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Detroit’s Morning Skate

Ansar Khan tweets,

Jimmy Howard in starter’s net at #RedWings morning skate. Face @NHLBlackhawks at 7:30 at @LCArena_Detroit on NBCSN

lines at skate:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Mantha
Athanasiou-Larkin-Bertuzzi
Tatar-Nielsen-Glendening
Witkowski-Turgeon-Frk
Abdelkader and Helm skating but not taking line rushes.

more as needed....

added 10:42am, Khan...

power play units:
Athanasiou-Zetterberg-Mantha (net front), Frk-Kronwall
And
Nyquist-Larkin-Bertuzzi (net front), Tatar-Green

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

ilovehomers's avatar

Been holding onto this question for those eye testers out there:

Since the mix up of the PP units, does anyone feel like we have seen an improvement? I don’t think they’ve scored, so if that holds true, we haven’t seen any meaningful improvement.

——————-

I will also throw out there that while Petr held steady, I did not like him on the 2nd and 3rd goals against Philly. The 3rd goal you can also look at Larkin (he stopped playing) and AA for jumping up even though he was last man back.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/25/18 at 11:52 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Hward confirmed as starter.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/25/18 at 11:59 AM ET

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I really don’t understand how they go back to Howard tonight. It’s mind boggling to me, but with this coach it shouldn’t be a surprise. Howard is 0-3-0 his last three games, 3.66 GAA, .880 save %, has earn 0 of 6 possible points. Mrazek is 2-0-1, 1.00 GAA, .968 save %, has earned 5 of 6 possible points, and 3 of 4 on a back to back with travel against two good teams. I would have liked to have seen Mrazek stop the third Philly goal, but other than that, he was very solid. His regulation save % was .933. And he just shutout Chicago a week and a half ago.

Even if you go back to their last five games (which includes two really solid games from Howard), Howard is 2-3-0 (4/10 points), 2.8 GAA, .916 save %, while Mrazek is 3-1-1 (7/10 points), 2.2 GAA, .929 save %. I just can’t see a reason not to play Mrazek tonight. The NBCSN crew did say during the game Tuesday that Blashill told them that morning that he had wanted to go back to Mrazek after his shutout against Chicago, but he had a minor injury that they didn’t want to exacerbate. Maybe that flared up again. If not, I just do not understand this.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 12:03 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Khan tweet,

Jeff Blashill is in Colorado Springs attending Jim Johansson’s funeral but will return in time for tonight’s game.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 01/25/18 at 12:11 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Mrazek is 2-0-1, 1.00 GAA, .968 save %, has earned 5 of 6 possible points, and 3 of 4 on a back to back with travel against two good teams.

An important piece of context there. Good add!

I believe Blashill said, after the flyers game, something about playing the guy that gives you the best chance to win. I could be wrong about that, though.

Taking that notion from Blashill, and seeing that Mrazek started back to back with travel, brings up the question again: injury, trade showcase, or is the coach recognizing that Petr is playing better?

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/25/18 at 12:11 PM ET

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Tatar-Nielsen-Glendening
Witkowski-Turgeon-Frk

I think Glen was possibly our best player on Tuesday, but having him with Tatar makes no sense to me. Having Frk (the guy who needs to be fed the puck) with Turgeon and Wit makes even less sense to me

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 12:13 PM ET

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Since the mix up of the PP units, does anyone feel like we have seen an improvement?

So far I see regression. Our PP is at the worst point now, it’s ridiculously bad and it almost feels like the players have no idea how to enter the zone and what to do after they do. Those constant no look passes and trying to get the puck through 5 sticks…

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 12:15 PM ET

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The 3rd goal you can also look at Larkin (he stopped playing)

Larkin stopped playing, AA stopped playing and Mrazek stopped playing. The type of mistake all 3 should learn from, you play till you hear the whistle.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 12:16 PM ET

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Taking that notion from Blashill, and seeing that Mrazek started back to back with travel, brings up the question again: injury, trade showcase, or is the coach recognizing that Petr is playing better?

Obviously he doesn’t think Petr gives the team the best chance to win tonight, for some reason. It’s just absurd.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 12:19 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

Since the mix up of the PP units, does anyone feel like we have seen an improvement?

It could be that they haven’t had enough time to gel yet, but I still don’t think the balance is quite right. VP has been saying this for a while. The 2 slowest players on the team, Z and Kronwall, should not be on the same unit. I also don’t like Tats and Nyq together. I’d swap AA for Nyquist and Green for Kronwall. I think adding Green to the 1st unit improves their entry just as much as AA has.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 01/25/18 at 12:25 PM ET

Colin's avatar

Larkin stopped playing, AA stopped playing and Mrazek stopped playing. The type of mistake all 3 should learn from, you play till you hear the whistle.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 11:16 AM ET

Exactly. Each player could have been WAAAY better on that play.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 01/25/18 at 12:26 PM ET

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Not a fan of the PP unit change, and I also feel Kronwell needs to vacate the point early due to his lack of speed rather than move up to keep the play in the offensive zone although he sometimes does that. Bert needs to settle down and/or stay focused, AA set him up three times, two that just needed finishing.

