Petr Mrazek’s time in Philadelphia was brief, mildly frustrating, and it was over before it could really start. For the last few seasons, Mrazek has been touted as a player who had the potential to be a number one goalie in the NHL, but was never able to fully beat out Jimmy Howard in Detroit. Some would say it’s because when Mrazek faced competition he would falter. Others would say he was never ready for a starting role to begin with. More would blame the poor Detroit defense for his lapses. OH BOY. Did we learn a lot during his time in Philadelphia.
On February 19th the Flyers sent a conditional fourth round pick, which turned into a third, in exchange for Mrazek. At the time, both Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth were injured long term and the Flyers net was filled by only Alex Lyon. Mrazek was brought in to keep the playoff ship from sinking while Elliott and Neuvirth recovered. It was a relatively low risk move with a possible high reward if Mrazek could establish himself. He started to do so in his first few games, however, Mrazek quickly sputtered out. His time in Philly can be summed up best by this gif:
Petr Mrazek was yelling at the coaching staff after they pulled him from the game, then he stormed off. pic.twitter.com/a6NtRt4MDj— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 21, 2018
By The Numbers
Mrazek’s time in Philadelphia will be remembered by an encouraging start followed by a frustrating finish to the regular season. Let’s bring it back to late February. February 26th to be exact. Mrazek was coming off his third start in Philadelphia and was starting to impress. Through his first three games he was 3-0-0 with one shutout and a SV% of .947. Things in Philadelphia were looking up, the Flyers were riding a streak of 10-0-1, and Petr Mrazek looked like the guy who saved their season.
In typical Flyer fashion, the wheels shot off of the wagon at lightspeed. In his next four games as a Flyer, Mrazek would allow a total of 18 goals and had a SV% of .854. Yikes.
The ship would right itself, as the Flyers finished out the season with a record of 8-3-3 and made it into the playoffs with 98 points. But while the team was able to stay consistent during that final stretch of games, the same thing could not be said for Mrazek. He won three of those games and was pulled in two of the games. Throughout the final stretch Mrazek was... passable? Well, sort of. His record was 3-3-2, and his sv% was .892. During this time there were three overtime games with one resulting in a shootout. We can’t blame everything on Petr, but he just wasn't good enough when the Flyers needed him.
Mrazek didn’t see much time in the playoffs — he appeared in Game 1 of the Pittsburgh series to replace a pulled Elliott. He gave up two goals in roughly thirty minutes of playing time, as the Flyers lost 7-0. The Flyers would ultimately get knocked out in six games, and Mrazek’s time in Philadelphia came to a close. Unless Mrazek somehow kidnapped one of the other Flyers’ goalies, we knew he wasn’t going to come back.
#Canes agree to terms on $1.5 million, 1-year deal with goaltender Petr Mrazek. GM Don Waddell: "We expect to have healthy competition for the starter's crease this fall."— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) July 1, 2018
Three Burning Questions
Did this player live up to our expectations for this season?
Petr Mrazek was damage control. If you expected that from him, then, yes, he did meet those expectations. However, if the expectation for Mrazek was set higher, let’s say establishing himself as a number one goalie, he did not sniff those expectations. Mrazek’s time in Philadelphia was woefully underwhelming, and he did nothing to earn a contract extension.
What do we expect from this player next season?
As Flyers fans, we should expect nothing of Mrazek next season for the sole fact he won’t be back. He will be in Carolina battling for the starting job, and it stands to reason that we could expect another year of much of the same with Mrazek — streaky and inconsistent.
What would we like to see this player improve on?
Petr Mrazek is a certainly athletic, and it can really set him apart from other goalies. However, one of major flaws is his consistency. One night Petr can really take control of the game and stop everything thrown at him. But, the next night he could be the hockey equivalent to swiss cheese. If he is ever going to take the next step in his career, that is an area that he has to focus on.