Fantasy Spin: Is Coyotes' Smith the real deal?

Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 2:17 AM

By Eric Lipschutz - Staff Writer / Fantasy Spin Blog

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Fantasy Spin: Is Coyotes' Smith the real deal?
Mike Smith is turning doubters into believers one win at a time.  The Coyotes' goalie made 24 stops for his 12th win of the season Tuesday night as Phoenix defeated Chicago, 4-1.

Mike Smith
Goalie - PHX
RECORD: 12-4-3
GAA: 2.13 | SVP: 0.935
The always dangerous Blackhawks, winners of two in a row heading into Tuesday's contest, couldn't get anything going offensively against Smith until finally breaking through against him until Patrick Sharp scored in the final minute of regulation. Smith improved his record to a stellar 12-4-3 on the season while boasting an impressive .935 save percentage.

Few could have predicted this kind of success for Smith, who the Coyotes signed on July 1 of this year to replace Ilya Bryzgalov after the latter signed with Philadelphia. But to this point, Smith has outplayed Bryzgalov and many of the other more marquee goalies across the League. If you were shrewd enough, or more likely lucky enough to draft Smith or perhaps scoop him up off the waiver wire in shallower leagues, you are certain to be one happy fantasy GM.

The question facing all Smith owners now is, can he keep up his surprisingly hot play?  At 29 years old, Smith has never played more than 42 games in a season. But it is possible Smith has found a home in the desert. Smith seems to be a strong fit in Dave Tippett's system and might be finally ready to prove he is capable locking down a No.1 goalie job in the NHL and on your fantasy squad. Even if you are convinced that Smith is the real deal and won't come crashing down to Earth, don't be afraid to sell high on him if the right opportunity should present itself. Goalies can always command a pretty penny on the trade market and Smith's value might never be higher.
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