Calgary Flames Mike Smith: Eccentric Goaltending Style

Calgary Flames Mike Smith
UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 26: Mike Smith (41) of the Calgary Flames plays the puck during a game between the New York Islanders and the Calgary Flames on February 26, 2019 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. (Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

During Calgary FlamesMike Smith‘s 13-year NHL career he has been caught out of his net on innumerable occasions.

There are times when many of his critics feel he thinks of himself as a defenceman rather than a netminder.

Calgary Flames’ Mike Smith Wanders From His Net Way Too Much

Mike Smith Just Can’t Stay in His Net

Calgary Flames’ Mike Smith loves to handle the puck so much that he gets into trouble wandering from his crease. There are too many occasions where this has cost his team a goal. He just did it recently and it’s not been the first time. He almost is overconfident that he can go retrieve a loose puck and still have time to get back in his crease where he belongs.

If this isn’t enough to show the mistakes he has made playing goalie, then there are other examples to convince you. He just can’t resist going into that area where he doesn’t really belong to play the puck.

Perhaps he gets bored and wants to be involved in the play more but there are many opportunities for a goalie to see action. The type of action they are paid to do, stopping pucks.

Smith gets undressed so often that when he does this one would think that he would learn his lesson.

Smith Scored a Goal

Maybe he likes the glory of actually accomplishing something a goalie doesn’t get the chance to do very often. This would be scoring a goal.

Not many goalies can do this, but it is again, not their primary responsibility. It is almost as if he gets cocky and takes things into his own hands. He is definitely not paid his grossly overpaid salary ($5.667 million) to pretend he is a forward or defenceman.

Smith’s goal was an amazing feat. His stick-handling skills prevailed and while the Arizona Coyotes (then called the Phoenix Coyotes) didn’t need another goal to win the game Smith stepped up to launch his extraordinary goal.

Goalies don’t score but Mike Smith showed he’s not just some average goalie. Eleven goaltenders have scored a total of fourteen goals NHL games. Mike Smith is one of them.

Mike Smith Having an Up and Down Season

With his flaws, Smith is having an OK season with the Calgary Flames. He has a 19-12-2 record, a 2.92 goals against average and carries a less than attractive .895 save percentage.

He fell from the starting position to a backup only due to an incredible display put on by David Rittich. It’s tough to keep him out of the net with his statistics. He has accumulated a 22-6-5 record for his Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames. His .910 save percentage and 2.66 goals against average have paced his team’s elevation in the standings.

While Smith’s huge inflated six-year $34 million contract expires this season, it is debatable as to what his fate will be at the season’s conclusion.

Smith isn’t one to hide his discrepancies and when he has a bad night he admits it.

At 36-years-old most players and especially goalies are thinking of retiring. Smith is a competitor and may still think he can perform in the NHL. It just doesn’t seem that the Calgary Flames will need him after this season. He really has only had one significantly productive season and that was way back in the 2011/12 season when he led his then Arizona Coyotes’ team to the Western Conference Finals.

That performance earned him a HUGE contract and he really hasn’t been back to that level of play since. It may be that he will just hang it and retire.

The classic event is when Smith scored into his own net when the rubber disc fell into his uniform pants. While that wasn’t really his fault… it could have only happened to him.

There’s only one Mike Smith.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Terrible article on one of the greatest goalies ever. You forgot to mention the huge win streaks he kept the flames on in the last two years. Negative article, won’t be wasting my time on your articles ever again.

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