Being a scapegoat for the team’s failures is nothing new for Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith.
Despite the Oilers having a top offensive unit centered around Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, they’ve flopped in the postseason in recent years, and a lot of blame has fallen on Smith for their shortcomings.
During the Game One loss to the Kings on Monday night, Mike Smith was once again tasked with manning the net. And once again, a critical mistake in the third period costed them a chance at a win.
When fielding a puck behind his own net, Smith made a terrible turnover in the Oilers’ zone, but recovered to make a chaotic save. Shortly thereafter, though, the Kings found the back of the net to take a 4-3 lead — a score that would hold up until the final horn.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 3, 2022
Shortly after the Kings’ game-winning goal, Mike Smith was trashed all over social media.
Mike Smith fucking sucks. How is he still a starting goalie in the playoffs?
— Chief (@BarstoolChief) May 3, 2022
Guess where Mike Smith went with this puck pic.twitter.com/uLqUiSdkB3
— Gregory Balloch (@GregBalloch) May 3, 2022
Oh no Mike Smith what is you doing pic.twitter.com/f33ceI97ej
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) May 3, 2022
The Mike Smith Experience. Feel the excitement! pic.twitter.com/fIsGUZmK3V
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 3, 2022
edmonton oilers "why cant we win a playoff series"
my brother in christ you keep putting mike smith in net
— mallory (@sportslesbian) May 3, 2022
Mike Smith does this every year. No clue why everyone is surprised lmaoo
— Ahmed (@NHL_Bouchard) May 3, 2022
— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) May 3, 2022
When people ask me if I like watching Mike Smith ruin another year of McDavid and Draisaitl’s prime: pic.twitter.com/mJElNGfcri
— Ring of Fire CGY (@RingOfFireCGY) May 3, 2022
Following the loss on Monday night, Mike Smith is now 0-10 in his playoffs starts. And has lost all six games he’s started for the Oilers in the postseason.
Sure, the Oilers’ problems probably go beyond Smith. They lack an elite defense and could use some more depth pieces around McDavid and Draisaitl.
But at the end of the day, Mike Smith is going to have to prove he can lead a team this time of year. And to this point, he has failed to do so.
Smith and the Oilers will have a chance to settle the score against the young Kings on Wednesday night in Edmonton.
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