Tags Posts tagged with "Steve Mason"

Steve Mason

The Phildelphia Flyers’ forcheck gave the Montreal Canadiens all that they could handle, but stellar goaltending performance from Carey Price, as well as a 3 point performance from Alexander Radulov, led the Habs to a 3-1 win over the Broadstreet Bullies.

Join Coach K as he disects tonight’s game, and gives you his take on the Heritage Classic.

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Goaltending is on trial again in the city of Brotherly Love.

It’s hard to believe that two seasons ago the Flyers backup would be winning the Vezina trophy in 2013. But that is exactly what happened with Sergei Bobrovsky. A team that is constantly on the search for a #1 does not seem to take a break. This season they approached Ray Emery who made a comeback playing in Chicago and even got Steve Mason from Columbus.

Finishing 9th in goals/game last season the Flyers can expect their offense to provide the same kind of production this season. They added cup winner and amnesty buy-out casualty Vincent Lecavalier. At 33 years old he is entering the twilight years of his career but even though he missed games due to a foot injury last season, he still managed to post 32pts in 39 games. Reprising his role of #2 center, he should create scoring chances for power forwards Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell. Both can produce playing with a big center like Lecavalier, and having that 1-2 punch of heavy hitting /scoring will bring back memories of the Broadstreet Bullies. Although off-season news came out that Captain Claude Giroux suffered a hand injury, he is not likely to miss any regular season action. Even if the injury forces a slow start Giroux has the capability to pick up the slack. Having Jakub Voracek on his wing last season was one of the bright spots last season for Flyers fans. Giroux managed to assist the winger in his 22 goal campaign, a career best. At age 24 the Flyers have reason to believe that there are plenty of productive years ahead for the Czech winger.

The Flyers will wear you down with all line combinations.  This created a problem last season when they finished as one of the league’s most penalized teams.  Regardless the level of talent, if a team constantly plays shorthanded; its chances to win are limited.

While many used Ilya Bryzgalov as a scapegoat to account for the club’s woes last season, the blueline was also decimated by injuries.  Over and above the absence of Chris Pronger, they also lost Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros, both of whom, aged 27-28 respectively, were entering their physical primes. Elsewhere, Luke Schenn’s first season as a Flyer had him finish in the league best shot blockers and hitters for defensemen.  He also finished as one of the few Flyer defensemen in the “+” column (+3). Bringing in Mark Streit while having Kimmo Timonen may seem a horizontal signing, if one considers proven strength on the powerplay and effective goal scoring. It does however assure the presence of a strong puck mover barring injury. This move may end up being more consequential at trade deadline if the Flyers are financially strapped re the cap ceiling.

Ray Emery joined the Flyers to solidify their goaltending.  This was the storyline in 2009, and is the repeated storyline in 2013. Coming off a 17 win season with a 1.94GAA and a .922sv% as the backup to a cup winning Chicago team, he openly stated his desire to become a #1 goalie.  Once again that opportunity will be given in Philadelphia. Should this fail, the Flyers have the last season acquisition Steve Mason from the Blue Jackets as a backup?  In a few games last season, Mason showed promise with 4 wins and a .944 save%. However, his career numbers fail to provide any high degree of confidence to the Flyer faithful for the longer stretch.

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montreal canadiens vs philadelphia flyers habs

Match-Up:

The Canadiens (26-10-5) will be looking to get back on track after their 5-1 loss to the Leafs when they host the Flyers (17-21-3) Monday Night. The game will start at 7:30 and air on RDS and TSN-Habs.

This is the third and final time these teams will face of this season, each team has earned a win on home ice. When the teams met earlier this month, the Flyers scored three goals late in the third period, including an empty netter, to earn a 5-3 victory over the Habs. Wayne Simmonds tied the game with about five minutes to go and Erik Gustafsson scored the game winner, his first and only goal this season, just a minute and a half later.

What to Watch:

The Habs had a miserable night in Toronto on Saturday, with Carey Price perhaps suffering worst. Price gave up 3 goals in 4 shots and was pulled a little over 10 minutes into the game. Price followed up his last defeat to the Leafs by going unbeaten in regulation for his next 8 starts. The Canadiens will be looking to bounce back collectively on Monday and getting a better performance from their goalie would certainly help their cause.

The Flyers have lost their last four straight, scoring a grand total of three goals during the span. They were shutout 1-0 by the Sabres on Saturday, wasting a 20 save performance by newly acquired Steve Mason. With 39 points each, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek lead Philly in scoring. There’s a pretty steep drop off in production after that with Wayne Simmonds and Kimmo Timonen next on the list with 25 points each.

What’s at Stake:

On a night when the Habs didn’t do themselves any favors the Carolina Hurricanes helped them stay a step ahead of the Bruins by earning a regulation victory against them on Saturday. That keeps the Canadiens a point ahead of Boston with just 7 games left for each team to play.

For their part, the Flyers are 9 points out of a playoff spot with time running out. Even if they won their last 7 games, the Flyers would still only finish with 51 points, which might still not be enough to crack the postseason.

Who’s Out:

Saturday night, Brandon Prust went into the boards hard in the second period and came up holding his arm, but he played out the rest of the game. The Habs are still without Rafael Diaz (concussion) and Colby Armstrong (knee). Alexei Emelin (knee) is done for the season.

The Flyers have a long list of injuries including Zac Rinaldo (ankle), Nicklas Grossmann (concussion), Eric Wellwood (leg), Maxime Talbot (Leg) and Braydon Coburn (Shoulder), none of whom will be back this season.

What Else:

With 3 regulations losses in 7 games so far in April, the Habs have already tied their worst month in that regard. The Canadiens failed to earn points in just 3 games in March, and another 2 after regulation. In both February and January the Habs lost just twice in regulation.

The Question Mark:

With the Habs losing two out of three games last week, which players need to step up their play in the final stretch?

Have your say by leaving a comment below or let us know what you think on Twitter by using the #MTLHockey hashtag.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

Habs vs Flyers

As the NHL trade deadline came and went, the Habs stood pat. Join Steven Hindle, Nick Murdocco and Rob “KitKat” Elbaz as they breakdown all the trades today, as well as preview tonight’s game versus the Flyers with Sarah Baicker from CSN Philadelphia.

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