What’s up, Oilersnation?! How are we feeling after Game 1 against the Los Angeles Kings? I know this is a loaded question right now but when you look on the bright side, there are many more games to be played. As they say, it’s not a sprint but a marathon.
There’s one moment I’d like to talk about in particular. Here it is:
Oh no Mike Smith what is you doing pic.twitter.com/f33ceI97ej
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) May 3, 2022
Obviously, a moment that sent Oilers fans and hockey fans across the league into a frenzy. Here’s my deal with the situation, I do think Mike Smith is a veteran goalie who cannot be making those mistakes in the playoffs. There’s no excuse. I also think that the context of this mistake, with five minutes left in a tie game, makes it even worse. Again, there’s no excuse. However, with all this being said, there were many other breakdowns and errors that the Oilers need to address as a whole before Game 2.
In the month of April, Smith went 9-0-0 with a 1.66 GAA, a .951 SV%, and had two shutouts. These numbers don’t lie. Smith was putting in the work and established himself as the number one goaltender for the Oilers.
Do I think Oilers fans should write Smith off after one bad mistake? No, I don’t and it seems as though I’m not alone!
Let’s shake this negative energy and focus on the positive. (Energy is real, people! Let’s manifest an epic Game 2!)
Okay, let’s get into the good vibes! Some Oilers fans were quick to defend the goaltender reminding us that he’s a big reason for the Oilers’ recent success:
Just a reminder that Mike Smith is such a good guy. Yes the #Oilers lost but he doesn’t deserve to be hated on. He’s been playing lights out and he’s one of the reasons we finished as the number 2 seed. #LetsGoOilers #BenOilersStrong pic.twitter.com/kd3lN7IkVs
— Mike Stelter (@m_dan25) May 3, 2022
While many harsh tweets surfaced the Twittersphere, so did a lot of support and faith from Oilers fans. Take a look!
Side note: I love to see this. Again, it’s not a sprint but a marathon.
Anyone who piles on Mike Smith today is part of the problem. It’s 1 game. The Oilers will bounce back.
— Chris Chalmers (@chriskchalmers) May 3, 2022
I think it's important for Oilers fans to not be prisoners of the moment. Yes, the result last night was not ideal.
We can't sulk & focus on the negatives. Take it one game at a time. We know what this team is capable of.
And citing Mike Smith playoff record as a fault? Stop it
— ✘ – Woz (@itsWozzz) May 3, 2022
Be kind to Mike Smith. We need him in Game 2.
— x- playoffs nation Dan – Feel Good, Why Not (@theDanalytic) May 3, 2022
I don't believe Mike Smith lost the Oilers the game last night. I more so believe that Jonathan Quick won LA the game.
That was a super exciting anyways. Another one goal difference in playoffs. Difference though, is goals from Drai and McDavid. Oilers will be fine 😎
— Megan. (@mlangester) May 3, 2022
I’m still confident in Mike Smith.
— x – Dylan Moore (@dmoorefishing) May 3, 2022
Smith wasn’t good. But he didn’t cost them that game. He was fine.
You start him in game two and don’t think twice.
Anyone saying anything else is just overreacting.
— Tyler Yaremchuk (@tyleryaremchuk) May 3, 2022
Should not be a debate…. Smith starts and we move on and win this thing. https://t.co/yvlxeGpYC1
— Jay Downton (@thesquireyeg) May 3, 2022
I also really liked that Smith took accountability and ownership of his mistake after the game to the media:
“I was trying to make something happen and I tried to do too much. You can’t make that play at that time. It cost us the game. You can’t do anything about it now. We have to move on and get over it,” Mike Smith on Kings game winning goal. #Oilers
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) May 3, 2022
Before I wrap things up, I want to say that I totally understand the emotional investment fans have in their team. No one ever wants to lose a playoff game like that but I think when you look at the situation with perspective, you quickly see that it’s not the end of the road for the Oilers!
I personally believe in the power of positive energy and I’d like to send all of that in Mike Smith’s direction because the reality is, we need him! What do you think, Oilersnation? Please weigh in on the situation and tell me where you stand.
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