Bryan Little with the rare ninja attack shot.
I think most hockey fans can agree that Mike Smith has long benefited from the Phoenix Coyotes' defensive system, which suffocates teams, limits shots, and generally flatters their net minder.
But not so much this season -- the Coyotes are averaging 32.8 shots against, 26th in the NHL and dead-last in the Western Conference. And Smith's definitely not benefiting from their system lately. In Smith's last 4 starts, he's faced 124 shots, and surrendered 14 goals.
Monday night versus the Winnipeg Jets was especially bad, with the Coyotes giving up 38 shots on net, and Smith seeing 5 of those shots get past him. But it's tough to blame the netminder when you see things from his perspective, which you can sort of do in this great clip, shot from the reverse angle during a brutal minute of action midway through the third period.
The Jets earned a standing ovation for this stretch of play. One imagines Dave Tippett and Smith were much less appreciative.
Smith faced just 2 actual shots on goal during this stretch, but that hardly tells the whole story here. He's still got to track the puck aggressively and react to every shot attempt like it's going to get through to him, and that means a whole lot of tracking and reacting during this minute.
Here's the play-by-play summary of this sequence from NHL.com:
5 missed shots, 3 blocked shots, and 2 shots on goal in 60 seconds. That'll wear a goaltender right out. Heck, just watching it from Smith's perspective is exhausting.
s/t to Reddit Hockey.
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