Posted by stateofmifan on 01/25/18 at 12:36 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Ha ha he he did some of you really think that 2 or 3 good games by the backup goalie was going to relegate the season’s long starter to the bench? The starts may get more evenly dispersed, but Mrazek take over? Come on hahahahaha you wingydingynuts, you crack me up.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 01/25/18 at 12:46 PM ET

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Ha ha he he did some of you really think that 2 or 3 good games by the backup goalie was going to relegate the season’s long starter to the bench? The starts may get more evenly dispersed, but Mrazek take over? Come on hahahahaha you wingydingynuts, you crack me up.

If playing the guy who gives you the best chance to win each individual game is the goal, as Blashilll claims, then it would make more sense to start Mrazek this game. Where did I say take over for the rest of the season. They are taking each decision game by game as far as which goalie plays, per Blashill. Why is it unreasonable to think that if that is the case, Mrazek may have started tonight? Even Osgood and Eliot thought it was a possibility that Mrazek could play all 3 this week. I guess they are morons too.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 12:54 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

What I am trying to figure out is their…“process” in making the determination on who starts.

There is a lot we don’t know, but gathering all the information we have, what is their decision and why?

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/25/18 at 01:13 PM ET

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There is a lot we don’t know, but gathering all the information we have, what is their decision and why?

Exactly Homers. Sometimes the decision just seems odd. Like this game.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 01:20 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 11:54 AM ET
Posted by ilovehomers on 01/25/18 at 12:13 PM ET

When NHL teams/coaches name a starter, they play their starter irrespective of a few bad starts by him, and a few good ones by the backup. This was not a 1a 1b situation.  Forget that its Howard as the season long starter and Mrazek as the backup, go around the league how many teams would just sit the starter if their backup had 3 good games? 

The shut out streak overrode that but that’s over.

Especially leading to the deadline. If Mrazek was “back” or reclaimed “it” or whatever, doesn’t that make shopping Howard logical?

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 01/25/18 at 01:26 PM ET

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Especially leading to the deadline. If Mrazek was “back” or reclaimed “it” or whatever, doesn’t that make shopping Howard logical?

Perhaps, but I would also want to keep getting Mrazek consistent starts too, to see if the potential return for him could be increased. If you have both guys going, then you can trade the one who brings you the most return, if moving a goalie is a TDL goal for Holland. I would also want to know if Petr can maintain this form consistently. That has been an issue for him. I would like to see the goalies get into a consistent rotation, with both getting a good amount of playing time going forward until a decision is made.

If they are both still here after the TDL, make sure Mrazek is playing enough so that you know for sure what you want to do with him by season’s end. Again, not saying for Mrazek to just magically become the number one while Howard rides the pine. Just that he keep getting consistent starts going forward.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 01:34 PM ET

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Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/25/18 at 12:26 PM ET

If Montreal took the attitude of playing only the hot goalie to play then Price would no longer be their Guy. I seriously doubt that people around here would not want Price in goal no matter how badly he is performing. I think the ideas would be to get him back on track, so play him until he gets going.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/25/18 at 01:42 PM ET

PierreC's avatar

i don’t think Mrazek’s last game was worthy of a third start in a row.

Short term its better to start Howard, and since this team still think we have a chance to make the playoffs the vets will always come first.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 01/25/18 at 01:42 PM ET

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I see people still trying to defend Blashill’s use of goaltenders this season. Sorry. Blashill effed up. His decision-making throughout the year was borderline insanity. Playing Mrazek more would have accomplished 3 basic outcomes:

1) Gives the Wings more evidence to determine whether Mrazek is a guy to walk away from, or whether you qualify him and bring him back. How sure are we whether he sucks or could be a goalie of the future - 100% sure? Maybe another 10 starts would have helped become more confident in whatever we’re going to do.

2) If your conclusion is already determined that Mrazek has no future here, then playing him more would at least elevate his trade value. We even heard rumours of other GMs express that. We’re not prepared to make a trade because we want to see him play more.

3) Playing Mrazek more often would have kept Howard more rested, and potentially reduced the liklihood of an injury, which many, many people on here predicted was merely a matter of time.

What was the downside here? That Mrazek would suck and we’d lose more games? Oh the horror. For a moment there I thought we might make the playoffs…and once you are in…anything can happen right Kenny?

Posted by fatsavage on 01/25/18 at 01:50 PM ET

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If Montreal took the attitude of playing only the hot goalie to play then Price would no longer be their Guy.

Howard is nowhere near Price, never has been, never will be. And his backup is Niemi, whose stats this season make Mrazek look like an all-star in comparison. The situation here is a bit different than in Montreal, at least from my view.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 01:53 PM ET

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Howard is nowhere near Price, never has been, never will be.

