Detroit Red Wings Need To Provide Petr Mrazek With More Offensive Support

Red Wings Ducks Jan 12

Ed Szczepanski – USA TODAY Sports

One night after an impressive 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, the Detroit Red Wings wasted a solid outing from goaltender Petr Mrazek as they suffered a 1-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night. While the Red Wings showed they match up quite well with the hottest team in the league, their failure to convert on any of their five power play chances limited their effectiveness in the offensive zone. Mrazek was making his fourth start of the season, and for the third consecutive time he received absolutely no offensive support. The young prospect isn’t getting much playing time as it is, and the Red Wings need to start being concerned about how they are playing in front of him when he does get between the pipes.

Since posting a shutout in his first start of the season (Nov. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers), Mrazek has now watched as the Red Wings have been shut out themselves in his last three starts. Sunday night was one of his best performances of the season, and it’s a real shame that Detroit wasted his 22-save performance. He stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced in a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 15, and 16 of the 19 shots he faced in a loss to the New York Islanders on Dec. 23. His goals-against average (1.60) and save percentage (.923) are both the best among the team’s three netminders, and while Jonas Gustavsson is out with a groin injury and Jimmy Howard continues to try and find his groove again there’s no reason that Mrazek shouldn’t be seeing more time. Many young goaltenders have done big things for their teams this season, and if Mrazek was getting the offensive support he deserves he would be getting a lot more recognition around the league.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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