Reilly Smith, Carl Soderberg giving Bruins lift early in NHL season

Reilly Smith Bruins
Bruins right wing Reilly Smith has come on strong in the last few weeks. Credit: Getty Images

In the Claude Julien era, one of the calling cards of the Bruins during their more successful years has been team depth.

It’s one of the reasons that last season’s run to the Stanley Cup Final vs. Chicago was so impressive, in that Boston made it that far with a gaping hole on its third line. A little over a quarter (23 games of 82) through this season, the Bruins’ third line has been a catalyst for their early success (15-6-2, first in the Eastern Conference). Chris Kelly (three goals, four assists) has been the same guy he has always been. But the big difference has been the addition of Reilly Smith (four goals, 11 assists) and Carl Soderberg (three goals, seven assists).

Coming into 2013-14, both Smith and Soderberg were a bit of a mystery in their own unique ways. A right wing, Smith is only 22 and he appeared to be the throw-in for the Tyler Seguin-Loui Eriksson trade over the summer. While it has taken Eriksson more time to get comfortable (and also recover from a concussion), Smith has been consistently good from Day 1. After his goal on Saturday vs. Carolina, that made it 2-1 Bruins, Smith has two goals and two assists in his last four games and three goals and six assists in his last 11 games. The young wing has the second-most assists and total points on the team and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is exceeding expectations greater on the B’s.


“With every day here, you build confidence,” Smith said. “I try to focus on the little things and I think the last couple weeks, the bottom six forwards (third and fourth lines) have done a better job.”

Naturally a center, Soderberg appeared in six games for the Bruins last season but it was clear that it would take some time for him to get used to playing in the NHL after years in the Swedish Elite League. The Bruins’ front office has to be pleased with his development, particularly since it took them years to coerce him to come to the NHL. Like Smith, Soderberg is also heating up with two goals and two assists in his last four games, including an assist on Smith’s goal vs. the Hurricanes. You can see him becoming more comfortable with the speed and style of the NHL. It also has to help to have his fellow countryman (Sweden) Eriksson around since the transition to life in the U.S. has to be difficult.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.