NASHVILLE -- On a wall in the media room in the bowels of Bridgestone Arena hangs a photo of Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith from his rookie year. Helmetless in the 1970s style, Smith sports a devilish smile, his hair flaring outwards, as he stick-handles around a cone. In the background, the Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara wears his ever-dour expression and an official, bent at the knees, watches intently.
The photo was shot in January 2012 at the NHL All-Star Weekend's SuperSkills competition, to which Smith was invited for his breakout performance in the first half of that season.
In much of the year and a half that followed, it was hard to find that smile on Smith's face. But not anymore. Smith leads the Predators in goals this season with 15.
During the summer, as Smith did some soul-searching, he watched a video of the late Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch's inspiring "Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams." The video, which has more than 16 million vie...