Steve Mason injury: Flyers goalie out for Game 1; Ray Emery will start

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mason is hurt and won't play Game 1.

Steve Mason has an upper-body injury. It might be a concussion, it might not be. Flyers won't say. In any event, his injury is enough to keep him out of Game 1 against the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Ray Emery will start. Cal Heeter will be the backup.

It's disconcerting that Mason only skated briefly yesterday and was reportedly not even at the Skate Zone today for practice. Mason's still officially listed as day-to-day, but given the collision that led to his injury on Saturday vs. Pittsburgh, a concussion certainly seems possible.

Let's pump the brakes on the panic, though: Ray Emery is not a dramatic step down from Steve Mason. He's had some rotten luck this year and has lost some games he should've won -- that game against St. Louis two weeks back is the first that comes to mind -- and he's played well when tested by Craig Berube in games down the stretch of the season.

Mason has been the better goaltender this season, but it's not like the Flyers are throwing Heeter or Carsen Chubak in here or something. Or, hell ... for that matter, it's not like they're throwing Michael Leighton in goal. Emery's a solid enough goalie, and if this series comes down to goaltending -- be it Emery or Mason -- the Flyers are probably going to lose anyway. This goalie change shouldn't swing the series vs. New York.

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