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The Malik Report

Caputo discusses two Wings weaknesses

The Oakland Press's Pat Caputo suggests that the "Red Wings have lost their credibility," citing the Hockey News's predictions for the 2017-18 season and its list of people of power and influence in the sport, and Caputo suggests that there are two weaknesses that the Wings may be able to address this upcoming season:

The Red Wings had two overwhelming issues last season. Foremost was goaltending. Petr Mrazek was a major disappointment. His attitude, according to multiple sources inside and outside the organization, soured to the point he lost trust in the dressing room. It was mirrored by Mrazek’s subpar and inconsistent performance on the ice. But he is a talented goalie. I expect Mrazek to perform better after no team wanted to trade for him, which is the primary reason, coupled with his $4 million salary, Las Vegas passed on him during the expansion draft.

Jimmy Howard, who has an abundance of competitive character, had a comeback season, but injuries limited it. I can see that combo performing much better.

The often stunning inability of the Red Wings’ defense to move the puck was the other glaring weakness. Trevor Daley, from the Penguins, is older (he will play this season at 34), but was a solid free agent signing. Nick Jensen has time under his belt. Mike Green isn’t a top pairing defenseman anymore, but is still skilled. Those three move the puck relatively well.

It remains to be seen how Danny DeKeyser responds from a decidedly disappointing season, or if 36-year-old Niklas Kronwall, who played better late last season when his knee issues cleared, perform better.

Caputo continues...

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Vic, article leaves too much unsaid, you mentioned Babcock was on the list, while neglecting to say that so far Blashill has done a horrible job. He needs to learn fast how to get the optimum performance from the players,, correct his losing game strategy, non performing PP, constant line changes, etc. Kronwell’s knee isn’t going to get better and he’ll be 37 years old in January.  IMO Blashill’s poor performance as coach is the reason no one is in the top 50 on the list, although I’m not familiar with the criteria needed to make the list.

Posted by stateofmifan on 08/13/17 at 09:48 AM ET

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——-Better health should help Justin Abdelkader return to at or near 20-goal level.
——Is this really the expectations within the organization?

Posted by VPalmer on 08/13/17 at 10:37 AM ET

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  Better health should help Justin Abdelkader return to at or near 20-goal level. Gustav Nyquist remains a wild card.

This statement is backwards. Nike has far more of a chance to return to at or near 20 goals. Abby is the wild card and I strongly doubt we see more than 12 -15 goals a season for him, the rest of his career.

    Tomas Tatar, who didn’t start producing consistently in 2016-17 until after the Red Wings became sellers near the trade deadline. The Red Wings nonetheless paid Tatar

This narrative is getting so old. The bias towards the “homegrown” boys is getting to high levels of stupidity. When it comes to Tat’s all the media wants to talk about is how he didn’t score til we are out of the playoffs. I have yet to see any criticism towards Abby and his horrendous year. Yet, let’s bag on our highest goal scorer.

The media covering this team is as assbackwards as the coaching staff and management.

  I think the Red Wings have a better shot at making the playoffs than The Hockey News.

Caputo is either taking waaaay too many drugs or is being paid very handsomely by the PR department for the Red Wing’s.

Posted by benzanato on 08/13/17 at 11:30 AM ET

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If a miracle occurred and Blashill got fired early on, there may be a chance for this team to make the playoffs, albeit with limited success if they did.
I put most of the issues with this team on the coach’s shoulders for the past 2 seasons. His obvious bias toward vets and some of the homegrown guys is leading to what I see as cronyism in the dressing room and, I would speculate, some degree of dissension within the team.
Most of this group will not stand up for each other, although you see some of the young guys starting to do that. The team culture lacks in that regard and is a problem in and of itself.
The D is not great but misallocation of resources is the biggest issue there as well as on the forward lines. That all falls on Blashill! While this roster has definite flaws, his inability to connect the dots, made a frustrating and losing season even worse.

