There aren’t a lot of guarantees in the world of pro hockey. But when you face Mike Smith, statistically, you’re given as close to a guarantee of a win as you can get.
This season, the Calgary Flames have deployed Mike Smith in 10 different games so far. Of those, he’s allowed four or more goals six (!!) times, and he’s allowed five or more goals three times — which, incidentally, is also the number of times that he’s managed to sneak above an .890 save percentage, period. He’s been almost stunningly bad, giving his team a legitimate shot of winning just 30% of the time.
The Avalanche thought they’d learned that on Thursday night:
Calgary fans lost their collective minds when Smith allowed four goals on just 14 shots, seeming to hopelessly sink his team in the second period.
Why is Mike Smith still in this game. He's been fighting it all night, looks shaky and unconfident. He's let in 4 of 14 shots, 3 of which are weak and should not have gone in.— Irreverant (@ChinookArchYYC) November 2, 2018
I've never seen a goalie with such a long leash. This is garbage.
Easy win, right?
Not so fast, apparently. In a dominant third period, the Flames skaters managed to bail out Smith with a five-goal effort across the final 20 minutes of play. Add in their one goal scored in the second frame, and they picked up a win — even though Smith allowed ANOTHER goal in the third, stopping just 21 of 26 shots faced on the night. [Mile High Hockey]
In some good news, though, Mikko Rantanen got the attention he deserved from the league, earning first star honors for the month of October. [MHH]
For more on how good he and the rest of that top line is, here’s a look at some of the best lines in the NHL — and how they stack up. [ESPN]
It’s also power ranking szn! Mile High Hockey and Raw Charge faithful Hardev Lad has put up his best of the west and beasts of the easts, with all the promising and horrifying stats you could ever ask for.
Your Western Conference power rankings: [MHH]
Your Eastern Conference power rankings: [Raw Charge]
If you’re a big Erik Johnson fan (let’s be honest, aren’t we all?) then this is a pretty fun look into what he’s like off the ice. [Sports Illustrated]
In “News To Keep An Eye On”:
Also, if you’re a big fan of players with personality, here’s the profile you never knew you needed:
The NHL needs more players with personality, and Columbus goaltending prospect Elvis Merzlikins has it in spades.— Catherine Silverman (@catmsilverman) November 1, 2018
Incredible profile on the player behind the mask from @treed1919: https://t.co/s93BN5dB70 pic.twitter.com/8G7S9rEIQu
Finally, you may or may not have seen the Toronto Maple Leafs Carlton Scare Bear video on Halloween:
Watching the players get scared was funny enough, then Auston Matthews walks by the bear. His shriek was probably one of the best things a team has slapped up on Twitter in years.
It was so good, in fact, that someone dropped this gem:
i would just like to point out that this took 34 seconds to export. also you're welcome pic.twitter.com/R6O0A6oU2A— ali zane (@maplefucks) November 1, 2018
Enjoy, I guess.