On Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes number one goaltender Mike Smith had to leave the game early in the 3rd period due to an undisclosed injury and was not able to return. The Coyotes were back at it again on Wednesday night and the team needed to call-up Justin Pogge to back up Jason LaBarbera for the game, since Smith was not good enough to go.
At the moment, Smith is currently listed as out day-to-day with an undisclosed injury and with a small break coming up on the weekend, I would imagine that the team is optimistic that that will be enough rest for their top guy in the crease.
Smith has quietly had a great start to the season, which doesn't need to be marred by injury. Smith has gone 15-10-3 in 28 appearances for the Coyotes this season, tacking on 2 shutouts and 1 assist for 35 points in the pool to this point. Smith currently ranks 21st overall in pool scoring, 6th among all goalies, proving to a lot of people that he is worthy of a number one job in the NHL and the Coyotes are reaping those benefits.
Smith was one of the bright spots for Darren S.'s team and if there is any long-term problem with his number one goalie, that may just sink that ship at the deepest parts of the pool, not to be seen or heard from again. I believe the last time we measured the gap between Darren and 21st place, it was about 21 to 23 points and going into Thursday, it's at 21 points, so he's managing... of sorts.