Posted by NewfieWing on 08/13/17 at 11:39 AM ET

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I don’t see JA returning to 20 goals without Pav serving them up for him.

Posted by SlimChance on 08/13/17 at 11:48 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Better health should help Justin Abdelkader return to at or near 20-goal level.

Aby would be better off planting his butt in front of the goalie, his tough guy act is not working and he has limited skills.  Crash and bang near the goalie or you probably won’t see more than 10 goals. He has a big heart and useless coach.

Blashole will determine how well Aby does and most others as he tries to play them away from their skill set.

Who knows how the Wings would do if they were used properly? In the real Wing world nothing will change.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 08/13/17 at 12:25 PM ET

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Who knows how the Wings would do if they were used properly?

Anyone who watched the Wings under Babcock can take a pretty good guess as to how they would have done if they were used properly.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/13/17 at 04:59 PM ET

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During October - Tatar scored 1 goal, Abby scored 1 goal. That was a PP goal for Abby. He also had ZERO assists that month.

November - 2 goals for Tatar, 3 for Abby

December - Tatar scored 5 goals, 3 assists. Not too bad for a team still in a playoff hunt? Media never mentions that. Abby was hurt and only played once in December.

January - Tatar adds 4 more goals, 5 assists, was +4, had 29 shots on goal. Meanwhile Abby had ZERO goals, 2 asissts, was -5, and had just 14 shots.

Did Tatar explode in March? Yes he did.9 goals and 5 assists. But this narrative that he was a “no-show” when it mattered is complete BS and just lazy journalism. Tatar had a slow start in October and November. But he was pretty solid during December and January while this team was still competing for a playoff spot. The guy who was a huge ZERO during much of this time was Abdelkader. Abby did NOTHING in October. Then an OK November. Was hurt in December. Then the biggest ZERO on the team during January.

SO why does Tatar get punished for having a red hot March while Abby gets a pass for having an ice cold SEASON??

Posted by fatsavage on 08/13/17 at 07:00 PM ET

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We all know the answers.

1)  Abdelkader is from Michigan.
2)  Abdelkader is “tough” and “hard to play against.”
3)  Abdelkader’s contract was immediately the target of league-wide ridicule, so for the sake of Holland’s faltering reputation as some kind of savant, we need to pretend everything is working out great.

Posted by captaineclectic on 08/14/17 at 05:59 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Foremost was goaltending. Petr Mrazek was a major disappointment. His attitude, according to multiple sources inside and outside the organization, soured to the point he lost trust in the dressing room. It was mirrored by Mrazek’s subpar and inconsistent performance on the ice.

Funny how every non-shill source says it’s the defense that was the disaster. Statistics say the defense was the disaster. But our moronic beat-writers just will not give up on this “it’s all Mrazek’s fault” garbage narrative. Who does a guy have to blow to get some REAL journalism around here?

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 08/14/17 at 07:34 AM ET

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Posted by Colin on 08/14/17 at 08:34 AM ET

Yes, the defense was terrible last year, but so was Petr Mrazek. Jimmy Howard had some of the best numbers of any goalie in the league behind Ken Holland’s garbage D and Petr Mrazek was hot garbage.

The D being shitty doesn’t absolve Mrazek’s play last year.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/14/17 at 07:52 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Colin on 08/14/17 at 08:34 AM ET

Did you even read the article? The first sentence says… The Red Wings had two overwhelming issues last season, goal tending and defense.

And how can’t a season where a kid went from being billed as the starter, the guy firmly planting a $5mln veteran starter relatively in his prime to the bench, to being benched over a 3rd stringer from the minors, and than exposed in the expansion draft be considered a disaster? I think that’s the very definition, I normally hate Pat Caputo’s blustering about hockey, the guy should stick to baseball, but here, he’s spot on.

