by PuckStopsHere on 10/24/14 at 12:39 AM ET
It is still early in the season, but one result which could be very significant is the Arizona Coyotes goaltending. It was expected that Mike Smith would be the successful starter and Devan Dubnyk would be the lesser used backup. Smith had been a successful NHL goalie in the past. He was the number three goalie on the 2014 Canadian Olympic Team. Although he did not play in the Olympics, given the number of NHL goalies who are from Canada that is an endorsement that he is a pretty good player.
Dubnyk struggled last year playing in Edmonton and Nashville. He was given a chance to be a number one goalie in Edmonton but struggled in that role.
So far this season, Mike Smith has really struggled. He has posted a .849 saves percentage and a 4.54 GAA. These are the worst numbers for any goalie who has played the majority of his team's games so far this year by a significant margin. Smith will almost certainly improve his play with more chances but if he is not a top flight goalie the Coyotes will struggle. So far Dubnyk has been adequate. He has posted a 2.31 GAA and a .904 saves percentage. That is better than Smith but it is not the numbers of a starting goalie either.
Arizona will struggle to make the playoffs unless they have strong goaltending. So far they have not had goaltending at all. If Mike Smith continues to struggle it could be a long year in the desert.
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