointed starter) Ray Emery and Phantoms’ rookie Anthony Stolarz. The surgery news was preceded by news that Mason underwent several MRIs on the same knee, to which the team and the team’s doctors concluded that performing surgery on it was the best, and smartest, option available at the moment.

Flyers’ GM Ron Hextall has yet to provide his insight on the matter, or give an official update.

During yesterday’s Flyers-Capitals game, about halfway through the second period, Steve Mason suffered a freakish injury to his lower body (now ruled as a knee injury), after heading to the Flyers’ bench briefly for a water break. When Mason left the bench area to return to his crease, for no apparent reason, that’s when he felt some discomfort and pain, possibly due to his knee locking up. Because of that, to be cautious, Flyers’ coach Craig Berube removed Mason from the game and sent in backup Ray Emery to fill in for him for the remainder of it. Mason stopped all eight shots thrown his way, while Emery allowed one goal on six shots.

Unfortunately for him and the team, this is Mason’s third injury of the season so far. Earlier on, he missed four games in late December due to a back injury, and six games in January due to a right-knee injury. Not only are Mason’s reoccurring health issues a major concern, as is the injury itself, but it’s a shame, too, since Mason was playing fantastic prior to this latest injury. Since January 27th, he’s gone 3-0-1, with a shutout, a .959 save percentage, and a 1.25 goals against average. Emery’s 9-9-1 this season, with a mediocre 3.34 GAA and a .886 save percentage.

Mason doesn’t become a free-agent until after the 2016-17 season concludes, so hopefully he can stay healthy, for the sake of the team’s future. The team may choose to restructure Mason’s deal, depending on when his return will be from the surgery. While he’s recovering, and onward, Mason could provide a valuable, off-the-ice, service, in helping/mentoring Anthony Stolarz, who just turned 21 and has yet to play an NHL game yet. In 22 games this year, Stolarz is 7-10-1 with Lehigh Valley, with a 3.04 GAA and a .911 save percentage. He was a second-round pick (45th overall) by the Flyers in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Once he enters a game this season, the experience for Stolarz will be huge.


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2014-15 Flyers Season Preview

September 5th, 2014 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on 2014-15 Flyers Season Preview | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey, Sports, TalkSportsPhilly, TSP Radio, Twitter



With NHL Training Camps set to begin in a matter of days, the Flyers will begin yet another campaign, with the hopes of bringing home the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in almost 50 years. This article will provide an in-depth look at the Flyers, and the five areas to watch for this upcoming season. While the team didn’t make the “flashy” instantaneous upgrade this offseason, they made some solid additions to the back-end with defenders Nick Schultz and Michael Del Zotto. This is practically the same team that took the ice last season, and they look to perform better after building a season’s worth of chemistry.

Offense– This portion of the squad will look similar to the same group that played last year, but if you look close enough, you’ll spot the difference. While the Flyers hardly touched their group of forwards this offseason, they stunned their loyal fan base with one shocker of a trade. Fan favorite Scotty Hartnell was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for former Flyer RJ Umberger on June 23rd. Hartnell will be missed on the top line by teammates Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, but the first shouldn’t miss a beat with the addition of Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds is essentially a younger version of Hartnell with a better knack for scoring. The second line provides an interesting combination, as Vinny Lecavailer will center youngsters Brayden Schenn and Matt Read. This lines will provide some questions though, as Vinny will look to shake off rumors of an “impending” trade, Schenn will look to take the next step, and Read looks to re-gain the form that once had him in contention for the Calder Trophy. Umberger will play on the third line, along side of Sean Couturier, and Michael Raffl.

Umberger will look to prove that he still has gas left in the tank, while Couturier will look to silence to the critics that says his offense just “isn’t there”. The fourth line provides the Flyers with a combination of fore-checking, shut-down defense, and puck-moving skills. Perhaps, the most under-rate 4th line in the NHL. As far as the bench goes, the Flyers don’t have much to brag about with Chris VandeVelde, Jay Rosehill, and free agent signees Blair Jones and Ryan White riding the pine. I’m not saying this group is terrible, but I could see the likes of Ryan Malone and Dustin Penner getting tryout calls.

Defense– Ah yes, the Flyers Achilles heel. Kimmo Timonen went down hard with the diagnosis of blood clots in his legs and throat, which led to the inevitable signing of Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto will be paired on the third line with Nicklas Grossman. This specific pairing stands out to me, because of the fact that they can play to each others’ strengths. Grossman is a stay-at-home defender, while Del Zotto excels in the offensive aspects of the game. Playing together, will allow Grossman to feel comfortable staying at home, and allowing Del Zotto the opportunity to find the game that made him a once-prized youngster.

Other line pairings include a Long Island reunion as Mark Streit goes with Andrew MacDonald, and Luke Schenn paired with Braydon Coburn. The Coburn/Schenn, and Del Zotto/Grossman lines are far from written in stone, with Nick Schultz and prized-prospect Shayne Gostisbehere breathing down their necks. I’d say the last two defensive spots are going to be an interesting competition to watch as camp rolls on.


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Flyers vs Rangers Playoff Preview

April 16th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Flyers vs Rangers Playoff Preview | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey

As we exit the NHL Regular Season and enter into the playoffs, the Flyers have a lot of question marks going forward. On the flip side, they also have some things in their favor as well heading into Thursday night’s bout with New York at MSG. Let’s look at the series as a whole.


