What has happened to Steve Mason?

Steve Mason is the perfect example of the "sophomore slump."
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - My current thought process says an alien creature has taken over the body of Columbus Blue Jackets' goalie Steve Mason, because the Mason who played last season, and excelled, never went through a slump like the one he's going through in 2009-10.

The 2008-09 version won the NHL's Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie-of-the-Year) and made the NHL All-Star second team. He led the league in shutouts with 10 and was second (to Tim Thomas) in Goals Against Average (GAA) with a stellar 2.29 number.

This season, however, Mason is the perfect example of the "sophomore slump."

Through 14 games, Mason has a semi-respectable won/loss record (7-5-2), but his GAA has ballooned to 3.67 and his Save Percentage has dropped from .916 to a disappointing .879. He's given up a league-leading 50 goals.

On Wednesday, Mason was pulled from a game - twice. All told, he allowed eight goals on 27 shots. It's the third time this year in which he allowed six-or- more goals. In his 61-game rookie season, Mason never let in six goals.

The problem for a fantasy owner is what to do about the situation?

If you try and trade him, you'll be "selling low," never a good thing and you won't get nearly enough value.

Do you continue to play him while he works out his problems and endure the bad stretches in hopes he turns it around soon?

Or do you sit him on your bench and wait out the slump?

You can only sit him, if you drafted three quality goaltenders, or have picked someone up in the first couple of weeks, but that would seem to be the best course of action.

In my particular case, I planned on Martin Brodeur and Mason to be a solid 1-2 punch and anchor my roster. Fortunately, I also drafted Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson in the 16th round and hope that he will pick up the slack until Mason returns to form.

Steve Mason's NHL Statistics

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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