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Petr Mrazek And Brendan Smith For Game 3?

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Petr Mrazek, in all likelihood, will start Game 3. Jimmy Howard, playing behind a shaky defense, has a 3.59 goals-against average and .891 save percentage in two games.

Mrazek, who lost the starting job late in the season due to bad outings, hasn't started since March 26, when he was pulled after allowing four goals in a span of 14:51 during the second period of a 7-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the fourth time in a span of 13 starts that he has been replaced.

But the Red Wings need a spark of some sort. Mrazek nearly lifted them to a first-round upset of the Lightning last year, when he posted a pair of shutouts in the seven-game series loss.

Chances are defenseman Brendan Smith, a healthy scratch the past nine games, will play as well. He might replace Alexey Marchenko. The same thing happened last year, when Smith sat the first two games and then replaced Marchenko.

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bigdee89's avatar

might replace Alexey Marchenko

I really wish they would replace Ericsson.  Marchenko hasn’t looked that bad.  Big E has been the cause of more than a few 2 on 1s against the Wings.

I do think going with Mrazek is a smart move.

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 04/16/16 at 07:42 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Big E has been the cause of more than a few 2 on 1s against the Wings.

I do think going with Mrazek is a smart move.

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 04/16/16 at 08:42 AM ET

2 on 1s? Which ones, any examples, or are we making stuff up?

He was good game 1, brutal last game, but that goes for the whole group, each and every one of them.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/16/16 at 08:04 AM ET

bigdee89's avatar

One of the plays E pinched then hesitated then committed and they flipped the puck past him.  Lead to a 2 on 1 and wings took a penalty.  Tampa then scored on the power play. 

Wish I had the video, it was brutal

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 04/16/16 at 08:33 AM ET

bigdee89's avatar

I remember laughing watching E just try to figure out where he should be positioned when I think Dekeyser chased the puck over to his side.  There was definitely a moment of confusion.

At least E should be on the 3rd pairing used sparingly

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 04/16/16 at 08:36 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 04/16/16 at 09:33 AM ET

That was on I believe Larkin.  The NHL isn’t pee-wee hockey, the D especially in Blashill’s system does go down and jam the boards on rims or ups on the strong wall.  Ericson did and took out that man, but let the puck go by, manageable but I believe it was Larkin high who let the second Forward get behind him, and NHL player made and NHL pass, and it was a 2 on 1.

Blash is playing him because of gis contract.  This isnt a merit based team, its a contract , boys club based hockey model living in their own nostalgia
Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/16/16 at 09:28 AM ET

That’s a BS excuse that’s used too much on this site.  If that was true, Howard would’ve been starter from Day 1, Kindl and Weiss would’ve never sat, Smith wouldn’t be sitting, etc. Its just BS.

Just watch E defend.  Backs off to much, too early, too far, doesnt know whete anyone is before he touches the puck. 

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/16/16 at 09:28 AM ET

Did anyone watch the CBC feed last night? They dropped a hand grenade on Quincy for the very same gapping issue your talking about in Game 1.

I’m not an Ericsson fan BTW, he’s a #4 dman in this league on some teams, lower depending on what team, but he’s playing a 2/3 role on this team because we have nothing better and he’s over-matched at times. He certainly doesn’t belong on our top pair.  I often defend him though, because I just don’t agree that he’s the “problem”  Mike Green and Kyle Quincey are just as brutal defensively and make very similar stupid stupid stupid passes. Game 1, 52 was not on the ice for a goal, you wouldn’t know that reading the comments.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/16/16 at 09:00 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

How about Jurco in for Game 3?

If you watched the first two games, what have we lacked? Forwards with speed, who go nose first after the puck in the ozone, finish checks, and will get between the dots and play where the game gets dirty.  Jurco has yet to develop the tremendous hands and offensive ability we all hoped he would, but he does have speed, he does use his body, and will go to the freaking net.

