Flyers Steve Mason to return Saturday?
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason participated in yesterday’s pregame skate and came out feeling good, but not ready to play. Initial plans had him making his return to the net this Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs but that doesn’t sound like the case anymore. While Mason didn’t rule out a return Thursday against the New York Rangers he told the media that Saturday is “more realistic”.
Mason didn’t close the door on returning Thursday in Toronto, but said Saturday against the visiting New York Rangers was a “more realistic” goal.
“That was good. I pushed myself as hard as I could today,” Mason said after practicing for more than an hour. “Obviously, there is still some room for improvement from the knee standpoint and feeling sharp out there. It was only a pregame skate and not quite a practice. I definitely need to work on some things.” (Philly.com – The Inquirer)
A return against the Rangers would definitely make some news if the Flyers were able to win that game. They’ve had a great run while he was out, a run that got them back into the middle of the race for the eight seed. Getting their top goalie back and beating the team the team they can’t beat would make for some big news. A return and win would definitely get the Flyers faithful riled up and excited for the stretch run.
My only question is can Mason stay on the ice? Mason said things were feeling better but still sounds unsure on how his knee will feel.
Mason said he had “no real pain. A little stiff when I was on my knees pushing into the post, where the knee doesn’t feel as free as it will in a couple of days, hopefully.” (Philly.com – The Inquirer)
For the Flyers to have a serious chance at sneaking into the playoffs they’ll need Mason healthy. Yes, the team has gotten back into the race without him but would you really want to rely on Ray Emery and 33-year old rookie Rob Zepp? I didn’t think so.