I am doing a legend blog for the teams that I am covering. For this week, it is the New York Islanders’ turn. A friend of mine asked me to write a blog on legendary goaltender Billy Smith.
A fact on Billy Smith I didn’t know:
Billy Smith did not start with the New York Islanders. Smith started his NHL career at Lalla Land, known as Hollywood. In the 1970–71 NHL Season, Smith started five games for the Kings. In his debut, the Kings lost to the Habs 6–5. If it were not for Smith, the game could have been a lot worse, as he faced 48 shots in the tilt; Smith yielded the winning goal with just 22 seconds left. The legend himself, Guy Lafleur, scored the goal. The Islanders acquired Smith in the ’72 expansion draft.
Billy Smith Moments
Game 1–1983 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Billy Smith was outstanding in a 2–0 victory. He made 35 saves, many of them of the exceptional variety. Smith to the rescue again and again as the Oilers had their chances.
November 28, 1979
This date will be remembered in infamy, as Smith got credit for an empty-net goal versus the Colorado Rockies. He was the first NHL goalie to score a goal.
Billy Smith was no angel
You either loved or hated him. Billy Smith was well known for his stick swinging athletics. I would watch an Islanders game every chance I got to see Smith losing it with his goal stick. In all honesty, that was part of his charm; there was no other goalie who could get in an opposing player’s head like Smith. You meathead, get out of my crease!
Bily Smith was arguably the best New York Islanders goalie. He provided that in the 1982–83 season, taking home the Conn Smythe trophy. A most valuable player in the playoffs.
Billy Smith also won the Vezina and William H Jennings trophies. He was elected into the Hall of fame in 1993.