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Report: Coyotes might not have Smith in goal for Game 3

Apr 17, 2012, 1:40 PM EDT

Mike Smith

According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, the complexion of the Coyotes-Blackhawks series could be in for a major change.

Kuc reports that Phoenix starting netminder Mike Smith — who was brilliant in Games 1 and 2 — will be a gametime decision for tonight’s crucial Game 3 at the United Center.

Smith was shaken up after being charged by Chicago’s Andrew Shaw midway through Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss. While he returned to finish the contest, Smith missed Monday’s practice before rejoining his teammates for Tuesday’s morning skate.

Following the skate, Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett wasn’t offering much insight to Smith’s status.

“Game time decision,” he said. “Game time decision.”

Tippett was a bit more loquacious when it came to speaking about the hit that injured Smith (emphasis on “a bit”.”)

“It’s a blatant hit to the head,” Tippett said. “The type of hit they are trying to get out of the game.”

The controversy surrounding the Smith situation is complex. Shaw already had his disciplinary hearing with Brendan Shanahan, yet no ruling’s been announced — leading to speculation that Shaw’s punishment might be tied to any potential injury to Smith.

Further muddling things is that, after returning to Saturday’s contest, Smith is now listed as a game time decision, raising a lot of 1) concussion protocol flags, and 2) suspicions that Phoenix is playing coy with Smith’s actual status.

Tippett was asked about that, too — and (surprise!) didn’t offer much.

Reporter: If Smith is a game time decision, are you at all re-thinking that he should’ve finished last game? Can you take us through that a little bit?

Tippett: No. He was fine.

Reporter: But he’s not fine now, necessarily?

Tippett: We’ll see.

Smith has stopped 89 of 95 shots through two games against Chicago — that’s a .937 save percentage on an average of 47 shots faced per game. If he can’t go, duties will fall to backup netminder Jason LaBarbera.

  1. govtminion - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Nothing against LaBarbera, but if Smith doesn’t play this series is probably over.

    • imleftcoast - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Shaw got 3 games?

  2. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    My suspicion: Smith will play tonight. This is nothing more than Phoenix attempting to do whatever it can to influence the league’s decision regarding a possible Shaw suspension.

  3. bhwksr1 - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Never thought I would know what a coyote soap opera was. Now I do.

  4. comeonnowguys - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Smith himself said he was 100%.

    They’re angling for a suspension.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:38 PM

  5. comeonnowguys - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Kuc just tweeted that Shaw got 3 games.

    What a ###### joke.

  6. philly4lyfe - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Just heard on the radio he got 3 games.

  7. themohel - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Now that the suspension is in the books, expect the “Smith fine, to start tonight” headline within moments.

  8. bhwksr1 - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    If 3 is what he got, that is pathetic. He may as well have taken him out to at least make it worth it.

  9. fourfeatherfury - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Great job milking that swan dive… Classy move Phoenix. I guess appalling refereeing wasn’t enough for you the first two games. I’m not the religious type, but man am I praying now for this joke of a team to move to Quebec next season.

  10. balewsquare - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Shaw should’ve just grabbed Smith’s head and smashed it in to the glass…

    • mainevent7567 - Apr 17, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      We read it just fine in the other story you typed it in.

  11. jdawg111 - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Shaw getting 3 games makes Shanahan look like a complete and utter fool. His explanation makes no sense as Shaw did not make a run at him. He attempted to avoid Smith (who by the way was looking right at shaw when he put his head down). Shaw inadvertently hit Smith in the head. Smith flopped all over the ice like a fish out of water. Until Shaw got booted, then Smith was immediately fine. he should have been taken off the ice if he was hit that bad to the quiet room. Then, they played the system again with Smith might not play. And he was the entire time. I hope kharma comes back to bite the Yotes in the arse.

    And Shanahan should resign effective immediately. Especially after giving Shea Weber a heft $2,500 fine for using intent to shove anotehr players head into the boards after the whistle sounded. Let’s see, use intent to injure and get $2500 fine, try to avoid hitting the goalie and get 3 games. yeah, great logic Shanahan. Time to go man. Step aside. I think you took too many hits to the head as a player.

    My last part of this.. its a fix by the NHL, who owns the team. If I’m Shaw, I appeal this one. If I’m the Blackhawks, I file some paperwork with the courts to get an injunction to stop the suspension until an independent person can review the film. No way the NHL should hand out a suspension to a player on an opposing team of the team the league owns.

    • mathpete13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      fail @ consistency
      win @ drama

      Sounds like Brendan to me…

  12. bhwksr1 - Apr 17, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Well put jdawg111. If anyone skips this due to length, go back and read it. Too bad weber can’t get a hold of shanahans head and break through the monitor he was watching the replay on. I’ll pay weber 2500 to do it.

  13. dekalbhawk - Apr 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    As flops go, Smith will undoubtably receive an Oscar Award for best dive, wailing, moaning and waiting for the refs decision. Once given, Hey man, I’m good, just fine. No problems here.

  14. mathpete13 - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    PSYCHE!!! I’m fine guys…lulz!

  15. drez146 - Apr 17, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Smith and tippett make a great team in getting the most out of the refs and shanny. They played this so great they could co-write a book on how to flop around on the ice until a major is called then finish the game. Chapter 2 would include Tippett saying his goalie is a game time decision…oh wait shaw just got suspended 3 games..yea smith is good to go for tonight! Wow! incredible

  16. xaf605 - Apr 17, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Yea right making a joke out of the NHL now

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