Kukla's Korner

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Entries with the tag: mike smith

Video- The Battle Of Alberta Takes It Up A Notch


added 2/2/20 at 12:04am, longer version below, penalties added below too...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cam+talbot, mike+smith

Video- Mike Smith Not Happy With Evgeni Malkin

Malkin 2 for goaltender interference and Smith 2 for roughing.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin, mike+smith

Videos- Goalies Need Acting Lessons

Time for the refs to start calling these.

I was going to let Mike Smith pass last night, but today another example.

Watch Smith below.

Darcy Kuemper first.


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Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: darcy+kuemper, mike+smith

Afternoon Line- Eric Francis On Mike Smith


Below, you can watch the gaffes below, I started the highlight pacakge at the first one.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

Bad Start Continues For Mike Smith

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

Well, at least the Calgary Flames know who their starting goalie will be Saturday.

Not Mike Smith.

At the tail end of a visit from the Montreal Canadiens that the Flames were dominating, the veteran netminder let in yet another goal that rhymes with Smitty.

This time it was a weak Artturi Lehkonen wrister from above the faceoff dot that somehow slid under the pads of Smith for the game-winner with under eight minutes remaining.

The Flames were outshooting the Habs 39-22 at the time and couldn’t solve Carey Price for the equalizer, despite a late push.


Watch the goal below in the game highlights package below. The Canadiens won 3-2.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

Playoff Hopes For The Calgary Flames May Depend On The Play Of Mike Smith

from Eric Francis of Sportsnet,

Given his advanced age and injury history, Smith represents the biggest question mark as the Flames look to bounce back into the playoffs.

Should he return to being the all-star he was the first half of last season, the Flames needn’t worry as much about the unproven backup goaltending Jon Gillies or David Rittich will supply.

However, should he come up lame with a groin-area injury as he did last February, this team could be in trouble.

"I just tried to do too much," said Smith in an honest assessment of why, upon his return late last season, he struggled mightily to right a sinking ship.

"Sometimes it’s hard not to. With the mentality I have it sort of creeps into my game every once in awhile. I’m still learning at age 36.

"I’ll apply that to this year and worry about things I can control. It was frustrating not making the playoffs and I think the group in here is motivated to turn that around this year."


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

Videos- Milan Lucic Had A Busy Night

Mike Smith first...



Tanner Glass next...

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith, milan+lucic, tanner+glass

Video- Mike Smith Injured With A Second Left In The Game

You cn see Smith grab towards his groin area.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

The Calgary Flames Now Have Their #1 Goaltender

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Calgary Flames completed their most important piece of off-season business Saturday, acquiring a new No. 1 goaltender in Mike Smith from the Arizona Coyotes.

Just hours before they were obliged to submit their protected list for the 2017 NHL expansion draft, the Flames acquired Arizona’s long-time starter in exchange for Brandon Hickey, a top defensive prospect, the rights to pending free-agent goaltender Chad Johnson, plus a conditional third-round pick that becomes a second-rounder if the Flames make the playoffs in 2018.

In what will surely be a heavily scrutinized move, the Flames gave up a player in Hickey that was likely their brightest prospect on defence. But while the acquisition cost was steep, the Flames didn’t give up a player off the NHL roster, which is what other deals they were pondering would have required.

The 35-year-old Smith has two years remaining on a six-year, $34-million contract that he signed in 2013, and it pays him an annual average salary of $5.666-million....

Smith’s acquisition means that, for the third consecutive season, the Flames’ will have a new No. 1 face in goal. Last year’s tandem, Brian Elliott and Johnson, was an upgrade over the previous year’s trio (Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio). Elliott overcame a slow start to put together a quality regular season on behalf of the Flames, but he faltered in the playoffs during a four-game sweep at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks.

Organizationally, the hope is that Smith can not only help the Flames get to the playoffs, but that they can then do some damage once they’re there.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

Mike Smith Not A Fan Of The Concussion Protocol

from Bob McManaman of azcentral,

 Mike Smith didn’t allow a single goal that counted in practice on Tuesday, but the Coyotes goalie was still hopping mad a day after being removed from Monday night’s game against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

Shortly after stepping off the ice following a brisk workout at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Smith told azcentral sports that the NHL’s concussion protocol system needs an overhaul.

“I think there’s a lot of flaws in the system, especially with the goalie position, and it needs to get fixed,” Smith said, adding, “What stops a fourth liner from going and bumping into a goalie? It’s just a two-minute penalty to get your starting goalie out? I don’t think it’s happened in a playoff game yet, but I’m sure it will.”...

