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The Post Game Talk After Detroit’s 3-0 Win Over New Jersey

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

Little in Petr Mrazek’s career suggested he would be down and out for long.

His second consecutive shutout, 3-0, over the Devils on Monday at the Prudential Center is more evidence that is the case. Mrazek stopped all 37 shots he faced....

The 21-year-old, diminutive Hicketts debuted and put big smiles on all of his new teammates' faces with a strong performance that may make it difficult for the Wings to put him back on I-96 towards Grand Rapids anytime soon.

“Lots of times for your kill to be good, your goalie’s got to be great,” said Jeff Blashill. “And he was.

“Certainly, on the penalty kill was where I thought we gave up the most chances. He was excellent on that.”

Asked if it might mean more playing time for Mrazek, after a clear decision to ride the hot goalie, Jimmy Howard, most of the first 45 games of the season, Blashill quickly answered, “Oh, without question.

more

Below, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, game highlights and dressing room interviews...

Petr Mrazek is making a case for more starts, and he’s increasing his value as an asset for the Detroit Red Wings.

There were numerous highlights among the Wings’ 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday at Prudential Center, but Mrazek gets the headline for making 37 saves to earn his second straight shutout and third of the season. It speaks to how much he’s struggled this season that after stopping 64 shots dating to the 4-0 victory at Chicago he’s still got a .909 save percentage and 3.14 goals-against average, but it does look like he has his swagger back.

“I am trying to get some confidence every game I played, every save I made,” Mrazek said. “I haven’t played lots of minutes this year, so every game I am trying to get confidence.

“Sometimes it’s tough for a goaltender when you don’t play a lot and then from nowhere you get in to play a game. But I try to be focused every game and every minute I am on the ice.”

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added 7:00am,

 

 

 

 

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Posted by TreKronor on 01/23/18 at 12:48 PM ET

Yes, I agree that could be possible

Posted by VPalmer on 01/23/18 at 01:15 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

If the Wings are planning to be in a re-build for 5-6 years, is there a benefit to the ups and downs of Mrazek vs. a steady Howard?

Just another scenario.  There’s a lot of ways they could be playing this.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/23/18 at 12:48 PM ET

You can not be even dreaming about Howard playing 5-6 yrs,

Hicketts?  At this point in this season what does it hurt to play the kids. His dream was fulfilled at least partially.  Bring up a couple of more and see what they have at this point maybe a couple of more wins.  Svech should get a shot (wish we could draft his Lil Bro though).

Petr took Holland to the wall for the 1st time, don’t really agree but it was good to see the “Perfect” GM get his undies soiled.  Shouldn’t be a problem, HSG is kissing his arse anyway.

By the way no comments from the Old Bag re Mrazek that I see yet

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 01/23/18 at 01:38 PM ET

Colin's avatar

To be fair, he’s 33 going on 34 this Spring. 

Maybe the team also has decided they aren’t going to be contenders for 5-6 years.  Jimmy is not going to be getting a raise if they re-sign him, considering his age and upside (he’ll be 35 at that point). 

If they keep Mrazek instead, maybe they already know he’s going to be stubborn in negotiations and require $6+++ the next 5 years.  If the Wings are planning to be in a re-build for 5-6 years, is there a benefit to the ups and downs of Mrazek vs. a steady Howard? 

Just another scenario.  There’s a lot of ways they could be playing this.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/23/18 at 12:48 PM ET

Trading Howard this year is the right thing to do. Give him a chance to win his cup because you know our chances are now a firm 0.0%

At 33, he won’t sniff that again playing for us.

As for keeping Mrazek, I am not sure where you are getting that $6+ figure from. Consider this:

Even if Mrazek is a stud for the balance of this season with Howard gone, he will have little grounds for that kind of raise because of the last season+ where he was not good. Chances are he plays well but we don’t get the wins. I’m betting they would qualify him for a “show me” season or do a 3x4.5 to get us into the time frame that Petruzzelli starts making some noise. Either way, it’s not that much money for a goalie who only really needs to be good enough and healthy enough to eat games and play well enough that our players get blamed for losses more than he does.

Personally, with the trajectory of this team being what it is, I think a 2-4 build up being competitive would yield true contender status in 5 years. A big hit at these next two drafts could accelerate that by a year.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 01/23/18 at 03:57 PM ET

Avatar

They have to listen to offers for either goalie. They cannot get into the situation where they are stuck with both yet again.

Although it isn’t likely, it is possible that the Wings starting goalie for next season is not even in the organization right now. They could possible trade both Howard and Mrazek and start fresh. It might even be the smartest thing to do considering they have to qualify Mrazek at at least his current salary to keep him from becoming a free agent.

My preferred course would be to trade Howard, re-sign Mrazek for 2-3 years at $3-$3.5M (I really don’t think you can sign him any cheaper) before he has to be qualified and find a cheap veteran backup.

Posted by evileye on 01/25/18 at 11:31 AM 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.