Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Smith leaves Sunday’s game with lower-body injury

The Calgary Flames battled to a big win on Sunday night in Brooklyn, but they may have also suffered a big loss. Goaltender Mike Smith left the game with 1.1 seconds remaining in the third period with an apparent lower body injury.

Smith appeared to suffer the injury with a lateral movement from left to right on an Islanders offensive zone rush. He attempted to move back to his left, but fell to the ice in obvious pain. He was tended to by the Flames training staff and was helped off the ice. David Rittich entered the game for the final 1.1 seconds.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Sportsnet commentator Jason York theorized on the broadcast that Smith had suffered a groin injury. On the post-game television broadcast, it was mentioned that Smith was seen walking around without assistance after the game.

Smith previously left a Nov. 13 game against St. Louis after the first period was what was thought to be a groin injury. He missed a single game – the 8-2 debacle of a loss to Detroit – before returning to regular duty. If Smith is unable to suit up on Tuesday in Boston, it seems likely that the Flames would summon Jon Gillies from the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat – their other AHL goaltender, Tyler Parsons, left tonight’s game in Milwaukee with an injury of his own.

We’ll have more information on Smith’s status as it becomes available.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

  • FlamesFan27

    It’s pretty ridiculous to speculate when he will be back, as I don’t think there are a lot of doctors on this site. In the short term (next couple games) I think Rittich will be fine, but we need 2 solid goaltenders.

    You gotta love the fight in the Flames tonight. That was a fantastic game by Tkachuk!

    • dontcryWOLF

      Wouldn’t matter if you were a doctor. Unless somebody here has a super power of being able to see injuries through pads. Even Smith likely doesn’t know yet. Takes a few days to assess these things.

  • aye

    Time to find out if Rittich is indeed Kipper in disguise.
    VGK didn’t miss a beat with all their goalie injuries earlier in the season, no excuses for the Flames.

    • Puckhead

      VGK’s make me start to wonder if you’re better off with 4 lines of cast offs (4 decent lines) or two super star lines with two supporting lines. Coaching obviously is a factor. ?‍♂️

        • Glensgel

          Not a chance in heck. Gulutzan is a crappy coach with a team that wins in spite of his madness. Hope he gets fired with 8 games left and they have a new jersey style cup run.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        What a lot of rot you do talk. If all a club needs to win is a bunch of castoffs and the worst dressed coach in the league, why the hell have Flames’ fans been so blasted patient with successive GMs, including the current one, who have told us that it takes time to build a winner, that a rebuild should be looked at like an old Soviet 5-year plan where success is not instant but commitment is?

  • smatic10

    I actually have full faith in Rittich. Gillies is still not quite there yet but an appearance or two as a backup won’t be the worst thing. Everyone relax until we get a prognosis on Smitty.

  • buts

    By the amount of time he spent down on the ice I’m thinking it’s quite serious. Mike Smith is the only reason we are contending for a playoff spot this season. This injury could allow Rittich the opportunity to show that’s he’s ready to be a future #1 as well as give Gillies and Parson’s the chance to show they are nhl ready. Good players seize these opportunities.

    • supra steve

      Did you see that Brock Boeser leg injury several weeks back? I was sure he would be out for weeks after seeing the obvious pain he was in and the difficulty he had leaving the ice. Shortly thereafter he was the MVP at the all-star game. Very hard to diagnose hockey injuries from the couch.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Flames will not go with Gillies as the backup for very long if Smitty is out for long. Tre will want a guy with NHL experience, so don’t be surprised if you if Eddlie Lack Redux coming soon to a cinema near you. Does big, bad Benny Scrivens, fresh off helping Canada win an Olympic gold, parachute into Calgary to give the push needed to get the squad into the postseason? Tre will go after a vet and if Rittich sucks, expect him to be sent to Stockton and replaced by Gillies.

    • BringtheFire 2.0

      Mike Smith is not the only reason we’re contending for a spot this year. There are many reasons. Take Johnny Hockey, for instance.

      He’s a reason.

  • buts

    Smith has started in 48 of our 56 games this year….Rittich won his last start, Smith lost his last start…..Last night would have been smart and prudent to start Rittich and also start giving Smith some time to rest. But our dumb coach who doesn’t know how to use hockey players screws things up again.

    • Lineking

      You are completely delusional if you think an nhl coach is going to sit a goalie playing at a Vezina level 2/3 games for a goalie with 6-7 career starts. Smith is an elite competitor and no way he sits that game after having a day off since the last game. Stop hating on gully that play was a complete fluke and in no way was his fault

  • everton fc

    Didn’t know Parsons went down, as well.

    We run w/Rittich. We call up Gillies. The farm team suffers.

    Or, you relieve the Leafs of a contract and somehow grab Calvin Pickard from Toronto. Added insurance, relieves the Leafs of a contract, $1mill. cap hit.

    • Stockton's Finest

      The Heat won’t be in as much trouble as you think. They don’t play until Friday, so Gillies backing up Rittich in Boston won’t impact them too much. Even if he has to back him up on Thursday, Stockton will recall MacDonald on an emergency basis for the weekend.

      Hopefully Smitty is able to serve as back up on Saturday against Florida and Gillies returns to the Heat.

      It also depends on the injury to Parsons. Have not seen it yet or heard any word about his status. Based on his condition, along with Smith’s, it will determine who goes where and for how long.

      …..and now we play the waiting game.

  • Kevin R

    I guess it’s a good thing we never packaged Gilles in a deal. Funny how quick depth can go to pretty dang thin. Im kind of concerned how injury prone Parsons has been this year, hope its just one of those years for him.

  • Aadvarkian Abakeneezer

    Smith has a tendency to go down like a sack of bricks no matter what. He could well be fine. Or maybe the team rallies around Rittich for a while, who knows.

  • RKD

    By all accounts I read Smith was up and walking around however if he is out for any length of time Brad may have to work over time on the phones to land another goalie for insurance in addition to adding a forward.

    • freethe flames

      Waliking around is completely different than doing the splits at game speed. None of us should be speculating to much; it did not look good(Smith is tough cookie) but only the next few days will tell. I’m hoping for the best but suspect it will at least a few games. Good thing is rittich has played well and the team plays well for him.

  • The GREAT WW

    It seems like after the Lomberg “fight” the Flames started playing like a team.

    Could you imagine if Lucic, Maroon, Kassian combined had one tenth of the heart of Lomberg?
    They would be leading the Pacific…