Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers

POST GAME THOUGHTS: FLYERS 2, KINGS 0

Mason the difference in a big road win for the Flyers.
Saturday, 02.1.2014 / 8:14 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
X
Share with your Friends


Flyers Inside Out

The questions have certainly swirled since Steve Mason signed his new contract.

Like sharks circling a leaky barrel of chum at seas, the critics have been looking for any and every reason to decry the contract extension as a misread by Flyers management.

Using a three game sample in which he was pulled twice, had very little defense played in front of him and an eyesore 5.28 goals against average and an .853 save percentage in those games the skeptics replaced the batteries in their megaphones and started to squawk.

But you had to know those statistics were not indicative of Mason’s game – certainly not the Mason who has been pretty darn good since coming to Philadelphia.

You had to know, based on his play in the first two months of the season, that Mason could put up polarizing numbers that would certainly bring about more cheers than jeers.

And Mason knew too - which became vividly apparent in the three games since.

Mason rounded off a darn good week of play making 35 saves to shutout the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 Saturday, stealing two points for a Flyers team that really struggled to get shots on net, posting just 13 tying a franchise record for fewest in a game.

So, it was up to Mason to make the difference.

And he did, thwarting several chances the Kings were able to string together, especially in the second period when things started to get hairy for the Flyers in their own end while they were nursing a one-goal lead.

Mason was a rock, and the Flyers leaned on him the entire game for support and he was able to keep the team upright in a critical game.

And now, after those three ugly games, Mason has posted two shutouts in the last three games, and played better than the numbers would indicate in the other and has turned that frown upside down (Anyone else remember Kiddie City?)

In those three games, Mason has a 1.35 goals against average and a .958 save percentage, his best three-game stretch since mid-November (1.30, .958).

The point is, when Mason was going like this in November is when the Flyers started their mad dash up the Metropolitan Division standings.

A repeat of that here over the span of the next several games can help the Flyers get a little bit of separation from the bulging pack of teams surrounding them in the playoff race.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I no longer have a vote in the team awards at the end of the season, but if I did, I would really have to consider Wayne Simmonds as a strong candidate for the Bobby Clarke trophy as team MVP.

Aside from the fact that the guy never takes a shift off, he has really emerged as one of the most reliable offensive threats on the team.

He now has 40 points this season in 56 games (18 goals, 22 assists), which is a nice, but not eye-popping total.

Until you look more closely.

He only had one goal and four assists for five points in the first 16 games this season. That means since Nov. 12, he has 35 points in 40 games, approaching a point per game.

He only needs 10 points in the final 26 games – which seems very likely – to set a career high in points.

And the Flyers recognize what his contributions have meant.

With Kimmo Timonen sidelined with a lower-body injury in this game, Berube tabbed Simmonds as the guy to wear his “A” as an alternate captain.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

NOTES: There’s no stats to really point to to highlight this, so you’ll have to trust me – Michael Raffl had another fine game on the fourth line. Good pressure, good chances, Good defense, good skating. In short, Craig Berube is getting good shifts out of the fourth line now that Raffl is centering it… Andrej Meszaros replaced Timonen in the lineup on defense… Zac Rinaldo led the Flyers in hits with six… The pairing of Erik Gustafsson and Luke Schenn has quietly been playing much better. They both had more than 20 minutes of ice time. Schenn had three hits. Gustafsson had three blocks.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.