Well aside from the Ablekater take. Speaking of…

Is this really the expectations within the organization? Posted by VPalmer on 08/13/17 at 11:37 AM ET

I don’t know, does Pat Caputo and his media brethren become Red Wings Employees and/or spokesmen?
Maybe we should wait until someone in the organization says it, or says it again, to bash the organization?  I prefer taking a shot at the guy making the statement myself, and here, Pats obsession for knuckle draggers while the sport is moving in a different direction has him delusional, unless, he considers 10-12 goals is close to 20?

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/14/17 at 08:05 AM ET

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Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/14/17 at 09:05 AM ET

A’men brother

Posted by benzanato on 08/14/17 at 09:13 AM ET

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I’m getting kind of sick of hearing over and over again about how bad Mrazek was last season. Yes, he was bad. He’s aware, the team is aware, the fans are aware, people living in the most remote areas of the world are probably aware, everyone’s aware. Many contributors here criticize others for getting on Holland for his repeated mistakes or various players for their continuous less than stellar play, but it seems that it’s okay to just keep railing on Mrazek. It’s getting old.We are now closer to the start of 2017-18 season than we are to when the Wings’ 2016-17 season ended in April. Let’s hope some added motivation and a clean slate with a new season allow Mrazek to get back on track. Anyone who is a fan of the team should want him to succeed. Any player wearing a Winged Wheel succeeding is good for the team.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 09:41 AM ET

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I’m getting kind of sick of hearing over and over again about how bad Mrazek was last season.

Well then you should really stop reading about hockey during the off-season, because the only things to talk about are how good the players were last year and whether they’re going to be better or worse this year.

I mean, should we just not acknowledge the play of anyone last season while preparing for the upcoming season?

Anyone who is a fan of the team should want him to succeed. Any player wearing a Winged Wheel succeeding is good for the team.

Is there anyone saying they want Mrazek to fail or that it would be bad for the team if he succeeded?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/14/17 at 09:58 AM ET

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Since everyone loves to use small sample sizes to argue Howard’s superior season…why hasn’t anyone mentioned the fact that after Howard returned from his injury, his record during the rest of the season was a .915 SV% and 2.33 GAA. Those are pretty average numbers and noticeably worse than how he performed early in the year. Also worth noting that after his injury, Howard received more goal support than Mrazek, which was another narrative that was driven by small sample sizes.

Mrazek had a poor year. No doubt about that.
Howard had a hot start. But then he regressed to something pretty ordinary.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/14/17 at 09:59 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 10:41 AM ET

Star cornerstone to expansion draft pass is a story that is not going to go away, I would get used to reading it, hearing it, and seeing it locally and every national TV start he gets, or doesn’t get. Like the Sheehan goal drought.

The difference IMO is that these are actually new voices to some extent, or at least not voices on daily repeat, like how many times has Caputo written about Mrazek? 1-2-3x maybe, and in general a new article pops up like once a week at best, whereas the Holland hate is a bakers dozen or so daily, maybe more depending on the clickbait, and by the same repeat customers, each time with a slightly different spin to their daily dig.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/14/17 at 09:59 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’m getting kind of sick of hearing over and over again about how bad Mrazek was last season.

Just like I am with the Holland/Blash hate…

Many contributors here criticize others for getting on Holland for his repeated mistakes or various players for their continuous less than stellar play, but it seems that it’s okay to just keep railing on Mrazek.

No, it’s actually not okay to keep railing on Mrazek.  Or Holland.  Or Blash.  Or Kronwall’s knees.  The criticism is so overstated and blown out of proportion (in some cases).

Anyone who is a fan of the team should want him to succeed.

Yes, and I say the same thing about Holland, Blashill, and everyone else in the org.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/14/17 at 10:03 AM ET

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Is there anyone saying they want Mrazek to fail or that it would be bad for the team if he succeeded?

