Tag Archives: Petr Mrazek

Blashill excited to work with both Howard and Mrazek

DETROIT >> Jeff Blashill had this to say when asked how he would handle the goalie situation in Detroit with Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek.

“The one thing that I know is that both Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek have proved at different points of their careers that they’re elite goalies. I think it’s great to have as much depth at every position you can and that’s what those guys have proven at different points of their careers. I know they’re elite competitors as well and character people. I’m excited to coach both of them.”


Mrazek has another one of his bounce-back games to give Wings 2-1 lead in series

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings have seen this out of Petr Mrazek before.

After a not-so-stellar performance one game, the rookie netminder bounces right back with a beyond-stellar outing his very next outing.

He did it again Tuesday night.

Mrazek stopped all 22 shots he faced to blank the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-0, and give the Wings the best-of-seven-series lead back at 2-1.

“He has lots of confidence,” Tomas Tatar said. “When the game didn’t go his way there was nothing he could do. He’s a good goalie. I feel like those goals they scored in Tampa weren’t his fault at all. We didn’t help him much. When we help Petr, Petr is helping us out too.”

Mrazek was pulled in Game 2 after two periods, allowing four goals on 18 shots.

This came after he stole Game 1 in Tampa, stopping 44 of the 46 shots he faced.

“What I tried to say so I can clear that up, if you think you can have a bounce-back game, that means that you had a bad game, right? You’re not playing in the NHL if you keep having bad games, that’s all I’m trying to say,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “You’ve got to play good every night, that’s the National Hockey (League), that’s how you get to be a starting goalie in the National Hockey League. We expect him to play good every night.”

Mrazek is now 4-0-1 with a 1.38 goals-against average with a .962 save percentage in the five games after he was relieved in a start.

“It’s over right now,” Mrazek said. “Don’t worry about the one we won today. Of course it helps you when you win first game home and you’re up 2-1 in the series.”

Mrazek also shut out the Lightning in the last regular season meeting between the teams. Tampa Bay was the highest scoring team in the league.

“I think Petr played pretty good in Game 2,” Landon Ferraro said. “He made a lot of saves, but
we kind of left him out to dry. A couple of them he had no chance on.”

Mrazek, who led the Mrazek helped lead the Grand Rapids Griffins to the Calder Cup in 2013.

“This is the Petr I’m used to watching,” Ferraro said. “We had our (Calder) Cup run a couple of years ago and that’s what he did for us every night. We’d give up a chance or two a game against good guys and he’d make sure he stands tall and made those saves for us. Then we’d take over and that’s all you need out of your goalie, making sure he can make up for a couple of mistakes throughout the night.”

Jimmy Howard had lost the starting job to Mrazek after back-to-back poor outings, but then regained it after the 23-year-old couldn’t provide any consistency between the pipes.

Then, Howard gave up three soft goals in an overtime loss to Montreal in the second to last regular season game.
Mrazek got the job back after making 33 saves to post a 2-0 shutout in the regular season finale over Carolina.

In Mrazek’s last six wins of the regular season he had a .982 save percentage (stopping 172 of 175 shots), a 0.50 goal against average and three shutouts.

It’s the first shutout by a Wings goalie since Howard blanked the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-0, on April 20, 2010.

He’s also just the 19th Wings goalie all-time to record a postseason shutout.

Babcock gives starting job to Mrazek, feels he gives them best chance in the playoffs

DETROIT >> Petr Mrazek may have played his way into being the Wings’ starting goalie in the playoffs.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said he made his decision on who would lead the team in the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning after Saturday night.

That night Mrazek blanked Carolina in the regular-season finale, making 33 saves for his third shutout of the season.

“I just watch the guys play and I just thought that gives us the best way to start the series,” Babcock said. “Don’t confuse the player and the person. What I do is try and take all the emotion out of it and I try to take the information I have by watching games and by talking to our staff and then I make the decision that’s best for the team.”

When Mrazek is on he’s on.

In his last six wins he has a .982 save percentage (stopping 172 of 175 shots), a 0.50 goal against average and three shutouts.

“I’m excited,” Mrazek said. “It’s their decision and I can be just happy for that and do my best.