Agree, that was just an odd comparison, but people tend to make peculiar statements just to prove a point.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 02:00 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

The situation here is a bit different than in Montreal, at least from my view.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 12:53 PM ET

H&H used one of the best goalies in the league, however, the same is true for say 20 franchises who named a starter, look at the starts for goalies Howard is 12th for games played and only 3 starts separate him from being 20th, NHL teams that pick a starter, stick with their starter outside of injury or all out failure.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from YzerGod's pixie dust fueled bandwagon on 01/25/18 at 02:04 PM ET

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VP has been saying this for a while. The 2 slowest players on the team, Z and Kronwall, should not be on the same unit.

I thought separating AA and Larkin is the first good step, but honestly they cannot even get AA the puck on the rush so he can enter the zone. And Larkin still can enter the zone, but then usually passes it to nobody turning the puck over. And 5 on 5 Larkin is so much more confident.
Feels like the whole team (both units) are totally uncomfortable and do not know what they are doing as if they do not even want to have the PP. And PP is huge for momentum shifts during games. Even if you do not score, you at least can get something going. Otherwise it totally deflates you. Like somebody said after one of our recent PP failures, “good, we killed off OUR PP”.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 02:17 PM ET

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NHL teams that pick a starter, stick with their starter outside of injury or all out failure.

Except the Wings last season, when Mrazek was named the starter, had a .925 save % after the first few weeks of the season, had a three game stretch of mediocrity, and that was all she wrote for him as the starter. I don’t consider a three game stretch all out failure. But as always, just my opinion.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 02:21 PM ET

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Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 12:53 PM ET
Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 01:00 PM ET

Totally missed the point. I guess I should have been clearer rather than assuming most people would understand the actual comparison.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 01/25/18 at 01:04 PM ET

Totally gets the point. Thank you.

This is not a comparison of goalies but of situations. I used the extreme to make the point that teams do not give up on a #1 who has proven himself a #1. Imagine the fan irritation in Montreal if management just gave up on Price because he hasn’t found his usual game so far this season. Now imagine if you were a montreal fan in that situation. I seriously doubt you’d be saying, hey, bring in the back up because our perennial vezna candidate is stinking each game.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/25/18 at 02:23 PM ET

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NHL teams that pick a starter, stick with their starter outside of injury or all out failure.

Except the Wings last season,

note the word in bold. Murray’s statement was not absolute. Murray made it easy to not read it that way, so why did you?

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/25/18 at 02:25 PM ET

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Since the mix up of the PP units, does anyone feel like we have seen an improvement?

I’m not sure they’ve had enough time working together to say the change has worked or not. It’s been what, 4-5 games since the switch?

IMO, a simple change is not going to have an immediate impact on a PP that now has the habit of failing for over half the season now. give it time.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/25/18 at 02:28 PM ET

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note the word in bold. Murray’s statement was not absolute. Murray made it easy to not read it that way, so why did you?

I don’t know why you have to respond to everything I say on here in a very condescending manner, Howe. Homers and I disagree often, but are always respectful. I don’t believe I ever treat you that way. I always enjoy an exchange of ideas, but I would just ask that you be respectful.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 01/25/18 at 02:37 PM ET

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I seriously doubt you’d be saying, hey, bring in the back up because our perennial vezna candidate is stinking each game.

True if we had a Vezina caliber starter like Price, Holtby, Lundquist, Quick, etc.
The difference between them and their backups is huge. What we have instead is a 10 year average goalie (maybe slightly above average goalie) who is having a very good season and it’s great that he does and I am happy for him. But the difference between Howard and Mrazek is minimal at this point so when some people want Mrazek to get more starts, it’s understandable and actually makes more sense long term.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 02:51 PM ET

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And Larkin still can enter the zone, but then usually passes it to nobody turning the puck over.

Hopefully the next coach can teach Larkin to trust his linemates a little more.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 01/25/18 at 03:09 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Obviously he doesn’t think Petr gives the team the best chance to win tonight, for some reason. It’s just absurd.

Yes, and having seen Petr’s play in the last game, I’m not convinced he gives the team the best chance to win.  Should have made the second save.  Should have made the third. 

I’m not surprised they have Howard start since it’s the last game before the break.  If they don’t give him a game, he ends up having had about 1.5+ weeks off without action.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/25/18 at 04:33 PM ET

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Should have made the second save.  Should have made the third. 

On a second one Mrazek possibly made the right play, but Ericsson never expected it, so it was a misunderstanding of sorts. Third goal was stoppable, but Konecky was all alone. The goal I did not like was actually the first, a shot from a blue line with little traffic should be stopped.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 06:20 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

On a second one Mrazek possibly made the right play, but Ericsson never expected it, so it was a misunderstanding of sorts

I thought that at first glance, but the goalie isn’t giving E52 a chance when he punches the puck out to him.  It wasn’t a pass, it wasn’t controlled, it didn’t even land near his tape.  Just a sloppy rebound.

After watching it a few times I think that’s the difference between a goalie who is on top of their game and one who isn’t quite a sharp…because we’ve seen Petr make the correct play before.  That’s my guess, at least.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/25/18 at 06:29 PM ET

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between a goalie who is on top of their game and one who isn’t quite a sharp

I do agree that Mrazek was not as sharp as in the previous 2 starts

Posted by VPalmer on 01/25/18 at 06:37 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.