I think there are absolutely people who want him to fail, yes. Maybe not here, but overall in Wings Land, there are. There are people who don’t like him and want him to be bad, who are allegedly Wings fans. I can’t understand that mentality. There have been Wings players that I don’t care for. There are a couple on the current roster that I don’t particularly like. But as long as they are in a Wings uniform, I want them to do well. To wish for anything else would be silly IMO.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 10:05 AM ET

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No, it’s actually not okay to keep railing on Mrazek.  Or Holland.  Or Blash.  Or Kronwall’s knees.  The criticism is so overstated and blown out of proportion (in some cases).

Anyone who is a fan of the team should want him to succeed.


Yes, and I say the same thing about Holland, Blashill, and everyone else in the org.

Then we are in complete agreement.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 10:11 AM ET

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I mean, should we just not acknowledge the play of anyone last season while preparing for the upcoming season?

It’s been done ad nauseam now. We’ve had these same articles and same statements about how much Mrazek sucked from mid-April through the present, which is mid-August. That is literally four months of Mrazek sucked articles. It’s played out.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 10:14 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

whereas the Holland hate is a bakers dozen or so daily, maybe more depending on the clickbait, and by the same repeat customers, each time with a slightly different spin to their daily dig.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/14/17 at 10:59 AM ET

Winning.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/14/17 at 11:03 AM ET

Also winning.

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/14/17 at 10:18 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Yes, the defense was terrible last year, but so was Petr Mrazek. Jimmy Howard had some of the best numbers of any goalie in the league behind Ken Holland’s garbage D and Petr Mrazek was hot garbage.

The D being shitty doesn’t absolve Mrazek’s play last year.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/14/17 at 08:52 AM ET

Howard also faced much easier chances against on average. Our garbage D played much better in front of him.

Mrazek wasn’t good, but he was also shook by how literally shit the people who are supposed to help him out were. We can’t clear the front of our net, or the zone.

Did you even read the article? The first sentence says… The Red Wings had two overwhelming issues last season, goal tending and defense.

And how can’t a season where a kid went from being billed as the starter, the guy firmly planting a $5mln veteran starter relatively in his prime to the bench, to being benched over a 3rd stringer from the minors, and than exposed in the expansion draft be considered a disaster? I think that’s the very definition, I normally hate Pat Caputo’s blustering about hockey, the guy should stick to baseball, but here, he’s spot on.

Yes, I did, to the point of seeing the phrase used when referencing our goaltending issues:

Foremost: most prominent in rank, importance, or position.

So unless Caputo has a horrible handle on the meaning of words in our english language, he is pretty clearly singling out our goaltending as the prevailing issue with the team this year. Advanced stats and the national media would suggest otherwise.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 08/14/17 at 11:00 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Howard also faced much easier chances against on average. Our garbage D played much better in front of him.

The funny thing is, the previous two years, when Howard wasn’t playing well, people were saying the “team plays with no confidence in Howard” because they knew Howard wasn’t good.  Then Howard has a good year, and suddenly the “garbage D (is playing) much better in front of him.”

It’s funny how stats are twisted around a narrative. 

Mrazek wasn’t good, but he was also shook by how literally shit the people who are supposed to help him out were. We can’t clear the front of our net, or the zone.

But yet again, he was playing with the same D corps.  His rebound control was horrible this past year, while Howard certainly improved that aspect.  That’s going to have a big impact on how good of a job the D can do in gaining the puck and moving it out of the zone, and there’s a direct correlation with the goaltender there.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/14/17 at 11:07 AM ET

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why hasn’t anyone mentioned the fact that after Howard returned from his injury, his record during the rest of the season was a .915 SV% and 2.33 GAA.

Howard’s career save % is also .915. League average I believe is .912, so this makes sense, as I have always felt that Howard is a slightly above league average goaltender. But his first half numbers were well above what he has always shown in the past, and as you point out, he didn’t keep that pace up when he returned. Howard is a good goalie. I like Howard, he seems like a good guy, a good teammate. But I don’t think he is going to be able to put up the same numbers as last season again. He will probably be somewhere between .915 and .920.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 11:16 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 08/14/17 at 12:07 PM ET

I wasn’t one of those people. I am only looking at this season, and this season, there was a fairly clear divide in the quality and number of chances both goalies faced.

