Marek Mazanec Season Review: Red, Right Hand
With Rinne coming off summer surgery, all hope seemed lost when Carter Hutton was thrust into the starting role. When the back-up inevitably broke down due to inexperience and fatigue, the Predators called for the hot-handed mechanic in Milwaukee named Marek Mazanec.
The season for goalies in Nashville was tumultuous, with Pekka Rinne going down with a hip infection and backup goalie Carter Hutton getting shelled after being thrust into the spotlight. Enter Marek Mazanec, a gutsy call from the Predators brass over Magnus Hellberg, to come up and put a fire under Hutton while giving him a much needed break. Mazanec performed admirably in his first month snaring the NHL Rookie of the Month honors in a class of breakout forwards like MacKinnon and Hertl. That month of November, Mazanec went 5-4-1 with two shutouts. The rest of the year saw the wear of elite level competition start to chip away at Mazanec's resolve. He finished the year with a record of 8-10-4 winning only three games after his promising November campaign.
Even though the Predators lost this game, Marek Mazanec makes a sick glove save robbing the ever dangerous James Neal in Pittsburgh. The inevitable glance from Neal to the Megatron says it all. Larceny.
The Road Ahead:
The Predators still have another year with Mazanec and he will most likely spend that year in Milwaukee. With Hellberg not living up to potential, the Predators will look to Mazanec to shoulder the load in the AHL this next year. If Mazanec can stay on point like he did in the month of November, and we pray that Mitch Korn stays in the organization, another tall (6'4"), European (Czech Republic) late round pick (6th round) may find himself being the backup to Pekka Rinne when Carter Hutton's newly signed contract expires in two years. Until then, expect great things from the right-handed goalie in Milwaukee this year.
What should the organization do with Mazanec going forward?
|He should be the backup now.||25|
|Play him in Milwaukee all next year.||178|