How do we know for certain that Mike Smith is definitely a whacked-out goalie? Easy. Because he claims to be free of all superstition. Not a single one. I mean, if so, that's one goalie gone bonkers indeed.
"I'm not superstitious at all, which I guess is weird for a goalie not to be superstitious," Smith says. "I kind of go about my business and enjoy coming to the rink."
Wait a minute, Mr. NHL Top Star for February. Paulie Puck ain't that easy. And, sure enough, further questioning in the Coyotes dressing room reveals a few blips on the ol' radar screen.
"His suits are very, um, out there," Shane Doan reports.
Gotcha. Whereas many athletes wear their heart on their sleeve, Smith apparently wears his personality.
"He's got the plaid going," Doan continues. "Like the full plaid, not just the jacket. But the plaid right from the jacket and pants, it's full and multi-colored."
According to his teammates, Mr. Smith's suits neither coordinate nor make fashion sense. Not even close. But, they do match the persona that typically comes with stopping high-velocity vulcanized rubber for a living.
"I think he has a fetish with buying crazy looking suits," says Keith Yandle, while shaking his head. "He doesn't own a normal looking suit. I don't think I've seen him wear the same suit twice this year. I think in his off- time, he's at the mall buying suits."
Which means, come the postgame press conference, we might want to keep an eye on the podium and whether Smith decides to make a fashion statement of sorts. You know, in a warped sort of way compared to Larry Fitzgerald or Tom Brady. Or Shane Doan, says Captain Coyote himself.
"I'm not afraid to wear and go out there a little bit, but it looks good on me, so it's different," Doan sums up/dead pans. "Where on [Smith], it's sometimes questionable."
Gotcha again. As for what Smith will look like in uniform against the high-octane (sorry, Todd Graham) Blackhawks? Well, it boils down to a simple question: how do you keep a hot goalie hot? And I'm not setting up some sort of punch line here on a lame joke.
It's a very real question: how exactly do you ensure that a smoking hot goalie in the regular season doesn't cool to room temperature in the postseason?
Well, guess what? Although, Paulie Playoffs doesn't profess to have the answer, we did assign the pocket protectors in R&D to invent a goalie warming device of sorts. With that in mind, may Calvisi Consulting present and patent the key to the Phoenix Coyotes first ever trip out of the first round - the Goalie Heat Lamp:
Uh, let's hope that Mr. Smith doesn't need it…cuz it might wrinkle his suits.