The man, myth and legend returned to his rightful place in net tonight for Game 4 in Philadelphia. Steve Mason had been out for two weeks, seemingly not missing a beat last night as he returned to block 37 shots and help tie the series. Veteran Ray Emery had been holding it down and kept the Flyers alive in this series, while Mason was recovering. Having their number one man back in goal gave the Flyers the added confidence that could now serve as their launching pad to win the series. The way that Mason defenses the net is outstanding, he has been able to reclaim his career probably largely in part to the veteran that has been backing him up all season. Emery is largely important to the team as well but when it comes to incredible saves Mason is the guy that has shocked and awed us and has gotten the job done.
Looking forward to Game 5 in New York, the Flyers need to continue to build on the play that they exhibited during Game 4. During the playoffs they need to play better and better each game if they have their eye on advancing. I look forward to a line shuffle by Chief, his changes usually result in opportunities for their top guys to score goals. Speaking of their top scorers ,there has not been too much action from their top guys and all eyes are on Captain Claude Giroux waiting for a goal. I think that Game 5 is when Giroux will notch a goal.
The Flyers have to keep it simple and stay patient on Sunday if they want to claim a win on the road. Mason has been a huge part of the teams wins all season and now that he is back in net he will be the reason that the Flyers are successful but they cannot only rest on him. All the elements need to be in place to make it past Round 1. In past games the Flyers seemed to try to spot correct some of their weaknesses instead of playing and even keeled game. The Flyers need to have everything working at once: good defense, puck control, great goaltending and keeping it simple for 60 minutes. They have yet to play a 60 minute game which is something they struggled with all season.
With Grossman’s future unclear, as he was taken out of the game with a lower body injury, there could be some additional changes coming to the line-up for Sunday. The big question is who should they put in for Grossman, I think that Hal Gill would be a great choice. Right now the Flyers have the momentum and if they play their game, they should be successful. Regardless of what is to come, the Flyers have a top of the line ace in goal for them and if they give him the space and the defense they could take it all the way.