Steve Mason Makes his NHL Debut in Columbus

UPDATE: Mason had a successful NHL debut last night, making 22 saves and getting the win in a 5-4 victory over the Oilers.  He needs to buy Manny Malhotra a beer for knocking in the game-winner with 69 seconds left in the third and allowing Mason to avoid going to OT in his first NHL game.  All I can make out in Mason’s mask is the “Mase” nickname on the chin… will have to wait for more photos to see the look he’s bringing to the NHL.  He’s wearing #1 now rather than the #35 he wore as an emergency call-up last year.

Oilers Blue Jackets Hockey

steve-mason-canadian-juniors1

2008 has been quite a year for 20yr old Steve Mason.  He started the year by backstopping the Canadian junior team to a gold medal while winning MVP and Top Goalie honours (after being traded from London to Kitchener mid-tournament), answering an emergency call-up to the Blue Jackets, having knee surgery and then winning the OHL championship (but missing the Memorial Cup because of the injury).

steve-mason-bluejackets-london-maskHow does the year get better?  By making his first NHL start tonight against the Edmonton Oilers, of course.  Great news for Mason but is this really good news for the Jackets?  Pascal Leclaire’s injured ankle has him in the press box for another week (at least) and Ken Hitchcock apparently feels that Frederik Norrena and Dan LaCosta just aren’t getting the job done.  Regardless of who’s filling the backup role,  Columbus just isn’t going to make its first playoff appearance this year without another career season from Leclaire because when he’s injured they simply don’t have the same type of lineup the Devils have without Brodeur.

Thanks to @BethanyM85 for her Twitter tip that Mason was getting the nod tonight.

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