Red Wings-Sharks quick recap: shootout steal

The Detroit Red Wings hoped to kick off the post All-Star Break schedule by kicking the San Jose Sharks while they were down, with San Jose struggling through a 3-game losing streak.

Both teams desperately needed to earn two points to help keep their playoff hopes alive, and the Joe Thornton-less Sharks had given up 14 goals over their previous three games.

On Wednesday night, the Red Wings earned their two points, scoring once in regulation and 3 times in the shootout, winning 2-1 over the Sharks. Detroit gave the Sharks a point by not building upon a one-goal 3rd period lead, but Petr Mrazek was excellent, Trevor Daley of all people scored a pretty goal and Athanasiou, Tatar and Abdelkader of all people delivered in the skills competition.

The Sharks’ lineup wasn’t set until game time, and even the Sharks screwed things up as the lines were shuffled:

The Red Wings’ lineup was known before the game, and’s Dana Wakiji confirmed the set-up:

The Sharks started Chris Tierney, Mikkel Boedker and Joe Pavelski up front, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun on defense and Martin Jones in goal;

The Red Wings started Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou at forward, Danny DeKeyser and Nick Jensen on defense and Petr Mrazek in goal.

Kendrick Nicholson and Dean Morton refereed the game, with Andrew Smith and Mark Shewchyk working the lines.

The 1st period

1st period observations:

  • Larkin drew in for the opening faceoff opposite Tierney and Larkin won the draw to Jensen, the Wings chipped and chased, and the Sharks had to battle the Wings’ forecheck to dump and chase into the Wings’ zone, where Jensen and DeKeyser slid the puck to Bertuzzi and he pushed the puck into the Sharks’ zone.
  • San Jose set up 2-on-1 as Boedker and Pavelski raced in, but Boedker fired wide of Mrazek.
  • The Sharks changed lines while in on the Wings’ zone, and Brent Burns got the Sharks’ first shot, a long bomb in on Mrazek that was easily stopped.
  • Tatar, Nielsen and Helm had some struggles clearing the zone opposite the Sharks, but they managed to force San Jose offside and change 1:30 into the 1st period.
  • Kronwall and Green facilitated a faceoff win for Mantha, Zetterberg and Nyquist, and that trio had to hustle back to snag a loose puck that Green ultimately rifled off a Shark and out of play…
  • And with 2:58 gone in the 1st period, Frk, Glendening and Abdelkader came out, completing the 4-line rotation with DeKeyser and Jensen guarding the point…
  • Frk and Dillon got into a bit of a scrum as Frk twisted Dillon away from the puck and onto his ass with a stick lift, but nothing came of it.
  • As the period progressed, the Sharks looked sharper than the Wings and speedier than the Wings, and Detroit took some time to get their first shot.

An Ericsson flub yielded a Timo Meier skate-around and a holding penalty by Ericsson at 3:49.

  • Right off the hop, Logan Couture hit the goalpost behind Mrazek, but Burns nearly got walked around by Helm as well, so the teams were quite happy to play high-risk hockey.
  • After Helm and Nielsen worked the PK, Glendening and Larkin lofted the puck out of the zone and out of trouble, but San Jose roared back in, and Daley chipped a Donskoi dangle down the ice. Daley’s shot counted as the Wings’ first marker.
  • San Jose’s second power play unit was particularly good, cycling the puck around the perimeter, and the clock just wound down on them too quickly for the team to get many good shots off.
  • Mantha, Zetterberg and Nyquist poured over the boards as Ericsson came out of the box, and slowly but surely, Mantha worked into the zone and fired a shot wide of Jones:
  • The After the first TV timeout at 7:07, the shots were 2-2 but the attempts were 7-3 San Jose.
  • The Wings managed to generate some solid puck possession as the period progressed, but the Sharks played Detroit evenly, and Mrazek had to make some smart stops on Karlsson and Boedker.
  • Larkin, Bertuzzi and Athanasiou did a good job of cycling the puck into the Sharks’ zone, but Athanasiou’s best chance on his shift was off a Sharks turnover when his linemates had already changed.
  • At the second TV timeout at 10:27, Detroit was out-shot 4-3 and out-attempted 10-5; hits were 6-3 San Jose; giveaways an ugly 9-0 San Jose, takeaways 2-0 San Jose; blocked shots 1-1, faceoffs 6-3 Detroit (67%).
  • As play resumed, Mantha found Zetterberg for a fine chance on Jones, thanks to a swipe from Mantha in a pile of Sharks players. Regrettably, Brent Burns took Zetterberg’s angle away, and he ended up shoveling the puck into Jones.
  • The Wings tried to match up Larkin’s line opposite Pavelski and Boedker, and they nearly paid for it when Nick Jensen chipped a shot just past Jones’ ear;
  • Trevor Daley shoved Meier away from Mrazek but had to let Couture go as a result, and Mrazek bailed Daley out at one end…
  • And Athanasiou drew a penalty at the other end off a turnover by the Sharks’ defense.

