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Another year, another set of goaltending questions in Philadelphia.
Ilya Bryzgalov still has seven years remaining on his nine-year, $51 million deal signed two summers ago, but the early returns on Bryzgalov are less than encouraging.
His 2.79 goals-against average this past season was 32nd among all NHL netminders while his .900 save percentage was 39th overall. Not exactly the kinds of numbers befitting a goaltender with a $5.67 million-per-year cap hit.
Still, the enigmatic netminder has shown flashes of brilliance (see March 2012) and will likely continue to be given every opportunity to be the team's top goaltending option based on Philadelphia's massive financial commitment to him.
That said, alternatives are always needed, which is why Philadelphia acquired former Calder Trophy-winning goaltender Steve Mason from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline.
And just to complicate matters further, Mason excelled during his late-season stint in Philly.
In just seven appearances with the Orange and Black, Mason produced a 4-2 overall record while compiling a 1.90 goals-against average coupled with a .944 save percentage.
Again, Bryzgalov will be given every opportunity to be the team's No. 1 netminder, but should he falter, look for the Flyers to present Mason with an opportunity to be the club's go-to goaltender.
The problem is, Mason's continued success isn't a sure thing at all.
Following his Calder Trophy campaign in 2008-09, Mason produced three straight seasons thereafter with a goals-against average over 3.00 along with three straight campaigns with a save percentage between .894 and .901. What's more, after notching 10 shutouts during his rookie season, Mason has managed just nine in 178 appearances since.
The truth is, the Flyers have a pair of question marks in goal.
Should either, or both, find their way, Philadelphia could have one of the strongest goaltending tandems in the entire league.
If both falter, though, the Flyers could be right back where they are today.