Mike Smith

Smith steals Quick’s spotlight, sets NHL record of his own


Last Friday, we highlighted the record matched by LA Kings goalie Jonathan Quick after a 2-1 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals:

Jonathan Quick has won his last eight playoff starts and has not allowed more than two goals in any of them (he owns a 1.24 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage).

That matches the longest such streak within one season in NHL playoff history. Detroit’s Terry Sawchuk won all eight of his playoff starts and did not allow more than two goals in any of them back in 1952.

Impressive stuff, perhaps impressive enough to leave a mark on his goaltending counterpart, Mike Smith.

The Coyotes netminder responded with a record of his own in Game 4, from Elias Sports Bureau:

Mike Smith made 36 saves in his 2-0 victory at Los Angeles that enabled the Coyotes to avoid being swept by the Kings in the Western Conference Final. Smith is the seventh goaltender in NHL history to record a shutout with his team trailing three-games-to-none in a playoff series and the first ever to do so on the road.

Before Smith, the last goaltender to record a shutout with his team facing a four-game sweep was the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist against the Penguins in a second-round series in 2008.

To put Smith’s accomplishment in perspective, he posted the shutont in a road game that:

— Was scoreless for the first 14 minutes.

— Saw his team get out-shot by 15.

— Featured six Los Angeles power plays.

Lundqvist’s game in 2008 was a far different situation. One, it was at home rather than on the road. Two, the Penguins only managed 29 shots on goal (and the Rangers out-shot them by five). Three, Pittsburgh received only four PP opportunities to New York’s seven.

Now all Smith needs to do is figure out how to replicate his road success at home. He has three shutouts this posteason, all of them coming away from Jobing.com Arena.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.