He stopped the 37th shot he faced from the Senators, this one was a quick leg stop off Victor Mete. The Leafs were already having a difficult time of it, down 3-0 in Ottawa. The fateful shot came just as time was winding down in the second period. Drake Batherson and flicked a pass to Mete down the middle of the ice. Mete had little time so he hurried an otherwise harmless shot. Unfortunately for the 29-year old netminder, something was tweaked as he dropped into his butterfly.
Petr Mrazek Injured, Leaves Game
— Alex Metzger (@nhlsensandstuff) October 15, 2021
Mrazek skated off under his own power once the intermission horn blew, but didn’t emerge for the third.
What This Means
When Mrazek faced the Senators in a pre-season match, he managed a 19-save shutout. The Leafs are hoping he can provide stability with last season’s backup Jack Campbell. That’s what they’re paying the former Carolina Hurricane for, inking him to a three-year, $3.8 million per contract this offseason. It’s a big move, as he replaced the popular but not always effective Frederik Andersen.
Michael Hutchinson is the most likely replacement for Mrazek, coming in behind Campbell. Even with Petr Mrazek injured, Toronto won’t be looking for a trade immediately or any such. Hutchinson has played 28 games with the Leafs over three seasons, not always with great success. Last season, however, he had a .919 save percentage over his eight games. Those games were limited to North Division opponents, of course, so take that with a grain of salt.
Hutchinson is an experienced netminder, though. Between him and Campbell, they should be able to tide over the team. If Mrazek is out for a substantial length of time, he’s going to get some starts, but the bulk of play will still be handled by Campbell.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images