It’s questionable whether Sergei Bobrovsky can continue his insane stretch of play (he probably can’t) or if the Blue Jackets can actually make the playoffs (they probably won’t). But there is an under-reported element coming out this run from Columbus’ Russian netminder: the final demise of Steve Mason.
While there were occasional hints at Mason’s improved work ethic or training regimen during the summer and lockout, Bobrovsky was generally expected to take the starting netminder role in 2013. The degree of success he’d have was never completely certain, but now we’re officially at the end of the Mason era. Of course, this is something we should have seen end years ago.
Steve Mason’s only good season was 2008-2009, and it’s remarkable how bad he’s been even relative to those who were described as his backup. In the following graph, we finally see the end of Steve Mason. Here we see the even strength save percentage of Mason and that of the goalie with the most starts other than Mason in every season since 08-09. Of course, Bob is this year’s data point and he might go down, but Mason’s abysmal performance this season is much, much worse.
So we can continue the warm welcome to the Highway Bobbery artist (he was quite good in 2010-2011, after all, and still not as bad as Mason in 2011-2012) and extend a not-so-fond farewell to the goalie who held a playoff-caliber CBJ team back in 2009-2010.