Updates from Wednesday, April 30
Randy Miller of NJ.com provides an update on the nature of Steve Mason's injury:
Mason confirms he had a concussion.— Randy Miller (@RandyJMiller) May 1, 2014
Updates from Thursday, April 24
The Philadelphia Flyers have updated Steve Mason's status for Game 4:
Updates from Wednesday, April 23
Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Enquirer has the latest on Steve Mason:
Mason practiced today; says he feels ready to go.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) April 23, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, April 22
Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Enquirer has the latest on Mason's status:
Berube says there's "always a chance" Mason is tonight's backup, then abruptly ends news conference with, "See ya!"— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) April 22, 2014
Randy Miller of NJ.com reports that Mason later had a change of heart this afternoon:
Fully 100 percent healthy again, Mason will back up Ray Emery for Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers and possibly be back starting for Friday night’s Game 4.
Why not play Mason in Game 3?
“Why?” Flyers coach Craig Berube responded. “Ray won Game 2. Ray’s played well. … (Mason) was injured, he’s better and he’s gonna backup. That’s it.”
Not surprisingly, Berube wouldn’t commit to playing either goalie in Game 4.
“I’m worried about tonight,” he said.
Mason would wind up playing vs. the Rangers after the Flyers fell behind 4-1, per the Flyers twitter:
Goaltending Change: Steve Mason will now backstop the #Flyers.— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 23, 2014
Updates from Monday, April 21
Arthur Staple of Newsday has the latest on Steve Mason:
Mason says he's out for Game 3. Emery stays in Flyers goal.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) April 21, 2014
Mason spoke about his health and Ray Emery's play (via Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly.com):
“Every day, honestly, it’s a different story,” Mason said. “Some days are really good and others aren’t great. Today was better. We’ll just hope tomorrow’s even better than today.”
“Right now, the way Razor’s playing, there’s no hurry,” Mason said. “He’s the reason we won yesterday, so I think even if I was ready there’s no reason to take him out right now.”
Updates from Saturday, April 19
Jim Cerny of NHL.com has the latest on Mason:
Steve Mason, by the way, has just taken to the ice for the Flyers here at their @TheGarden practice today— Jim Cerny (@JimCerny) April 19, 2014
However, Randy Miller of NJ.com reports that the goalie will be out for Game 2:
Emery back in goal for game 2. Mason says he needs more time— Randy Miller (@RandyJMiller) April 19, 2014
Updates from Friday, April 18
Sam Carchidi of The Philadelphia Inquirer confirms Steve Mason returned to practice today and provides a synopsis of Mason discussing his potential return to the ice:
Mason: "Things have been getting each day and Sunday is my goal."#Flyers— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) April 18, 2014
Mason will have full practice Sat.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) April 18, 2014
Updates from Thursday, April 17
Steve Mason's status was updated prior to Thursday's Game 1 vs. New York (via Jeff Zipay of Newsday and Katie Strang of ESPN):
Berube: Steve Mason improving. Will join team in NY tomorrow but not practice. Unclear about his status for Sunday's Game 2— Steve Zipay (@stevezipay) April 17, 2014
Philadelphia Flyers starting goaltender Steve Mason is going miss at least Game 1 of the team's playoff clash with the New York Rangers due to injury. Ray Emery will draw the start.
The Flyers made the announcement on Wednesday, one day before their Round 1 series is set to begin:
#Flyers head coach Craig Berube announced that G Steve Mason is out for Game 1 & Ray Emery will start.— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 16, 2014
Mason was injured in Philadelphia's penultimate game of the regular season against the Pittsburgh Penguins when Andrew MacDonald fell on him following a check from Jayson Megna. He was forced to leave that contest and didn't play in the finale.
Randy Miller of NJ.com passed along comments from Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren earlier in the week about the situation. He said medical clearance wouldn't be necessary, but provided no further details about the ailment or when the netminder would be available:
"I'm not going to comment on that," GM Paul Holmgren said. "Right now we'll just stick with upper-body injury. He's dealing with some issues there."
Holmgren said Mason doesn't need medical clearance to play.
"No, it's more treatment," he said. "We're in a critical time in our season right now. I don't feel I need to divulge what's wrong with a player."
He also provided brief remarks from Mason that were sent through the team's public relations staff. He didn't yield any light on the subject, simply stating: "I feel better each day and we’ll see how I feel tomorrow."
Apparently not enough progress was made for him to play in the opening game. Furthermore, Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News notes Mason isn't traveling with the team to New York, which is also the site of Game 2:
Interesting thing is Mason is not traveling to New York.— Frank Seravalli (@DNFlyers) April 16, 2014
Mason appeared in 61 games during the regular season. He posted a 2.50 goals against average and a .917 save percentage to go along with four shutouts.
Emery wasn't nearly as reliable. His goals against average was nearly a half-goal higher at 2.96 and his save percentage was a lackluster .903. He also finished the regular season with a losing record, going 9-12-2 in 23 decisions.
Which team will advance to Round 2 if Mason misses more than one game?
Given how evenly matched the Flyers and Rangers are—they finished just two points apart in the standings and split four meetings during the regular season—the absence of Mason is definitely going to have an impact.
Philadelphia just has to hope it can keep the series close until he's ready to return, assuming the injury isn't more serious than the team is letting on. Emery does have 36 games of postseason experience, but his save percentage in those games is identical to his .903 mark from this season.
The Flyers could still advance if he's forced to start for more than one game, but it definitely would lessen their margin for error.