Former NHL goaltender Mike McKenna gives his Daily face-to-face Start of the goalkeeper match of the day for Friday. March 10, 2023:
Why I love this game:
Don’t call it a comeback! Sergei Bobrovsky is playing at his best in goal for the Florida Panthers. The only question: will it be enough to get his team into the Stanley Cup playoffs?
To monitor :
The Panthers don’t have much room for error. With 17 games remaining and the team currently four points away from an Eastern Conference Wildcard slot, the game is stacked against Florida. But Bobrovsky has been a revelation this season, especially lately. Since February 1, the two-time Vezina Trophy winner has led NHL goaltenders with eight wins. In his last 12 games, Bobrovsky has a .932 save percentage overall. But the most telling is his consistency. Only once in those 12 games has he stopped less than 90% of the shots he faced. Bobrovsky plays with a swagger not seen since his days as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The 2022-23 NHL season has gone as expected for Petr Mrazek. He was hurt often and inconsistent. Which was normal behind a Blackhawks team lacking in talent and experience. In 30 appearances, Mrazek is 8-18-2 and has an .891 save percentage. He lost three in a row. But Mrazek launched a miniseries in late February, winning three in a row and stopping more than 93% of shots. That’s pretty much how Mrazek’s career went. It is extremely ridged due to a reliance on feel more than technique. And his aggressiveness tends to get him into trouble.
What fantasy owners should do:
Start Bobrovsky, especially since he regularly faces more than 30 shots. He won and made a difference statistically. Although Mrazek has had some flashes this season, I wouldn’t start him.
Conclusion for Sergei Bobrovsky:
The net is his in Florida. If the Panthers make the Stanley Cup playoffs, it will be on his shoulders.
Conclusion for Petr Mrazek:
It doesn’t matter how he plays. Mrazek has one year left on his contract with a cap of $3.8 million. And the Blackhawks are going hard for Connor Bedard.