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Oilers Player Report Card - #41 Mike Smith

May 28, 2020, 11:31 AM ET [13 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Through the 2018/2019 regular season, Mike Smith had a rough go with the Calgary Flames. Of the 56 goalies who played at least 1000 minutes at even strength, Smith ranked 52nd and in his 40 starts he registered 23 wins. In Edmonton however Mike Smith rebounded and became a solid 1A goaltender for...

Wait no that's a lie his numbers were worse this season.

MIKE SMITH

39GP: 19-12-6 - 2.95GAA - 0.902SV%

Just because a goalie was in net when the team won does not mean that the goalie was key to the team winning. If you take away anything from my blog, please let it be that.

As I posted in the first paragraph, Mike Smith was one of the worst goalies last season at 5 on 5. This season, of the 54 goalies who played at least 1000 minutes at 5 on 5, Mike Smith ranked 52nd, and was the third worst in this category. In addition, Mike Smith faced 847 shots which was the 26th most of goalies in that category. Overall the Oilers did a decent job of suppressing shots so it isn't like Smith wasn't receiving help from his blue line.

I went back and took a look, and of Smith's 19 wins this season, 5 of them, or just over 25% came with a SV% of 0.900 or less and 20 of his 39 games played were at 0.900 or below. That is not a goalie who is ready to provide wins on any given night.

So why are there people who are prepared to offer Smith another one year contract? January 4th to March 2nd would be the answer.

In the 16 games that Smith appeared in during that period, he went 9-7 and posted a 0.912SV%. It was during this run, that the Oilers would firmly place themselves into 2nd place in the Pacific Division. Of the 39 netminders who played at least 500 minutes at 5 on 5 during that period, Smith ranked 21st with a SV% of 0.917 and he faced the 13th most shots in that time.

It was a solid stretch of hockey for Smith and represents just under half of his regular season. The question that Ken Holland and his team will have to decide this off-season is whether or not they are expecting the 38 year old goalie to give them that kind of presence in net again over the course of a full season.

As I stated in my Koskinen report card, under almost identical numbers of games, Mikko outperformed Smith in almost every category. The one area where Smith came out on top was his SV% on the penalty kill where Smith led the league of goalies who played at least 100 minutes at 4 on 5 with a 0.918SV%. I've spoken to a few defensemen myself who have stated not to discount what Smith brings to the defense with his puck moving ability. Having essentially a third defenseman who goes behind the net to make a pass opens up the ice for the real defensemen to move the puck out quicker.

A couple strong runs by Mike Smith made his signing a fine move by the General Manager but his overall numbers over the past couple of seasons highlight Smith as a declining player who cannot provide the necessary work at even strength to be a consistently good netminder.

FINAL GRADE: C-
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