As much as I hate Anaheim, my favorite memory of Kopecky was Beauchemin breaking his face in the playoffs.
If we had have scored 2 goals there on the 4 minute PP, my favourite memory of Kopecky would have been him shooting the puck at the ref. Sometime next week I would have randomly posted in a thread, "hey guys, remember the time Kopecky shot the puck at a ref and we finally beat the almighty Panthers in regulation?" That was a really cool game.
Now, we have a 1 goal lead going into the 3rd against a team that is basically our kryptonite this season.
I agree. He's had a rough go this year coming off an injury plagued season straight to a groin issue and a sports hernia. After the Olympics, the real Weiss will be back methinks. Add him to the line up we have and we're looking good. Add a healthy Franzen and we're lethal.
I think that this year is a real lesson for Kenny and Babcock showing that you don't always have to be overripe, but ripe is good too. We have a great future at forward and with the likes of Jarnkrok, Pulkkinen and Mantha on their way as well, we're looking good. Add to the mix a guy or 2 out of Callahan, Tuzzi Jr, or Nastasiuk and you got some sandpaper.
On D, Ouellet, Sproul, Backman, Marchenko, Jensen and possibly De Haan sounds good if I remember correctly, we have a bright future there too. Then you have Mrazek and Patterson to try to steal a job from Howard in the coming years, all the naysayers claiming the Wings are "done" now that Lids retired have no clue whatsoever and they forget that despite Holland's latest signing bullpoop, we still have great scouts that whisper some pretty damn good names in his ear at the draft table.
Strangely enough, that mish-mash would be the best looking of the 3.
All you're really saying is that Smith plays best when someone better covers up his mistakes, which is true of every bad defenseman. Smith isn't even adequate defensively on the second pair. Put him on the first and you destroy that pairing (since Kronwall isn't a shutdown guy either). Good first lines would MURDER that top pair. Also, Smith has been paired with Dekeyser and Lashoff (both responsible) plenty this year and that hasn't noticeably improved his performance...so you can't blame it all on Quincey and Kindl. You can't move a guy up to the first pair simply because he's a disaster with every other guy on your team.
The only solution I see is to get a second pair defenseman at the deadline, drop Smith permanently to the third pair with Lashoff, and trade/waive Kindl or Quinecy. Either that or accept that your defense falls off significantly after the first pair.
Smith plays really good with everyone not named Quincey.