Stuff I’m Doing to Keep Busy Until Hockey …
Thought NBC’s attempts to mainstream hockey last season were bad…
This fall , it’s hockey like you’ve never seen it before when the NHL on NBC airs the network premier of …
Meet the Characters: Steve Mason
When he traded a blue & red sweater for one in The Orange & The Black, fans saw a glimpse of the Steve Mason whose Rookie Season saw him take home the Calder Trophy to display next to his 2008 Team Canada [Juniors] MVP Award & Gold Medal.
Mason wowed fans putting his athletic prowess on display with leather-flashing, puck-stopping now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t-where’d-my-five-hole-go ice-touching split saves & puck-handling skills that left home team announcer speechless when he’d inadvertently ice the puck in an attempt to clear it along the boards.
Mason’s puck stopping even managed to wow Philadelphia’s own Bryzgalov-The-Terrible into taking a break from his third-period nap-on-the-bench to give Masey an obligatory goalie-win mask-head pat-celly.
Was a a young ‘minder’s confidence magically restored from 2 1/2 days of the god-awful goaltending coach Jeff Reese pumping Masey’s tires about how Philadelphia had been 'keeping an eye on him for the past five years' [when in actuality Mason was a deadline deal arranged only after the Ottawa Senators sent Flyers preferred netminder, Ben Bishop packing his beach gear for Florida] ?
Or despite lower than average career stats, could his vs team splits showed a career of well-above average puck-stopping when facing Eastern Conference & the 4-point-game Metropolitan divisional rivals Philadelphia will face-off against most often allude to Columbus’s inability to realize it wasn’t a good-goalie gone-bad situation but quirky mixup that landed an Eastern Conference netminder in a Western Conference team’s sweater for the past 3 years.
A few hard-core Flyers Fans [& females spending the off-season watching super-slow-motion replays of his every save in an orange & black sweater] noticed something else …
A case of restored confidence? Belonging to a club with a bad-boy moniker like the 'Broad Street Bullies'? Or is it just a 6’4” frame & 220 lbs that had Masey dolling out a little Philly ‘tude throwing glove & blocker shots [a la Mike Smith] at opposing team’s crease crawlers attempting to screen his line-of-sight of the puck. [Whereby other Philadelphia netminders — that shall remain nameless — simply whined to their agents that Philadelphia’s depleting D-Men weren’t doing a good enough job of this for him.]
Even throwing a post-whistle glove blow to [now-former] Senators Captain Daniel Alfredsson in that last game.
Could those subtle but early signs of aggression be a preview of the Steve 'Broad Street Bully' Mason Philadelphia fans will see next season? Has Mason figured out the secret to [goaltending success] in Philadelphia isn’t about SV% or GAA or Wins / Losses, the only things fan remember about their goaltending heroes in orange & black is who, when and what team they beat the crap out of [literally].
Will next season see the penultimate in hockey entertainment — the goalie fight — return to Philadelphia? And who will be his [unlucky?] opponent? Was 'Sugar' Ray Emery REALLY brought in to split crease time with Mason — or teach him how to drop his right-handed glove & throw down with another of the league’s young, but established enough to pull-off-a-goalie-fight netminders?
More Importantly ….
Is it that he can’t correctly spell his own last name, or is the artist that paints his mask unable to fit five letters across the chin of Mason’s painted headgear?
Learn the answers to these questions & more, this fall on the NHL on NBC’s 'Metropolitan Place'.