Mike Smith is, by his own admission, an old goat. A bearded old goat at that.
And just to be clear, we’re not talking about the Tom Brady kind of GOAT. We’re talking hoofed bovine here, though we would submit that his numbers this season are so good, he has played like a (cough) Billy bookcase that’s been assembled in front of the Edmonton Oilers’ goal.
“I can remember as a 24-year-old, my first year in the league, and guys telling me, ‘Enjoy it now. Your career goes by quick,’” reminisced Smith this week. “And I’m thinking, ‘OK, old goat. I’ve got a lot of time left.’
“Now, I’m the old goat. And I’m trying to say the same things to these younger players.”
The Oilers whiffed on Jacob Markstrom in free agency last summer, and now find themselves heading into the playoffs with a sketchy backup and a 39-year-old journeyman as their starter. When it comes to the latter, they couldn’t be happier with their old goat.