Mike Smith: Goaltender
25-22-6, .916 Save %, 2.65 GAA
MarkParkinson14: (B) Smith was a controversial off season acquisition due to his age and injury history, but for most of the season he was Calgary’s clear cut MVP. Smith kept the Flames in games they had no business being in and without his stellar play Calgary would have been dead in the water. But the injury bug hit Smith towards the end of the season and even when he came back, he didn’t look right. Smith went 2-6-0 in his final 8 starts of the season before being shut down with only 3 games left.
MGMacGillivray: (B) For the most part, Mike Smith was making Brad Treliving look like a genius for bringing him last offseason. With the Flames sitting right in the middle of the playoff pack and playing well, the season took a turn for the worst with a last second injury to Mike Smith on February 11. By the time he returned a month later (and looking like he rushed back), the season had already been sunk. Smith was stellar before his injury, but masked a lot of holes on the team that showed during the last six weeks of the season. I’m fine with him coming back as the #1 next year, but the Flames need to ensure that they have a confident backup in net to take over in case of injury again.
MilhouseFirehouse: (C+) This is a tough one for me, because most of the negative slant I’m putting on this grade is not entirely Smith’s fault. I can’t fault Smith for being injury prone and then getting injured and collapsing the team and your goalie prospects in a blaze of nuclear disaster, but it was naturally going to happen. I can’t fault Smith for having to stare down 40+ SOG a game in way too many games played, but with that system and coaching, it was naturally going to happen. I can’t fault Smith for management’s inability to see those things coming and cross their fingers about it, but when your franchise is a goalie graveyard, bringing Smith in was naturally going to happen. I can agree with his early-season MVP candidacy, but after his awful post-injury return that means less too. People can talk about competitive fire, but more often than not Smith leans way more towards “hot-headed drama queen” than locker-room leader. But let’s stay positive, wipe the slate clean, and hope that when everyone crosses their fingers again next year, it’ll magically work this time instead of blow up in our collective faces. #FingersCrossed
Our Final Grade: B-
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