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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Berube confident that Mason can handle workload

Craig Berube met with the press prior to the Flyers’ home opener Thursday against the New Jersey Devils.

The conversation:

Were you tempted to rest Mason tonight, or are you confident he can handle the back-to-back workload?

“He can handle it. He proved it last year. Second half of the year, he was playing a lot of back-to-back.”

How did he play last night?

I thought he played well. I thought he looked sharp in net. I thought he was getting out of his net with the puck. And he was involved in the game.”

How did Lecavalier’s line play?

“They had some good O-zone time. I think that they killed some of their O-zone time with ‘just hope’ plays and not keeping the puck a little longer. I’d like to see them keep the puck a little bit longer and hang onto it a little bit longer rather than trying plays that are ‘hope’ plays. I’d rather them keep the puck a little bit longer, and move and protect it. They are a big line. They should be able to do that.”

Any line or defensive changes tonight?

“You’ll see when the game starts, right?”

How did Del Zotto play?

“He got better as the game went along. He was competitive last night. I thought he checked well, actually. I think he was just average with the puck. But I thought he checked well. I thought he was competitive defensively. With the puck he could be better.”

Any thought on the Chris Pronger situation, and how it could affect your cap?

“I’m not worried about that. Whatever he does, he does. There is nothing I can do about it.”

But it could affect your cap?

“I’ll call him up tomorrow and tell him not to do that”

Does Del Zotto still jump into the play like he used to?

“That’s probably a confidence thing, for sure. I thought he jumped up into the play in New York the first couple of years. When we played against him a lot, I’d see him in the rush all the time. But that’s a fair assessment, I think. It’s a confidence thing. But we’ll try to get him back to where he is involved in that rush. That would be a big part of his game.”

Zac Rinaldo talked about discipline, but took two penalties.

“Zac can’t retaliate. He’s got to skate away. I thought he had a good game. I thought he was physical. I thought he disrupted their team. He’s an effective player, even though he got a couple penalties, whether deserving or not. But he is trying to do the right thing.”

Any special home-opener memories as a player?

“Not really. No. I probably didn’t do a whole lot.”

Were Flyers outplayed last night or just out-shot?

“I’d say the shots --- and I looked at it today  --- their ‘D’ had like seven more shots from the point than us. I don’t think we got enough puck-shoot from the points. And our forwards at times didn’t shoot the puck and they should have. I think the first period, they had the zone time. They had the jump on us. But after that I thought it was pretty even.”

Giroux only two shots?

“I thought on the power play they just didn’t execute plays. They got a little bit cute at times, trying ‘hope’ plays instead of doing the simple things, shooting pucks and just being a simple power-play unit. Just overall, the whole game for me --- execution --- wasn’t great. But that’s where you look at Boston’s execution, and it was much better than ours. I don’t think they outplayed us. I don’t think they outworked us. I thought it was a physical game. If anything, I thought we were more physical than they were. But the work ethic was probably even, both ways. They executed with the puck better than we did.”


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