Mike Smith was going to be depended on to lead the Phoenix Coyotes this season at goalie. Smith has struggled all season long as Phoenix is stuck at the .500 mark heading into the weekend. The problem is that Smith is the best goalie that the Coyotes have and they really can’t afford to bench him if they want to make the playoffs this season.
Smith is finally down to a point where he is giving up fewer than three goals a game and is playing much better than he did to start the season. The time has come for Smith to show he is going to be a top-flight goalie all season long. There are going to be nights where Smith isn’t at his best but with how short this National Hockey League season is, those nights have to become less and less often. Smith was able to get through two periods without giving up a goal on Thursday before allowing three in the final period of play.
The Coyotes aren’t an offensive force by any means and need their goalie to keep them in games. Smith has turned a corner the last two weeks and now must keep winning for Phoenix to get back to the playoffs. While players like Radim Vrbata have been putting points up and getting the Coyotes some goals, Smith is the biggest key the rest of the week in Phoenix. The Coyotes will only go as far as Smith takes them and right now that might not be too far.