Mike Smith has been activated from long-term injured reserve.
If you’re Mike Smith, it’s a pretty good time to be activated, as the goaltending situation is anything but settled in Edmonton right now.
Smith has been on injured reserve all but one day of the 2021 regular season. His last in-game appearance was just over six months ago for game 1 of the 2020 play-in series versus Chicago, a start I’m sure he’d like to forget.
Smith is almost certain to get a start in the next two games which are both in Ottawa. This is due partially because Mikko Koskinen has played in 12 of 13 total Oilers games, and it’s also in part after a shaky performance by Mikko Koskinen versus Calgary last night. Koskinen yielded six goals on 28 Calgary shots. Six goals is a tough number to overcome. Koskinen is a scant 4-7 on the year with a .889 SV% (it’s .893% 5v5, which is not good). Mike Smith finished with a .903 SV% in 2019-20 (.902 at 5v5), which is better than what we’ve seen so far in goal. Is Koskinen a victim of playing 12 of 13 total games? Maybe. Is he suffering from the lack of a preseason? Maybe. No matter how you slice it, Koskinen’s numbers look more like Nikolai Khabibulin’s time in Edmonton than Koskinen’s in 2019-20.
Mike Smith’s numbers haven’t blown anyone out of the water in the last two years, but a .900 SV% would be a slight improvement over what we’ve seen so far. Anything ahead of .905 would be a pleasant surprise.
We’ll likely see what he can do in a couple of days.