Steve Mason will get the net against the best team in the National Hockey League. They have the most points, most goals, most goals per game, the largest goal differential, and the third fewest goals allowed.
As I said, Mason will get the net. The question burning in everyone’s mind is: when will it be “officially” his net and what will it take to make the announcement. Couple schools of thought on this, and I do not really know which one is right -
First: Mason has already gone through something of a trial by fire. He saw two games in Syracuse before making his glorious 3-0 start with the Jackets. What I think management may be doing now is giving him a trial by hell-fire. If you look at the last couple weeks, it seems that management is trying to determine just how far they can push the kid. Here they are with a baby-faced goaltender and they throw him to the likes of Alexander The Great and now to the frenzied Sharks - and let us not forget that Vancouver was ranked third in the West when we played them Monday. If Mason pulls out another spectacular performance tonight, there will be little excuse for NOT having the “you need to find a place talk”.
On the flip side, maybe it was management’s intention to use Mason simply as a catalyst to get Freddy Norrena back on his game. Now I am not much of a conspiracy guy, but hear me out. Let’s say you are on the management team and you are trying to think of how to get Norrena back up to par. He certainly played well when he thought he was fighting for the number one spot, maybe introducing some new blood (Mason) might just be the spark he needs. The problem though is that Mason has been doing everything in his power to show that not only does he deserve Freddy’s job, he deserves Pascal’s job too. Could his consecutive starts against powerhouse teams have sinister motives? Probably not, but hey, that is why Al Gore invented the internet.
Either way, it is about time management got off their asses and told this kid that he is here to stay. Stringing three goaltenders along was cute for about three days - but when you have got a guy like Norrena who has not played a game in over a month - you need to do something about it. I am sure Freddy’s agent is shopping him in Europe, so it is not like he would be on the street, but for gosh sakes, let the guy have his dignity.
Same with Mason. This kid has stood on his head for the team and proved that he is one of the most (maybe the most) important guy on the team right now. The kid is 6-2-1 lifetime and he is living out of his suitcase in a team-owned apartment. That is not a sustainable situation for a 19 year old kid.
I am on the Steve Mason bandwagon. I have been investing in his hobby (code for buying all of his hockey cards) since he started getting attention before the WJC last year and hope and expect him to be THE premier goaltender in Columbus.Posted in Bluejackets buzz Tagged: Freddy Norrena, Pascal Leclaire, Steve Mason