San Jose’s Labanc got tagged for a weak slash at 12:37 of the 1st period.

  • The Red Wings’ power play began with the Sharks dumping the puck down the ice, and Kronwall executed a drop pass play to Nyquist that actually worked despite launching 1 player with speed into 4 stationary Sharks.
  • Frk was set up twice for a slapper that worked and a one-timer that was fanned upon, and that constituted the first PP shift;
  • Detroit changed 1:07 into the PP, with Larkin’s unit replacing Zetterberg, and Larkin, Green, Athanasiou, Bertuzzi and Tatar were unable to generate much of anything as the Sharks pounced upon the Wings’ poor zone entries.
  • At the third TV timeout at 15:02, Detroit out-shot San Jose 8-6 but was out-attempted 12-10; San Jose led the hits 9-3, but San Jose also had 10 giveaways to 0 from Detroit; takeaways were 2-0 San Jose, blocked shots 1-1, faceoffs 9-4 Detroit (69%).
  • Tatar, Nielsen and Helm were then sent out against Pavelski, Tierney and Boedker, and Mrazek got caught out of his net on a wraparound that was successfully defended by Danny DeKeyser of all people.
  • San Jose got away with a couple of penalties in the first period–some slashes, some trips and the kind of stuff that was called 100% of the time over the first 25% of the season–but the Wings did their best to work through it.
  • Brent Burns charged into the Wings’ zone and got a great chance off on Mrazek, but the Larkin line came back to defend…and Larkin skated the other way, shut down by Jones and the Sharks’ D.
  • Mike Green made a bad boo boo with about 1:50 left in the 1st, fumbling a pass from Mrazek away, but Barclay Goodrow was shut down by Mrazek.
  • Burns also had a shot blocked by Abdelkader’s stick, which broke, and Burns was poke-checked away by Mrazek…
  • With Burns eventually wrapping up the play by going offside and firing the puck at Tomas Hertl.
  • Detroit was picking off the Sharks’ “stretch passes” fairly well, and the first period wrapped up without much incident.

The 1st period in summary: The Red Wings played something of a “nothing period” against the Sharks, with both teams surrendering a fair amount of scoring chances over the course of the final 10 minutes of play. Neither team was on top of their game.

Statistically, Detroit out-shot San Jose, but Detroit was out-attempted 21-14; hits were 11-10 San Jose; giveaways 11-1 San Jose, takeaways 2-1 San Jose (possession changes 12-3 Detroit); blocked shots 2-1 Detroit; faceoffs 10-9 Detroit (53%).

Individually, Zetterberg, Daley and Athanasiou led the Wings with 2 shots apiece; Nielsen led the Wings with 3 hits, and Glendening had 2; Ericsson had the Wings’ only giveaway; Nyquist had the Wings’ only takeaway; Daley blocked 2 shots; Glendening and Larkin’s 3-and-1 (75%) faceoff records led the team; the Wings were “even,” and Green led the team with 8:08 played; Kronwall played 7:14, DeKeyser 7:49, Larkin 6:23, Daley 6:68, Athanasiou 5:31.

FSD had the scoring chances at 5-3 San Jose despite the 12-11 disadvantage in shots.

