Yahoo! Sports’ NHL editor Sam McCaig has released his power rankings for the all 30 starting goalies in the NHL for this upcoming season.
The Flyers have not decided on a starter yet, and probably won't do so until after training camp. GM Paul Holmgren said before acquiring Ray Emery that they wanted to get a goalie who could work in tandem with Mason, so it could be closer to a 50-50 split than a traditional split.
However, McCraig wasn't ranking based on the position, but by specific player, meaning he had to make a decision and pick a starter.
He picked Steve Mason over Emery, and Mason lands low on the list at No. 28.
Seems low, but not after reading McCraig's analysis of Mason: No doubt, Mason would be No. 30 on a lot of lists. A goalie who has struggled with confidence – and performance…call us crazy, but we have an inkling this might work out.
Then why go with Mason? Emery was 17-1 last season with the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, posting a 1.94 goals against average and a .922 save percentage. Certainly that's better than Mason's No. 28 ranking, no?
It doesn’t look like the list was created for last season, and that is probably due to the NHL lockout, but McCaig did create one before the 2011-2012 season. Coincidentally, that was the season Ilya Bryzgalov came to Philadelphia.
Back then, McCraig dubbed Bryzgalov “the best goalie the team had since Ron Hextall” and placed him at No. 9. Those were some pretty high expectations that Bryzgalov didn't quite live up to.
Still, the Flyers starting goalie ranking dropped to No. 28 after Bryzgalov was bought out. That's a quite a big fall in only two seasons for the Flyers. If Bryz was still with the Flyers, he would have likely landed higher than where Mason did.
He may have only played seven games with the Flyers last season, but Mason deserves to be a little higher than 28th. That is, if he is given the starting goaltending position at all.
Had McCaig considered that Mason and Emery are splitting time in net or looked at their combined talents in comparison to teams that stick to a one starter, the Flyers would have been a few spots higher on this list.