Guest Post by Franklin Steele:
Petr Mrazek should start in net for the Detroit Red Wings when they take on the St. Louis Blues tonight. I don't know an awful lot about the young netminder, but I do know this one fact. It should be him and not Howard to take on the central division rivals in action this evening.
The reasons for this are few and simple.
For starters, our man Howard needs a rest. Sadly there is no trophy in the NHL awarded to goalies who play an obscene amount of games for their respective club, but if there were then Jimmy would be in the running. He's been one of the busiest guys around this year as everyone who could possibly back him up besides Mrazek are out with an injury.
Logic would suggest that the Wings play their "better" goalie against a "better" Blues team while giving him the night off either against the Oilers on Saturday or the LA Kings on Sunday in back-to-back games. Breaking in Mrazek against the read 'em and weep Oilers or the "did we really win the Cup last year" Kings could be the way to go.
Hit the jump for more.
But I say bury the logic just this once and do something to shake this team up. If the powers that be refuse to make a "knee-jerk" trade to try and ice an actual NHL-quality hockey team, that's fine. At least do something to snap at half of this team out of their collective, if I was a Blue I'd die-la-de-da-da-da slumber.
Mrazek goes in against the Blues in this game and suddenly no one is comfortable. No one is thinking "good ol' Jim has got our backs." No, now there is a variable somewhere in an very important game, and players may feel the need to step it up a bit. Hell, maybe they'd even consider playing a full three periods of hockey for the first time all season.
Regardless of whether or not you think my reasoning is spot on or not is irrelevant. What you can't argue is the fact that this is a sleepwalking Red Wings team that wins when it gives a full effort, and loses when it doesn't. Babcock needs to do something a little out of the blue to beat the Blues and prevent losing three straight after dropping embarrassing loses to the Blue Jackets and the Flames.
Or at least lock Kyle Quincey in a dark broom closet before the game, start Lashoff and scratch Dan Cleary while giving some random 12-year old-and-up fan a chance to take his place for one game. They couldn't be any more ineffective than Dan has been, and at least they'd be fired up for the game and show some heart.
The same logic applies to Mrazek. Give him the start, get his heart going, and wake this team up before I need a second job to support my suddenly necessary anti-acid habit.