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NYC Wings Fanatic

Is the Real Brendan Smith Finally Starting the Show Up?

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Cmon kip - even you have to admit Smith was great tonight... building on previous games like I think he has been doing lately. Showed up on the scoresheet tonight for you too.

He didn't really do much good or bad last game, and he was good today. Keep doing that and I'm happy. I'm all for Smith turning into something good, it's not like I want the kid to fail. I just don't see any need to make excuses for him when he's playing badly. I get the feeling that some fans feel like if they say "Smith is playing like s***" that he'll magically disappear. It's ok to criticize him when it's appropriate. It's ok to praise him when it's appropriate too. Go look at the GDT and you'll see a big "atta boy" to Smith with my name on it. If he keep it up he'll get more.

And if Quincey has another stud game like he did in Pittsburgh, and plays almost thirty minutes with HUGE pk time, I'll praise him too. Because it's not against the law to say something good about Quincey either.

marcaractac likes this

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I agree with newfy. Let DD play with Big Rig and put Quincy down with one of the other two. I think Smith gains confidence playing with a guy like Kronner, or maybe he just isn't worried about his partner screwing things up.

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Kronwall - Smith

Dekeyser - Ericsson

Kind - Quincey

IMO is the best D pairing when healthy.

Kronwall gives Smith the support he needs when he wants to pinch or join the rush (which I believe is his biggest strength)

E and D and can shut down opposing teams top lines

and Kindl and Quincey may be able to do better work with more sheltered minutes and easier matchups

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It was nice to hear him singled out several times in a very positive light by Doc Emrick and Pierre McGuire during the broadcast last night. He once again had several scoring possibilities when he joined the rush, and he certainly does look much more comfortable playing with Kronwall. Like other guys have said, I also hope that the pairings might stay this way for a while, past the point that E gets back to see if this can be a long term solution to the D pairing issue.

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Smith has looked like a different guy. I think Quincey has also played really well recently. Lashoff and Kindl... thats another story.

It was nice to hear him singled out several times in a very positive light by Doc Emrick and Pierre McGuire during the broadcast last night. He once again had several scoring possibilities when he joined the rush, and he certainly does look much more comfortable playing with Kronwall. Like other guys have said, I also hope that the pairings might stay this way for a while, past the point that E gets back to see if this can be a long term solution to the D pairing issue.

it was so different with just doc and pierre and no edzo. I wasn't used to all the praise given to the wings players. didn't have to listen about subtle interference and all the supposedly missed penalties on Detroit.

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If he really is worried about his partner when not paired with Kronwall, that's an issue that needs to be addressed, not bandaged by keeping him with Kronwall.

nawein and kipwinger like this

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If he really is worried about his partner when not paired with Kronwall, that's an issue that needs to be addressed, not bandaged by keeping him with Kronwall.

Its something that needs to be worked on sure but if it also gives them the best pairings why would you change it anyways?

I think what they should try is

Kronwall Smith

Quincey Dekeyser

Ericcson Lashoff

Quincey and Dekeyser have been too good together to break up just because of Ericcson, same with the first pair. Ericcson and Lashoff might not move the puck well but defensively they can match up well with most players in the league. That pairing can be used to munch PK time and with Ericcson on it, they can play a bit more 5 on 5. With Kindl out I would just put Smith on the second PP and call it a day. Kindl blows

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Kronner - Smith

Dekeyser - Ericsson

Lashoff - Quincey

This lets Quincey off his leash as he gets to play with a true stay at home guy. Kindl is just a mess out there right now.

