Alain Vigneault confirmed on Thursday that Brendan Smith would return to the Rangers lineup on Friday against the Blue Jackets.
Smith had been a healthy scratch since struggling against Vegas on Halloween.
Vigneault said that Smith handled his time out of the lineup "like a pro," worked hard and will "hopefully play well for us" on Friday.
Smith said that his focus will be on playing "good hockey again" and that he is at this best when he lets the game come to him and he isn't forcing things. (NYR)
Smith said that this stretch was the longest he has sat out in his career and that he tried to take it as a positive and learn by watching from a different viewpoint. (NYR)
For a lot more on Smith, click HERE.
Adam Rotter: If Smith can play a simple, physical game and be smart with the puck then he will be fine and stay in the lineup for the rest of the year. The Rangers have been playing fairly well defensively and with good structure and Smith needs to just play within that. He's likely to be on the third pair with Marc Staal and the most important thing for Smith is just not trying to do too much. Doing too much is what got him into trouble against Vegas and if Smith can just play the game in front of him he should be fine.