As we watch this season fade from view, and prepare to grasp these last few games to our breast in preparation for a long summer without hockey, I think on the goal tending these last few games. What is our situation? Mason has proved inconsistent. Stellar at times, leaky at others. This is the calling card of youth, so should not be a surprise. Matty Garon has been the best backup in CBJ history, no holds barred. However, when the chips were down, Mason was on a slide, he was unable to provide stability, and the desperately needed wins.
So what must change? In the absence of a real NHL goal tender in the pipeline, you either keep Mason, or trade him for a bona fide goal tender. Keeping him is probably the best deal you will get. Rook must go. A nice experiment, but if he can't get his pupil to play confidently, then its not working any more. It was a grasp at the past, when he did good work with Mason. So its time for some 'tough love' for Mason. A new goal tender coach who will not coddle him, and another goal tender in the off season who will push him aside with their play, if he falters, and seize the number one job. Think Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price.
As I said, Matty is the best back up we've ever had. His chance to remain backup evaporated in this last losing streak, with everything on the line, when we needed him to come in and stabilze the situation. That didn't happen, season lost. Its ridiculous how few points it would have taken to keep this thing alive. And Matty was the guy we needed it from, and it didn't happen.
Don't get me wrong. This losing streak is not about the goal tending. If you had to name one factor I would say it was Brassard's injury. But the goal tending was a contributing factor. I wanted us to strongly consider re-signing Matty. I no longer think that. Its time for some tough love Mason.