Series Schedule- Date/Location/Time/Channel (all times EST)

04/17- @ New York- 07:00 PM- CSN
04/20- @ New York- 12:00 PM- NBC
04/22- @ Philly- 08:00 PM- CSN
04/25- @ Philly- 07:00 PM- CSN
04/27- @ New York- 12:00 PM- NBC (if necessary)
04/29- @ Philly- TBA- CSN (if necessary)
04/30- @ New York- TBA- CSN (if necessary)

Despite posting a winning record (23-22-3), last season (2012-13) was one to forget for Philadelphia in the lockout-shortened season; as they missed the postseason for just the second time in the span of the past 16 seasons. Interim head coach Craig Berube has to feel good about that, as well as his club’s overall improvement(s) within this season as well; as they began the season at just 0-3, and were just 3-8 one month in. Since November 1st, Philly’s gone 39-22-10.

Alain Vigneault is in his first year as Rangers’ head coach, having previously coached two Canadian NHL teams in Vancouver (2006-2013) and Montreal (1997-2001). Vigneault has had success as coach, not just in the regular season either, as he took the 2011 Canucks three years ago to the Finals; before eventually bowing to Boston.


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Columbus Blue Jackets (38-30-7) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (39-27-9)- Game Preview

April 4th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Columbus Blue Jackets (38-30-7) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (39-27-9)- Game Preview | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey

It’s a match-up of Mason vs. Bobrovsky: two goalies facing their former teams, with playoff implications to boot. Columbus is currently four points back of the Flyers in the standings, with the same amount of games played (75). Both teams are trailing the Rangers for the second spot within the Metropolitan Division. New York has 90 points in 77 games played, three more points than Philly has.

The Blue Jackets have won two out of the three previous meetings between the two teams this season, in the first year as Metropolitan Division foes. In the first match-up on December 19th, Philadelphia not only came back from a three-goal deficit, but scored an incredible five goals in the third period on their way to a 5-4 victory. Two days later, this time in Columbus, Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets got revenge by handily defeating the Fly Guys 6-3

Flyers’ captain Claude Giroux had four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in the two teams’ first get together back in mid-December, and all together he has five points in three contests vs. Columbus this season (2 goals, 3 assists). On the flip side, Columbus blue liner Nikita Nikitin has three points (0 goals, 3 assists) vs. Philly this season.

Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t start the first two games back in December vs. his old team due to a strained groin, which sidelined him a total of 14 games, before returning to play in early January, prior to the two team’s third meeting two weeks later. Backup Curtis McElhinney started in his place, compiling a .893 save percentage in the process. Meanwhile, Ray Emery started two out of the three games as well for Philly.

In their two victories over Philadelphia this season, Columbus has not only averaged 5.5 goals/game, but they’ve gotten significant contributions on and off the scoreboard from numerous players. Nine different Blue Jackets, out of 11 total goals scored in that time span, have lit the lamp; a very positive sign for their head coach Todd Richards.


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Chicago Blackhawks (39-15-14) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (35-25-7)

March 18th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Chicago Blackhawks (39-15-14) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (35-25-7) | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey, Sports

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The defending champion Blackhawks handily defeated the Flyers at home on December 11th 7-2 at the United Center, and now Philadelphia is seeking revenge on home ice. Philadelphia squares off against Jonathan Toews and Chicago tonight at 7:30 PM/EST on CSN Philly/NBCSN. In the 7-2 victory vs. Philadelphia earlier this season, seven different Blackhawks scored. Patrick Sharp had a goal and two assists against his former team, while Marian Hossa recorded three assists.

In the two team’s (only) previous match-up this season, Chicago not only won but scored an impressive five goals in the second period, taking a commanding 5-2 lead heading into the third period, one of which they tacked on an additional two goals on their way to victory. Philadelphia was struggling mightily at that time, roughly three months ago, at 13-15-3 (while Chicago at the time, only having one greater loss than amount of overtime losses, was fantastic, and still is, at 23-6-5)- although the former was still in contention at the time due to the Western Conference’s superiority in comparison to the East this season.

Fast-forward a few months later and Philadelphia is doing much better under now-interim (but perceived to be the full-time coach heading forward) head coach (and former Philadelphia enforcer) Craig Berube at 35-25-7. The Fly-Guys are 22-10-4 since the aforementioned 7-2 blowout loss to Chicago in mid-December. They come in tonight’s game with Chicago having won two straight, on a back-to-back game basis no less, both victories coming against rival Pittsburgh from Saturday to Sunday of last week. Since losing a close 2-1 game to New Jersey a week ago today, Philadelphia — starting four days later — shutout the Pens 4-0 at the Wells Fargo Center, before sweeping the home-and-home with a close 4-3 victory on Sunday at Pittsburgh.

The Broad Street Bullies come into tonight’s match-up having gone 3-1-1 in their last five, averaging over 3.5 goals and almost 33.5 shots/game in that time span. They’re 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, while Chicago is 5-5.


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Philadelphia Flyers (27-23-6) vs. San Jose Sharks (35-15-6)

February 4th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Philadelphia Flyers (27-23-6) vs. San Jose Sharks (35-15-6) | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Philadelphia Flyers (27-23-6, 60 pts) at San Jose Sharks (35-15-6, 76 points)
10:30 p.m. | SAP Center at San Jose | San Jose, CA
TV/Radio: In Philly: TCN, 97.5 FM | San Jose: Comcast Sportsnet California

Starting Goaltenders: -Philadelphia- Steve Mason (21-14-5) San Jose: Antti Niemi (28-11-6)

Starting Lineups/Line Combinations/Defensive Pairings:



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