Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith is feeling more confident in how he’s playing now than he did at the beginning of the season.
Smith said he entered game one coming off the lockout against the Dallas Stars feeling prepped and ready to go.
And then the puck dropped.
“I thought I was ready until I let in 10 goals in the first two games,” Smith laughed as he told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf. “Then it was pretty adamant that I wasn’t ready, (but) I feel like I’ve came a long way since then.”
Come a long way he has, as Smith has had three shutouts in the past eight games. One of those shutouts came on Monday night against the Calgary Flames, as the Coyotes won big 4-0 at Jobing.com Arena.
Smith said the team is finally playing their way of hockey: “The consistency aspect of playing the right way.”
“We got away from that a little bit at the start of the season, (and) we weren’t clicking on all cylinders as our team has done in the past,” Smith said. “We win the right way, and that’s getting contributions from everyone throughout the whole lineup. We find ways to get great minutes from our third and fourth line players. We have great depth throughout our organization and that’s what made us successful in the past.”
Smith gave credit to the teams that came out of the lockout already playing great hockey, but says there’s a key difference between those teams and the Coyotes.
“The teams that did well early in the season … are the teams that have really high skilled players,” Smith said. “Not that we don’t … (but) the lockout didn’t hurt those guys as much as it did with the teams that rely on their whole nucleus of players.
“I really believe we have come a long way.”