No surprise, but the Red Wings will give Petr Mrazek yet another start tonight when they host the Blues at Joe Louis.
Mrazek, who’s wrestled Detroit’s No. 1 gig away from Jimmy Howard, will look to build upon a remarkable month of January, during which he’s gone 5-0-1 with a 1.31 GAA and .957 save percentage.
While those numbers might — nay, are — impossible to keep up, Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill sees them as a sign of Mrazek’s arrival as a top-flight NHL netminder.
“His save percentage in January is phenomenal, [but] that can’t sustain itself,” said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, per ESPN. “I do think this is what he is as a goalie. I think he’s really, really growing into an elite goalie.”
At 16-8-4 on the year with a .931 save percentage and 2.10 GAA, Mrazek has worked himself into Vezina consideration. Though he lacks the workload of Braden Holtby, the consensus favorite right now, Mrazek has done a terrific job of not just beating Howard out for the No. 1 gig, but also keeping Detroit right in the thick of the Atlantic Division chase.
With a win tonight, the Red Wings would climb to within one point of Florida for top spot.
Mrazek and Co. will look to get those points against Brian Elliott, who’ll start for St. Louis.
— Robin Lehner will make his second start since returning from injury when the Sabres take on the Avs in Colorado. Lehner allowed three goals on 30 shots in his first game, a loss to the Bruins. For Colorado, Semyon Varlamov‘s in goal.
— John Gibson will keep his starting gig when the Ducks host the Wild. After a hot start, Gibson has plateaued a bit with a .902 save percentage in his last five starts. No word yet on a Minnesota starter.