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Philadelphia goaltending coach left because of spat with Flyers: Report (Puck Daddy)

It’s not often when you see a goaltending coach pick up and leave in the middle of a hockey season. Check … near the end of a season for a team in the middle of a playoff race. Still, it didn’t seem like such a major deal when Jeff Reese opted to leave Philly on Friday after six years of service to the team. The team sent out a release, it appeared the parting was a mutual understanding. Hey, this happens with teams sometimes. Geez, the Devils fire coaches at all times of the year. But the breakup was quite bad according to a report by Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News. Reese’s issues apparently stem from a Feb. 26 game in Toronto when then-injured Steve Mason was asked to relieve Rob Zepp. Mason had knee surgery on Feb. 10, and apparently he wasn’t completely back up to speed at that moment. The Flyers’ original timeframe was 2-4 weeks. According to multiple sources, Reese was peeved that Mason relieved starter Rob Zepp after two goals, since Mason was told that day he would not play unless Zepp sustained serious injury. Sources said Mason was given that word by the team, asking him to suit up because the team had salary cap issues and could not afford another backup goaltender for the game. And In his post-game press conference that night following the 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, coach Craig Berube admitted Mason “would have preferred Zepp to finish the game … but that’s my gut and I went with it.” Mason limped out of Air Canada Centre that night to the team’s bus. That’s one way to tick off a player, especially if he’s still trying to come back from surgery. In the story, when asked further about the issue, Berube didn’t say much: Berube did not have an answer. He said he was not concerned about how Mason would react on Saturday in such a pivotal moment. “‘Reeser’ is a great coach,” Berube said, referring all other questions to the team’s statement. “You read the release. No further comment.” Mason has regained some of his Columbus rookie-year form working with Reese. This year he has a 2.25 goals against average and .925 save percentage. If Philadelphia’s ‘secondary scoring’ was an issue, its goaltending with Mason was not. The Flyers are five points back of the Bruins for the final playoff spot. If they really want to make the postseason, upheaval may not be the best strategy. – – – – – – – Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY