Originally written February 13, 2013 on Fang Faction:
(Photo by: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) If there was a list of underrated goaltenders in the NHL ever, Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes would be on that list. Leading his team to the 2012 Western Conference Finals, playing out of his mind then and before the playoffs started, Smith was unable to be rewarded with being a Vezina Trophy nominee. The Vezina is in his sights and will attempt to repeat his past season's success. Earlier this season, Mike Smith was out for a quite a bit of time with a lower body injury. Smith is now recovering and is getting back to his old self. So far, the only bad game he has played in was against the red hot Chicago Blackhawks, giving up six goals on 22 shots. Mike Smith has incredible size at 6'4". He uses that to his advantage by not having to come out of his crease as much and, in doing so, allowing him to make it easier to go across his crease to stop a rebound that may come up.  One thing that is signature about Smith's play in between the pipes is his glove. Since Predators fans know how good Pekka Rinne's glove is, the Phoenix goaltender is a good comparison. In knowing his glove side is his strength, Smith will have part of himself covering the outside of the net when a player is coming down to his right, leaving a small portion of the net open to make glove saves. It is a dangerous situation to be in and could leave him vulnerable for a good shooter. Also, Smith has great side to side movement in the butterfly. This means a lot of shots, when trying to make him move, will not go in low on Smith. Here is how to beat Mike Smith. Blocker Side: Mike Smith is with the majority of goalies in that he has a tough time getting his blocker up in time before the puck goes past him. This is snipers' delight.   Havoc in front: Players will have to be sure to get in front of Smith to be on rebounds or to limit his vision looking for the puck. Traffic in front of the net is the key to score on Smith, but around the Coyotes defenders, as well. Mike Smith's 2012-13 stats Name W L OT SO SV% GAA #41 Mike Smith 4 3 1 2 .901 2.76 Mike Smith's career vs Nashville Name W L OT SO SV% GAA #41 Mike Smith 3 2 1 1 .899 2.71  
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.