With his contract now extended, Steve Mason's strong skill set is being seen again. Saturday's 2-0 blanking of the Los Angeles Kings represented the type of performance that Flyers' fans are slowly growing to love.
Affable since the moment of his early-April 2013 arrival, Mason immediately displayed a natural crease-composure. This 25-year-old former Calder Trophy winner (2008-09) has been mostly steady between the pipes again this season.
In consideration of the generally average defense that exists in front of him, Paul Holmgren and the entire Flyers' brass have understandably gambled that Mason will be able to thrive through future pressured playoff campaigns.
This particular Pacific Division team has posted streaky sets of wins and losses since October. Of course, losing dazzling rookie center Tomas Hertl (right knee surgery in December) hasn't helped to maintain consistency. After recently winning six consecutive games, the Sharks dropped three straight before then beating the Chicago Blackhawks (2-1) in a shootout on Saturday.
Including Monday's game, the Flyers only have three matchups left before the Olympic break. So, head coach Craig Berube surely wants to add as many points as possible between now and then. The tight Atlantic Division seems likely to crop a handful of decent teams from its postseason picture by the time spring arrives.