Steve Mason is the Matt Ryan of fantasy hockey

Mason

Does this man remind you of a certain Atlanta Falcons QB?

Blue Jackets G Mathieu Garon (3-1-0, 2.60, .923) is getting the start tonight as Columbus hosts Edmonton at 7:00 pm EST.

It begs the question: What is a fantasy owner to do with supplanted starter G Steve Mason (pictured left, 7-5-2, 3.67, .879)?

The numbers tell us: Mason is getting dropped. His ownership is down to 88 percent in Yahoo! formats and 96 percent in ESPN.

Garon, by contrast, has risen to 7 percent ownership in Yahoo! and 2.9 percent in ESPN.

My verdict is simple:

1. Do not drop Mason. As a rookie last season, he was simply too awesome (33-22-0, 10 shutouts, 2.29, .916). Those numbers suggest the germ of an elite goalie, as opposed to a netminder whose rookie numbers belie his ultimate level (such as Carey Price circa 2007-08). Ten shutouts cannot be a fluke. Whether Mason’s sophomore slump is permanent, no one can determine right now. But based on last year, his fantasy owners should give him until mid-season to right the ship.

2. Garon, 31, is only worth adding if you own Mason. Yes, the history books are littered with folks like Bruins G Tim Thomas who do not peak until mid-career. But before this season, Garon had never shown any flashes of fantasy viability. His lifetime numbers tell the tale (97-84-3-10, 2.83, .905).

3. Garon does belong on all watch lists regardless of how he plays tonight. Just think back to how marvelously Avalanche G Craig Anderson performed as the backup to Panthers G Tomas Vokoun last season.

photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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