Boston Bruins: What line should Reilly Smith be on?


Reilly Smith may be the most streaky member of the Boston Bruins. When he’s hot, he’s scorching. When he’s not, he could fill in as an extra Zamboni driver at the TD Garden. Coach Claude Julien has moved him up and down all four lines throughout the season, trying to find some chemistry that translates into heavy offensive zone presence and goals.

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  • So, what line should Smith really be playing on? From the first to the fourth, it’s obvious he’s most comfortable playing on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. While it may be good for his confidence, it’s not doing much for the team. The Bruins have to seriously question if Smith is a top six forward in Boston.

    “I think we’re seeing things from Reilly [Smith] that kind of gives you the impression that right now he’s not confident or second guessing, or he’s just not feeling it. So he’s got to…again, we can only do so much. He’s got to find his game.” – Bruins Coach Claude Julien

    Smith has had issues with his consistency throughout the season. Currently, he’s got twenty-seven points so far this season. He’s only put up ten goals, and that’s a low number for a top six forward this late in the season. Smith knows what his liabilities are and he wasn’t afraid to share them with the media.

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    “I think the main part is holding on to the puck a little bit longer, and waiting for things to open up instead of trying to force them,” said Smith. “I’ve been struggling a little bit in getting pucks through, so that’s something I want to try to change, try to fix and try to make a little bit better.

    “I think everyone is searching for consistency. If you’re not then you’re just lying to yourself. That’s the ultimate goal that every player wants to have. I’m still a young player and I have a long way to go.”

    Well, he’s right on several points. He’s only twenty-three years old.  He does tend to over think the plays too much. Most importantly, he knows his hot-and-cold streaks are an issue for the team.

    Claude Julien has been moving him around a lot to find the right mix. Had Daniel Paille been able to score on open net chances (or get a goal at all for that matter), it’s clear Smith would be on the fourth line. He’d be on the third if Julien wasn’t afraid to mess up the chemistry of Chris Kelly and the ‘How Swede It Is’ line. The attempt to promote Smith to the Bruins Krejci line didn’t work out either. The Bruins need to put Smith somewhere he will be useful, and that change needs to come soon.