By: Adam Gretz
Nashville's Craig Smith is an early contender, if not the early favorite, for the NHL's rookie of the year award, entering Thursday's game against Toronto tied for the team lead in scoring, as well as the league-wide in scoring among rookies with 14 points
Late in the third period of the Predator's 4-1 win over Toronto, he made a play that will probably be left off of his rookie highlight reel by missing an empty net from point-blank range, completely firing the puck over the cage ... and then celebrating what he thought was a goal, all while the goal horn went off in the background.
The "what?!" reaction of Predators coach Barry Trotz at the 10-second mark on the bench is incredible.
For years, Patrick Stefan's epic miss in Edmonton, when he was a member of the Dallas Stars, was the empty net miss that all others were measured against, but this one might give it a run for its money. The only thing Smith's has going for it to keep it below Stefan's was that Smith's didn't result in the other team taking the puck the length of the ice and scoring a game-tying goal.