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Get to Know a Flyer: Steve Mason

As part of the build-up to the first-round playoff series between the Capitals and the Flyers, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Flyers and how they might impact the series.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mason

#35 / Goaltender / Philadelphia Flyers

6-4 |  210 |  May 29, 1988

Oakville, ON |  69th, 2006 (Columbus)

Assets His size and quick reflexes are indispensable assets. Displays big-game makeup. Positioning and poise can be his two biggest strengths in stopping the puck.
Flaws Has occasional lapses in focus. Must play with more consistency, and not let bad goals (or bad play in general) affect him. Injuries are also a factor here.
Career Potential Inconsistent, talented goaltender, when healthy. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via The Hockey News player page)

Career 25-Game Rolling Five-on-Five Save Percentage (via Corsica):

Mason Corsica

2015-16 Even-Strength Hextally Shot Chart (via war-on-ice):

Mason WOI

Why you should know who he is: He's the other team's goalie. Duh.

After a sparkling start to his career that included an impressive resume in Juniors, a Calder Trophy (and second-place Vezina finish) and providing false hope to the good fans of Columbus, Mason suffered through some lean years tending goal for the Jackets before being reborn in between the pipes in Philly (and since when does that ever happen?). "Mace" finished seventh in Vezina voting following his first full season with the Flyers and was even better the following campaign, but regressed a bit this year and lost time to old friend Michal Neuvirth for stretches. Still, Mason is capable of of running off hot streak (that much is in the NHL Goalie job description), so if there's a single Flyer who can take over this series, it's probably Mason... and we sorta know how that would go.

How the Caps can stop him: The Caps have had some success against Mason in the past - as a Flyer, Mason has a 5-3-1 record, but a 3.00 goals against average and .891 save percentage (including a 1-2-0/.2,94/.902 line this year). As simple as it sounds, the Caps just need to pepper him with shots and get traffic in front - Steve Mason will give up goals... he's not Henrik Lundqvist. The Caps will want to stop any momentum before it starts and not let Mason gain any more confidence than he could take away from the last time the teams met. If the Flyers are going to have a chance in this series, Mason will likely have to out-duel Braden Holtby, and that's a tall order... but we sorta know how that would go.