The Wings have been on a downward spiral since the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline. The two players that they traded were sent to teams contending for the playoffs, one of them pretty much a guarantee to make it and the other was Philadelphia.
By the time the Flyers rolled into town on Tuesday night, Petr Mrazek already had the five wins needed to turn the conditional 4th round pick Detroit got in return for him into a conditional 3rd in 2018. All the Flyers need to do now is make the playoffs. Dave Hakstol gave Mrazek the opportunity to start against his former team and early in the first period, the Wings played a tribute video on the jumbo tron, welcoming him back to Little Caesars Arena.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 20, 2018
Mrazek was a 5th round draft pick (141st overall) in 2010 and came up through the Wings’ farm system. The pays tribute to his time in Grand Rapids, showing him raising the Calder Cup in 2012-13. It also highlighted Mrazek’s charitable work while he was with the Wings, showing him teaming up with Detroit Dog Rescue. Finally, they showed some of Mrazek’s most highlight reel saves, including the best save he ever made in game seven of their first round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014-15.
Despite his flair for dramatic saves, there weren’t that much highlights to show as Mrazek had a short 166 game career with the Red Wings, posting a .916 save percentage and 2.40 goals against average along the way. He was supposed to take the starting reigns from Jimmy Howard, but some inconsistent play consistently withheld the Red Wings from fully throwing their trust behind him.
That inconsistent play was on full display Tuesday night in Detroit as the Red Wings chased Mrazek from the net, scoring three goals on five shots in the second period. Prior to this, Mrazek got the loudest ovation of the night when they announced his name at the start of the game.