The Czech goaltender had a solid season for the Hurricanes, helping the team qualify for another postseason. He posted a 21-16-2 record along with a 2.69 goals against average and a 0.905 save percentage.
Now with camp halfway through and the departure for Toronto on the horizon, Mrazek is excited for another deep run. He spoke to the media over Zoom following Sunday’s practice.
On if he found icetime during the pause: There was a different situation in Czech Republic with the coronavirus. The rinks were open since the end of April so I’ve been skating with some of the guys that are in the States now. It’s a different situation. The last three or four weeks, I’ve put more time in the gym than on the ice.
On feeling playoff ready: I feel ready. Mentally and physically. I’m really looking forward to having the kind of game we had against Washington [last postseason] and go from there.
On potential starter and short leashes: Whoever gets the call, they’re going to be ready. We’ll win the games so that’s all that matters. It’s for the team, so we’re going to support each other for it.
On playing in an empty arena: We’re going to find out. I’ve never played like that before at the big stage. We’ll see how it’s going to be. I would prefer playing in a smaller arena. It would feel different, but those are the rules and I’m looking forward to it.
On using extra time to analyze Rangers: I’m definitely going to look at some things that they do on the power play or penalty kill. Everything that can make the difference. It’s going to be interesting how it goes, and we’re preparing like it would be a normal playoff game.
On relying on last year’s experience: It’s in the past. I feel like I know how to prepare. I hired a sports psychologist for it and we did a lot of work together since then and I think I’m ready for that next step.
On working with a sports psychologist: We were working together for the last two seasons. Things that we talked about before were if I had a good two to three games and all of a sudden I thought it would go smoothly and be easy and then all of a sudden I had one or two bad games. I wasn’t mad about it, I was like ‘I had three good games.’ Sometimes the bad games happen. We kind of worked on going game-by-game and leaving everything behind in the past and looking forward. Try to be as competitive as the game before.
On separating bad games from personal responsibility and overall team responsibility: We play as a team. Whatever happens is on me and the guys. It’s not only one guys’ fault. I feel like I can tell when I have three good games and the bad one’s coming and those are my mistakes and I can tell myself that it was on me.