, Newburyport, MA


April 19, 2014

Smith brothers meet in playoffs for 1st time


The brothers also root for each other and talk every day during the season, sometimes to boost each other’s confidence.

“I talk to him about things, things that are going wrong with him, if he’s on a cold streak. We can both help each other,” Brendan said. “We’re always talking. I think it’s good for me and I think it’s good for both of us. ... We’re both in the same profession and we know what it’s like on a day-in, day-out basis, so we can help each other and maybe if things aren’t going well crack a smile on each other. It’s a good relationship.”

Brendan, at 25 the middle of three brothers with professional lacrosse player Rory the oldest, is Reilly’s biggest supporter. He didn’t quite agree that Reilly turned out to be the best return from the Bruins’ trade that sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars — because Loui Eriksson is really good — but he expected the 23-year-old forward to thrive.

“I think he’s been the most shock-and-awe factor in that trade that nobody saw,” Brendan said. “We did as a family, and a lot of people that have seen Reilly in previous years in college and St. Mike’s, they knew who Reilly was.”

All Reilly needed, his brother says, was an opportunity to play with better linemates. Getting that chance, eventually on a line with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, Reilly broke out with 20 goals and 31 assists for a career-high 51 points.

“He never really got that great of a chance with Dallas on the fourth line (where) it’s hard to produce when you’re a skill player,” Brendan said. “Once he got into a system where he’s starting to play with high-production players, obviously he jumped off the page.”

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