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Weekes on Mason


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Thought this was a nice writeup on Mason about his excellent start to the sesaon.




The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers aren't sharing precious real estate at the top of the division standings right now, but this rivalry still will be on display when they face off Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS).
The Penguins usually are the team with the star players generating compelling storylines, but I think it's the Flyers who actually have one of the great untold stories of the early part of this season.
Things have been tough for Philly, but one thing a lot of people were questioning coming into the season has been answered. And that's the goaltending.
Steve Mason has retooled his game. I have to give Mason credit and I have to give Flyers goaltending coach Jeff Reese credit. I think we all know that Mason is talented and has the gifts to be a top-flight goalie in the League but he hasn't necessarily been the most focused. He hasn't necessarily worked as hard as he can off the ice in years gone by. He hasn't always practiced with the intensity that you need to be an elite goalie in this League. From all that I'm hearing so far this season, he's been doing those things.
When he was struggling with the Columbus Blue Jackets he was very susceptible to plays along the goal line or below the goal line; a lot of net attacks, a lot of wraparounds. That was an area of his game that needed improvement. That is now a big part of his game that has been improved since he's been with Philly.
Entering action Tuesday, Mason had a 2.34 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage. Those numbers are excellent on any team. He's been an untold story in this League. To this point it's been a very positive story and I don't think enough people have mentioned it.
Reese has done some things with his positioning to make him a little more conservative at times, not challenging as much. But I don't think that tells the whole story. His puck tracking has been much better. He's done a much better job of fighting through traffic. He's more competitive and a lot more intense on the puck. It seems like he's a more focused and committed guy. His puckhandling has always been very good and it looks sharp once again.
He'll be presented with a major challenge from the Penguins. [Editor's note: On Wednesday morning Flyers coach Craig Berube announced Ray Emery would be the starter Wednesday against the Penguins]
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