As for Mrazek’s rebound control, when he first came into the league one of the things he did very well was direct rebounds to safe areas or his own teammates to ease pressure or spark a quick breakout. I wonder if this season and last season, without Babcock’s structure and the continued decline of our defense, this is starting to backfire? Maybe other teams are keying into it now? I’m not sure and would have to watch tape. I just remember watching with my friends and being impressed with how he could play rebounds like passes when he first came up. It also kept other teams honest as a shot from the point could lead to a fast break for our team.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 08/14/17 at 11:20 AM ET

Colin's avatar

What I’m trying to say is that while Mrazek had a disappointing season, our D was GARBAGE. I was always taught that the goalie was the last person to blame on a goal, as a multitude of things leading up to the goal could have been cause for it. A failed breakout, miscommunication, bad turnover, mishandling of the puck, poor positioning, failure to clear the net, etc. And the advanced stats on quality of chances against as well as the eye test seem to show that Mrazek was hung out to dry compared to Howard, who saw a majority of his chances against be of the low-quality variety. While Mrazek faced significantly more medium and high-quality chances against.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 08/14/17 at 11:26 AM ET

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His rebound control was horrible this past year, while Howard certainly improved that aspect.

This is true, but there is no reason that Mrazek can’t improve in this area as well. He is 25, I believe only three teams (Anaheim, Pittsburgh, and TB) have starting goalies the same age as Mrazek or younger. I just don’t like the way people seem to be writing him off after one bad season. If you look at the stats for all of his other professional seasons in the AHL and NHL, last season was an aberration of monumental proportions. For me, there is no reason to think he will play like that again. I expect him to be much better this season.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 11:26 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I really don’t think anyone is writing Mrazek off.  Worried, yes.  Concerned, even moreso.  But honestly, we NEED him to do great this year so we can give him a 4 or 5 year contract with some confidence. 

Otherwise we’ll let him walk in the Spring, or trade him for a 6th, and we won’t have a backup come Fall 2018.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/14/17 at 11:30 AM ET

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And the advanced stats on quality of chances against as well as the eye test seem to show that Mrazek was hung out to dry compared to Howard, who saw a majority of his chances against be of the low-quality variety. While Mrazek faced significantly more medium and high-quality chances against.

I have reviewed those same stats, and you are absolutely correct. But it doesn’t matter. Mrazek is the whipping boy for now. Nothing you say, no matter how correct you are, will make people change their mind. I’m excited to see Mrazek play this season. I have a feeling that he is going to be much better than people expect.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 11:33 AM ET

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I really don’t think anyone is writing Mrazek off.  Worried, yes.  Concerned, even moreso.  But honestly, we NEED him to do great this year so we can give him a 4 or 5 year contract with some confidence.

I agree. I think he is going to surprise in a good way. I could be totally wrong, but I’ve read a lot about the guy in Czech articles that give a whole lot more info about him as a person than anything published in North America. I believe firmly that there is a lot more to him than what has been portrayed in the US/Canada this summer. I think he has a lot more character than he is given credit for. I wish a reporter from Detroit would do a full in depth interview with him, so fans in Detroit can get a better idea about him. But they seem to have no interest in that.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 11:44 AM ET

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I have reviewed those same stats, and you are absolutely correct. But it doesn’t matter. Mrazek is the whipping boy for now. Nothing you say, no matter how correct you are, will make people change their mind. I’m excited to see Mrazek play this season. I have a feeling that he is going to be much better than people expect.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 12:33 PM ET

Howard also played 13 games against non-playoff teams. That was 50% of his games. Mrazek had only 48% of his starts against losing teams. So a slight difference.