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Last night, Mr. Smith once again showed that he is a work in progress. He was caught up in the offensive zone just before the Blue Jackets' winning goal, when he couldn't keep the puck in at the point. The Blue Jacket player he tried to tie up there got past him to create the 2 on 1 that lead to the goal. I know that he plays with that gambler's mentality and swagger, but there are times to take risks, and times to go for the sure thing. IMHO, the sure thing then was to better, safely transition back to defense, while leaving the chance to keep the puck in the offensive zone on the table, especially when the game meant so much in the standings. Once again, it was the mental part, and not the physical part that did him in, and I believe (hope) that this will sink in (and be drummed into him by the coaches)

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Last night, Mr. Smith once again showed that he is a work in progress. He was caught up in the offensive zone just before the Blue Jackets' winning goal, when he couldn't keep the puck in at the point. The Blue Jacket player he tried to tie up there got past him to create the 2 on 1 that lead to the goal. I know that he plays with that gambler's mentality and swagger, but there are times to take risks, and times to go for the sure thing. IMHO, the sure thing then was to better, safely transition back to defense, while leaving the chance to keep the puck in the offensive zone on the table, especially when the game meant so much in the standings. Once again, it was the mental part, and not the physical part that did him in, and I believe (hope) that this will sink in (and be drummed into him by the coaches)

Don't forget the astoundingly stupid interference penalty he took in the first, which led to a goal, and was nowhere near the play itself.

Ok, having said that I'll say this. Smith looked better the two Minnesota games, and didn't look bad (or good) against Pittsburgh. As you mentioned his decision making is not up to snuff, and that problem is going to be exacerbated with more minutes against better competition like he's getting on the first line. So as a coach Babs needs to determine whether the potential benefits (like in Minnesota) of having Smith on the top line outweigh the negatives. So far, I'd say it's a wash. He helped win a game (the first in Minny) and last night he helped lose one. Time will tell.

Edited by kipwinger

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I find it hilarious that you guys look at a bad bounce over his stick and say he was terrible this game. It was a bit of a risky play but that was a brutal bounce. And once again Dekeyser has a bunch of turnovers in a game and hes still the golden boy while Smith is the reason the wings lost.

Kip you clearly have an agenda if you dont think he played good in the Pittsburgh game

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I find it hilarious that you guys look at a bad bounce over his stick and say he was terrible this game. It was a bit of a risky play but that was a brutal bounce. And once again Dekeyser has a bunch of turnovers in a game and hes still the golden boy while Smith is the reason the wings lost.

Kip you clearly have an agenda if you dont think he played good in the Pittsburgh game

Guilty. I do have an agenda. It's called using video and statistical evidence to prove to everyone that Smith's not ready to be a top pair defenseman. Good work detective, you caught me red handed.

I think probably the reason why people give Dekeyser a break are twofold. First, he actually plays defense. Secondly, none of his turnovers led to the game winning goal for Columbus.

Edit: Also watch the video at the link below starting at 3:08. It wasn't a bad bounce at all, the Columbus forward chipped it over Smith's stick (as Smith desperately lunged for the puck rather than getting back) and had nothing but space and time. Why oh why do people feel the need to constantly make excuses for this guy?

http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/recap?id=2013021085&navid=nhl:topheads

Edited by kipwinger
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I find it hilarious that you guys look at a bad bounce over his stick and say he was terrible this game. It was a bit of a risky play but that was a brutal bounce. And once again Dekeyser has a bunch of turnovers in a game and hes still the golden boy while Smith is the reason the wings lost.

Kip you clearly have an agenda if you dont think he played good in the Pittsburgh game

I personally didn't say that he had a bad game in general - I said that he took an ill-advised chance at an inopportune time, and that this tendency needs some fine tuning, without killing his overall game. For the record, I really like Smith and his huge potential, and I think that with time and coaching, he has the chance to be a Duncan Keith type of offensive/defensive hybrid defenseman. Here is the Hockey News' scouting report on Keith, which sounds like it could eventually be true of Smith, too:

SCOUTING

Assets: Is as good a skater as you can find from the back end. Can log ridiculous amounts of ice time effortlessly. Excels at using his mobility to shut down opposing forwards. Has above-average two-way instincts for the blueline position. Plays a very cerebral game, too.

Flaws: Is a little undersized to play against giant-sized NHL forwards. May not be capable of taking his offensive game to the next level, as he's not a natural power-play quarterback. Could also stand to improve his shot from the point.

