The day for Ben Smith started just like all the others this postseason.
The 24-year-old was on the ice with the Chicago Blackhawks during yesterday’s morning skate. When the pregame skate took place last night before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals at the Garden, the Boston College product wasn’t with the Blackhawks on the ice, a sign he would again take a position in the press box instead of on the bench.
Smith played in one regular-season game and had been a healthy scratch for every playoff game. But as the team entered the locker room in the underbelly of the Garden, the forward was given the news: Marian Hossa was out and he was in.

It was a shock for the Connecticut native. Prior to the game, Smith had lunch with his mother and even she didn’t bother to stick around for the game.
Last night was a memorable one for Smith, but a forgettable one for the Blackhawks after they were shut out by the Bruins, 2-0, to fall into a 2-1 series hole.
“I didn’t really know what had happened or what went on, I was just told that after warmups I was going in,” Smith, who saw 10:23 of ice time and was a minus-1, said. “It was kind of a rush to get ready and get prepared.”
Hossa was on the ice with the Blackhawks in the pregame skate. Just before the team came back out of the locker room for the start of the game, it was announced that the 13-year veteran had been scratched. Rumors swirled that Hossa either hurt himself shooting or got hit by a puck in warmups, but Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said that wasn’t the case.
“We’ll say day-to-day. We’re hopeful he’ll be ready for the next game. It was a game-time decision after the warmup, and that’s when I made the call,” Quenneville said. “Benny gives us energy. He’s one of those players that offensively, defensively, he’s responsible. He’s been practicing hard and you lose a guy like (Hossa) and you’re looking to fill a little bit of skill for us as well.”