This article is part of our Crashing the Crease series.
As I fill in for Sasha for the second week here, it doesn't seem possible to write this column without discussing what happened in Arizona on Saturday, when the Blue Jackets put fully 60 shots – yes, 60, sixty, six-zero shots – on Mike Smith. The shot chart for that game (you'll need to page down a bit) looks like nothing so much as an overhead view of the entrance to Best Buy at 8 a.m. on Black Friday.
That game somehow went to a shootout, in which Smith was surprisingly downed after two rounds. It was the only way to defeat the veteran on a night when he set a franchise record with 58 saves – including 23 (a whole game's worth on its own) in the third period. The Jackets set a franchise record of their own for shots on goal. Sure, the Coyotes have been giving up the most shots in the league, so it's not totally shocking to see a game like this, but this was only the second time in the last seven years that a goalie made so many saves in a game.
Unfortunately, that losing effort qualifies as a bright spot of the season for Smith – despite strong stats overall, he's now taken four consecutive losses, including a pair of four-goal duds sandwiching Saturday's game. His .925 save percentage deserves better results than the four wins he's delivered in 11 starts – an excellent reminder that no goalie can do it