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Bruins notebook

Rookie Reilly Smith continues to impress

Reilly Smith fired a shot as Red Wings defenseman Brian Lashoff attempted to make a play on the puck.Paul Sancya/Associated Press

DETROIT — Earlier this week, Bruins center David Krejci referred to teammate Reilly Smith as playing like “a 10-year vet.” And maybe there’s a reason for that.

Smith grew up with two older brothers, Rory and Brendan, both of whom are also professional athletes. So Smith spent his time with the older kids, tagging along, playing with them. It’s something that shows around a locker room in which he often seems like one of the seasoned players, rather than one who had just 40 NHL games under his belt coming into this season.

“I think that he’s always had that,” said Brendan Smith, a defenseman for the Red Wings. “I think he’s a little bit more mature than his age [22] and I think maybe that’s [being] able to hang out with my older brother [a professional lacrosse player] and myself. He’s always been with an older class.


“He’s very mature for his age. He’s extremely wise — I can’t say that for myself — but he’s the smart one of the bunch. He’s quiet, he observes, he’s very good at that. I think that’s what people see is he’s got that maturity level.”

It’s something that has been evident to the Bruins’ players and coaching staff, even in Smith’s short time in the organization after being traded from Dallas in July.

“He’s a really quiet individual for his age,” coach Claude Julien said. “Sometimes those guys have a tendency to want to joke around and play around a little bit more than the veteran players, but he acts more like a veteran, and when he does say something it’s quiet and it’s kind of a dry humor. He’s actually pretty funny, but in a quiet way.

“That’s how he plays out there, too. He’s a quiet player that accomplishes a lot of good things that you expect out of veterans. That’s the part for me that impressed me in training [camp].”


Julien checked off the good qualities: “He’s poised, he’s smart, he doesn’t panic under pressure. He makes a mistake, he knows right away. He’s hard on himself.”

Some of that comes from growing up with his brothers.

Brendan Smith said that when the two are on the ice together, not only do they immediately know where the other is, but that it brings them back to the basement when they were young, to the battles they had against each other.

And as for those battles? As Reilly Smith said, “I think he came out ahead in most of them. He’s always been a foot taller than me.”

Smith did come out ahead in one battle Wednesday, hitting his brother and sending him to the ice, though Smith downplayed the hit after the game, saying, “I think he kind of just fell, lost an edge or something. When you’re in the heat of the game, things like that don’t bother you too much.”

No average Joe

It was Torey Krug’s first regular-season game at Joe Louis Arena, though he did play a preseason game there. For the Michigan kid — he grew up about 25 minutes away in Livonia, Mich. — it was a big deal.

Krug recalled going to the arena in March 2011 for a game between the Red Wings and Oilers, the first time Jeff Petry, a friend from Michigan State, played at Joe Louis.


“His first game at the Joe, I came down to watch and I was like, ‘Wow, he’s finally made it. He’s playing at the Joe against the Wings,’ ” Krug said. “That’s something that as a Detroit kid, you achieve that, you’re pretty excited. So when I came in the preseason, I was excited to play. Now it’s a regular-season game with our full squad, and it’s very exciting.”

McQuaid returns

Adam McQuaid was back in the lineup after missing eight games, pushing Kevan Miller out. The defenseman had been injured Nov. 9 against Toronto, and was a game-time decision against the Red Wings. “I felt all right,” McQuaid said after the game. “Hadn’t played in a little while, so there was a little bit of rust in different areas. It wasn’t a great game all around, so it was kind of hard to feel good.” McQuaid did say he felt fine physically. Dennis Seidenberg remained out because of an injury. There was a change in the healthy scratch among the forwards, with Jordan Caron taking Shawn Thornton’s place. Caron had previously played just once in November . . . Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi were out for the Red Wings, Datsyuk with a concussion, and Bertuzzi with an upper-body injury. Detroit also was without defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who is on long-term injured reserve with a shoulder injury . . . The Red Wings signed defenseman Jonathan Ericsson to a six-year, $25.5 million contract. Ericsson was the last pick, No. 291, in the 2002 draft . . . Johnny Boychuk’s neck appears better after the defenseman got hit with a stick in Monday’s win over the Penguins. He thought he might have been cut at the time, and skated off the ice immediately, but there was no break in the skin . . . Gregory Campbell will purchase and deliver 400 pies to shelters and charities in Boston on Thursday for Thanksgiving. Campbell bought the $2,000 worth of pies from Mike’s Pastry, the third year he has done so.


Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.