Calgary Flames Monday Roundtable: First week of the 2017-18 season

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 14: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on as Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames is congratulated after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 14, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 14: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on as Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames is congratulated after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 14, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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ANAHEIM, CA – OCTOBER 9, 2017. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – OCTOBER 9, 2017. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Question 3: That being said, as incredible as Smith’s been in the first four games (not including the Sens), do you think he’ll be able to keep that up for the majority of the season?

Jonathan Boulanger

Yes, game 1 to 70 or however many he’ll play I think he will give the Flames a chance to win every night. He’s that good. I think he even has a shot at the Vezina.

Ian Gustafson

I think if the team gives him a break by playing better defence, then Smith can play at this level. I was unsure about Smith before the season started but he has destroyed any doubt I’ve had. If Eddie Lack can come in every once and a while and steal a game for the Flames then that will lift a lot of the weight off of Smith’s shoulders and the coaching staff can rest him more often.

Tomas Oppolzer

No, absolutely not. And I’m not trying to be a down. It’s just unrealistic to expect a goalie to post a 0.950 SV%. That said, I’ll think he’ll finish the season with an above-league-average SV%

Related Story: In defence of Mike Smith

Ben Prokopy

Not really, but that’s not to say he won’t be good. Consistency seems to be the hallmark of Smith’s game. As I’ve pointed out, he is SO consistent that he chokes around the same time every year. I’ve seen no reason to think he won’t continue to be.

However, age remains a factor I cannot ignore. Degradation is inevitable. Add to that the boatload of shots he faces every night (see below for more on that), and it seems likely his numbers will fall off a bit.

Dan Raicevich

Mike Smith is a proven starter in this league and with a skilled team in front of him, he can provide the goaltending that they need to take that next step. So far through the six games, he has been rock solid for the Flames. He was their best player in Anaheim and Edmonton and is gelling well with this roster.

While it’s a small sample size, there is definitely a glimmer of optimism that this will keep up throughout the year because he is a guy who has proven he can do this at a high level.

Ramina Shlah

I definitely agree with Tomas here. While I do think he’ll finish above average, he won’t be having 0.950 sv% every game. And while he’s been good when facing more than 40 shots a game (I guess he’s used to that playing with the Coyotes), but if he’s facing more than 40 shots consistently, there’s another problem to address there.

Tomas actually put out an article this off-season about Smith’s numbers, and his even-strength sv% is much better than his overall sv%, which can definitely be attributed to the Coyotes’ sub-par penalty killing abilities. The Calgary Flames have been somewhat decent so far at killing penalties this season, but they still need to find a way to remain more disciplined. Again, Smith can’t be bailing them out every game.