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Jets Camp: Winnipeg hopes for elite goaltending

Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 3:31 PM

By Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent / Super Saturday

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Super Saturday
Jets Camp: Winnipeg hopes for elite goaltending
WINNIPEG -- If the Winnipeg Jets are going to find success this season, they will need to rely heavily on goaltending.

The tandem of Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason helped pilot the former Atlanta Thrashers to a hot start last season, and the Jets could need Pavelec to step into the League's echelon of elite goaltending.

"He definitely has superstar talent," Mason said of Pavelec. "He has a good demeanor, great mindset, and he is a great athlete in the net. When he on last year, he was one of the best in the League."

Pavelec turned 24 last month, and the 35-year-old Mason will balance mentoring the young goaltending while keeping himself ready to step into the crease at a moment's notice.

"We've got a great relationship," Mason said of his dealings with Pavelec. "I'll play when I'm told to play. That's what I intend to do."

Mason is familiar with the role, having broken into the League with the Nashville Predators and their then-workhorse goaltender, Tomas Vokoun. Mason eventually moved into starting roles with the Predators and St. Louis Blues before coming to his current organization.

Last season in Atlanta, Pavelec logged 58 games, while Mason appeared in 33 contests.

"I started out my NHL career as a back-up," Mason said. "I've had the opportunity to play every role."
Quote of the Day

He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.

— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers