ST. LOUIS — Figure this one out:
Steve Mason now has more shutouts on the road this season (2) than he does wins on the road this season (1-10-6).
Strangely, that single road win is neither one of those shutouts. Both shutouts were through 65 minutes - before the Flyers fell in a shootout, both Thursday night in St. Louis and on Nov. 24 on Long Island.
His lone road win was Dec. 6 in Los Angeles - where the Kings have lost in regulation just 7 times in 35 dates this season.
If that isn't perplexing enough, Mason is No. 2 only to Carey Price in the NHL this season in even-strength save percentage since Nov. 1. That takes out the Flyers' putrid penalty kill and a rough first couple starts of the season. Price, 27, is mentioned this season as not only a Vezina Trophy lock, but a candidate for Hart Trophy as league MVP.
(I haven't fully considered my ballot yet for the Hart, but on a solid team with P.K. Subban roaming the blue line, my vote today is for John Tavares.)
Even removing the dreadful impact of the Flyers' penalty kill and his rough first month, Mason is still tied for 5th in the NHL in overall save percentage (.925). That puts him ahead of Marc-Andre Fleury and Henrik Lundqvist. League average is .914.
Yet, Mason's record for the year is 13-15-10. Ray Emery is 10-10-4.
HITCH'S 700th: Blues coach Ken Hitchcock picked up his 700th career win against his former team on Thursday night. Hitchcock (700-424-183) is just the fourth coach in NHL history to hit the mark.
All four coaches - Scotty Bowman (1,244), Al Arbour (782) and Joel Quenneville (746) - all spent time coaching in St. Louis. Hitchcock, 63, earned 131 of those wins with the Flyers. He led the Dallas Stars to a Stanley Cup in 1999.
He said previously: "Some people play 20 years to coach. I've coached 20 years just to coach."
"It doesn't feel very long," Hitchcock said. "I've really enjoyed most of the stops and I've really enjoyed working with this group."
Flyers coach Craig Berube played for Hitchcock way back in 1985, played under him again with the Flyers, and served as a Phantoms head coach and a Flyers assistant coach (2006-07) under him.
Over the summer, Berube has picked the brain of Hitchcock and Mike Babcock and others for tips and pointers.
"I think in junior, 'Hitch' was a very offensive coach," Berube said. "He changed when he got to the NHL. He became more of a defensive-minded coach. He went to Dallas and realized you've got to play with that structure to win. He's a hard coach, he demands a lot of his players, a lot of little things that happen on the ice that are important. He's been around a lot, knows a lot about the game. He's a very smart guy."