Calgary Flames: Mike Smith unavailable Tuesday, Jon Gillies called up

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Mike Smith
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11: Mike Smith /

It was what we were expecting, but hoping it wouldn’t happen. Calgary Flames starter, Mike Smith, will be out tomorrow after suffering an apparent groin injury.

The Calgary Flames almost had an incredible week, going 3-1-0 and winning four of their last five after losing six in a row. But with Mike Smith getting injured with 1.1 seconds left in the game last night, it somewhat spoiled the feeling.

During last night’s Flames vs. New York Islanders game, the Flames were about to win and close the week out on a high note. With 1.1 seconds left, Mike Smith stretched in an attempt to make a save and went down in some clear discomfort.

He needed to be helped off the ice and David Rittich came in to finish the game off with 1.1 seconds left in the game.

Related Story: Flames Daily: Mike Smith potential groin injury?

However, after the game, Eric Francis reported that he saw Smith walking out with no limp and gave fans some more good news today.

However, minutes ago, Postmedia’s Kristen Anderson released that head coach Glen Gulutzan said that Smith will be unavailable for tomorrow night’s game vs. the Boston Bruins.

Jon Gillies will most likely not play, they’re just calling him up for cautionary reasons.

Smith has been incredible this season, especially on the road. He’s currently 23-16-6 and has a 0.921 sv%. On the road, his 11-4-3 record and 0.944 sv% puts him as one of the best goaltenders on the road.

However, David Rittich has also been incredible for the Calgary Flames this season. He’s 5-0-2 in seven starts this season and 5-1-2 in total. In his seven starts, all of which have come on the road, he has a 0.938 sv% and has proven to be a reliable backup. In fact, he’s one of the most reliable backups this season among all backup goaltenders and is better than anyone of Miikka Kiprusoff‘s backups over the last decade.

Fans seem to have full confidence in Rittich, the only worrisome thing is that he’s never been an NHL starter, and this is his first season in the NHL. How long can he go if Smith’s injury turns out to be worse than we hope? The Flames have yet to release the details, so we’ll have to wait for that update.

Next: David Rittich deserves more than just back-to-back games

Let’s just hope Tuesday is all Mike Smith needs.