Image c/o Amy Irvin

Crashing the Crease: Steve Mason, Expectation and Reality

Through the first seven games of the 2013-2014 Philadelphia Flyers season, the early storyline in the Philadelphia crease has been the rise of Steve Mason. The 25 year old has earned 5 starts to Emery’s 2 and looked good in the process, posting a 2.23 GAA and .926 SV%. He may have a record of 1-4, but the mood in Philadelphia surrounding the promising young goaltender is almost unanimously positive. There are some who caution that his current level of play is probably not sustainable – including Justin Brennan here on CtC last week – but for the most part, …

If Bryzgalov is bought out, Bernier and Luongo would be ideal replacements.

Crashing the Crease: Luongo, Bernier Ideal Options to Replace Bryz

With the Flyers’ season coming to a close soon, most of Philadelphia is looking to this offseason and wondering who will don the orange and black next season – and perhaps more importantly, who won’t. That Holmgren will use one compliance or “amnesty” buyout on Danny Briere’s $6.5 million cap hit is all but a foregone conclusion at this point, but the second big name being thrown about for a potential trip out of town is Ilya Bryzgalov.

Courtesy Washington Post

Crashing the Crease: Bryzgalov’s Duck

On Wednesday evening in Philadelphia, the Flyers were wrapping up an all-important home stand against the second-place Montreal Canadiens, and hoping to score two points to bolster their desperate late-season playoff push. With 4:17 remaining in the second period, Simon Gagne banged home a carom off the end boards to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead, and there was much rejoicing.

Goalies have gotten huge - but will shrinking them 'fix' scoring? Courtesy Ottawa Sun.

Crashing the Crease: Will Smaller Pads Really “Fix” NHL Scoring?

With the league’s 30 General Managers meeting to discuss ways to tweak the NHL product, the issue of goal scoring totals has once again reared its head. Since the resumption of play from the cancelled 2004-05 season, scoring has slipped from 6.05 goals per game to 5.25 goals per game. Whether or not that is really a problem that needs fixing is an argument for another column, but the fixes being discussed are rather relevant to goalies. What is the solution? Well, according to some – including Mike Babcock — the answer is a simple ultimatum: bigger nets, or smaller …

Bryzgalov's had some difficulties in pulling off the poke check in the past.

Crashing the Crease: Bryz and the Art of the Poke Check

Tuesday night’s game at Madison Square Garden was quite possibly the single most glaring example of one of Bryzgalov’s greatest shortcomings: he is not particularly good at the poke check. Playing the poke check correctly is the epitome of a very fine line for any goaltender. A successful poke requires quick and decisive action: there is no time to spare in deciding to go for the poke, but at the same time it can’t be done too early – or “telegraphed” – lest the forward read it and simply walk around it. Against the Rangers, Bryzgalov’s poke attempts were telegraphed, …