Saturday Matchup: James Reimer Vs Petr Mrazek

The battle of the goalies is going down in Carolina. All joking aside, these two goalies have been hard pressed in the stat department to get a firm decision on who should be starting in net for the upcoming series. Both goalies are cleared to play after Reimer was officially confirmed as being recovered from a lower-body injury which had occurred before the virus halted play.

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Look At The Stats

Reimer, while having played 15 less games that Mrazek, held a save percentage of 91.4%. He only let 61 out of 712 shots against him into the net and holding an average of 2.66 goals against per game. Mrazek, on the other hand, held a save percentage of .905 while owning an average of 2.69 goals scored against him per game. Mrazek respectably held his own, saving 987 shots out of a total 1,091 against him.

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The two players cannot be directly compared by their results due to the gap in games played. However, when looking at the average goals against per game in addition to registered save percentages, Reimer clearly has the upper hand on Mrazek on who should start in net in the NHL play-in round against the Rangers. However, due to James Reimer having recovered from injury during the pause, the question has to be asked, will he be in the same condition he was before his injury? Reimer had a fairly good season when he played, but with him being 32-years-old, his injury is far more likely to become aggravated and this may affect his game.

Mrazek, the younger of the two, was in decent form before the break, often positioning himself well and standing tall in net against pushes offensively. Mrazek shows strong stick skill and a good recovery speed, being able to get back up and block multiple shots in succession if the puck was not frozen. As well, the native of Ostrava boasts a fairly good record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, having recorded two shutouts in his NHL rookie season for the Detroit Red Wings.

Mrazek was able to keep composed and show his skill in high pressure situations. Mrazek, since then, had also shown he still holds this skill with an upset against the defending 2017-18 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals and helping his team through to the next round.

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Overall, based off of how the players have done in the past, it is likely that the Hurricanes will opt to play Mrazek as their starter in net and save Reimer for situations in which Mrazek is not able to play at full capacity. There is a chance that both goalies will be seen during the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, but they will both surely be fighting to get their spot during practice. This will likely rub off on the two and better their game leading in to the play-in round which begins on Saturday against the New York Rangers.

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