Detroit Red Wings Mrazek Ready To Battle For Starting Spot


The Detroit Red Wings Petr Mrazek is on the cusp of being an elite goaltender in the NHL. In Mrazek’s first playoff series he led the Red Wings through seven games where they eventually lost to the Eastern Conference Champions Tampa Bay.

Petr Mrazek was put in Grand Rapids until the Red Wings could find a spot for him. Well, a spot opened for him when Jimmy Howard went down and Jonas Gustavsson could never seem to stay healthy. There was when Mrazek forced his way into the Red Wings 2015-16 plans by playing his best, Mrazek did well last year adjusting to the speed of the NHL.

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Mrazek has a few concerns about him, most say his size, but even with that, scouts say Mrazek makes up for it with his speed. Another problem with Mrazek is rebound control. Yet scouts say in Grand Rapids he has become a lot better at grabbing lose pucks.

Mrazek has been compared to some really great goalies; Johnathan Quick and Dominik Hasek.

Mrazek idolized Hasek growing up in the Czech Republic, Hasek was a major Czech Republic Olympian. However, Mrazek has said, growing up he watched Hasek and tried to use Hasek’s moves in his own personal game. Ironically they’re both 6’1″ and both are known to “attack” the puck, Detroit has also seen both in a Red Wings Uniform.

Mrazek started on the same night they retired Hasek’s number in Buffalo, and Mrazek was quite thrilled he won on that specific night with his child hood idol in the crowd

"Were you inspired meeting Hasek?“It’s nice to meet the legend and the goalie who did so much stuff for our country and for himself so I think it’s great.”“Every game is big for me, but like I said about the puck, it’s his number on the puck and I’d like to keep it as a reminder if I don’t see him in a couple years that I played the game.”"

Will Mrazek win the starting job next year?  

It’s unknown at this point. It hasn’t been reported if Jeff Blashill, who is the Red Wings new head coach according to reports, will go with Mrazek, who he coached in the AHL or go with Howard who has been the starting goalie in Detroit for the last 6 seasons.

Most have said Detroit should trade Jimmy Howard, even I have said that at one time. However, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to keep Howard unless a trade comes to the fore front. Mrazek is promising there’s zero doubt his ability to play at the NHL level, but in his second year you should worry a little slump in that case it’d be wise to have a guy like Howard come off the bench.

Regardless what people say, Howard could be a number 1 starter for a lot of hockey teams, Detroit is at a luxury to have two starting goaltenders. Personally, I would wait to trade Howard after thinking about it. Detroit isn’t a team that puts them self in bad positions so I would see Howard on the Red Wings roster unless a trade comes along, even that is a stretch.

Teammates embrace Petr Mrazek. 

"“Outstanding, he gave us a chance to win every night,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “He did the same thing tonight. He made some key, key saves. He didn’t get a lot of chances but when you get them, they’re dangerous and he was good.”"

The Red Wings played better with Mrazek in net, he is a goalie who can handle the puck where Howard isn’t that type. Detroit doesn’t have a top D core, so when a goalie is out playing the puck it eases up the pressure on the defense.

Going Forward. 

Going forward the situation regarding the Red Wings goalie situation is a great situation have, you can’t have enough quality goaltending in the NHL, some teams can’t even get one good goalie. Detroit has two.

Next: Reports point to Jeff Blashill to become new Detroit Red Wings head coach

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