I think they need to have AA watch some #8 game film, or maybe grab some film from Helm 4-5 years ago when he was a worthwhile player, so he understands and effective big bodied player with speed should be finishing all check opportunities in the playoffs, and not to curl by every single opportunity to do so.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/16/16 at 09:08 AM ET

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For Marchenko! I hope they lose. Love that holland backed himself into a corner with spare part comment and now cant use mantha even if he wanted to.

Posted by brians neck on 04/16/16 at 09:14 AM ET

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Mrazek in net is a no-brainer.  Which is why I fully expect to see Howard in net.

The idea of putting Smith in is a terrible one.  Smith being removed from the ice is the only good decision Bl-ASS-hill has made all year.  So again, I fully expect to see him dressed for game 3.  But putting him in for Marchenko is treasonous.  Seriously, if Marchy gets benched for Smith instead of Errorson or Kronwall, then frankly, I have no clue what management is thinking. 

It’s been years that we’ve been seeing more deserving younger players get screwed over in favour of older vets.  How long before we’re an organization that young star draft picks refuse to sign with?  After all, why should any player give away 3, 4 years of their career to the whims of KH and his cronies?  Just a thought.

Posted by Wise1 on 04/16/16 at 09:45 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

2 on 1s? Which ones, any examples, or are we making stuff up?

Do you even watch the games, Murray, or just wait until someone here comments and then say the opposite?  E52 has been attrocious both games, and all season for that matter.  In this game alone he pinched twice leading to 2 on 1’s, was blown buy several times in the neutral zone, and handed the puck over in the corner to a much smaller opponent more times than I can count. And don’t get me started on the number of uncontested breakouts he botched with inept passes.  I can’t even remember the amount of times in the LB last night I called him out.  He even screwed up the pass to Larkin, who used his speed to recover the puck and get E52 an ass backward assist.

He is a detriment to this team nearly every shift he is on the ice.  Is he the only one who should take blame for this mess?  Absolutely not.  But he is most definitely a culprit.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/16/16 at 09:58 AM ET

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We are losing with Howard, Andersson, etc. Not their fault, but just play the young guys and give them experience for the future. Mrazek in net, Smith for Krowall, Mantha for Nyquist, Jurco for Andersson. There is nothing to lose, our team is not going anywhere with this roster. Kron, Z and Dats are sad to watch. Just play for the future and maybe immediate results will be better too.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/16/16 at 09:59 AM ET

Figaro's avatar

Even if Razr comes in and allows 11 goals, it’s the right move.  Jimmy wasn’t going to steal an entire series. The only guy with a chance to do that is Mrazek.  I might get mad at Razr for getting lit up (should this happen), but I’ll back Blash’s decision.

That being said - should Smith come in for Marchenko, I’ll lose it.  Yeah, the kid needs to eat some sandwiches and do a few more push-ups, but he’s actually trying to play defense out there, unlike a few of his counterparts.  I just can’t take watching Errorson much more (despite him being one of our top scorers over the last couple of play-off series).  I haven’t completely soured on Blash yet, but if this happens that’ll take a big chunk of HP out of his Health Bar for me.

Let’s Go Red Wings!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/16/16 at 10:00 AM ET

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I actually think Big E has been OK in this series. Kronwall and Green have been a lot worse.

Mrazek has to start. Howard earned his playing time late in the season, but he had a brutal game two and has lost 4 in a row.  It’s time for a change!

PS-Blashill better find a way to win at least one game or he’ll be on the same path as Dave Lewis (who got swept by the Mighty Ducks in his first season).

Posted by aerialnick on 04/16/16 at 10:34 AM ET

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We are losing with Howard, Andersson, etc. Not their fault, but just play the young guys and give them experience for the future. Mrazek in net, Smith for Krowall, Mantha for Nyquist, Jurco for Andersson. There is nothing to lose, our team is not going anywhere with this roster. Kron, Z and Dats are sad to watch. Just play for the future and maybe immediate results will be better too.

I agree 100%

Nyquist has to be traded in the off-season. If there is any truth to the Sami Vatanen trade proposal, Holland should be fired for not making that move.

Posted by aerialnick on 04/16/16 at 10:38 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Ask yourself this:  Will Mrazek and Smith make DET a better skating team?

