GLENDALE — Mike Smith was the obvious choice for the
NHL’s First Star of the Week award after his outstanding
play in four victories last week.
Smith allowed only three goals on 122 shots in those four
games – wins over Detroit, Dallas, Calgary and Chicago. On
Saturday, he blanked the Blackhawks on 38 shots – the
highest number of shots he faced in one of his 14 NHL
Many observers predicted the Coyotes would suffer this
season after the departure of Ilya Bryzgalov. That simply
hasn’t been the case. From my seat, Smith has been the
team’s MVP; his .925 save percentage is the best single
season mark in franchise history (min. 25 games played).
After winning the NHL’s weekly award on Monday, Smith made
the rounds on the interview circuit and provided lots of
insight into his recent success.
Asked by NHL Live how he has changed his mental approach
now that he’s finally a starting goalie in the NHL, Smith
“I don’t think it’s changed that much. I think it’s harder
to be the backup. When you’re not playing a lot and you
haven’t played in two or three weeks and you’re called
upon to play in big games I think it’s tougher to play
well at a high level. Knowing you’re going to play a lot –
I think mentally you can turn that switch off and just
Jersey White Allen 33 Marcus Stitched Trojans kind of go out and play and not look too far ahead and go
one game at a time. I think I’ve kept that mentality this
season and it’s worked out so far.”
After taking Monday night’s game at Vancouver off, Smith
will be back in goal on Thursday night when the Coyotes
play at the Los Angeles Kings.
Having already set a career-high for games played in a
season (44), Smith knows he still has a long way to go in
“I’ve felt great most of the season,” Smith told NHL Live.
“Obviously I’ve played more games than I ever had but as
athletes we train to do this and we train to be put in
situations where we’re going to play our best and the
He added: “There’s no time for rest now. It’s ‘Go Time’
until the end of the season.”
• Today is the 100th birthday of the state of Arizona. In
recognition of this historic day, the Coyotes have opened
the auction for the “Arizona Centennial” jerseys the
players wore in the team’s annual Coyotes Charities photo.
To place a bid, visit auction.nhl.com and click the
Jersey White Allen 33 Marcus Stitched Trojans Coyotes logo.
Proceeds from the auction will benefit Coyotes Charities.
• Coyotes prospect Brandon Gormley is on the mend after
suffering a foot injury in a game played on Feb. 4 in the
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Gormley, a defenseman
for the Shawinigan Cataractes, suffered the injury by
sliding into the boards feet-first early in the game
against the Saint John Sea Dogs. Gormley stayed in the
game. After the game it was determined he would be
sidelined for four to six weeks.
That’s the bad news for Gormley. The good news is he
wasn’t seriously injured later in the same game when an
opponent’s skate cut his throat.
According to The Guardian, Gormley dived to knock the puck
from Sea Dogs forward Charlie Coyle’s stick, and Coyle’s
skate came up and accidentally struck Gormley in the
throat, narrowly missing his jugular. Gormley was quickly
taken to a local hospital where he received two stitches.
“It was a rough game,” Gormley told The Guardian. “I know
I’m pretty fortunate.”
• Coyotes players raised more than $60,000 for Coyotes
Charities not too long ago when they waited tables at a
local restaurant and donated all of their tips.
It was a fun night as the players mingled with the diners
while serving them food, drinks and personality. Visit
phoenixcoyotes.com to watch an in-depth video of the
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