After Howard fails to ‘bounce back,’ Mrazek to receive ‘opportunity’

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Another rough outing for Jimmy Howard last night versus San Jose has convinced Detroit coach Mike Babcock to give backup Petr Mrazek the opportunity to stabilize a Red Wings team that’s won just three times in its last 11 tries.

“We gave [Howard] an opportunity to bounce back; he didn’t do that,” Babcock said, per Red Wings Front. “We’ll give Pete Mrazek an opportunity here. As a group of coaches and a group of players we just got to bunker in here (Friday) and have a good conversation, have a good practice and get ready to play. Like I said we’ll be back ready to go.”

Detroit hosts Tampa Bay Saturday.

Mrazek is 14-7-1 with a .913 save percentage on the season. The 23-year-old has started only five games over the last two months, winning three of them.

With the three goals on 10 shots he surrendered last night, Howard’s save percentage in March fell to .887. And for Babcock, enough became enough.

“It’s amazing when you get a little confidence in that area (goaltending) we can all settle down and get playing better,” he said.