No, of course not.

Then no, it will make no difference.

Blashill needs to give his better skaters more icetime, and his aging vets less.  It’s no accident that Abdelkader seems to be everywhere, he can skate well enough to keep up with TB’s players.  It’s no accident that it’s Larkin making things happen, he can skate.  I can’t for the life of me figure out with Athanasiou is stapled to the bench when anyone watching can see how badly TB is outskating DET.

Posted by Primis on 04/16/16 at 10:47 AM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

The Wings have lost their last four games. What else is there left to say? 

Well, “it’s a seven game series,” comes to mind wink  The best the Wings give us are three really good games and two spectacular games. And advance.

The worst the Wings give us are two games that end the run.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/16/16 at 10:47 AM ET

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Well, “it’s a seven game series,” comes to mind wink The best the Wings give us are three really good games and two spectacular games. And advance.

Or we pull a 2002 Vancouver and win 4 in a row after being down 0-2. Wishful thinking on my part….

Posted by aerialnick on 04/16/16 at 10:53 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Did anyone watch the CBC feed last night? They dropped a hand grenade on Quincy for the very same gapping issue your talking about in Game 1.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Hey Hey Hockeyfart on 04/16/16 at 10:00 AM ET

I think Quincey has still been awful and that for some reason he keep getting free passes from fans and coaches.  He hasn’t been the tire fire Ericsson is quite, but he hasn’t been good either.  Every good thing he does is countered by something awful.  I don’t know if the free pass is because his mistakes tend to get covered, or just don’t result in goals or what.  But he’s not god and DET would be a better team without him when it comes down to it.

Posted by Primis on 04/16/16 at 10:54 AM ET

bigdee89's avatar

Green hasn’t been super defensively but his puck moving skills are needed.  His first pass out of our zone is usually bang on.  Kronners positioning hasn’t been bad but he’s not hard enough on the puck and lets guys skate away with it.  I thought Q has brought a little more to the table than in the season but it’s still not enough. 

Ericsson doesn’t belong higher on the depth chart than a 7th D when your real 7th D is hurt.  Marchenko hasn’t been terrible and is really the only D that seems to be trying hard.  Smith would be a welcome swap with anyone except Green or Marchenko just for his skating alone.

Since Kenny won’t shake up this team I hope Bingo Balls Blash will reach into his hat and pull out a new random lineup

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 04/16/16 at 11:07 AM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

sorry George but I don’t blame the Red Wings for getting frustrated and pissed off ..... when you have to always be playing   the opposing team and the lousy f***ing refs too ... the biased and INCONSISTENT officiating is ridiculous .. Even Ozzie was saying why is this series being called so differently than any of the other series and he is RIGHT its another of Bettmans ploys to knock the Red Wings out early and pay special treatment to one of his pet teams.  He needs Tampa and other southern cities do do well so they can get more attendance ... instead of admitting that letting them into the league was a wrong decision…  he will instead F*** the Red Wings over once again.  As a long time hockey fan it is disgusting to watch ...  I gave up watching the UHL/IHL because of the officiating and about ready to give up the NHL as well     THE REFS LET THIS GAME GET OUT OF HAND WITH THEIR BIASED AN ONE SIDED OFFICIATING

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 04/16/16 at 11:15 AM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

ok sorry this ^  went under the wrong thread

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 04/16/16 at 11:17 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

3.59 goals-against average and .891 save percentage

That, ladies and gentlemen, is where Jimmy Howard is at in 2016. To expect him to be better than that is wishful thinking.

He’s barely an NHL-caliber goalie anymore.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/16/16 at 11:21 AM ET

Alan's avatar

Marchenko has been a really solid defenseman so far. Let’s replace him.

What? Replace Errorson. Sure, he’s big, but if that’s all he has going for him (it is), he’s a liability.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 04/16/16 at 11:29 AM ET

PierreC's avatar

I feel more frustration then ever before. We continue to give quality time to vets that can play anymore while some hungry kids sit and watch.

Give Larkin is won line at center.
Give AA is own line at center.

