Zetterberg estimated Smith "has learned stuff. He is more experienced and I think he played well for us this year.
"Tampa is a high-speed skating team, and when Smith plays, he can really skate with the puck, and he can keep up with their forwards. I think he's a good fit for the series."
"Stay positive, that' the biggest thing," Smith said, "I was working hard and bag-skating myself, getting Tony to help me out with things that we're working on."
As for what he thought of Babcock's message, Smith simply said he wanted "to be ready when my number is called."
Abdelkader, who missed the first two games for health reasons, said Smith's stay in the doghouse, "was getting at him, but he stayed positive and he worked hard. He's going to provide some physicality for us - he's a big defenseman that takes a body, makes it hard for opponents to get to the front of the net. I think he'll be a big boost. He's raring to go."
It's from St.James, but doesn't sound like Smith has attitude problems. That's good, I hope he has a huge game tomorrow.
@DetroitRedWings: Defensive parings from practice...
Kronwall-Cleary (Filling in for Ericsson)
I have no problem with our regular season pairings. Sure, Big E is forced to play one league above his abilities so to speak, but there is no way fixing this now. I don't think Smith would do any better. If DeKeyser and Quincy continue to play like they did so far in this series Tampa is in trouble with that second pairing. Third pairing will be the question and the answer depends very much of how Smith is playing. Tomorrow will be a character test for him. I'm confident he passes it.
Little Bert is working his ass off for a roster spot next season. So far, I love what he is bringing to the table with the Griffins.
As for the Griffins, despite losing on Saturday, they took the Midwest Division and are 2nd in the conference. I believe they are 3rd overall in the AHL. This team is going to make some noise in the playoffs with Blashill behind the bench.
The traningscamp next season will be exciting, for sure. Holmström, Bertuzzi, Mantha....looks like we have some fine power forwards coming up over the next few years.
I 100% believe Ottawa is down because of all their focus on the drama.
I don't think so. Ottawa played pretty disciplined for what happened and was said before. Their problems are that
a.) the Habs are plain and simple the better and deeper team with Pacioretty back
b.) they are losing the goaltending battle. It looks like Hammond has run its course and is coming down to earth.
c.) they overachieved and it shows now. While I have a great sympathy for the Sens and their story this year the declining Bruins are still the better team and should have made the playoffs if everything went normal.
In other words : Their hot streak has come an end. They might come back, I'd not be the first one to write the Sens off this season only to see them ridicule my words. But I doubt it.
For next game I would like to see Howard and Smith in the lineup. Howard is more experienced than Mrazek and I think Marchenko is out of position more times than not. It is hardly a coincidence that his -3 is worst on the team.
+/- is a dumb stat to measure an individual players effort. Take the third goal from yesterday for example. Marchenko has its man, but Weiss is floating around staring at the puck, while his man, Sustr, rushes into the slot and scores the goal. That is hardly Marchenkos fault but the result is a -1 for him regardless. I thought Marchenko was abysmal in Game 1, which is understandable, it was his first playoff game. He looked much better in Game 2 so he isn't the one who should sit, at least not because of his +/- . Would Smith be an improvement ? I already made my point more than once about that in other threads.