Over the offseason, the Bruins seemed to be all in on acquiring a big-time forward for the top-six forward group. Who could have imagined Craig Smith would be that guy? When the Bruins announced the signing, the move seemed like a perfect fit for the third line. The thought of Craig Smith on the right side of Charlie Coyle seemed to make most Bruins fans happy. Once the injuries piled up this year, Smith was quickly promoted to give a spark on the top line with Bergeron and Marchand. That move would be the spark the Bruins and Craig Smith needed to turn their seasons around.
Smith was an instant contributor when he was playing with Marchand and Bergeron. It also gave the Bruins a spark for some secondary scoring with David Pastrnak on a line with David Krejci. One of the biggest moments of the season that helped keep Smith on track was the NHL Trade Deadline. The Bruins went out and acquired Taylor Hall from Buffalo. With the acquisition, it prompted Bruce Cassidy to put Craig Smith on the second line with Taylor Hall and David Krejci. The move would pay off for everyone involved. For anyone who thought Smith shouldn’t play with Krejci and Hall on the second line, this is for you.
In the 11 games since the trade deadline:
Mike Reilly: 0-6–6
Curtis Lazar: 1-2–3
Taylor Hall: 5-5–10
David Krejci: 6-8–14
Craig Smith: 5-5–10
Krejci also has 2-5–7 in the last 3 games, all of which were multipoint games.
This 2nd line has scored goals in 9 of their 11 games
— Bruins Mafia (@BruinsMafia) May 2, 2021
Smith’s Will To Compete
If you play for the Bruins, you better give 110% each shift you are on the ice. That means skating hard to the net and being in a position to defend. It also means not passing up on great opportunities to shoot the puck. Craig Smith in his career is known to love to shoot the puck from anywhere on the ice. It is extremely effective when it comes to trying to spark the offense with second-chance opportunities. This is what the team was lacking last year when it came to the playoffs in the Bubble.
Smith always puts in an amazing effort every shift he is on the ice. Whether it is on the forecheck or being in a position to get in the shooting lane, Smith always gives it his all. When the team is down and out, Smith will always put in his best effort even in a blowout loss or win. These are the types of plyers that flourish under the coaching style of Bruce Cassidy. Players like Jake DeBrusk who haven’t given their best effort this season should be watching how Craig Smith plays. It may just keep them in the lineup instead of being a healthy scratch.
Craig Smith is the first Bruins player other than Bergeron-Marchand-Pastrnak-Krejci to record hat trick since Jimmy Hayes in Dec. 2015.
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) May 1, 2021
In his first season as a Boston Bruin, Smith has demolished all expectations in his game from the city of Boston. No one expected Smith to produce this much offense and be in the top-six forward group. At this point in the season, Craig Smith has managed to put up 13 goals and 19 assists for 32 points in 49 games played. He has only missed one game this season. Smith has also managed to put up an impressive +20 rating over the whole season. He has been a huge help to the rejuvenation of the season of David Krejci.
Craig Smith completes the hat trick.
A three-assist game for David Krejci as well.
6-2 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/T2eRN3T776
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 1, 2021
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