By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
On September 5th current Bruins forward Craig Smith will be celebrating his 32nd birthday. During last year’s offseason, the Bruins put pen to paper on Craig Smith and signed him to a three-year, $9,300,000 contract. Smith showed that the signing was very much worth it and made his presence shown on the offensive side. During last season’s campaign, Smith scored 13 goals and 19 assists. Coming into the 2021-2022 season, Smith is taking on a bigger role after the recent loss of David Krejci going to play in the Czech Republic. But for now, let us take a look back at Craig Smith’s top three games as a Boston Bruin in honor of his birthday.
#3 Jan.23-Bruins-6 Flyers-1
In the fifth regular-season game of the year, the Bruins would take on the Philadelphia Flyers and look to improve to 3-1-1 and take the lead in the division. With the score tied at one apiece with 17:30 left in the second period, Craig Smith tipped the puck into the net, and it was 2-1 Bruins. The goal would be Smith’s first as a Bruin. Later in the same period, Smith would end up picking up an assist. Smith sent an outlet pass to Trent Frederic, who would find Charlie Coyle to tip in the puck and make it 3-1. That was all the points Smith contributed to, and the Bruins ended up winning 6-1.
#2-Smith Records a Hat Trick
With five games left in the regular season and the playoffs rapidly approaching, the Bruins hosted the Buffalo Sabres on May 1st. Craig Smith hadn’t scored in eight games, and Bruins fans knew he was due for a big game. The game was on, and it only took Smith 1:21 to find the back of the net and make it 1-0 Boston. Krejci was able to find Smith wide open in front of the net, and Smith tipped the puck in.
Fast forward to the third period, where Boston was up 4-1 and controlling the game, Craig Smith was able to find the back of the net once again after receiving a beautiful pass from Mike Reilly. Smith now had two goals, and it was 5-1 Boston. With 5:55 left in the third period and Boston leading 5-2, Boston was on the powerplay, and that’s when Craig Smith would get the hat trick. Krejci fired the puck from the left circle, and Smith was in front of the net to tip the puck in.
After the game, Craig Smith was quoted saying, “It felt great, Krejci told me before the shift, ‘Just get your stick down, I’m gonna try to shoot it at you every shot. It was cool to see the hats fall down. I don’t get to see that very often. It was interesting; it was a good time.”
#1-Smith’s Gamewinner vs Washington ECQF Game 3
In a heated playoff bout between Boston and Washington, the series was tied 1-1 as Boston headed back home to host games three and four. Smith was looking to score his first goal of the playoffs and help Boston take a 2-1 series lead. With a little over ten minutes remaining in the second period, the Capitals held a 1-0 lead, and Boston desperately looked to get on the scoreboard. Craig Smith was able to help break the tie after he found Taylor Hall skating in front of the net, and Hall made a miraculous deke in front of Samsonov and roofed the puck.
Game three was going to overtime after Marchand scored a goal in the third to make it 2-2. Both teams could not find the back of the net in the first overtime, so now this game was going to Double OT. As Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov played a terrific game in net and kept Washington alive, he would make a costly turnover behind the net.
Even though Samsonov made a questionable play, it was also a very heads-up play by Craig Smith. Smith was able to take the puck from behind the net, and as Samsonov was heading back to his crease, Smith was quick with the puck and scored a wraparound goal. It was Smith’s second point of the night, and he helped prevail Boston to a 2-1 series lead.
As Craig Smith heads into the second year of his Bruins contract, I, along with many other Bruins fans, look forward to the many more moments that Smith will have with Boston. So, on behalf of myself and the entire BNG Hockey Organization, we wish you a Happy 32nd Birthday Craig Smith!