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The Flyers always seem to have goaltending questions. At least this year those questions surround two capable, economical netminders instead of one enigmatic, expensive one.
Steve Mason, 25, and Ray Emery, 30, will battle for minutes in the Philadelphia crease all season. Both have been inconsistent throughout their NHL careers, showcasing flashes of brilliance one season only to falter harshly back to reality the next.
Now they collide in the City of Brotherly Love with both operating under the uncertainty of one-year contracts.
Mason was impressive in seven appearances with the Flyers last season after coming over from Columbus at the trade deadline. The former Calder Trophy winner posted a 4-2 record while compiling a 1.90 goals-against average coupled with a .944 save percentage.
Meanwhile, Emery comes to Philly via free agency after notching an astounding 17-1 record last year with the Chicago Blackhawks while registering a 1.94 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.
Both netminders will be given every opportunity to find success in the Philadelphia crease and neither will be discarded after one or two below-average outings.
The reality is the competition between the two will only elevate each other's games, giving the Flyers an embarrassment of riches in the game's key position. The Flyers will eventually have to identify a true No. 1 goaltender come playoff time, but for regular-season purposes, Philly can continue to rotate between the two.
As such, expect both Mason and Emery to earn more than their fair shares of victories this season.