“It’s a huge chance,” Mrazek continued. “It’s the same chance I had when I was 20 years old in Grand Rapids, my first year being starter for playoffs so that’s a new challenge for me.”

Mrazek led the Griffins to the Calder Cup that season.

“When I said before the game in Carolina, that was a big game for me because I had three games I didn’t have a win, I had just one point against Ottawa so that game was huge and finished the season with the win,” Mrazek said.

Mrazek also blanked the Lightning, who are the highest-scoring team in the league, in the last meeting of the regular season against the teams, making 23 saves.

“It’s not about any of us right now, it’s about the Detroit Red Wings,” Babcock said. “It’s real simple. I went through that again this morning, it doesn’t matter if you play one shift or 50 shifts or you’re scratched or not, it’s how you handle it and how you make the team better. The individual time of the year is all over. It’s all about the team, let’s get ready to play.”

Howard, who gave up three soft goals in an overtime loss to Montreal last Thursday, had lost the starting job to Mrazek after back-to-back poor outings.

Howard allowed five goals on 22 shots in a 5-4 overtime loss to the lowly Arizona Coyotes on March 24 and then was yanked after allowing three goals on 10 shots in one period the very next game against the San Jose Sharks.

“When you evaluate goalies you evaluate them on who they are and their skill sets are different,” Babcock said. “Then you just decide on which one can help the team and help you win.”

Mrazek had his ups and downs when he took over as the number one.

After shutting the Lighting, he was replaced by Howard his next start against the New York Islanders, allowing four goals on 11 shots.

Prior to Saturday, he had allowed just six goals over this last three starts, but has gone just 0-2-1 in them.

“It’s a team sport and if the team plays real good it gives your goaltender a better chance,” Babcock continued. “Pete’s played real good games for us this year and has done a fair bit of winning for us. I made that decision.”

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Here’s Wings coach Mike Babcock’s response when asked about how comfortable he is if Petr Mrazek is the No. 1 goalie heading into the playoffs.

“I like winning,” Babcock said. “That’s it. It’s real simple. Everybody in the National Hockey League knows that the best guys get to play and if you’re playing the best you get to play. Our players start each game knowing that. It’s no different. Anytime you’re struggling as a player it’s your job to work extra hard when you get your opportunity it’s to seize your opportunity. So it’s no different for Pete Mrazek. He gets an opportunity. He’s got to seize it. We just watch and they decide who plays, not us. Everyone thinks the coach decides. All the coach does is observe, no different than you do. He just does it from a different perspective. And then the guys who play the best get to play.”

Mrazek still views Howard as the No. 1 goalie; Howard says his main issue, ‘following the puck with my eyes’

DETROIT >> Jimmy Howard has pinpointed the problem he’s had of late between the pipes, tracking the puck with his eyes.

“After going over the video tape and talking to goalie coach Jim Bedard it’s just following the puck with my eyes,” Howard said. “It’s just that simple. With a goalie, if you’re not following the puck to the best of your abilities and you’re behind that split second it can make a difference.”

And because of it Howard has lost his starting job for now to Petr Mrazek.

“Everyone goes through this during the course of a season,” Howard said. “Maybe it’s a little blessing in disguise that it’s happening now and not 2-3 weeks from now.

“It’s just about working hard out on the ice,” Howard continued. “Continue to do the right things in practice and then it’ll just fall right into place in the games. When you’re out there, waiting for things to happen that’s when the puck’s going to do crazy things. You just have to go out there and play. For me the last couple of games, following the puck and using my eyes more, that’s been the issue.”

Howard has allowed eight goals on 32 shots in slightly over four periods the past two games.

“It’s not mechanically at all, but I guess in a sense it is,” Howard said. “It’s following the puck. That’s key. Especially when you get big bodies in front of you, you’ve got to focus on the puck. You can’t lose sight of the puck. Pucks are going to go in in the NHL. We all know that. It’s about brushing it off and trying to make that next save for the guys.

“I want to be out there every single night, just like everyone else when you get to this level,” Howard added. “One of the things that drives you is competing. It never sits well when I’m sitting on the bench. I want to be out there every single night. Coach feels I don’t deserve it. Maybe it’ll be a good thing to just put in a little bit of work here.”

Howard brushed off the talk about the talk of who’s the team’s number one goalie, but Mrazek did not.

