For Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, the 2015 World Championships can be seen as something of a palate cleanser. Although he was able to rebound somewhat in the second half, the 2014-15 campaign was a difficult one for him as he finished with a 3.16 GAA and .904 save percentage.
Now substantially removed from his standout 2011-2012 campaign, it seems fair to wonder if that season was an anomaly within his career. Amid that speculation, Smith joined Team Canada and started in eight of the nation’s 10 games. He posted a 1.50 GAA and .930 save percentage to help Canada claim the gold medal.
“It reiterates that I’m a pretty good goalie,” Smith said, per the Coyotes’ website. “It’s been a tough year mentally on me. Physically, I got a good handle on that, but I think mentally, going into the summer knowing that I’ve played some pretty good hockey now for three months or so, I think it’s important.”
It will allow him to enter the summer on a high note, although he certainly still has major tests ahead of him. Arizona has missed the playoffs for three straight years and its preliminary outlook for 2015-16 isn’t great. A strong campaign from Smith would go a long way towards getting the Coyotes back into the postseason though.