What’s more interesting is how they each fared against playoff opponents…

Howard went 5-8-0 in those 13 games. So he captured 10 out of 26 points = 38%
Mrazek went 9-12-5 in his 26 games against playoff opponents. So he captured 23 out of 52 points = 44%

So Howard not only faced easier competition. But when both faced the best teams, Mrazek had a better winning percentage. But don’t let those FACTS interrupt the Mrazek smear campaign…

Posted by fatsavage on 08/14/17 at 12:07 PM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 08/14/17 at 12:30 PM ET

It’s not you, it’s hacks like the beat writers who ignore the plethora of advanced stats that tell at the very least a more nuanced version of what happened and instead vomit some garbage like what I’m reading from Caputo. I know that Mrazek struggled and of course we need him to do better. But our goaltending is VERY far from being the “foremost” problem with this team, and it’s garbage like this that give people the wrong idea. IMO, the biggest improvement in Mrazek or Howard’s game will be driven by how much, if at all, our DEFENSE is improved this season.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 12:33 PM ET

Me too Kermit, but unless our defense improves I’m not holding my breath.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/14/17 at 01:07 PM ET

Now that is interesting… I never looked into the strength of competition, and it draws a parallel with the story of two Howards at the Worlds this year, where he was stellar against crap teams but thoroughly average against the good ones. Naturally, Holland interpreted this as Howard being altogether excellent and the surefire starter…

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 08/14/17 at 02:16 PM ET

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Now that is interesting… I never looked into the strength of competition, and it draws a parallel with the story of two Howards at the Worlds this year, where he was stellar against crap teams but thoroughly average against the good ones. Naturally, Holland interpreted this as Howard being altogether excellent and the surefire starter…

Posted by Colin on 08/14/17 at 03:16 PM ET

Haha. Yeah the Worlds were hilarious. Beating up on Germany and France and Slovenia, but then looking pretty ordinary when the competition increased. HSJ had articles about how he dominated the tournament. She also failed to recognize that overall it’s a low-scoring tournament. So comparing his GAA and SV% to his NHL body of work was pointless. There were numerous other goalies that had even better stats than Howard. But that didn’t change the narrative…he DOMINATED!

Posted by fatsavage on 08/14/17 at 02:48 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Colin,

This sound like yet another HHHT conspiracy, where a guy like Kindl is truly elite, but big meanie weanies are holding them back. Look if what you say is true on its face, and Mrazek was just being hung out to dry all season, and his play is all just a factor of the team around him,  why did professionals with the Wings and the rest of the NHL not see that, NHL coaches, their brass, team scouts, etc. etc. etc.  Wouldn’t these same people looking at these same games you watch, reviewing the same stats your citing have known, its not Peter, its the wings?  How does he get both put on the table in the exp draft, and passed over? How do lesser goalies get traded?  Is he not the instant cap problem solve, why hasn’t another team solved it?

The guy played terrible last season, he overplayed his angles, did not control rebounds well, misplayed a bunch of pucks, and let in some shots he should not have. He topped it off by purportedly having a bad attitude. That’s the reality with the latter only reported. Hopefully for everyone the wings included, he bounces back on a path to greatness.

Is that the biggest problem, which seems to be more your point, well it depends. I was a guy that said we can build this team around Mrazek, to me, its a huge problem, because without him being a star, we’re really screwed.  At the very least, its a sizeable problem, when a guy got paid premium salary (as an RFA) for a premium position, and we tried to trade his counterpart, than played so poorly a 3rd stringer took the pipes from him. Its like saying Ovie sucked but the 4th liner didn’t score either. That was supposed to be a position of strength of us and instead it was a weakness, and its because of him.

Sorry, the stat angle your pushing just doesn’t add up.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/14/17 at 02:59 PM ET

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Hey Murray. How many teams were looking for a #1 goalie this summer…let’s see Calgary, and um, Carolina, and umm, oh yeah Arizona. Anyone else? Those 3 teams passed on Mrazek.

Calgary opted for a proven veteran in Mike Smith.

Carolina and Arizona clearly preferred Darling and Raanta. Both are “safer” bets than Mrazek.