The 2nd period

2nd period observations:

  • Pavelski won the opening faceoff opposite Dylan Larkin, he was unable to set up on the first possession but ground out the puck down low with his teammates on their second foray, and Detroit responded as Andreas Athanasiou skated through the Sharks’ defense and got a shot off on Martin Jones.
  • Nielsen’s line had a tougher time getting up ice, icing the puck and affording Logan Couture and company some cycle time in the Wings’ zone…
  • But Darren helm was sprung on a breakaway and he fired wide of Martin Jones, all off a Tomas Tatar set-up.
  • The Wings got a couple of 3-on-2’s going into the Sharks’ zone, but Mantha whipped a shot wide of Jones, and Nick Jensen got the best scoring chance on that foray instead;
  • Mrazek gobbled up Brent Burns’ 7th fricking shot of the game only 2:47 into the 2nd period;
  • It was good to see former Wings prospect camper Barclay Goodrow working out with the Sharks. I remember watching Ken Holland chase Goodrow around the concourse of Centre ICE Arena, trying to convince Goodrow to sign an AHL deal. He did not do so…
  • 4 minutes into the 2nd period, Detroit was starting to wilt a bit under the Sharks’ pressure, and San Jose was afforded easy entry into the Wings’ defensive zone.
  • Meier, Couture and Labanc nearly connected for a scoring attempt some 5 minutes into the 2nd, and Detroit tried to respond, with Jensen earning another good chance on Jones via a Tatar set-up.
  • 6:09 into the 2nd, Detroit was out-shooting San Jose 3-2 in the 2nd period and 15-13 overall; attempts were 25-18 San Jose; hits 15-13 Detroit; giveaways 11-2 San Jose, takeaways 2-1 San Jose; blocked shots 5-1 Detroit; faceoffs 13-11 San Jose (46%).
  • Trevor Daley of all people was having a really good game, leading the Wings with 4 blocked shots, and Daley nearly connected on a one-timer coming in from the right point as Dylan Larkin tried to set him up.
  • The Sharks worked their tails off to fire as many pucks as possible at, near or in the general vicinity of the Red Wings’ net, and the attempts spoke for that.
  • Darren Helm had another bit of hard luck as he attempted to wrap the puck around Martin Jones, racing Jones to the left goalpost, but the Sharks’ D poked away Helm’s chance.
  • Mantha, Zetterberg and Nyquist had a productive shift together some 8:30 into the 2nd, with Athanasiou coming out to help toward the end of the shift…
  • And Athanasiou found Frk for a one-timer that was stopped by Jones.
  • Blashill ENGAGED THE LINE BLENDER 9:15 into the 2nd, placing Larkin between Tatar and Abdelkader, and the line worked well together, generating some zone time and getting a long shot via Mike Green.
  • Green made an…intriguing…pinch while working with Frk, Athanasiou and Bertuzzi, and the ultimate result thereof was a Frk shot that went off Justin Braun, a re-entry and some fancy stick-work by Bertuzzi. Green chipped a one-timer at the end and it went off Martin Frk’s helmet!
  • At 10:32 of the 2nd period, Detroit was out-shooting San Jose 7-3 in the 2nd and 19-14 overall; attempts were 28-27 San Jose; hits 18-13 Detroit; giveaways 11-2 San Jose, takeaways 2-1 San Jose; blocked shots 6-4 Detroit; faceoffs 15-15 (50%).
  • When play resumed, Labanc, Hertl and Karlsson cycled down low and re-set at the blueline, re-entering the zone offside as the team changed lines.
  • Jonathan Ericsson was given a broad, broad amount of leeway to tug and pull down a Shark trying to steal the puck from a scrum in the left corner, and he got away with it…
  • Jonas Donskoi skated in off the right wing side and blasted a heavy shot JUST wide of Mrazek thanks to Trevor Daley’s right knee.
  • San Jose’s attack perked up 13 minutes into the 2nd period, and a penalty resulted from it.

Dylan Larkin got called for dumping Chris Tierney at 12:58, yielding a tripping infraction.

