Flyers goaltender Steve Mason left the ice approximately 15 minutes into the team’s practice session on Wednesday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ. After practice, the Flyers goaltender declined to comment on the nature of the issue but said he would undergo an MRI later today.
Mason, who made 41 saves in regulation and overtime before stopping four of five shootout attempts in the Flyers’ 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, said there was one moment in the game last night where he felt discomfort and the issue returned at practice today.
While not known for certain, the play in question may have been a point-blank save Mason made on Clark MacArthur in the third period of the game. Mason and Flyers head coach Craig Berube declined to comment on whether Mason’s physical problem is related to the back injury he sustained on Dec. 19, which kept him out of the Flyers’ lineup for three games.
Berube, after declining to reveal anything about the injury or Mason’s status for tomorrow and upcoming games, was then asked if he would at least say if the problem was an upper-body or lower-body injury.
“Middle,” Berube said with a grin. “How’s that?”
The team has not, as of yet, recalled veteran goaltender Rob Zepp from the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
For the season, Mason has performed at a much higher level than his 7-12-6 record suggests. The netminder has compiled a .919 save percentage on a team prone to defensive lapses.
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall addressed the media at approximately 1:30 p.m. to provide an update on Mason. Hextall said the injury is unrelated to the previous (back) injury, adding that it “may be nothing” and that players frequently undergo precautionary MRIs and X-rays without the media ever finding out about it.
In this case, the GM said, the fact that Mason was unable to practice today made the situation public. Hextall declined to confirm that the goalie’s issue is a lower-body one (such as a knee or groin), saying “it’s not even [officially] an injury yet.”
Hextall said that he is not ready to rule Mason out for upcoming games — including Thursday’s game against Washington — or to recall Zepp as a precaution. It will depend on the MRI results and how Mason is feeling.
Both Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek took maintenance days from practice on Tuesday. The players will be in the lineup against the Capitals.