“When your helmet comes off in a game and you’re the goalie and the whistle hasn’t gotten blown, I think your first instinct is to probably protect your face,” Smith said, explaining what happened Monday night. “I think that was the reason why I did what I did and it has nothing to do with you being injured. It was more to protect myself before the whistle got blown. I didn’t agree with the call at all.


watch the incident below...

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Video- Mike Smith Wins The Bad Goal Of The Night

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

Smith had to wait for the puck to clear the restricted zone behind the net and when he went to clear it, he fanned on the attempt.

"No one likes to make a mistake like that," he said. "It was a time of the game where it can't happen."

Although he said it wasn't an excuse for the miscue, Smith called the ice surface the worst he's seen in his life.

"You can’t play on that," he said. "When you got other teams coming in complaining about it on the ice, we have to skate on that all the time. It's not an excuse, but it's something that has to get better. It's like slush out there. That puck was going to come out of the trapezoid, and then it just ended up stopping dead right on the line. I didn't know know if I could play it or not on the line, so I kind of panicked for a second and then after I got control of it, obviously the rest is history.

"That play can’t happen. I understand that, but that ice is a joke."

more on the Coyotes 4-3 OT win...

Watch the goal below...

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Video- Mike Smith’s Knob Breaks, Puck Ends Up In The Back Of The Net

from Sarah McLellan of azcentral,

“I make a good save coming across,” Smith said. “They got three guys trapped deep. I’m not sure who it was. I think it might have been Vrby (Radim Vrbata) or Tobi (Rieder). I just saw a white stick flying out and going. I tried to just throw one past their forechecker there. My knob breaks. Obviously, the rest is history but when you’re on a skid, little plays like that make a big difference. They’re magnified.”




I believe this beats Coiy Schneider for bad goal of the night.

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  Tags: mike+smith

Video- Mike Smith Suffers Lower-Body Injury

via Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports,

The severity of Smith’s issue has yet to be determined with the team calling it a lower-body injury. Smith will be re-evaluated Wednesday in Montreal, the second stop on the Coyotes’ season-long, six-game road trip.

“It’s too early to get any diagnosis yet,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We’ll make sure we do our due diligence and find out what it is, and we’ll probably have more tomorrow.”


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  Tags: mike+smith

Video- Mike Smith On His Performance After Missing 40 Games

After missing 40 games with a injury, Mike Smith returned to shutout the Edmonton Olilers last night.

Gene Principe of Sportsnet with the post-game interview...


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  Tags: mike+smith

Mike Smith Out At Least Two Months After Surgery For Core Muscle Injury


added 3:36pm, below watch Don Maloney on the injury...

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Kudos for Coyotes

Among TSN's Scott Cullen's "Top 10 Storylines of the Week":


A team that was expected to finish at the bottom of the standings coming into the year, the Arizona Coyotes have opened the season by winning three of four games.

The biggest excitement comes from rookie wingers Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, who have combined to score seven of the team’s 13 goals.

Other difference-makers include veteran centre Martin Hanzal, who has seven assists, and goaltender Mike Smith, who has a .953 save percentage.

While none of this early production appears to be remotely sustainable, a hot Mike Smith could make a major difference. For example, the difference between Smith’s 2011-2012 season, when he had a career-high .930 save percentage, and last season, when he had a .904 save percentage, was approximately a 55-goal difference according to Hockey Reference.


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  Tags: anthony+duclair, martin+hanzal, max+domi, mike+smith, phoenix+coyotes

‘Around the league’ from ESPN

Of note from ESPN's morning "3 on 3":


• How about Michal Neuvirth? The Philadelphia Flyers goaltender made 30 saves en route to a 3-0 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. It was Neuvirth's second consecutive shutout. He made 31 saves in a 1-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday. His biggest save Wednesday came when he stoned the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa on a breakaway to secure Philadelphia's 1-0 lead. For all the years the Flyers struggled with their goaltending, Neuvirth seems like he could be the answer.

• The Ottawa Senators trounced the Blue Jackets on Wednesday, and Columbus should be a lot better than 0-4. They proved it last season with a strong finish, but the 2015-2016 season has begun with a major skid that is cause for concern.