  • Off the initial faceoff, Abdelkader, Glendening, Daley and Ericsson got to work on the PK, and they were replaced by Helm, Nielsen, Jensen and DeKeyser 50 seconds into the PK;
  • San Jose took control of puck possession and Couture slid a sneaky shot into Mrazek, who was able to glove the puck while being screened by Pavelski;
  • San Jose worked the puck to the point on its next set of possession, and Athanasiou made a great steal, skated up with Larkin, and Athanasiou fired the puck off Jones instead of passing to Larkin.
  • At 15:45 of the 2nd period, Detroit was out-shooting San Jose 9-7 in the 2nd and 21-18 overall; attempts were 33-30 San Jose; hits 20-13 Detroit; giveaways 12-2 San Jose, takeaways 3-1 San Jose; blocked shots 6-3 Detroit; faceoffs 19-17 (53%) Detroit.
  • When play resumed, Mantha, Zetterberg and Nyquist worked a fine scoring chance out together as Mantha jammed a shot in on Jones, Zetterberg got the puck back to DeKeyser and he slithered a shot that was tipped by Nyquist in on Jones.
  • Abdelkader, no longer wearing a jaw protector, got a nice tip in on Jones as well, but the lack of traffic was evident.
  • Brent Burns’ 8th shot was gloved by Mrazek as Petr slid out of position on the right side of the net, with 1:12 remaining in the 2nd period…
  • Mrazek then took one off the head on the subsequent play, and the Wings screwed up their change…

And at 19:08, Joel Ward went off for holding Henrik Zetterberg, who made sure that the refs saw the call.

  • Detroit lost the initial deep offensive zone faceoff, the Wings re-entered the zone, and Green, Larkin, Athanasiou, Tatar and Abdelkader = Vlasic stick-checked Athanasiou to stop a goal from occurring;

The 2nd period in summary: It wasn’t a snoozer, but it wasn’t a snoozer by only a little bit. The Red Wings and Sharks were trading chances, trading shots and trading zone time in equal amounts, and the Red Wings’ slow but steady pulling away from San Jose in the shot category piled up–but no pile-ups in front of Jones and a hell of a Vlasic stick check = 0-0 after 2.

Statistically, Detroit out-shot San Jose 13-9 in the 2nd and 25-20 overall; attempts were 37-36 Detroit; hits 22-14 Detroit; giveaways 13-2 San Jose, takeaways 3-1 San Jose; blocked shots 7-6 Detroit; faceoffs 21-20 San Jose (49% for Detroit).

Individually, Athanasiou led the Wings with 5 shots; Larkin, Daley and Zetterberg had 3; Ericsson led the Wings with 3 hits, and Nielsen had 4; Jensen and Ericsson had giveaways; Nyquist had a takeaway; Daley blocked 4 shots; Larkin’s 7-and-3 (70%) faceoff record paced the team; Green played 15:04, Kronwall 13:21, Daley 13:57, Ericsson 12:47, Larkin 12:39, DeKeyser 12:20, Athanasiou 11:44.

FSD had the scoring chances at 7-7 despite the Wings’ 25-20 shot advantage.

The 3rd period

3rd period observations:

  • The Wings started the 3rd period on the power play.
  • On said power play, Kronwall executed a drop pass to Nyquist that mysteriously worked as a zone entry, but Mantha flubbed a pass to Kronwall, Detroit re-entered, and Frk blasted a heavy shot wide of Jones.
  • Zetterberg, Kronwall, Mantha, Nyquist and Frk worked together to set up Frk for a gorgeous one-timer that flittered wide of the net, and his second attempt was blocked.
  • As the PP expired, Justin Braun’s stick broke, and Green joined the fray, as did DeKeyser, and Frk nearly scored again as he wound up for a shot in tight that Braun blocked with his right skate.
  • The Sharks then set up on a 2-on-1 in which Couture and Kevin Lebanc skated toward Mrazek, and Lebanc chipped a puck into Mrazek’s glove.
  • After a Nielsen line shift, Larkin chugged up with Abdelkader and he flipped the puck over the net, working with Abdelkader and Tatar…
  • Zetterberg’s line came out for a moment, and it was replaced by Larkin, Athanasiou and Bertuzzi, so #71 was being double-shifted.
  • San Jose started to break away from the Wings in its zone entries, and Mrazek both got lucky when Vlasic slid a puck wide and gloved another puck…
  • Zetterberg ended up on a line with Nyquist and Glendening as Blashill stirred the drink some 5 minutes into the 3rd, and they managed to steer Brent Burns back into his own zone.
  • Off a big Sharks faceoff win by Pavelski, Braun slid the puck down low and Pavelski clanged the puck off the goalpost behind Mrazek, and save Mrazek, the goalpost did…
  • Helm, Glendening and Nielsen managed to muck a fine scoring chance into nothing…

But Trevor Daley charged into the Sharks’ zone on the re-set via a good Ericsson poke check on Couture and a feed from Nielsen, and Daley slid a slithery little puck through Jones’ legs and into the net.

