The Detroit Red Wings have really spiraled out of control since the week before Thanksgiving. After starting a modest 10-8-2 through their first 20 games, Detroit has taken losses in eight of their previous nine games, including a 6-1 defeat at home against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (12/09).
The goaltending play for the Wings has been a major point of concern. Jimmy Howard has been the team's No. 1 option all year, playing in 23 games versus just nine for Petr Mrazek. Howard has gotten the nod over the backup Mrazek the majority of the outings during this recent slump. And with the team heading in the wrong direction real fast, they most look to trade some of its assets.
There is a report out there from Sportsnet analyst Elliotte Friedman that one Western Conference team may be interested in trading for the sparingly used Mrazek.
The Oilers are looking at Petr Mrazek, @FriedgeHNIC said on CBC tonight. “But I don’t know where that stands,” he added.
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) December 10, 2017
"i think edmonton is taking a look at petr mrazek from detroit,
but i don't know where that stands tonight."@FriedgeHNIC
— gregg krupa (@greggkrupa) December 10, 2017
Mrazek has started two of the last three games in net for the Red Wings. He got the nod one week ago in Montreal and allowed five goals, facing 25 shots against the Canadiens before getting pulled. Detroit went on to lose that game 10-1, in what Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg called it an “embarrassing” effort.
Howard was the No. 1 option each of the last two games, including on Saturday against the Blues, but he got the hook after two periods and allowing four goals on 10 shots faced. Mrazek played the third period and allowed two goals on another 12 shots.
Mrazek has really struggled in the limited time he's garnered this season. In now 10 games played, he's allowed three or more goals in six of them, including a pair of 5-spots in his last five times out. Unfortunately for him and the Red Wings, Mrazek continues to trend down. After posting a .921 save percentage and 2.33 goals against average just two seasons ago, the save percentage for Mrazek now sits under .900 and the GAA is rapidly approach 4.00 per game.
It's hard to imagine that a struggling Mrazek would draw any sort of trade interest. However, a team like the Edmonton Oilers might seek to get the 25-year-old cheaper than expected, given his production (or lack thereof) and his contract status (Mrazek is a restricted free agent at season's end).
Much like the Red Wings, the Oilers have struggled in the net. A tandem of starter Cam Talbot (22 games) and backup Laurent Brossoit (nine games) have combined to register an .891 save percentage and 3.39 GAA, both of which rank last or next to last in the league. Just one year after making the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season, the Oilers would likely be hoping for a spark from Mrazek, should any deal ever come to fruition.
One thing is for sure: if a deal is gone, some here won't necessarily miss Mrazek. Some believe that is time for him to go.