• It was an interesting night all around the NHL on Wednesday, including a shocking development in the West with that stunning Coyotes shutout of the Ducks. Arizona rookie Anthony Duclair recorded his first career hat trick, while goaltender Mike Smith has returned to form and made 37 saves en route to the shutout win.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, anthony+duclair, chicago+blackhawks, columbus+blue+jackets, michal+neuvirth, mike+smith, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes

Videos- Bad Goal Of The Night Plus Two Saves Of Night Candidates

First, Mike Smith of the Arizona Coyotes may want to take this one back...



Below, the saves of the night.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carey+price, mike+smith, tuukka+rask

Garrioch discusses St. Louis, Jagr, trades-that-worked and a college UFA of note

Amongst the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch's trade-and-rumor talk for this Sunday, from a column which begins by discussing the Connor McDavid sweepstakes:

Rangers winger Martin St. Louis may be a UFA on July 1 and doesn't have a contract but don't be surprised if at some point he re-signs with the club. The Rangers have cap so you'd think if they do sign St. Louis the deal will be structured with attainable goals for games-played. When he left the Tampa Bay Lightning last year at the trade deadline, St. Louis only only wanted to go to the Rangers. It would be hard to believe he'd want to move on this juncture.


Florida GM Dale Tallon took a gamble at the deadline acquiring winger Jaromir Jagr from the Devils in exchange for two draft picks. The Panthers remain on the outside looking in for the final wild-card spot and need a strong push down the stretch plus some help to make it to the post-season. Jagr went into Saturday's game vs. the Bruins with a 2-5-7 points in nine games with Florida ... According to a league executive, here are some deadline acquisitions that have worked out well: Winger Drew Stafford and defenceman Tyler Myers (Buffalo) have both played well in Winnipeg; Forward Curtis Glencross (Calgary) has made an impact for the Capitals and Chris Stewart (Buffalo) has picked up some points for the Wild ... Keep an eye on Colgate forward Tyler Baun. He's getting plenty of attention from NHL scouts. Chicago GM Stan Bowman along with representatives from Colorado, Toronto, Philly and the Rangers were in Lake Placid Friday at the ECAC championships to watch Baun play ... Lots of people wonder if Arizona (don't call me Phoenix) Coyotes coach Dave Tippett will be back behind the bench next season? He's a lot better coach when goalie Mike Smith stops the puck.

Garrioch continues, discussing the All-Star Game format, the Sharks' issues and unrestricted free agent-to-be goalies...

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  Tags: chris+stewart, curtis+glencross, dave+tippett, drew+stafford, florida+panthers, jaromir+jagr, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, new+york+rangers, phoenix+coyotes, tyler+myers

Bad Season Continues For Arizona Coyotes Goaltender Mike Smith

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

For three games over a 10-day span, Coyotes goalie Mike Smith sat at the end of the bench as a spectator to the action.

And in his first start since Dec. 11, it didn't take long before Smith was back in what's becoming his regular perch.

Smith's return Monday barely lasted a period as he was beaten for four goals on 11 shots by the Canucks and chased after 21:41 en route to a 7-1 loss in front of 18,794 at Rogers Arena....

It was the second time in his last three starts Smith's been unable to finish the game. After being on the hook for five against the Predators in his previous appearance, Smith has now given up 17 goals in his past five games. Since back-to-back wins in early November, Smith has gone 1-9-2.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

Videos- Hometown Hockey Visits Kingston, Features On Doug Gilmour And Mike Smith

both via Hometown Hockey,

After a Hall of Fame career, Doug Gilmour returns to his hometown to coach the cities beloved Kingston Frontenacs and somehow proves the adage that you can take the boy out of Kingston, but you can’t take Kingston out of the boy.


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Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+gilmour, mike+smith

Mike Smith Knows He Needs To Be Better

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

As reporters crowded around Coyotes goalie Mike Smith following Monday's practice to gauge his psyche after yet another six goals-against Saturday, backup Devan Dubnyk quipped that Smith isn't the only one who's experienced a slide like this and he, too, could offer up some insight.

But Smith isn't looking to deflect any of the attention he's receiving right now for a goals-against average (5.33) that might be more reflective of a struggling Major League Baseball reliever than an NHL starting goaltender.

"I don't need to bring anyone else into this," Smith said. "It's me and only me, and I've been through it tons of times in my career. You shrug it off your shoulder, and it's obviously not even close to what I'm capable of, and I know that, and I understand that, and the team needs more from me.