Trevor Daley scored the 1-0 goal at 6:48 from Nielsen.

  • On the post-goal shift, Bertuzzi stirred things up with the Sharks’ Dillon as well, but nothing came from the exchange save some pushing and shoving.
  • At 7:23, Detroit out-shot San Jose 7-3 in the 3rd and 32-23 on the night; attempts were 49-45 Detroit; hits 23-14 Detroit; giveaways 14-3 San Jose; takeaways 3-2 San Jose; blocked shots 9-8 Detroit; faceoffs 25-23 San Jose (48%).
  • As play resumed, Zetterberg and Green messed up a Couture pass to Donskoi in the slot, but Mrazek bailed out the Wings’ defense;
  • Niklas Kronwall almost Kronwalled a Sharks forward at the San Jose blueline…
  • As Darren Eliot pointed out, Nick Jensen was having a really dynamic game, and that was good to see. Jensen has struggled with a sophomore slump of epic proportions at times.
  • The 10-minute mark passed and Andreas Athanasiou nearly stole the puck away from Marc-Edouard Vlasic, but he was unable to do so…
  • Zetterberg’s set-up for Ericsson = Sharks 3-on-1 that Daley diffused;
  • And a Mantha rush and drop pass for Jensen = zipola.
  • The Sharks were still attacking with vim and vinegar, but Mrazek was aggressive and with 8:03 remaining in regulation…
  • Detroit out-shot San Jose 8-5 in the 3rd and 33-25 overall; attempts were 52-47 Detroit; hits 27-15 Detroit; giveaways 15-4 San Jose, takeaways 3-2 San Jose; blocked shots 10-9 San Jose; faceoffs 27-25 San Jose (48% for Detroit).
  • The Sharks got together a very strong push some 12 minutes into the 3rd period, but their desire to stretch things out also yielded odd-man rushes for the Red Wings, who could not generate much of anything despite their man-advantage situations.
  • Again, the Sharks’ traffic in front was superior to Detroit’s, and when Luke Glendening’s stick broke…

Eventually, Kevin LaBanc blasted a heavy shot through a ton of traffic and over Petr Mrazek’s glove, scoring top shelf on the Red Wings’ goaltender.

LaBanc scored at 15:01 of the 3rd period, tying the game, from Brenden Dillon.

  • San Jose pushed harder on the post-goal shift, and Mrazek had to punch out a blocker save, squeeze his five-hole and then gobble up a Joel Ward slider.
  • San Jose got a 2-on-1 in which Daley and Larkin diffused a Hertl-and-Burns chance…
  • The Sharks decided to “play for the point” after that, slowing down their attack…
  • And Mantha, Zetterberg and Nyquist did a good job of skating the puck in on Jones, but Braun and Vlasic helped Jones keep the puck out of the net.
  • Nyquist, Zetterberg and Mantha continued, cycled, afforded San Jose a chance, and Mantha nearly scored as he fluttered a puck near Jones.
  • San Jose was equally adept at pumping the puck back to the point and skating the puck in deep to cycle down low, so the final couple of minutes of play were very exciting.
  • Pavelski, Couture, Burns, Ward and Ryan worked together for the Sharks’ final shift of pressure in the offensive zone, and Zetterberg, Nyquist and Mantha came out and were unable to penetrate a heavy Sharks defense.

The 3rd period in summary: Detroit got the 1-0 goal after a lot of hard work, really out-grinding the Sharks significantly, but Kevin LaBanc’s zinger top shelf negated all the Wings’ hard work in a single moment…and that’s what happens when you’re not a high-scoring team. Both teams desperately needed the 2nd point.

