In early December, the NHL tweeted out a GIF of two comparable goals scored by Reilly and Brendan Smith. Not only were their backhand moves remarkably identical, but they pulled it off in the same week.
The Smith brothers are only two years apart so naturally they grew up working on the same skills, drills, and moves. Was this some secret family backhand that was passed down?
No. It’s honestly a pretty standard move to do on breakaways. We did it a week apart, and with him playing forward this year, in the past he hadn’t had as many breakaways. He made it look a lot better than I did. It is pretty cool that we did it in the same week.- Reilly Smith
After telling him to quit being modest, Smith opened up about executing his lethal backhand. A skill he considers vital to his offensive success.
I never really used a curve that was so big, it was a straighter curve. Mine’s relatively straight, and I just get more off from my backhand that way. I was always given the ability to have a pretty good backhand growing up. It’s just something that I’ve worked on.- Reilly Smith
Smith’s extremely confident using his backhand against NHL goalies. He attributes some of his professional achievements to his dual hand ability. Using his skill to combat opponents from shielding a scoring chance.
You get into a lot of situations where defensemen try to take away the shot on your forehand, so you have to pull it and try and get some space. It’s worked for me and I’ve scored a lot of backhand goals in my career.-Reilly Smith
In two and half seasons with the Golden Knights, Smith’s tallied 61 goals in 193 games. This season he’s registering career numbers, scoring 0.37 goals per game and on pace to pass his highest goal total. The 20-goal scoring forward didn’t hesitate to credit his effective backhand.
Seems like I’ve gotten a lot of breakaways this year. I’ve done that move four or five times, and I’ve gotten lucky. I think it worked on a few. It’s probably one of those things that I’ll probably go back to. Hopefully, none of the goalies in the league are listening to this interview.-Reilly Smith
I reassured Smith that as big as SinBin is, NHL goalies are not loyal readers. So his backhand secrets are safe with all of us.