There are two ways to look at the Calgary Flames’ 5-5-0 start to the regular season. On one hand, they are in better shape than they were the last two seasons, and last year’s awful start did not stop them from making the postseason. On the other hand, the Flames could be deemed lucky for being in fourth place in the Pacific Division because of the stellar play from goalie Mike Smith.

Despite being a middle-of-the-pack team, the offense is 28th in the league in scoring with 2.40 goals per game. The only teams with a worse mark are the Montreal Canadiens (1.70), Edmonton Oilers (2.22), and the Arizona Coyotes (2.30), and all three of them have seven points or less in at least nine games played.

That makes Mike Smith and the blue line look extremely valuable despite being 16th in GAA. Smith has only allowed more than three goals once, and that was in a 6-0 loss to a Senators team that swept the Western Canada road trip and crushed the Oilers as well. The only other occasion that Smith’s save percentage was below 0.9 was in Calgary’s home opener, when the Jets got off to a fast start before the Calgary offense dominated the second half of the game. His shutout at Anaheim in the third game of the season showed everyone that the 35-year-old could still dominate a game.