Give them critical assignments, they’ll get involve and will be even better. Right now they are both afraid (specially AA with his very little icetime) to make mistake so they are nervous and don’t play their real game.

If we would have brought up XO with 20 games in the regular season he’d be a force wtih us. When XO was with the club earlier this season he wasnt that great but ..wanst bad either ! Better than at 2 of our current defenses.

Instead we sit and pray that the old vets still have some juice…well guess what..they don’t !

We are losing our time hoping that E will get stratched…it won’t happen and probably not next year either, for the brass its not even under consideration. E has been that bad for EVER. They know he can’t get the puck out, he can’t get a decent pass up, big but not particularly strong one on one. Overal a bad D ..

..but stll a regular member of this team. Why ?? i don’t know. With any other organisation E would be in the minor right now. 

So again .sit tight, relax, enjoy the game and don’t expect much out of this brass until they are all out.

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/16/16 at 11:31 AM ET

PierreC's avatar

Marchy has been good overall. Yesterday was probably his worst game of the series….and that’s enough for him to get replace !

That’s the way it goes with this brass, they will replace Marchy no matter how bad the other Ds are. He’d put up a 3 goals game, 10 hits game a +5 game that he would still be the one replace.

Why ?

Cause they are afraid of the vet reaction if they sit one of those..The Swedish connection is tight…like ...swedish meat balls !

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 04/16/16 at 11:35 AM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

Even if Razr comes in and allows 11 goals, it’s the right move.  Jimmy wasn’t going to steal an entire series. The only guy with a chance to do that is Mrazek.  I might get mad at Razr for getting lit up (should this happen), but I’ll back Blash’s decision.

That being said - should Smith come in for Marchenko, I’ll lose it.  Yeah, the kid needs to eat some sandwiches and do a few more push-ups, but he’s actually trying to play defense out there, unlike a few of his counterparts.  I just can’t take watching Errorson much more (despite him being one of our top scorers over the last couple of play-off series).  I haven’t completely soured on Blash yet, but if this happens that’ll take a big chunk of HP out of his Health Bar for me.

Let’s Go Red Wings!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 04/16/16 at 11:00 AM ET

  Bravo !!!

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michgian on 04/16/16 at 11:39 AM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

3.59 goals-against average and .891 save percentage

That, ladies and gentlemen, is where Jimmy Howard is at in 2016. To expect him to be better than that is wishful thinking.

He’s barely an NHL-caliber goalie anymore.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/16/16 at 12:21 PM ET

Yes.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/16/16 at 11:49 AM ET

Avatar

So predictable and frustrating that they would only try this after spotting the Lightning two crucial games.

I just don’t understand the logic.

And it’s nothing against Jimmy Howard who is a battler, who was better (not great, though)
down the stretch and who has had some good playoff series in the past.

But Mrazek had a bad stretch later part of last season, too, and he had two shutouts against the Bolts
and almost stole the series. When everyone sees Bishop as having the edge on Howard, how do the Wings
win against a faster, more physical, offensively dangerous and well-coached team?

Which goalie is the future of the Wings? If you can’t quite make it over the hump against Tampa,
which goalie would you rather learn and grow with?

Having trouble with forecheckers and breaking out the puck? Do you want the guy for whom puckhandling
is a strength, or the guy for whom its a weakness?

Again, I like Jimmy. Have since he was still at Maine. He helped the Wings make the playoffs. But this was never necessary. I still think you start Mrazek against Boston, after beating Philly. Maybe Mrazek stands on his head, but either way you have both guys getting starts going into the final game against NYR. Blashill ended up seeming so fixed on Howard, like it was inevitable or necessary that he start against Tampa…until we lose two and react with desperation?

Posted by Lefty30 on 04/16/16 at 12:05 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Or we pull a 2002 Vancouver and win 4 in a row after being down 0-2. Wishful thinking on my part….

Posted by aerialnick on 04/16/16

Which(to coin Steve Yzerman) would mean we have Tampa “right where we want them”.  wink

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/16/16 at 01:02 PM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Whatever. I’m pissed at the whole ball of wax. I’m just trying to make light of this pickle we once again find ourselfs in as Fans.

