Steve Mason's future
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02-11-2012, 05:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Originally Posted by
Portzline was borderline prophetic when he said before the season that the fortunes of Scott Howson and Steve Mason were basically intertwined.
Mason's problem has been the opposite of what Jim Carey used to suffer from. Carey used to be so late reading the play in front of him that it hampered his lateral movement, so he got absolutely lit up by one-timers. He never was able to correct that flaw, and was out of the league in a few years.
Mason has the opposite problem. He's in such a damned hurry to get across the ice that he leaves the shortside post wide open. And if there's a cross-ice feed, he's all over it, but if there's a rebound he's out of position and can't compensate. If the pass doesn't quite get there, he's still ready to smother the shot even as it's going into the net in exactly the spot that he just vacated. He does a poor job of actually picking up the puck in flight, and his positioning is shot to hell.
There's only one way that Mason can be an effective NHL goalie. He needs a defense that keeps the extended slot area clear, leaving only perimeter shots. His performance during the 2008-09 season wasn't based off of teams not having a book on him, but because Klesla, Hejda, Tyutin, and Commodore did a very good job of keeping shots to the perimeter and also clearing rebounds themselves. As Commodore and Hejda became less effective, Mason's flaws became more evident.
Yeah, I liked to say everyone played goalie in that Calder year, and that's a phrase I have heard media folks use for other teams at times so I didn't author the comment... it does happen.
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