We never do it, but you see all the other teams do it and their players end up alright after the first year or two. If Brendan Smith is really as good as we all know he is, than bringing him up this year to play third pairing minutes, should not be a hinderance on his development. If anything it's a trial by fire upbringing. Look at Jack Johnson, Drew Doughty, Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Erik Johnson, etc... These guys are all coming into their own, some more than others at this point, but they are all showing they can handle the big league pressure, so what's to say Brendan can't? He would do well to learn from Lidstrom hands on, and bring some youthful enthusiasm to the back end. I am all fine with having him play, but you HAVE to have him play consistently, and either let Kindl play and have a FA be our 7th d-man or have Kindl be that guy again and spot play when a player needs rest or discipline.
He had a hell of a game tonight, even if he did miss on that breakaway.
Despite what that Stinky Fish Dick guy said, Cleary did have a great game and, IMO, has been having a great series, I remember, back in 2007 against the Flames, identifying him as the type of player that you need in the playoffs. He always goes hard into every battle and plays with that special edge.There is a short list of guys that I wouldn't mind being traded, but Cleary isn;t one of them. He just has that heart and determination that - if we're at a loss (which we never should be) - can carry us forward. Look to him in Game 7, much like in Game 7 of the '09 Western Conference semis. It won't necessarily be pretty, but we know that he'll be there to do something special if the situation does arise.
I think the bright spot in all of this is that Detroit played an absolutely horrible game got the short end of the calls and still only lost in OT off a lucky deflection.
Wings need to plays Wings hockey tomorrow and get to Niemi early and often, make the refs not be a factor.
I've already said this in this thread a couple times, but I totally agree on getting to Niemi. If there's one thing I took out of that game, it's that he's as shaky as I thought he was. While Howard was swallowing pucks up, Niemi was struggling to find them and kicking out huge rebounds -- Detroit just didn't have enough people flying to the net to take advantage. He's GOING to give up goals. If the Wings' grinders start getting to the net in Game 2, it will look completely different on that end of the ice.