Steve Mason held court inside the Philadelphia Flyers locker room with a reporters for nearly 20 minutes. The goaltender didn’t seem to mind chatting with the media.
It didn’t hurt that for the first time all season he finally had something positive to say.
After seven starts and nearly a month into the year, Mason earned his first victory. He made 35 saves and was in a zone during the team’s 4-1 victory on Tuesday over Oilers.
“It’s nice to get a win, definitely,” Mason said. “You try to look at the bigger picture when things aren’t going well. But it does weight on you so it was nice to get that first one.”
He had 33 of them last year and finished with a 2.50 goals against average and .917 save percentage. Through his first five games this season, Mason had a 3.55 GAA and .887 save percentage.
The low point of the season was getting pulled after allowing four goals in two periods against the Blackhawks – though the move was more to shake-up the team and not as reflective of Mason’s performance.
From there, though, Mason was a spectator from the bench for the next four games.
While Ray Emery won three straight games, Mason worked on his technique and regaining his confidence. Inserted back into the lineup against the Panthers on Saturday, he stopped 30 shots and looked sharp in a 2-1 loss.
Mason was dialed in against the Oilers.
“He was lights out,” General Manager Ron Hextall said.
The fans even serenaded him with chants of “Mason” “Mason” after two dazzling pad saves in the third period.
“I feel much better,” Mason said. “You find a comfort zone. I was able to put in a real solid week with (goalie coach Jeff Reese) and I just really feel good about my game.”
And he was happy to discuss it at length.
Jakub Voracek NHL’s second leading scorer
Jakub Voracek isn’t getting hung up on entering tonight’s game against the Panthers one point behind Sidney Crosby for the NHL point leaders with 18. He reminded reporters four different times following Tuesday’s 4-1 win over the Oilers that the season is just 12 games old.
Who cares it’s only 12 games. The right-winger is still hanging with the reigning MVP and on the verge of joining the league’s elite this season.
He has five goals and 13 assists, registered a point in all but one game and extended his point streak to six games following a pair of goals against the Oilers. It’s the best start for a Flyer through a dozen games since Peter Forsberg had 25 points and Simon Gagne had 23 in 2005-2006.
“I’m a year older, more experienced and I am in a spot where I can get the puck most,” Voracek said. “It’s important to me and I feel pretty good about our line.”