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Playoff Preview: Ben Bishop vs Petr Mrazek

Playoff Preview: Ben Bishop vs Petr Mrazek

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be facing the Detroit Red Wings for the first time in the playoffs. These franchises are built in similar ways, on puck possession and skill and solid if not elite goaltending. In the playoffs, however, goaltending can become the great difference-maker and either a hot or cold streak could tilt the ice.

BishopMrazek2

Ben Bishop

2014/15 Statistics
Save % GAA GSAA Even Strength Save % Adjusted Save % High-Danger Save %
.916  2.32 2.27 .920 .930 .831

Ben Bishop is coming off of a breakthrough season in 2013-14, one that earned him a Vezina nomination and a contract extension. This is only his second year as a starting goaltender and will be his first NHL playoff experience. He struggled at points during this season but ended the regular season on a high note, with a .937 ESSV in his last 10 games.

Bishop is known for his contained and efficient style, playing within the edges of his crease and taking advantage of his massive 6-foot-7 frame. Not the best skater, he relies more on his ability to take up space rather than challenge and spends a noticeable amount of time in the butterfly, but when he’s on the hands stay active on top of that base.

He’ll need to maintain that control and avoid becoming overly aggressive, as holes open up when he starts moving too much. He uses the reverse-VH smoothly and often and is extremely strong while holding the goal line. The key to scoring on Bishop will be to force him to move into shots and off the goal line and make him open up.

Petr Mrazek

2014/15 Statistics
Save % GAA GSAA Even Strength Save % Adjusted Save % High-Danger Save %
.918 2.38 2.55 .931 .934 .843

Detroit Red Wings’s head coach Mike Babcock surprised many by naming Petr Mrazek the starter for Game 1 early.

The 23-year old has been somewhat above average this season, putting up a .931 ESSV. That has come in limited starts, however, so to some extent he is still an unknown quantity. Mrazek did manage to perform better than Jimmy Howard during the regular season, saving the team 2.5 goals above league average goaltending (In comparison, Howard cost the team 5.8 goals compared to average.)

Mrazek is a pointed contrast to Bishop. Average in size, he is an athletic and aggressive goaltender who is highly mobile and active. Where Bishop is contained focus, Mrazek is constant motion. He’s often found with his heels on or outside the top of his crease and has a very active feet and stick. Perhaps too active at times.

Mrazek’s aggressiveness can get him into trouble, especially when sustained pressure draws him further and further out into white ice.

About The Author

Clare Austin

Clare Austin is a reluctant "stats nerd" living in Nashville, where she has never worn a cowboy hat or boots.

1 Comment

  1. Bonnie

    Been a Stevie fan since he was 18. Before he became a Red Wing. Still a fan so if the Wings lose to Tampa it won’t hurt as much! Sorry, Steve. Still a Wings fan living in Florida. You’re a star, a gentleman and a great hockey player! My grandson and I respect you enormously! Tampa is lucky to have you. And Jon Cooper! ????