Apr 15, 2014, 1:01 PM EST
After missing the playoffs for the second straight season, Phoenix was finally able to give a clearer explanation as to what injury befell starting netminder Mike Smith — he suffered an MCL sprain on Mar. 24 against the Rangers.
“We knew internally he was not going to be able to help us get to the playoffs, so we said, ‘Let’s leave it on the sidelines. Let’s focus on Thomas and our team and get to the playoffs, and maybe Mike will be back in the playoffs,’ and that was far from certain.”
Maloney then added surgery to repair the ligament wasn’t necessary, and that the club had “no qualms whatsoever about a long-term problem with it.”
The injury was a thud ending to an otherwise good season. Smith captured gold as a member of Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics and, upon his return, put together a stellar run of play, going 7-4-1 in March with a .924 save percentage while allowing three goals or less in 11 of his 12 starts.
Smith finished the season 27-21-10 with a 2.64 GAA and .915 save percentage, pretty solid numbers in the first of his six-year, $34 million extension (signed last July). The Coyotes are no doubt pleased his knee injury is minor and won’t require going under the knife, as the club’s late-season swoon with Greiss in goal only furthered the notion that Smith is the team’s most important player.
- BREAKING: Voynov charged with felony count of corporal injury 0
- NHL responds to concussion lawsuit, says players should have ‘put two and two together’ 8
- (Video) PHT Extra: Carlyle’s on the hot seat, Hartley’s riding high 0
- Hextall launched profanity-laced tirade against Flyers last night 26
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him 53
- NHL watching 3-on-3 OT in the AHL closely 12
- Sens’ Murray hopes to bring cancer awareness 5
- Pens’ Dupuis has blood clot in lung, out six months 25
- It’s not all Carlyle’s fault, but the Leafs’ coach is failing at his job 12
- NHL on NBCSN: Rangers host Flyers on Rivalry Night 4
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (53)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)
- Video: Malkin runs over Girardi (Updated) (41)
- Bettman calls Panthers relocation speculation ‘unfounded’ (36)