ST. LOUIS -- Mike Babcock felt like Jimmy Howard couldn't play 48 straight games, so the Detroit Red Wings coach is going to give a young Czech Republic native his first experience in the National Hockey League.
Mrazek, 20, was recalled as the Red Wings have a host of injuries, including to goalies Jonas Gustavsson (groin) and Joey MacDonald (back). Plus, Babcock said he feels like Howard needs a break. He's started all nine games for the Red Wings this season and in a compressed schedule could use a breather.
"We didn't think [Howard] could play 48 straight, so we thought we better give him [a night off]," Babcock said. "This whole time we thought we'd be getting another goalie back. We just assumed that Gus would play, maybe MacDonald would play, but that never happened so we felt after the last two games that Howie needed a mental break. ... He needs a day where he doesn't have to think about getting another start."