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Brendan Smith

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Brendan Smith is not a bad hockey player. In fact, he's a very good hockey player. Which begs the question: What the hell is going on with him?

Every time he touches the puck, I can actually feel Red Wings Nation holding its collective breath.

"There's no way he's gonna foul this one up. He's not actually gonna turn it over to that guy. No one could be that stupid/jumpy/drunk. Oh God, he turned it over to that guy. Oh God, they scored."

I'm not calling for his head. I'm not saying we should trade him. I'm not saying he won't get better. I'm just genuinely puzzled. The way he's playing right now (and this does, I feel, go back to last season, i.e. it's not something entirely new), he makes Adam Almquist look almost like a seasoned pro.

What is up with Brendan Smith?

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He should smoke some grass before pre-game warmup. He's always so anxious every time he has the puck, refuses to make the easy play or bank it off the boards, always looking for the home run pass that gets picked off. He needs to relax, stop thinking so much and just play the game.

WingsAlways likes this

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he didn't have the best game last night and i had myself wondering why he played so badly as well.. then i remembered it was him and quincey vs. the penguins actual top line.

it's ridiculous that they not only played their (pretty much) full lineup against us in preseason.. but they had their top line out there towards the end of the third up by 4. haha ohh penguins.... :P

edit: grammarawrawr

Edited by amato

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He should smoke some grass before pre-game warmup. He's always so anxious every time he has the puck, refuses to make the easy play or bank it off the boards, always looking for the home run pass that gets picked off. He needs to relax, stop thinking so much and just play the game.

He should start doing some commercials for vaporizer companies. Protect your lungs and protect your game! #lowanxiety

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gets to anxious with the puck, he needs a xanax before a game.

This is why I think the 2nd pairing needs to be Smith and Dekeyser.

I think Dekeyser's skill and patience will really help Smith relax.

With Quincey you have 2 d-men looking to create offense, neither of them is a stay at home guy.

That means they both have to be thinking too much in their own zone. They have to be aware that they may not be the only d-man looking to break out.

And with Dekeyser back there he could drop the puck off to the more composed player and settle the play down a bit.

He also needs to stop firing the puck through the middle of the zone so often, high of the glass is a better out, then straight up the gut.

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This also happened with Eriksson and Kindl, and will probably happen to DeKeyser as well. Smith isn't asked to be a quiet, keep-your-nose-clean and don't be noticed defensman like he was when he was first called up. He needs to be a difference maker, and that sometimes means sticking your neck out and taking risks to make a play. Smith is at the point in his development where he's still learning when to takes those risks and how. And yeah, like others have mentioned, its likely affecting his confidence when he tries for the breakaway pass and it gets picked for a goal in his own net. I still maintain that he will be an excellent player (especially offensively) in a couple years, once these experiences set in and he learns how to be an effective player.

rick zombo likes this

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he's terrible, and that doesn't look to be changing any time soon.

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This also happened with Eriksson and Kindl, and will probably happen to DeKeyser as well.

'Anxiety' does not exist in Double D's dictionary.

I think playing Smith in the bottom pairing as a #5 or #6 guy (where he actually belongs, for now) will go a looooooong way in seasoning this kid.

Yup - Smith, and Quincey for 3rd pairing.

DeKeyser, and Kindl on the 2nd pairing.

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He needs more poise for sure, you could see that last season. I haven't been able to see anything besides the almqvist goal in which smith just looked frazzled with the puck trying to do anything. Friday will be the first game I can catch if they air it.

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I know the kid hasn't seen many NHL games but at this point I am skeptical. I don't expect a player to come into the NHL after 48 games and play like a seasoned vet by any means. I'm pretty conservative on making my judgements but he does turn the puck over at an alarming rate and so far this preseason he has shown no signs of improvement on that aspect from last season. He had a few games at end of playoffs where he seemed to minimize his mistakes to some extent but so far this year it looks like the same sad story. Rookies make mistakes and it can take a couple years to dial there game into a solid consistent level, but 80% of the time Smith touches the puck he makes a mistake. At this point I would say that there is a chance Smith might not make it. I really hope he does but there is a high chance hes not going to at this point. Especially with Quellet, Sproul, and Almquist looking to all that far away. You may even see Almquist or Lashoff over Smith if the Wings D are healthy on occasion this season.

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'Anxiety' does not exist in Double D's dictionary.