In overtime:

  • Larkin, Athanasiou and DeKeyser set up for the opening faceoff and had to pull the puck behind the Wings’ net before Detroit attacked heavily, with DeKeyser finding Larkin for a shot off Jones’ mask;
  • Green hopped on for DeKeyser, Athanasiou set him up, and Green’s shot was blocked out of play;
  • With an offensive zone faceoff on their side, Zetterberg, Nyquist and Green lost the draw, but pressured Vlasic, Donskoi and Hertl, forcing them to loop back and loop back.
  • Donskoi nearly scored…
  • And Green and Nyquist sticked in, lost the handle on the puck and created nothing…
  • The Sharks rushed into Detroit’s zone not once but twice, with Tierney, LaBanc and Karlsson together, but Jensen found Tatar, Tatar deked in deep, worked to Mantha, and Mantha had to play last man back…
  • DeKeyser found Larkin, he walked in, was hooked…

Brent Burns headed to the box at 2:17 for hooking.

  • Detroit called timeout, and brought Zetterberg, Green, Frk and Abdelkader out.
  • Green took the won faceoff and cycled with Zetterberg, and Detroit tried to set up Frk. Predictably.
  • Frk was stopped by Jones, Zetterberg deked and dangled in, was stopped by Jones on the break, and again, Detroit worked the puck to Frk.
  • Again.
  • And again.
  • Zetterberg also worked the puck down low to Abdelkader in the slot, but that did not work, either.
  • Both PP and PK units stayed out for over a minute and a half, and Vlasic ended up eating the puck in the Wings’ corner.
  • Athanasiou was sprung deep but fired the puck wide of the net…
  • With under a minute remaining in OT, Kronwall, Larkin, Athanasiou and Nyquist skated in…
  • Athanasiou gave up the puck to Hertl, DeKeyser had to dive to stop the Sharks from scoring a goal, and with 10 seconds left, Larkin fired a shot wide.


    • Frans Nielsen skated up and in, serpentine, and he was stoned by Jones.
    • Joe Pavelski skated into the Wings’ zone the same way, stopped and scored 5-hole.
    • Gustav Nyquist skated in sticked and scored along the ice.
    • Logan Couture skated in for the Sharks and sticked top shelf.
    • Andreas Athanasiou had to score and he did, roaring up and in and backhanding a shot over the glove of Jones.
  • Kevin LaBanc could win it for San Jose…he slinked up and in, and faked Mrazek, but was stopped.
  • Zetterberg skated up forehand backhand and fired a shot into Jones’ toe.
  • Donskoi then chugged in on Mrazek and deked himself out as Mrazek kicked his skate out.
  • Dylan Larkin got a false start, skated in, and put the puck into Jones’ legs.
  • Brent Burns charged in as well and put the puck off the top shelf post.
  • Tatar slid into the Sharks’ zone and roofed the puck with a glorious deke.
  • Chris Tierney timed his shot to fire it over Mrazek’s glove.
  • Abdelkader charged in, stopped and scored like a goal-scorer backhand deke:

  • Tomas Hertl then stickhandled his way into the zone, and he was stopped by Mrazek.


Here’s the Game Summary

And the Event Summary

The final shot attempts were 67-62 Detroit.

Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

13 thoughts on “Red Wings-Sharks quick recap: shootout steal”

  1. Sent your link to my pops in law, who missed the game:

    “The malik report is awesome! No need to record the game.”

  2. If Howard stayed healthy…we would have let Mrazek walk away without even qualifying him. Now Kenny is scrambling to find a plan B. How ironic.

    1. The Red Wings were going to keep Mrazek last summer for expansion draft purposes. They weren’t going to let him walk…and I’m finding this, “Oh, they won’t give him a qualifying offer this season” spiel a bit of BS, quite honestly.

      When it comes to goalies, no good GM–or bad GM–doesn’t have plans A, B, C, D, E and F.

  3. Mrazek is not only Hot , his stats are impressive and he is gathering points. Sort of hoping for another shutout, close.

    His number of Shutouts to games played this year must be near Goalies who have played a lot more games. HSJ is getting an extended menopause. More bothersome, admit you went too far with the BS.