"But I can't dwell on it. It's three games I've played. We're 2-2. I know there's a panic around here to flip a switch and turn it around, but it's a process, and we're all going to be better because of this adversity."


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  Tags: mike+smith

Video- Phoenix Coyotes Waiting For An Evaluation On Mike Smith’s Injury


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Video- Geez, Glad To See Mike Smith Is OK

Max Pacioretty received two for tripping.  I would have liked to see Smith get two for embellishing.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

Video- Bad Goal Of The Night

Mike Smith stickhandled into the no touch zone and paid the price as Jason Spezza scores one of his natural hat trick goals.  The Sens won 4-3 in OT.


Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

Mike Smith Comfortable In Phoenix Or Seattle

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

Negotiations with goalie Mike Smith were sluggish once the season ended because management couldn’t offer reassurances on where the team would play next season or who would be in charge.

It wasn’t until Seattle was positioned as the alternative home for the franchise that Smith had enough clarity to recommit by signing a six-year extension worth approximately $34 million.

“A month ago, we didn’t know where the team was going to be and I think it’s known now it’s going to be in Phoenix or Seattle,” Smith said. “Both me and my wife, my family, feel very comfortable with either of those situations.”

Smith had been keeping tabs on Renaissance Sports & Entertainment’s bid from Vancouver, where he’s spent most of his off-season, but regardless of that outcome, the 31-year-old is comfortable with his support system – from management to teammates.

“I really believe in where this franchise is going and hopefully it’s in Phoenix but if it’s not, I believe in the group and the core we have and I think that was the main selling point,” Smith said. “I think it’s a fair deal for both sides, and I believe we can build a winning team down the road here. Hopefully we have a core group of guys that we can build a winning team on an every-season basis, and hopefully we can start that next year.”

read on

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  Tags: mike+smith

Mike Smith Signing Is Official In Phoenix

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have re-signed goaltender Mike Smith to a six-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to sign Mike to a multi-year contract," said Maloney. "Mike has emerged as a top NHL goaltender with his size, athletic ability and strong work ethic. He is capable of leading us to a Stanley Cup championship, the goal of our franchise. This is an important signing for our Club."

"I'm thrilled to re-sign with the Coyotes," said Smith. "We have a great young team and an excellent coaching staff and management team. I've really enjoyed playing in the Valley the past two seasons and this is where I wanted to stay."

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

Mike Smith Staying With The Coyotes


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Mike Smith Wants To Play For A Contending Team

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

Smith is the team’s top unrestricted free agent, and he’ll be the most coveted goalie July 5 when the free-agent market opens for business. After only two seasons as a No. 1, Smith has made it clear he considers himself among the elite of the position and expects a salary to match.

And if the Coyotes let him reach free agency, it’s very likely another team will meet Smith’s monetary expectations. He’s enjoyed recent playoff success, has a likeable personality and is the star attraction in a shallow goalie market....

“I’m not gonna be selfish with this whole situation and demand this stupid contract that we’re not going to be able to build a team around,” Smith said. “I believe you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There’s good players that make a lot of money, and I think I deserve a fair contract. By any means I’m not expecting to hit a home run.”

A hometown discount, it seems, is a possibility, but Smith needs other assurances before agreeing to stick with the Coyotes.

“The biggest part about me signing back here will be: Is the ownership group coming in, is this going to be a place that free agents are going to want to come and play and are they going to spend the money to make this a better team on an every-year basis?” Smith said. “I think that’s the most intriguing piece of the puzzle.”

read on

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  Tags: mike+smith

Mike Smith Waiting To See What Shane Doan Does

from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,

Ownership uncertainty has kept Doan in free agency, but his status will be settled soon. He has decided to sign before a possible lockout, which would start next Saturday when the current collective bargaining agreement expires.

"If he leaves, it'll be a big blow to this franchise and this organization," goalie Mike Smith said. "I think it'll determine whether or not people sign back here or how we lure in free agents in the future. It'll definitely be interesting to figure all that out."

The lack of an owner has also affected Smith. The Coyotes planned to negotiate a contract extension for him this off-season, but talks were put on hold until ownership was resolved. That leaves Smith in the final year of a two-year deal worth $4 million.

Ownership, however, might not have been the only factor to halt negotiations as Smith is interested in Doan's future with the team.

"We were gonna kind of wait to see what Shane did, too," Smith said. "Obviously he's a huge piece of the puzzle in Phoenix."


