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Maybe it wasn’t Mason’s equipment after all

Mar 27, 2012, 2:50 PM EST

Steve Mason Getty Images

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Steve Mason‘s new equipment was being credited for his improved play?

For those that need to refresh their memories, an excerpt from The Columbus Dispatch’s story:

“We totally redesigned his equipment,” goaltending coach Ian Clark said. “He was playing undersized relative to league limits.”

So Mason got a makeover last month. He changed every piece of his equipment, save for his helmet, donned looser pants and went between the pipes for a game at Minnesota on Feb. 11.

The results were immediate.

Mason stopped 34 of 35 shots and won a game for the first time since December. It was the first victory in his resurgence, during which he has gone 7-3-1 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He had won only five of his previous 22 games, when his stats were somewhere south of dismal.

Long story short, his stats have re-migrated south of dismal. Mason was yanked for the second straight game last night in Detroit. Since the story broke about his new pads, he’s allowed 22 goals on 188 shots (.882 save percentage.)

Mason has, however, had a couple of excellent performances mixed in with the miserable ones. Friday versus Carolina, he stopped 39 of 40 shots in the Jackets’ 5-1 win. March 18 in Calgary, he was named first star in a 2-1 shootout win over the Flames.

So what’s GM Scott Howson to do this summer? Assuming he keeps his job, that is, does he pursue a young goalie like Cory Schneider or Jonathan Bernier and officially give up on Mason, or does he bring in a veteran stopgap and give the former Calder Trophy recipient another shot?

If it were me, I’d go with the first option. But it’s not me, and I’ve stopped trying to predict what the Jackets are going to do.

  1. cincycbjfan - Mar 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    –“So what’s GM Scott Howson to do this summer? Assuming he keeps his job, that is,” Given that the Owner and his Stockbroker (oops… I mean Team President) have given their public Thumbs-Up to Howson, he’s not going anywhere…

    –“does he pursue a young goalie like Cory Schneider or Jonathan Bernier and officially give up on Mason, or does he bring in a veteran stopgap and give the former Calder Trophy recipient another shot?” We’d all like to see the former, but we all know that the latter will be what happens! Maybe Mason needs even smaller pads?!?! (A bus ticket to Springfield, MA, or points beyond, would be even more appropriate!)

    –“If it were me, I’d go with the first option. But it’s not me, and I’ve stopped trying to predict what the Jackets are going to do.” We’ve given up too…

  2. t16rich - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Such a young goalie. I dont think he’s as bad as what we have seen. I honestly think you have a kid lacking confidance and thinking too much. And playing behind decent or crappy teams, while being asked to backstop that franchise to playoff contention can’t be easy. This kids rookie year is what made him a star, especially because not many 3rd round goalies let alone goalies, start so soon. Steve has never met the hype he set for himself in year one and since then him and his teams have been decent or crappy. Steve Mason and the Blue Jackets both need this divorce.

  3. east96st - Mar 27, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I called this way back on March 2nd when the hype was just building.

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/02/is-steve-mason-a-step-closer-to-saving-his-career/#comments

    Does that make me Nostradamus? Not even close. My 11 year old son saw this coming. What I want to know is, are the five guys who gave me a “thumbs down” back on 3/2 finally willing to put the Kool Aid down and acknowledge this guy is not NHL starter quality? Or are you still buying management’s yearly rallying cry of “just wait until next year”? What will it take for the diehards to admit this team is never going to succeed with this owner and this front office? When will you give up your season tickets and send the message that 11 years of gross incompetence is enough? This could be a GREAT hockey town with a caring, competent owner. But it’s never going to happen as long as you keep buying the crap that McConnell is selling.

  4. hockinj25 - Mar 27, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    The defense left him out to dry against Detroit. he had no shot at saving most of those goals.

  5. hockeyfan1701 - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    I was at the game on Sunday vs the Oilers. The team has just called it a year. Very few give a 100%. Offensive players skating into the Jackets zone untouched. Poor Mason was hung out to dry on almost every rush. It was pathetic. The crowed was listed at 12K, They would be lucky if 9K were there.

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