GLENDALE – Coyotes goalie Mike Smith has quickly turned the page on his brief outing on Friday night, during which he gave up two goals on Vancouver’s first three shots before being replaced less than five minutes into the game.
“I strive to be a perfectionist and when things don’t go as I think they should, it’s always frustrating,” Smith said after Saturday’s practice at Gila River Arena. “But as you get older you mature more and you find out the more you dwell on it the harder it is to get out of the situation… I’ve worked on the mental side of it a lot the last couple years and I feel I have a good handle on it.”
The Coyotes do not play again until Thursday vs. Colorado at home. Smith plans to use the time off to work on his game with Goaltending Coach Jon Elkin, who will be in Arizona this week to check in with Smith and backup Anders Lindback. Elkin is based in Toronto, but he keeps close tabs on the Coyotes goalies and works with them via private video sessions when away from the team.
“Any time he’s around he definitely helps out so I’m looking forward to that time with him,” Smith said.
Smith and Elkin, his goalie coach since Smith was 12, plan to keep practice simple this week.
“There’s no sense reinventing the wheel now because things haven’t gone as well lately,” Smith said. “I think I’ve done some good things, just maybe haven’t been as sharp. But I’m not going to dwell on it. It’s over and it’s time to move forward.”
Smith has posted a 4-3-1 record and a .902 save percentage in 10 games this season. He was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week after stopping 104 of 106 shots in three wins over the first five days of the season, but he’s allowed eight goals in his last two starts.
Smith, who is two wins shy of 100 as a member of the Coyotes, is keeping things in perspective.
“I look at it this way,” Smith said. “Last year I don’t know if I’d won a game by now. It’s been an improvement from last year so I think I’ll take it.”