It's one game. Granted, Kindl had a bad game tonight, but not any worse than Smith to be honest.
As for the rest...
Smith averages 18:40 ice time per game, Kindl 17:54, which is the difference of one shift. Both play on the 2nd PP where Kindl has noticeably outplayed Smith. Neither saw significant PK time until Quincey got hurt, as Quincey, Kronwall, and Ericsson are the primary penalty killing defensemen, so it's not like Smith has been carrying the load there. Even then Smith only has 1 minute of PK time during Quincey's absence.
So with the exception of one minute of PK time, they play pretty much exactly the same amount of minutes and Kindl leads Smith in every single statistical category.
I understand not really liking particular players, but it's hard to conclude that Smith should play while Kindl sits.
However, they're both better than White or Cola, which I think we can both agree on.
Cola out played them both tonight. He was sound and seemed to move the puck out of his own end with some nice passes...something that lacks at times with this team. Smith and Kindl are young and are going to make mistakes like we have been seeing lately. I wish the Wings could have got Regehr. He could have been a good partner for a young d-man.