Photo credit: Amy Irvin (38Photography)
I was wrong.
I was wrong about Steve Mason’s tenure in Philadelphia.
I was very wrong about how Steve Mason would perform in Philadelphia.
Steve Mason has become a very solid starting goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers.
In 119 regular season games with the Flyers, Mason’s .923 SV5 is all-star caliber. In fact, he ranks 7th among goalies with 100+ games played in the same time period in Save Percentage, sandwiched between Corey Crawford and Ben Bishop, the same goalies who played for the 2015 Stanley Cup.
From another perspective, Mason only allowed 92% of expected goals against, good for 9th against the same list of goalies, and tied with Ben Bishop.
(Author’s note: the charts may get cut off, so here’s a link to Hockey-Reference where you can view the results easier.)
Mason’s a solid starter. However, last year was likely slightly above his true talent level.
This past season, Mason had a .940 SV% at even strength, far above his career .920 and the .923 he posted in his first full season on the Flyers.
As a Flyer, Mason’s even strength save percentage is 93.1287, and so that’s probably a better benchmark to judge him by. On special teams, Mason overplayed his career average on the powerplay while underplayed his career average on the penalty kill, both of these should normalize this season.
Mason will likely play around the .923 level this season overall, which is still quite the solid goalie. The biggest question around Mason is, of course, will his knee hold up?
If Mason’s knee holds up, the Flyers goalie duo of Mason and Michal Neuvirth is quite formidable, if not, Neuvirth and Jason LaBarbera isn’t a horrible short term option.