Phoenix Coyotes Mike Smith spent the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals frustrating the Chicago Blackhawks, eliminating them and allowing more than two goals in a game just once.
But in their first meeting since the playoffs on Sunday, it was Smith who was frustrated in a 6-4 loss to the Blackhawks. Really, really frustrated:
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The Coyotes were down 5-2 when Martin Hanzal scored at 4:38 of the third period. Captain Shane Doan then tallied 50 seconds later, sending the large crowd in Glendale into hysterics as the home team rallied.
But 22 seconds after Doan’s goal, Dave Bolland scored his second of the night on play in which the puck bounced over a hapless Smith and into the net.
Smith’s stick-smashing reaction told you all you needed to know about his night, which also included a Blackhawks goal scored on a play in which he felt he had the puck frozen at the side of the net.
Smith had a 2.21 GAA last season as one of the NHL’s top netminders last season. In two games in 2013, he’s given up 10 goals.
"The bottom line is that we have to be better as a group in front of Smitty, and Smitty could be a little better, and we'll address that tomorrow," said Coach Dave Tippett.