SUN Hockey Pool

'Rocky' Smid was pumped

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

NASHVILLE -- You could see him vibrating from the press box.

Ladislav Smid was jacked up after getting into his second career NHL fight Wednesday in St. Louis, tangling with David Backes.

Unlike his first scrap last year in Colorado, this time around the Edmonton Oilers defenceman looked like he knew what he was doing. And he fared pretty well.

"He slashed me from behind on my leg," Smid said. "So I turned around and then he asked me if I wanted to fight, so we dropped the gloves.

"That's how it started. I don't know the guy, really, but I thought it was a pretty good fight."

The skirmish re-energized Smid who, a late high-sticking penalty notwithstanding, went on to have one of his best games of the season.

'JACKED UP'

"Everybody was jacked up after that," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish.

"It looked like he knew what he was doing. He'd been telling for a while that he does. Now we know that he can handle himself.

"He's really made great strides in terms of adding that physical element now, not just with the body-checking, but his ability to back it up is real important."

Smid has been more physical this season.

He bulked up during the off season and has not been afraid to take runs at opponents.

"I talked to Mac a lot about it, and he told me that I was a big guy and I have to use my 220-pounds a bit more," Smid said.

"I'm trying to do that, it wasn't really part of my game before, but this year I'm trying to add that.

" I'm not like that every night, but I want to be, so I'm working on that."

"I'll probably have to get into a few more fights, but I don't care," Smid said.


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