NASHVILLE, TN – The race is over, the contest closed.
No bad start down the stretch or ugly giveaway is going to turn back the clock on a competition that quietly ended over the past few weeks.
Forget about age, or Koskinen’s wage. Not only has Smith been given two-thirds of the starts since Jan. 1, he’s given his team an 11-1-4 record since the calendar turned to 2020, and the kind of attitude that was on display when Leon Draisaitlhad this to say to a sold-out barn on the in-house, post-game interview Saturday:
“You guys are (expletive) phenomenal!”
Of all the one-year contracts that general manager Ken Holland signed last summer, Smith’s has been the most impactful — and not just because he’s stopping pucks. He’s given a head-shy organization a backbone, showing its young superstars how to carry themselves with some swagger.