It appears Smith is ready to go after missing Saturday's contest with food poisoning. The 27-year-old was one of four
Smith is out of the lineup Saturday as he deals with food poisoning.
Smith left Friday's game with a stomach ailment that has affected a handful of Predators and will apparently need some time off to recuperate. With three off days ahead of him, it seems likely that the right winger will be at full strength for an Oct. 26 matchup against the Ducks.
Smith did not return to Friday's game against the Red Wings after going to the locker room with an illness, Adam Vingan of The Tennessean reports.
A sickness has apparently been spreading around the Predators' locker room recently, Darren McFarland of 102.5 The Game reports, which would explain why teammate Ryan Johansen also left the game with illness. If the bug is to keep Smith out for an extended period, look for Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala to step up in his place.
Smith netted a power-play goal Saturday in a 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks.
Smith has seen his point totals drop for two consecutive seasons. It doesn't help that he's being centered by Mike Ribeiro, a 36-year-old who is past his prime and can be rather enigmatic. On a positive note, the Preds have gone on eight power plays and converted half, and while that's not a sustainable rate, it's a good sign for Smith's fantasy prospects in the early going.
Smith had just a single assist in his two previous games, so hopefully this is a sign that he is peaking at the right time, with the start of the regular season just around the corner. Smith's point production has declined in each of the past three seasons (from a career-high 52 points back in 2013-14 to just 37 points last year). On the bright side, however, he has maintained his goal-scoring pace, having registered at least 20 goals per season over that span. Smith will once again open the season in a top-six role for the Preds, likely as the team's No. 2 right winger.