How Steve Mason turned around his game
VOORHEES, N.J. - Steve Mason was desperate for answers when he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers last spring. He was thumbing through goalie magazines looking for something to give him an edge, something to bring him back to the form he had shown in a Calder Trophy-winning rookie year in 2009. One tip he picked up wasn't from an NHL goalie at all. It was actually meant for kids. He read that it helps a goalie's focus to segment his game within the game. These days, Mason doesn't see one game, or even three periods, but rather somewhere in the neighborhood of nine segments. "I just break it down in to pretty much seven-minute increments of a period," Mason said. "Obviously it's not a 21-minute period, but it works out to be about seven minutes per TV timeout." "Once I go back to the crease and the puck drops," Mason said, "it's another seven minutes of focus and that kind of plays out for the periods." Mason isn't paying attention to the numbers on the scoreboard when he's standing there on the ice, either. He doesn't keep a score in his head. Part of the reason is because of how he used to react upon letting in an early goal. "I used to let that affect me for the rest of the game," Mason said. "That's something that's gotten a lot better this season and toward the end of last season as well. If an early goal did go in, now I'm able to focus for the rest of the game and usually have a strong outing." "The goaltender position is such a unique position whereas you go out there and you're almost out on an island," Mason said. "It's a mental game when the games are going on. I just try to focus on my job, and that's stopping the puck. I know if I'm taking care of my job, we have the team that has a lot of capabilities to be able to win a lot of hockey games." "My No. 1 priority is the Flyers right now and getting the team back into the playoffs," Mason said. "We're slowly achieving that goal, which is great to see. If strong play continues and it leads to consideration, that's great, but that's not my main focus." For more on this article Click Here.