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‘Two Things’: On Mrazek the elite goaltender(?) and the Wings’ status as sellers

Two items of Red Wings-related note piqued my interest this evening:

1. The Oakland Press's Pat Caputo suggests that the Red Wings' inconsistent goaltending is its biggest problem, and as a result, he wants to see more consistency from Petr Mrazek:

Just think of what impact – good and bad - Mrazek has had on the Red Wings during his relatively short career.

In 2015, he nearly led the clearly out-manned Red Wings to an upset of Tampa Bay in the opening round of the playoffs (Detroit lost in Game 7). Last season, through the early portion of February, the Red Wings were in solid position. It was mostly because Mrazek played extra extraordinarily well, emerging as a top candidate for the Vezina Trophy. However, he faltered as quickly as he rose.

His performance Saturday was a classic example. Mrazek played brilliantly for 55 minutes. He was the reason the Red Wings held a 2-1 lead over one of the NHL’s best teams, the Washington Capitals. Then he allowed a fat rebound on a relatively soft shot by T.J. Oshie - and it was tapped in by Daniel Winnik for the tying goal.

And the Red Wings still only have 13 regulation wins this season. But then Mrazek made up for it with brilliant play in overtime and the shootout, ultimately stoning the world’s greatest goal scorer, Alexander Overchkin, to secure a rare, for the Red Wings, two points.

Caputo continues, offering the following before wondering aloud whether Mrazek has the chops to become a Carey Price-level goaltender...

Mrazek is scheduled to make more than $4 million next season. Coupled with Jimmy Howard at $5 million, the Red Wings will have more than $9 million tied up in two goalies, who have not been playing to worth of their contracts this season. Howard got off to a very good start, but he hadn’t been as effective in recent years overall and he’s been out for months with an injury.

There is this misguided assumption Las Vegas will automatically take Howard in the expansion draft. With each team protecting only one netminder, it’s unlikely given value to his contract. It might even be unlikely if Mrazek, although considerably younger (25 compared to 33 to start next season), were exposed for the same reason.

2. And the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch claims that the Red Wings will actually sell, and sell pretty heavily, at the trade deadline:

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland is closing on accepting reality. He is trying to move players — including forwards Tomas Jurco and Thomas Vanek. The Wings have a lot of players signed long-term so this isn’t going to be an easy decision. Detroit would like to shake it up and the club needs help on defence.

In theory, UFA-to-be Brendan Smith and Mike Green, despite his season remaining at $6 million, are also on the trading block, but if I may be my completely honest self, I'd be shocked if the Wings move more than Jurco and Vanek--and I wouldn't put the Wings re-signing Vanek pre-emptively over the GM. This "selling" business just isn't in the Wings front office's veins.

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WingedRider's avatar

Just think of what impact – good and bad - Mrazek has had on the Red Wings during his relatively short caree

The key word is think and from Oakland. Chase baseball around , moron

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 02/19/17 at 01:59 AM ET

PierreC's avatar

If they want to trade Jurco and have Something decent in return our loveable coach needs to play him !

Our season is over and yet Jurco can’t even play a game once in a while.. but Sheahan is always in the line-up.

How can we trust the brass to take the best decisions when TDL comes ??

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 02/19/17 at 03:40 AM ET

Chet's avatar

then they need a new body and a blood transfusion.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/19/17 at 05:03 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Pat Caputo is a complete moron.

I heard him last Monday night on the way to hockey talking with Paul Woods on 97.1, and I don’t think I’ve heard a man more confident in his garbage opinion in my life.

Rule #1: Never blame the goalie. Even if he lets in a soft one, there was probably something another player could’ve done to prevent that play in the first place. Against Washington, it was Smith not tying up Winnik on that rebound, which is what you’re supposed to do. On Sunday, it was Kronwall’s garbage pass on the powerplay that gave Kuhnackl that break in the first place.

On Monday, he was spewing the same drivel, making it sound as if the wings trading for a goalie (how many do you need?!) would suddenly make them a contender again. He has no understanding of hockey and the league at all if he thinks that. Even the big homer Woods disagreed with him a couple of times, and Caputo would still basically respond with “Well, that’s your opinion.” type crap.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 02/20/17 at 10:18 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.