Monday, January 5, 2009

Is Hitchcock Overusing Mason?

It was very clear that Columbus was worn down from their long trip as the game against St Louis completed.  With Steve Mason playing every game in the road trip, it came at no surprise that he struggled against the Blues, in one of the few games this season where he actually looked human.

So my question here, is why Hitchcock is using him so actively throughout the last couple months.  For a guy who will not stop suggesting that rookies need to be eased into play, he has been a hypocrite when dealing with Mason.  The second he arrived with the team and showed potential was the same time Leclaire was relegated to the bench to watch.  Now, I certainly agree with his attitude toward Mason, but why the sudden change in opinion?

It appears that part of the question could be answered, with Leclaire having his ankle checked once again by specialists, leading everyone to believe that not only is he underachieving, but he is also unhealthy.  Not exactly the right combination for a team that just let Norrena go on waivers, and are milking everything they can out of Mason in his rookie campaign.

So here is what I would like to hear from all of you.  Why do you think Mason is being used so heavily by Hitchcock?  Would it have to do with Leclaire’s poor play this year, his injured ankle, or simply because Hitch realizes how strong Mason is as a netminder, and how much different the team plays with him in net?


  1. I've thought all season that Leclaire is still been injured. It was especially apparent during the Edmonton game a while back that we attended. Leclaire was horrible and also seemed to have trouble getting back up after making a save and a couple times stretching out his leg after play headed back down the other way. He has said all along that his ankle is fine but it doesn't seem that way. Making matters worse is if that is visible to us fans, don't you think Hitch and Howson would notice? Of course, Hitch continues to start Backman and scratch Methot so who knows... (that's a whole other story though). We need Leclaire to get back into at least reasonable form to take some pressure off Mason. What about bringing up Lacosta and sending Leclaire down to Syracuse for just a few games to get some work in? Lacosta looked ok when he was up last year.

  2. "Leclaire was horrible and also seemed to have trouble getting back up after making a save"

    And here I was thinking it just his bruised ego!!!!!

    While Methot would seem more valuable on the ice, I think both Hitchcock's mindset, and backman's price tag are what keeps him in games. here's hoping he rebounds enough to be traded.