Mrazek's marvelous play fueling confident Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek is playing the best hockey of his NHL career.
Named the league's Second Star of the Week on Monday, Mrazek's reward for posting a 3-0-0 mark with a rail-thin 0.67 goals-against average and a scintillating .978 save percentage? Well, a spot on the bench as the Red Wings (22-13-7) vie for their season-high fifth straight victory on Monday night when they continue their six-game road trip against the Los Angeles Kings (26-12-3).
"He's been really good and he gives us confidence and it's easy for us to play in front of him."
Coach Jeff Blashill would love to regain confidence in struggling veteran Jimmy Howard (7-5-4, 2.66 goals-against average), who will get the nod on Monday to likely snap a streak of 10 straight appearances for Mrazek. Howard, however, has been pulled in back-to-back starts.
Mrazek (15-8-3, 2.16 goals-against average) is one victory shy of matching the total of last season, during which he posted a 16-9-2 mark with a 2.38 goals-against average in 29 games. Selected in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, Mrazek has secured a 34-22-5 career record with a 2.20 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in 68 NHL appearances.
Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin was named the league's First Star of the Week on Monday, while Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie received the Third Star.