“I’m know Howie is still number one I’m sure,” said Mrazek, who’ll start Saturday when the Wings host Tampa Bay. “He’s proven himself for so many years. This year he’s been great. Sometimes it’s hard for goalies when nothing hits you and everything goes in. You come back. I don’t think we should talk about the No. 1 goalie. I think that’s for sure it’s Howie.”

Howard allowed three goals on 10 shots in the first period of Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks and was replaced by Mrazek to start the second.

“I don’t think it’s a confidence issue at all,” Howard said. “I think it really is the minor thing of following the puck and not losing sight of it out there. That can make up for a split second. When you lose the puck out there you, you’re behind the play for a second and that can be the difference.”

Howard, who turned 31 on Thursday, has been very inconsistent since returning in mid-February from a groin injury.

He was easily one of the reasons why the Wings are where they’re at now because of his strong play to start the season.

“It’s not all on him,” Darren Helm said. “We’re giving up too many chances. The good thing about Jimmy is he’s going to come and play now it’s just a matter of time. Right now he’s going through a little stretch like the whole team is going through it. We have to find a way to battle hard through it and get ourselves back on track.”

Detroit is 3-7-1 in its past 11 games.

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock pointed response to when asked about Petr Mrazek’s play and his subsequent inclusion of his team allowing 11 goals over the last two games.

“I didn’t like the second goal,” Babcock said. “Was that the fifth goal? When you’ve given up as many as we have it’s hard to remember.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock: “Give Pete an opportunity here because we need that area fixed.”

DETROIT >> Wings coach Mike Babcock gave Jimmy Howard one more chance to keep his No. 1 status between the pipes.

And now Babcock has taken it away.

After allowing three goals on 10 shots after one period in Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks at Joe Louis Arena, Babcock made the switch to Petr Mrazek the rest of the way.

Babcock then handed Mrazek the starting role for the time being after the game.

“When you’re behind like we are, you’re giving up too many goals,” Babcock said. “Let’s not worry about the turnovers at this point. Let’s fix how we’re playing without the puck, let’s get … Pete Mrzek’s got to get himself ready to go. Give Pete an opportunity here because we need that area fixed.

“It’s amazing when you get a little confidence in that area we can all settle down and get playing better,” Babcock continued. “We’ve scored tons of goals in the last couple of games but like I said it’s like chasing the game. You can’t play like that, you’ve got to play right. So we’re going to get regrouped and I guarantee we’ll be ready to play.”

Howard has allowed eight goals on 32 shots in slightly over four periods.

“I agree with you,” Babcock said when asked if Howard looked uncomfortable in the first period. “It’s one of those things. I haven’t talked to him, I’ll talk to him (Friday), but obviously it didn’t go the way he wanted.

“We gave him an opportunity to bounce back, he didn’t do that,” Babcock added. “We’ll give Pete Mrazek an opportunity here. As a group of coaches and a group of players we just got to bunker in here (Friday) and have a good conversation, have a good practice and get ready to play. Like I said we’ll be back ready to go.”

Howard, who turned 31 on Thursday, has been very inconsistent since returning in mid-February from a groin injury.

He was easily one of the reasons why the Wings are where they’re at now because of his strong play to start the season.

When Babcock was asked if he had a No. 1 goalie he responded with, “I’m starting Pete Mrazek next game.”

Mrazek also gave up a softy to Patrick Marleau, which proved to be the game winner.

“I didn’t like the second goal,” Babcock said. “Was that the fifth goal? When you’ve given up as many as we have it’s hard to remember. But the one, the chicken wing.

“(Logan) Couture’s shot’s a great shot, but that can’t happen to you,” Babcock continued. “But he’ll get the start next game and we need him to bunker down and play the way he’s capable of playing.”

The Wings, who lost 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday to Arizona, host Tampa Bay on Saturday.

“Same goes for everyone else,” Babcock said. “We had D that didn’t box out and weren’t ready to go at the start either. We’re all in this together. We took our lumps here today and last game. We’ve given up a lot of goals at home. That’s not how we want to play. That’s not Red Wing-like. We’ll come in here tomorrow and get it fixed.”

Detroit is 3-7-1 in its past 11 games.