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  Tags: mike+smith

Morning Lines

“If [Coyotes forward] Raffi Torres gets 25 games for his hit during the play then this guy [Brown] ought to be done forever.”

-Mike Smith, goaltender for the Phoenix Coyotes.

“I bit my tongue the whole playoffs.  I bit my tongue the whole time this series. I look back in the last two games and I still haven’t found where I got my three penalties. I have absolutely no idea where they came from or what they were calling.

“It’s hard because you don’t want to take anything away from L.A. They played unbelievable and give them all the credit. Uncle. Are you freaking kidding me? Uncle. I can’t understand how you miss that. You saw the game. It’s 5-on-3 and they give a penalty to even it up.

“The guy crosschecks Marty [Hanzal] twice in the back. He chips it over the boards, it goes over the boards and there’s no call? Marty gets a stick in the face and then the knee? I mean, come on. Like, come on.

“You don’t want to do it because I don’t want to take anything away from L.A. They played unbelievable and they beat us. Thank goodness their power play didn’t score on all those power plays they were handed. It could have been really ugly. They beat us. There’s nothing else to say about it.”

Shane Doan, captain of the Phoenix Coyotes.  More from Tim Wharnsby of CBC.

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  Tags: mike+smith, shane+doan

Video- Did Dustin Brown Embellish This Slash From Mike Smith?

Smith received 2 for slashing, Brown 2 for diving.

Also, this guy, Fred Murtz, gets many of these YouTube vids up very quickly.  The guy continues to kick-out videos at a record pace.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+brown, mike+smith

Video- Mike Smith With The Save of The Night

Smith stops Brendan Morrison with the left leg.

Early in the 3rd period, Yotes are up 2-0 thanks to Smith, the shots are in the area of 10 for Phoenix, 30 for Chicago early in the 3rd.

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  Tags: mike+smith

Video- Mike Smith Save

The web is alive with this Mike Smith save last night.

You tell me, one of the better saves of the year?

I was more impressed with the other 53 saves last night his shutout record now standing at 220 minutes -1 second.

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Video- Mike Smith With The Save Of The Night

Mike Smith with the glove save on Loui Eriksson, although Dallas would go on to victory with a shootout win.

added 12:46am, 3/21/12, We have a late submission, Kari Lehtonen with the swinging leg save in OT against Phoenix.  Watch it below…

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  Tags: mike+smith

Afternoon Line

General Manager Don Maloney made the steal of the off-season when he acquired a backup goaltender named Mike Smith. Seems all “Smitty” needed was the chance to prove he could be a starting goaltender. He took it and ran with it, and he’s the key reason the Coyotes are leading their division and making a strong bid for a third consecutive playoff spot.

-Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.

Mike Smith did an enjoyable interview with the folks from Hockey Central on Sportsnet 590 today.

You can watch it below…

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Video- Mike Smith Robs Pavel Datsyuk In The Shootout

I will admit, I said goal and looked again and realized Smith caught the puck with his glove hand.

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  Tags: mike+smith, pavel+datsyuk

Video- Marian Gaborik Can Win It In Overtime…

... but Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith stops him on a penalty shot.  A great save no doubt but the Rangers did win in the shootout.

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik, mike+smith

Life After Bryzgalov

From Emily Kaplan at NHL.com:

“Bryz is not exactly replaceable. We know that,” [Sean] Burke, Phoenix’s goaltending coach, told NHL.com. “So for us, this offseason was about trying to search for the type of goaltending that gives the opportunity to win every night.”

In Burke’s eyes, the Coyotes found that.

On July 1, Phoenix signed former Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith to a two-year, $4 million contract. Burke describes Smith as “very big and very athletic”—and exactly what the Coyotes were looking for.

“I think we get a guy that has a lot of upside, but he also has a fair amount of experience and a lot of confidence,” Burke said. “Basically, I think we’re getting the perfect guy at the perfect time.”


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  Tags: mike+smith, phoenix+coyotes, sean+burke

Why Smith Started

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

And while it would be out of character for Boucher to publicly acknowledge any lack of confidence in any of his players, it was puzzling to hear him explain that Smith got the start in part because he likes to give everyone a chance.

“When people deserve things, whether they’re a fourth-line or a third-line or seventh or eighth D, when they deserve [it]—I’m one of those guys that I’ll give people a chance,” the coach said. “And I felt that Smitty had been terrific for us for a long, long time and he deserved to get a game.”

