Steve Mason turned away 32 of the 34 shots that came his way Sunday night. (AP)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Flyers goalie Steve Mason faced 32 shots during Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Carolina (see recap).
He's now 0-2 this season, but suffice it to say, the last loss wasn’t his fault.
“I’m comfortable with the way I played,” Mason said. “I’m just not happy with the way games are progressing right now.”
Like pitchers without run support, he’s a goalie without goal support. The Flyers have given him two goals in as many starts.
That's not to mention that things have been sloppy in front of the net too. Yes, the Flyers were playing the second of back-to-back games, but this is early in the season and no one should be tired yet.
“It was a tough game in Montreal, and the first period we were running around a bit, but for the remainder of the game, guys were fighting hard,” Mason said. “Right now, things are not happening for us. That’s frustrating.
“With the group we have on our team, goals are going to come. Right now it’s difficult to see them struggling right now. They’re going to come around and the goals are going to come.
“We just have to be patient and keep working. The biggest thing is not to get too frustrated. Make sure come Tuesday [against Florida] we’re ready to go.”
The Flyers' power play is still rather powerless. They were 0 for 2 in this one and are now 2 for 14 on the season.
They had only one very good scoring chance against Carolina when Brayden Schenn fired a backhander through a screen late in the second period.
When a team can't score at even strength and the power play isn't working, it really limits how goals can come -- other than shorthanded.
What is it with the Flyers crashing their own net several times already now this season -- and decking their own goalie in the process?
It happened again Sunday in the third period. Nick Grossmann viciously cross-checked Patrick Dwyer hard into Mason, knocking him roughly to the ice while dislodging the net.
The Flyers killed off the penalty, but it was totally unnecessary.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette moved Zac Rinaldo to Sean Couturier’s line with Brayden Schenn.
Rinaldo played 14:02 but actually had more ice time than Vinny Lecavalier through two periods. Rinaldo was a hitting machine (as usual) on the ice with 10 hits.
His energy is what his teammates are lacking right now. If he were a scorer, it would have a larger impact on the club given his ice time.
“Last night [in Montreal] he didn’t get a lot of ice time because of the specialty teams,” Laviolette said.
“Yet in the six minutes he had, he was noticeable every time he was on the ice. You gotta love the way Zac plays and what he brings to the table. There’s no question, we could use more of that jam in there.”
The Flyers lead the NHL with 97 hits. Right now, they’d trade 90 of that total for some goals.
• Carolina rookie defenseman Ryan Murphy picked up his first NHL point with an assist on Jay Harrison’s goal in the first period
• The cost of renovations at Flyers Skate Zone are a staggering $4 million, although one web report had it listed as $4.5 million. Regardless, it’s hard to fathom either number when one considers the overall building itself. The Flyers' new dressing room should be ready this week
• The Flyers were credited with 46 hits. That is the most they’ve had in a game since March 10, 2012 at Toronto (48)
• So Jeff Skinner and the Staal Brothers, Eric and Jordan, have no goals thus far for Carolina. Just like some of the Flyers' big guns. Difference? The 'Canes have 3 points in the standings with a win and an overtime loss. The Flyers have nothing.