So which Sheffield Steelers team will turn up for the Play Offs?
"Most of us can tell in the first five minutes of a game which Steelers' team has turned up," he said in last Saturday's pre-match programme notes, reflecting on a previous weekend that had seen Sheffield get pulverised by eventual champions Belfast Giants.
Smith was quite the visionary, as he could well have been talking about the weekend ahead when Sheffield shaded Glasgow Clan 5-4 and were then humbled 0-4 by Cardiff Devils.
In the 0-3 middle period, in Wales, Sheffield departed from their recognised standards, surrendering possession, and laying the groundwork for what became a comfortable Cardiff victory.
At the end of the unfulfilling EIHL regular campaign, Steelers had collected 77 points from 54 games - compared to 81 in the season 2021-22, when they finished a place higher.
They have gone backwards.
In those penned programme thoughts, Smith wrote that his players became a "completely different team" from match-to-match.
Some performances had lacked the ingredients essential for consistency while in other games skaters had shown why coach Aaron Fox had recruited them.
Fox does not seek to duck away from the fact his side can be unpredictable...statistics don't lie and Steelers have failed in half of their last 14 outings in the run-in.
Commenting on Smith's analysis, the coach said: "You set goals at the start of the year and that (the League title) was the big one we had set and we came up short.
"That is always going to leave a bad taste in your mouth and leave you frustrated.
"You could take a mid-December game against Dundee (Stars) and a game against Glasgow that we lost but the reality is we had 10 of 12 (points) against Dundee, 12 of 12 against Fife, 10 against Glasgow, eight out of 12 against Coventry and Guildford, the points are there against those teams" he said, not even mentioning the "sweep" over Nottingham Panthers.
"If you gave me those numbers against every other team in the league next year I'd probably take them.
"But we were 1 and 5 against the team that beat us (Belfast.)"
He accepted Smith's view on the uncertain nature of a team that changes identity from game to game.
That view resonated "with every single team in the world.
"If you turn up and play your best, more times than not you are going to have a chance to win, if you don't have that it's going to be much harder to win, definitely."
At the end of the League programme, the hard facts were Sheffield had ended seven points behind Giants and five behind second-place Guildford Flames.
Now the big question returns to all the fans' lips: Which Sheffield team will turn up for the Play Offs?
We'll find out this coming weekend in back-to-back games against sixth-place Manchester Storm.