The debate over who the Thrashers’ starting goalie truly is begins tonight, with Ondrej Pavelec beginning his second complete season with the team, Coach Craig Ramsay has given him the vote of confidence as the opening night starter, and the role of starter for the season is his to lose.
Chris Mason will take the role of mentor/reliable back-up, though again, as I’ve mentioned before, if Pavelec falters and Mason gets on a run, expect to see the older goalie in net for quite a few games in a row. Both goaltenders had a similar goals allowed during the pre-season, and both have strengths that the Thrashers can play on.
If Pavelec can manage a start to this season like he started last season, and if he can keep this up, the Thrashers could benefit from consistent spectacular goaltending for the first time in years. The trick, though, is maintaining Pavelec’s confidence and work ethic through the season and not letting him falter. Hopefully the presence of Mason will be a motivating factor.