Isn’t Mike Smith kind of infuriating as a goalie? Sure, he gets brownie points for being from Kingston, Ontario (in my books at least, woot.) and sharing a name with the guy who plays Bubbles in Trailer Park Boys, even if his name sounds totally fake. That being said, he was the key piece in the Brad Richards to Dallas deal and only posted one good season in Tampa by my estimation (2008-09) despite being a huge dude with all the tools. He is your typical “if he every figured it out” type of player. The talent is there, the results are not.
Well, I’d say he’s just about figured it out at this point. After reuniting with Dave Tippett he has posted a .923 save percentage and been a key reason why the Coyotes haven’t faltered since the departure of Ilya Bryzgalov who was all-world for them before he left and everyone discovered he was a weird guy. Stats aside, this clip is about as telling as you’ll ever see from a goaltender on the cusp. Here Smith becomes the only goaltender I have ever seen solve the Datsyukian deke. His hoping-to-get-back-into-hockey mentor Marty Turco, and the much maligned Tomas Vokoun are cursing under their breath as they watch this, as Smith doing something they couldn’t do when they were at their best probably doesn’t help their respective cases.
This isn’t the first time Smith has made his way into penalty shot folklore this year, and it also wouldn’t have been the first time he fell victim to a legendary move. At any rate, I can only hope his new success can be attributed to the fact he started reading books. Get it together, Smitty.
Also, in case you didn’t catch it in the video:
“Suck on that” – Tyson Nash, Coyotes color guy
I’m going to miss Phoenix, truly. Maybe Tyson can catch on with CBC or NBC when the desert dogs are no more. There may be a former goalie or former coach people wouldn’t miss who hang out between the benches that I’m sure Tyson could adequately fill in for.