So for everybody who said Smith would choke the puck up and blow our lead, it didn't happen. What did happen is Smith contributed to offensive puck-position time with good skating, outlet passes and offensive pinches. Thatta boy Smithy!
Consistency is his problem. That's what separates good from bad players. He needs to continue to play well, not have one good night and then look like a train wreck the next.
Hopefully, being benched sent him the right message, but likely not, because the problem with Smith is mental not physical. Nobody has questioned his work ethic or determination. He just makes silly decisions sometimes, and I'm not sure if benching a player fixes that issue.
There is no such thing as a tough arena. Just a tough team.
Was the JLA a tough place to play when the Wings sucked in the 80's? Is the Staples Center a tough place to win at now that the Lakers suck? No, they're not. Same thing with so many other stadiums in sports. There's nothing imposing about the Patriots' s***ty stadium, but because the team is good, it's a tough place to play. That's the way it works.