Coach’s Corner: Mike Smith crucial to Oilers’ hot start

October 13, 2019

In defeating the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon, the Edmonton Oilers have now won their opening five games to begin the season.

It’s Edmonton’s first 5-0-0 start since the 1985-86 campaign, so spirits are high in northern Alberta at the moment, and Don Cherry believes that the goaltending has been a major factor in the Oilers’ hot start.

“I know the goaltenders are playing good again,” Cherry said on the Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Mike Smith is 3-0, just what he needed, just what the team needed, and the team is smoking right now.

“But when you have a [goaltender] playing good, you take that extra chance. … And McDavid is doing great – everybody’s doing great – but I tell you, Mike Smith is the guy that’s got ‘em going.”

Smith has posted a 2.67 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in his three victories so far this season.

The Oilers will attempt to make it six wins in a row on Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

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