Is the Worst of 2014-15 Behind Boston Bruins Winger Reilly Smith?

December 9th, 2014 by Al Daniel Leave a reply »

Participants and pundits agree: Reilly Smith’s recent set of back-to-back two-point efforts was the delayed product of a long-suffering turnaround. Even when his preceding scoreless skid stretched to 10 games, he started to perform in accordance with his second-line assignment on the Boston Bruins depth chart.

Smith followed a two-goal effort in San Jose last Thursday with a pair of key helpers in Saturday’s 5-2 triumph at Arizona. He set up Brad Marchand’s icebreaker in the first minute of action—then one of Boston’s doses of insurance to help halt a three-game losing streak.

In the wake of that wound-compressing victory, ESPN Boston reporter Joe McDonald observed that Smith "has dealt with inconsistent play this season, but in his past couple games, the effort, success and sense of urgency have returned."

At this stage, how those attributes vanished are secondary to the fact that they have returned. Whether they stick around will not only gauge Smith’s growth but could spell no small difference in Boston’s long-term fortunes.

Self-assurance is liable to evaporate, eve ...

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