Steve Mason won a lot of Philadelphia Flyers fans over with his performance in the playoffs this past season. Evidently, Jeremy Roenick isn’t one of them. Roenick commented on Philadelphia’s netminding and he was rather blunt (go figure) about his opinion of Mason.
Via CSN Philadelphia:
“I like Steve Mason, but I don’t think Steve Mason is the answer to winning a Stanley Cup. I think you need an upper echelon defenseman, I think you need an upper echelon goaltender. The Flyers do not have [either].
I think that’s something that you’re going to have to look at in terms of improving your team. He was a starter at one time. He became a backup and has moved a couple of times, and now he’s in Philly as another starter.”
You probably won’t hear a lot of arguments about the team’s defense, but Mason may deserve a bit more credit. At the very least, the team’s goaltending picture is a bit more stable than it has been in recent years. Mason and Ray Emery should be able to combine to be a pretty formidable duo. No, they won’t be the best, but they’re probably better than any of the realistically obtainable options out there.
Mason’s 2013-14 regular season was pretty similar to his 2008-09 campaign in Columbus in which he won the Calder Trophy. Here are the two seasons next to each other:
2008-09: 33-20-7, 2.29 GAA and a .916 save percentage.
2013-14: 33-18-7, 2.50 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
Very similar records and save percentages. Mason’s GAA with the Flyers suffered a bit more due to rough defending, but for the most part it looked like the goaltender rediscovered his form after some ugly seasons.
Roenick is no stranger to controversial comments and he may even be correct on this one, but it’s odd that he’s more or less trying to run Mason out of town now that he appears to be on the rise and is just now entering his prime.