Blackhawks: defense falters in front of Mrazek
Of the 34 shots on target Chicago Blackhawks goalie Petr Mrazek faced on Sunday, he let 4 go by and find the net. Though, the argument can be made that none of those 4 tallies are directly on his shoulders as the defense was not helping him in the slightest.
The Blackhawks have surrendered 34 first-period goals this year, the most in the NHL. Wild center Maro Rossi scored twice today on four shots, and holding him to those two was a miracle. If Mrazek were not on his game, as he was, Rossi would’ve easily walked out of Sunday with a hat-trick. All four of his shots on goal looked like they were going in in part due to the lack of defense.
There was not one goal for the Wild on Sunday that can be put on the shoulders of Mrazek. The wide-open passing lanes and guys being in the wrong spots could be pointed out by even the casual fan. In every instance, Mrazek was facing another direction dealing with another problem the defense caused him. There was no effort made to help him out.
This is the kind of thing that the Blackhawks need to clean up when it comes time to learn how to win games. Outside of the four shots that found the blue ice, Mrazek did exactly what he needed to do and everything you want to see in a goalie. The Hawks need to learn how to help him out and keep these games tight to turn around and put the pressure on the opposing goalie.
Speaking of the opposing goalie…