The Blackhawks are five games into their season and already find themselves without their newly acquired starting goaltender, due to injury.
Yesterday, the team announced that goaltender Petr Mrazek will be sidelined for some time after being placed on IR retroactive to October 21st.
Losing The Starter
Mrazek, who was off to a 1-1 start with a 3.76 GAA and .873 save percentage, is experiencing a similar lower body injury to the one he had last year as a member of the Maple Leafs. It would keep him out of action for 6 weeks.
There was no precise play during Friday night’s game that indicated an injury occurring.
Mrazek left the ice for the second period intermission but would not return for the third period.
According to NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis, Head Coach Luke Richardson said Mrazek’s prognosis was encouraging. Although he may miss some time despite being labeled as “day-to-day.”
Richardson spoke to members of the media today and provided another update.
Luke Richardson thought it could be 1-2 weeks for Petr Mrazek (groin strain).
"It's probably at least a week, could be two weeks, but it's hard to tell with a goalie with a lower-body strain. I think with his history we're just making sure that we do the right way for him."
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) October 24, 2022
Here’s to wishing Petr Mrazek a fast and healthy recovery during this tough time.
Next Man Up
When Mrazek was signed over the summer I touched on his injury history and how it could affect the season. Soderblom will more than likely spend a large portion of the year with the big club because of it.
Alex Stalock will be the starting goaltender moving forward. His aggressive style of goaltending has matched Coach Richardons’s defensive scheme very well so far.
Stalock is currently 2-1, with a 2.14 goals against average and a .939 save percentage. Impressive play that would keep any team, including the Hawks, very competitive.
Arvid Soderblom was recalled from Rockford and will be the acting backup goaltender until further notice. It is expected that he will start Saturday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.
We’re Going Streaking
The team has surprised many so far during their three-game winning streak.
Four shorthanded goals have been scored during this span, once again alluding to Coach Richardson’s new and “in-your-face” defensive pressure.
The effort and intensity from the team has been there. Offensive output has come from each line, showing more depth scoring than many expected.
The team currently sits in the number one wildcard spot in regards to the playoffs. Can they sustain this type of play all year long? We will see.
Tune in tomorrow night as the Blackhawks face a true mountain and host the Stanley Cup-contending Florida Panthers.