So what other teams were genuinely interested in Mrazek? Anyone that already has a clear #1 goalie has absolutely no interest in a $4M back-up. Goaltending is not a difficult roster position to fill. Look how easy teams like Edmonton, Toronto, and now Carolina and Arizona have acquired younger #1’s like Mrazek? So why gamble on Mrazek now when you can all just sit back and wait a year and see how he performs?

And then of course we have the final explanation, which Kenny and his Kool-Aid klan often say…we don’t know what Kenny was actually trying. Maybe he was asking for a top 10 pick for Mrazek and everyone said no way. We don’t know right. Were you there? Didn’t think so. I love that excuse. Hey maybe Kenny tried and we just don’t know. LOL

Posted by fatsavage on 08/14/17 at 03:17 PM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 08/14/17 at 03:59 PM ET

I want to direct you to a detail in my position you’re missing:

That I have admitted in each comment Mrazek struggled. Of course it isn’t ALL the defense’s fault, but the prevailing opinion of our beat writers is that Mrazek’s performance is all HIS fault, when the defense’s performance did play a significant role based on statistics our beat writers don’t know exist, and are still clearly in the adoption phase with parts of the league community.

Yes Mrazek struggled, but there is a CLEAR divide in the quality and number of chances faced by each goaltender. Yes, Mrazek struggled, but as Savage pointed out he still had better outcomes against good teams. In order for us to say with any statistical relevance that Howard is the better goalie or it was all Mrazek’s fault, we would have to reconcile the disparity between the narrative of our beat writers (which is different from a good few of the league pundits I have read/listened to and only has aggregate SV% & GAA behind it) and the statistical evidence which tells us otherwise.

And let’s also remember that this is a one, maybe 1.5 year aberration for a goalie who has shown definite top-10 if not top-5 ability in the AHL and NHL who is also still below the age at which most goalies become starters.

My issue is not that our goaltending is being called an issue or even a significant issue, but it is not the FOREMOST issue, and suggesting as much is a patent ignorance of the influence d-zone play by skaters has on goaltending. When your defense is as atrocious as ours and there is significant evidence of a disparity in d-zone play between two goalies, I find it very hard to definitively say with any certainty that goaltending is the foremost issue. Yes Mrazek struggled, yes he needs to improve, but that won’t mean a damn thing if our DCorps don’t improve as well.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 08/14/17 at 03:23 PM ET

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It’s just pretty pathetic to me how unfair the media as a whole has been to Mrazek this summer. I have seen nothing to indicate that a single Wings beat writer has even reached out to him for comment. Isn’t that like one of the first rules of journalism, try to get a statement from all sides involved in a story? He has an agent in NA and in CR, it shouldn’t be that hard to request an interview. But they don’t want to give his side I don’t think. The lack of professionalism has been astounding.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 03:26 PM ET

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Murray, no one is denying that Mrazek was not good last season. He needs to be much better. But the team in front of him was also not good. When you are a goalie and you have a team in front of you that is strong, you can work your way out of a funk. Your mates can protect you to an extent while you get your crap together back there. This team can’t do that. They make the problem worse. Look at how long it took Howard to get on track in the 2015-16 season. He went almost three months without a win. It is because this team simply isn’t good enough to help a struggling goalie. It becomes the blind leading the blind. And it’s ugly.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/14/17 at 03:38 PM ET

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This whole Howard vs Mrazek is the problem with small sample sizes. There are 2 FACTS that many seem to overlook.

1) Howard’s “stellar” play started to regress as his sample size grew. Sorry Murray. FACT.

2) Once you try to equalize based on the quality of opponent (I used a simplistic line in the sand of playoff teams versus non-playoff teams)...we see that, despite all of Mrazek’s apparent struggles, and despite apparently being a terrible teammate and human being, he earned a higher percentage of points than Howard did. Beating up on bottom 10 teams is nice, but I’ll take the goalie that was better able to stand his ground against the best teams in the league.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/14/17 at 03:49 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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