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'Yotes Notes: Smith Moves Beyond Bad Bounces

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE – Mike Smith has been around the NHL long enough to know that sometimes, bad luck will find a goalie no matter how well he plays or how well he doesn’t play.

Smith

Take Tuesday night, for instance, when the Colorado Avalanche scored two goals past him – including the game-winner in overtime – off the stick of one of his teammates in a 4-3 loss.

"After last night’s game, as frustrating as it’s been, I almost chuckled to myself," Smith said after Wednesday’s practice. "I care so much about this team, and winning games is so important to me. When it’s not going your way and things are happening like that – the way it ended last night – it’s almost a little bit funny. It’s not funny, but you have to take it like that in order to keep pushing forward and to try and keep improving."

With the loss, Smith’s record dropped to 4-11-2 on the season. The team next plays Saturday at home vs. Calgary in a game that will be broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada.

"I'm not worried about stuff I can't control," Smith said. "... I’m not dwelling on it. I’m going to do everything I can to help this team win every night, and compete hard in practice and continue to push forward and continue to improve."

• Defenseman Michael Stone blocked five more shots on Tuesday to bring his season total to an NHL-leading 64.

Stone

It’s a labor of love.

"I like getting in front of pucks," Stone said. "You watch (Zbynek Michalek) do it and everybody else does it. I have fun doing it. I don’t know how many people can say that, but I actually enjoy blocking shots. I used to play goalie all the time when I used to play street hockey (as a kid). I think it’s fun."

Stone also notched the fourth multi-point game of his NHL career on Tuesday when chipped in a goal and an assist.

• Captain Shane Doan moved into sole possession of 48th place in career NHL games played on Tuesday night when he played in his 1,338th game.

Next up is No. 47 Mats Sundin, who played 1,346 games. Gordie Howe holds the record with 1,767 NHL games played.

If Doan plays in all 59 remaining games this season he would finish the season ranked 34th all-time with 1,397 games played.

• The hockey world lost two coaching legends this week when Pat Quinn and Viktor Tikhonov passed away.

"I met Pat a few times," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "He was a real icon of the North American game. (He) touched all the parts of the game – player, coach, general manager. He was very well respected in the NHL."

As for Tikhonov, the head coach of Team Russia during the late 1970s and 1980s, Tippett remembered playing against him as a member of Team Canada in 1984.

"He was a coach that stood in front of the bench," Tippett said. "He stood in front of the players instead of behind the players, and I remember thinking 'He looks so mean.' But they had a great team. He was a demanding, hard coach on them, and they were phenomenal."

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