The hockey media is mostly occupied with Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase over at Winsport this week. I was in attendance at the Markin MacPhail Centre last night as Canada skated to a 4-1 win over a team from Russia.
Calgary Flames prospect Mason McDonald was in net, so I thought it was prudent to share my thoughts on how he played.
In short? He was fine.
There’s two ways to take “fine”, so I want to give some context.
He was fine, in the sense that he wasn’t horrible. Outside of giving up a goal just shy of four minutes into the game – on the third shot he faced, a wrister from about five feet inside the blueline – he didn’t give up anything. His body language improved as the game went on and his rebound control and ability to cut down angles and anticipate traffic was strong.
That said, he was also fine, in the sense that he wasn’t stellar. He was never really challenged, outside of a nice chance late in the game from Evgeni Svechnikov. He responded well late in the game, but overall he faced just 17 shots: 9 in the first period and 8 afterwards. On one hand, he wasn’t busy, but he also didn’t fall to pieces after that early goal or get rusty when he didn’t face shots for several minutes in the later stages of the contest.
He probably helped his chances, but I doubt he’ll win or lose a job on Team Canada at Christmas based on an August exhibition game against Russia. Brandon Hickey is expected to dress tonight against the Czech Republic. That game begins at 5:30pm MT on TSN2.