Career Potential: Elite all-round defenseman.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just for comparison, here is Brendan's Hockey News scouting report:

SCOUTING REPORT
Assets: Skates extremely well and is adept at rushing up ice with the puck. Has offensive upside, an aggressive nature and a projectable frame. Has the puck skills and hockey sense required to help out on the scoresheet.
Flaws: Will need to continue bulking up in order to handle bigger National Hockey League forwards. Has a mean streak, but must also learn to pick his spots in the hitting department.
Career Potential: Talented all-round defenseman with good upside.
Edited by NYC Wings Fanatic

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I actually didnt see the chip play at the time but thats still one play in an entire game. The fact that you cant say Smith had a good game against the Pens shows you have an agenda against the guy. He has been playing good hockey for a while now. He had a better game than Dekeyser did against Columbus, it just turns out that his one bad play ended up somehow squeaking past Howard. Dekeyser had a couple shifts in a row with bad turn overs but no one says anything. One got golden boy status from a good run at the end of last year but Smith has been really solid with Kronwall. As for your statistical and video evidence, you show one highlight of one bad play and that counts as evidence??

As for evidence, obviously Smiths pairings havent been hemmed in their own zone very much lately because has a team Dman leading corsi relative and even Kronwall is the only one close to him. Which means hes moving the puck out of the zone well and getting shots at the other end of the ice. On the other hand, Dekeyser has by far the worst of the D. Only Cleary and Glendening are worse and the gap in quality of competition doesnt make up for the difference. And you can also look at the fact that with regular PP time, Dekeyser still isnt out producing Smith (he has one more assist and the same goals). Smith's even strength production is right up there with guys like Doughty.

To top all of this off, I wanna say I think Dekeyser looks good out there I dont hate Dekeyser. Just proving a point that while one has been somewhat of a scape goat with people having agendas against him, the other has become a golden boy whose turnovers are overlooked. Smith is playing really solid hockey and has turned it around since early in the year and last season. Both these guys are good, young players and it doesnt make sense to rip on someone like Smith while everyone loves Dekeyser. Maybe people love his defense because he has to make so many defensive plays because he spends more time in his own zone while Smith is moving the puck up ice.

Edited by newfy

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I actually didnt see the chip play at the time but thats still one play in an entire game. The fact that you cant say Smith had a good game against the Pens shows you have an agenda against the guy. He has been playing good hockey for a while now. He had a better game than Dekeyser did against Columbus, it just turns out that his one bad play ended up somehow squeaking past Howard. Dekeyser had a couple shifts in a row with bad turn overs but no one says anything. One got golden boy status from a good run at the end of last year but Smith has been really solid with Kronwall. As for your statistical and video evidence, you show one highlight of one bad play and that counts as evidence??

As for evidence, obviously Smiths pairings havent been hemmed in their own zone very much lately because has a team Dman leading corsi relative and even Kronwall is the only one close to him. Which means hes moving the puck out of the zone well and getting shots at the other end of the ice. On the other hand, Dekeyser has by far the worst of the D. Only Cleary and Glendening are worse and the gap in quality of competition doesnt make up for the difference. And you can also look at the fact that with regular PP time, Dekeyser still isnt out producing Smith (he has one more assist and the same goals). Smith's even strength production is right up there with guys like Doughty.

To top all of this off, I wanna say I think Dekeyser looks good out there I dont hate Dekeyser. Just proving a point that while one has been somewhat of a scape goat with people having agendas against him, the other has become a golden boy whose turnovers are overlooked. Smith is playing really solid hockey and has turned it around since early in the year and last season. Both these guys are good, young players and it doesnt make sense to rip on someone like Smith while everyone loves Dekeyser. Maybe people love his defense because he has to make so many defensive plays because he spends more time in his own zone while Smith is moving the puck up ice.

It doesn't mean that at all. He get's more offensive zone starts than any other defenseman on our team. It's not hard to bring the puck into our zone when you already start with the puck in our zone.

