Smith extends scoring streak with 2 goals
December, 28, 2013
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Reilly Smith's postgame routine has become almost automatic these days.
He'll take off his equipment, then sit and wait for the media to enter the locker room, because he knows he'll have to answer questions about his game.
Smith, 22, hasn't become totally comfortable with the media attention in Boston, but he handles it well and always says the right things. So, after helping the Bruins to 5-0 win over the Ottawa Senators with a pair of goals Friday night at TD Garden, he was once again sitting at his locker stall.
His two goals extended his point streak to three games, and he now has five goals and two assists for seven points in that span. Smith leads the team with 14 goals.
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesReilly Smith leads the Bruins with 14 goals through 38 games.
"He's really taken that opportunity he's been given. He's on a streak now. When you're hot, you're hot, just keep shooting and it's been working for him," said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who finished with 33 saves to record his fourth shutout of the season.
Smith was part of a seven-player deal when the Bruins sent forwards Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow. Since the day he arrived in Boston, Smith wanted to make sure he belonged.
"Absolutely, I think every hockey player has that type of mindset," Smith said. "My first thing coming to this team was just to make the team. Everything is going pretty well right now; the thing is not to be happy with where you are, just to keep on pushing, and if you're on a hot streak, it can turn cold really quick so just keep a positive attitude and the same outlook going into each day."
Even before the July 4 trade, the Bruins had been heavily scouting Smith since his collegiate days at Miami of Ohio. So, those who believe Smith was a throw-in are mistaken, because the Bruins don't feel that way.
"Not at all," coach Claude Julien said. "If anything, this guy has been a good player from Day 1. I don't think that he was ever looked upon as just a throw-in."
Julien also believes Smith's success is not a fluke. The reason he's leading the team in goals is simply because he's a good hockey player.
"I don't know that during the summer when the trade was done that we'd expect him to be where he is right now, so those are bonuses for teams after they make those kind of deals," Julien said.
At this rate, Smith is providing a huge return on the Bruins' investment.