Player of the week: December 2nd-8th
Reilly Smith has been one of the most consistent players on the Boston Bruins through the first 30 games this season. He is third in points (20 points) on the team only trailing David Krejci and Milan Lucic (24 points).
IBruins fans did not know what to expect from Reilly Smith or maybe haven’t heard of him before this season, but he was shipped over to Boston in the Tyler Seguin deal. He is making that deal look a little brighter for the Black and Gold especially with Loui Eriksson’s slow start and injury-ridden season.
Over the last week, Smith had one goal and two assists including the game-winning assist to Zdeno Chara in the Bruins’ thrilling victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night at TD Garden. Smith also scored for the B’s in that same game on their first shot of the night almost halfway through the first period to give the team some life.
Although he did get things started for the B’s with a goal, Smith did not take much credit, but applauded his teammates who scored the other two goals.
“It was great to see it hit the back of the net,” Smith said. “We were battling for probably the whole third period. It’s hard to get chances and it seemed like until the last minute we finally got one in. To see Krech’s (David Krejci) and then have (Zdeno) Chara get that last one is huge.”
Smith talked about his game-winning assist to Zdeno Chara after a wild game in front of a sold out TD Garden.
“First option I was looking to strong side point,” Smith said. “Their winger was kind of covering him and I saw Zee (Chara) open up in the middle so I think if you can get the puck in that spot, he’s going to score more times than not.”
At times, Smith has played alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron fitting in seamlessly. As a matter of fact, Smith’s goal versus the Penguins was on a shift with Marchand and Bergeron after Eriksson left the game due to a concussion.
Even though Smith missed an open net to tie the game late in the third period Saturday night, he did not let that affect him.
“I was just trying to regroup from it, stuff like that will happen in hockey,” Smith said. “The biggest thing is not letting it bother you for the next shift.”
Smith admitted earlier in his career he may have let that affect him, but not on this night as he set up the winning goal for an important win for his team.
“In the past I probably would’ve got down on myself a little bit, but we needed a couple of more goals so it wouldn’t have helped if we had a negative emotion side and negative emotions about that,” Smith said.
If you want to say Smith is a surprise for the B’s up to this point you can, but we are over a third of the season done. Smith is meeting expectations if you ask him or his teammates and coaches.