Predators forward Craig Smith finally breaks through

Nashville Predators, Smashville Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN ) – Is Craig Smith finally coming out of hibernation?

The Preds veteran forward has been in a deep freeze all season long. He’s struggled so much the net looks like a peep hole when he fires at it.

After three straight 20 goal seasons, Smith entered Monday night with only nine goals and nine assists and that was with only 11 games left in the season. That’s a catastrophic drop in production and it led to him watching several games from the bench.

Monday night though Smith was back on the ice and he brought his game with him. He played fast and was extremely active. He did not find the back of the net, but he helped his team do it twice with a pair of assists.

After the game Smith credited the game to a consistent effort, “I’m still the same player… haven’t changed anything. Still wear my hair the same way, still drive the same route on the way to the rink, (laughs). I haven’t really changed anything. So, yeah no it’s been tough, it’s been tough. But you know it’s been great, we’ve got some guys in this room right now playing well, scoring some goals.”

Defenseman Ryan Ellis scored two goals and liked what he saw from Smith, “He’s getting looks, tonight he had a breakaway. I mean he’s always getting looks it’s just a matter of time and it’s good to see him get a couple of assists. I thought he played well.”

Thursday night Smith and the Predators host Calgary in a critical game win the Western Conference Wild Card chase.