Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Detroit Red Wings

League-leading Mrazek

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
After Monday's shutout of the Florida Panthers, Petr Mrazek leads the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT -- Petr Mrazek has always set high standards for himself and now those standards are the best in the league.

After Monday night's 3-0 shutout of the Florida Panthers, Mrazek now leads the NHL with a 1.97 goals-against average and .933 save percentage.

"It’s just a status," Mrazek said after Tuesday's practice. "It’s nice, but if the team plays well we get the points and that’s the most important part."

While the team defense in front of Mrazek plays a role in those numbers, it ultimately rests on Mrazek to make the saves.

"It’s definitely a Mrazek thing, combined with the team thing," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "But you have to play well to reach that. It doesn’t matter good a team is in front of you if you’re not stopping the puck you won’t reach those numbers. He’s probably a little modest about it, but he should be proud of that and he’s been playing well all year."

Monday's shutout was the ninth of Mrazek's career and his fourth of the season.

With that shutout, Mrazek now holds the best shutouts to games played ratio in Wings history since the forward pass was introduced in all zones in 1929.

Mrazek has nine shutouts in 76 games, the equivalent of one shutout every 8.44 games.

Terry Sawchuk had 85 shutouts in 734 games, one every 8.63 games.

Dominik Hasek had 20 shutouts in 176 games, one every 8.8 games.

Mrazek also became the sixth youngest Red Wings goaltender to reach the 20-win mark, following Harry Lumley (18 years old), Chris Osgood (21), Sawchuk (21), Roger Crozier (22) and Tim Cheveldae (22).

Mrazek turns 24 on Feb. 14.

Mrazek said the goals-against average is more important because it accurately reflects the entire team's play.

Wings coach Jeff Blashill won a Calder Cup in Grand Rapids with Mrazek as his goaltender in the 2012-13 season.

"He’s always had special mental qualities in the sense that he’s got a rare quality, he doesn’t get nervous, he’s extremely competitive, he’s got a high battle level around the crease," Blashill said. "He’s got a real confidence to him. When things don’t go his way he’s got a short memory and he just moves on to the next shot, or the next day or the next game."

Tomas Tatar was also on that Calder Cup-winning team and saw Mrazek's mental toughness on display.

"If he had a bad game, he'd shake it off and the next day he was perfect," Tatar said. "So that's how I see him here. He doesn't think about it much, he's just in the net and he's doing really good stuff here. He's really confident. He's showing us we can trust him and he's been perfect up here, too."

Zetterberg said Mrazek always had a presence about him.

"Ever since he came in he had kind of that X-factor," Zetterberg said. "Even if he let in a bad goal he forgets about it really fast, and you saw it last year too when those games he didn’t think he played that well. The next game he came in and played really well. Obviously, they will have some off days once in a while, but the next game comes back and plays he always plays well. You see that from the good goaltenders."

Mrazek had an excellent 2014-15 season, going 16-9-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

As Zetterberg said, when Mrazek did have a bad game, he never followed it up with another bad game.

After letting in five goals on 15 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 29, 2015, he gave up one goal in the next two games.

This year Mrazek has been even more consistent, never allowing more than four goals in a game and only allowing four three times, two of which ended up as wins.

"He's kind of the guy that loves to play games and loves to make saves and loves to battle back there," said Gustav Nyquist, also on the Calder Cup-winning team. "Plays the puck really well. He's had a great season for sure. He's been there for us a lot of times when we've given up way too many chances. He's been there to make that big save for sure and that's kind of what he does, he makes that big save when you need it. He's been great for us."

Blashill said Mrazek's game has grown since those days in Grand Rapids.

"I think (goaltending coach) Jim Bedard has done a good job with him," Blashill said. "I think he’s learned how to manage his crease really well. He’s out just far enough to cut off the angle to the proper mount without being too far out where he can’t get back to those second opportunities. He’s worked at his craft and gotten better in a lot of different areas."

Mrazek has played in 16 more games than Jimmy Howard this season but he welcomes the workload.

"When games are coming and you’re playing in lots of games, games after games you get confidence and you feel way better in net," Mrazek said. "I’ve played that many games in Grand Rapids."

In the 2012-13 season, Mrazek played in two regular-season games with the Wings, three games with the Toledo Walleye, 42 regular-season games with the Griffins and 24 playoff games with the Griffins.

Although Mrazek's name is now being mentioned as a possible Vezina Trophy candidate or Jennings Trophy candidate, he's not thinking that far ahead.

"We got 29 games left so we don’t talk about it," Mrazek said. "Every game is different. You can give up five or six goals next game. You have to go game by game."

View More