Oilers would be mistaken to pin playoff exit on Mike Smith

Mike Smith's playoff performances were not at the level of a Stanley Cup winning goaltender but as the Oilers front office and fans look to next season, they would be wrong to focus too sharply on their veteran netminder's weaknesses.

Video Transcript

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Well, Sam, you know what? There is a sadness in this market right now. There's a somberness. But people are happy. They made it to [INAUDIBLE] finals for the first time since 2006. But a lot of fans agree that Mike Smith wasn't the guy get you to a Cup. He straight up wasn't. He had sub-900 day percentages against the Avalanche.

That will not get you a win, no matter what year it is. It straight up will not. So now in the off season, you got to go get a goalie because, like Sam mentioned, Schmidt is leaning towards retirement now. And there's rumor that Koski might go to Europe. So now the tandem [INAUDIBLE] going to be a tandem of Stuart Skinner and a free agent goaltender. Who will that be? I'm not sure yet.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Omar, this looks like this is news to you about the Koskinen to Europe rumor. I saw that floating around for a while. I don't know if it was legit or not, but.

OMAR: Oh jeez, yeah, I didn't know that. Then that's a problem. And I think that could-- hmm, hmm.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: You have an idea?

OMAR: Avry?


OMAR: What are your thoughts on Petr Mrázek?


AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: He's good, but--

OMAR: I mean--

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: And here's the thing--

OMAR: I mean, if it-- yeah?

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: I'd rather have James Reimer and Stuart Skinner, than Petr Mrázek.

OMAR: Ouch, fair.

SAM CHANG: Just to go back to Mike Smith for a second, though.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yes. No, please go ahead.

SAM CHANG: Far be it from me to defend Mike Smith. Like, I don't think he was good. But I also don't think you can pin the entire loss on Mike Smith. Like, the Avs regularly were out-shooting the Oilers by, like, 20 shots. Like, you could have anyone in that and-- like, play some defense.

OMAR: Yeah.

SAM CHANG: Like, I don't understand what's happening here

OMAR: Yeah, I think--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Well, Darnell Nurse was, like, hurt all whole series. Like, he was not himself that entirety of the series. Yeah, they could have played some damn defense. Like, Mike Smith is one thing. But you're calling on the top guys to deliver in that series? Leon Draisaitl was playing on one damn foot the entire postseason, pretty much.

And he delivered one of the greatest playoff stretches we've seen from a player-- McDavid, of course, delivering a Conn Smythe trophy-worth performance throughout the playoffs. He might still have a chance at the damn trophy. And he's not going to be in the Stanley Cup Final. And Zach Hyman stepped up, for better or for worse. And we can focus on Evander Kane in a moment because this actually might be the first time we get to talk about that suspension.

But they signed Evander Kane. And he scored all those goals. There were guys who actually stepped up. It's just-- I think they ran up against a really good Colorado Avalanche team that was just so good from the top, down, they just could not stop them.

It's unfortunate that they couldn't get a win out of all of that. But I mean, the Oilers were-- they just weren't good enough. That's at least how I see it. They had pieces that worked. It's just, they're not nearly as deep as the Colorado Avalanche are.

SAM CHANG: I think they could largely outscore their problems against most teams, but not that team because that's a team that they have an incredible blue line. But they can also outscore any problems they have.

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