Yup - Smith, and Quincey for 3rd pairing.

DeKeyser, and Kindl on the 2nd pairing.

That seems likely to happen already.

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This is when having an older vet to help groom him would be nice. I wonder what Cheli is up too? (joke) But that is what Smitty needs. paired with Q is NOT the answer

Edited by Red Crazy

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he's terrible, and that doesn't look to be changing any time soon.

I just love your positive posts :sleepy:

I know the kid hasn't seen many NHL games but at this point I am skeptical. I don't expect a player to come into the NHL after 48 games and play like a seasoned vet by any means. I'm pretty conservative on making my judgements but he does turn the puck over at an alarming rate and so far this preseason he has shown no signs of improvement on that aspect from last season. He had a few games at end of playoffs where he seemed to minimize his mistakes to some extent but so far this year it looks like the same sad story. Rookies make mistakes and it can take a couple years to dial there game into a solid consistent level, but 80% of the time Smith touches the puck he makes a mistake. At this point I would say that there is a chance Smith might not make it. I really hope he does but there is a high chance hes not going to at this point. Especially with Quellet, Sproul, and Almquist looking to all that far away. You may even see Almquist or Lashoff over Smith if the Wings D are healthy on occasion this season.

You have to understand that it takes a lot longer for defensemen to develop. Look at Ericsson when he started and now. He'll be fine.

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I'm not ready to give up on him yet. But the kid looks terrible so far in his NHL career. If he doesn't show some significant improvement by season's end, I think it'll be time to either send him back down to GR for awhile, or part ways completely.

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Smith's NHL career hasn't even been the length of one full season.

He was getting middle pairing minutes in the playoffs last year, so Babcock must see something in him. Until he gets a full regular season under his belt, it's hard for me to have any idea what his ceiling is in terms of development.

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Smith is learning to play the game. Most if not all young D struggle at the beginning of their careers. The NHL is a very different animal than minor/junior/college hockey. Even Nicky took a year or 2 to fully adjust to the NHL game.

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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If DeKeyser & Kindl aren't already considered the 2nd pairing by the coaching staff, I would expect that opinion's going to change pretty soon now. I would love to see Babs at least split up Smith & Quincey because that pairing, at least to my eyes, has just not worked at all. Do you just shake up the 2nd & 3rd pairings though, all the pairings, or maybe does Lashoff work in more & the bottom pairing becomes a rotation of Lash-Q-Smith?

Opie likes this

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There were times when Smith looked pretty bad last night, but I thought at other times he did a pretty good job of getting control of the puck and using his skating ability to calm things down and allow the team to get up ice. My biggest knock against him is his decision making, which is poor, but should come around as he matures. As such, I think this thread's a bit premature. He's been bad quite a bit in the past, and at time VERY bad. But by now that should be expected of a young defenseman on this team. I say wait and see with Smith. Give him as much time as you gave Kindl, and then go from there. Unless, of course, Sproul or Quellet somehow pass him in the depth charts in the next year or two. Which is possible, but not probable.

Hockeymom1960 and WingsAlways like this

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I was only able to watch parts of the Pens game and I have to say I'm understanding the negative rep Smitty's been getting here on LGW. The few games I've seen him in this preseason were not that good. I'm hoping he turns things around when the season starts up.

I still think there is a lot of untapped potential with him, too. Maybe he'll pull a Quincey and flourish with another team - in a hypothetical scenario that has him traded, of course.

The silver lining in the whole thing, for me, is that we are so deep with defensive prospects that we could probably afford to trade him if that scenario did present itself. I'd imagine that he could get a pretty decent return as well, or otherwise be a big piece of a larger trade.

For the record I like Smith and I hope he stays and gets better. I'm just an optimist and I like to look for the positive side of potential negatives (Smith staying in this funk and/or getting traded).

he's terrible, and that doesn't look to be changing any time soon.

Exactly how many players on this team are not terrible, or "losers" as you have said before? In your assuredly very astute, non-opprobrious opinion, I mean.

Edited by Wingsfan72
Hockeymom1960 and F.Michael like this

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Smith and Franzen for Edler and kassian

Quincey to Edmonton for their newly acquired Ference, whom i'm guessing was signed to let Schultz do his thing and not be -100 for a full season. Ference is a lot like Stuart and would be the ideal type player to pair with Smith.

T.Low likes this

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