Mike Smith’s nightmare 2014-15 season continued Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.
Smith, the Arizona Coyotes goalie who a year ago was named to Canada’s Olympic hockey team, was pulled after allowing five goals on 20 shots, including two goals 20 seconds apart early in the third period to essentially put the game out of reach for his teammates.
The Coyotes lost to the Senators, by no means one of the Eastern powerhouses, by a final score of 7-2.
That prompted Arizona’s head coach Dave Tippett to release a critical assessment of his goalie’s play afterward.
“Bottom line is the goaltender has to be good for you and ours wasn’t very good tonight,” said Tippett, as per Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports.
Smith’s numbers this season have been disastrous — just an .888 save percentage and 3.49 goals-against average, which would make this by far his worst statistical season since he came to the Coyotes beginning in the 2011-12 season.
Earlier in January, when the Coyotes traded away Devan Dubnyk, Arizona’s general manager Don Maloney reiterated his stance that Smith was the guy for that franchise.