Coming into the season, Craig Smith was expected to be one of the Boston Bruins main offensive weapons. He was signed to boost the Bruins’ secondary scoring but got off to a slow start. Over the last few weeks, however, the Wisconsin native has hit his stride. As the Bruins have dealt with injuries, Smith is in the midst of his best stretch of the season.
Through 37 games, Smith has scored eight goals and recorded 14 assists. He currently has the sixth-most points on the Boston roster, including two on the power play. While the B’s offense has struggled at times this year, they have looked better of late, partly due to Smith.
In the Bruins’ last six games, Smith has eight points. In that span, he has multiple points in three games. As the Bruins have dealt with injuries, he has been at his best. The veteran winger has been aggressive with the puck and landed 11 shots on the net over that stretch.
Additionally, Smith has already passed some of his numbers from last year. In the shortened 2019-20 campaign, he recorded 13 assists. The former fourth-round pick finished with 31 points and only needs nine more to match that. Over the last two weeks, he has been one of the Bruins’ best players as they have earned at least a point in four of his last seven games.
With the regular season winding down, Smith’s play will be key. Boston won the Presidents’ Trophy last year but were eliminated in the playoffs by Tampa Bay Lightning who would go on to win the Stanley Cup. One weakness that led to their elimination was a lack of secondary scoring.
After a slow start, Smith has provided a spark of late. In the Bruins 8-1 loss on Sunday night, he had the Bruins’ only goal while extending his point streak to three games. The 31-year-old has also shown a flair for the dramatics as he has three game-winning goals this year.
As Boston looks to solidify a playoff spot, Smith’s play will be key. The Bruins can’t solely rely on their top line, or their playoff run could be short-lived. Over the past few weeks, he is playing with more confidence and showing why he was Don Sweeney’s biggest offseason signing.