Mrazek’s 2020-21 season was drastically shortened by injuries, but, when he was on the ice, he was stellar.
Petr Mrazek 2020-21 By The Numbers
- NHL Seasons: 9
- Record: 6-2-3 in 12 appearances
- GAA: 2.06
- Save Percentage: .923
- Contract stats: Signed three-year deal with $3.8-million AAV with Toronto Maple Leafs
From a purely statistical standpoint, the third and final season of Petr Mrazek’s tenure with the Hurricanes was far and away his best, with the caveat that it came in a ridiculously small sample size due to multiple injuries.
Mrazek got off to a red-hot start to the season in his first four starts, winning two of them, with both of those wins coming via shutouts, including a 32-save performance against the Lightning that came with multiple lineup regulars out due to COVID protocols.
In that run, Mrazek provided exactly the kind of high-level goaltending the team had been looking for from him.
Petr Mrazek with a biiiig save on Vladislav Namestnikov to keep it a 2-1 game. Haydn Fleury then takes exception to Valtteri Filppula’s extra poke. pic.twitter.com/LTRi28ceTk
— Brett Finger (@brettfinger) January 17, 2021
Unfortunately, in a game against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 30, Mrazek suffered what turned out to be a costly injury early in the game on a collision with teammate Max McCormick: A fractured thumb that would keep him out for over two months.
Petr Mrazek will not return tonight due to an upper-body injury. Max McCormick collided with him in the net, and Mrazek quickly skated to the Hurricanes locker room tightly grabbing his right wrist. pic.twitter.com/gZZx1S4XjN
— Brett Finger (@brettfinger) January 31, 2021
Thanks the emergence of Alex Nedeljkovic, the absence of the Cane’s No. 1 goalie coming into the year didn’t hurt the team, and, when Mrazek returned on April 4, against, ironically, Dallas, he picked up where he left off with a 28-save shutouts, giving him a clean sheet in three of his first four complete games of the season.
Mrazek continued to play well, winning his next start. He ended up only making 12 on the season, as he missed another couple weeks with another injury in late April. He finished the season very well, however, with his only other regulation loss coming in the final game of the regular season, when Rod Brind’Amour rested numerous lineup regulars.
Again, with the caveat of it being a small sample size, it was a stellar regular season for Mrazek.
Petr Mrazek, signed 3x$3.8M by TOR, didn’t play enough for a card this year, but he has a solid track record. He also saved 9.2 goals above expected in 12 games this season, which is probably not sustainable. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/VCky2noGpr
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 28, 2021
Nedeljkovic took the reins going into the postseason until, with the team in an 0-2 hole against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Brind’Amour turned to Mrazek for game three. The Czech goalie turned in a stellar performance, turning aside 35 of 37 shots in what would turn out to be his team’s lone win of the series.
The success didn’t last, however, as Mrazek was also in net for the team’s collapse in game four, in which he allowed six goals on 26 shots before Nedeljkovic took the crease back for game five.
Time will well if the Hurricanes made the right decision in essentially swapping goalies with Toronto, letting Mrazek walk and signing Frederik Andersen. But, while he wasn’t between the pipes often due to his health and Nedeljkovic’s emergence, Mrazek’s final season in Carolina was a good one, and he was a pivotal part of the team turning a nine-season playoff drought into a three-year run of qualifying for the postseason.
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