Screw the Wings. I love the Wings. Arrrrrrgggghhhhhh!

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/16/16 at 01:07 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Sit Andersson and bring in Smith. Put either Smith or Ericsson in front of the net to use their size to disrupt Tampa’s D. Maybe they can cause enough problems to get garbage goals or open some space so the Wings are not settleing for perimeter shots.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 04/16/16 at 01:11 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

“I just can’t take watching Errorson much more”

I’m right there with ya Figaro ... and Queazy was just as bad.

For those that think moving E52 back to a forward spot where he came from, you might want to think why he was switched to D ... ya think maybe he sucked as a forward ?

Mrazek for Howard is a no brainer… can’t get much worse. Howard has been a disappointment. I always thought he was a touch better than Osgood ... maybe I’m wrong.

Not to poop on anyones parade by looking past this dismal playoff performance but ... if it all lines up the way I think its going to, it looks like Grand Rapids is going to have a boatload of talent next fall with Saarijarvi, Hicketts, and Svechnikov all arriving at the same time.  Actually, if I read correctly, Saarijarvi is there now for the playoffs.  Thats going to be one hell of a team to watch.  I’d almost choose to watch them then this sad bunch.

After game 2 I’ll add Larkin to my list of players playing “playoff” hockey.  He joins Abdelkader.

Its difficult to watch.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 04/16/16 at 02:25 PM ET

Primis's avatar

You know what’s frustrating about Ericssson?

I watch him carry the puck into the offensive zone sometimes… and wish he was a forward.  He *was* a forward until DET convinced him to convert permanently to D.

Maybe he’s the size and skillset DET needs at forward, all this time.  You put him up front, take him off D so someone competent (theoretically) can play back there instead.  Kill two birds with one stone?

Posted by Primis on 04/16/16 at 03:07 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

the biased and INCONSISTENT officiating is ridiculous .. Even Ozzie was saying why is this series being called so differently than any of the other series and he is RIGHT its another of Bettmans ploys to knock the Red Wings out early and pay special treatment to one of his pet teams.

I was thinking the same thing that this smells like a Bettman scheme. Either way this current Red Wing team is worse than we thought. In saying that Blashill should play the younger players more this series to see what they’ve got. What is there to lose?  Doing what he is doing now is just rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. mad

Posted by bigfrog on 04/16/16 at 03:09 PM ET

Avatar

For those that think moving E52 back to a forward spot where he came from, you might want to think why he was switched to D ... ya think maybe he sucked as a forward ?

Him sucking as a forward is less detrimental to the team compared to him sucking as a D. If planted in front of Bishop he might even provide a good screen, cause havoc and be physical (maybe?).

Posted by Alex7 on 04/16/16 at 04:52 PM ET

Bill_H's avatar

  Big E has been the cause of more than a few 2 on 1s against the Wings.
  I do think going with Mrazek is a smart move.
  Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 04/16/16 at 08:42 AM ET

2 on 1s? Which ones, any examples, or are we making stuff up?
He was good game 1, brutal last game, but that goes for the whole group, each and every one of them.
Posted by MurrayChadwick from Hey Hey Hockeyfart on 04/16/16 at 09:04 AM ET

In 5 on 5, Ericsson’s CF% in game 1 was 37.5% in 14:04 of ice time (only Green was worse).  The only line he played well against was the Johnson line.  His corsi differential was -8 (again only Green was worse).  In game 2 he was 47.8% in 14:34 of ice time (Dekeyser and Kronwall were worse).  He didn’t play well against the Johnson line.  He missed a number of assignments but was zero in +/-.  His corsi differential was only -1 (8 players worse and 8 players better).

Glendenning is getting killed on corsi differential in both games.  Dekeyser swung wildly between game 1 and game 2 (from 3rd best to worst).  So it looks like Blashill’s deployment changed one set of problems and introduced another to replace them; resulting in the same thing - a loss.

Posted by Bill_H on 04/16/16 at 11:55 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.