Steve Mason (Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Flyers goalie Steve Mason has been having a stellar year, but he's also had a recurring knee injury to deal with. On Sunday, he appears to have aggravated that injury, and in the weirdest of ways: during a TV timeout.
Steve Mason has had his share of injuries to deal with this season, but when the Flyers goalie was hurt Sunday against Washington, he was hurt in the oddest of fashions: during a TV timeout.
The 26-year-old Mason, who has been stellar between the pipes for Philadelphia this season (2.27 goals-against average, .925 save percentage), skated to the Flyers bench during a break in the second period before he abruptly left the ice and had to be carried to the dressing room as backup Ray Emery went in: (video via somehockeyvideos)
The Flyers revealed Mason had suffered a lower-body injury but offered no further details, including an estimation of a return date. However, the problem was serious enough to keep him from traveling with the team to Montreal for their game Tuesday against the Canadiens.
Mason had previously been sidelined four games this season (Dec. 20-29) and another six (Jan. 12-20) with a right knee injury. He said in late January the team's medical staff had considered "drastic measures" (most likely, surgery) to deal with his knee woes. And this latest injury may have forced his hand. If he is out for a prolonged period, the 32-year-old Emery (3.34 G.A.A., .886 SP) isn't likely to keep the Flyers on the periphery of the Eastern Conference playoff race. But GM Ron Hextall has made patience a part of his approach with the franchise, so it's difficult to envision him making a trade of consequence that addresses Mason's short-term absence.
It's awful for Mason, who had been answering his critics with often-sensational play after years of inconsistency. The 2009 Calder Trophy winner is signed through the 2016-17 campaign at a high-value $4.1 million salary cap hit, and for a team that's had more than a few issues with its goaltending over the years, this latest bit of bad news feels like an especially cruel blow.