Apr 7, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT
Losing Ilya Bryzgalov over the summer was supposed to be a huge blow to the Phoenix Coyotes. He was one of the main reasons Phoenix made the playoffs in 2009-10 and 2010-11. However, the Coyotes have advanced to the first round for the third straight season, thanks in large part to the rise of Mike Smith. Smith was coming off two rough campaigns in Tampa Bay, but he’s been among the league’s top goaltenders in 2011-12.
That’s part of the reason Barry Melrose chose Smith as his Mullet of the Year winner for someone who greatly surpassed expectations. You can view his full explanation below.
Of course, for the Coyotes, the next question is how Smith will do in the postseason. Phoenix got booted out of the playoffs in the first round in its last two attempts. Smith has only started in one NHL playoff game so far in his career.
- Flyers’ Mason broke his right pinky finger playing ball hockey 11
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 56
- It’s back! PHT’s Team of the Day summer series starts tomorrow 7
- Pens sign Spaling — two years, $4.4 million 13
- Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D 30
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 18
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 46
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 59
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 21
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame (60)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (59)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (46)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)