Fair enough. But this is not recess dodgeball where everyone gets a turn because, well, it’s dodgeball. This is the Stanley Cup playoffs with a Stanley Cup finals berth on the line. You start the players you think can get you to the finish line. This isn’t about being fair; it’s about trying to gain a competitive advantage.

Boucher, at least, did acknowledge the rest might be good for the 41-year-old Roloson.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+smith

This & That: On Smith, DiPietro vs. Johnson, Lightning Announcements, Caps’ Playoff Hopes and More

Introducing This & That. a feature set aside for those days when my brain is incapable of any smooth transition from one thought to another. Instead, a random spattering of things I’m thinking, items I meant to include elsewhere but may have forgotten and miscellaneous ramblings that may otherwise have no defined category or forum for inclusion.

(Plus, this way, I never have to use the term “hodgepodge” again.)

Off we go:

—-“If Smitty gets claimed, it’s good for him. If he doesn’t, he goes down and plays for us down there. We want to get him playing.” – Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, on recently waived netminder Mike Smith.

To the first point, absolutely. As far back as late last season, I was wondering whether or not Smith might be better off with a fresh start. Amid flashes of brilliance, Smith has struggled consistently throughout his tenure in Tampa and had all kinds of promise stifled by injuries. This year, despite unsightly statistics, some in scouting circles have seen reason for optimism in his game, giving new life to the idea that he might somehow flourish in a new situation.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brent+johnson, cedrick+desjardins, dwayne+roloson, jeff+skinner, mike+smith, nhl+guardians, rick+dipietro, steve+yzerman

Lightning Assign Goaltender Mike Smith to AHL Norfolk for Conditioning

The Tampa Bay Lightning have sent goaltender Mike Smith to AHL Norfolk on a conditioning assignment today, as announced by the team.

Smith has been recovering from a knee injury and has missed the last fifteen games.

With Dwayne Roloson and Dan Ellis already on Tampa Bay’s active roster, Smith has been assumed by many to be the odd-man out eventually, though nothing has been made certain to this point.

Today’s move, at the very least, buys general manager Steve Yzerman some time to continue to consider all options.

Smith, acquired by Tampa Bay in February of 2008 in the deal that saw forward Brad Richards head to Dallas, is in the final season of a two-year contract that carries a cap hit of $2.2-million.

JJ on Twitter
The Bolts Beat podcast archive

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, mike+smith, steve+yzerman

The Bolts Beat, 1/10/11: Tampa’s Up & Down Week, M-A Bergeron, Slightly Whacky All-Star Picks & More

In tonight’s episode of The Bolts Beat, the gang reviews a roller coaster week for the Tampa Bay Lightning and analyzes what the addition of defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron might eventually mean for the club.

And, in a nod to the NHL’s unique way of fielding two all-star teams this year, Jon, Mark and Mike create some rules as well in selecting their very own squads.


All that, plus the usual shenanigans after the jump…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: all-star+game, dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, martin+st.+louis, mike+smith, steven+stamkos, vincent+lecavalier

Roloson Could Take Tampa from Good to Great, Plus Thoughts on M-A Bergeron and More

Let’s not make too much of Dwayne Roloson’s 34-save, shutout debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Or, maybe, come to think of it, let’s

It was but one game but what a big game it was.

To best the division rival Washington Capitals like that, with first place at stake in a 1-0 overtime finish, with both teams playing at a feverish pace all the while and the opposing goaltender standing on his head as well… Well, that’s one hell of a debut.

But, really, what you saw on Tuesday night is what Roloson brings to the table consistently. No, not a spectacular shutout performance each night (wouldn’t that be nice?) but a workman-like approach, a battle mentality and a proven track record of giving the team in front of him a chance to win on a nightly basis. Last night, Semyon Varlamov keeping the Bolts off the scoreboard for almost 63 minutes meant Roloson had to completely shut down the formidable Capitals attack and he was up to the task. On some nights, it will mean keeping the opponent from scoring a third or fourth goal.

Whatever the situation, with Roloson, you know what you’re getting.

And this could very well turn out to be the perfect fit with limitless potential.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, guy+boucher, marc-andre+bergeron, mike+smith, steve+yzerman

Three’s Company in Tampa Nets - For Now

For now, the Tampa Bay Lightning will roll on with three goaltenders.

But with Dwayne Roloson now in the fold, joining Dan Ellis and a still mending Mike Smith after Saturday’s trade with the New York Islanders, eventually, something will have to give.

