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Report: Emery could start in Flyers’ opener

Sep 26, 2013, 11:43 PM EDT

rayemerygetty Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers seem like they’re leaning in the direction of making Ray Emery their starter for the first game of the 2013-14 season, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi reports.

Steve Mason and the Flyers experienced a rough 4-1 preseason defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.

Whether Emery starts this coming Wednesday or not, it would be foolish to read too much into the early goings. Head coach Peter Laviolette told Carchidi that both netminders will get some looks.

“I think we have two good goaltenders that will play a lot,” Laviolette said on Monday. “We’re going to pick one to start the season and see the other one probably shortly after that. They’ve both done a real nice job.”

Emery, 30, enjoyed a dramatically better 2013 season than Mason, 25, yet his career edges aren’t quite as pronounced:

Emery: 126-63-19 with a .908 save percentage and 2.63 GAA in 228 career regular season games
Mason: 100-101-27 with a .905 save percentage and 2.87 GAA in 239 career regular season games

Emery certainly has a huge edge in record, but he’s almost uniformly played behind better teams than Mason, which might help to explain why Philly is leaving this competition so open.

It does seem like Emery has at least a short-term leg up, if Carchidi is correct, though.

  1. trbowman - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Well of course. Their only other alternative is Steve Mason.

  2. stakex - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    Mason has never really been able to show that his first season was anything more than a fluke. Emery might have played for better teams, and doesn’t have much better stats… but he’s shown more flashes of being a top goalie then Mason has.

    To be honest I’m not sure either one of them is going to be as good as the Flyers need them to be, but I would certainly go with Emery. I think he has a higher potential.

    • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:41 AM

      I think in the small dose we saw of Mason last year he’s showed he has a very good skill set and is capable of being a real good goalie but I think his confidence in Columbus is what held him down and a great goalie with no confidence will never see too there potential. In my opinion I don’t think his Calder year and last year was fluke, I think he has what it takes but he’s got a huge obstical in his way with his confidence and Philly is a hard place to gain that as a goalie. I think he’ll do good and Jeff Reese will help him out alot with building it up. He’s still very young so he has time to prove his self again. Hopefully soon though cause us philly fans don’t got the most patience with players and especially goalies. I have hope he’ll turn out good though

  3. earpaniac - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:32 AM

    As much as I like Rayzor, I just don’t see how he can hold up as the #1. I wish him success, and it’s absolutely amazing he’s even playing. I read a story about him last year about his injury and what he went through to come back. By all rights, he shouldn’t even be in the NHL, let alone starting. He obviously loves hockey, and has the determination of 3 people. That being said, the Hawks had to shut him down at the end of last year, and they are counting on him a lot more than the Hawks did. I really hope I’m wrong, but I just can’t see him playing #1 minutes.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      I believe he could have played in the playoffs after the WIld series, and was the designated backup. But Cory C was playing well enough that Coach Q probably remained with him the rest of the way to keep his confidence up.

      As a Hawks fan, I was very sorry to see Ray leave, and while I have confidence in his abilities and discipline, I think he’s a platoon/1A at best.

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Sep 27, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    I wonder what Eiggles would have to say about this lol. Personally I’d go with Mason to start with. Emery I couldn’t trust to be the top guy. He doesn’t have the defense to back himself up like he did in Chicago which is somewhat similar to Bryzaster when he was in Phoenix and went to Philly.

    • ibieiniid - Sep 27, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      who said they’re using a “top guy” formula?

      and eiggles hasn’t been a regular commenter since last season. why bring him up? not to mention, he never said anything worthwhile anyway, why would anybody want to hear what he had to say?

      • ibieiniid - Sep 27, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        just for evidence/amusement, here’s a quote from when he became an islanders fan during their series against the Penguins last year:

        “Another thing lets give thanks that the one faced honk for the team from pittsburgh piere iam for hire mcguire isn’t between the bench’s blowing kisses to the team from pittsburgh today ! The FLYLANDERS will not lose on home ice,,, this series is over it just hasn’t ended yet ! LETS GO FLYLANDERS DANT ! DANT ! DANT ! DANT ! DANT ! OUT IN THE FIRST ROUND THREE YEARS IN A ROW ! FIRE THE COACH ! CROSBYS RUSTY ! LOOKS LIKE THE PENS NEEED A GOALTENDER MORE THAN THE FLYERS ! MALKINS SORE FROM SUNBURN ! PLAY 60 MINUTES ! THE FLOWER SCORES ON HIMSELF ! MORROW SKATES LIKE AN OLD GROUND HOG ! VIVA LOS 1975 ! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ! NOTE TO YINZERS : I will be posting during the game so join in and let me rub it in yo face ! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !”

        did you really want to read that? I didn’t think so.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Sep 27, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      Worry about your awful 0-3 team, not our crappy 1-2 team

  5. mustbechris - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    It’s impossible to understand how big of a leap from last year “they’ll both get looks” is. The Bryz/Leighton tandem saw Bryz start all but one game prior to the Mason trade simply because Leighton wasn’t even good enough during practices and Laviolette knew he just couldn’t play him in game situations. It resulted in Bryz getting completely overworked leading to the several media and stick-throwing meltdowns that ultimately lost him his job and have thusfar prevented him from finding work for this season.

    So in a nutshell, even having a playable backup let alone two guys who could potentially start effectively is more to start this season than they had to start last season.

  6. crazemastercraze - Sep 27, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Flyers=Drama

    • ibieiniid - Sep 27, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      “They’ve both done a real nice job.”
      yeah…….. drama.

  7. joey4id - Sep 27, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    The goaltending situation in Philly is precarious to say the least, and this has a negative affect on the psyche of the team. Tough for a team to play well when they lack confidence in the goalie. Hopefully one of the goalies will step up and keep the games close giving the Flyers a chance to win.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      No, the Flyers lacked complete confidence in their goaltending a year ago. They never knew when Bryz was going to bungle a routine save. Then, once Mason came on board, the team showed a confidence they never showed with Bryzgalov. The team actually started winning with someone besides the Russian. And a huge part of this improvement has to do with the lockerroom. Giroux said the other night on NHL live that guys didn’t get along last season, and I interpret that as a direct shot at Bryz, who’s been reported by multiple teammates (multiple teams) as a cancer.

      Both Mason and especially Emery seem to be very popular. If you don’t like the goalie you’re probably not gonna play hard in front of him 100% of the time. This team will play harder in front of these guys. And, not to mention, this club has been improved greatly, IMO. They’ll be fine.

  8. isithockeyseasonyet - Sep 27, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Ding ding ding- the circus begins….and to the dude who wrote this, preseason means NOTHING, the eagles were 4-0 last preseason and how did that work out for us? Shaky in a 4-1 loss…where most of the flyers players playing will be minimally in the minors and the devils had essentially their opening day lineup skating

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