We’re officially a week into the 2013/14 NHL playoffs and we’ve already seen our share of overtime dramatics, borderline hits, curious officiating, and Pierre McGuire. While every series has seen at least 3 games played, now is a good time to check in on what we’ve learned through week 1 of the dance and what we should expect over the next week.
Henrik Lundqvist wasn't the only person standing in the way of the Flyers on Tuesday.
The New York Rangers goaltender had an entire team jumping in front of pucks, helping the Swedish netminder stop the Flyers' constant barrage of shots. It resulted in a 4-1 win for the Rangers and a 2-1 series lead.
The two teams will face off in Game 4 on Friday in Philadelphia. And if the Flyers want some type of good news heading into that game, it looks like Steve Mason will be starting.
(Photo: Henrik Lundqvist makes a first period save on Flyers RW Wayne Simmonds while Rangers D Dan Girardi looks on. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Steve Mason practiced today at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
A day after the Flyers lost 4-1 to the Rangers in Game 1, Mason was on the ice in hopes to play in Game 2. When asked if he would be ready, he told reporters, “I’ll try my best.”
Mason's willingness to play in Game 2 isn't a reflection of how Ray Emery played in Game 1. With the Flyers out-shot 36-15 in the game, Emery's 32 saves were a testament to how well he played in spite of poor showing by the Flyers and a poorly-timed double minor by a rookie.
By virtue of finishing third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers have drawn the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Flyers and Rangers split their season series, with both teams winning twice on home ice.
If you go back into the early episodes of the TCL Flyers podcast, you'll hear me proclaim Ray Emery as the Flyers' starting goaltender in 2013-14. Why? He had shown an ability to be competitive after suffering avascular necrosis in 2010. He also proved to be a valuable backup on a juggernaut Chicago Blackhawks team that won hockey's greatest prize.
Steve Mason, that other guy, played well during his seven-game tryout at the 2013 season's conclusion. Prior to that, I, and many others, fell into the trap of thinking of Mason as the sad sack goalie from The Buckeye State with undersized pads who produced a record fit for the NHL's version of a discard pile.
The Flyers found out who their first round opponent in the playoffs will be.
The Flyers beat the Penguins 4-3 in overtime, clinching third place in the Metropolitan Division. It will set up a first round series with the New York Rangers, who the Flyers have had a poor track record with this season.