Goalie Steve Mason was down in a heap crumpled inside his own net with Phoenix Coyotes tough guy Paul Bissonette on his knees in the crease with his arms raised pleading his innocence.

It wasn’t even the 6-foot-2 216-pound forward’s own force that nearly knocked out Mason.

It was Zac Rinaldo Mason’s teammate who shoved the opponent and got a cross-checking penalty for it.

“I didn’t feel too good but it happens” said Mason who made 29 saves in a 2-1 loss to Phoenix. “You have to move on.”

The 25-year-old goalie is used to having vulcanized rubber fired at him all night but he isn’t so used to getting opponents shoved into him.

Until recently that is.

“It happened a couple times in Carolina as well” Mason said. “Our guys are battling but we can’t be taking penalties like that.”

In the preseason it happened too.

Craig Berube wants his team checking tighter in the defensive zone but he didn’t think he’d have to mention it should be against the boards and not against a teammate.

“I’m not sure in replay that looked like much of a cross check” general manager Paul Holmgren said about Rinaldo’s hit. “Players always kind of end up in front of the net and they are at the goalie. We do it too. It’s just those plays and goalies need to be athletic and tough today too.”

Mason is tough and probably the best Flyer so far this season. He now has a 2.03 goals-against average and .935 save percentage in spite of his 1-3-0 record. It’s not his fault the Flyers haven’t been able to help him out and find the back of the net.

“It’s difficult to see the boys feeling this way right now” Mason said. “It’s not for a lack of effort because everybody in this room cares tremendously but we are going to have to start scoring. We need to score more goals and the boys can feel that it is going to come. We just have to keep working for it.”