Veteran National Hockey League goaltender Mike Smith may be a former member of the Calgary Flames, but it seems clear that he doesn't feel much loyalty to the franchise that opted to move on from his services just a few short seasons ago.
Smith and his new team, the Edmonton Oilers, faced off against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night and largely cruised to a 4 - 1 victory. For the Oilers it was a win that helped secure their spot in 2nd place of the National Hockey League's North Division, but for the Calgary Flames the game may as well have been a dagger to the heart of their playoff hopes this season.
The Flames are still technically in contention while 8 points behind the Montreal Canadiens for the 4th and final playoff spot in the division, but with only 6 games remaining on their schedule it seems very unlikely that they will make up that gap. Not only would the Flames need to win 4 of those 6 games to simply tie the Habs, barring any extra points earned by losing after regulation time, but the Canadiens have 6 games of their own remaining on the schedule. This means that the Canadiens would need to completely collapse in their final 6 games of the season with the Flames also needing to win at a rate that would far outpace their performance thus far this season in order for Calgary to even have a chance.
Following the big loss for the Flames the aforementioned Mike Smith was asked about his feelings on the matter, although admittedly it was a rather leading question that was presented to him. Rather than expressing any sympathy for his former team or former teammates however, Smith admitted that the rivalry between the two franchises has made it as such that he was happy to drive the nail in the coffin of their playoff hopes for this season.
Question: Is there extra satisfaction for you putting probably the final nail in Calgary's playoff hopes here considering the rival they are?
"Yup," answered Smith to laughter from the reporters present at the time.
No doubt this one won't go over so well with his former fans, but I can hardly blame Smith for feeling satisfaction when effectively eliminating the team that chose not to re-sign him two seasons ago.