The Toronto Maple Leafs recently waived Petr Mrazek, who arrived in the summer with expectations of being a solid number two goalie.
Petr Mrazek responded by only allowing two goals in the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. And again conceding just 2 against the Florida Panthers.
Prior to that game, he’d allowed four goals in his prior 3 appearances and five goals in the one before that. Not exactly a NHL-worthy record.
In turn, he found rookie goaltender Erik Kallgren moved onto the Maple Leafs roster, where he proceeded to put in strong enough performances to usurp the veteran.
Toronto Maple Leafs hit reset with Petr Mrazek
From the outside, you’d look at the scenario that played out and expect Petr Mrazek to be completely devoid of any sort of confidence.
However, based on his performance against New Jersey, he actually seemed to be a little more settled in the crease than usual. As such, you have to wonder if the Toronto Maple Leafs did him a favour by waiving him.
Maybe, in fact, that move was the jolt that Mrazek needed to find his game. Right now with Jack Campbell still injured, Petr Mrazek has a chance to stake his claim once more and really needs to run with it.
Kallgren has tasted the big time and will no doubt want to remain on the NHL roster as long as he possibly can. Maybe the competition of an upstart is a positive thing. The whole scenario itself is quite hard to fathom. Nobody expected Mrazek to find himself passing through waivers after inking a three-year deal costing the Leafs $3.8 million per season.
Add to that, his name was rumoured to be in the mix when it came to a trade for Marc-Andre Fleury at the trade deadline. It can’t help a guy’s confidence, surely. His recent performance though might be a sign of him taking onboard the message trying to be sent by waiving him – right now, the Toronto Maple Leafs clearly see him as an expendable asset.
Moving forward, he needs to get himself out of the dog house, ref-focus and find some form. January was certainly his best month, albeit in limited action. He needs to get back to that place at the very minimum.
As Leafs fans, we have seen him pull a performance out of the bag from time to time, it’s really been consistency that is lacking. Wild swings of conceding four goals to conceding just one won’t fly as we edge towards the business end of the season.
The organization has to be hoping for an imminent Jack Campbell return and him recapturing his early-season form, as well as Mrazek getting the reset he very much required.
Otherwise, the team’s hopes are likely pinned on a rookie. Others have managed to get the job done in the past, but a stacked Atlantic Division will surely necessitate an experienced goalie tandem.
Here’s hoping the Toronto Maple Leafs made the right decision and have managed to hit reset on Petr Mrazek’s confidence by giving him a huge wake-up call. Absolutely, they have to be hoping for better from the Czech.