Detroit Red Wings Starting Goaltender is Still Petr Mrazek


Apr 18, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek (34) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Game two was not a good game for the Detroit Red Wings and was not a very good game for Petr Mrazek who many criticized on all forms of social media. The Red Wings lost 5-1 and throughout the game looked out-of-place, seemingly not knowing their places on the ice and to put it simply, this game was a throw away for the team. So the question many wondered was who would you start in game three?

Well, Babcock has said that he will keep the rookie in net as the starter. In game two Mrazek was pulled after the second period in favor of veteran Jimmy Howard after a breakaway goal made it 4-0 Tampa Bay. Mrazek made 44 saves in the game one, but game two saw Mrazek only make 14 saves on 18 shots before he was pulled. Howard was 11 for 12 in the 3rd.

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While keeping Mrazek in there might seem like a crazy idea, well at least according to the Twitter verse, there is this idea in hockey that in a playoff series the moment you switch your goaltender, you have lost your series. So Babcock can’t change goaltenders and have success in the future games. You can look throughout history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and if you find a team that successfully used two goaltenders let me know, because I couldn’t find one. By changing, I mean every other game it is a different goaltender or they change goaltenders every series.

In a perfect world we would have a “what if” machine that could answer all our “what if” questions, mine would be this; “what if we had started Howard instead of Mrazek?” Would that have made much of a difference? could this series be 2-0 us or would it be 2-0 them? Well we could look at this season and see how both goaltenders stacked up against the Lightning and make a somewhat educated guess at our “what if” question.

Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings /

Detroit Red Wings

Both goaltenders got two games against the Lightning. Howard faced them once in November and once in March, both of those starts ended in losses for Howard. The first in November was a 4-3 shoot out loss and in March the team suffered a 3-1 loss. In the first game that Mrazek started against the Lightning was in January, he saw a 5-1 loss. His second start also came in March where he and the team won 4-0. So while Howard was 0-2 against Tampa Bay, Mrazek was 1-1, the team as a whole didn’t do great against the Lightning all season.

So while you might not think that the young 23 year-old goaltender should be starting tonight, well you’re out of luck because he is and he has to start for this team to be successful. So get behind him and support him in this series. He had a great game in the opening game and made 44 saves and while no one expected him to play like that again throughout the series, he can still be good now on home ice. We just have to watch to find out.

Next: Game three stories and preview