Smith looking for 'whatever works' on B's 2nd line

Smith looking for 'whatever works' on B's 2nd line
January 14, 2014, 1:45 am
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WILMINGTON – It might have been easy for the Bruins coaching staff to simply install Loui Eriksson back into the second line right wing spot he left behind when he was knocked out with a concussion in early December.

Instead the Swedish winger made his return to the B’s lineup last weekend as the right wing on the third line alongside Ryan Spooner and Carl Soderberg, and that meant leaving Reilly Smith to stake with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The 22-year-old Smith had nine goals and 14 points in the first 12 games after getting installed on the second line early in the Dec. 7 win over the Penguins, and established chemistry with Bergeron and Marchand that any coach wouldn’t want to mess with.

But Smith has gone cold in his new role during the month of January, and has just a single point in five games for the Bruins.

Leaving him among the top six forwards certainly gives Smith a vote of confidence from the Bruins coaching staff if the team-leading 15 goals scored didn’t already do that.

“We’re not trying to recreate the wheel. We’re just trying to do things that have worked,” said Smith. “We’ve done pretty well together, and have worked off each other really well. The chemistry gets better every game.

"It’s great having Loui back in the lineup. He’s a great player. It doesn’t matter if it’s me or Loui playing with those two guys because Carl [Soderberg] and Spoons are doing a great job as well. It’s about whatever is working at the time. I don’t lose too much sleep over it.”

Smith has just the one point during the month of January along with a minus-2 rating, and just eight shots on net for a line that’s been a little quiet over the last few weeks. It might just be time for Smith and Co. to show some of that vaunted chemistry if they do intend to stick together with nine very talented offensive players skating on the top three lines for the Black and Gold.