Edited by kipwinger

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Dekeyser starts 15 shifts in the offensive zone per game on average, while Smith averages 14. So while those are a different percentage of their actual shifts, Dekeyser should have more production to show. Youre also lying, considering Lashoff and Kindl both start more in the offensive zone than Smith. Excluding neutral zone starts, Dekeyser averages a massive 0.9% of his shift starts in the defensive zone than Smith per game according to extra skater. Smith starts 29.3% of his shifts in the defensive znoe while Dekeyser starts 30.2% in his own zone.

Dekeyser doesnt actually start that much more in the defensive zone at all, he has a much higher neutral zone start that explains the difference in their offensive zone starts. So while Smith does start in the O zone already more, they are both starting in the defenve zone pretty much the exact same amount.

So yeah, in other words their deployment really doesnt explain the difference either. Are you still sure theres that much of a difference or whats next on your agenda?

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Dekeyser starts 15 shifts in the offensive zone per game on average, while Smith averages 14. So while those are a different percentage of their actual shifts, Dekeyser should have more production to show. Youre also lying, considering Lashoff and Kindl both start more in the offensive zone than Smith. Excluding neutral zone starts, Dekeyser averages a massive 0.9% of his shift starts in the defensive zone than Smith per game according to extra skater. Smith starts 29.3% of his shifts in the defensive znoe while Dekeyser starts 30.2% in his own zone.

Dekeyser doesnt actually start that much more in the defensive zone at all, he has a much higher neutral zone start that explains the difference in their offensive zone starts. So while Smith does start in the O zone already more, they are both starting in the defenve zone pretty much the exact same amount.

So yeah, in other words their deployment really doesnt explain the difference either. Are you still sure theres that much of a difference or whats next on your agenda?

I don't know why you keep referencing my "agenda". I've admitted to having one. It's to prove that Smith isn't a top pair defenseman. You keep saying it like it's some sort of revelation and not a blatantly obvious thing I've spent the better part of six pages trying to prove.

Here's the link to where I got my numbers. It's got Smith ahead of Kindl and behind Lashoff (5-on-5). Last time I checked (about a week ago) Lashoff was behind Smith too. So no, I'm not "lying". Also why are you excluding neutral zone starts? Because it's convenient for your argument? Smith starts in the o-zone more than Dekeyser, Kronwall, Quincey, Ericsson, and Kindl (according to my numbers). You don't get to exclude facts just because you feel like it.

Also, why do you keep saying Dekeyser should have more offense to show? He's a defensive d-man who's never put up big numbers at any level. You know who should have better numbers? Our talented young offensive d-man with all the "upside".

http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_statistics.php?ds=63&f1=2013_s&f2=5v5&f4=D&f5=DET&c=0+1+3+5+63+67+57+58+59+60+61+62+64+65+66

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Smith sweeping that puck right off the goal line behind Howard at the very last second tonight against the Leafs was truly a thing of beauty!!! That kind of heady move is what he is so capable of at his best, and I just hope that he keeps building on that level of play into his habits!

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Smith really would probably be better at forward if he had begun his career there like his brother. He excels at joining the rush (like a forward) other than that the rest of his D game is average to below average. Although his save from behind Howard tonight saved me a heart attack.

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Smith sweeping that puck right off the goal line behind Howard at the very last second tonight against the Leafs was truly a thing of beauty!!! That kind of heady move is what he is so capable of at his best, and I just hope that he keeps building on that level of play into his habits!

That was a great play!

tumblr_n389imnq9U1qzx8cgo1_500.jpg

Edited by darkmanx

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Smith will continue to grow. He is playing much better lately and still has his moments - but he is young and dmen don't hit their prime until later. Did a great job tonight saving me from pulling my hair out. If that went in everyone would be cursing howard again and the leafs could have tied it after.

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Smith blocking Filppula's shot in the last minute - he's stepping up to the plate more and more, in a big way, at critical times, as time goes on, is he not? Kronwall's steadying influence seems to be working wonders for him!

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