    Happy with the Goaltending, especially the lack of goals being scored by the Wings team. Offense is offensive

  4. I’m saying that if Howard stayed healthy then Blashill may have continued to play him 80% of the time. I mean that’s what happened for the last 4 months so not sure why that would change. So if Howard is your guy, then you either try to give Mrazek away at the deadline, and if nobody wants him then you don’t qualify him for $4M+ and bring both guys back next year. This has been widely speculated that the Wings probably are done with Mrazek and won’t be qualifying him. But then Howard gets hurt, Mrazek finds his groove, and I’m guessing Kenny is thinking about qualifying Mrazek now. So now we try to trade Howard instead? Or we bring back both of them next year?

    1. At this point it’s probably a who-goes-first situation, kind of like the Franzen-vs-Hossa signing debate. If a team wants Howard more than Mrazek, or Mrazek more than Howard, I believe that it’s evident that one of them is going to go. Which one, I’m not sure.

  5. The guys on Hockey Central at Noon today were speculating about the Islanders’ desperate need for a goaltender and a defenseman. They mentioned Howard, but didn’t seem to think he’s what they’re looking for. But I wonder. Howard and Green for Halak and, say, a 1st and 2nd? Isles have 2 1sts and 2 2nds next year….

    1. I really wonder about the Islanders. They’re in the playoff hunt, but they’re not exactly a playoff shoo-in, so I don’t see Garth Snow making a massive move at the deadline. It’s just my gut feeling, but given the depth that the 2018 draft is supposed to have, I don’t think that Snow plans on moving those 1st-round picks.

      That being said, it’s been speculated that Green’s age and salary mean that he’ll fetch 2nd-rounders, not 1st-round picks.

      1. Garth Snow does strange things. There are times he’s looked completely lost, and then others where he’s miles ahead.
        With the overall state of the Islanders org, I wouldn’t be surprised if Snow does do something completely ridiculous in order to keep Tavares in Long Island, including massively overpaying for one of our goalies.
        I don’t think it’ll happen, but I wouldn’t rule it out simply on the fact that Snow does weird things sometimes.

      2. It’s not just about the playoffs for NYI. It’s mostly about proving to Tavares that they are committed to winning. Snow likely understands that adding a goalie like Howard isn’t going to lead to a lengthy playoff run. Standing pat, or even selling is the right move. But to make a point for Tavares they will likely buy. Kenny should exploit that.

  6. Fair points, but the Isles are at the top of the league in Goals For, but can’t keep the puck out of their own net (worst in the league in Goals Against, and it’s not even close). If they could shore up their GA even a little they’d be in a great position to make a deep run, which would be more incentive for Tavares to sign there.

  7. While I hope Holland is open to changing trade decisions based on changing circumstances – and I’m assuming he is – I’ve gotta agree that it really looked like he was willing to basically bury Mrazek and then either trade him for a pittance to anyone looking for playoff depth in goal, or simply not qualifying him and losing him for nothing.

    Otherwise, the Wings’ plan was an even more passive “well, if and when Howard eventually suffers his annual LBI, Mrazek might end up playing more then”.

    Giving Mrazek no chance to play more than once or so a month and rarely rewarding a great effort looked petty even though the rationale was probably: ride Jimmy; we trust him more.

    I was resigned to the Wings effectively squandering one of their highest-potential younger players because of basically one not optimally professional or effective season. Followed by a much better attitude and work ethic. Mrazek might have been his own worst enemy last season. But this season, the biggest barrier was the organization’s screwy usage in net. Several of us were basically incredulous Mrazek could have permanently lost his game just like that.

    So, now, who knows? I like both our goalies a lot. We do need to move one. I’ll cheer for both, here or elsewhere, except against the Wings or if they end up with the handful of teams that inspire loathing.

  8. #Followed by a much better attitude and work ethic. Mrazek might have been his own worst enemy last season.#

    Elaborate on your unproven BS, call HSJ she is full of it.

    Keep an injury average , 34 yr old goalie to help a rebuild.

    Completely stupid KH like thinking. That is why the wings are in deep trouble for a number of yrs. Keep an LOYAL old goat!

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