Behind goals from Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Gilbert Brule, Antoine Vermette, and Kyle Chipchura, in front of 39 saves and another stellar performance from Mike Smith, the Phoenix Coyotes crushed Corey Crawford and the Chicago Blackhawks, 4 - 0, last night to take their first round series against the 2010 Stanley Cup Championz, 4 - 2. It is the franchise's first playoff series win since moving from Winnipeg in 1996 - befitting that this would happen the same year Winnipeg gets an NHL franchise back in their town.
Smith's performance evoked a sense of cockiness in the young goaltender. While the Blackhawk faithful applauded their defeated heroes' efforts this season by sounding the goal horn, Smith was being interviewed on the ice:
What was going through your mind in the first period when the Chicago Blackhawks were coming at you in waves?
"Not that sound," replied Smith.
Play on playa. The Coyotes will face Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators next. You cannot ask for a better goal tending match up then that.
Mike Smith better clean out that playoff beard, because it's growing to Round 2.
Mike Smith is a Coyote.