Jan 10, 2012, 10:04 PM EST
Considering the vast jump in Mike Smith‘s performance in Phoenix after flailing away in Tampa Bay – not to mention similar contrasts for Ilya Bryzgalov now that he’s outside the Coyotes cocoon – many probably attribute it all to Dave Tippett’s defensive system. Big picture-wise, that might be partially true (I’ll allow brainy stats bloggers tackle that one), but “Smitty” has his flashes of brilliance. He faced the unenviable task of stopping Marian Gaborik on a penalty shot and only produced one of the best saves of the season:
Sure, the New York Rangers topped the Coyotes in the shootout minutes later to wrap up their fifth consecutive win, but that’s still a beauty.
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