BOSTON — Chicago’s Ben Smith didn’t expect to be playing in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. The young forward wasn’t even in warm-ups before tonight’s game.
In fact, the Boston College grad and Connecticut native spent the day about as relaxed as a player in hockey’s biggest series could.
“Being in Boston it was nice. I was actually with my mom this afternoon for a bit [for lunch],” Smith said. “It’s nice being close to home, but it’s a business trip here and we’re trying to win some games.”
After warm-ups concluded, however, Smith got the call to start tonight’s game in place of Marian Hossa.
What made the insertion of Smith into the lineup even stranger was the fact Jamal Mayers took warmups and still wound up a scratch. Smith was happy to get a shot.
“I was just told after warm-ups I was in and it was kind of a scramble to get ready and get warm. That’s kinda been the whole thing this whole seven, eight weeks. They tell us to stay ready and you never know when your opportunity is going to come. It happened tonight.”
Even though Chicago was shut out in Game 3 2-0, for Smith it’s the highlight of his season.
“It was kind of a wild night. I’m just obviously grateful to be a part of it to get an opportunity. Just wish we could’ve gotten a win.”