Hockey Headlines

Saturday, 19 October 2013

So This Happened Tonight...

Mike Smith is a pretty good goalie. He's been part of some bad teams, but he's finally getting his due credit as he was invited to Team Canada's orientation camp and he led the Coyotes to an improbably seven-game defeat in the Western Conference Final at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings who would go onto win the Stanley Cup. In other words, Mike Smith plays his position pretty well despite some of this teams in front of him.

Smith is still tending the nets for the Phoenix Coyotes, but there hasn't really been a lot of talk about his play this season. That, of course, could be because he plays in Phoenix. Whatever the reason, though, there will be many people talking about Mike Smith for the next few weeks thanks to the one play he made tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.
Yeah, Mike Smith scored with 0.1 seconds left in the game. Mike Smith becomes the 11th goaltender in NHL history to record a goal in a game. He currently trails NHL career goals-by-a-goalie leader Martin Brodeur by two, but Smith has lots of time left in his career. Heck, he has lots of time to score a second goal this year!

The goaltenders Smith joins include:
  • Billy Smith (NYI) vs. Colorado Rockies (28/11/79).
  • Ron Hextall (PHI) vs. Boston Bruins (08/12/87).
  • Ron Hextall (PHI) vs. Washington Capitals (11/04/89).
  • Chris Osgood (DET) vs. Hartford Whalers (06/03/96).
  • Martin Brodeur (NJD) vs. Montreal Canadiens (17/04/97).
  • Damian Rhodes (OTT) vs. New Jersey Devils (02/01/99).
  • Martin Brodeur (NJD) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (15/02/00).
  • Jose Theodore (MTL) vs. NY Islanders (02/01/01).
  • Evgeni Nabokov (SJS) vs. Vancouver Canucks (10/03/02).
  • Mika Noronen (BUF) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (14/02/04).
  • Chris Mason (NAS) vs. Phoenix Coyotes (15/04/06).
  • Cam Ward (CAR) vs. New Jersey Devils (26/12/11).
  • Martin Brodeur (NJD) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (21/03/13).
  • Mike Smith (PHX) vs. Detroit Red Wings (19/10/13).
Just as a bit of a legend for the above list, the italicized, bolded games were playoff games while the goals in orange were powerplay goals. I did notice some interesting trends, though, as I read through the list.

For example, the Rockies/Devils and Whalers/Hurricanes franchises are the only two teams to be victimized more than once by goaltenders, and each has scored on each other. Martin Brodeur scored against teams from the former Northeast, Atlantic, and Southeast Divisions to cover off the Eastern Conference. Ron Hextall did the same in scoring against the Adams Division and the Patrick Division. Of the 15 teams that have had a goal scored for or against them by a goaltender, only six teams appear once and their combined plus/minus is even (Ottawa, San Jose, Buffalo are pluses; Boston, Vancouver, and Toronto are minuses). Weird stats with these goalie goals, right?

In any case, congrats to Mike Smith for his first career NHL goal, and here's hoping he can become the first two-goal goalie in one season! The record books are waiting, Mike - make it happen!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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