http://www.tampabay.com/sports/hockey/l ... 826114.ece
Smith said he focused his summer workouts on flexibility and injury resistance. He gained 7 pounds of muscle and now has 218 pounds on a 6-foot-3 frame.
With the intimidating John Tortorella fired in June, he also has a new coach.
"It's a fresh start for everyone," Smith said. "Not everyone is out there gripping their sticks and white-knuckling it. They're not thinking out there. They're just playing the game. That makes a world of difference.
"Barry is a guy, yeah, you can make mistakes. He's probably going to get upset. Mistakes are part of the game. But with a guy not down your back all the time, it's nice to be able to play and have fun."
Smith played with confidence against the Rangers, showing off his puck-handling skills and, by Raeder's count, making eight passes to the defense that resulted in breakouts.
"It's a whole 'nother dimension getting out of our zone," Raeder said. "He handled the puck with a purpose, and that excited me."
"This is the chance I've been waiting for," Smith said. "I've waited my whole life to be a No. 1 guy."
Good luck, dude. I think you're going to need it with TB's defense.
I think he will do just fine, though.