GLENDALE -- Goalie Mike Smith turned heads at the recent IIHF World Championship where he helped Canada to 10 wins in 10 games and a gold medal.
Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett liked what he saw, and he hopes Smith's performance triggers a successful season minding the Arizona net in 2015-16.
"I watched a lot of the games, talked to the coaching staff there, talked to some other players, talked to 'Smitty,' and all were very positive," Tippett said. "They knew he was their guy going into the tournament. He did nothing to derail that at all. They were a stacked team, but there were a couple times in the tournament that Smitty was relied on and and he played very well."
Smith finished the World Championship ranked second in goals-against average (1.50) and third in save percentage (.930). In Canada's three medal-round games he posted two shutouts and stopped 58 of 59 shots.
Smith participated in the tournament to help get his confidence back.
"I've had a number of conversations with 'Smitty' since he got back," Tippett said. "He's feeling very good, very confident... We just need him to come in and play that way at the start of the year, and I have every belief that he'll do that."