Early indications seem to suggest Smith, who is close to returning from a recent knee injury, is the most logical odd man out for a variety of reasons, despite significant improvement in his play prior to getting hurt.

In the final year of a contract that carries a cap hit of $2.2-million dollars, it would make sense for the Lightning to try and deal Smith for whatever value the team could find before he hits unrestricted free agency at season’s end. That won’t exactly come easy, however, with the bottom line remaining some very unattractive numbers this year and overall statistics that have actually worsened consistently as the team in front of him has improved over the last three seasons. Add to that a history of injuries (Smith has appeared in less than half of Tampa’s games since the start of the 2008-09) and an unsavory dollar number for the kind of inconsistency he’s shown and it becomes awfully difficult to imagine logical trade scenarios involving the former Dallas Star.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, dustin+tokarski, dwayne+roloson, mike+smith, steve+yzerman

The Bolts Beat, 1/3/11: Roloson in the Mix, Odd Goalie Out, the Last Word on Spin-o-Rama Gate & More

In the first installment of The Bolts Beat for 2011, Jon, Mike and Mark give their thoughts on Tampa Bay’s addition of goaltender Dwayne Roloson and why the deal was made now. Later, things get a little spicy when the conversation turns to what it likely means for Dan Ellis and/or Mike Smith.

Also, the guys give their thoughts on the stellar NHL debut of yet another goalie, Cedrick Desjardins, and discuss how he might fit into the Lightning’s future plans.

And, finally - no, really, for the last time - the gang reluctantly entertains the controversy that should never have been over Steven Stamkos’ penalty shot goal against Montreal.


All that, plus more (including a special announcement!) after the jump…

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, denis+savard, dwayne+roloson, linus+omark, mike+smith, steve+yzerman, steven+stamkos

Lightning Land Roloson from Islanders

As NYI Point Blank‘s Chris Botta first reported, the Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired goaltender Dwayne Roloson from the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman Ty Wishart.

The Tampa Tribune‘s Erik Erlendsson and others have since confirmed.

Roloson joins Dan Ellis, the injured Mike Smith and upstart rookie Cedrick Desjardins (1st star in tonight’s win over the Rangers and 2-0-0 with two goals against in two starts) in Tampa’s goaltending ranks.

Four’s a crowd.

[UPDATE: According to ESPN 1040’s Mike Corcoran, Desjardins will be returned to AHL Norfolk.]

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Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, dwayne+roloson, mike+smith, ty+wishart

The Bolts Beat, 12/21/10: More on Lightning Goalies, Smith Injury, Thompson/Boulton and Xmas Gifts!

On this week’s episode, Jon, Mike and Mark entertain the ongoing discussion about Tampa Bay’s goaltending, including the latest on Mike Smith’s injury, cover the war of words (and knees) between Nate Thompson and Atlanta’s Eric Boulton and wrap the show with a special Christmas gift exchange for one and all..


Listen in after the jump…


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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, eric+boulton, evgeni+nabokov, mike+smith, nate+thompson

Quick Update on Lightning Goaltender Mike Smith

Word from Lightning PR just now is that goaltender Mike Smith will miss approximately two weeks with what is being called a “minor knee injury”.

Smith left today’s morning skate after a collision with forward Simon Gagne.

Goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, whose recall this morning sparked the return of some speculation regarding the team’s situation in goal that had been effectively stifled by solid play from Smith of late, is dressed as Dan Ellis’ backup tonight and is now far more likely to get his first taste of NHL action with Smith on the shelf.

JJ on Twitter
The Bolts Beat podcast archive

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: cedrick+desjardins, dan+ellis, mike+smith

Nabokov to Tampa a Complicated Solution but Talk Alone Could Cure Goaltending Ills

There has been no shortage of discussion regarding the possibility of free agent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov landing with the Tampa Bay Lightning in recent days.

I discussed the matter at such length, with co-hosts Mike Corcoran and Mark Pukalo on Monday night/Tuesday morning’s episode of The Bolts Beat, that more than half of the show was devoted to the matter – a first for a single topic in the podcast’s history.

Corcoran continued the discussion in writing on his Lightning Insider page at ESPN 1040.

Both local beat writers, Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times and Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune opined on the issue as well.

And the potential marriage has also been covered at a national level, with The Sporting News’ Craig Custance throwing in his two cents.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+ellis, evgeni+nabokov, mike+smith, steve+yzerman

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